Audio Version Of The Blog – 8/8/18

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My Thoughts On Twitter 8/8/18

Dr Michael Laitman Twitter

Each time we rise by faith above reason, the former faith turns into awareness; and we rise above that awareness to a greater faith that afterward becomes reason. Therefore, the one who walks by faith above reason continually increases his awareness, and becomes wiser!

Try to be above any condition, by holding on to the Creator. Whether you are in an ascent or descent, cling to Him, like a baby to the mother. If he’s attached to his mother, he needs nothing else; this is his all. And while we grow, we also become similar to the Creator.

Capitalism is dеgrading; socialism hasn’t succeeded. But Trump’s wrong: there’s no return to prosperous capitalism! Ahead is the birth of a new society—equality and brotherhood by the law of spiritual nature: in agony/world war or in consciousness/correction of ego with Ohr Makif.

Strong states after prosperity fall into contradictions that destroy them. There’s no way back. The USA, Russia, and China are looking for the format of their future. A new world ahead—in a conscious, over-egoistic connection, achieved by education in Kabbalah. Or the world will split!

First emerges the desire,
Which launches the development of thought—
To distance or develop the desire.
From Twitter, 8/8/18

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Medium: “The Pursuit Of Happiness And The Fading American Dream”

The portal Medium published my new article “The Pursuit Of Happiness And The Fading American Dream

It is embedded in the deepest layers of American society. “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” is the founding creed from the Declaration of Independence that aims at fulfillment in life to all. In reality, however, this ideal does not even scratch the surface of the American society. Despite spending astronomical amounts of money and working very hard to find happiness, the US has the highest rate of antidepressant use in the world. What is the reason and what can be done to invert this phenomenon?

Per-capita income in America has more than doubled since 1972, but its citizens’ well-being is sending unsettling signals of decline. The US is ranked only 18th out of 156 countries measured by the World Happiness Report 2018, significantly below other wealthy nations. The report’s editor, economist Jeffrey Sachs, stated that “the trends are not good, and the comparative position of the US relative to other high-income countries is nothing short of alarming.” He attributes this divergence to obesity, drug abuse and depression, problems associated with dissatisfaction in life.

The pursuit of happiness is constantly motivating people to seek the source of happiness. A well-oiled American industry of self-help products and services that sell the illusion of joy and satisfaction is estimated to be worth more than 10 billion dollars a year. A significant amount is also spent on traveling abroad, around 118 billion dollars, among other astonishing expenditures in leisure and indulgence.

If such exertion is not bearing fruit, is it possible that the problem is how and where people in this pursuit of happiness are seeking it?

How We Measure Happiness

The valuing of hard work to achieve success in life is usually interpreted as the accumulation of materialistic possessions, focusing on things that bring us joy and satisfaction, everything that money appears to buy. Acquiring as much money as possible also provides a sense of self-worth, as the person gaining wealth also gains respect and recognition from others. We live under the impression that being rich is equivalent to being happy, so we are ready to do whatever it takes to get rich.

This aim motivates people to work longer and socialize less, and thus experience the opposite of the desired effect: more loneliness and dissatisfaction due to the overwhelming investment in time and efforts to achieve this goal. The more we focus on the things that bring us pleasure, the faster the feeling fades and loses its importance.

Buying a new car, an impressive house, the ultimate electronic device, getting a prestigious job, will give us short-lived satisfaction. We will eventually adapt to these new acquisitions, thus returning to our starting point and ending up in the same state or even unhappier than we were before. It’s the same old rat race, where we are constantly chasing new sources of pleasure as the old ones expire.

Happiness Depends On Other People

In contrast to the common perception that “wealth = happiness,” various long-term studies have also reached the conclusion that close relationships, not possessions, hold the key to happiness.

When asked to summarize decades of research in the field of positive psychology, renowned psychologist Chris Peterson replied, “other people matter.” One of the world’s longest studies on this subject, of nearly 80 years, has been conducted by Harvard researchers. They have tracked the personal evolution of 268 sophomores to identify factors influencing a healthy and happy life.

The study found that friendship and social connection, more than money and fame, is what makes people happy. Furthermore, those who had warm relationships and belonged to a community not only lived happier lives, but longer ones. As part of the study’s conclusions, its director Robert Waldinger stated that “loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcohol addiction.”

The wisdom of Kabbalah has discussed this principle over thousands of years: true happiness can only be found through positive human connection, in our collective unity, where each person is outwardly-focused toward friends and society. Moreover, Kabbalah states that connection-based happiness is limitless in potential.

But why? What is it about giving and positively connecting with others that can make our happiness unlimited? Also, what limits our happiness?

