Covid-19 Requires Mutual Responsibility

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 3/30/20

There is ample talk about COVID-19 being a punishment from nature for humanity’s mistreatment of it. I respectfully disagree. As I see it, there are no punishments in nature; there are natural laws. Gravity, for example, is a natural law. If you jump off the roof of a high-rise thinking you can fly, you will die even if halfway down you’ll be enjoying the view and the wind in your face thinking that life is smiling at you. But if you obey the law of gravity and stay on the solid roof, you’ll be safe.

For centuries, humanity has behaved like that fool on the roof, pretending to be what it’s not: the sole ruler of Earth. We jumped too high and now we’re free-falling down. On our way down, we celebrated our achievements and said, “So far so good.” But we have been misled by our self-centered nature that twisted our perception of reality. Now, as the ground beneath us is nearing fast, there is but one parachute that we can open and stop the free-fall: to align human nature with the rest of nature. Nothing else will prevent the collision with the asphalt underneath.

Castles in the Sand

In a matter of weeks, the coronavirus has stopped civilization in its tracks. Tourism, transportation, sports, entertainment, culture, industry, education, socializing, and even our ability to congregate for prayer have all been halted. In short, the virus stopped our lives. Most still have basic sustenance such as food and shelter, but even this is doubtful going forward.

At the same time, in those few weeks, COVID-19 has also managed to restart many aspects of nature that have been suppressed by humans. The air in China is clear for the first time in decades, and you can see the fish swim in the once murky water in the canals of Venice, where swans swim after so many years of absence. Nature is palpably rejuvenating. It is not retaliating against humanity; it has merely separated us from the rest of nature and is restoring harmony and balance.

Coronavirus is sending us a message: Human nature, which engendered the civilization we so value, is at odds with the rest of nature. It is damaging to the rest of the world and injurious also to us humans.

The world we live in is the reflection of the interactions among its parts. While nature develops through harmonious collaboration, we have been driven by the struggle for power and control. Like naughty children building castles in the sand, we have been fighting to build our castles and smash everybody else’s until the tide came and washed them all away, so we could start over properly.

Homeostasis and Mutual Responsibility

When wolves were hunted to extinction in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, USA, the entire ecosystem suffered. Overpopulating herbivores depleted the flora, streams deviated from their course due to lack of riverbank vegetation, and animals’ health deteriorated as the weak and the sick were not culled by predators. When the wolves were reintroduced into the park, balance and health were restored.

The natural law that guides this balance is known as “homeostasis,” which is defined as a tendency toward a state of equilibrium between different but interdependent elements or groups of elements of an organism, population, or group.

We, humans, are devoid of the instincts that maintain homeostasis in the rest of nature. Instead, we must develop it consciously and willingly. The human homeostasis will not be a natural law that guides us, but a social guideline that will form the basis of our society. That guideline will be “mutual responsibility.” Like homeostasis, mutual responsibility implies a tendency toward equilibrium between different yet interdependent elements. But in humans, it is a conscious tendency rather than inherent.

If we introduce mutual responsibility into our societies, we will be able to continue to grow and thrive as a human society. If we avoid it, nature will force us to behave in a more balanced way, as the coronavirus is doing today. And the more adamantly we refuse, the more aggressively nature will force us to comply.

In practice, introduction of mutual responsibility should occur on the physical level and on the intellectual level. On the former, governments will have to tend to people’s basic needs for food, healthcare, and housing. On the latter level, we must establish an online education system where scientists and other pundits introduce the notion of mutual responsibility and explain why today’s reality requires it.

The idea behind these educational programs is not merely to help humanity overcome the virus. Rather, the idea is to change the paradigm that governs our lives, from focusing on the “me” to focusing on the “we.” The old paradigm is why the coronavirus has arrested our civilization, so we could build one that is based on mutual responsibility, and any moment’s delay is one moment too late.

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My Thoughts On Twitter 3/30/20

Dr Michael Laitman Twitter

The Creator awakens the coronavirus, putting thoughts in the heads of governments to lock us up so that we would focus on turning to the Creator, the central point of creation, for this entire reality to constrict to a point of request by the creatures, as one man, to one Creator, in a point of connection and adhesion.

