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If I am unable to restrict my egoism and let the group into the free space in my heart, then the group must give me artificial resuscitation. It is as if I am lying breathless, unconscious, and the group is pressing down on my chest so I can exhale and then start breathing. Meaning, it helps me contract in order to begin expanding again.
Expansion occurs naturally, as part of nature, and I must produce compression through my own efforts. And if I cannot do it, then the group must help me and apply pressure on me to start breathing in spiritual life, breathing in spiritual air.
The group presses on everyone with love, this will be the pressure that forces me to exhale air. This is how resuscitators revive a lifeless person: it would seem that it was necessary to fill him with air, but no, they press on his chest to let the air out.
The group in the same manner puts pressure on everyone with love so that one feels that there are people around him who are bound by love and unity and who call him to do the same. This love obligates him: he gives up breathing himself and allows his friends to enter him and expand him by force. And when he expands due to their work, he will also be obligated to expand his love for them, that is, to show love for all.
There are two forms of advancement toward the goal of creation, toward correction. If we make the efforts on our own to advance through the group with the influence of the environment, reviving each other with artificial respiration, then this will be the path of light (Ahishena). And if we don’t, the global ventilator starts rolling over us like a roller of evolution, squeezing all the air out of us so that we are ready to inhale the spiritual air.
There is one point (Malchut) that belongs to man and the rest, the upper nine Sefirot, are the qualities of the friends or the group. I must restrict myself within these nine Sefirot without leaving any of my desires there. If I want to bestow in these nine Sefirot, then I inject the qualities of my friends into them, and they turn into bestowing qualities for me. Thus, I bestow to my friends and through them, I offer a place for the Creator to clothe in.
If we commit ourselves to influence everyone in the group, show our love and unity to awaken each friend, it will push him forward because he will also want to advance. This is practical Kabbalah.
Inhaling and exhaling should constantly alternate. After all, every time we breathe in the spiritual air we realize that it turned into the material one because our egoistic desire was added to it.
Therefore, we have to forcefully exhale it and inhale new spiritual air for the sake of bestowal, and this will be a step toward the next spiritual degree.
This is how we ascend up the spiritual ladder: each time we discover that the current step is somehow egoistic, we exhale it in order to breathe in fresh spiritual air instead, a new force of bestowal.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/18/20, “A Time of Contraction and A Time of Expansion”
And in spirituality, love means something completely different: the ability to fulfill the other, to feel his desires and enjoy the fact that you fulfill his desires. Therefore, the direction of love and its fulfillment is completely opposite of corporeal love.
The love of friends means connecting the parts of the common soul of Adam HaRishon who feel rejection between each other. In seeking to connect, they reveal their distance and separation and must correct their hatred into love. It is to the extent that hatred and misunderstanding are revealed between all the parts that they can connect and fill each other.
Therefore, love is the fulfillment and connection of opposites that are initially hated by each other.
We must restore our connection into the single system of Adam HaRishon according to which all nature is built. All its individual and global laws and principles stem from this system. And if we strive to connect these parts together despite their contradiction, then we will correct ourselves and all of reality.
As we draw closer to each other, we will gradually begin to feel that we are filling each other up and that we are in a perfect world. There is a mutual flow between the opposite parts: from minus to plus and from plus to minus. Therefore, we feel ourselves in an eternal world where there is a constant flow of life.
One does not want to destroy and kill the other, but on the contrary: we cross a certain boundary (Machsom) and then we feel that the negative and positive forces complement each other and produce an eternal flow that we also belong to. It gives a sense of eternal life.
Everything depends only on the measure of our connection, when we overcome the barrier before which we felt our oppositeness, and begin to fill each other. The sense of mutual fulfillment gives us a sense of eternity where there is no death.
You just need to learn how to better connect with your friends for mutual fulfillment so that you don’t see any flaws in anyone but only an invitation to correction and unity.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/22/20, “The Law of Love in the System of Adam HaRishon”
The desire to unite society is beneficial only if it is directed toward the upper force. If the connection is directed toward all other forces, it destroys society as it happened in Russia a hundred years ago. For this reason, the attempt to come to a just society failed and still does not allow this country recover from its consequences.
