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Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What does it mean to seek spirituality?“
It starts by wanting something more or different to what everyday life offers. In the wisdom of Kabbalah, it is called the emergence of the desire for spirituality called the “point in the heart.” When this desire emerges, we feel a need to get answers to the question about the meaning of life.
How do we come to such a desire?
It comes after developing over several lifetimes, where we were first like animals, with desires solely for food, family, sex and shelter, and we then developed through desires for money, honor, control and knowledge.
In our first stage of development, we had desires only for food, family, sex and shelter. We still have such desires even if we are completely isolated from society. Our next stages of development—desires for money, honor, control and knowledge—are characterized by desires that emerge in relation to society.
Afterward, the desire for knowledge appears. Sciences blossomed as we set out to discover where everything came from, and to discover our roots. Such a desire for knowledge, however, still only resides within the framework of our world.
Only in the next stage of our desire’s development do we wish to know our real source, essence and purpose: the meaning of life. We then start becoming troubled by questions about our origin, our future, and who and what we really are.
We are egoists by nature. Common to all of our desires is that they are self-centered and want fulfillment. They pressure us and literally control our every move. The ego’s limit in our world is the desire to become filled with knowledge about something above us.
Suffering is at the core of our desires. We shift from one type of desire to another under the influence of suffering. If we are in a balanced state, then we feel at peace. When a new desire surfaces, we then feel as if we lack something and want to experience or receive something new, so we start trying to fulfill our desire’s demands… and this process repeats throughout our lives. In short, we always move toward fulfillment, and move away from pain.
We live our lives trying to fulfill our countless desires. After several lifetimes, we come to a state when one desire is all that is left: the desire to attain our source, the meaning of life.
When this final desire appears, everything else seems to lose its meaning. We then become depressed, feeling emotionally and spiritually empty, as if nothing can bring happiness.
The feeling of life as pointless and inauthentic is an expression of a new desire that is starting to surface in our era, the desire for spirituality. It is a desire that essentially asks about life’s meaning and purpose—”What is the meaning of life?”—even if we do not verbalize it as such. It makes us seek through various teachings in order to find some kind of meaning and answers.
The wisdom of Kabbalah was made specifically in order to fulfill this desire. It is an empiric method that leads to the discovery of the meaning of life—the attainment of the higher reality—and is open for study by anyone who wants to delve into it.
Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
In Europe, in Germany, they burn flags, call us child killers. In England they tell us not to wear kippahs (yarmulkes) and traditional Jewish clothing and to dress as if we are English or tourists. In France, the situation is quite bad. In America, Jews remove mezuzahs from the doors so that nobody knows that Jews live there. And so on, you can list many facts. We have come to this state.
My Response: What could be better than what is happening now? This is to put the Jews on the right track so that they fulfill their purpose. After all, if they do not fulfill it, then literally the world will slide into darkness more and more.
How else can you bring them to their senses? Only by applying more and more pressure. Still, I do not see that it helps much. Although there already was such suffering, such blows upon them, it still did not help.
We must understand why everybody hates us. Also, the anti-Semites must understand why they hate us. We see throughout the history of the Jews and the world, how it is wrapped around the Jewish people. Therefore we have to ask ourselves: Why is all this happening?
They hate us, they love us, no matter how they treat us, they are clearly treating us as something special. What is special about this ethnic group, this people, this race? They even think this is some special race. We need to explain that.
The fact is that it all began in ancient times, somewhere around 5,000 years ago when humanity began to reveal its attitude to its condition: “Who am I? What am I? Where am I from? What am I for?” And so on. These questions were asked by a man named Adam. This is what he was called, supposedly by accident, Adam.
This person began to ask this question, began to reason, to investigate. As a result of his special passion, his thirst to answer this question: “What is a human? What is his purpose, what is he for?” Adam revealed that the world exists in order to attain the upper force that governs it.
It is possible to attain this force only through special exercises when a person tries to rise above egoism, above himself, and to attain the upper force of nature, which only wishes to be in the quality of bestowal and love for others, in universal connection.
