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“Are The Great Days Of America Coming To An End?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Are the great days of America coming to an end?

The good times in the United States have indeed come to an end, and they are not returning. There is a process unfolding in nature, and accordingly the future of the United States will be worse than the future of other nations.

The prevailing disunity within the nation, the individualistic detachment among people, even among more and more American families, and the increasing divisiveness and polarization throughout American society are all outcomes of competitive-materialistic individualism clashing with a new interdependent paradigm that nature is increasingly pressing us with, where we will need to exercise mutual consideration and responsibility in order to secure ourselves a positive future.

The past “what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is yours” paradigm, which America championed, no longer suits the new conditions that nature has placed humanity into, which demands us to function in a much more unified way.

Human nature is fundamentally egoistic. That is, it is a desire to enjoy at the expense of others, and our egoistic nature constantly grows throughout our evolution to a point where we can no longer find any meaningful or lasting enjoyment by trying to fulfill our egos directly. We have been crossing that tipping point significantly over the last 20 to 30 years, and thus we also bear witness to America reaching a satiation point and increasingly struggling to maintain the status it once had.

A positive future for any nation and for the world at large depends on a significant paradigm shift: that we change our connections from trying to egoistically gain and profit off of anyone that we can, to trying to benefit and care for others. These are not merely nice words for us to agree with in one moment, and then forget about in the next. Rather, these are laws of nature, and they reveal themselves to us more and more in our current era.

If we apply ourselves to reach balance with the laws of nature by looking out for each other instead of looking out for self-benefit, then we will experience a much more harmonious existence as we head into the future. Nature will respond to our connection-enriched relations positively, and we will discover a new kind of enjoyment and fulfillment seemingly filling the space between us.

Therefore, while on one hand, the past egoistic paradigm that America championed is coming to an end, as we head into the future, America has the pioneering spirit as well as the world’s stage to impact a major shift in human relations: By implementing positive connections in American society above divisions and polarization, America can become a major positive influence in the world, and such a shift in American society would have harmonious rippling effects all throughout American society as well as the world over.

Photo by Victória Kubiaki on Unsplash.

“From Starvation To A Revolution” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “From Starvation to a Revolution

Even before the outburst of Covid-19, millions of people were already on the brink of starvation. Food stamps are no solution, and neither is subsidized housing. The coronavirus has made things far worse, and from day to day, the situation is growing more and more precarious. Society is on the edge, and no administration will be able to restore order to the streets if all hell breaks loose.

We can have peace, abundance, health, and security. But we must remember that if not all of us have it, none of us will have it. This is the law of every ecosystem, and it applies just as rigidly to each of us.

There is also no point looking for a scapegoat; if we really want to blame anyone, we should look in the mirror. We, and our parents, have ruined the world for ourselves and for our children. Look at us: Half the world is overweight, the other half is starving. It is an accurate reflection of our egoism, alienation, and reckless sense of entitlement.

This egoism, this baseless sense of entitlement, is the root of all our troubles. Worse yet, egoism hides from us the fact that it is our biggest, and in fact our only problem. It tricks us into thinking that other people are the cause of our misfortunes, and selfishly, we fall for the convenient lie. But if we recklessly try to gain more and accumulate more, and judge what we have not by how much we need, but by how much we have more than others, then we will deplete and ruin our planet completely. We are already very close to it, and the outburst of the virus is just a symptom of a collapsing world that’s slipped off balance and can no longer sustain its inhabitants: humankind.

According to Sally Davis, former chief medical officer for England, “there will be a next [pandemic]. Covid-19 is neither the first nor the last health emergency we will face. My fellow scientists estimate that we will face a pandemic or health emergency at least once every five years from here on. There is a chance that this is the optimistic scenario. The reality could be far worse.” This is why we have to change course now before it’s too late.

Since egoism is the root of our problems, we must tackle it and rein it in if we are to leave anything for the next generation. We have to understand that we are dependent on each other. If one person is sick, everyone is sick. If one person behaves irresponsibly, everyone suffers. The only “right” we really have is to behave responsibly, to be considerate toward each other so we can continue to live on a bearable level, first, and from there begin to improve it.

But since we’re egoists, and egoists are considerate only toward people they care about, we have no choice but to learn how to care for each other. At the very least, we have to start looking for ways to change how we feel about each other — from the current negative to a more neutral feeling, and eventually to a positive feeling toward each other. Again, this is not a utopian fantasy; it is an existential stipulation!

