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Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Why do people lose motivation?“
We are driven by our desires, and in our time, our desires are ending their individualistic linear development and entering into a new phase of collective and integral development.
In other words, our desires have increased over the generations from individual desires for food, sex, family and shelter, through social desires for money, honor, control and knowledge, and in our era, a new desire has appeared that cannot be fulfilled directly like our past desires.
The new desire can only be fulfilled through a harmonious connection with other people. It is a fundamentally new and different kind of development to how we have been developing for thousands of years, and we have yet to grasp how to navigate our lives after the appearance of this new desire.
Phenomena such as globally interconnected technologies and economies that have emerged in our era are a superficial expression of this new desire. In other words, we have created systems that increasingly connect us, however we have not yet positively connected our attitudes to each other. Connecting superficially through technological and economic means fails to ultimately fulfill us because we need to connect positively on a mental and emotional level. Doing so would reveal a whole new kind of fulfillment in our lives.
The more we externally connect while remaining internally detached, and the more we continue trying to fulfill ourselves according to our past methods, then the more difficult we find it to stay motivated running after the pleasures laid out on our corporeal smorgasbord: food, sex, family, money, honor, control and knowledge. In the same token, however, we have not yet come to terms with the new desire emerging in us, what it ultimately wants, and how to fulfill it.
In order to refresh our motivation and zest for life on a whole new level, we need a new method, new education and influences that guide us to become acquainted with this newly emergent desire, how we live in a significant transitional era from an individualistic-linear paradigm to an integral-analog one, and how we can realize our newfound interdependence and interconnectedness harmoniously.
Many people lose motivation today because they no longer feel that they can fulfill themselves by individualistic self-serving means. We thus need to change the way we fulfill ourselves: that we build a sincere intention to fulfill others, and when we aim at fulfilling each other, we will discover nothing less than a perfect life.
Moreover, the laws of nature, which are laws of interdependence and interconnectedness, stand behind this development. They guide our way to more and more connection with each other. So the more we take active steps to realize our increasing connection positively, the more we align with nature’s laws, and accordingly, awaken positive forces dwelling in nature to enter into our newly-established connections. When that happens, we will get a taste of unbounded life, outside everything we currently know and feel, and we will feel a whole new surge of motivation stemming from an atmosphere that encourages us to exit our egoistic selves and connect harmoniously with others.
Image: Global Interconnectedness by Wannapik Studio.
The Times of Israel published my new article “The Lesson Still to Be Learned from Kristallnacht”
Dozens of Jews were murdered, many more were publicly humiliated and sent to concentration camps; homes and businesses were destroyed and more than a thousand synagogues across Germany and Austria were torched—That was the tale of destruction left behind by the Nazis on Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” on November 9, 1938. On the 82nd anniversary of the day, it is crystal clear that history could repeat itself as the shadow of antisemitism and radicalism expands around the world.
A new series of Islamic fundamentalist terrorist attacks have shaken Europe in the last few days. The UK elevated its terror alert level to “severe” after the deadly attacks in France, in Paris and Nice days ago and most recently, in Vienna, Austria where four people were killed and 22 injured in shootings perpetrated in an area near several synagogues. Even if one believes that Jews were not specifically targeted in that attack, the peace and quiet the city offered to the Jewish community is over. In a rare statement, European Jewish leaders called for more “control and transparency” of the mosques across the continent—over what is being preached and where they get financing that could promote incitement to commit such acts of violence.
But radicalization is only one of the threats, albeit not a minor one. Antisemitism is generally on the rise in Europe and has been for a while as record-breaking cases of physical attacks and harassment are reported in major European cities. Anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli sentiments created by extremist groups are nowadays not items of historical reference but a very current reality worldwide.
However, Jews predictably think everything will pass by. They are convinced that letters of condemnation to organizations or to governments will do the job. Wake up! It has not worked so far and never will. We still haven’t learned the lesson from the entire history of persecution toward Jews. The Jewish people resist accepting the fact that they are unwanted in Europe. As terrorism intensifies and social and economic problems worsen, Jews will be held to blame, as always happens. Many will want to conclude what Germany and Austria started more than eight decades ago, claiming “why must they live among us; we really suffer from all these people; we are in trouble and we have no choice but to finish them off.”
Great pressures upon European Jewry and the Jewish communities of the entire world are in store until Jews realize that they are at the epicenter of hatred for a reason. We need to learn that the world does not change, so we must. We must show humanity as a whole how to repair the breakage in the world—this is what is expected of Jews.
The wisdom of Kabbalah explains that Jews have a special role in the great human puzzle: “Israel’s purpose is to unite the entire world into one family,” writes Rav Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel. The mission of the people of Israel, according to the most renowned Kabbalist of the 20th Century, Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), is to serve as a conduit to transfer the system of positive connection to humanity so that it can recover balance and ease its pains. He wrote, “And when they do that, it is plain to see that with His work, all envy and hatred will be abolished from humanity” (“The Peace”).
