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Medium published my new article “A Shana Tovah Depends on Us”
We are on the threshold of a complete revolution — a substantial change in our attitude toward ourselves, society, humanity, and all of nature. Rosh Hashanah, in Hebrew meaning the “head” or “beginning” of “the year,” arrives at a special time, one like never before, in the midst of a global pandemic. We are aware of the far-reaching impact of the virus, but we need to ask ourselves for what purpose did it arrive? The answer to this question is the key to a good new year, a Shana Tovah 5781.
The coronavirus era is reshaping our lives, literally by force. It is moving us toward a higher and more advanced world in which all the parts are bound together. The fact that the world looks exactly the opposite now — filled with ego games, violence, corruption, struggles and riots — is all part of the development process.
The coronavirus is showing us just how our individualistic, self-serving behavior is leading us to destruction and pain. By looking ourselves square-in-the-eyes in the mirror, with complete honesty, we will want to reform and correct our nature into one that only wants mutual cooperation and unity.
The increasing challenges and predicaments we are experiencing awaken worldwide introspection in order to realize that the current path humanity treads is not leading us to a good place. This recognition alone is already a very important step in our development. The coronavirus has turned out to be a force that is awakening humanity to undertake a complete revision of its state.
Our current understanding of what is happening boils down to awareness that we are being beaten by this virus. But our discernments do not dig deeper than that. We have no idea what the blows are directing us toward, where they are coming from, and more importantly, for what purpose. We are as helpless and disoriented as a newborn baby who feels pain and will not stop crying, without any understanding of the reason for the situation.
Thus, our most important challenge is to discover the reason for the coronavirus, not in the biological sense, but in the essential sense, from its very origin. Social distancing, masks, crowd prevention, a global race for a vaccine, experimental treatments — all are measures looking to alleviate the problem of Covid-19. Nevertheless, none will be able to constitute a comprehensive solution to the coronavirus phenomenon.
Nature, just like a loving parent, always works for the good of all of creation together. The blows, pressures, and anguish, as painful as they feel to each individual, do not come to harm us, but to bring us to balance with nature, and by that, to a better life. Their purpose is to sharpen our awareness of our priorities in life, of what really matters: our harmonious relations with each other and with nature.
The pandemic is aimed at teaching us how to approach our surrounding environment properly, in an integrated and complementary way, with the desire to do good to others and to our environment. Nature is global, integral, and unified. Thus, the trend of evolutionary development is to cause us to identify ourselves with those same qualities, despite the fact that we were created different and distant from each other.
The coronavirus era is reshaping our lives, literally by force. It is moving us toward a higher and more advanced world in which all the parts are bound together. The fact that the world looks exactly the opposite now — filled with ego games, violence, corruption, struggles and riots — is all part of the development process. If at the beginning of the pandemic we still saw manifestations of solidarity and mutual help, today everyone’s patience has run out.
Moreover, the illusion that we treat each other well has been shattered, and it has become clear that it is human nature to look out for only oneself.
The helplessness we are feeling will lead us to search for guidance from our sages who, throughout thousands of years, created a unifying method for this special time to usher humanity to a new horizon. This timeless method develops in a person the vision and feeling that we are all within one system. Once this notion is firmly instilled in us, it becomes natural to treat others as we would like to be treated until we become “as one man in one heart.”
And when we are finally harmoniously connected, we will feel how the one power in nature that rules everything in reality does only good to us.
So what should we wish ourselves for the new year? First, to recognize our egoistic human nature as a self-destructive force that separates us. Second, that we will desire to change direction and connect for the good of all. By this, we will activate the force in nature that radiates a healthy and peaceful world. Our intention and will to build a deep connection between our hearts will heal the coronavirus at its root and will ensure that next year will be the sweetest we have ever experienced, a true Shana Tovah.
Usually, we communicate not through similar properties but precisely where we are opposite to each other. This is how the pieces of a puzzle are connected: there is a notch in one, there is exactly the same protrusion in the other, and then each goes inside the other attaching the minus to the plus and the plus to the minus. Only in this form is the connection possible.
