Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Human Development: Nature or Nurture?“
Human Development: Nature or Nurture? Every person has a “preset” of unchangeable inner properties, which are congenial qualities that nature inserted into us.
We receive these qualities from our parents, who received them from their parents, and so on all the way back through each one’s ancestral lineage.
These qualities include our character, emotions, initial attitude to the surrounding world, and they heavily influence our actions and reactions.
According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, the person’s unchangeable qualities stem from spiritual roots, and every one of us is a part of a common collective soul, which in Kabbalah is called “the soul of Adam HaRishon.”
We receive our inborn properties and conditions according to our place within this common soul.
The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that the meaning of our lives is to regain consciousness of our place in this common soul by attaining the upper force of love and bestowal, called “the Creator.”
We humans have a completely opposite nature to the Creator’s: our nature is a desire to receive pleasure, while the Creator’s nature is to give pleasure, an attitude of pure love and bestowal.
Therefore, on one hand, we are egoistic beings who think solely out of personal benefit, while on the other hand, nature develops us to increasingly connect.
Thus, besides our inner qualities, we are given an external environment, a society that teaches us how to use these properties in a particular way, directing us to the attainment of the Creator, whether we realize it or not.
This is how nature nurtures us: by placing us inside the various environments that “sculpt” us, bringing us closer to understanding the purpose of our existence.
As we initially exist in a fixed interdependent system of nature, we are subjects to its laws. We can change neither the purpose of creation nor our inner qualities.
What, then, can we change?
What we can change is our environment.
Human development directly depends on the society that we build, on the positive attitude toward others that every one of us can show to our peers and children, and on each and every person’s personal example toward others, as well as the information we distribute through media channels.
The more that we can add awareness of who we are and what goal we pursue through society, the more we can benefit our lives, guiding ourselves to increasingly connect, and by doing so, reach balance and harmony with nature.