However, in order for that to happen first Jews must unite. As long as this role is delayed, suffering on the personal and global scale will continue to intensify as a hard reminder of the role Jews need to fulfill. So let’s not forget that our lives depend on our good connection, as simple as that. As long as we present the impenetrable armor of unity to the world, no enemy will rise against us. Only then will we be able to relegate our painful past to the annals of history and turn over a new leaf to begin writing a sunny present and future.
The Times of Israel published my new article “Regardless of Election Results, If Israel Unites, It Can Decide Its Own Fate”
Around the world, people are looking closely at the vote count in America. When it comes to the United States, everyone has an interest. In Israel, too, the split society is split between supporting the candidates. But Israel is different from the rest of the world. If Israeli society manages to unite above its internal disagreements and aversions, it will not have to choose which president is better for it; everyone, including current enemies, will want to help Israel.
Instead of looking overseas for satisfaction or dismay, Israelis should look at one another and make peace among themselves. Nothing hurts Israel more than its internal hatred.
There have always been conflicts and disagreement among Jews. It’s the nature of opinionated people to be obstinate. This is not a problem. The problem begins when we think that we must convince our dissenters that we are right and they are wrong. This will never happen; it isn’t meant to happen.
The Jewish people weren’t meant to agree with one another; they were meant to rise above their disagreements. We might think it’s not important to do so, but the inability to transcend hatred and dispute is the world’s number one problem. Today, everyone is becoming increasingly opinionated and intolerant to other views. Because everyone thinks they are right, we begin to hate each other and want to cancel one another. Unless we find a way to maintain social cohesion, the tension will increase until it snaps and chaos will take over.
The ancient Hebrews were the only ones who found such a way. They discovered that disagreements enrich them, hone their thinking and polish their ideas, as long as they increase their love for one another more than the distance that the disagreements create. In fact, they learned that the purpose of the arguments, and their real benefit, was not the polishing of views, but the increase of love and unity. The disagreements were merely the impetus that drove the Israeli people to deepen their cohesion and strengthen their bonds. This is why The Book of Zohar (BeShalach) stated, “All the wars in the Torah are peace and love.”
Without disagreements, we would become indifferent to each other. The disputes cause us to pay attention to each other and the anger makes us feel uncomfortable. If we succumb to our anger, we end up in hate. But if we strive to love each other just as siblings love each other even when they disagree, then the love between us increases after each dispute, since the intensity of the dispute forces us to match it with love in order not to disintegrate society.
Currently, Israel is sharply divided. This is exactly the point where we must increase our love for one another in order to match it with our mutual dislike. If we do not do so, we will end up in civil war and the country will disintegrate. But if we increase our unity and care for one another above the level of hatred that reveals itself each time, the whole world will see that this is possible and will want to learn from our example. The ability to rise above disputes is the trait that everyone needs and no one has. If we show how we can do this, everyone will be thankful, including our enemies. This is why Israel is the only country whose fate depends solely on its people, and not on external forces.
From My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 11/3/20
Eduard (Edi) Yosupov is a veteran student and a friend. He has been studying with me for 20 years now, and during most of those years he was living in Vienna. In 2005, I visited him and went to the local chapter of our worldwide group. Not far from there is Edi’s business, a medical aesthetics center. Edi does not live in Austria anymore; he moved with his family to Israel two years ago, but his clinic is still there.
Last night, Edi’s phone rang unexpectedly; it was one of his employees. With tremor in her voice, she whispered that she is alone in the clinic, the only one who didn’t leave in time, before the shooting started. She was terrified. A number of bullets went through the glass and into the clinic and she didn’t know where to hide. She said the other employees had left the clinic a few minutes earlier, right when the shooting started, and fled from the scene as soon as it started. Thankfully, they were unharmed.
Moments later, Edi’s phone started receiving pictures of smashed windows, bullet holes in panes, and blood, a lot of blood.
This morning, we met for a zoom conversation. Edi said “There is panic in the streets. They have closed the entire downtown Vienna and prohibited people from going to work.” The Austrians are horrified. “Austria is a neutral country,” he said, “and people ask themselves why they deserve this.” And, he added, “The shock among the Jews is the worst.”
This is where I stopped him. You can say whatever you want, but Austria is not a neutral country. Adolf Hitler was Austrian, Adolf Eichmann was Austrian, and Austria in general has a long history of antisemitism. Perhaps Austrian Jews like to tell themselves untrue stories to calm themselves down, but this is unwise and will leave them with nowhere to run when the time comes, and it will.
The event that happened yesterday is part of an escalating crisis at the end of which the Jews will be accused of all the troubles that afflict Europe and will suffer the same fate that Europe’s Jews suffered in the 1940s. Nevertheless, there are two ways they might avoid that fate: 1) Run away and look for a new place to settle. It was barely possible to do so eighty years ago since no Western country would accept Jews from Germany and Austria, and it will be much more difficult now, but if they’re not too picky, they might find a temporary haven. 2) Revolutionize the whole meaning of Judaism and turn it from a culture that focuses on customs and traditions to an ideology that enshrines unity above all other values in the spirit of mutual responsibility and the motto, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This latter option is the true essence of Judaism. Although it is very hard emotionally, and Jews have not been united since they waged a civil war inside the walls of Jerusalem before the Romans conquered it and ruined the Temple, but if they can do it, they will be safe and welcome wherever they are.
