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“How There May Be Good In The New Administration” (Times Of Israel)

Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “How There May Be Good in the New Administration

At first glance, it seems as though the Biden administration is going to be nothing but bad news for Israel. On the other hand, we should ask ourselves what is bad and what is good for Israel. It is clear that Biden’s administration will be inundated with Israel bashers and Israel haters, including the Jews who will serve there, and including Obama, who will be pulling the strings behind the scenes. This will truly put Israel to the test. We will have to think how we conduct ourselves within the country, among us, and toward the world.

The people of Israel do not develop well when they are pampered. In that sense, I think that the tough times ahead may be good news for us, a chance to reflect on our purpose here as individuals, as a state, and as a nation. It is an opportunity to hone and cultivate our most valuable, if not only asset: unity.

I have no doubt that in the end, we will draw the right conclusions and become what we were meant to be: a beacon of unity, a role model society that sets an example of successful relationships, and people and nations will want to learn from us. The only questions are how long it will take and how much pain it will cost to get to this idyllic state.

We cannot stop the engine of evolution; it is pressing onward to bring us together and open our eyes and minds to the truth of our connectedness. There is great bliss and wondrous insights in being connected to all of reality, but it requires a yielding of the individual ego. This is something that is very hard to do.

When the ego becomes obstinate, it needs a “nudge” from behind. In the case of Jews, it is antisemitism, which reminds them they have to unite. In the case of the State of Israel, it is both antisemites and Israel bashers. In the end, these critics and haters are doing a great service: They are forcing us to reinstate our forgotten unity. However, would it not be better if we united under milder pressure?

The important point is that we acknowledge our disunity, the vitality of unity to our survival, and that unity is the example we must set to the world, to be “as one man with one heart.” This is the key point we must remember, and it’s not a question of whether we have an Obama votary president in the White House or the most favorable American leader in Israel’s history.

If we, the people of Israel, do what we must do, it will not matter who is occupying the White House. If we unite and set the right example, we will do good to the world regardless of external ill-intentions.

“Humanity In Labor Pains” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Humanity in Labor Pains

Clearly, we’re headed for an unusual year. We’re headed for an unusual year in America, an unusual year in Israel, an unusual year in Russia, an unusual year all over the world. We’re headed for a year of labor pains. A new world is emerging, and we are seeing its efforts to be born. For our part, we must help it materialize sooner rather than later, quicker rather than slower, and easier rather than harder.

There is pressure from all sides to be born, so let’s be born together; let’s shift from the state of division and alienation to the first state of connection in the quickest, smoothest way we can.

First, we must understand that the forces pressing on us from all sides are necessary. Otherwise, we won’t be born into the new world. Second, we must help the baby slide out of the birth canal more easily. The birth we’re going through right now is very special. We are not only emerging from one reality into another, from slavery to freedom. Our ego is being reborn in a new way; it is being inverted.

On the other side of the birth canal lies a new humanity, a new understanding, new feeling, the union of the power of connection that will be born between us. Within the ego, the quality of giving will be born; this is the embryo! The midwife is Nature, and we must help her deliver the newborn into the world by explaining the integral, interconnected reality being formed within us and among us.

We must understand, and help others understand the idea of connection. It is not the same type of connection that you see in sports teams or in companies in the corporate world, where teams team up against other teams and fight each other to the (metaphoric) death. We are talking about understanding that connection is a value in and of itself, not a means for another purpose, but the goal itself.

It is not only the goal, it is the highest possible value, the zenith of man’s achievements, when one can unite with others in a way that the individual senses the collective as though they are part of the individual, as if my body has spread across the globe and all of humanity and all of nature are cells and organs in my body. Rav Kook had some beautiful phrases about this inclusiveness. In his book Orot [Lights], he wrote, “Our soul will spread in everyone, embrace everyone, sustain and encourage everyone, and will bring everyone back to the place of our house of life.”

2020 was the first year when everything fell apart all over the world simultaneously. However, the surprising thing is that it didn’t destroy humanity; it simply stopped us in our tracks; things stopped working. Covid-19 stopped the global economy and the destruction of Nature, and the presidential election shattered what little faith people had in the government or in each other.

The bottom line is that we have neither a government we can trust nor an economy we can rely on, and we feel insecure about our health, wealth (if we had any), and mainly our future. This is a crisis.

However, a crisis is also the birthplace of newborn babies. In Hebrew, by the way, the word mashber means both “crisis” and the chair on which women in labor were placed in antiquity to help them deliver. Today, all of humanity is sitting on that mashber.

We, people who are aware of the shift humanity is going through, who understand that only connection above all our many differences will lift us to a new reality of peace and friendship, must help the rest of the world process the message. We need to help humanity go through the delivery with the least amount of blood being spilled.

