“The Case For (The Right) Envy” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Case for (the Right) Envy

“Love is as fierce as death; envy is as hard as the netherworld” (Song of Songs, 8:6). Envy is one of the most intense emotions. We often try to hide it, even from ourselves, because it is such an unpleasant feeling, a direct hit on our selves. Being made of desires to receive pleasure, envy makes us feel that we are not only not receiving, but that others are receiving what we are denied. Nothing is harder for our ego to tolerate than the feeling that we are robbed by others, that they are somehow better, more powerful, more successful than us.

My teacher used to say that for himself, he would love it if he could wear nothing but pajamas. It’s comfy, it’s got big pockets to fit anything you might need, it’s warm in the winter and pleasant in the summer, what more could you ask than to wear pajamas? But we can’t wear pajamas because people will gossip about us; they will not appreciate us if we don’t dress according to the social dress code, so we have no choice. In order not to be humiliated, we wear uncomfortable clothes and do what other people want us to do. Therefore, envy, and the fear of being humiliated, dictate our entire lives.

However, envy doesn’t have to be negative. It makes us envy what others have and that we would like to have, as well, but if we wanted to have positive things, then envy would increase our motivation to obtain those positive things. By positive things I mean things that embolden us, that strengthen our society, increase our solidarity, and boost our sense of self-fulfillment. For this to happen, our society needs to nurture pro-social values. When society values people who contribute to society, who make people happier and more connected to each other, then everyone begins to envy them and want to become like them.

In this way, using envy, we turn society from competitive and abusive to supportive and inclusive. When people compete at being kind, there is no end to the achievements they can make. Moreover, when they perceive helping others realize themselves as an expression of their kindness, it helps everyone become the best they can be, and at the same time want to contribute their achievements to improving their society even more. There is no end to the achievements that such a society can make.

Therefore, envy can be bad or good, depending on the values that we envy. If we teach ourselves to value what is good for all of us, our envy will become an engine for happiness.

“What Are The Limitations Of AI?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What are the limitations of AI?

AI will be able to do a lot, but its ultimate limit is that it will never be able to be like a developing human being. It is impossible, because there is a greater force of nature that is above us humans, which created us, and which cannot be programmed. AI would never be able to realize the level of that higher force, because it would require a certain connection to it that AI lacks. The connection to the higher force is a point that exists in the person from that source. This point is called “a part of Divinity from above.”

This point is a tiny desire among all of our desires, which is connected to a higher altruistic nature, one of love and bestowal. We cannot program technology to develop these kinds of qualities just as we cannot program desires. All we can program are actions that stem from those desires, but not the desires themselves.

Programmers working with AI explain that we can build smart systems that learn and develop over time, becoming much smarter than how we initially built them. However, there is a limitation that AI will never be able to cross: it will never become truly feeling and sensitive. It could perform several actions that would make it seemingly become sensitive and feeling, but it will never truly be able to feel because feeling belongs to desire.

Technology cannot feel or be made to feel. It could simulate feelings but true feelings would elude it. Therefore, all AI will remain robotic in the end. Its brain and its reactions have potential to make it a trillion times smarter or more useful than people. People, however, will end up on top, just as long as we will not program AI to finish us off.

In order to secure a better future for ourselves, we will have to reach the realization that AI and other new technologies do not matter. What matters is the soul’s development. By developing the point within us that has the potential to resemble the higher force of love, bestowal and connection, then we develop something that is truly unique, and which has the power to improve, enhance and even upgrade our lives.

Nature will always be more supreme than any AI or other technology that we create. When we learn that nature itself—the force of love, bestowal and connection—has no interest in our dabbling with AI, but that it has only one demand for us: to become similar to it, and to realize the total harmony, happiness, peace, confidence and love that comes from our achievement of this resemblance.

Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Photo by Andrea De Santis on Unsplash.

The Greatness Of The Giver

610.1Question: The basis of the spiritual world is the importance that we ascribe to it. It is written in the sources that there is only a gram of light and a gram of desire, and everything else is determined by the way we treat this, what importance we give to certain phenomena. How does this happen?

