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It is written, “And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” This means that we will always first have to go through the evening, the darkness, the night, the lack of understanding and feeling, the confusion. Yet, that does not mean that we do not feel anything.
We feel that we have no feeling or understanding, that is, that we are in the dark of night. The feeling of the night is still a definite feeling, and not a senseless, unconscious state.
Thus, a person must always begin with the fact what he does not understand and does not feel, with bitterness and confusion in the heart and in the mind. Then he wakes up and begins to discover what is called the day. Therefore, we need to get used to enjoying the feeling of night, confusion, misunderstanding, loss of sensitivity. We usually do not like such states because they do not provide fulfillment for our egoism.
We must understand, however, that exactly when we are experiencing darkness we feel how empty desires are revealed, ready for new knowledge and sensation of the day, bestowal, connection, the sensation of the Creator. Therefore, we should value the states of darkness and night no less than the revelation of knowledge, understanding, and bestowal, which are called “day.”
Darkness leads us to light because light can only be felt when there is darkness inside it. The deeper the darkness, the greater the light because the darkness is a lack, a desire to attain it. Then the light is revealed according to the force of the desire, the yearning for it.
It turns out that darkness and light are equally important. The further we advance in corrections, the greater the darkness becomes and the greater the light is. However, we value darkness as much as light because they both are connected to each other and are evaluated relative to each other.
We need to always stay in the middle, between the darkness and the light, and when we reveal the light, we must understand that it comes from darkness. We need to appreciate the revelation of new darkness and understand that it is the correct, true form for the subsequent revelation of light.
Today’s darkness is always darker than yesterday’s because we are constantly climbing the degrees: darkness, the overcoming of darkness, day, the revelation of light, and again darkness, overcoming it, and day, as it is written, “And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” And so, day after day, we ascend higher and higher on the degrees of the ladder.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/14/20, “Bereshit“
New Life 573 – Revealing Divinity
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel
Why is there an internal desire in every person to know the thought of creation? All the doubts a person has are not about religion but stem from the lack of revelation of Godliness here in this world. A person who wants to reveal what he is living for, what the purpose of his life is, and what the secret of life is arrives at the wisdom of Kabbalah. According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, the revelation of Godliness is the result of keeping the one law of, “love thy friend as thyself.” Godliness is the power of love and bestowal, the good and benevolent, and so we need to love and to be benevolent in order to reveal it. When there will be love amidst the nation of Israel, we will be a “light unto the nations of the world.”
From KabTV’s “New Life 573 – Revealing Divinity,” 5/21/15
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My new article on Linkedin “With the World Racing to a Cliff, Where’s the Responsible Adult?”
The August Complex fire has already burned more land than all of the recorded fires in California between 1932 and 1999, combined! It’s still burning. Since the turn of the century, there have been more than 7,000 major natural disasters affecting 4 billion people. In the twenty years prior to the turn of the century, there were only half that many disasters. Clearly, planet Earth is accelerating toward a cliff, and no one’s attempting to be the responsible adult.
If we choose solidarity over alienation, we will get rid of the virus in no time. Better yet, we will get rid of all the troubles plaguing the world from East to West and from North to South. Everything we do that’s harming the world is a result of our drive to be superior to others.
Initially, the coronavirus slowed us down, but now it, too, has become a global cataclysm in its own right. Worse yet, since we already know the trend, we know things will not get any better down the line. Is there nothing we can do?
Actually, there is a lot we can do. The world is the way it is because everyone thinks only about him or herself. If every cell in our body thought only about itself, we would die in seconds. This is what we’re doing to our planet, our home. We’re killing it.
We also can’t expect anything from our leaders, since our leaders reflect our society. In a selfish society, the most selfish people reach the top. In a kind society, the kindest are on top. So if we want to have a different world, we have to change ourselves, and help each other in the process.
We needn’t look for anyone to tell us what to do; we must simply remember that we are all parts of one system. Each one of us who acts in contrast to the well-being of the system hurts everyone else, and ultimately oneself.
It doesn’t take any major transformations to change the world; it simply takes awareness. We all need to eat, go places, work, and live our lives. But we don’t need to define our success by our superiority over others. We also don’t have to compete; we can choose to cooperate instead. We are free people; we can decide what kind of people we want to be, and what kind of society we want to build.
