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Egoism is the foundation of the nature of our world. Hence we are unable to imagine the law of nature’s operation, which is not based on egoistic relationships on all degrees (still, vegetative, animate and human). It’s easier to imagine the end of the egoistic world than its correction!
Businessmen are interested in what is lucrative: what will be in demand tomorrow. The most in-demand thing in business now is to eliminate products that are not vitally necessary for the populace. Closing down unnecessary businesses is the most successful business!
In the impoverished chaotic world, nations will invest everything into expanding their military capacities. Instead of growing closer to one another, nations will think about how to keep enemies at a distance. It is impossible to think differently in the egoistic world. What we need is a solution for how to break free of egoism—the only evil.
From Twitter, 7/1/20
My new article on Linkedin “For all the Pain, COVID-19 Is Not a Punishment”
Every day, I get emails and phone calls from people telling me that only six months ago, life smiled at them, and now they’re at a loss. Their world has crumbled and they see no future. It’s heartbreaking. With every passing day, humanity is feeling more and more helpless, agitated, and disoriented. People are afraid that they will not be able to feed their children.
Just as the virus mandates that we think about not transmitting the bug to others, we have to start thinking about others when it comes to food, water, housing, and power supply.
But what is happening is not some punishment from above; it is a calling to unite, to think about each other rather than ourselves. Only if we work together, we will be able to guarantee our future. Acting alone and worrying only about ourselves, as we have done for so long, will only exacerbate the situation. The longer we stall, the more people will join the circle of scarcity.
COVID-19 is the ideal catalyst of mutual responsibility: If we don’t wear masks and keep our distance, we will not only risk catching the virus; there is even more of a chance that we will transmit it to others. Just as the virus mandates that we think about not transmitting the bug to others, we have to start thinking about others when it comes to food, water, housing, and power supply.
We have to teach ourselves and others about our interdependency, that we are tightly connected and dependent on everyone, including people that for one reason or another we currently hate. We are all in this together, the whole city, the whole country, the whole world.
If too many people get sick, food production and supply chains will be hampered and hunger will drive people into far worse desperation than we have seen so far, and we have seen a lot. If every community, city, state, and the whole country pulls together, to see that every American gets the basic needs, just the staples, because they understand that we are all in the same boat, it is enough to set the country off to a new, good future. And then we will see that for all the pain that the coronavirus has inflicted, it is not a punishment, but a lesson in mutual responsibility.
My new article on Linkedin “Hunger in the United States of America”
When speaking of hunger, we are used to thinking of countries in South Asia, or Yemen, Syria, or in Latin America. This is no longer the case. Thanks to COVID-19, hunger is now a real threat in the U.S., as well.
Today, every American must rise above color, race, ethnicity, or class, and simply pitch in.
“A wave of hunger is expected to hit Minnesota families over the next six months,” states Frank Vascellaro on CBS Minnesota, a phenomenon not seen there since The Great Depression, as families are already diluting milk to make it last longer. But it isn’t just Minnesota that’s hurting from the COVID-19 crisis. All across the country, children are going hungry. According to a new study by the nonprofit organization, Hunger Free America, child hunger has soared across America during the current health and economic crises, “with 37 percent of parents nationwide cutting the size of meals or skipping meals for their children because they did not have enough money for food in the last month.” Considering that the report was published on April 10, matters are probably even worse by now.
The worst thing about the hunger crisis is not that it is happening because of an enemy from without, but simply because of absence of mutual responsibility.
I have warned countless times that there will be massive job losses and people will need immediate solutions. Now it is happening as we speak. Hunger is the worst crisis that can be; a person will do anything to feed his children. If you want to devastate a country from within, don’t fight it, starve it. This is what is happening today in America.
The worst thing about the hunger crisis is not that it is happening because of an enemy from without, but simply because of absence of mutual responsibility. There is plenty of food, but it is not going where it’s needed since the people who need it can’t afford it. In such a case, the authorities should take over and guarantee that every child and every person gets food.