All this is because the connection was not directed toward the upper force, because they did not try to call on the force that would rule over them, but wanted to control everyone themselves.
The task of man is to reveal the Creator, the general force of nature, not to invent his own goal of the development of humanity, but to implement the plan of nature, that is, universal connection where everyone is equal. Only under this condition can we reveal the Creator, and our connection will be successful.
Even today, humanity is in a difficult situation, in a dead end that may prove to be the end of human development. It is possible to get out of it only if “we” becomes more important for us than “I,” not for the sake of the victory of socialism, but for the sake of connection with the only upper force of nature, that is, the Creator.
We cannot connect by ourselves if the Creator does not unite us. He is the glue that connects us together. It is not accidental that the Creator is called the middle line. He connects two opposite poles, and only in this form can we reach a successful connection.
The Creator is perfection because He includes all the contradictory forces and qualities that exist in nature. Therefore, if we correctly connect all the forces and tendencies that are revealed in us, we reach perfection, mutual compensation of all contradictions.
America today faces the same mistake that Russia made when trying to make a socialist revolution. Americans hope that democracy will bring them a good future. However, this will lead to nothing but destruction because this is exactly the same direction that Russia took a hundred years ago.
It must be admitted that the great French and great October Revolutions had huge impact on the correct development of human society. Humanity learned valuable lessons from them. France gave the world the principles of the structure of society, an attitude toward nature, and personal freedom that are still valid today.
The Russian revolution differs from the French by the fact that it was conducted not in a personal, individual direction but a public one. But we see that humanity could not hold on to any of these principles, and this whole philosophy is failing today. It is necessary to determine the future form of humanity, but people have no answers for this. No one knows how to put human society in order.
All this is happening so we eventually raise our hands, and out of hopelessness pay attention to the wisdom of Kabbalah as we realize it has a solution.
The principle of “taking after the collective (following the majority) ” means a true connection of society above the human mind, and this is exactly what will succeed. An individual acts within reason, and the collective acts above reason. The collective is the carrier of the upper force, of spirituality, and the individual carries within him only the corporeal science that is available at the moment.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/22/20, “I Dwell Among My Own People”
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “A New Administration and the Prospects of Peace for Israel”
Currently, it looks as though Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States. If Biden comes into office, it will be bad news for Israel. The normalization with Arab and Muslim countries that Trump worked so hard to achieve will dissolve, and the new administration will re-embolden Iran. Peace, and certainly normalization, will fly out the window.
A Biden administration will actually be run by Barack Hussein Obama and company, and Biden will be a puppet that does what it should. Just as now countries make peace with Israel because they want to please President Trump, they will shun that peace when they want to please “President” Obama, and Israel won’t be able to do anything about it. Obama, with his Muslim background, harbors profound hatred for Israel; he can’t wait to be rid of it.
Israel will also not be able to get help from Russia, since Russians will always prefer their relations with the Arab world, leaving Israel isolated, surrounded by enemies, and under fire from every direction.
Europe is even worse. Europe has already attempted to annihilate the Jewish people in the previous century, and Europeans have not changed since. When the time comes, we should not expect anything good from that direction.
However, as I once connected Israel’s good future to President Trump, since I thought that Israel would succeed in being more serious about its duty to the nations, now I hang everything on Obama and Biden since their pressure on Israel might direct us toward correction.
We need to understand that Israel’s only justification for existence is its performance of the task for which it was created—to set an example of unity. Instead of unity, it is displaying division and internal hatred that has led to a staggering frequency of elections. The coming general election will be Israel’s fourth in just two years, and according to the Israel Democracy Institute, since 1996, Israel has held general elections every 2.3 years on average, the highest rate in the OECD.