If we choose solidarity over alienation, we will get rid of the virus in no time. Better yet, we will get rid of all the troubles plaguing the world from East to West and from North to South. Everything we do that’s harming the world is a result of our drive to be superior to others. If we took only what we needed to make a good life for ourselves, there would be abundance for everyone and we would not be depleting and polluting the earth. Consumption and rejuvenation would be in balance and we would lead a safe and pleasant life.
But all those great things will not happen unless we become our own responsible adults. We are living in a time when everyone is responsible for everyone else. Accountability differentiates a grownup from a child. We have grown up, and we must act the part.
We needn’t go too far; we can begin with our family and friends, the closest circles to us. The trend of caring will catch up. Everyone needs it; it’s the most required commodity today. And best of all, we needn’t worry about spending it because it restocks itself. The more you give of it, the more you get back from everyone else.
I’m not talking about polite smiles or courtesy. I’m talking about being responsible, accountable for one another. I’m talking about knowing that if we don’t act responsibly, we will simply kill many of our fellow human beings, and possibly ourselves. There are as many ways to act responsibly as there are people. Each of us needs something else, but if we think of ourselves as a community rather than as isolated individuals, we will all be better off. This, in fact, is all we need in order to save ourselves, our planet, and the future of our children.
My new article on Linkedin “How Can Connection Fix Our Problems?”
Social unrest, natural disasters, a pandemic, economic crisis, polarization—falling upon us all at once in America and the rest of the world alike. This is the first time in history in which the blows are coming at such a global scale, regardless of background or nationality, gender or status. And the problems will only increase until we use this unique opportunity to realize that we navigate these troubled waters together for a reason, that only through our connection will we be able to stay afloat in this storm.
If we move toward positive connection above our divisive inclinations—prioritizing values of unity throughout human society—then we will ensure good health for the entire planet and a whole new harmonious level of existence will open up for us.
Hunger, wars, and natural disasters are in the forecast and no one is promising the worst is already behind us. On the contrary, all the indicators show that the world is nowhere close to being healed. In the midst of the current crisis and the gloomy predictions, there is a sense of fatigue in people. Just when we begin to expect to recover from the wide-ranging repercussions of Covid-19, a second wave erupts with new lockdowns on the horizon, the economy shrinks further, and putting food on the table becomes harder than ever.
As if all this were not enough, extreme weather conditions have become the new normal. For the second time in history, the hurricane season in America has been so active that the 21 storm names selected to cover this season have already been used up and the National Hurricane Center has had to put together a new list with name options using the Greek alphabet.
All the troubles, all the imbalances the world is experiencing are in fact the result of a struggle between two forces in nature: the force of separation and the force of connection. But what kind of connection is it that we are referring to here? We are referring to an indivisible link that should take place between individuals at the human level, the highest level in nature, above the flora and fauna. It is crucial because human beings, and specifically the relationships between us, have the most profound influence on the lower levels of nature.
Screening a Positive Force
When humans connect correctly, it creates a sort of magnetic field that permeates the rest of nature. Until now humanity has been driven by negative thoughts and reckless, oppressive behavior toward one another, affecting the ecosystem negatively by this. The viruses we pass to each other are the biological expression of our harmful and negative relationships. Thus, if we don’t correct our mutual connection, future pandemics will be standing in line waiting to be revealed.
It’s not the matter of what will burst out next or where it will happen; the entire world is in a state of constant agitation, and the amplitude of the calamities is growing day by day. We are witnesses to the snowballing speed and the magnitude of these shocks.
We exist in a global, holistic, and complete system in which all the elements are perfectly integrated, with the exception of people. But there is no way out for us, no possibility of escape, because even though we are not fully aware of our absolute interdependence, we are ruled by the law of the global integral system in which everybody influences everybody as well as every other part of nature. So, if we continue being ruled by our egos—which direct us to look out for ourselves, secretly pleased by the misfortunes and hardships of others—we will bring ourselves to the point of destruction of planet earth and the “crown of creation,” the human race.
Do we have an alternative? Yes, we do. We need to cultivate mutual consideration and responsibility—the positive force—today more than ever before to balance our egoistic lifestyle—the negative force—and spare ourselves from untold amounts of unnecessary suffering. We must start by actively surrounding ourselves with an environment that inspires us to care for one another, to cooperate and connect positively.