Once this is taken care of, authorities must engage every American in sessions that inform them about the current crisis, why people are not getting food, why they cannot find a job, and what they can expect going forward. Every resident must know that finding a job is no longer a personal problem; it is a social crisis impacting the whole world. And since the whole world is connected, a crisis in one place soon migrates to every other place.
When people grasp that everyone in society is dependent on everyone else, they will begin to change. You will begin to see more acts of mutual concern, more construction of community services established by the community and for the community. The government, for its part, must encourage and support these initiatives as they are the basis of the new society that will emerge—a society of mutual responsibility. There will simply be no other choice, no other way to survive.
Today, every American must rise above color, race, ethnicity, or class, and simply pitch in.
Medium published my new article “Learning Nature’s Teaching Method”
In the early 1930s, my teacher’s father, the great Kabbalist and illustrious thinker, Baal HaSulam, wrote a groundbreaking essay titled “The Peace,” where he outlined how humanity can achieve peace and what will happen if it doesn’t. Among other things, he articulated nature’s way of tending to its creations, how it rears them until they become independent. In his words: “Let us take the making of a human being as an example: The love and pleasure of the progenitors are its first reason, guaranteed to perform their duty. When the essential drop is extracted from the father … nature has very wisely secured a safe place for it, which qualifies it to receive life. Nature also gives it its daily bread in the exact amount. Nature has also prepared a wonderful foundation for it in the mother’s womb so that no stranger might harm it.
The coronavirus has given us the chance to practice mutual responsibility. All we have to do is obey two laws: wear masks and keep our distance. If we did that for just a few weeks, we would be rid of the plague.
“It tends to its every need like a trained nanny who will not forget it for a moment until it has acquired the strength to emerge into our world. …Then, too, nature does not abandon it. Like a loving mother, it brings it to such loving, loyal people it can trust, called ‘Mother’ and ‘Father,’ to assist it through its days of weakness until it grows and can sustain itself. As man, so are all the animals, plants, and inanimate; all are wisely and mercifully cared for to ensure their own existence and the continuation of their species.”
However, cautions Baal HaSulam, when we grow, we must assume responsibility and start behaving more and more considerately toward each other, care for one another and for all of nature. The more we resist nature’s lessons, the more insistently and painfully it teaches us. And the lesson that nature teaches us, wrote Baal HaSulam almost a century ago, is to build a society based on giving rather than receiving. Because we are reluctant, he added, “humanity is being fried in a heinous turmoil, and strife and famine and their consequences have not ceased thus far.”
However, nature’s lessons do not have to be harsh. Baal HaSulam writes that “The wonder about it is that nature, like a skillful judge, punishes us according to our development. For we can see that to the extent that humankind develops, the pains and torments obtaining our sustenance and existence also multiply.”
In conclusion, writes Baal HaSulam, “You have a scientific, empirical basis that nature has commanded us to obey with all our might the rule of bestowal upon others in utter precision, in such a way that no person among us would work any less than the measure required to secure the happiness of society and its success. As long as we are idle performing it to the fullest, nature will not stop punishing us and taking its revenge.”
Finally, Baal HaSulam warns, just a few years before World War II broke out, that “besides the blows we suffer today, we must also consider the drawn sword for the future.” Therefore, he adds, “The right conclusion must be drawn — that nature will ultimately defeat us and we will all be compelled to join hands in following its dictates with all the measure required of us,” namely “to obey … the rule of bestowal upon others.”
Nature’s gradual teaching method ended in Europe’s destruction and the death of tens of millions of people, since they would not listen. Now we are seeing the escalating cycle of hate becoming an ominous whirlpool that’s threatening to drown the entire world once more, and the cost will be much heavier than even the previous world war.
In The Writings of the Last Generation, Baal HaSulam writes that a third, nuclear world war will happen if we do not take upon ourselves the commandment of building a society of giving and mutual responsibility. Judging by the escalation in hate crimes and international tensions, it is easy to see his prediction materializing. But nature is a skillful judge; it will treat us according to our actions. If we choose mutual responsibility now, we will avert nature’s harsh lessons.