Every birth is painful. However, since we are already in the labor, we might as well go through it with the least amount of pain. Mother Nature is already pushing us out, demanding that we understand where we are, grow up, and we, too, do not want to stay ignorant of our position and role in the universe.
There is pressure from all sides to be born, so let’s be born together; let’s shift from the state of division and alienation to the first state of connection in the quickest, smoothest way we can.

How Can We Learn Bestowal Without Examples?

938.07Question: What is action “for the sake of the Creator”?

Answer: For the sake of the Creator means that I try, using myself and my friend, to achieve such a state between us, where we will strive for absolute mutual bestowal, relationship, and love so much as to reveal a higher force that exists in nature besides our selfishness.

Question: That is, if I do an action and expect some kind of benefit, then this is not called a giving action. And if I do something without any benefit for myself and at the same time still enjoy, then this is considered bestowal?

Answer: There is still a benefit. It is about producing the very action of bestowal.

Question: Are there any examples of this?

Answer: In our world, no.

Question: How do we learn without examples?

Answer: Try to express them between you in a group. Therefore, we must be in a group of our own kind in order to somehow cultivate these actions, to implement them between ourselves, to operate with them.

Question: Why is everything so arranged that there are no examples? If the Creator wants me to give, let Him show what giving is.

Answer: Where will you see it?

Comment: Let’s say in society.

My Response: There is no such society! It is all messed up!

Comment: Let the Kabbalists set an example.

My Response: You will not be able to see altruistic actions, because you will evaluate them in the measure of your depravity. The only thing that needs to be done, per the Kabbalists’ advice, is to make and begin to realize such relationships between themselves. Although they are not yet in your desires, you can perform them in your actions. This is called “above your desires.”

Start treating each other as if you are really in a good connection, in love, in bestowal, in mutual assistance. And then see how it affects you and pulls you forward.

Question: Suppose I am in a city, all the inhabitants of which are Kabbalists and cognizant, altruists, and I alone am an egoist. And I won’t be able to see their correct relations?

Answer: If Kabbalists do not demonstrate this, then you will not see. And if these are ordinary people who play with each other in giving and helping each other, then you will see and move forward.

Question: That is, the very intention is hidden from me. Why can’t you show it?

Answer: So that you ask to see and implement it. Therefore, Kabbalah is called the “secret science.” You have to want it. You are obliged to look for an appropriate environment, create it, be impressed by it, and then you will gradually acquire the property of bestowal.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 4/3/19

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What Brings Joy To A Kabbalist?

293.2Question: If a Kabbalist sees how completely different people unite and in this unification with each other reveal the force called the “Creator,” this brings him joy. What about if people just unite without revealing the Creator?

Answer: When people unite not for the sake of good participation, a good goal, it manifests itself as a negative attitude toward the Creator.

Comment: Let’s say they unite to listen to a symphony or watch football.

My Response: If at the same time they do not pursue the goal of harming someone, then this is also good.

When my teacher and I were driving past the stadium where a soccer match was taking place and where the noises were coming from, he always said: “This place should be respected because the game brings joy to people.”

Question: That is, any kind of unification that fills people is called joy, and the Kabbalist himself rejoices in this positive emotion when looking at them?

Answer: Yes. And if he himself causes such emotions in others through his participation, then, naturally, he rejoices with his positive results.

Question: Rabash writes that joy can always be added. There is no such state when a person says: “That’s it, I have enough.” Does one constantly lack something?

Answer: Yes, because we do not have absolute fulfillment, full joy. In principle, we would like to reach such a state, but it is purely utopian.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 4/3/19

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Following The Teacher Who Sees The Way

750.03Maimonides has already given a true allegory about that: “If a line of a thousand blind walk along the way, and there is at least one leader amongst them who can see, they are certain to take the right path and not fall in the pits and obstacles, since they are following the sighted one who leads them.

But if that person is missing, they are certain to stumble over every hurdle on the way, and will all fall into the pit.” (Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 57)

Question: Is it possible for a person who has already found a teacher and has begun to follow the right path, to later fall off track?

Answer: This indicates a lack of connection with the teacher. A student must constantly keep this connection alive. If he doesn’t renew it, the teacher continues to move forward, while the student gradually moves to the side on a tangent until the connection between them is totally lost.

It is very interesting to observe this process, how a student hears less and less, comes to the lessons less and less, and then disappears.

The main thing is that the teacher cannot say anything about this to the student. The student must scrutinize this himself and understand how to operate in mutual cooperation with the teacher.

But it must be clear to him, that the moment he does not hold on to the teacher, like a child who holds onto a grownup, he doesn’t know where he is. After all, there are many situations when he is like a small child who is lost in a crowd, and doesn’t know who to hold on to and where to go. He must acquire this feeling of closeness or detachment from the teacher.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 2/12/18

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