In a nutshell, nature constantly evolves through a series of crises, and the ultimate result of these is to activate us to reach greater cooperation and unity. Precisely at this time of universal crisis, we are being prepared to make a global-scale shift to full integration with nature.
If we move toward positive connection above our divisive inclinations—prioritizing values of unity throughout human society—then we will ensure good health for the entire planet and a whole new harmonious level of existence will open up for us.
My new article on Linkedin “The End of the Closure, But No End in Sight”
Jam-packed with anger, frustration, and mutual abhorrence avidly cultivated over weeks of closure, the residents of the State of Israel are beginning to resume life, if you can call it that. No one is hopeful. Everyone knows that the next closure is just around the corner since everyone knows that now that the closure has been eased, the number of new confirmed cases will spike again, sparking a third wave of Covid-19 outbreak and a third lockdown, with no end in sight. After all, if no one’s going to stick by the simple rules of social distancing and wearing masks, there’s nothing to stop the virus from returning.
As I have been warning from the beginning of the outbreak, Covid-19 is not only here to stay, but will become increasingly sinister in sync with our reluctance to change our attitude to one another.
We only have ourselves to blame for the outbreak, but we blame everyone else. You don’t need to read the pandemic statistics to know that Israel is a sick society, but Covid-19 isn’t its worst, or even real illness. The country is riddled with internal loathing on levels we’ve never seen before. It doesn’t even matter if a vaccine or a cure for the coronavirus is found; it’s already clear that such hatred is bound to produce more punishments on all of society.
As I have been warning from the beginning of the outbreak, Covid-19 is not only here to stay, but will become increasingly sinister in sync with our reluctance to change our attitude to one another. In the first wave, it struck mainly the sick and elderly. In the second wave, as I had warned, it is already striking healthy and younger people, as well as children. In the third wave, it will hit even harder, much harder.
If we don’t change our attitude and start complying with health instructions out of consideration of each other, we will face mortality rates that will rattle all of society. There will be critically ill patients and deceased relatives in every family. We are in for a trauma inflicted upon us at our own hate-filled hands.
We Israelis think we are above the system, or at least that we can beat it. But hubris doesn’t make you strong; it blinds you. We’re blind to the fact that the virus is defeating us, that we have lost the second round against the virus, yet we’re ignoring it as if the third round will go any better for us. It won’t; it’ll end in tears.
When we surrender, we will understand that all we needed to do to make the virus leave was look out for each other. If we don’t surrender and start looking out for each other, the virus will kill us, or we will kill each other, or some other violent conclusion to our lives will find us. One way or the other, the “play nice” time is over. Either we all act together in concert and unite in order to defeat the invisible bug, or that spiky little thing will give us a final knockout.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Is Elon Musk’s plan to put a million people on Mars by 2050 even remotely feasible, or has he gone totally bonkers?“
There is no need to colonize Mars.
I recently posted that the Earth can supply for many more billions of people than we currently inhabit, and that the difference between experiencing life on Earth as unpleasant versus feeling it as bliss is only in how we adjust our attitudes to each other.
In other words, we need only focus on creating life on Earth so that we positively connect, and then we will feel completely fulfilled—and the experience of complete fulfillment will dissolve any thoughts about inhabiting other planets.
I was also once very interested in space conquest, but after finding a method that gains us access to expanding our perception of reality and improving human connection, I see that we would better expend the energy that goes into all of our space programs by instead upgrading human relations.
It is natural that some of us have ambitions to transcend boundaries and ascend above our planet. These ambitions can also become fulfilled by rising in our will, our perception and our sensation of reality. Even if we fly to other planets and live there, if we fail to upgrade our attitude to others, then we will remain in our same sensations, and will have achieved little compared to the immense inner transformation that we can undergo.
Therefore, I recommend that we instead apply ourselves to improving human connections—rising above our egoistic boundaries and discovering new altruistic relations—and by doing so, we will discover completely new perceptions, sensations and fulfillments. Even traveling to the farthest planet in our galaxy would fall short of the fulfillment we would get from engaging in such an inner transformation.
Photo by Nicolas Lobos on Unsplash.