From above we are given a reason to unite around one problem, and turn to the Creator with it. This enables us to connect with one another and with the Creator thanks to this awakening from above. Even though this connection wasn’t initiated by the creatures, it is nonetheless credited and included in the general correction.

The #coronavirus is preventing us from doing what we want, and we’re ready to do what’s necessary. We must address the Creator with a request to continue the corrections, mend the bonds between us, clothe into the good connection between us, reveal Himself to humanity.

The Creator has done us a great service by stopping us at the precipice, after we nearly brought the whole world to ruin with our ego. At the last moment, the Creator stopped us with the help of the #coronavirus, forced us to calm down and reflect on life so as to not return to the old egoistic world.
From Twitter, 3/30/20

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“We Entered The 2nd Stage Of The Coronavirus Pandemic. What’s Next?” (KabNet)

KabNet published my new article: “We Entered the 2nd Stage of the Coronavirus Pandemic. What’s Next?

We have passed the initial shock of the coronavirus pandemic, and now have entered what could be considered its second stage.

We now understand that it is here to stay for a while, that it spans the entire globe, and many of us have become used to sitting at home and not working.

There are still many unanswered questions in relation to the pandemic, for instance, how long it will last and how our lives will look afterward, but the fact is that we have detached from our previous lives and we are getting ready for a new life.

The coronavirus came like a tsunami that cleansed our lives from surplus and excess in order to let us focus on what is truly necessary and important in life.

“Other than supplying for our needs, we would do wisely in this period to equip ourselves with the wisdom of connection.”

Also, I am happy to hear that many people around the world already see the great need for human civilization to be cleaned from the dirt that it was accumulating.

I am also certain that our lives will be different to what they were before the coronavirus impacted us. We will simply be unable to reestablish them the way they were before.

We are still unaware of the extent to which this virus is changing us. In addition to washing away our life’s redundancies—everything that our egoistic human nature forced us to create in order to benefit ourselves at the expense of humanity and nature—it also “washes” us internally, i.e., our attitudes to each other and to nature, and we will come out of this period as different people.

Also, after this initial tsunami wave of the pandemic washing away the excesses that our overblown ego urged us to create, we are developing greater awareness of the need to exit our ego’s enslavement, i.e., to stop being under the demands of our desires to exploit others for the sake of self-benefit, and start building our lives anew, where all surplus would be contributed to the construction of a positively-connected society.

Many people sitting at home during this period are waking up to the meaninglessness of running after self-serving, consumeristic and materialistic goals.

Thus, there is greater awareness today of how much simpler and clearer life can be when we consider the need to provide for our basic needs, and in addition, consider what is most important in life. That is, when we stop saturating our lives with garbage that we are advertised to overload ourselves with, we can start thinking about how to fill our lives with what is truly important.

What, then, is truly important in life?

If we start connecting to each other in a more supportive, encouraging and considerate way around the world, seeing ourselves as equal in the face of nature, then we would start preparing ourselves with new “tools” that we could use in order to rise above the level of our egoistic and exploitative relationships, and enter into a different life.

What is this different life? How would it appear?

If we implement our connections properly, we would realize achievements the likes that we have never experienced before, nothing less than eternal life, a life that is followed not by death, but which is whole and perfect.

We once thought of our universe as infinite, but we eventually reached the understanding that, albeit existing for billions of years, it has its own limit. Yet, by realizing our connections in a positive way—through rising above our egoistic attitudes to each other—we can discover a limitless world, the eternal spiritual world, one that is independent of physical time, space and motion, and which exists solely in our change of attitudes to each other: from egoistic to altruistic, exploitative to supportive, manipulative to encouraging, self-serving to mutually considerate, and individualistic to mutually responsible for one another.

Therefore, other than supplying for our needs, we would do wisely in this period to equip ourselves with the wisdom of connection—the wisdom of Kabbalah—that provides us with a time-tested method in order to help us develop this change of attitude to each other.

In addition to providing the method for realizing positive connections among each other in order to discover a whole new eternal reality, the wisdom of Kabbalah also explains the deeper causes behind all problems and phenomena unfolding in our lives.