In this way, the upper universal connection between all parts of creation is revealed. This upper general force of all the parts of creation is called “the Creator.”
This person Adam revealed this force. He described it in his book Raziel HaMalach (The Secret Angel). This is a small book because at that time they wrote on clay and with sticks.
Adam created the first school where he taught his knowledge, everything he had learned, to the people who were interested in it. Quite a number of people came to him, listened to him. All kinds of beliefs also came from him since different people understood this teaching differently.
This lasted, in principle, 20 generations of his disciples: 10 generations until the disciple called Noah and another 10 generations to the disciple called Abraham. And all these generations of disciples created more disciples around them, and so it went on for hundreds of years.
In the generation of Abraham, the understanding of the knowledge that Adam passed on to them already begins. Abraham taught this to his disciples in Ancient Babylon where at that time were also special conditions. Why special conditions?
Because if before Babylon, before Abraham, the teaching of the system of the universe and the knowledge of where we exist, what surrounds us, what we are connected with, who’s governance we are under, and so on, was all purely individual, then, from Abraham onward, it was already happening in the connection between people. Therefore, Abraham is the first person who created the school of Kabbalists.
In principle, they were studying in some way before, but they were not so dependent and connected with each other. Abraham had already realized, understood, and revealed that the attainment of nature and its upper force depends on the connection between people. Therefore, he put forth the slogan “love your neighbor as yourself.”
This is already such a revolution, when you need to move from just pulling yourself up to the level of bestowal and love for others to starting to arrange people to such a state. Here he came into conflict with the egoism that at that time represented by Nimrod, the king of Babylon. And, of course, Abraham had to leave him.
From here begins the group of Abraham, which he called “Yehudi” from the word “Yehud,” connection, unity.
Jew (in Hebrew, Ivri) is from the word “ever,” meaning that they pass from this life, when everyone is for himself, to a life when everyone is for others. They also called it “Israel,” meaning aimed “straight to the Creator,” “Yashar-El,” Israel. This is where the wisdom of Kabbalah begins. That is, in principle, this is the wisdom of attaining the Creator.
Question: If we move from that time to the current time, then is the hatred because Abraham instilled this principle to live not for yourself, but for others, into the people of Israel, and the Jews do not live like this? Can we say that this is written in the spiritual genetics of a person and also not in the spiritual one?
Answer: Of course! Absolutely! This is a record, informational data, that exists in a person. They cannot be eradicated, nothing can be done about them. The only thing that can be done is to change hatred into love through an explanation.
Question: How do the nations feel that there is this record in the Jews and in Israel?
Question: Will this continue until we reach the root?
Answer: That would be good. Let us hope that it does not get any worse.
Comment: But it already was very bad, really. Look what we went through in our history!
My Response: Yes, but you can see how it does not affect anything. It turns out that the only thing left is a really serious mass explanation through an appeal to everybody and especially to the nations of the world, not to the Jews.
It is because the Jews are stiff-necked people. They will not believe and will not go, and will not do anything unless the nations of the world force them. Therefore, we must appeal to the nations of the world and explain to them what the Jews should do. To force the Jews to fulfill this purpose. Then it will work.
This is what we need to do. I really hope that with the help of all our students from all over the world, we will be able to do this.
Question: Is it the responsibility of the Jews to explain to the world and to give to the world the method of connection, unity, and love for one’s neighbor? To do it by themselves and give it to the world?
Question: Will they continue pressing on us until we get to that point?
Answer: “Pressing” is putting it mildly. But the thing is, it will not help. The only thing that will help is dissemination, explanation to all the nations of the world what Israel’s mission is and what their mission is.
It is written that they must raise the people of Israel up on their shoulders and lift them to the mountain of the Creator. This means that they must force the people of Israel to climb the mountain of the Creator so that the Jews will pave the way for all the nations of the world.
Comment: This explanation should enter into the heart, that is what’s important.
