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The #world is ready to give us abundance, but we keep finding ways to turn it into suffering. #Kabbalah shows us how, together with abundance, we can attain eternity on top of it.
The UN’s bankrupt! Its members won’t pay their share and run military operations unsanctioned by the Security Council. The UN no longer offers international security. It’s a global talk shop with no dialogue or decision-making. Anyone visiting it sees how many slackers it’s funding
From Twitter, 7/30/18
The Times of Israel published my new article “Fear of Death: What If There Is Life After Death?”
There is one thing we can be sure of in our lives: sooner or later, we will die. If there is such certainty about the fate of every person on this planet, why does the fear of death haunt humanity? What if dying is not as bad as we think? By solving the mystery of what happens after we die, we can find comfort and clarity.
According to a recent Chapman University survey of American fears, 20.3 % of Americans are either “afraid” or “very afraid” of dying, and nearly twice as many (almost 40%) dread losing a loved one. Whether or not we fear death, the simple notion of stepping into the unknown is daunting. Yet what remains clear is that the physical body perishes and gradually disintegrates until it completely vanishes.
How Can We Make Sense of Dying?
It seems as if death robs us of our independence, our very selves, everything we have acquired and done in our lives. Even passing on our achievements and assets that we gather in our lives to our offspring will fade away as one day they will also leave this world. Since death is a phenomenon beyond our comprehension and remains something over which we have absolutely no control, we naturally try to oppose it.
However, paradoxically, in recent years we have witnessed a startling global increase in suicide rates as a consequence of people’s inner emptiness and lack of satisfaction with life. World Health Organization statistics show that out of its 183 member countries, the United States had the seventh largest percentage increase in suicide rates between 2000 and 2016, rising nearly 25%. Every day in the US, an average of 123 suicides go on record, although the actual number is considered to be higher because many cases go unreported since suicide remains culturally taboo. In 2017 alone, the suicide prevention helpline answered over 2 million calls from people looking for confidential crisis counseling.
Particularly in today’s world, problematic conditions in all areas of life are urging us to develop higher awareness about our existence. From a very early age, humanity now asks: “What are we living and dying for? What is the meaning of life? What is the point of all this suffering? Why are we here?” Many people who find no satisfying responses to these discomforting questions, and most importantly, when the sources of happiness and fulfillment dry up, simply give up.
Despite this pressing reality, the basic instinct to survive is still our most powerful driving force. The instinctive impulse to fear death is completely normal, but when it becomes severe it can transform into extreme anxiety, panic and distress, a phenomenon that has become known in medical circles as thanatophobia (lit. “fear of death”).
But is there really a reason to fear death? Is it possible to know exactly what is beyond the barrier of death, without resorting to unverified theories and beliefs? If we could, then perhaps there would be no need to fear death, and we could develop a much more balanced and conscious approach to our lives?
The Question of the Soul
According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, there is no reason to fear death because, as we conceive it, death does not exist. It applies only to the vegetative and animal realms, not to the human level.
What then happens when we die? Here is where we encounter the major questions in relation to life and death: Do we have a soul or not? Are we born with a soul, or do we acquire one when we die? Also, if we don’t have a soul, then can we obtain one during our lifetime?
According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, we are born soulless, and if we don’t attain a soul during our lifetime, then we also die soulless. In order to experience the eternal world, the harmony and balance that come from living in the soul, we must obtain the soul during our lifetime. Kabbalah explains that we are given this life and future incarnations so that we would obtain our soul.
How does it work?
Lying deep in our desires is a “seed of the soul.” This spiritual seed, also known as the “point in the heart,” is a spark that makes possible the birth of spiritual life—the attainment of the soul.
Over generations of human development, this point in the heart has been latent, waiting for the time when it would be able to blossom. According to The Book of Zohar, starting in our generation, this point in the heart would start making its demands in vast masses of people. It becomes expressed in us as feelings of meaninglessness, emptiness and dissatisfaction with merely chasing after life’s corporeal pleasures, and as questions about the meaning and purpose of our lives.
Eventually, these feelings of dissatisfaction with corporeal life and questions about its meaning lead us to the means by which we can develop this tiny desire for spirituality, the point in the heart, into a great desire where we can live in our soul during our lifetime. Essentially, this is a process of exiting our corporeal, self-aimed desires and entering into spiritual, altruistic ones. When we reach this heightened state, nothing ties us down to our corporeal world any longer. Although the biological death of the corporeal body remains, the soul we acquire during our lives is eternal because it exists in the altruistic desire, outside the egoistic, corporeal selves that perish.
From this new vantage point, we feel the life in the soul—the altruistic desire—much greater than the corporeal life we live, where we constantly try to fulfill ourselves. Somewhat similar to how parents feel their lives in their children’s fulfillment and success, we acquire a feeling of life in others.