This is why our organization applies great efforts during this pandemic to explain how and why the virus appeared, and where it leads us, all in the broader context of human development within nature’s plan.

We thus hope that, especially during this unique period, humanity’s awareness of how nature acts toward us all as equals will rise, and that if we related to each other the way nature relates to us, we would unlock a completely new, harmonious and perfect reality.
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“The Post-Coronavirus World” (Thrive Global)

Thrive Global published my new article: “The Post-Coronavirus World

We will definitely be living in a new and different world after the coronavirus pandemic.

Dave Heinzel installs one of his handmade signs with the saying “Everything Will Be Ok” along with a 3D red heart that he he handmade in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in front of a home on West Lawrence Avenue, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in Springfield, Ill. Heinzel started taking requests for the signs on social media and the demand soared to over 200 requests. “I really think everything will be okay,” said Heinzel. “It’s going to get worse and it’s not going to be fun and we’re going to lose people we know, but it will be okay.”Usp News Coronavirus A Usa Il

Before discussing the post-coronavirus world, it helps to understand that the deeper cause of the virus was that it was a nature-sent reaction to the egoistic, competitive and exploitative way we were living our lives.

Nature sent us this virus in order to clean away the excess waste we had been accumulating in our paradigm of each one trying to maximally profit off of others in a race to individual success.

Our overinflated egoistic approach to life would have eventually led to major suffering, such as a world war. However, the coronavirus came along instead. It somewhat purifies us in a much calmer way than if we had let our tensing relations reach an explosive peak.

There Is Nothing Detrimental in Nature

Many perceive the coronavirus as a major catastrophe, but when we gain an understanding of nature’s laws and modus operandi, we see that there is nothing detrimental in nature.

We were causing harm to each other in our mutually inconsiderate and divisive attitudes, and then the coronavirus came along in order to distance us from each other, giving us a chance to review how and why we live our lives the way we do.

Now that nature has caringly and ingeniously discarded of the garbage that we had been gathering, we have an opportunity to fill our relations with love and kindness—to reestablish human society in a much brighter and more positive way for our children and grandchildren.

I thus hope that we will successfully utilize this coronavirus period to impact a positive shift in our attitudes to each other, and in the social constructions that we build herein.

I also hope that we will leave behind all the social division, hatred, xenophobia, exploitation, manipulation, abuse, depression, stress and anxiety of the old egoistic world, and make a significant leap into a new and opposite world of positive connection, love, equality, support, encouragement, happiness, confidence, altruism, care and mutual responsibility.

Reject the Old Egoistic World. Seek a New Mutually-Considerate One

Billions of dollars are currently being invested by governments in the hope that we will revive the rat race we were running before the coronavirus struck us. It would be very unfortunate if we do. I greatly doubt that doing so would be positive for anybody.

While we are now in a widely acknowledged state of crisis, we hear very little about how before the coronavirus, we were in another crisis. Our intensifying divisive relations in societies and between countries—especially between America, Russia, China and Europe—as well as various other factions, were leading us to war, and to financial and industrial collapse.

When we understand the extent of the crisis we were headed toward, we then view the coronavirus pandemic as a life buoy that nature threw out to us.

Therefore, we would be wise to realize that there was nothing positive in our old world, and thus nothing worth returning to. It was a world being devastated by our extraction of every resource we could get our hands on.

Also, the irony of our old world is that it was based on us all trying to enjoy ourselves, yet finding that it became harder and harder to enjoy ourselves. In the end, if we made a precise calculation of how much we enjoyed compared to how much we were dissatisfied and suffering in one way or another, we would find the scales tilted heavily to “dissatisfied and suffering.”

We deceived ourselves that we were doing well. What was so positive about our old world? Did anything we do leave us with a sense of lasting happiness and joy? Also, whether we were ordinary people just trying to get by and serve our families, or people who strove for more wealth, respect, power and knowledge—we would all merely ever experience momentary fulfillment, only to be left empty again needing to once again seek more fulfillment.

Ultimately, we were all equal in the way we lived our lives: We were in a perpetual chase after enjoyment that always slipped through our fingers the moment we started contacting it.