We have to revolutionize our entire perception of humanity. We cannot afford to keep thinking of ourselves as a collection of separate individuals; we have to start perceiving ourselves as a single entity that’s caring for all its organs. If we don’t, the individuals we see around us will soon start occupying themselves with killing all the other individuals around them.

We shouldn’t think that we are too weak or small to make a difference. Each of us can make a difference in our closest circles, and the accumulated impact will be strong enough to pull the wagon out of the mud and start moving in the right direction.

We are at a tipping point. If we start using firearms against each other, we will collapse into a civil war. But if we get a grip on our raging egos and understand that we are dependent on each other (as much as we dislike the thought), then perhaps, if we cherish life, we will want to learn how to care for one another. From that point on, the road will open for us to reverse the trend and start lifting humanity, and our personal lives, to the levels they can achieve.

We can have peace, abundance, health, and security. But we must remember that if not all of us have it, none of us will have it. This is the law of every ecosystem, and it applies just as rigidly to each of us.

“Jewish Nobel Prize Winners—Does It Matter?” (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “Jewish Nobel Prize Winners—Does It Matter?

A matter of pride to some and a source of envy to others, the fact is that Jews have traditionally stood out as Nobel Prize recipients, and this year is no exception as Jews have dominated basically all the areas covered by the prestigious awards. As much as our distinctions may inflate our egos, we also see how these achievements have done nothing to erase the hatred against Jews. The world expects something different from us—for Jews to actually deliver connection and peace to the world, which we currently are not succeeding at. This is the reason the animosity won’t go away.

2020 has been remarkably successful for American Jewish laureates. Harvey Alter shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine, Paul Milgrom shared the award in Economic Sciences, and Louise Glück won the Literature award. Some publications have written that the three recipients of the Physics award are also of Jewish heritage. People highlight the fact that out of the 900 Nobel Prize recipients since 1901 when it was first awarded, more than 200 have been Jewish, a disproportionate number for a group that represents only 0.2% of the global population.

The capabilities of Jews in countless areas are no secret and if we were to award the highest prizes and recognitions based on accomplishments in all fields, Jews would receive even more awards than we already do. However, I do not think getting medals or trophies should be a reason for Jewish pride. I do not spend time counting the number of awards because it is not what we need to stand out for. We need to be prominent for fulfilling the role that the world truly expects from us.

Jews have a mission that is deeply rooted in the basis of creation, to be a “light unto the nations.” What exactly does this mean? It means to serve humanity as an example of corrected relationships of connection and love for others, of positive mutual connection.

We Jews, by virtue of our unique development as a people, once had the ability to examine everything from two opposite forces, reception and bestowal, which gave us a deeper and broader view of reality. Since the ruin of the Temple, we lost our spiritual consciousness, but due to our previous attainment of the unique singular force of nature, this matchless spark illuminated in us and left an eternal seal.

This spark gave us a significant advantage over others. This is what has enabled us to succeed and stand out, because this spark is part of the general creative force that develops the entirety of nature. It is what motivated us to invent and innovate, and thus to advance humanity as a whole. As it was written by the greatest Kabbalist of our generation, Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam),

“It is the wisdom of faith, justice and peace which most nations learn from us, and this wisdom is ascribed to us alone.” (The Writings of the Last Generation)

Today, the world is in urgent need of unity to overcome its perils and the suffocating crisis that exists at all levels of experience, but humanity has no idea how to connect. However, we Jews were once connected and lived in brotherly love. The society that the Jewish nation innovated was based on the great rule of the Torah, “love your neighbor as yourself.” Therefore, we people of Israel must now revive that love between us and offer it to the world. This is what the world requires, and when we do not provide this example—instead remaining immersed in growing alienation, mistrust, and self-centeredness—the pressures against us manifest as vicious antisemitism.

Therefore, we Jews must begin connecting between us, since we possess the latent “memory” of unity, and we also must welcome anyone from any nation who shares this view. If we accomplish this, we will be able to fulfill the ancient prophecy that says that the nations of the earth will be blessed through us. When we achieve this, we will deserve the ultimate prize of all, peace and goodness in the world.

Kindness And Genetics

559Question: I read that goodwill  toward people depends 45% on genetics. It turns out that there are people for whom it is naturally easier to build relationships and connections. And there are those who are doomed to fail. Why has nature designed it that way?

Answer: This is done specifically to create the illusion of freewill in us, freedom of choice (as if I decide everything), freedom of perception and actions, to show us a world in which there seems to be complete freedom.