Answer: We are accustomed to the fact that in our world, desires and fulfillments have some kind of standard of proportional measurement: meters, cubic meters, parsecs, distances, tons, etc.

However, in the spiritual world, there are no material dimensions. Everything there is measured only sensorially, by the relationship of one to the other. Therefore, if I care about a gram of some material that may be more precious to me than the entire universe and my entire life because, let’s say, this gram is the beginning of a new life, then I treat it as something that fills the entire universe. To me, it is greater than anything else. This measures the spiritual value of an object.

In other words, a spiritual object has no geometric or metric dimension, and is determined only by the size of my attitude, my attention, and the greatness of the object in my eyes. These are purely subjective measurements.

Question: In principle, does a person who is in spiritual attainment or a Kabbalist enjoy not from what the Creator gives him, but from the importance of the Creator in his eyes?

Answer: He does not feel what the Creator gives him. He feels only to the extent of the greatness of what the Creator gives to him.

Question: Let’s take an example from our world. Let’s say that a cup of coffee is also from this unified force. I can just have coffee. But if some important person made it for me, I will naturally be fulfilled not only with the drink, but also with the importance of this person, how great he is in my eyes and in the eyes of the society. Is that how it works?

Answer: Yes.

Comment: But still, there must be some kind of material.

My Response: There must be material in our world. That is why we start from the corporeal world, which is created so that we can move from it to other, more abstract categories.

Question: Does it mean that I should treat all the pleasures of this world in the following way: This is given to me by the Creator, and the only thing I lack is the importance of the one who gives this to me?

Answer: Yes, but when I begin to develop importance for the one from whom I receive, and to me it is more than the importance of the received object, then I move to other dimensions.

That is, the object itself no longer matters in my eyes. The only thing that matters is the importance of the one who gave it to me. Then I pass from the sensations of our corporeal world to the dimensions and sensations of the upper world: I received this from the Creator.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States”

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Rise From The Dust

236.01Zohar for All, VaYikra, Item 80: Who saw the glory of the queen at that time, and the king’s requests of her? Finally, the king held her in his arms, raised her, and brought her to his palace. And he swore to her that he would never part from her again and will never be far from her.

The queen is the gathering of all souls. Take both hands, that is, for the right and left lines, for the egoistic and altruistic qualities, for everything that is in our souls.

Question: To do this, we need to be brought to the state of dust?

Answer: Certainly! Only then will we match the greatness of the Creator when we can become His partner. Because the difference in the states of complete connection with Him and complete disconnection from Him is necessary and must remain in us. In it, we will feel all His qualities, all His power, and they will become ours.

Question: Do people need to learn that it is necessary to reach the state of “in the dust” in order to reveal the upper force?

Answer: It’s not up to us. They may or may not know, but we will come to it anyway.

Comment: It sounds pessimistic.

My Response: Not at all. If I know in advance that a state of disconnection will soon arise in me, and I will feel bad, but this state is good and, having experienced it, I will rise to the best, to light, infinity, eternity, perfection, and harmony, then it will be a pleasure for me.

Question: When in the dust, do I understand what is happening to me?

Answer: If you prepare for it, then yes. To do this, you need to read Kabbalistic books. They contain everything necessary for preparation.

The fact is that we are not one person who is in front of the Creator. We are deliberately separated and are in different states. Therefore, by properly supporting each other, we can connect our minds and feelings in such a way, even before the physical fall, by realizing this fall in advance, that we will not need it at all.

We are not required to physically be in a state of complete powerlessness and decomposition. It is enough to realize and feel it internally. That is, now as a normal person in this life, I can call upon myself such a manifestation of the Creator that will give me the maximum distance from Him. Therefore, two worlds were created: the spiritual and the material.

We exist in a body, in some physical volume that does not change. Nothing happens to it, so that in our souls we can feel the lowest possible state, distance from the Creator, and lead an ordinary life, not lying physically in the dust and lowering ourselves to a comatose state, but mentally, with understanding, we realize this within ourselves. And then normally, reasonably, sensibly feeling, knowing and measuring everything, we will begin to rise from this state.
From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #14

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A Life Without Pain And Suffering

294.4Comment: The pain that we feel physically goes all the way to consciousness through the brain. And the intensity of the pain depends on my attitude to it.