Therefore, where I see a minus in a friend, I come there with my plus. And where I see a plus in a friend, I should see my minus. It turns out that it is good for us that the Creator awakens opposite qualities in us. You don’t need to change them; you just need to ask everyone to connect them together. This is the only thing that is missing, and you don’t need to change anyone.
Let all the pluses and minuses gather into one another like a key in a lock. It will become a life force for us. We will be able to understand what connection is, what an electron, a proton, a neutron, and other particles are.
There are more than four hundred different particles in an atom. Why are there so many? Isn’t just plus and minus enough? No, this is not enough. There must be many other particles around them with all sorts of properties in order to support the combination of pros and cons and bring them together into one atom.
From this, we will understand what physicists still lack to understand how matter works.
We rise above our understanding and feeling because the main thing is connection, as it is said: “Love will cover all crimes.” A friend has a minus, I have a plus, or vice versa, he has a surplus and I have a deficiency, no matter what kind, the main thing is that there is love, that we are united in a common goal, that we strive for the Creator who will reign between us.
Inside, there is a common minus one against the other, but outside, the Creator covers us with His veil, the power of unity.
We should not act like children who cut the corners of a puzzle with scissors hoping that it will be easier to assemble it. He will not be able to connect at all like that. And you cannot try to force the wrong pieces of the puzzle into each other. We must understand that all the properties created in us by the Creator are one hundred percent correct. We are absolutely perfect. We just need to find out the correct connection between us and ask the Creator to make it happen.
We find out the deficiency between us, that is, in what we cannot connect, our common minus, which is the fact that no one can connect to the other. And then we call for help from the Creator who comes and fills us with his power of bestowal, complements Malchut with Bina, and then everything works out.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/10/20, “The Law of the Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)”
Medium published my new article “.So Long Teddy Bear — Time to Grow Up If We Want Covid Out”
As I said from the beginning of the outbreak, the coronavirus is not another virus and Covid-19 is not another pandemic. It’s a game-changer, a transformer that will turn our lives upside down and inside out. When it’s done, we will be different people, and until it’s done, it won’t go away.
Whatever picture governments and the media are painting, the truth is that we are in the midst of an economic, social, and political meltdown. The very basis of our way of life, where we are forced to compete with one another for resources and funds, and over social status and respect, where we cannot trust anyone because the success of one necessarily means the failure of another, that basis of our previous lives is finally dissolving.
When we transform our approach from selfish to selfless, we will collaborate even better, and everyone will truly benefit from our common products. There will be abundance for everyone.
Just as melting snow creates a lot of mud, but underneath it the grass is growing and buds are shooting up from the frozen earth, so our lives are shedding their former, frozen facade, and a new one, vibrant and joyful, is budding. But until it sprouts, we’re going to have to do some wading in the mud.
In the meantime, there are several things we can do to expedite the budding of our new and better life.
1. We have been hanging on to our old lives as if we’re adolescents gripping to a shabby, frayed teddy bear that we have loved since childhood. We cannot see that Mother Nature is offering us a plethora of new and exciting games to play, suitable for our age and understanding. We’re so hung up on the past that we cannot release our grip on it and grab the wealth that future is offering us.
However, it will happen nonetheless. We will have to give up our old way of life since we are changing whether we like it or not. Even if businesses are reopened without any limitations, buyers won’t come as they did before and businesses will collapse in droves. If we transition to the new era mindfully, we will be able to provide everyone with income and occupations. If we do not, we will still do it, eventually, but after a parade of disasters. The catastrophes we are seeing now all across America are just a prelude to a cacophony of colliding and contemporaneous adversities.
2. We have to understand that essentially, we’re not going through an economic crisis. Seeing it this way is the narrow worldview of financiers who make their living by exploiting people and seizing financial opportunities. But in truth, we are going through a social transformation, a transition from a selfish to a selfless attitude toward life.
We may think that living selflessly gives you less material abundance, but this is absolutely wrong. When a society lives selflessly, its residents all guarantee the well-being of each and every member of the community. This means that they never have to worry about food, shelter, education, healthcare, energy, and after school activities. Instead of individuals caring for themselves, the community cares for them. People, in return, do the same for others, but their minds and hearts are carefree.