Question: What is the scale of values upon which you define good or bad connections between people?

Answer: This is very difficult to determine because it depends on the person’s intentions. And we do not see one’s intentions; they are concealed from us.

This is why Kabbalah is called the hidden wisdom; it deals with intentions and not forces like physics, not properties like psychology, but intentions that are higher than forces and properties.
From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 7/30/20

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Main Thing—Contact

587.03Question: The Mishnah, which dates back to the 3rd to 5th centuries AD, describes various types of relationships: “mine is mine and yours is yours,” “mine is yours and yours is mine,” etc.

“Mine is yours, yours is yours” is a righteous man and “mine is mine and yours is mine” is a sinner. But the worst is when “mine is mine, and yours is yours.” Why?

Answer: Because it pushes people away from each other and does not connect them together even with negative qualities. And since they have no way to understand the relationship between them, all that is left is to reject them. At the same time, they make the world freeze and do allow it to come to any common state.

Question: It turns out that even the state of “mine is mine and yours is mine” is more advanced?

Answer: As a result, it leads to a rapprochement.

Remark: This is difficult to understand.

My Comment: No, we can see it in families. While the couple are figuring things out and even fighting, there is contact and communication between them. And in families where they decide that’s it, no mutual contacts, nothing can be done. They move away from each other, and therefore a divorce is necessary.

Remark: This means that nature’s trend is that we are developing toward greater rapprochement and connection; therefore any kind of contact is welcome.  Indifference and rejection are naturally against nature.

My Comment: Yes. The main thing is contact and then its correct implementation.
From KabTV’s “Communication skills” 7/30/20

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On The Threshold Of A World Revolution

275A person is essentially just a desire to receive that is very sensitive to pleasure or pain. Therefore, the Creator in an instant could oblige all of humanity to become absolute righteous.

However, He wanted us to come to this through understanding and awareness so that we ourselves would ask Him to bring us to bestowal and connection, we ourselves would want mutual guarantee, and we ourselves would seek to become similar to the Creator.

That is why it took so much time and many different conditions. It was necessary to divide the whole of humanity into seventy parts, seventy nations of the world, into different times and all sorts of states. Everything is in order to build a feeling over each desire that is above it, that is for the sake of bestowal, as well as a mind that can calculate when and to what extent the desire to receive and the desire to bestow can be used.

In this way, a person can regulate how much it is possible to receive from the Creator so that it is enough only to correct the desire to a bestowing one, and not a drop more.

It turns out that we need to program the desire to receive so that it absorbs all this wisdom, knowledge, and abilities that allow it to work against its nature and teach it to appreciate the nature of the Creator as the upper quality, to put it on itself, to be impressed, and act like Him.

Only through a very complex process can the creation be brought to equivalence with the Creator. After all, initially it is infinitely far from this, completely opposite to it. The Creator created the desire to receive to be opposite to the desire to bestow, then broke it and interspersed tiny sparks of bestowal inside this desire.

These sparks are also under the control of egoism. Therefore, a person uses all his egoistic desire and all the sparks of bestowal, and through that he connects with others, builds different societies, businesses, and wishes to profit from each other. All that is thanks to those sparks that fell inside the desire to receive; otherwise, the desires would have remained isolated and unable to connect with each other.

When we begin connecting and earning from each other, we understand how profitable it is, and we add more and more connections. Then suddenly everything breaks down because it is impossible to continue like this, and a catastrophic fall ensues. This crisis has been growing throughout the twentieth century, and today it has reached such a point that has turned from an economic decline into a universal one.

Today we are beginning to understand that the connection can be bad despite the fact that it comes from sparks of light. Now our job is to turn this connection into a good one. This is a special process because it requires us to connect only for the benefit of our neighbor. To do this, we need to raise the sparks of the upper light above our desire to receive.

After the shattering of the common soul until today, these sparks helped us build the desire to receive in an even more egoistic way. Now, however, we must take this desire to receive and put it at the service of the sparks in order to attract the light and grow the desire to bestow instead of desire to receive. The bestowing intention must rise above the receiving one, which means working by faith above reason. The force of bestowal, Bina, will be valued by us above the force of reception.

This is the great revolution we need to perform so that the intention to bestow will be greater than the force of egoism, and the sparks that fell into desire during shattering will begin to determine our development instead of egoism controlling development where sparks are used to connect with others in order to profit from them.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/25/20, Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Mutual Guarantee”

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Guide For Round Tables, Part 16

544A Game as a Model of the Future State

Question: You say that playing helps create a model of a future state. Could you describe what this model is? What forces are we invoking by this?

