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Question: The Torah often describes how a shepherd herds a flock of sheep. What does this mean from a spiritual point of view?
Answer: Sheep represent the animal desires of man, which are closest to spiritual desires.
Herding sheep inside yourself means that you are building up such desires in yourself, which in the end will be the desires of bestowal, love, and good relations.
Question: The city of Sodom was located in the Dead Sea area. When Lot and his wife were running away from the destroyed city, Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. What does this mean in the spiritual?
Answer: Lot’s wife did not want to part with her past egoistic life and therefore, turned into a pillar of salt, which embodies constancy in her desires. They cannot be corrected because they are like salt.
Question: The Dead Sea is 400 meters below sea level. In Kabbalah, “400” means four stages of the development of desire?
Answer: Yes, this is the full depth of egoism, Malchut, which needs to be corrected. If we correct egoism in the inner by adding the quality of bestowal to the quality of reception, then this can also manifest itself in the outer: the Dead Sea will be filled from the inside with clean water, fish will appear in it, the desert will blossom!
Question: Why are there so many stories in the Torah related to Abraham?
Answer: Abraham is the founder of our world. Without him, the world could not exist. After all, it was thanks to Abraham that religious qualities, social principles and everything else appeared. He was a great philosopher, a great sage.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 6/11/21
Question: Abraham always had his nephew Lot by his side. What is this quality that constantly walks next to Abraham?
Answer: Spiritual qualities always consist of a positive and a negative part because it is impossible to define, recognize, and count anything or direct to something if there are not two opposite qualities.
Therefore, Lot is the quality opposite to Abraham, and on the other hand, also helps Abraham to manifest himself. That is, Abraham is manifested through Lot.
Question: Do they need to part at some stage?
Answer: Naturally. Abraham says: “If you go right, I will go left.” That is, later they separated.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 6/11/21
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is the best kind of equality?“
People are different by nature. As such, we should not demand the same effort from naturally lazy people than from hard-workers, nor the same results from highly intelligent people than from people with lower levels of intelligence, nor from people drawn to technology and from those drawn to education, culture and/or other fields.
People differ, and thus it is impossible to demand equality from everyone.
We are also unable to recognize and measure each person’s natural qualities by direction and size. By demanding the same results from everyone, we try to squeeze everyone into a Procrustean bed. In other words, we want to “shorten” or “stretch” every person, so that everyone will fit exactly one size. That is simply wrong.
Additionally, nations differ in culture, education, religion and development. Each nation has its own place, and should be respected in its place. After all, every individual is unique in their own way.
This is why we should take into consideration the limitations and the distinctive characteristics of each person. If we preserve such equality, i.e. the equality of every individual’s opportunity to express themselves in the most effective way relative to humanity, we will then abolish egoistic interrelationships and bring about altruistic and equal ones. By doing so, we will all discover our maximal individuality and uniqueness as beneficial members of humanity, and we will then reach a state where we will all live and develop in the most favorable manner.
Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Question: A lot of people believe in the power of a curse and are afraid of it. I had a friend Vitalik who told me that curses exist and one has been acting in his family on the male line for decades, almost a century. Precisely on the male line. And he even felt that he was next in line. He died just a week after our conversation.
What is this, a curse? Does it exist or not?
Answer: There is an evil eye, there are curses, all sorts of spells and so on and so forth. All this exists, and we must take it into account.
Question: But is there a difference between an evil eye and a curse? The evil eye can be accidental somehow, and a curse is a targeted murder.
Answer: There are people who have a bad look, as they say. There are people who have negative energy. When they communicate with others in some way, no matter how, not even tactilely, not close, they can mentally destroy a person and lead him to a painful state.
Question: And if this is done intentionally?
Answer: Intentionally, in our time there are no such specialists, except in the “special bodies,” as they say. Yes, yes, I’m not joking. But such people are rarely found today.
Question: And how can you protect yourself from a curse or the evil eye? Is it possible to protect yourself?
A curse does not affect the one who moves to the light, to love. Although I have known Kabbalists who, in general, took into account such actions too. People who were in the sense of spiritual forces, still took into account that there is an evil eye, that even ordinary people, not Kabbalists, who do not work on their egoism, but on the contrary, working on the use of egoism, they have strength.
Question: Does it come back to the person who, for example, curses another?
Answer: This is already a complex system. I would prefer not to talk about it, I will only tell you why. Because a person who uses dark forces of nature has a whole system by which he works, why he does it, and so on, he cannot work against the Creator, as they say. He cannot work against the good, against love, because this system is higher, stronger.
But if there are any malfunctions, imperfections in this good system, then the evil system can immediately cut in and do its harmful work.
Question: Is it necessary to be afraid of this?
Answer: No, we need to think about the good—only! In no case should we be afraid and do nothing against this alleged evil, but understand that this evil is also in the hands of the Creator, and if it is really necessary, then it will exist, and we must somehow put up with it.
Question: Your main advice is?
Answer: Love. It corrects everything.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 6/10/21
Remark: Pharaoh was chasing after the people when they were leaving Egypt, but when entering the land of Israel no one chases you.
My Comment: When approaching the land of Israel you, yourself, consciously go forward. It is not good to put pressure on you all the time from behind.
The reason for leaving Egypt was to flee from suffering, from the ten Egyptian plagues. And now it is not. Now we are urging people, with our own awareness of the need to cleanse ourselves from egoistic intentions, to cleanse our desires in order to reveal the Creator in them and thereby give Him pleasure.
