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“Productivity remained the same or improved in the majority of workplaces, researchers said. …
“Workers reported feeling less stressed and at risk of burnout, and said their health and work-life balance had improved. They also reported having more time to spend with their families, do hobbies and complete household chores.
“Will Stronge, director of research at Autonomy, said: ‘This study shows that the world’s largest ever trial of a shorter working week in the public sector was by all measures an overwhelming success.'”
My Response: Iceland is not a place for this experiment. This doesn’t prove to the world that a four-day week works.
They are all frozen people in no hurry. I remember what struck me when I arrived there. From the plane you go to the airport building and from the airport building to the street. No stamps, no controls. You are free to go wherever you want! It is just incredible!
Question: Where is customs? Where is border control and border guards?
Answer: There is nothing! There is no such thing at all! It was so unexpected!
Question: So is that the character of the people?
Answer: And the character of the nation. They each have 200 – 300 sheep, their own house, and not just one. They have a house they live in and a couple of houses that they rent to tourists. And each of these houses is fully equipped including an open-air sauna with snow all around and so on.
Question: Do you think that even a three-day week would do for such a country?
Answer: It doesn’t matter. This is not a place for experiments. They are self-sufficient, they are at peace.
Question: And how do you feel about this experiment that everyone in the world is talking about, a four-day working week?
Answer: What, you want to free a man from his work? What will he do?
I don’t think this will give humanity what is seemingly expected. We must clearly educate people to a new lifestyle. And in general, we should have started doing this a long time ago.
Question: What kind of lifestyle?
Answer: When one will have a lot of free time aside from necessary work. And today, he clogs this time with unnecessary work, pollutes the earth, the environment, and so on.
We need to make sure that this person uses his time correctly for self-improvement, to become human and to study how to get closer to other people because this is the correction of the world.
It is a job. And it is necessary to make it so that it is a real job, and not that it is three days off and you can do what you want.
Question: So one is never free from this work of connection with others? Is this a full-time job? Like at a company, at home, and in general, all the time?
Answer: Yes. It does not matter where or what.
Question: And one is always in this work of building connections with each other, good relations?
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 7/8/21
Hiroshima Remembrance Day commemorates the victims of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima that occurred 76 years ago; it makes one think and feel horrified at the possibility of a new nuclear war. Baal HaSulam writes that if we do not come to unity through which we would draw a positive force into the world from above, then third and fourth world wars may break out and at least one of them will be nuclear.
There are many movies about what would happen if nuclear war breaks out: a world in ruins and a handful of people miraculously survivor and wander the earth and don’t know where to go.
If it comes to such a collapse, people will loose their human appearance and will turn into animals. They will use all the strength they have left only to survive and suffer less. And they will behave toward each other accordingly. I do not envy those who survive such a war.
Many countries today possess nuclear weapons, and what can be done to prevent those weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists? There is only one solution: connection and unity between all.
For example, if the United States, Russia, and China could unite, then these three major powers could keep the whole world in order and prevent anyone from starting a war. But today such connection is impossible because everyone is in their own egoism. We need a “virus” that will destroy our egoism, and then no one will think about war but will only dream of a quiet life.
Unfortunately, no one is interested in such a “virus,” but each seeks to raise their egoism as high as possible. Israel is obliged to give such a method of correction to the world, but so far, this is impossible because it is moving in the opposite direction. Therefore, the world is gradually sliding toward nuclear war.
If Israel does not bring people to connection, which is its duty, then it will cause their separation, which will become more and more aggravated until it explodes in a war.
We must change direction and take a course toward unity. In Israel, people who understand that it is necessary to lead the world to unity must awaken. We can only hope for such awakening.
From KabTV’s “ A Look from the Inside” 8/9/21
My new article on Linkedin “National Unity Day – An Alibi for More Division”
A suggested National Unity Day is garnering support on all sides of the political spectrum in Israel. The day, which started as an initiative to commemorate the memory of three teenagers who were kidnapped and slain by terrorists, has evolved into emphasizing the value of unity, giving, and mutual responsibility throughout the country and with all Jews all over the world. I am happy to see that unity is on the agenda, but in my eyes, dedicating a day to unity is nothing but a permit for division for the rest of the 364 days. Unity must be our daily work. Every day when we do not try to strengthen our unity is a day when we are not the people of Israel.
