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My new article on Linkedin “Regrettably, We Have to Love Each Other”
We may not like the idea because we don’t like each other, but we have to come to love each other, or else, we’re in for a civil war. This is where the State of Israel stands today. “Love your neighbor as yourself” has been the motto of the Jewish people since its inception. We were a collection of strangers who came to prize the idea of love of others, and our ancestors practiced it with one another until they vowed to be “as one man with one heart.”
However, if you look at us today, we are very, very far from it, and we are getting even further away. No one has picked up the gauntlet and actually tried to implement this most basic tenet of Judaism. We’ve turned education, which originally meant raising children to become human beings who care about others, into conveying information, either secular or religious, but none that makes people know how to relate to others with kindness and love. As a result, our society has come to the brink of collapse. There is so much hatred among the factions in the country that we might collapse into a civil war, as we had done before, unless we quickly reverse course.
I am saying this not because I am a doomster, but because I want to prevent what is already in the making. Our nation has already come to such a state, and it caused us to lose our country and our freedom, not to mention the horrendous loss of life that mainly we inflicted on ourselves in a bloody civil war. Today, too, we have enemies surrounding us, but today, too, we are our own worst enemies.
Therefore, we have to recognize that unity above all differences is our only option going forward. We will not agree on politics, education, defense, foreign policy, separation of religion from state, or any of the topics that currently divide us. However, we must understand that if we try to destroy our dissenters, we will destroy ourselves. Therefore, if we want to have a future, we have no other choice but to find a way to unite above all the differences, which will remain.
This may not seem possible to achieve, but a civil war is on the other side of unity. If we keep this in mind, perhaps we will find a way. And the first step toward finding that way is realizing the kind of danger that is lurking around the corner. The next step is to sit together and discuss, with open minds, since we have no open hearts, how we can live together nonetheless, so we don’t end up killing one another, with our enemies killing those who will remain.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What do you think is the cause of modern racism?“
The human ego is the basis for all our drives and characteristics. It operates in an absorptive manner, receiving from others and nature for the sake of personal benefit. Over the course of history, the ego undergoes development and leads us to a fateful transition where it changes direction to its opposite: from receiving to giving. We can aid such a transformation, to make it faster and more enjoyable, if we learn how the ego operates on us, and what we can do in order to realize the transformation consciously.
When our perception shifts to a direction that aims from ourselves outwardly, toward the benefit of others, we discover a paradigm of totally different feelings and understandings. When we are self-aimed, we always calculate whether something is good or bad for us. It means that we automatically choose that which we perceive as good for the ego, and throw aside what we see as bad for it. When there is a phenomenon that neither benefits nor harms the ego, then we have no sensation of that phenomenon. This is how we perceive reality.
When we change ourselves, shifting our constant egoistic focus on self-aimed benefit to an altruistic focus on the benefit of others, we then start perceiving the part of reality that surrounds us, which we had no prior perception of, because we perceived everything through our egoistic impulses.
We then start perceiving everything via a completely opposite altruistic lens. Instead of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, we develop five new altruistic senses called “Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin and Malchut.” We then perceive a new world, called the “upper world” or “spiritual world,” through the new altruistic nature that we attain.
When we reach such attainment, our egoistic perception of reality still remains. We continue living and feeling the world through our same inborn five senses, however our focus completely transforms to perceive the altruistic part of reality that is concealed from our egoistic perception. We then start feeling life in two worlds. Via this new perception and sensation, we start making decisions on how we orient our every motion. We are all destined to reach this state.
In the meantime, our egoistic perception prioritizes whatever it perceives as serving greater benefit to ourselves, while everything that does not benefit us, it rejects or does not perceive at all. In general, we automatically choose what we enjoy and find useful for our goals, and reject everything else.
Racism is a state where, in addition to our senses being directed solely toward self-benefit, we also enjoy when others are worse off. Humanity in general has this problem. Part and parcel of our egoistic development over generations is that the ego reaches a state of overgrowth, where we live and work not only to serve our own interests, but we also wish to inflict harm upon others. This comes from excessive social desires (wealth, honor, control and knowledge) where we constantly compare ourselves to others, and the bigger our egos are, the more we want to be above them. Then the worse it is for them, the better it is for us.
Envy, hatred, and generally the desire to reap enjoyment from harming others, is nonexistent in animals. This constant comparison to others in society thus sets the scene for racism. We start blaming others for all kinds of problems and misfortunes in our lives when we think that they cause our troubles, or when we see that they are more fortunate and successful than we are. Also, we want to look good in the eyes of society, and the more we see others looking seemingly better than us, the more we want to put them down in order to elevate our own status. Such traits exist only in humans, because we are composed of animal and human qualities. The animal part of us requires food, sex and family, and the human part demands money, honor, control and knowledge. When our egoistic desire grows and we wish to fulfill ourselves more and more with the sources of these emotions, we then encounter envy and hatred.