The coronavirus has given us the chance to practice mutual responsibility. All we have to do is obey two laws: wear masks and keep our distance. If we did that for just a few weeks, we would be rid of the plague. But can we? Do we care enough about others to help the world get rid of the bug? The coronavirus is a test of our commitment to each other. If we fail, nature will provide a far more stringent, and far less sympathetic, teacher. And if we keep failing, Baal HaSulam’s prediction will come true.
Medium published my new article “COVID-19 and the Anxiety Epidemic”
Of all the scares that COVID-19 has wrought, probably the most fearful one of all is uncertainty about the future. During the lockdown, the country experienced a staggering rise in anxiety. On May 4, William Wan of The Washington Post reported that “The country is on the verge of another health crisis, with daily doses of death, isolation, and fear generating widespread psychological trauma.” The anxiety eased by about 40% a month later, as the country began to roll back lockdowns, reported the Medical Express, but now that the number of cases is rising once again and states are reissuing stay at home orders, anxiety is bound to rise again.
American authorities at all levels must draw a clear plan that will secure basic livelihood for every person, and enhance the social ties of individuals into communities.
With all that has been going on in America over the past few months, uncertainty about the future is the last thing the country needs. Since this anxiety stems from a real fear that people will have no job and no way to make a living, there is only one way to deal with it: American authorities at all levels must draw a clear plan that will secure basic livelihood for every person, and enhance the social ties of individuals into communities.
People must know what is going to happen to them, to their children, and to society as a whole. Therefore, as soon as possible, authorities must initiate open virtual sessions that explain how all the systems work. People have to know that contagion is not limited to viruses; we are an integrated society and affect one another on every level. The closing of one small business has a negative impact on many people who are seemingly unrelated to it: suppliers, delivery personnel, accountants, manufacturers, property owners, etc.
The same chain of infection that applies to COVID-19 applies to everything we do, say, or even think. If it is positive, we are transmitting positivity. If it is negative, we are transmitting negativity.
Likewise, one person’s depression affects not only that person’s kin and friends, but the friends of the friends, friends of the kin, healthcare workers, coworkers and the people they know, and so forth. The same chain of infection that applies to COVID-19 applies to everything we do, say, or even think.
If it is positive, we are transmitting positivity. If it is negative, we are transmitting negativity. Only once people internalize this, they will begin to feel responsible for one another, and that responsibility will pull them out of their down and mobilize them into constructive action.
In the near future, travel and tourism will drop sharply, as will sports and entertainment, trade in accessories, and countless other industries that thrived until a few months ago, leaving tens of millions out of work. These people will need help fast, and the only things that will help them are 1) basic sustenance, 2) grasping our mutual connectedness, and 3) enhancing their social ties and connection to the community.
Medium published my new article “Why All the Hate?”
Wherever we look these days, it seems like hate is engulfing the world. It’s not as though there was no hate before, but in recent months, it seems like there is no escape from it.
On the one hand, hate has been recognized as man’s most basic feature, if you will. Even the Bible writes, “The inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen 8:21), so we can’t really expect much else from people. On the other hand, judging by the recent escalation in racism-driven violence (and the protests against it), it looks as though hatred is pushing America over the edge.
Developing love is not some relic notion from the 1960s; it is the only way we can truly understand the world we live in, since it is the only thing that is out of balance in nature’s equilibrium, and the only thing that nature will not balance by itself, but has left for us to do.
Hatred is a uniquely human trait. No animal hates another animal, even when it feeds on it or when it is food for another animal. There is certainly fear, but there is no hatred. People are different: Their hate manifests in their delight at someone else’s pain or humiliation.
But there is a good reason why humans possess such a vile element in their nature: They are the only species intended to grasp the making and purpose of creation. In creation, everything exists through a dynamic equilibrium, a.k.a. homeostasis, between opposites. Opposites are required for our perception. We cannot detect light without darkness, heat without cold, satiation without hunger, happiness without sadness, and good without bad.
On all levels of nature, the equilibrium happens naturally. In humans, the equilibrium is maintained naturally only on the biological level. On the human, social level, nothing is maintained naturally. If you look at the social life of animals, you will find that they are perfect for their species: stable, and almost completely unchanging. There is no fundamental difference, for example, between the way dogs behaved two centuries ago and how they behave today. But compare people two centuries ago to people today, and you will hardly find anything that has remained the same.