In the burn department of a hospital in Illinois, virtual reality is used: When changing bandages for patients, the patients wear virtual glasses. And instead of thinking about burns, they play with snowballs, and the pain is reduced.

Right now, humanity is in pain. It becomes physical. What should a person think about in order to reduce this pain or somehow cancel it? What “virtual glasses” should I wear?

My Response: I think the best thing is to think about how nature is leading us to a brighter future. The most beautiful thing in our time is that there are no personalities in history here, but nature itself takes us and kneads us like this, like dough.

Question: So in order to cope with this pain, what do I have to realize?

Answer: Realize what nature does. It leads us by its plan. For the first time in the history of mankind, nature simply takes us by the ear, like a boy, and leads us forward to the right place.

Question: That is, if at the moment of this pain that I am experiencing now, I begin to build this reality that it is nature that leads us all to a very bright future, to a good relationship, to a world of light, a world of warmth, then my pain will begin to decrease?

Answer: It will stop! Because the pain depends on the fact that you do not see the goal ahead. And if there is a goal, then the goal must absorb the pain.

When we do things, they can be pleasant or unpleasant. If we examine our body, we will see that there is no difference between pleasure and suffering. In the feeling inside the person, no difference. It is only in his idea of what it leads to, what it is.

Question: And then the suffering begins, that it all leads me to the end, I will disappear and that’s it?

Answer: Absolutely. And if you imagine that this leads you to a huge gain, to pleasure, then you are ready not only to endure it, you are ready to prolong it and even enjoy it.

Why am I saying this? It all depends on how we set up society. We have a relatively small problem here. If society is set up in such a way that nature itself leads us to a good future, to an arrangement, to a life without problems, if we show such films, such pictures of the future, then people will be able to experience all this relatively easily.

Question: So the pain will stop then and they will start moving toward this future?

Answer: Yes, and we do not deceive them. People went into battle to the death for the future, for the sake of imaginary values that people invented. And here is nature itself.

It is a movement toward the equivalence of nature. To the integral universal relation, connection. This means that a person will exist in the most comfortable environment. It’s a billion times better than in the womb, because you know it.

All of nature, all of humanity, all that exists in the cosmos and in all the worlds, all this surrounds you with a good wrapping.

Question: And this scenario should be built?

Answer: We are approaching it, in fact, but we can accelerate this movement.

Question: Is this what pain is given to a person for?

Answer: Otherwise, he wouldn’t have realized. A person can only attain one thing from the other. Therefore, now we feel confusion, pain, and so on, in order to rise above it and feel truly connected, love, and perfection.

Question: Is this what it is called to rise above the pain?

Answer: Yes.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 10/29/20

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For The Sake Of The Creator

624.02Question: In Kabbalah, there is a concept called Lishma or for the sake of the Creator. However, if we consider the Creator as nature, the upper mind, and not some person, then it is not clear what “to do something for His sake” means?

Answer: In Kabbalah, the Creator is regarded as a quality, a law, a force of nature, not a person. It is not a personified individual but a force such as gravity or electrostatic forces operating around us as fields.

The wisdom of Kabbalah says that there are only two forces in the universe: one of them is the force that operates for its own sake. As a rule, there is attraction and rejection in nature. This, however, is not the point. The point is why I attract and why I reject. That is, there must be some thought, some intention, behind this force.

I can attract and I can reject. Both can be for my own benefit and for the benefit of someone outside of me, for the benefit of others. The action outside of me, when I take into account not myself but only the benefit of others, is called the action of Lishma (not for my own sake, for the sake of the Creator).
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States. Lishma (For The Sake Of The Creator)”

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 5/28/21

Preparation to the Lesson

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Lesson on the Topic “To Bestow Contentment to the Creator”

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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Study of the Ten Sefirot, Vol. 1, Part 1, ‘Histaklut Pnimit,’ Chapter 8, Item 31″

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Selected Highlights

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