The essence of Judaism is care for others, as old Hillel said, “That which you hate, do not do unto your neighbor. The rest is commentary, go and study.” Only when Jews employ that motto, or at least do not hate each other, are they true to their legacy and to their mission to be “a light unto nations.”
It may sound counterintuitive, but internal unity is what the nations want to see from us. Being the light of the nations does not mean we have to preach to them or teach them anything. It simply means we should set an example of love of others.
We have given the world the idea that loving our neighbors as ourselves is the core of the Torah, but we are not living it out. In that, we are untrue to ourselves and the world feels it. All that the nations want is for us to be what we are meant to be, united as one, and then they will appreciate us and want us among them, and we will not have to go through the ordeal that European Jews are beginning to experience.
[A man holds his hands up as police officers check him on a street after exchanges of gunfire in Vienna, Austria November 2, 2020. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner]
Recently, special meditation practices have been developed for Westerners, which involve a large number of actions. A person does not just sit and concentrate on one thing, as in the Indian teachings, but on the contrary, performs many actions to calm down.
Do you think Westerners should practice meditation?
Answer: I do not think this will help much because Westerners and Easterners have completely different psychological models, personalities with different goals. What is created in Western society can only be applied there. Neither the Native Americans, nor the Indians of Asia, nor the Africans can have this.
It is possible that something Western can be, somehow, applied in Russia, but also here we see that this lasts only in a special group of the population that is similar in its level of intelligence and mentality to the West.
In principle, each continent has its own internal prerequisite, which method of attitude to the world, to the development of itself and society is chosen by the population. Europeans are Europeans, North Americans are North Americans, although, in principle, they are the same Europeans who managed to suppress the culture of the Native Americans.
South America is South America because the psychology of the indigenous peoples there dominates. When you come to one of the South American countries, you immediately understand that this is a special world. It is the same in Asia and Africa.
You cannot make one type of person into another. The only thing we can do is leave everyone with their own perception of the world and lead them to understand the need for the proper integration among all. At the same time, everyone remains in their own culture, as it was once said in the Soviet Union: “national in form, but socialist in content.”
It is the same here. The content should be Kabbalistic. This is an aspiration to a common world, to connection, kindness, and love but in the form in which a person understands the language of nature, and can correctly understand others.
From KabTV’s “Kabbalah Express” 9/27/20
New Life 466 – The Jewish Potential, Part 2
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Tal Mandelbaum ben Moshe
Jews have a special gene that makes them successful in many areas. They are the descendants of special people who followed Abraham, revealed the upper force, and eventually became the nation of Israel. They don’t use the powers they have as Jews correctly. The fulfillment of the Jewish potential could build a state that is managed according to mutual guarantee, love, and equality. If Jews fulfilled their potential, they would receive a general Nobel Prize for bringing happiness to all of humanity.
From KabTV’s “New Life 466 – The Jewish Potential, Part 2,” 12/4/14
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Question: What does the expression “The Creator is jealous” mean? After all, we see Him as the law of nature. In addition, it is said: “If you leave Me for one day, then I will leave you for two days.” How can the law of nature be jealous?
Answer: The Creator is a higher power that requires development from us. Therefore, if we let go of Him and do not pay attention to this power, then He plays with us in such a way that we begin to feel our behavior was wrong. If we leave Him for a day, He leaves us for two days so that we can hold on to Him.
Question: How does this manifest itself?
Answer: Just like you have with your child who does not pay attention to you and you think about how you can attract him to you.
Question: Yes, but with the child, we have common organs of sensation, with the Creator, we do not. How can I decipher that the Creator left me for two days?
Answer: You feel on yourself that you suddenly stopped doing the things that you need. You have to deal with them, but you cannot, so you have no attraction to them.
From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 8/7/20
Answer: Awe means that I am in a state of increased self-examination of whether I am following the laws of nature correctly. I am afraid to break these laws and hurt others.
At that, I do this not out of fear, but because I really want to fulfill them, to support the Creator, nature, in all its qualities.
From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 8/7/20
Question: Let’s suppose people are suffering from being lonely and you are invited to give a lecture on how to get out of this state. Should you know everything about this subject before talking about it?
Answer: I will tell them that a person exists one-on-one with his soul, with his requests. He comes into this world and leaves it alone. And the thing he can get in this world, he will not get anywhere else. This is why our world is so important.
And loneliness is given to us so that we understand ourselves more, to feel this world through it, etc. That is, I would praise the quality of loneliness and explain how to use it correctly.
Question: Is it better to prepare for a performance alone or as a team?
Answer: It’s better in a team of course. You are going to speak in front of a big audience after all, and advice from many is a desirable thing in this case.
Question: Do you think it is imperative to rehearse your performance?
Answer: No. But I used to sketch out several sentences for myself, often two or three lines.
Question: How can you win the audience over?
Answer: Show them that they are very important to you, you are not indifferent, and you want to tell them something useful for them. Show a little warmth.
Question: What is the best way to end the performance?
Answer: By the fact that only good lies ahead. This is very important for a person.
From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 8/14/20