Unity is our motto. We forged our nationhood by agreeing to unite “as one man with one heart,” and all our struggles from the inception of our people to the ruin of the Second Temple were efforts to unite the people. Our nation did not arise the way other nations do. We started as an aggregate of strangers who followed Abraham because of his idea that kindness and love of others are the keys to a good life. Over time, as we practiced these qualities among ourselves, we forged unity. Gradually, the assortment of strangers became a nation.
But it was a nation like no other: Whenever unity prevailed among us, we felt as a nation and our unity shone as a beacon of hope that all of humanity might one day be united, just as we succeeded in doing despite our different origins. Whenever division took over, we became a throng of strangers pressed together against their will, and we reverted to mutual hatred that no other nation exhibited. In those times, we were the epitome of evil, the nations loathed and despised us, and wanted to do away with us. In the end, we succumbed to hatred and the Romans destroyed the Second Temple and exiled us for the next two millennia.
Now that we are back in the land of Israel and have established a Jewish state, it is our duty to work on unity every single day. It is our obligation to the world to reignite the beacon of hope, to show that strangers can form a bond that is stronger than any other connection, and that peace is not an empty slogan but a feasible aspiration. Dedicating one day a year to this most sacred task, to the vocation of our people, is a mockery of our calling. What will we do the rest of the year, hate one another as we do today?
A National Unity Day is an alibi for more division; we need the genuine article. Anything less than true bonding of hearts will not do. Unless we strive to be “as one man with one heart,” as our vocation mandates, we will not be the authentic people of Israel, the nation that hallowed the motto “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and which the entire world is anxious to see arise.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “How do you define good and bad?“
Good is when we progress in a direction that brings us closer to balance with nature, and not in directions concocted by the human mind.
The more we develop, the more nature trashes man-made ideological directions for the world, and pressures us to discover balance with itself.
“Good” thus becomes our voluntary motion to the balance that nature wants us to experience.
If, however, we move involuntarily, then we feel bad.
Our growing imbalance with nature gives rise to myriad problems and crises on all levels of life—personal, social, economic and ecological—in order to ultimately pressure us to change our direction to a good one.
Alternatively, we can also say that nature’s pressures are also good, because the more we experience negative phenomena in our lives, the more they prod us to examine the direction our lives are headed, and then reach a decision to change direction sooner rather than later.
The point is that we should not feel good while we grow in our imbalance with nature, and instead progress toward balance with nature, which is where nature pushes us. A bad feeling in our egoistic approach to life, where we exist in opposition to nature, is thus good, because from the negative sensation in our egoistic lives, we come closer to finding a solution in a new altruistic direction, balanced with nature.
In order to pay more attention to what nature wants from us, we should consider where we are, and what is our surrounding nature?
Nature is an interconnected and interdependent system. Everything exists harmoniously in nature, and so if we organize ourselves with harmonious relations, then we can realize the harmony existing in nature in our own relations.
We should consider that nature consists of four levels—inanimate, vegetative, animate and human—and we humans comprise its highest level, the center of creation. Balance with nature comes down to us at the human level developing positive connections with each other. We should thus listen to nature, pay attention to what it wants us to understand, trust it and go with its flow.
Everything will work out when we reach balance with nature. Most importantly, we should discover a new world in the positive connections among us, as such connections hold the key to a positive life for everyone and for nature as a whole.
Based on a talk with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Semion Vinokur. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
My new article on Linkedin “When Our Adult Children Leave Home”
From the moment our children are born we invest everything we can in them knowing that the day will come when they will move on independently with their own lives. This transition can be a difficult one for families to make. So what is the best way to carry on relationships with adult children who have left home? What preparations should be made ahead of time towards this stage in order to keep the family connected?
From childhood, it is worthwhile to establish the habit with children of never letting a day pass without them contacting us. It does not matter where they are and what exactly they are doing, at least once a day they will call us to exchange impressions in regard to everyone’s well-being. We do not need to be the ones to call them because they might be busy and we might disturb them. It’s far better if they get used to calling us. This way, when the time comes for them to leave the house, they will have the established habit of daily contact.