The Coronavirus Washes Away Egoistic Waste and Gives Us Room to Create a Better World

Therefore, now we have entered a cleansing period that is washing away the egoistic, competitive and socially divisive waste that was accruing. As we were filling our oceans with plastic and radioactive waste, so we were making a mess of human society.

At this juncture, our best move would be to build a new and much more positive world.

The coronavirus and all its consequent social distancing conditions around the world has given us time and room to contemplate on how we were driving our past egoistic society to ruin. Moreover, if we would compare the current coronavirus to past pandemics, then we would see that the amount of deaths is relatively small. That is, nature has brought about this opportunity for a positive transformation with relative mercy and gentleness.

Therefore, we would be unwise if we returned to our old world of 10-to-12 hour work days, with big chunks of those days spent in traffic jams, multiple crises on personal, social and ecological scales, as well as perpetually-increasing debt.

Our optimal use of this transitional era is to help each other take a step forward into a new world: to think about how we can repair our relationships, rise above any differences we had, and implement new relations of mutual consideration and responsibility among human society.

I thus hope that when the social distancing conditions are lifted and the coronavirus era comes to an end, then we will also continue along a line that we now start: one where we value positive human connections that benefit the whole of humanity over any self-serving goals. Doing so would ensure our balance with nature, reveal a new world of happiness and confidence for everyone, and protect us from any further harm that we would bring upon ourselves.
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Published on March 29, 2020

“The Passover Seder In The Coronavirus Era: A Means For Spiritual Connection” (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “The Passover Seder in the Coronavirus Era: A Means for Spiritual Connection

How are we going to spend our first Passover under the social distancing conditions brought about by the coronavirus?

What will the Passover Seder look like?

As a first, many families will be using the Zoom video conference tool to connect virtually over the Seder. Yet, while the coronavirus detaches us physically from each other, we have a unique opportunity to not only connect virtually, but to exercise what it means to be in more spiritual connection.

What Is Spiritual Connection?

Spiritual connection is when we want to feel each other in our hearts. It is when I accept the desire of the other person as my being my own, wishing to fulfill it as if it were my own desire, and the other person does the same to me.

Therefore, while feeling physically distant from each other, internally, in our common attitude to each other, we can feel ourselves as one.

If we had a broader view on why certain events befall our world, we would then see that the coronavirus pandemic—in how it has brought the world to a halt and physically isolated us all from each other—has come precisely so that we revise our attitudes to each other, and ultimately realize more positive and spiritual connections.

If we fail to actualize more spiritual connections to each other during this crisis, then we can expect worse problems to transpire, whether more elaborate mutations of the coronavirus or others.

Why? It is because our positive connections bring us into balance with nature’s interconnected and interdependent form, and the more we develop, the more there is an expectation on us from nature to make conscious steps toward our positive connection.

Our incongruence with nature, on the other hand, brings about the many forms of inconvenience and suffering that we experience, in order that we eventually positively and spiritually connect.

A New Dimension of Perception and Sensation Where We All Exist as One

We would do wisely to welcome the conditions that the coronavirus brings us, and actualize the spiritual closeness that nature wants us to wake up to, feeling each other in a new dimension of perception and sensation where we all exist as one.

By doing so, we would then feel no craving for the usual Passover Seder that we became used to, where we see each other sitting close by around the same table. In our spiritual closeness, we would feel a whole new kind of energy as if illuminating and filling the space between us—a new sensation of joy revealing itself in our common effort to overcome physical distances with attitudes of mutual consideration, love, support and encouragement.

Moreover, if we connect spiritually, we will also feel no need for virtual connection through our computer screens or mobile devices. We would have a much deeper and more genuine sensation of each other. It is as my teacher, Rabash, writes in his 8th letter:

“Once I have acquired this above-mentioned clothing, sparks of love promptly begin to shine within me. The heart begins to long to unite with my friends, and it seems to me that my eyes see my friends, my ears hear their voices, my mouth speaks to them, the hands embrace, the feet dance in a circle, in love and joy together with them, and I transcend my corporeal boundaries. I forget the vast distance between my friends and me, and the outstretched land for many miles will not stand between us. It is as though my friends are standing right within my heart.”

I thus hope that we make optimal use of the special conditions we find ourselves in, that we will realize our connection as a single system, “as one man with one heart,” above the social distancing.