As a result of the transformation in society, our whole concept of the economy will change. Since the economy reflects the relations in society, when members in the society collaborate, the economy becomes collaborative, too. Also, this process does not unfold in any compulsory manner, but simply because it’s in everyone’s best interest.
Consider this: We already live in a collaborative society. Nothing we produce is made 100% locally, and without collaboration from countless other manufacturers in numerous countries, we wouldn’t be able to produce anything. So the problem is not that we don’t collaborate, but that we collaborate against our will and attempt to extort, manipulate, and cheat on each other in the process. When we transform our approach from selfish to selfless, we will collaborate even better, and everyone will truly benefit from our common products. There will be abundance for everyone.
3. The third, and most important requirement for expediting the transition from the old world to the new is mutual support. We have to help each other see where we are going, that we are heading toward a beautiful life. People will not be able to let go of their teddy bears and embrace the new and easy living until they see others do the same. So think about it, talk about it, and excite others about the new life ahead because as soon as we agree to the transition we are going through, the budding shoots will burst through the snow and a new spring will begin.
Medium published my new article “Repenting Last Year’s Sins Does Not Permit Their Repetition in the Next”
In the weeks leading up to Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and especially on that holiest day of the year, many Jews repent last year’s sins. We ask God to forgive our sins against Him, and mainly against each other, and plead with Him to erase our “indictment.” We confess our sins before Him, and in return, expect Him to forgive us.
Every occasion on the Hebrew calendar symbolizes a stage in our transformation from selfishness to selflessness. This is the meaning of Tikkun — that we become good people, who want to do good to one another and strive to love our neighbors as ourselves.
At the end of the fast, we sing with joy that our sins have been forgiven and God has forgiven our sins. And what do we do immediately afterwards? We begin to fill up next year’s sheet. This is a complete misunderstanding of the whole idea of Selichot — the request for the Creator’s forgiveness.
Every occasion on the Hebrew calendar symbolizes a stage in our transformation from selfishness to selflessness. This is the meaning of Tikkun — that we become good people, who want to do good to one another and strive to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Selichot is not permission to sin next year; it is a pledge to refrain from sin, a request of God to change our evil, selfish inclination into a good, giving inclination. If we resume our mistreatment of each other as soon as Yom Kippur is over, it’s as if we tried to cheat God. It doesn’t work.
We Jews have the obligation to correct ourselves and be a role model nation, “a light unto nations.” This is why all our holidays are about transformation from egoism to altruism. As long as we avoid it, we are pariahs in the eyes of the world, a pestilence the world wants to clean up and clear out. We ask why there is antisemitism and why Jews have suffered at the hands of the nations throughout the generations, but we ourselves are causing them to hate us through our abominable relation to our brethren.
Every non-Jew, and especially antisemites, examines closely how we treat each other. Even Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf that Jews unite only when a “common booty” entices them to cooperate, but otherwise, they are mean to one another. If we want atonement for our sins, we need to look at our past only in order to learn from it how to treat each other better, and ask God to give us the strength to keep our promise to Him, but mainly to each other.
Question: The circle methodology consists of three parts. The first part is educational. It is necessary for understanding the entire process, the final goal, and means. This can be a mini-lecture, watching a movie, reading sources, and then discussing it.
The second is the discussion itself. It is also divided into different parts: games, reflection, and a workshop.
And the third is practice, that is, the application of skills acquired in the circle, in everyday life. Should we then implement in our lives, at work, and in our families, the attitude we received from the round table?
Answer: A round table—or the concept of raising a person above his egoism in order to get closer to others, not just learning information or getting impressions from each, but connecting among us in understanding the problem and its solution—is a whole set of joint actions. I do not think this is just a small introduction to the concept of the “round table.”
People should accept this, acquire practical skills to understand when they can rise above themselves or bend themselves before others. To understand what kind of communication should be between them, I bend before others, or I am on par with them, or I am above them. How can all this be correctly oriented, etc.
I consider the first educational stage the most important, it is very strong and includes a large number of varied exercises. This is a serious psychological training where people understand where they are and what they should do.