The difference between animals and people is that nature governs the social life of animals, dictates how they should behave. They obey their natural instincts and everything runs smoothly. People, on the other hand, have no internal compass. We must be taught everything, especially when it comes to society. At birth, nature endows us with only an animalistic desire to survive, which, as we grow, evolves into a desire to take pleasure in other people’s pain and humiliation.
But there is a reason for it: If we develop the positive feature within us, the positive opposite from the inherent negative, we will discover how all of nature works, since all of nature also works by balancing opposites. This is the great gift that nature has given only to humans: the ability to develop the balance that sustains all of reality by themselves. This is why nature has given us one half — the negative — and left for us to build the positive. Had it given us both, we would be living by instincts like all other animals.
Therefore, developing love is not some relic notion from the 1960s; it is the only way we can truly understand the world we live in, since it is the only thing that is out of balance in nature’s equilibrium, and the only thing that nature will not balance by itself, but has left for us to do. When we do, we will understand nature and we will know how to navigate our lives smoothly and peacefully.
Let’s look at where we don’t know how to conduct ourselves instinctively: parenthood, relationships, social relations with peers at school, work, or in the company of strangers. In all areas of human engagement, we need these codes in order to compensate for the absence of love between us. And because our hatred for each other keeps on growing, we must constantly “update” our rules and regulations, which still cannot truly make up for the absence of love. If they did, we would not see such a staggering escalation in the rates of depression, substance abuse, suicide, and violence.
If we had love for one another in society, we wouldn’t need moral codes or even rules and police. Better yet, we would create the opposite of hate, the equilibrium that governs all of nature but humanity. We would not only be able to navigate our lives successfully, but we would truly grasp the making and purpose of creation.
To be faithful to the Creator means to maintain the balance of nature, its homeostasis. In this case, the right and left lines, i.e., egoism and altruism, good and bad qualities, must be balanced in such a way that all of nature can exist harmoniously and develop so that all parts complement each other.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 5/10/20
Answer: The Creator has a precise plan for each of us, but the fact is that He is revealed only according to our requests.
Question: Is there a limit to the evil that we reveal?
Answer: There is no evil. It exists only as the reverse side of goodness. In other words, the reverse side of the Creator is felt as evil in order to force us to turn to His face.
Question: Why are there more doubts during this pandemic?
Answer: With the coronavirus, there are as many doubts as at the time of any other suffering because they make us feel to what extent we are dependent on each other, unable to control ourselves, miserable, unsure of anything, etc. Therefore, all kinds of complexes appear, confusion, and so on.
Question: Who am I?
Answer: You are the one who feels his little egoism.
Question: What is more effective than persistence in communicating with others in order to help them?
Question: Is pride and admiration for Kabbalistic truth related to bestowal?
Question: How can you reach out to friends, to the environment, when they cease to understand you? It seems to me that by studying Kabbalah I understand people less, but shouldn’t it be the other way around?
Answer: No, it should not be the other way around. You should strive to understand the Creator and try to approach Him through your friends.
Question: How can I increase my egoism?
Answer: You should not increase or decrease your egoism. You should only direct yourself to the correct goal. And what kind of egoism it should be: bigger or smaller, its volume, its form, that is not up to you. You just need to work with what arises in you.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 4/26/20
New Life 1241 – Global Community
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi
An individual is supposed to receive a sense of security from the community that cannot be bought with money. Money will not help a person protect himself against harmful agents such as the coronavirus, but community life will. The coronavirus is showing us that our egoistic relationships are opposite to the integrality of nature. Unless all of humanity becomes one community, we will not survive the 21st century. From the perspective of our egoistic human nature, each one of us wants to be the king of the world. This is the reason that we need to educate people to live in a community. We are part of a global nature. We will learn to connect to each other and to nature integrally, and then everything will be fine.
From KabTV’s “New Life 1241 – Global Community,” 5/18/20
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