It follows that we feel better off when we see others as worse off, as it is an essential aspect of our inborn ego. If our egos are small, similar to animals, then we do not encounter such negative emotions. However, if our egos are highly developed, then we feel great unrest due to constantly comparing ourselves to others and seeing that they are more successful and fortunate. This unrest thus acts on us in order to make us want to be above them, either by outcompeting them, or by putting them down.
Racism thus increasingly surfaces the more our egos grow. We find ourselves emphasizing our differences and divisions more and more, without any inclination to rise above them, which ends up creating more and more instances of racism, hatred and division.
We thus find ourselves moving toward a state of immense hatred and divisiveness, on one hand, but on the other hand, we also find ourselves becoming increasingly interdependent. At such a fateful juncture, we need a new kind of education that emphasizes how we can positively connect above our divisive drives—specifically a wisdom that acknowledges the causes of our divisive drives, and which guides us not in order to diminish or cancel them, but in order to rise above them in a positive connection—and by doing so, we will reach a newfound harmonious balance between these two opposite tendencies.
Based on a video conference with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on June 7, 2015.
Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman. Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash.
Answer: The Creator does not manage each of us individually. There is the management of the general system that leads us all forward. The Creator does not engage with any specific individual and does not lead him in a special manner in any way.
The whole system to begin with was designed in its initial and final form. It is only up to us how to add to the process of our personal efforts and thus accelerate the transition. By accelerating it, we seemingly escape the stick and move forward by our efforts.
We perceive the correct way to develop, but if we lag behind, we immediately summon and invoke the negative force that pressures us by certain actions, circumstances, and negative feelings, and then our path becomes a path of sufferings.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 2/24/19
The Torah also says that when the seven nations conquered the land of Israel, the men had to be killed and the women taken captive. In addition, it is described that the Jews fought with the mixed multitude (Erev Rav), but nowhere does it say that they should be killed.
We have different desires and we have to deal with them in different ways. Why?
Answer: That is right, these are all our different desires. We should not fight with anyone externally. The Torah describes the inner corrections of a person, in himself. Therefore, Amalek and the seven nations that inhabited the land of Israel until the Jews came there, and all the people around us that we had to fight, are our inner attributes that we have to fight against and change from selfish to altruistic. This, in general, is the essence of all wars.
Comment: Still, it happened as historical events.
My Response: Yes, because every spiritual force has its own effect in our world. The upper force itself is called the root, and its effect is called the branch. Therefore, we must also fulfill these conditions in the material world, which we feel in our egoistic properties, to destroy and so on, if we cannot do it on the level of the spiritual world. But, in principle, the Torah calls us to make corrections in spirituality.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 5/14/21
Answer: That there is really only the Creator and nothing but Him.
The Creator is nature, the upper force of nature, the upper intelligence of nature, only He exists and nothing but Him.
Question: Are the people everything? Us?
Answer: There is none of this.
Question: What about this thought?
Answer: This is the central, global thought and plan of all of nature.
Question: Why is it necessary for a person to come to this thought?
Answer: So that he would hear it, begin to explore it somehow, and come to it himself. This is very valuable.
Question: Do I exist? The one who thinks that there is a Creator?
Answer: No. There is none else besides Him.
Question: No one else but the Creator? Is this a law of nature?
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 3/29/21
The Torah began to be uncovered when humanity was already able to start taking a reasonable, realistic attitude to its life, to its development.
The first time this happened was during the time of Adam HaRishon, then in ancient Babylon after twenty generations of students from Adam to Abraham who became the spiritual leader of Babylon and went against the natural egoistic development of the Babylonians who were a collection of seventy nations on Earth.
Abraham tried to understand this system, was able to perceive it, and passed it on to his students. His father was a great spiritual leader of the Babylonians. Abraham was able to raise the people of Babylon by explaining to them the spiritual essence of existence. Those who responded to it followed him and left Babylon.
Abraham explained that all of nature was created in such a way in order for man to consciously bring it to an absolutely completely connected system based on the principle of loving thy neighbor as thyself, in spite of one’s egoism.
Egoism is given to us specifically so that we can lead ourselves from hatred for each other to a state of love among us. In principle, the idea is very simple, to build love over all disagreements. That is what he taught them.
The global nature we exist in still obliges all its parts, material and spiritual, to eventually come to this state. Those Babylonians who understood this and followed Abraham called themselves Jews from the word “Yichud,” connection, a bond between themselves, or Hebrews from the word “Ever,” “Ma’avar,” those who moved from an egoistic attitude toward the world and each other to an altruistic one.
Thus, in addition to the seventy small nations, a group was formed under the leadership of Abraham, which did not unite with the rest of them, but said: “We are one people.” They called themselves Israel from the word “Yisra-El,” straight to the Creator.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 5/19/21
Baal HaSulam, Pri Hacham, Letters, Letter 1: As for the answer he firmly demands, I shall reply that everyone believes in private Providence, but do not adhere to it at all.