Self-Concern: The Happiness Limiter

What limits our happiness is our self-concern, when we try to enjoy individually and at the expense of others. According to Kabbalah, human nature is a desire to enjoy. Our every nature-given motivation is to enjoy, feel good and be happy. However, although our every desire is constantly working to make us happy, our problem is that we don’t know how to enjoy. As the above-mentioned examples showed, we interpret this desire to enjoy in terms of desires for gaining wealth and material acquisitions, honor and respect, control and knowledge.

Such corporeal, material forms of enjoyment all share a common denominator: we try to fulfill ourselves individually at the expense of others. The problem with enjoying in this mode is that the desire to enjoy is made in such a way where self-aimed pleasure extinguishes the moment it enters us. Like when we eat, we extinguish our hunger, and by the end of the meal we don’t want to eat anymore, so it is with our other corporeal desires: they all fade away upon their fulfillment. This is the reason for the paradox as to why, although we have built a Western society abundant with material pleasures, depression and loneliness abound.

The founders of the wisdom of Kabbalah realized this problem with human nature, and sought to find a solution. What they found is that when the desire to enjoy is redirected, when we stop aiming to fulfill ourselves individually, and start aiming to fulfill others, although we don’t see any direct benefit from such an inclination, it actually is the key to enjoy and be happy limitlessly. Kabbalists discovered that behind what we envision as happiness, there is a source of happiness, an opposite desire to our own nature, which is a quality of giving, love and connection. When we try to emulate this quality, by trying to give, love and positively connect with others, then it influences us and changes us, bringing us more and more into balance with it. And the more we balance ourselves with nature, the happier we become.

Happiness Science and Positive Psychology Confirming What Kabbalah Has Been Stating for 1,000s of Years

Only recently, in the last 20–30 or so years, happiness science and positive psychology emerged to study what makes us happy, and what stands in the way of people’s happiness. These fields reach the conclusions that the wisdom of Kabbalah stated 5,000 years ago: that giving actually makes us far happier than receiving. The stronger our relationships with others, the happier we are. If our desire is focused outside ourselves, on giving to others, then we will not feel empty all the time.

The expectation of happiness depends solely on us, and only we dictate the scope of our future happiness. It can inflate, expand, and be enjoyed all the time, and thus a person has the potential to enjoy boundlessly. Instead of trying to enjoy detached from others, and finding ourselves empty-handed time after time, we can build ever-increasing happiness through our efforts to positively connect, coming closer and closer to balance with nature. Then, complete fulfillment will be a tangible reality and not only a dream.
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Actions And Commandments

laitman_571.01Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of The Kabbalah and Its Essence”: Indeed, there is a common opinion that the prime goal of religion and the Torah is only the cleansing of actions, that all that is desired concerns observing the physical Mitzvot (commandments), without any additions or anything that should result from it. Had that been so, those who say that studying the revealed and practical actions alone is sufficient would be right.

Yet, this is not the case. Our sages have already said, “Why should the Creator mind if one slaughters at the throat or at the back of the neck? After all, the Mitzvot were only given to cleanse people.” Thus, there is a purpose beyond the observance of the actions, and the actions are merely preparations for this purpose. Hence, clearly, if the actions are not arranged for the desired goal, it is as if nothing exists. And it is also written in The Zohar: “A Mitzva (commandment) without an aim is like a body without a soul.” Hence, the aim, too, should accompany the act.

The physical actions convey nothing on their own. Clearly a person can do them, but he may not be aware of with what motives. Then what? What is achieved by these actions?—That is what’s most important. It is called an intention.

Question: It is written in The Book of Zohar: “A commandment without an intention is like a body without a soul.” What does this mean?

Answer: If any physical action is performed without the correct intention of uniting for the purpose of revealing the Creator, then this action is dead, like a body without a soul.

Question: Baal HaSulam writes that there are only two laws or two commandments: reception and bestowal. It follows that there is an interaction in human society that consists of two actions: either I receive or bestow. They have to be properly balanced. How should we understand this? What does properly balanced mean?

Answer: It is quite easy to balance: bestowal for the sake of bestowal is the quality of Bina and reception for the sake of bestowal is the quality of Keter.

Question: How can we know how much to receive from society and how much to give to it?

Answer: Do it so that it would be solely for the benefit of the society, for the sake of bringing it to the similarity with the Creator.

Question: And who decides that?

Answer: You decide. You have to integrate yourself into society in order to absorb all of its desires and raise them to the Creator. You have to become an intermediary link, a channel of connection between the society and the Creator.

Question: Is it only possible when the Creator reveals Himself to a person?