Now, toward the next election, we can see the already splintered political system in Israel disintegrating into even more parties, with everyone’s proclaimed goal being to oust the incumbent prime minister, and no one is actually proposing some truly alternative platform. If we continue to behave in this way toward each other, the nations will decide that there is no benefit in the existence of a Jewish state and will resolve to erase it from existence.
The phenomenon of airlines removing Israel from their maps of the Middle-East, as reported by The Telegraph, or CNN’s omission of Israel from its map of the Middle-East, or the German military counter-intelligence making that exact “mistake” is no coincidence; they are expressing their views through their actions. If Israel doesn’t pay attention and act accordingly, meaning become a model of unity rather than a model of division, countries will move to make their feelings an official policy, and Israel will face a world that is united in its desire to eliminate it.
Our only way to overcome the looming external pressures is through unity. And not because unity makes us strong, but mainly because unity is what the world wants to see from us.
The world needs unity. No one can unite with anyone, and soon countries will slide into all out wars. The natural desire for dominance that governs every human being is going out of control, and unless we learn to rein it in, it will overtake the world.
The only nation that can do that is the Israeli nation, as I have written in The Jewish Choice and Like a Bundle of Reeds, two books that if you haven’t read, you should. If Israelis don’t go first and rise above their egos in order to connect, no one will know how to do it. If Israel does it and thereby becomes an example to the rest of the world, everyone will know how to do it and will be able to do it. This is why when the people of Israel unite, they needn’t worry about defeating their enemies; they will simply have none.
It makes no difference whether or not these words make sense to our ego driven minds. It’s simply that if we don’t go for unity soon, we’ll have to choose between uniting against our will or perishing.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Why Israel Is Heading for Another Election”
This week, Israel’s government collapsed, triggering (yet) another general election, the fourth in just two years. From the looks of it, this election will not be the last. As long as we don’t know the reason for the crisis, it will continue to shatter our society.
The crisis we’re going through is not political; it is first and foremost a social crisis, a crisis of social division at a time when we need unity more than ever. Instead of looking for ways to heal our society, we’re looking for personal gains. This is especially evident with politics, where individuals are searching for personal political career promotion and abandon any principle they championed and were elected in order to promote.
All this is happening when we desperately need to understand that our future depends on the level of our connection. Only if we are united we will succeed; alone, we will fail. At the moment, all I see is more blows approaching precisely because of our hatred for each other.
Nevertheless, there is a truism that what the mind does not do, time will do. We can wait until we’ve suffered so much and for so long that the pain will crush our pride and we will agree to look at one another differently and might even consider unity.
If there is anything good about the current situation, it is the fact that we are recognizing the gravity of the situation, the depravity of the system. We have sobered up, and this is great. Now the question is whether or not we will have the courage to face our own egos and understand that we must elect connection. If we do this, the political parties will follow our will. They are not the leaders, we the people are; by our will, we determine their platform, and by our will, we determine their actions. If we choose unity, they will find the way to work together. If we choose separation, they will never unite and will only seek to fail one another, and everyone will suffer in the process.
The people of Israel are an assortment of different, unrelated people who united under Abraham since they believed in his tenet that mercy and love must be the guiding principles of society. The practical implementation of these principles came several centuries later when the people united “as one man with one heart” at the foot of Mt. Sinai and established mutual responsibility. Immediately afterwards, we were tasked with being “a light unto nations,” to be a model of unity for the rest of the world.
But the ego hasn’t stopped growing in us, and demanded novel ways to tackle it. Finally, we succumbed to it and became hateful of each other for no reason at all. This unfounded hatred caused our downfall and exile for two millennia.
Now that we have been given sovereignty in the land of Israel once again, it was not in order to save the Jewish people from physical extermination; it was in order to allow us to realize our task: to unite and be a model of unity for the world, a light unto nations.
We aren’t doing this. And because we are not doing this, there is no justification for our existence as an independent country. If we do not get a grip on our egos and start working on our unity, the nations will regard the present they had given us on November 29, 1947—when they resolved to establish a Jewish state in Palestine—as a mistake, and then Israel will truly be in trouble.