My Response: I think that, in general, the ground is prepared for this, and as much as it is impossible to accept it, it will be accepted precisely from its opposite.
The idea in itself is simple. It goes through all the generations, through all the persecutions, through all the exterminations, through all the destruction of Temples, and so on, right up to the Holocaust and our current state. The same thing, again and again.
Comment: But the idea that Kabbalists convey does not enter into ordinary people, into their hearts; that is the difficulty.
My Response: It affects everyone. But the understanding of the idea itself: Where it comes from, why, what drives it, what is the engine, the source of this historical movement, this is known only to Kabbalists.
Comment: I see that it has been mostly present in Baal HaSulam and present in you very vividly! You feel that the time has come, has arrived. This is almost the central point of history for you, the central point of the world!
Antisemitism is a segment in history, and for you it is the central point of the world.
My Response: The world revolves around this.
Comment: To bring the Jews to an understanding and to the fact that they pass this instruction to the world.
My Response: I think not even the Jews, but the world.
I do not think the Jews can take it upon themselves. They are too egoistic, divided, weak and do not understand their purpose and place, their role, nothing! They will never be able to do it with their egoism.
Question: Will the nations of the world be able to force them?
Answer: Yes! Exactly in such a way.
Comment: Yes, but hopefully it does not come to another Holocaust.
My Response: Therefore, we need to do it quickly.
Question: To explain quickly? That is, the nations of the world should understand what they are doing, what they are doing it for? Is this the understanding they should have?
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 5/24/21
Question: A person who is developing spiritually first feels that all his desires are entangled, he does not know how to direct them, how to balance them. Then there is a surge of egoism (the state of Babylon) when he cannot in any way establish relations with other people. Then he begins to realize his egoism; this is the entrance to Egypt.
In the outside world, where space, time, and motion exist, material pictures are drawn for us, such as Babylon, the desert, etc., but all these stories speak only of the internality, right?
Answer: Yes, just as you have a program on your computer, you run it, and it shows you some videos.
In the same way, we have all kinds of informational records inside us, which are manifested in the fact that we see ourselves existing in this world and acting in accordance with what nature scrolls in front of us. But in fact, this is all our internal video image.
It is as if your inner desires, turned inside out, show this picture so that you can change it. Change your inner qualities and you will see the world outside of you change. Can you imagine what has been given to you? To change yourself on such a big, enlarged scale.
If you change yourself a little, you will see big changes in the world around you, between yourself and inanimate nature, animals, and the people with whom you interact. When you change yourself internally, you see the consequences in the external world. You make your own movies.
Question: Does it turn out that the outside world is like an indicator for me?
Answer: The external world is a reflection of your inner state. If you now see, for example, some wars in the same land of Israel, then you need to change something in yourself. This is the only way you can influence the external situation.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 5/21/21
Answer: You cannot get away from it. We are not given a choice in this matter. As it is said: “Against your will you are born; against your will you live, and against your will you die.”
We simply have to fulfill our destiny in life, and not just one life but a series of reincarnations, gradual returns to this life. And it does not depend on us; one way or another, we have to complete it.
In the course of history up to the present day, we have been led along an unconscious path. We developed egoistically; we were pushed ahead; we invented all possible variations of social systems, family structure, upbringing of children; we developed technologies and whatnot until we came to realize that all this development leads us to emptiness, depression, drugs, and self-destruction. As a result, we find ourselves today in a global crisis.
The fact is that this is a crisis of the entire humanity, of its hopelessness. But we were not consulted about it. Egoism kept developing and driving us and we seem to be rolling by inertia. And now it has shown us that all this purely automatic egoistic development is pointless, and that its only purpose is for us to realize that it is a dead-end.
And now what? Now the question arises about the next level of existence: “What is this all about?” Nonetheless, people try to run away from the answer, drown in thoughts of fashion, vacations, parties, or anything else. But gradually, all these entertainments start to wear them out. And people are left alone with the question: “What is the meaning of my existence? Life has no meaning. Thus, it is not worth living.”
