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Michael Laitman, On Quora: “How will society keep human labor relevant in an era of increasing automation?“
In an era of increasing automation and mass unemployment, we will need to readjust our concept of work. We are developing to a state where we will first and foremost need to learn how to live harmoniously as a single collective. The most important factor that will hold us together as a society will be positive attitudes to each other, which we will need to develop upon growing divisive drives and egoism that will naturally make us increasingly distant from one another.
We will thus need to learn how to become satisfied with what we need for our sustenance, and this will be possible if we emphasize the need to unite positively as a single human society. In other words, as the need for a human workforce will lessen the more that we automate labor, then instead of trying to make new jobs that we do not need, we should instead set up a system of education that upgrades our knowledge, awareness and feeling of the world we live in. This new system of education should prioritize the establishment of positive connections throughout society.
Ideas of universal basic income that are being explored more and more today would serve such a system well, with one caveat: that basic income is not given on its own, but that it is given in exchange for a certain level of participation in a unity-enhancing educational system.
Basic income given on its own would stagnate society. It would demotivate people to work because it would eliminate the competitive work atmosphere that makes people thrive to advance when they see others progressing.
However, if we start prioritizing unity as society’s leading value, and do so through extensive connection-enriching educational activities, then through such a framework, we will fulfill our competitive drives in a new way: we will increasingly understand the need to unite together with seeing more and more unifying examples emerging within society. Then, as we enter into a new drive to want the best for other people, and to relate altruistically, kindly and with care toward each other, then we will start feeling a new positive force surfacing within this new attitude we apply and nurture.
Therefore, we would be wise to view the era of increasing joblessness and automation as key moment of transition within human development, one in which we will need to get used to positively connecting to each other in society as our principle work.
Based on KabTV’s “Challenges of the 21st Century” on April 24, 2019.
Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Photo by Sai Kiran Anagani on Unsplash.
For more information on this topic, visit the following page: Universal Basic Income: Pros and Cons
Comment: Baal HaSulam writes that there are two versions of waging war against egoism: either it will take place at the level of thoughts, clarification within each person, or if we do not do this, it can somehow manifest itself on the corporeal level.
My Response: Then it will manifest itself much worse to shake us up and make it clear that we must begin to get closer to each other.
Comment: Indeed, Baal HaSulam writes that there could be a third or fourth world war.
My Response: But everything can run in a gentle and short manner. This is the problem. If there is a force called Israel (straight to the Creator), then it is said that Israel shortens the time of correction. This is what we are trying to do within our organization, with all the people in the world.
Question: What does it mean to fight your ego? And what kind of egoism to actually fight?
Answer: With the one that is directed against the other.
Question: Is it precisely this narrow egoism that is against connection with other people?
Answer: Yes. Only connection with others is what we must accept as the only direction of our development.
Israel, the Jews, must prove themselves in this. That is why they are so selfish. But if they do this, they will be able to lead the whole world with them.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 4/30/21
Question: There are different types of war: civil war, cold war, information war, religious wars, and so on. This is how war manifests in our world. You often say that war is a remedy. What is the difference between all these wars as a means of correction?
Answer: They occur at different levels of egoism. The fact is that you can simply fight our egoism “head-on.” If it is small, then this is how it is done. For example, we force children or ourselves to get up and do something, do certain things, use forceful methods to replace bad relations between us with good ones, and force a person to get closer to other people.
Although initially one does not want it at all, we create such conditions that he wants to, because if he does not listen to the instructions for good and peace, then the resulting loss will be much greater.
Therefore, wars that have been fought at different points in history for thousands of years replace each other. But we are in a constant war.
Question: So are we constantly at war with egoism within us because it is our nature, and as a consequence of this, all kinds of wars also manifest themselves in the outside world? We are arranged so that we see our inner egoism outside. So if we do not cope with our internal egoism, then we have to fight with an external enemy?
Answer: Yes, we are forced through all sorts of external reasons, shells, and influences to do this work against our egoism.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 5/14/21
Question: We all know what a war is. It is an armed conflict between rival parties that is expressed by the imposition of one side’s will on some other country or nation. And what is the war in spirituality, in particular, the “Jewish war”? Who is at war with whom?
Answer: We are created in the quality of egoism, which is well known to all. According to the thought of creation, we must rise from the egoistic level of existence to the altruistic one, from mutual hatred to love.