From us as parents, they will hear what is happening with the rest of the family. In this way, the family connection will be maintained. Of course, physical contact will also need to be maintained, and these should become a regular routine. The home-cooking that we will prepare for them to take home will provide yet another feeling of connection to us throughout the week as well.
In general, the stage of leaving home for independent adult life is something that needs to be prepared for years. Independence is built through building an atmosphere where children learn to feel responsible, mature, and where they actually function as if they are already living in their own home, even though they are still with us. And when the day to leave home finally arrives, our job should be to provide our children with a sense of confidence and security, a feeling that they can manage on their own. We will always be there to support them, but the responsibility passes to them.
Anyone who grows up in a home with an overly pampered atmosphere, in which everything is done for them, will have a hard time getting used to independent living. Such individuals are left handicapped, not knowing how to organize basic things like food, laundry, and regular life responsibilities, not to mention complex concerns like long term relationships and starting a family of their own. Such a person will feel ill-equipped to take life in his or her own hands. In fact, if we do not provide proper education ahead of time, it will be difficult to make up for the accumulated deficit at the time they leave home.
What can be done if such a situation is the reality? Sit with your children and write a sort of life guide—a guide that is as detailed as possible, that will contain cases and consequences, what to do when things happen in a certain way, how to deal with some difficulties they are likely to encounter in life, and how to react when certain kinds of problems arise. Everything that has not been absorbed into their minds and hearts during their childhood years must now be written.
We as parents should also be prepared to face the new situation of our children leaving home, and how to adjust to being empty-nesters. When they move out on their own and have not communicated with us for a long time, we will probably feel very hurt.
Perhaps we have no right to feel hurt because this is the result of the way that we educated them. Their behavior does not mean that they intend to hurt us, but it is now only our ego that demands attention from them. Apparently, we failed to instill in them good examples of concern for others and reciprocity in relationships.
After addressing our adult children’s deficits and our own loneliness, what we can still do is to call them daily to gauge how they sound, whether they need anything, and to offer help or to give good advice. After a period of time during which they get used to us calling them, we can say something along the lines of: “We do not know if we can call tomorrow, but we would be very happy for you to call us.” And so, little by little, the habit of mutual bonding will be formed.
In a nutshell, it is a natural part of life that when our children grow and progress, they will become independent and start a new life on their own. What we need to always keep in mind is that our job is to give them a sense of security, guidance for their future life, and a sense that we are behind them no matter what. There should be a clear guarantee that although they leave our home, they never leave our hearts. And such an affirmation will be reciprocated.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “TV is a very powerful communication medium. Why do we use it to spread such unimportant information?“
Television is a source of information for the masses, and since the lowest and basest desires are what the masses have in common, then television mostly caters for such desires.
The problem, however, is not with the level of the masses.
If those behind TV programming would think about how to elevate the level of the masses, instead of being led by the lowest and basest desires, then it would become a great and respectable educational tool.
Instead, however, TV is mostly used to sell what the masses like, catering to their most common desires. The top priority of those behind TV programming is to profit as much as possible, which is achieved through selling as much as possible. Therefore, there is little to no consideration about the education of society and raising the consciousness of the masses.
If the people behind TV’s programming would consider humanity’s future, and together with psychologists and education experts, think about how to increase the consciousness of the masses, then TV would become a major means of raising a more harmonious and happy society. In fact, we can place our hopes for a better future into using our communication means in order to raise human consciousness. Authorities should ideally put an end to such a lowly use of the means of mass information as it exists today, and seek to replace it with programming aimed at raising human consciousness. The course to humanity’s positive future depends on the expansion of such education, which TV and other mass media can aid if their owners so choose.
Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
In the News (BBC.org): “Solving climate change would be ‘the most amazing thing humanity has ever done’, says the billionaire founder of Microsoft.
“By comparison, ending the pandemic is ‘very, very easy’, he claims.
“Mr Gates’s new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, is a guide to tackling global warming. …
“‘We’ve never made a transition like we’re talking about doing in the next 30 years. There is no precedent for this.’ …
“This has to continue to be a huge priority for the world year in, year out.