While we are living in an era where this point in the heart is starting to awaken among masses, we will eventually reach a state where the whole of humanity will enter the spiritual world and live in the eternal soul—where life is endless, and where there is no fear but only joy and freedom. Yet the question remains: We will undergo this development with awareness and understanding of what we’re dealing with, consciously developing our soul, or will we increasingly suffer due to our lack of awareness? It is my hope that everyone will discover the path of awareness—the wisdom of Kabbalah—and enter the process of soul’s discovery, alleviating the need for all kinds of personal, social and global-scale crises to bring us to that awakening.
Answer: Naturally. This is what is said, “Go to the Creator who made you.”
Question: Does understanding this already denote progress?
Answer: It may denote progress, but it is not a correction. The problem is that we have to correct this nature. You can always say, “the Creator made it so,” and what’s next? The Creator made it, and you must correct it.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 3/25/18
What is permanent adhesion with the Creator? How can we bring Him contentment, what can we give Him? Is the Creator not perfect?
The Creator is like a parent who wants only one thing: for his children to be good and to have a good life—by this they bring pleasure to the parent. We have nothing more to give to the Creator; there is nothing to fulfill Him with. By the fact that I fulfill my desires in the right way, I fulfill the Creator and bring Him contentment.
You can bring contentment to the Creator by correcting your broken and empty soul. It was created this way deliberately so that we could correct and fill it, bringing contentment to the Creator by that. The better I arrange my spiritual life, the more pleasure I will bring to the Creator. It is like how it is in our life, the more successful the child is, the more he pleases his parents.
In spirituality there is no giving to the upper—everything is within our Kli [vessel]; it is the only thing we are correcting and filling, and by this we can check what contentment we bring to the Creator: how we correct ourselves for connection and for mutual bestowal to each other. Therefore it is written, “From love of the created beings to love of the Creator.”
By bringing pleasure to the friends, I can be certain that I bring contentment to the Creator. The pleasure that I awaken in the Creator can be measured by the type of the correction I achieved and what light I receive into my corrected desire.
We need to correct our approach to correction, because it all happens internally, and therefore spiritual work is called internal work. We need to work only inside the connection between us, which is called the soul, and according to this the Creator will “feel” what work we are doing on ourselves in order to bring Him contentment.
We work in order to rise above our egoism, which is constantly trying to distract us with all sorts of things, and we yearn to correct and fulfill ourselves, but only in order to bring contentment to the Creator. There is direct analogy between the relationship of parents with children and our relationship with the Creator.
To be in permanent adhesion with the Creator means to think in all my actions of what to do inside myself, that is, in the connection with the friends, inside my soul, in order to bring contentment to the Creator. The more I ask the Creator for help in correcting my soul, like a good child who asks his parents for help, the greater is His contentment. And the parents are happy to help him; it is a pleasure for them.
And the more we ask the Creator for help to correct the connection between us, that is, to correct our soul, the more contentment we bring Him. His pleasure is measured by the light that comes to correct and unite our souls and by the light that fills the corrected soul.
There is nothing we can give to the Creator—the entire work happens between us, in our connection with each other: “From love of the created beings to love of the Creator.” It is revealed only in this way. If we always try to correctly see the place of our connection, of our work, then we are in the permanent adhesion with the Creator.
From the Lesson 7/21/18, “From the Bottom of the Ladder to the Permanent Dvekut [Adhesion]”
Answer: They are parts of your soul. There is nothing unnecessary in creation. You must attain the whole of your soul, which is the unity of all private souls at all times and in all states. By combining them in yourself, you will become like Adam in relation to the Creator.
But do not think that you have to wait for other souls to correct themselves. It is you who must correct them in yourself.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 3/4/18
Question from Facebook: How do I live if I don’t believe anyone?
Answer: You don’t have to believe anyone. The fact is that we are all puppets, the whole world is a theater. And the director, producer, writer, the one who controls everything, the king (as we call Him), that is, having absolute power, is the Creator.
Therefore, we should only deal with Him. All others have no freewill, nothing. Our freewill is only so we can properly bring ourselves closer to the Creator. But, in principle, He is the one who does and operates everything, and there is nothing else that could possibly happen without Him. It is one power that holds onto itself, permeates the entire universe, and controls everything.
I think that it is time for people to start becoming aware of the system we live in—that only one power exists in it and it leads us to a specific goal, along a specific path.
If we imagine this path and this goal within ourselves and want it to be realized, then we are in a positive connection with the Creator, and then we enjoy all this, and that is how it will be. But if we do not, then we’ll be worse off. That is our entire fate.
Question: Then why does He lead us through this “I believe—I don’t believe”?
Answer: He is leading us toward absolute unity so that we are completely united, and then He will be revealed in us—from the hidden, He will become apparent.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman,” 6/5/18