A woman casts her ballot as she votes in Israel’s national election at a polling station in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 2, 2020. (REUTERS/ Corinna Kern, used with permission)
Thrive Global published my new article: “For a Good Year—Pin Your Faith on Human Connection”
Let us hope that in this new year 2021, we will discover how our reality works in total perfection.
Attendees wait for the start of presentation of wreaths as Middletown remembers September 11, 2001 World Trade Center Tragedy with a ceremony involving a moment of silence and wreath tribute to honor our Middletown friends and neighbors lost in the attack.Ack034
On the eve of a new year, the world yearns for certainty, looks for a source of security, and clings to faith that a higher power will manage and arrange everything in reality for a better future. People need to feel that there is something to hold on to, an anchor to tether to, to withstand the strong waves crashing over the planet and their personal lives. That safe harbor, the revelation of a strong force capable of restoring harmony, is attained in the connection between us.
We need to believe that we are in a world that is utterly good, and if we adjust ourselves to the qualities of bestowal of the upper force, we will feel our reality as a positive one. It all depends on the way in which we relate to it. Our entire challenge is to understand what the upper force is doing with us, and for what purpose. When we start understanding, in that same measure we also start feeling and loving the upper force, the higher power, Him.
When a year ends, a fresh new start is expected. People look to the time to come with excitement and hope that the sadness and blows of 2020 will be washed away and the sun will finally pour over the horizon. Our prospects for the future all depend only on how well we understand what is going on with us, on how we accept and process what has passed and on what we make out of what unfolds. There is nothing for us to do but to open our eyes and look a bit further ahead in a more goal-oriented manner, in complete faith that everything happens for a positive purpose.
The force of faith is a tremendous force. In fact, it can actually be divided into two ways of relating to the world around us: First, people search for the powers behind the inanimate elements of nature such as trees, mountains, sky, moon, sun, the upper force—something they do not really know or understand but have a special attitude toward something superior to them. That kind of faith is in the greatness of the unknown. A second kind of faith is where a supreme force is not perceived; there is only a sensation of fear and anxiety about things we do not know how to comprehend or handle.
In truth, we evaluate whether something is good or bad, correct or wrong, according to our egoism—our desire to receive for ourselves with no regard for what benefits others. Whether we realize it or not, we are part of a whole and perfect system of nature that is round and precise.
But a conviction in the completeness and perfection of reality does not arrive suddenly; it develops in a gradual process. Faith includes many stages. It begins as uncertainty about something higher, something we do not know how to grasp, until we develop a relationship with it, with that upper force. Special discernments are attained through that connection. We start to look at everything that happens in reality as linked to the supreme force which is perceived as good and benevolent. Then, we come to see wholeness and perfection in all the situations in every realm of life.
As a result of the pandemic and all the global problems we have endured in 2020, we have reached a new stage in our development that will propel us to a new degree of life, a new worldview of humanity as one family. The problems we face are pushing us forward, helping us to discover that the supreme power is one and is for all. Humanity is discovering the power of love that is revealed in the connection between us. When we overcome our divisions and express willingness to unite and transcend above our individual egoism—the single factor that keeps us apart—we thereby improve everyone’s fate.
We need to believe that we are in a world that is utterly good, and if we adjust ourselves to the qualities of bestowal of the upper force, we will feel our reality as a positive one. It all depends on the way in which we relate to it. Our entire challenge is to understand what the upper force is doing with us, and for what purpose. When we start understanding, in that same measure we also start feeling and loving the upper force, the higher power, Him. Let us hope that in this new year 2021, we will discover how our reality works in total perfection.
— Published on December 25, 2020
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is gratitude?“
One of my students asked me, as a Kabbalist, what is gratitude according to the wisdom of Kabbalah? Kabbalah is a serious wisdom, and so when it discusses gratitude, it means spiritual gratitude. What, then, is spiritual gratitude?