Question: What is the difference between the fact that the Red Sea parted and the waters of the Jordan parted? What is the difference between these two states inside a person?
Answer: The waters of the Red Sea part when the border between the power of Pharaoh and the power of the Creator is removed. In principle, this is one and the same power, only it manifests itself in different ways.
Question: Can we say that there is a spiritual birth?
Answer: In principle, spiritual birth does not happen overnight. This is a long-term process, just like in our world.
Remark: But when leaving Egypt, one still had to go by faith above reason. Without this, it is impossible to cross the sea. And the people still enter it!
My Comment: It is the same here. In all these, so to speak, journeys, miracles, they rise above their egoism all the time. Only sometimes this happens with the help of war, a dash, a jump into the sea, crossing over the Jordan, and so on. But still it goes through overcoming.
Remark: Nachshon was in Egypt. There were no priests to enter the water and the sea parted.
My Comment: But the property of Bina is not there yet! And in the land of Israel this property of bestowal and connection dominates. Therefore, they have to feel and behave in a different way. And the tasks facing them are completely different: not to run, but to conquer.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 6/11/21
Answer: The fact is that the Jews willingly adopted the customs of other peoples because these customs were clear to them. There were images instead of some invisible forces, laws, and signs. There were no special prohibitions: portray anything, celebrate whenever and with anyone, get drunk, commit adultery, and nothing will happen to you for it.
The peoples of the world did not have what Kabbalah explains as inconsistency with the laws of the Creator. Therefore, they took the outward appearance of this teaching from the Jews and made their religions from it.
Question: Why was it adopted by the elite and not by the common people?
Answer: When the peoples of the world who were in contact with the Jews, adopted and altered their laws, then it was first suitable for the elites since it did not restrict them in any actions.
They could safely enjoy life, get rich, drink, commit adultery, in general, do whatever they wanted, and at the same time did not take on any serious restrictions. Therefore, 2,000 years ago, all these distortions of Kabbalah almost instantly spread in the form of new, modern religions at that time.
From KabTV’s “Conversation about the Greeks” 5/5/21
Answer: This certainly is an amazing Kabbalistic idea because the competition takes place within a person. A person must rise above oneself, above one’s egoism, in order to connect with others into one common whole.
Then we will discover a great common force between us, which gives us completely new opportunities for implementation, for attainment. We will see a different space, different possibilities, because, for example, ten people connecting with each other feel like one common whole.
They psychologically have a completely different sense of their state, space, and interaction. They feel not as individuals, but as one. But all this is based on the opposition to egoism.
It turns out that at the bottom we have ten separate egoistic desires, and above them there is one general positive, altruistic desire. And with the help of this system, we begin to feel a completely different space.
We see nature as global and integral, in all its connections. Through space, we can see everything that connects all the parts of nature.
A person becomes completely different. A person is no longer some small individual egoistic particle, now a person has a different sensor of perception. Now one sees the world as one unified system. Naturally, he or she begins to study it and to find out for himself completely new laws of commutation, laws of governance.
From KabTV’s “Videoconference about the Science of Management”
Kabbalah says that all the crises we feel are necessary precisely for us to realize the viciousness and finiteness of our egoistic development. In our communication, we lack a second, positive force. You cannot live only on one of these forces. Our world is simply devoid of positive influences. Everything moves only in obtaining the benefit and enjoyment of each individual.
All of this should lead to a reassessment of our paradigm. We need to get very serious about bringing positive forces into the management of our world, including disintegrating families, disintegrating states, all of humanity, and exist between the two forces, just like all of nature.
The existence of all nature is based on two forces: plus, and minus. In our relationships, everyone drags the blanket over themselves. This is the problem of humanity, on one hand.
On the other hand, this is our development so that we consciously come to the need to supplement our nature with a positive force and to the correct interaction of both forces.
From KabTV’s “Management Skills”
Comment: Today, it is very popular to make marriage contracts, which are a bilateral agreement that regulates property relations in the event of a divorce. Before getting married, people are already dividing property and providing for the option that their family will break up.
My Response: It has always been that way. There is nothing to be surprised about here. The Jews, for example, have a Ktuba—a legal document in which they clearly state what and how much the wife is entitled to in case of divorce, and how the husband should provide for her in the event of a normal married life.
A marriage contract, like any contract between two parties, regulates everything, not only monetary relations, but also the husband’s obligations to his wife.
Comment: You are speaking specifically about Jewish law. But other nations are now also beginning to build their relationships with a marriage contract.
My Response: That’s good! Because earlier in Russia we went to the registry office and signed on a piece of paper that we were husband and wife. And then what? What are our responsibilities? Who told us about this?
I signed it with my wife, but what I signed, I did not know. After all, between us there are some responsibilities, some kind of relationship that the state accepts, approves, and takes responsibility for their implementation. If someone for some reason does not fulfill them, the other party can complain about him, and then the state will already understand in court what is happening.
But this is a very small part of what the contract should be. And the fact that serious agreements are being undertaken today is probably a good thing. I believe that everything should be built on a healthy, serious relationship.
I meet a woman and am going to live a long life with her, give birth to children, raise them, accumulate property, and be together in sorrow and in joy, in health and in ailments. I must somehow resolve this relationship. It cannot hold on to love alone, to some kind of feelings.
From KabTV’s “Close-up” 8/19/09