From KabTV’s “Management Skills” 7/9/20
Remark: We see that the virus has changed people. There used to be all these races: where to go to rest, where to fly to, buying plane tickets in advance, what to buy, how to dress. All of these occupied a person’s central thoughts.
Today, a person has an incomprehensible future, he has anxiety, something was born inside him that begins to ask: “What will become of me?”
My Comment: Now a question about the future arises in a person. It has always seemed to us that the future was moving along some kind of developing egoistic steps. Now, this is no longer true and will not be like that in the future; everything is ending. The virus is eating up this future, and therefore we do not know how to build it.
Remark: There was always such a linear development of egoism that tomorrow there would be something, the day after tomorrow there would be something.
My Comment: There would be even more, it will be even better! Let’s fly to the stars. “And apple trees will bloom on Mars,” etc.
Only 20 to 30 years have passed; look at what is being done with the Earth, with outer space, and with everything! There is no solution anywhere! This is a terrible disappointment of all humanity in itself. This is a stunning change.
But that is great! We are finally starting to remove the veil from our eyes. Our selfishness blinded us: I will build it for you; I will do it for you! Come on, look! Go to the sea, go abroad! Look how many beautiful girls! Look what music there is! Look at what is being done! What a life! That is all.
Remark: So when we hear there will be no life, this is what our egoism tells us. On the contrary, there will be life, but our egoism says: there will be no life.
My Comment: Yes. Therefore, we welcome it. Selfishness moves us forward.
Question: Despite the fact that it is now painting complete blackness for us. Do you call this forward?
Answer: It paints it correctly for us because inside it we will feel like this.
Question: So if we are following the egoistic path that we have followed so far, is there an abyss ahead?
Answer: Yes, but in nature, after all, this is done in advance that all ends well anyway. It cannot be in our life, in our world, in this nature so that everything is so stupid with a dead-end beyond which there is nothing. It is reborn, just as all stages and times in nature are reborn.
The future step determines darkness because it is not darkness. What seems as darkness ahead of us is already a future step that we feel as darkness today because we are not yet determined to see this step.
When we take a good look at the darkness, suddenly we will see: this is not darkness, these are not even silhouettes, these are not even some semi-gloomy states. It is actually a huge light! This is a new world.
Question: Has the highest step been lowered to us now? To us, it seems to be absolute darkness now. We want to live as we lived, but we can no longer live as we did. What should be done now? Grab hold of it?
Answer: We must accept it as it is and try to adapt to it; what is in it is the very best. In this way, we will re-educate ourselves.
Question: What is the next step?
Answer: It is a new world in which a person will exist in the forces of good, connection, bestowal, and love. It is approaching, and therefore it seems to us as darkness. But everything will be fine. The virus will help us.
Question: Does this push from behind drive us exactly to this stage? Does it definitely lead to this stage?
Answer: Yes. Viruses actually define our entire life. We are all just viruses. We can say that we are made of them. Even scientists say so. Therefore, we must see the correct changes in our nature in this.
Question: If I now direct myself even a little bit to this step with good thoughts, will I try to be in them?
Answer: Then you will adapt to it quickly, easily, and you will not feel there is some kind of abrupt transition to the next step at all.
Question: So is the future world good and bright?
Answer: It is already coming; it is already here. Let’s take it! Let’s not do any virology at all. We will all work together to adapt to each other. Suddenly this virus will be between us as a link. We will begin to feel each other closer to our hearts. All will pass.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 6/22/20
If the game is our entire life, how can a person distinguish what is real life and what is a game?
Answer: There is no need to distinguish, you need to turn life into a game. This will be good.
Question: How can you not remain a small child?
Answer: Let me be a little child. I should feel like a little kid. What does it mean that I am big? What am I so big in? Nowhere and in nothing.
On the contrary, let me feel that I am small in comparison with the entire universe, with all the huge cosmos, and there are things for me to comprehend, to receive, and to be filled with to live with my eyes and my mouth open.
Question: The first function of the game is to compensate for the unused energy in the struggle for survival. A person accumulates energy, often negative, which he must somehow throw away, realize.