Spiritual gratitude first and foremost relates to a person with a desire and goal to attain spirituality. Such a person has no knowledge of what spirituality is, but feels an inner need, and eventually starts studying the wisdom of Kabbalah.
In the wisdom of Kabbalah, we learn that the purpose of creation is for all people to discover the harmony and bliss of connecting between the force of creation—reception—and its opposite spiritual force—bestowal. What does this mean?
On the way to discovering this sublime connection, we need to reveal how we are under the ego’s control, and that the ego is an evil and destructive force. Why is the ego evil and destructive? It is because it pits people up against each other, devours nature, our environment, and eventually, it also destroys itself, because it makes us want to enjoy things that provide short-term satisfaction, but which are ultimately bad for us in the long term. The revelation of the human ego as an evil and destructive force is called the “recognition of evil” in the wisdom of Kabbalah. “Kabbalah” in Hebrew means “reception,” and through this wisdom, we discover how we exist in a negative form of reception, where we want to receive and pull to ourselves, and that we do not ultimately benefit from trying to do so.
However, opposite this negative force of reception is a positive force of good, the force of bestowal. The force of bestowal can balance the receiving force, and then between these two forces we can exist in harmony by connecting between the positive and negative poles of reality.
The combination of these two forces is at the basis of everything we create, because specifically by the correct combination between these two poles of reality, we can discover how to live error-free and fix all the problems that emanate from relating to reality solely from its negative egoistic side.
By unconsciously letting the human ego drive our considerations and actions, we let the steamroller of evolution flatten us by delving deeper and deeper into seemingly irresolvable problems on personal, social, economic, ecological and global scales. The ego, without its balancing and regulating connection to the force of bestowal, stands behind every problem we experience in life.
We thus need to learn how to work with our ego in order to know how to balance it with its opposite positive force. When we succeed to invite the positive force into our lives, even in the tiniest amount, against the inborn negative force, we become grateful for having been given the negative force as our nature. In other words, by connecting to the positive force of bestowal above the negative egoistic force, we discover that the negative force is in fact a good force if we can use it as an impetus to increase our positive connection above it.
Balancing both positive and negative force is what King David describes in Psalms when he says, “You have saved my soul.” That is, before we receive the positive force, we only exist in the negative force, and we end up feeling terrible in that state. Then, after quite an extended period of time, we reach the state where we also receive the positive force, and when we do, we feel grateful. The gratitude we feel at that point is spiritual.
Based on “Spiritual Gratitude | New Life with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman | 1139,” February 4, 2020. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman. Watch the full talk here » [27:19]
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What do you believe will be the next big innovations in humanity?“
There will be no more big innovations in humanity. The era of great discoveries is behind us.
The next major innovation will take place solely through self-transformation, i.e., by working on ourselves to transform our egoistic selves—where we want to benefit ourselves alone—to altruistic ones—where we wish to benefit others.
This egoistic-to-altruistic transformation of ourselves will be at the basis of innovation as we head into the future. On the contrary, if we fail to make such a transformation, then no matter what we do, human society will stagnate.
“Where Is the Business World Headed? | New Life 1255.” Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Answer: No. These have completely different definitions.
Question: This means that you will still have to say the word “love” and you are not afraid that people might imagine it in a completely different way?
Answer: It does not matter what people think because they do not understand it yet.
Question: But using the word “love” is problematic since no one believes that this refers to the law of nature or the upper force that created everything. Everyone associates love with what goes on between a man and a woman. Why go against what has developed over the centuries? Shouldn’t we say “mutual rapprochement” or something like that instead? Or, is there some kind of force in the word “love?”
Answer: Love is not just mutual rapprochement or some kind of mechanical attraction. It is a sensory need for us to be in such a connection with each other where the distinction between “me” and “you” disappears.
How could we define this mutual absorption or mutual dissolution in each other with some other word? You can call it by another purely physical, mechanical, or chemical term, but you will still get the same thing.
From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 10/23/20