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The more a person’s mind and reason grows, the higher he rises to act in faith above reason anew, becomes smarter in the corporeal world as well, and advances further in the spiritual world. He is always growing: in reason and then above reason.
I have nothing besides my desire. All my life I followed rational logic, and suddenly I’ll go against it? The wisdom of Kabbalah does not urge us to advance without the mind and reason, but teaches us to rise above them. The mind and reason remain—we do not rule them out, but we rise above them and do the opposite.
Rejection from spirituality, hatred for others and for the Creator, must be felt and cognized. The connection between corporeality and spirituality happens by being rejected from spirituality, overcoming the rejection, and connecting to the Creator. This is the rope that we cling to that connects this world and the spiritual world.
The more questions, intentions, and thoughts we discover inside of us that resist spirituality and degrade the spiritual work, the thicker and stronger the wick of our candle becomes through them. We overcome the resistance—and the wick absorbs more oil. Light comes from above and lights our candle.
Our world is the foundation, created by the Creator, from which we must rise each time. This world is a repository of all the broken vessels. We fall to this world to be infused with a lower, broken desire, and we rise to correct and fill it. “Rising and falling” is the spiritual path.
To come closer to the Creator and feel Him, I need the quality of bestowal. The Creator created one man, one soul, and broke it into many parts, so these pixels will connect with each other on their own. When they reconnect back into one man, we feel the Creator more.
We never annul our reason and advance beneath it, as this is done in religions, but we always advance in faith above reason. The faith above reason that we receive turns into reason, and we must once again go above it—that is how we ascend the spiritual degrees.
Man must extract out of his desire the intention for himself. The Creator purposefully placed in our desire an egoistic intention,
I want to acquire the desire for the spiritual, the desire to attain the Creator and cling to Him, the need for bestowal. Before me lies “plain earth” that I want to transform into a spiritual field. I want to dig up the egoistic desire and reveal the emptiness in it so that out of this earth I could reach heaven, the spiritual world.
Work with the will to enjoy happens in two stages.
1. I battle my will to enjoy, overcoming it and performing actions of bestowal.
2. I fight for the desire for spirituality because it disappears.
I become like a dead person toward spirituality, not wishing to ask for or to receive help.
From Twitter, 11/24/20
The Times of Israel published my new article “So Much to Be Thankful for This Thanksgiving”
Thanksgiving is a celebration awaited by Americans the whole year. Extended family and friends put aside work and travel long distances to reunite for a day of feasting, sitting around the holiday table, sharing memories, and giving thanks. But this year will be different. A health and economic crisis due to the pandemic may spoil the plans many had in mind. So one may ask, Is there really something to be thankful for in 2020? Absolutely. The nation faces a unique opportunity to come together despite the heavy atmosphere after the elections, to rise above the differences and beyond the physical distance.
Cities across the US are ratcheting up COVID-19 restrictions amid the record-breaking resurgence of the virus, recommending that people stay at home, avoid large gatherings, and keep distance from others to prevent further contagion. Regardless of the personal decision that every American will make on how to celebrate, the spirit that inspired this festivity in the beginning is the most important aspect to highlight, a spirit which is more relevant today than ever before.
One of the most popular explanations of the origin of this holiday dates back to 1621 when colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn feast in Plymouth, Massachusetts to express their gratitude to God for the abundant harvest season. But it wasn’t actually until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national holiday in November.
Much of the credit for the establishment of the holiday is attributed to Sarah Josepha Hale, a widow from New Hampshire who worked as a writer to support her five children. She published a novel that devoted an entire chapter to envisioning a Thanksgiving dinner. For decades, she tirelessly lobbied and demanded from officials that they designate such a holiday until she finally reached Lincoln and convinced him to do it. She firmly believed that Thanksgiving would reunite the United States, help heal the wounds of the nation and bridge the gaps that threatened to tear the country apart in the aftermath of the devastating Civil War.