How can a person realize this negative energy today, so that it does not lead to fatal outcomes? How can a person use the negative energy that accumulates in him or her for constructive causes?
Answer: You must show a person the meaning, that this meaning is directly connected to him, and what can be the reward for realizing this meaning.
Question: The game ensures the preservation of the qualities given by nature, but are not required in the real life of an individual. How can a person reveal and recognize the hidden qualities, the hidden opportunities, that nature has implanted in him?
Answer: Only in a group. In a particular group of people when all of them are engaged in discovering their internal, unused, potential opportunities in order to rise above themselves. Above themselves is only in the society.
Thus, we need to gather together into a group where everyone wants to rise above themselves to reach such a connection between them when they will rise together into something common. Let us say ten people come together and become one. This “one” will consist of all of them, but together they will feel that this qualitative change in themselves that everyone became ten times smarter, ten times stronger, ten times more perspicacious, and so on.
Question: In an imperfect world with a hectic life, the game creates temporary, limited perfection. This is always some kind of a short cycle. Can the game be turned into an infinite game so that it does not end?
Answer: Yes, this is what a game is. A real game is one that can be turned into an endless game, an endless activity. However, only if there are many of us.
You cannot play the game alone. When there are many of us, we create completely different combinations through the game, as in a kaleidoscope. Have you ever looked through a kaleidoscope? When you turn it the pieces of broken glass inside it move into some kind of structure. So, do we.
When we make a kaleidoscope out of ourselves in this way, we get such pictures! We begin to discover ourselves as joint, compatible in such a form that in the end we receive one single whole, we become Adam (Man), that is, a combined element.
Question: What is a real game that is a win-win for everyone?
Answer: This is when a person reveals the true universe and begins playing it for real. In earnest!
Question: What does it mean to play in earnest?
Answer: It is when one plays above life and death, not for life and not for death, but above them for connection with others and builds perfection together with them. Only perfection can fill a person with meaning.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 7/12/20
Question: Some social networks help people become kinder. In this tense time, when the pandemic is raging, politicians fight for votes, and protesters demand racial justice, human communication is becoming more important.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed an automated method to make communication more polite. Scientists are sure that politeness and kind communication will do good for us. Now they have developed an automated method to make communication kind.
Can such algorithms really teach a person a different way of communication and a different line of thought?
Answer: In principle, they can, to a very small extent. It depends on how seriously we will relate to such a communication model, how much we would be able to follow all these rules: sorry, please, thank you—and all the time instill positive emotions in each other, and so on.
This can soften society in some way. But to a very insignificant extent because by this we deviate from the purpose of creation.
The purpose of creation is to bring a person to the awareness of his nature as evil. Therefore, we need to understand that no matter how good, white, and fluffy we are externally, outside of ourselves, inside we will still remain nasty, black, dark, and evil. So, it will not change us from the inside, but it will help us quickly understand who we really are inside. Just like when you turn on the light in a room, you can better see how dirty it is.
Question: Is it that all kind messages, all kindness, and politeness only help to reveal the negativity that lurks inside?
Answer: Of course.
Question: What happens to a person further?
Answer: We begin to feel who we are within ourselves.
Question: Is it necessary to have both internal negativity and external kindness, external politeness, a positive attitude toward each other? Or should there be only kindness, grace, positivity, and harmonious communication?
Answer: We must constantly struggle with our greedy egoistic nature, and not just manifest all this on the outside in a beautiful form in relation to each other, like all the methods—both those you are talking about and others.
We must understand that everything lies not in beautiful outer packaging, wrappings, bonbonnieres, but in changing ourselves, our nature. Only then can we really achieve a state when humanity will become different. It will become different from within itself—giving, loving, and sympathetic.
Question: What help does this evil in man bring? Why is it given to us at all?
Answer: This evil is necessary in order to reveal our nature to us. This is our nature, this is us, not something artificial, external, extraneous. This is how our nature is revealed.
It is not easy to reveal to a person how evil he is. Talk to people and you will see how they react when you tell them who they are. They will hate you; they will beat you. They will not agree with you. How can you accuse them of what is allegedly wrong?!