Answer: If we play correctly and strive to come to the only correct decision, then we bring balance to the forces of nature. It turns out that we are playing out our perfect state.

Question: Let’s say we want to make a decision. To do this, we imagine what the optimal solution should be and try to come to it. We try to present our organization one step higher and play in this state. What happens then?

Answer: You practically pull yourself up to it. You invoke forces that will then develop you to this state.

Question: It turns out that there are some secret forces in nature that are established in it in potential?

Answer: Everything is established in nature, all our future states. Thus, through a game, we call upon them.

Question: How do people know what their future state is? Should they imagine how they would like to perceive it?

Answer: It doesn’t matter how they play; the main thing is to play. As children develop when they play, so do we develop, but we do not realize it. The whole life is a game.
From KabTV’s “Management Skills” 7/9/20

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Neutral Strip Between Good And Evil

232.06Nature obeys rigid laws, and if we follow them, we can live well, and if not, we get blows.

But the Creator gives us some time to choose freely in order to start acting and avoid being hit. He does not begin to beat us immediately, so as not to confront us with the inevitable, but wants us to understand and act consciously, from the desire to become like Him.

Physical laws act immediately, like the law of gravity.  If I jump off the slope, I immediately fall, without any time to think.

But in the spiritual world there is a system of Klipot that changes the laws of nature, creating the difference between good and evil, the distance between them. And therefore we can use this distance so as not to expose ourselves immediately to the blows, but to be able to connect with each other and avoid blows by warning it with medicine.

The medicine is Bina’s power that we can use. While in material nature there is no such force, everything is simple: either minus or plus. In the spiritual, there is a minus, plus, and their overlapping in the middle where we are included in both forces and can build a buffer zone containing both opposites.

This system, which includes two forces, is called “man,” Adam, because it contains the desire to receive pleasure and the intention to bestow, due to which we become like the Creator.

In the inanimate, plant, and animal world, which are studied by natural sciences, there is no such intermediate system. Therefore, science cannot comprehend the psychology of even an ordinary, earthly person and even more so a spiritual one. To understand a spiritual person, the science of Kabbalah is necessary, which explains to us how a person is arranged.

Everything that science knows about a human belongs to his animal level and is obtained experimentally. This allows us to create medicines for the biological body. But the human himself, his inner essence, is inaccessible for measurements by any instruments and is not subject to any verification.

Only the science of Kabbalah is capable of studying a person through instruments of the highest level, from above and not from below as we usually study inanimate matter, plants, and animals.

Therefore, in the current crisis, nothing can help humanity except for the science of Kabbalah and its methods. Until then, we will have to suffer. Therefore, we are trying to spread the knowledge about the method of correction in all possible ways.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/25/20, Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)”

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A Third Party Will Not Help

546.02Question: In order to resolve a conflict, it is necessary to carry out the following operational steps: analysis and assessment of the situation, collection of information, selection of a conflict resolution strategy, formation of a plan for an exit from the conflict, and its implementation. Then we give an assessment of to what extent we have reached a common point in resolving the conflict.

Do you agree with these steps?

Answer: In general, yes. But we need to see the goal in advance, the final state we must achieve, the connection above the conflict situation so that it no longer divides but unites us.

Question: Let us say, a group of people who are taking an integral education course is at the initial stage. Will they be able to come to a decision on their own without a moderator?

Answer: Only if they have a clear understanding of how to resolve this issue.

Question: Does it mean that they themselves can come to the resolution of conflicts without the intervention of a third party?

Answer: If they have a correct step-by-step methodology with explanations and clarifications, then they can do without a moderator. In principle, in the future, by applying this technique, people will be able to resolve conflicts in the family, at work, no matter where.

Question: Suppose in our community there is a conflict situation between several people. The whole group is engaged. It splits into two sides that begin to clash. How can this conflict be resolved?

Answer: They must get together and imagine the correct end state of the already resolved conflict. Then from this final state they must look for methods of reaching it.

Remark: This is very interesting because, in principle, two people cannot find a solution until a third party intervenes, which, if there is luck, can resolve the conflict.

My Comment: These are all egoistic, non-integral, completely wrong decisions. After all, they will not be able to rise and grow above conflicts.

Question: Will the precise help of an experienced instructor help?

Answer: Only guiding questions that enable them to be implemented correctly.
From KabTV’s “Management Skills” 7/16/20

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