This is an absolutely incredible transition from one quality to another. It is performed by the influence of a special force that exists in nature and is ready to help us overcome egoism and rise to the level of love for our neighbor. We can do it only if we will understand and want it.
The implementation of the condition of our ascent in spite of egoism, against it, in the fight with it, to the level of bestowal, love, and connection is the “Jewish war.”
The fact is that we are within the program of nature, which affects us and requires us to gradually implement it. Each moment we must make our transition from egoists to altruists, from hatred to love between us, and demonstrate this to the nations of the world as a possible state.
If we do not implement this program, then nature puts pressure on us and helps us understand that we are in the wrong state, in the wrong attitude to it. And then, thanks to nature, which pushes us to fight with our own egoism, we gradually rise above it and can even replace it with altruism.
Question: It turns out that there are two forces in nature: a plus and a minus, negative and positive. All matter, the entire universe, is built on the juncture of these two opposing forces. At the human level, is this manifested as the forces of good and evil, that is, egoism and altruism?
Answer: Absolutely correct. This is exactly what is written in Kabbalistic sources about the war of the forces of good and evil.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 5/14/21
Zohar for All, VaYetze [And Jacob Went Out], Item 15: Solomon made three books, corresponding to the three lines: The Song of Songs is an interpretation of the right line, Hesed; Ecclesiastes [Kohelet] is an interpretation to the left line, Gevura; and Proverbs is an interpretation to the middle line, Tifferet.
Question: We know that the middle line comes after ascertainment of the right and left lines. And according to chronology, Kohelet (left line) was written the last. Why?
Answer: Frankly, I have many answers to this. These lines enter a person and are realized in him in their full combination. They all come from above: left, right, and middle.
The uppermost Sefira Keter is the middle line. Hochma and Bina come from it. Keter is above, Hochma and Bina are below. Then from Keter, Hochma, and Bina, these lines descend down to DAAT. And they descend down to Hesed and Gevura. From DAAT, they descend down to Hesed and Gevura and then together to Tifferet.
Here, there is such a confluence of the three lines both from top to bottom and from bottom to top, and in general, that you cannot say which of them appears before and which after.
You cannot define one line without the other: the right without the left, the left without the right, and the middle without both of them. That is, all three lines are included in one another. This is repeated many times in The Book of Zohar. So, you have three lines on the right, three lines on the left, and three lines in the middle.
In addition, the middle line comes first and then the right and left in the same plane. And then again the middle line and the right and left in the same plane. They intersect not only in lines, but also in levels.
Therefore, speaking about what comes first or second in infinity, in eternity, in the perfection of the Creator, there is no such thing. In the direct light it will look as one thing, in the reflected light it will look exactly the opposite.
If it manifests with the right line, the left one will look different. In the left line, the right line will look different. In the end, everything depends on the observer because when perfection and absolute harmony are in front of you, then with your properties you will see completely different things every time and you will always be in oppositeness and contradictions.
And the permanent, eternal, perfect state comes as a synthesis. In it, there is no longer any right, left, or middle line and their specific order.
Thus, when a Kabbalist ascends, he does not have a clear internal demand that there would be the right line first and then the left, because depending on his own change, he immediately enters different perspectives. Therefore, such a question is inappropriate.
Comment: But this question can be asked, for example, by scientists if they start reading The Book of Zohar.
My Response: With their earthly reasoning, they will, of course, be very confused by it, but this is good. I want to tell the listeners and viewers: “If you get confused, read The Book of the Zohar anyway no matter how you understand it. By reading, you are already stimulating the upper light, that program, that information field in which we exist.”
From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #13
If we could go beyond our narrowly focused intention—to do everything only for our own sake (consciously and subconsciously, by any effort, by force, by all means)—we would begin to feel the world not with our five senses, but as if through the senses of someone else.
The perception of the world through other people’s sensory organs gives us a completely different picture—non-egoistic, above the egoistic one, which we call the upper world. After all, to the extent that we begin to exit ourselves, exit our intention for our own sake and integrate into intention not for our own sake, we discover that previously we were serving the force for our own sake and now we are serving the force for the sake of others.
Intention for the sake of others is called Lishma.