A person does not like it when it is pointed out to him. We need to reveal it—to reveal it each to himself and to others, and to help everyone together come to the conclusion that we are terrible beasts and have no other choice but to correct ourselves as soon as possible; otherwise, we will eat each other alive.
Remark: You had an interesting tweet that said it is hatred that gives knowledge of how to fill the desire of another person. Therefore, the basis of life is self-love and egoism and the rest is its spice.
My Comment: Yes. So, it is written: “I created the evil inclination, and I made the Torah as its spice.”
Question: Why does hatred help fulfill the desire of another person?
Answer: Because it turns into hatred of its nature, and thus inversely in the opposite direction, toward love for another person. It turns out that by turning my hatred inside out, I can hate it in myself and love another person.
Question: Can we say that this hatred, this evil that is in a person, should be treated as a sparring partner that helps us become better?
Answer: Yes. This is called help against Him.
Question: What would you say to all people who really expect kind attitudes, warmth, and harmony in communication from others?
Answer: Do not wait. Do not expect anything good from anyone. Just understand that everything depends on each of you. Change yourself—and the world will change.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 7/1/20
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Is this world going in a right direction?“
The world has been through enough preliminary phases, including regimes tilted to the far-left and the far-right, and it has experienced a great share of turbulence, turmoil and mistakes.
Now the impending question is: What path will we take next?
Over the course of humanity’s history, we were constantly trying to work out what way to head next: to the right or to the left.
What are we left with today?
We have reached a stalemate in every field of human engagement, personally, socially, educationally, economically, ecologically and globally.
We worked with all the systems we could devise, and ascertained that there is no single system or plan remaining that could steer us confidently into a bright future.
We have entered a deadlock with no vision of a better future motivating us, and also nothing to goad us forward from behind either.
Our era is thus characterized by the end of our egoistic trials and tribulations. The human ego gracefully stood behind every human endeavor, and every prior breakthrough and progress, giving just enough fuel for it to unfold and reveal how it fell short in providing lasting fulfillment and happiness.
While engrossed in our ego, we can either receive egoistically or give egoistically. With an egoistic intention lying behind any act of receiving or giving, destruction is the inevitable conclusion.
Nazi Germany was a harsh example of a regime based on receiving egoistically taken to an extreme, and on the other end of the spectrum, communist Russia was also a harsh example of a regime based on giving egoistically taken to an extreme. Both led to devastation.
We have squeezed out all the juices from these egoistic forms.
We now need to leave our egos alone, acknowledge that they lead us to no positive outcome, and build a new level above them.
This new level should be one of giving above receiving, and connecting positively above detachment and estrangement to each other.
In order to build this new level, we need access to a new kind of fuel and motivation, which doesn’t emerge naturally in our egoistic desires and thoughts.
Such access can be granted via a new method of education—a method of connection—that shows us how we can develop positive connections above our egoistic differences and divisions.
If some person, organization or movement wishes to pull people to a certain direction, to the left or to the right, then it is bound to fail, and we have the examples of such failure in Nazi Germany and communist Russia.
Today, we have the additional advantage of such experiences—that we can see how our egos devise systems that ultimately divide one people from another, and that such systems are setup for failure.
Recognizing the failure of working according to our egos, we would thus be wise to accept a new kind of education: one that guides us on how to connect harmoniously above our egos.
Connection above the ego is the world’s only path left.
This path means that we accept the fact that humanity is a single whole, and that we are all parts of this whole, as cells and organs in a human body. If a single cell takes from other cells more than it needs to survive, then it becomes cancerous and spreads disease throughout the body.
Today, we experience such disease as myriad problems and crises spreading throughout humanity. And they all share the same root: each person locked in their narrow egoistic corner, acting in a tug-of-war battle with everyone else.
We thus need to conclude that the human ego, which has based all of our development until today, has reached its expiry date.
Using the ego unabated—with no inclination to acknowledge how it constantly operates on us, and with no motion to rise above it—delivers us all the problems we experience.
The days of moving back and forth between left and right have reached their dead-end. Today, our survival, at the very least, and moreover, our ability to draw motivation, happiness, success and confidence from a fresh new source of vitality, depends on us rising above our egoistic nature, period.