Where can we find the Sarah Hale of today in America who can pressure the country to unite? Where is the woman who will come to unite us against all adversaries and pestilence until we achieve peace and progress as a society in any place in the world, a state that can only result from our human connection? Unfortunately, no such figure is seen on the horizon.
It is remarkable how many years ago a lone woman was able to influence the head of state and oblige him to establish a national day of unification for generations to come. Even today, when women have gained so much in status and in political influence, it is very difficult for us to imagine how a woman could come and convince American leaders to sit together and “smoke the peace pipe.”
And yet, there still remains much to celebrate on Thanksgiving. First, the very foundation of the American nation is marked by historical initiatives like Sarah’s, aimed at the unification of people, initiatives which can serve as an example to the entire world. And second, for the first time in history, Thanksgiving this year finds America and the entire world in one common scenario in which we all realize that we are in this thing together.
The crisis created by the exhausting global plague has immersed the entire planet in basically the same predicament. The virus does not distinguish between Republican and Democrat, right and left, north and south, east and west, all are under pressure to unite in order to overcome the crisis. It is as if the Supreme Force itself is testing us—nature versus the human being.
So what should we be thankful for and to whom? To the Supreme Force that has placed us in one pot, the entire planet, in which we see the human fault line that requires healing and repair. It is telling us that even if we have technically built everything right, our mental and emotional state is so damaged that a new kind of Thanksgiving celebration is required, one in which people will need to overcome the differences and connect in their hearts.
We need to thank nature for evil as well as for good, as it directs us to pursue love and connection for humanity to succeed. Bad things are revealed so we can also later appreciate them as good, since without them we could not have achieved good. Like a person with no appetite, how can anyone enjoy a feast without the preceding hunger?
If we look at problems and crises as a prelude and preparation for good things that will follow, we will run life instead of letting life run us. At the end of all wars there will always be peace; after all the fights, there will always be connection. Now is the time to build the strongest force of all, the power of the connection between us. It is the only power that will let us discover a promising future ahead of us.
We must always remember that we belong to one soul, one desire, although it was shattered because of the sin of Adam. We are under the government of the single force called the Creator. There is nothing besides this: only the Creator and the created being, which are two forces one against the other.
The created being was shattered into many parts, and now there is a person, one’s family, the people, the country, corporeal life, and spiritual life, but we must try to connect all these together. After all, concerning the Creator, everything is one—the Creator is moving the whole creation from separation to unity. Through the analysis and synthesis of many conflicting desires and thoughts in an effort to clarify and unite them together, we can reveal the Creator and attain His thoughts and desires.
Therefore, the development of a person, which until now was personal, individual, is becoming an integral process today. Humanity feels its complete interconnection and inability to separate from each other. The world is moving toward its final correction, and this state cannot be achieved by a small group or one country but only by the whole world. The Creator leads us to this and sees our desired future in this way.
The group of Bnei Baruch exists only to help the Creator implement this correction in the whole world and to reveal Him to everyone, by communicating the method and the force of correction to people.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/18/20, “Connecting the World in the Last Generation”
Thrive Global published my new article: “Why Americans’ Lives Are Shortening, Contrary to the Rest of the World”
It may be that America has passed the point of no return and the divisions in society are beyond repair at this point.
The Oxford University based website Our World in Data for provision of reliable statistics recently published some disturbing figures about America. In virtually every country in the world, life expectancy is growing. The one notable exception is the United States. There, life expectancy has been shrinking consistently since 2014.
It may take another civil war for Americans to recognize that only acceptance, appreciation, and embracing diversity can form a sustainable society, but the fact that a new administration will begin this coming January, regardless of the identity of the president, requires that I make one more effort to express my view that education toward embracing diversity is the basis of America’s survival, before the leader of the free world vanishes in flames.