Answer: How else can you interact with the society? Only in order to help it.
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From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 3/18/18

Related Material:
“Material Commandments” And Correction Of The World
An Action Without An Intention
A Commandment Without An Aim Is Like A Body Without A Soul

All As One In Europe

laitman_219.02Baal HaSulam, “Peace in the World“:  Do not be surprised if I mix together the well-being of a particular collective with the well-being of the whole world, because indeed, we have already come to such a degree that the whole world is considered one collective and one society. Meaning, because each person in the world draws his life’s marrow and his livelihood from all the people in the world, he is coerced to serve and care for the well-being of the whole world.

We are beginning to feel this already today. But it will become very apparent when the world begins to fall apart, which will happen soon. Then we will understand that we cannot be together in the same egoistic form that used to work until now; we cannot remain in this union. It is impossible to disperse or to unite.

This is a very dangerous state, which can lead to a war. Imagine that the European Union falls apart, all the countries break the ties with each other. No country will be able to exist in isolation and to satisfy even its most basic needs. This split will affect all of humanity, society, and families, all social, economic, and government systems in each country.

People will then understand that unity is required not only in order to supply food, clothes, and all other needs. Nature is compelling us to unite internally. If we do not unite internally and do not complement each other, all other systems that we have built will be unable to function.

This is a very difficult lesson. If we learn it with the help of the wisdom of Kabbalah. It will not require too many inner searches and efforts, wars, and bloodshed. Conversely, if we do not spread the knowledge of Kabbalah in the world, if we fail to implement the inner connection in the Kabbalistic groups throughout Europe, then there will be a complete and very painful disintegration in Europe.1

We must build an inner spiritual connection between our groups in Europe that will act as an internal spiritual government on this continent. Everybody will feel that there is something special in these people: there are principles, an upper goal, a method, and they can answer the pressing questions.

After all, they understand why there is a crisis: not because of monetary policy or ecological problems, international trade, or increases in import duties. None of this will lead to a solution. The only solution is to start building correct and kind relationships between everyone within the common human system.

And nobody can do this but Kabbalists. Therefore, a correct outcome of the congress is to organize a European group that will become an internal, spiritual, and ideological basis for the entire European continent.

It may seem fantastic and unrealistic, but once ten or fifteen years ago, my forecasts about the coming European crisis also seemed unrealistic. Today, this crisis, which erupted due to the fact that the union was created without the correction of the human nature, is obvious to everyone. And its next stage will be revealed much quicker.2
From the Convention In Italy, “All As One” 7/26/18, Preparatory Lesson
1 Minute 14:40
2. Minute 24:30

Related Material:
Convention In Italy, “All As One,” Day One – 7/27/18
Convention In Italy, “All As One,” Day Two – 7/28/18
Convention In Italy, “All As One,” Day Three – 7/29/18

Why Does The Creator Need Contentment?

laitman_600.01Question from Facebook: Why does the Creator need contentment? Isn’t He self-sufficient?

Answer: The same can be said about parents and children. You are connected with your children, you gave birth to them, they are very important to you. This is natural and it comes to us from the Creator in accordance with His attitude toward us.

Question: But isn’t our task to return this, to give Him contentment?

Answer: If a child correctly understands how to treat his or her parents, then he must act so that the parents will receive pleasure from him. And then he certainly will not be mistaken, because he otherwise will not have guidelines in this life. Therefore, setting himself up to give pleasure to his parents, he will always act in the most optimal way for himself.

And so are we with the Creator: giving Him contentment is a guideline to do the right thing for ourselves.
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From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 6/5/18

Related Material:
What Brings Contentment To The Creator?
How Can One Sense That The Creator Is Enjoying?
Characteristics Of The Creator

New Life #1025 – Freedom And Slavery, Part 2

New Life #1025 – Freedom And Slavery, Part 2
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel

Summary

We are all addicted to pleasure. We find ourselves in the most insidious slavery, under the control of a hidden software program that obligates us to act to fulfill our own pleasures at every turn, in every way, and in each moment. The Kabbalist Baal HaSulam wrote the article “The Freedom” to explain how we can develop as human beings and ascend to the level of Bina. At this level, people with a point in the heart choose to exchange the program that dominates and manages them for a program based on bestowal. By doing so, they become more like the Creator.
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From KabTV’s “New Life #1025 – Freedom And Slavery,” Part 2, 6/26/18

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 8/8/18

Lesson Preparation

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Lesson on the Topic “From Helplessness to Crying Out to the Creator”

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Talmud Eser Sefirot,  Vol. 2, Part 6, “Histaklut Pnimit,” “Seder Siba ve Mesubav,” Item 33

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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar

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