“The hope is ‘we get a bit lucky’ and succeed in developing innovative new technologies that really do solve the hard areas, he says.
“But he is optimistic that we can still avoid the worst effects of climate change.”
Question: If you would write him a letter, what would you say in it?
Answer: I would tell him this: “Bill, you are a good American guy, and I am glad that your heart hurts for the future of humanity once you are no longer alive. And you are not trying to fly far to other planets like Elon Musk to create some colonies there.
But you see, everything that you propose must be based on the change of man. Change the world, we have come to such a state when changing the world depends only on changing man. Directly! One to one.
So, you want the climate to improve? Change the person. You want less emissions—oil, gas and so on? Change the person. You want people to have less AIDS and all sorts of other diseases? Change the person.
You must put this in your head as the true, real, primary cause of everything because a person can do everything in the world except change himself.
How to change yourself? There is such a technique. It must be taught, it must be put into practice. Then we can actually change the world. Changing the world is in changing the person. Only!”
Question: So you propose to start studying your science?
Answer: I propose the study of the science of Kabbalah and to try more and more with its help to see how we can actually change the world. And changing the world can happen only by changing the person.
For example: if tomorrow you make some new discoveries and can neutralize half of all emissions into the atmosphere, it will not change anything in the end. It will not change! It seems to you that this will be a huge leap forward? No, it will not. You will see; everything that we do on earthly level will not help. It is necessary to change the person himself.
And this is already a complex solution. Only by bringing a person to a state where he can realize which of his actions are fatal to humanity and which are to its benefit can you change our future.
Otherwise what? Will you forbid everyone to use the oven, microwave, or own a car? It is impossible. It is necessary to change a person, his attitude toward himself, toward the environment.
A person should feel that if it is harmful, it should not be used! And he has practically no such prohibitions today. With him, all these prohibitions amount to: “more expensive versus cheaper.” So through all sorts of taxes, by anything, you will not achieve a thing. They will slip away anyway.
Comment: Still, he is not a stupid person. I think he would have asked you: “Dr. Laitman, you yourself say that this is human nature. If this is human nature, can it really be changed?”
My Response: This is the only method, and Kabbalah offers it. A method for changing, truly changing, a person. Therefore, it is the most ancient, the toughest science. But it is the only science that can actually cope with a person.
Question: What should a person understand?
Answer: Man is the center of this world. He can destroy it, he can destroy himself, or on the contrary, he can revive. That is, we need to make sure that a person understands that it is in his power and where he leads this world with each of his actions.
This is education.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 4/5/21
Question: What physical sensations accompany attainment of the Creator?
Answer: There are no physical sensations in attaining the Creator since this attainment takes place at the next level of our perception. This is a sensation that shines on a person in reflected light. A person perceives it only in the quality of bestowal.
Question: But perhaps when attaining the Creator, does a person’s heart rate increase or does something change in the normal functioning of the body?
Answer: I did not measure my blood pressure or pulse, but it is quite possible that there are such external changes. However, a person does not pay attention to them; he is above physical sensations.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 6/23/19
Answer: Kosher means usable, suitable, for human consumption. It represents the absorption of the upper light. Therefore, this food must be kosher, that is, special, prepared in a specific way. This refers to the next level of a person getting closer to the Creator.
Kosher are those types of domestic animals that have an inner loop of digestion. By swallowing food, they go to a repeated round. This suggests that any food they have does not slip from top to bottom, therefore they symbolize the right intention.
All actions of the upper world are reflected on the animate level. A person who is at the level of spiritual attainment, can look at a fish or some kind of animal and immediately tell whether it is a kosher or non-kosher animal.
Question: If we say that food symbolizes an abundance of upper light, then can I allow myself some forms of pleasure from the connection with the Creator and some forms I cannot?
Answer: Yes, non-kosher food represents such forms that it is impossible to accept with the intention for bestowal. That is why we do not use them.
Comment: It is said that it will be possible to eat everything at the end of correction.
My Response: Absolutely everything. Therefore, this will be the end of correction.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 7/9/21