The stunned researchers, who noticed that the decline in Americans’ life expectancy is a trend rather than a “statistical error,” looked into the reasons for this oddity and found some unsettling facts. The reasons that Americans live less and less are mostly social, not medical, economic, or environmental. Americans kill each other and themselves, die of opioid-overdoses, obesity, as well as other oddities such as prevalent infant mortality and lack of access to life saving drugs such as insulin. These latter two, in turn, also point to structural social problems more than they point to medical or environmental problems, since there is no reason why the country with the most developed healthcare system in the world will not be able to practically eliminate infant mortality or provide insulin to those who really need it.
I think that this data reflects all too well the social crisis unfolding in America. America has neglected its social work—the work on human relations. We must understand that there is no country in the world like the United States. The population of the US consists of such diversity of peoples and races that makes it an eclectic assembly of people who have nothing in common, and often harbor ancient hostilities toward each other. This is why in America, more than anywhere else, education toward unity is vital to its survival. I would even go as far as to say that without forming a uniform American identity, which Americans lack because of their diverse backgrounds, America will not survive.
Because America has not done this in a meaningful way since the end of the civil war, the same problems that caused the outbreak of the civil war still exist today, along with numerous other problems that have piled up on top of it. Now, these problems are bringing the country to the brink of a second civil war.
America proclaims to be “the land of the free,” but what do you do if one person’s freedom is another one’s subjection? “The inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen. 8:21), we know. If we let our inclination loose unrestrained, it will exploit, abuse, and kill indiscriminately. Liberalism is a great idea as long as you liberate people to the extent that they have been taught to preserve and respect other people’s freedom of expression and safety as much as they respect and preserve their own.
The First Amendment, which mandates freedom of expression for all, is too often implemented more along the lines of freedom to express hatred toward others, and freedom to silence views I think are wrong. This is a direct result of liberating the ego before it has been taught that liberalism and freedom of expression mean that everyone has the right to express themselves, not just me.
Just as you cannot let an untrained dog into the street, we should not let the “untrained dog” within us run free, or it is bound to bite and maim other people. First, we must learn to accept, then appreciate, and ultimately cherish the differences between us. We must come to see how our diversity may initially create misunderstandings and dislike, but when we work with it correctly, it enriches us and contributes to our wisdom as individuals, and to our strength as a society.
It may be that America has passed the point of no return and the divisions in society are beyond repair at this point. It may take another civil war for Americans to recognize that only acceptance, appreciation, and embracing diversity can form a sustainable society, but the fact that a new administration will begin this coming January, regardless of the identity of the president, requires that I make one more effort to express my view that education toward embracing diversity is the basis of America’s survival, before the leader of the free world vanishes in flames.
— Published on November 23, 2020
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Why are Kabbalah bracelets used to ward off the “evil eye”?“
Authentic Kabbalah teaches how to feel the quality of bestowal, which is not in us, in which the “other world” is manifested – felt in the quality of bestowal.
Ayin ra, the evil eye, is envy, the main quality of selfishness.
(Edit added on November 23 by Dr. Laitman)
A popular delusion about Kabbalah nowadays is that it can ward off evil eye with bracelets. The wisdom of Kabbalah does have an explanation for how to deal with the evil eye, which of course requires no bracelets, but it first calls for an understanding of what the evil eye is.
So, what is the evil eye according to Kabbalah?
To understand the Kabbalistic definition of evil eye, we need to understand how Kabbalah defines human nature—as an egoistic desire to enjoy at the expense of other people and nature. As is written in the Talmud, the Creator said, “I have created the evil inclination [egoism], and I have created for it the Torah as a spice” (Kiddushin 30b).
Evil is what has been created, which is the ego, a desire that prioritizes self-benefit over benefiting others. If we live by the principle where the better off we are individually, and the better we feel compared to other people, and even more so, the worse they feel then the better we feel, then it is considered as living according to the dictates of the egoistic “evil inclination.” Our entire human nature, which bases our every desire, thought and action, is therefore evil. This is the reason for the world spiraling into increasing crises the more we develop, no matter how good we consider our intentions and actions.