My new article on Linkedin “Envy- a Friend We Didn’t Know We Had”
One of the most curious articles written by my teacher’s father, the great 20th century kabbalist Baal HaSulam, is a short piece titled “The Thought Is an Upshot of the Desire.” When I read it for the first time, and the second, it struck a chord deep within me. In just 200 words, Baal HaSulam explained how reality is built, how it operates, what needs to be fixed, and how we can fix it. I was awestruck, and very envious of his wisdom.
In today’s volatile atmosphere, when the country is on the brink of civil war, I’m sure you will agree that nothing is more required than a change of heart—toward kindness.
The logic in the article is very simple, like all truths. It states that when we want something, we think about it, and after we think about it, we act accordingly. In other words, the world we live in is a result of our desires. Or even more concisely, our desires create our world. If we don’t like the world we live in, there’s a sure way to fix it: We can change our desires, which will change our world.
But can we control our desires? Can we decide to want one thing and not another? Indeed we can, and more easily than we might think. All we need is to make good use of our worst trait: envy.
To put it simply, envy means we want what others have. If we can’t take what others have, then we want to at least have more of it than they do. When I envied Baal HaSulam for his wisdom, it didn’t make me want him not to be wise; it made me want to be as wise as him, if not wiser.
Now here’s the trick to using envy positively: Because we’re envious beings, we want what people value. If we have what they value, they will envy us and not the other way around. In other words, public opinion determines what is enviable. For example, we value wealth. For this reason, we’re envious of wealthy people.
And now think about kindness. Who wants to be kind these days? Practically no one. Why? Because public opinion doesn’t value kindness. When the public doesn’t reward kind people with approval and popularity, people don’t want to be kind. If, on the other hand, the public venerated kindness the way it venerates wealth, people would spend their last cent on acts of kindness in order to “buy” themselves a public image of benevolence.
That insight, that we can control what we want through other people’s opinions, was to me the most striking revelation in Baal HaSulam’s article:. I realized that we don’t need to change ourselves but to change the social values. If we surround ourselves with family, friends, media personnel, education systems, and politicians (I know it’s a long shot) who hail kindness, caring, solidarity, and mutual concern, then we, and everyone around us would become that way as well. It would be effortless, and it would work.
Clearly, we can’t change all of society at once, but we can start. Wherever we can, wherever we are, we can do our little part. And hopefully, little by little, a new and positive mindset will take root. In today’s volatile atmosphere, when the country is on the brink of civil war, I’m sure you will agree that nothing is more required than a change of heart—toward kindness.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is the oldest recurring lie in human history?“
It is that we think of our enemy as being outside us.
We think of our enemy as belonging to a different group, tribe, party, race, or who is more favored in some way, of a higher social strata, wealthier, more intelligent, more attractive or more fortunate.
However, all such “enemies” are a figment of our imagination.
Our real and only enemy is not outside us, but inside us. It is our very egoistic nature, the operating system behind our every desire, thought and action.
We have no control over the human ego. It grows within and becomes part of our personal identity to a point where we have no feeling of it—and since we don’t feel it, we also don’t feel it as a problem.
However, if we fail to gain awareness of how the ego operates within us, and how we can rise above it, then it will continue making us perceive problems in other people—that we need to change or even eliminate certain other people who hold different views or who exhibit different attributes to our own.
We can expect no positive outcomes and no winners to emerge from perceiving the enemy outside us, because it is an incorrect and incomplete perception to begin with.
If, however, we shift our perception, perceiving the enemy as the ego cunningly positioned inside every one of our desires and thoughts, i.e., a desire to use what we perceive outside us in order to benefit ourselves, then we position ourselves to fight a battle that can truly lead us to victory—a much better life for everyone.
In such a battle, we need people who appear dissimilar to us, people we feel indifferent, critical, and even hateful toward, standing together with us on the same team. We can then feel our involuntary negative urges toward them and exercise positive connection above such urges.
However, the constant aim to positively connect above the raging ego requires a prerequisite unanimous agreement by all members of society who wish to overcome it—that aiming at unity above all divisive egoistic drives is more important and more beneficial for society than giving in to our egoism. Without an agreement among all members of society on this point, then it is enough for one person to fall victim to the ego’s demands for personal gain at the expense of others, and everyone will fall as a result.
While a mutual effort to unite among people who hate each other might seem too romantic and utopian to become a reality, the more we develop and suffer from our frictions, the more we will realize that we have no other alternatives.
In short, if we all fail to unite above our egoistic differences, we all lose.