When we acquire this intention, we begin to see the world differently, not depending on us, on our existence, on our actions and desires. This world is called the upper world. Why? We begin to see forces, actions that are above us, higher than us, outside of us because they are not limited by our narrow egoism.
This opportunity to act in an absolute form not for our own sake, which is called Lishma, takes us to the degree of eternity, perfection and gives us the opportunity to exist in a different world, in a different space.
Question: Where is the Creator here?
Answer: The Creator is the general force of bestowal and love, which in this case is revealed to a person since he begins to acquire it outside of himself. To this extent, partially, he becomes more and more acquainted with this great field, the great force that surrounds him in a new dimension, in a new world, which is called the Creator.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States”
Depression is a consequence of their inner request. Moreover, this is a huge social problem because it manifests itself in more than one child. We observe this in absolutely all children from different countries of the world.
There is such a thing as depression in animals, especially in pets that live near their owners. I am sure that both wild animals and plants have it.
That is, depression is a feeling of lack of the force of life, which is beginning to be felt in our world. It depends on the person because he must rise to another level so that through him the spiritual upper force, the force of life, passes into our world. And then the problem with the environment, with our health, with social relations, with everything, will disappear.
We lack vitality. We see that everything is exhausted, aging, disappearing, and losing its value, meaning.
We try our best to inspire ourselves with all sorts of fashions, aspirations, to keep each other playing with the help of technology. But if you look at the truth, we need a completely different level of existence, some other level, an understanding of what we are for, where we are going. This is the challenge all of humanity is facing, especially now.
And children in this case should play a very important useful role. After all, we will not get rid of them, this is our problem, and this is our pain. We can deal with ourselves somehow, and when a child feels bad, there’s nothing you can do about it.
So when I look at my children and especially my grandchildren, I start to feel these requests. They exist literally in the baby. It shows that even at such a young age, he is internally missing something in his life. It’s hard to explain. I just see it with my inner vision, from the depth of the nature that I have discovered for myself, but it exists. We’re not getting away from this.
From KabTV’s “Close-up”
The name of the Creator is the direct light that enters Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin, and Malchut. When the light reaches Malchut it is reflected backward.
These lights are clothed in each other and create a complex light, which means that a spiritual disturbance takes place in them. Each light is clothed unto the light that is opposite from it, and the combinations between them create the name of the Creator.
It is a very complex system, the connection of the reflected light with the lights that enter.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 2/24/19
Question: The Creator is the root cause. I attain some kind of force that created me. I am the will to receive and there is some force called “the will to bestow.” In order to attain this force, do I need to bestow to the neighbor, that is, to the other person?
Answer: This action is a kind of teaching action, a means to attract upon me the help of this bestowing force, called the Creator, which in this case would simply reformat me.
Question: Does it mean that we cannot contact Him directly, but only through other people?
Answer: No. How can you? You do not have any common qualities, traits, or actions with Him. However, to the extent that you can learn to bestow through the group of other people, you begin to feel the Creator in these actions.
Question: And then I do not need other people, right? Are they just a means?
Answer: In principle, I need other people because only through them do I discover the Creator and can I be connected to Him.
In my final correction, when absolutely all my desires and intentions are corrected inversely from “for my own sake” to “for the sake of others,” I reach the state of my complete correction. That is, from an absolute egoist, the way I am today, I become an absolute altruist, as all our evolution requires of me, which eventually leads us to this.
Thus, the Creator, this force of good, the force of a kind attitude, connection, and love, as if, fills me. This means that I have fully attained the upper world.
Comment: It is not clear why the Kabbalists wrote so secretly about this: “for the sake of the Creator.”
My Response: No, they understood that “for the sake of the Creator” means not for the sake of the stars, not for the sake of the clouds. I believe that the simpler and closer to us we explain it, the better.
Yet, this is still not close. When a person begins to try to do something for the sake of others, he immediately finds himself thinking about himself: “Where am I? What about me? What do I get out of it?” and so on. That is, he understands that here in front of him is a very serious block, an obstacle, some kind of force boundary, a great psychological problem that he simply cannot overcome.
Question: Is the entire point of Kabbalah in this?
Answer: Only in this! We do not need anything else in our world. We suffer in this world only in order for these sufferings to drive us to change of our nature.
Question: That is, to the changing of our intention? What am I doing this action for?
Answer: Yes. Good luck with that!
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States”