Man cannot escape it. This is a natural path of development, and we are in it. More and more people in the world are asking this question, they cannot hide from it, bury their heads in the sand, and continue living as before. This is how our nature works.
You do not need to be more educated, less educated, a psychologist, a scientist, or an intellectual to perceive it. I have met such people in South America, in Africa, everywhere. I have students all over the world. It is just that the time has come. The Book of Zohar says that it is our generation that will begin to seriously ask this question, and that is why Kabbalah must be revealed.
From KabTV’s “Close Up”
Question: The film industry has learned how to bring Hollywood actors to life. Deceased musicians come on stage in the form of holograms. Microsoft has a patent for creating an interactive chat-bot that conducts a dialogue on behalf of any person, even the deceased. This technology is called “digital reincarnation.”
The idea of digital immortality is that the real “I” is not my body, but data, information that can be separated from the body and stored in some other form.
It turns out that they have come closer to this feeling, to the state of immortality?
Answer: No. This is a completely different area—the state of immortality. They took a person, copied his movements and his characteristics, and now they can manipulate it.
It was recorded, processed, deconstructed into all sorts of bits, squares, pieces, and now they can make up any image from them. They can take a Thumbelina and make a Baba Yaga out of her. We are all in these holograms.
That is, the world is really illusory.
Comment: The world really wants to come to a state of immortality.
My Response: Why is it? The way we live nowadays? I would, on the contrary, project out of all these holograms such a picture that everyone would want to fall asleep. And that’s it! So good, calm. It would be a very nice planet. It is said, “The sleep of sinners is for their benefit.”
Question: Please tell me, what is immortality for you?
Answer: This is an ascent above the level of death, above the level of our life, which is considered even worse than death. Kabbalah evaluates our life as the lowest, an existence that is not even worthy of contempt.
Question: Is this our world?
Answer: Yes. We must start to rise from it and make a real movie of ourselves. So that each of us begins to play the right person, the image of the highest, supreme, and positive that embraces the whole world!
Question: To play exactly?
Answer: Play, of course! We’re not like that!
I have to play the role that I really want to see in myself, in which I want to see myself! And I would get used to this role, get used to it, and demonstrate this role in front of everyone. And they would still demonstrate themselves in relation to me and others. And so we would have turned this world from a game into a real world.
After all, if everyone is playing, then this game turns into the truth.
Question: So I’m starting to see this as the truth?
Answer: Of course! I am perceived, and I perceive all the others, and then there is no separation between us, this is the truth or this is some kind of pretense. We play, we play all the time. And in this way, we attract upon ourselves the upper light, a special energy, global, cosmic, which would actually make such people out of us!
Comment: Our current role is more or less clear: we are what we are. We see what we are.
My Response: And this is also not the real us! This is also imposed on us. We must discover that we are being played with, that our egoism is controlling us. All this vanity and so on, it’s not us, really.
Question: So what I have in me, pride, vanity, superiority over others, is not me?
Answer: You don’t even know who you are.
Question: Who should I play?
Answer: Yourself as a righteous person. The righteous is the one who justifies all. Everyone absolutely. That is, to feel that everything else besides me is absolutely good. And then you get into a very interesting situation!
Question: But how can I justify a rapist, a hater?
Answer: No, no, this is not even a question! It just needs to be done. And you will see that there is no violence and nothing similar to it, nothing at all. We see it all in our distorted qualities.
Question: Is it my ego that’s turning everything upside down around me?
Answer: Yes. So, it’s all very interesting.
Question: Should all of humanity start playing this movie? Or does it start with a small group?
Answer: Naturally, from a small group, as usual. But, in principle, it should spread out.
We must understand that if we do not seek to change ourselves, it will end badly. There will be such irreversible changes with humanity that will awaken it again, perhaps, in many thousands of years.
Question: If we ourselves do not strive to play the role of the righteous?
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 5/10/21