Today more than ever before, we bear witness to the increasing strain of our interdependence around the planet, where we all depend on everyone, whether we like them or not. If we let ourselves further develop without making any motions to unite, then we can expect increasing amounts of negative phenomena to pressure us. We will be led to a corner where we will see that we either unite above our differences and find a way out of that corner, or endure intolerable suffering.
To support the idea of needing to unite above our differences, we can take an example from live organisms: An organism contains multiple contrasting cells, organs and parts, pluses and minuses of all kinds, and its survival is due to an enveloping systemic tendency that makes all of its parts complement one another for the healthy functioning of the entire organism.
Therefore, just as there is no morning without evening, day without night, or light without darkness, we too would be wise to rise above our one-sided perspective of the world, and feel the necessity to complement all differing qualities and views.
For the time being, we find ourselves becoming cornered more and more in our own egoistic shells, pointing our fingers at others as the source of our problems. The more we continue developing in such a way, the more our society will break apart, and the more we will all suffer. It is simply an unsustainable modus operandi.
We thus need to start waking up to the only real enemy in our lives—the human ego nested within each and every one of us—and reach a unanimous resolution to unite above it. To speed up our path to such an awakening, we need a new culture where we praise unity above all forms of division, support each other’s motions to positively connect, and embrace a diversity of views, races, nations and qualities in the process.
If we reached that level of common awareness, we would be on course to discover a whole new and harmonious world. Every one of us would then experience newfound happiness, health, confidence and security, the likes of which we have never felt before.
Photo by Sylas Boesten on Unsplash.
Remark: Lionel Messi, the famous soccer player who plays for the club Barcelona, suddenly decided to leave the club. And then all hell broke loose! The Spaniards forgot about the coronavirus. They prayed that he would stay.
At home, his wife and children, as Messi says, cried asking him not to leave the club and stay at Barcelona. And the king surrendered. He stayed at the club.
Sports have been elevated to the rank of a religion! Even now, when it seems that all thoughts are occupied with other things.
My Comment: This is because there is a huge force of public consciousness behind this, the fact that this is ours, this is mine, we are all rooting for this! What is the basis of all mass sports, especially group sports? A huge mass of fans unite into one. They live through this since everything else is really messed up. Of all social activities, sports are the highest.
Question: Even despite the fact that millions of dollars go through their hands?
Answer: It doesn’t matter. The person who plays is devoted to this. The individual is devoted. Even if he receives millions for it.
For us, it turns out to be above money. That is, we paid. The one who pays, says, “I am willing to pay for this! Another million? Another twenty million? Another twenty million.”
Yet, they have such a passion for this! This is mixed with national respect and everything else. This is my team, this is my player, and this is the highest thing I have in life.
I think that even a player does not play for money. He plays to give please to the audience. At least, that’s what the people I talked to say. One of them said, “It was a game that 80,000 spectators attended!”
This is more than theater, more than everything. There is no greater connection between spectators and players than in such a sport.
Question: We have seen more than once that when a player scores a goal he runs, opens up to everyone, and shouts something to the fans. Do you think he is shouting to them that I did it for you?
Answer: Yes, I think so, yes. Inside this game, it turns out that when he does something, he is above money, he gives this to his audience.
Remark: And naturally he receives the appreciation of the audience.
My Comment: Of course! This touches very high feelings, the egoistic feelings of a person.
Question: Do you consider this as high?
Answer: For a person in our world, sport is the last thing left. Everything else, fishing, hunting, it all vanishes, it all disappears, it all is getting dressed in all sorts of mechanics.
Remark: This is a personal excitement for everyone, a person is there alone.
My Comment: Yes, but not in sports. A good game arouses interest all over the world. When so many people are involved, and everyone is watching, and millions, or sometimes billions, are watching the same ball, this, of course, is a huge force! I wish we had such a force!
My teacher Rabash had a lot of respect for the stadium. He said, “This place should be respected, it gives pleasure to the masses.” It was so unexpected for me to hear this considering such a religious man was saying this!
And we pass a stadium where no religious person ever goes because it is considered to be something the opposite.
This is the perception of a real, great Kabbalist.
Question: What advice would you give to Messi?
Answer: To be as honest and close to his fans as possible. To make sure that as many people as possible enjoy his game.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 8/31/20