We would then see the coronavirus not as a crisis, but as an opportunity and a loving gift from nature in order to let us realize a whole new, more positive and spiritual connection to each other.
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The Land Of Israel: Dispersion And Assimilation, Part 6

laitman_746.02The Split of the Jewish People.

Question: The famous rabbi, the Maharal of Prague, wrote about the spiritual descent of Israel: “The Second Temple had special quality: Israel wasn’t divided, they had only unity between them.

“Therefore, the First Temple was destroyed due to sins, that is, filth, and the Creator cannot dwell among them in filth. However, the Second Temple was destroyed due to unfounded hatred.”

What is the reason for the destruction of the First Temple?

Answer: The reason, in principle, is that during the First Temple, the division of the people into different groups and estrangement, alienation began, and during the period of the Second Temple the people already reached hatred for each other.

Question: Baal HaSulam writes in one of his letters: “And maybe our sages had this in mind when they claimed about the destruction of the Second Temple that there was no idolatry there and were experts on the Torah, and said: ‘Because of unfounded hatred.’” Could it be because they could not fulfill the basis of the Torah, which is love your neighbor as yourself?

Answer: They could carry out any actions, but they could not observe the intention to unite, to love their neighbor.

Question: As Baal HaSulam wrote, the conflict between the Sadducee sect and the Pharisees led to the final fragmentation of the people. The Sadducees were a wealthy corrupt elite: judges and priests who worked in the Temple. The Pharisees were the spiritual leaders of the people.

The Pharisees were for peace between dozens of sects who fought among themselves. But this was already the peak of the Jewish discord, after which there was a long exile of 2,000 years?

Answer: The problem is that it still had to collapse.

We see that the whole story is the development of egoism, which destroys everything as it grows. The people continuously work to rise above it, but the ego is again growing and destroying what is built.

To date, we have gone through all four exiles: Egyptian, Syrian, Babylonian and Roman. And now we are ready for liberation.
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From KabTV’s “Systematic Analysis of the Development of the People of Israel,” 7/8/19

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A Complicated Preparation Process

laitman_219.01Question: How does the order of creation impact every individual’s ability to feel the Creator as a friend?

Answer: We must convince ourselves of this. In order to do so, we need to listen and to attain what Kabbalists write about, and to try to absorb it as much as we can, which is quite complicated.

It takes years before we gradually begin to agree with what Kabbalists write, and then a few more years in order to accept it because we relate to it rather passively. It takes years to perceive this seriously.

It seems to us that closeness and connection are like child’s play and that there is actually nothing to be done, and what is this wisdom of Kabbalah in the first place? What is it about? Is it meant to quiet down noisy children?

It is only then that a serious process of repulsion begins, and if a person overcomes it, he goes for it in order to reach closeness.
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From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 1/12/20

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What Is Absolute Rest?

laitman_537Question: In spirituality, everything is in absolute rest. What is absolute rest if there are ascents and descents?

Answer: A spiritual state is a state of peace. If we exclude our movements, then the whole spiritual world, the upper light, is in absolute rest. This means that it is perfect and does not change. We change in it.

The effect of the light on us is constant. Everything depends on how we subject ourselves to it.

Question: It is said that the sensation of light comes from the sensation of darkness. What does it mean?

Answer: In our world, we cannot feel something as a single phenomenon. We must grasp everything in comparison, in contrast.

I cannot feel black or white. Black will look black on a white background, and white will look white on a black background. I do not feel the phenomenon itself; I can only feel it relative to something.

Therefore, the whole creation consists of two opposite properties: light – darkness, bestowal – reception. I must master both of them and build my world from these two properties.

Question: Is absolute peace when my egoism is balanced by the altruistic power of the Creator?

Answer: The balance of my egoism and the quality of light, when they totally complete each other, is called the final correction, the end of all development.
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From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 3/27/19

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 3/30/20

Lesson Preparation

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Writings of Rabash, “Concerning the Importance of Friends”  (1984)

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Lesson on the Topic Pesach (Passover),” Part 1

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Lesson on the Topic Pesach (Passover),” Part 2

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Selected Highlights

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