The reason is that an alien and foul thought … cannot be attributed to the Creator, who is the epitome of the “good who does good.”
Everyone believes that we are in some kind of nature, conforming to some upper force, but how we connect to it, no one clearly understands.
The Creator created us and fills us with all kinds of thoughts, desires, and different impulses, and pushes us toward something. Moreover, as a rule, our impulses are not so good, and we cannot have any others.
If so, how can we relate to the commands of the Creator and what will happen to us with His goodness, with His absolute existence? After all, everything that is revealed in us is the result of His influence.
But only true servants of the Creator, who really want to understand His Providence, who yearn to be in a dialogue with the Creator, to reach the level of mutual understanding, to reveal how He influences them and how they can possibly influence Him— “… only to the true servants of the Creator does the knowledge of private Providence open, that He caused all the reasons that preceded it, both good and bad.”
Everything that has happened to me up till now has happened because the Creator planned everything in advance and fulfilled it in me and in those around me. So everything I have been through in my life did not happen without His knowledge, beyond His powers, beyond His plan. This is actually the very first thing a person attains before he enters the upper world.
Before a new level of attainment appears in a person, he first feels that everything that has happened to him was because the Creator and only the Creator prepared it for him.
Although he has experienced great sufferings, confusions, and problems, did not know what to do, and felt that it would be better if he had died instead of living such a life, he begins to understand how happy he is that the Creator has related to him this way, because everything he feels now is the result of the terrible states he has been through when he felt lost, when he felt angry, disappointed, and fearful.
“Then they are adhered to private Providence, for all who are connected to the pure are pure.” Man begins to understand and feel that all this comes from the Creator, that all this relates to the Creator, and that it is therefore absolutely true, pure, and holy.
“Since the Guardian is united with His guarded,” which means the Creator and His actions, “there is no apparent division between bad and good. They are all loved and are all clear, for they are all carriers of the vessels of the Creator, ready to glorify the revelation of His uniqueness.”
It makes no difference how people appeared in the uncorrected state that I was in when I saw that this one was a thief, that one a thug, another one a liar, and another envious.
Now that I understand that the Creator has arranged all that for me so that I would perceive them this way, I feel absolute love for them, I feel they are same as me, devoted participants in one great endeavor, the progression of the soul. And we have all received the influence of the Creator only in order to reveal His uniqueness.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 3/17/19
Answer: Of course. There is nothing other than that.
The Creator gives me this large number of people to whom I must turn and draw closer to Him. He has given me this opportunity.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 3/17/19
This is a great problem because it takes a thousand years for plastic to disintegrate.
My Response: I don’t think that we will live for another thousand years on this planet. We are bringing it to its end very quickly and denying it the right to exist. The earth will become a lifeless planet. There is nowhere we can escape to. None of the planets have the conditions that we need in order to live. So there is no point dreaming about Mars or other planets. What for? After all, we will pollute everything there too.
Unless humanity corrects itself, there is no need to move. We just need to think about the correction of our nature and turn it from an egoistic nature to an altruistic nature so that people will think about each other, so that they will understand that only good connections between them will open up the future for humanity. Otherwise, each day we are burying ourselves alive in this garbage dump. Our poor kids!
Question: Suppose we begin to connect and ascend above our egoism, what will happen with all the waste? After all, it will not disappear.
Answer: It will disappear. Generally speaking, the whole corporeal world is totally dependent on our internal attributes, and it will disappear.
Question: Will it be because I will not see it?
Answer: No. We will simply be positively connected to each other to such an extent that there will be no room left for the evil force, and the waste will gradually decrease.
Where will it go? Just like in nature. Where did our egoistic world emerge from? The universe appeared and it suddenly began to expand, etc., which means that everything exists according to a concealed internal plan.
There is so much that we don’t see and don’t feel, and there are other connections in nature. The great forces of nature are secret, they are concealed. Let’s begin to activate them.
The main concealed force in nature is the human mind, its power, our mind power, the power of our desire. If we begin to activate it, we will begin to activate totally new attributes between the different parts of nature on a new level.
There will be no plastic. Everything will become transparent, natural, and pure and you will have to get used to such purity. You will not be able to breathe the pure clean air. You will not be poisoned by the pure spring water that you will drink.
If we aim our thoughts together toward each other and toward attaining the attribute of bestowal, love, mutuality, and connection, evil will disappear from the world on every level because unfortunately we are on the highest level, and fortunately that’s the way it will be if we begin to truly engage in ourselves.
Question: But will we have enough time to do that?
Answer: We will surely have enough time, but we will have to undergo some sufferings. The question is how many people will attain this state.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 3/19/19