Kabbalah thus defines “evil eye” as our egoistic intentions toward each other, where we view or think about others in terms of what we can reap from them, and not in terms of how we can benefit them.
The wisdom of Kabbalah is a method for transforming our inborn egoistic intention into its opposite altruistic form, or in other words, from desiring to benefit ourselves alone, to wanting to benefit others and nature. Performing such a transformation of our egoistic nature into its opposite giving form is called a “correction” (Heb. Tikkun).
We are currently in a very significant transitional era. On one hand, we experience myriad negative effects from the evil eye, i.e., from our egoistic human nature seeking to exploit others and nature as much as possible for self-benefit. On the other hand, the suffering we accumulate by trying to fulfill ourselves individually at the expense of others is gradually leading us to a state of helplessness and desperation. When we reach such a state, we will become riper to undergo the fateful transformation of our egoistic nature into its altruistic opposite.
The wisdom of Kabbalah is a method that can help accelerate this transition, so that we experience it more smoothly, with more understanding, awareness, and ultimately, joyously.
Question: In the article “The Peace,” Baal HaSulam writes that “His Providence has commanded us to observe with all our might the Mitzva of bestowal upon others in utter precision, in such a way that no member from among us would work any less than the measure required to secure the happiness of society and its success. As long as we are idle performing it to the fullest, nature will not stop punishing us and take its revenge.”
Where can a person find the energy to fulfill the law of bestowal?
Answer: Only in society.
Question: It turns out that there is an upper plan that controls how much I give and how much I receive, not just physically but in communication with other people. In what way can I add?
Answer: In your attitude to others. A person has what is necessary and sufficient. Nature has provided us with everything much more than animals that spend hours each day searching for food. We only need the right interaction between us and others to achieve the highest goal.
Question: So, does giving to society mean running around and doing something for it?
Answer: No. Man is the most unfortunate element of nature. He must always take care of how to provide for himself. None of the animals work so much for their den, food, or for the sake of offspring. Everything is much simpler for them. Man is a creature enslaved by nature.
Look at how we live. A person is growing up to the age of 20. He is always obligated, obligated, and obligated. He does not do anything for himself. It just seems to him that he does.
Even when he gets some skills and thinks that he develops by visiting museums, theaters, discos, and whatever else there is, it is imposed on him by society. These are not his personal inner desires, but what he has received from others and is obliged to fulfill.
Question: What will people do in the integrated society that you write so much about?
Answer: In this future society, a person, through his correct integral connection with others, will experience the next level of nature and will rise up to it all the time.
For him, every day every minute will be the realization of the upper harmony, the highest perfection. In principle, this is what is meant to fill us. This is how we were created, but we just don’t feel it yet.
A person will explore what he lacks for complete happiness and he will receive it.
From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 8/21/20
Answer: We need to place a person in an environment that values the goal that we want to instill in him and make sure that in this team he is surrounded by people he respects. Then they will raise his motivation.
In principle, if a person is in an environment that he does not particularly respect, then we can artificially raise the importance of the team members, and then they will still affect him.
From KabTV’s “Management Skills” 8/28/20
Answer: No. We will not reach any decisions in this way. The opinion of an ordinary crowd, not collected according to certain laws, will not give anything. Their general opinion cannot be greater than the opinion of each of them. We have been through all this.
If we really want to get to the upper opinion, we must rise above our egoism and connect so that our anti-egoistic desires become one. Then we can solve the problem at this new level which is higher than the human one.
From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 9/25/20
Answer: I do not see how an employee can be valuable if he is irresponsible.
Remark: Valuable means that he has good knowledge.
Answer: We will not be able to use his knowledge if he is irresponsible. First of all, responsibility is necessary when a person correctly, purposefully, and clearly responds to the tasks that are set before him.
From KabTV’s “Management Skills” 8/28/20