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My new article on Linkedin “Two Ways to Deal with Covid”
The State of Israel and the coronavirus have had a tumultuous relationship so far (not that it was very quiet in the rest of the world). We began on top of the world when we succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations with the first lockdown. After a few weeks, we thought we’d beat the virus so we all went out to celebrate, and the virus came roaring back. In a matter of weeks, we went from the zenith to the nadir as more people per million caught the virus in our little country than anywhere else, even more than in the United States at its worst moments.
Humiliated and reluctant, we went into another lockdown and the tsunami of contagion began to recede. As we came out, the virus struck again. Luckily, this time the vaccines came around and Israel rushed to get millions of them. It worked for a while and the number of new cases went down to nearly zero.
Then came the Delta strain and everything we thought we had achieved collapsed. Now we’re in the midst of administering the booster (third) shot hoping to curb the spread once more, but we are no longer confident and we are no longer hopeful that we will truly get rid of the virus. More than anything, Covid seems to have defeated our defiance. Many of us no longer believe that we will return to the pre-Covid days, and they are right.
Nature will not let up. From the very beginning, back in the days of the successful first lockdown, I said that this is not another virus but a new stage in our relationship with nature. You could say that we have exhausted our credit with nature, and now it demands that we will pay for what we take. If we don’t want to pay, fine, but nature will not give.
There are two ways we can learn to deal with nature: a long and painful one, or a short and pleasant one. Currently, we are treading down the long and painful one. On this route, we do not take into consideration where we are, the people who surround us, and the entire planet that sustains us. We are using and abusing all of them on our path and focus only on ourselves.
This road, the narcissistic one, sees only the needs of the self. This is why we cannot see the consequences of our actions so calamities surprise us when they happen. If we step into a busy street blindfolded, we are certain to run into other people, stumble on obstacles along our path, and even be hit by the traffic that we cannot see.
When we are looking only at our own needs, due to our egoism, we are blindfolding ourselves, denying ourselves awareness of all other things in existence. We should not be surprised that we bump into things.
When bad things happen to us, personally, socially, nationally, or globally, it is not because they are misfortunes or that bad people do them to us. They were there all along and we could have seen them, be more considerate, and avoid any friction or discomfort. Yet, we ignored them and kept walking straight. The pain we feel now is not because they hit us, but because we bumped into them. It is we who should say “sorry” and mind where we’re going, not the other way around.
This brings us to the short way. If we open our eyes to look around us, we’ll see that everything is connected and moves in synchrony with everything else. In nature, mutual consideration is a given. In us, it is nonexistent. But if we open our eyes to it, we will be able to begin to work on it, to build it among us.
By building mutual consideration, in accord with nature, we will synchronize ourselves with it. Then we will know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it so our lives will run smoothly on their paths.
Vaccines and lockdowns are necessary just as long as we cannot synchronize ourselves with nature. If we can become as considerate and harmonious as nature, we will not need any lockdowns, just as nature never goes on lockdown and never stops evolving.
The brakes nature presses on us are nature’s way to force us to stop and reroute into a more considerate path, where we see others, too, and not only ourselves. If we begin to change our mindsets toward mutual consideration rather than alienation and self-entitlement, we will be free to roam the planet, safe, healthy, and happy.
My new article on Linkedin “The Permafrost Is Defrosting (and it is bad news)”
The permafrost, the frozen layer of soil that has underlain the arctic tundra for millennia, is accelerating its thaw. Several years ago, scientists noticed that ice they thought would never melt was thinning fast. In 2017, the BBC published an article by Jasmin Fox-Skelly. “We have had antibiotics for almost a century,” she wrote. “However, what would happen if we were suddenly exposed to deadly bacteria and viruses that have been absent for thousands of years, or that we have never met before? We may be about to find out,” she concluded. “Climate change is melting permafrost soils that have been frozen for thousands of years, and as the soils melt they are releasing ancient viruses and bacteria that, having lain dormant, are springing back to life.”
We may be unaware of it, but the destructive potential of these germs can dwarf the harm that the current bug is causing. They can truly jeopardize humanity since we have zero immunity against these microorganisms as there is nothing like them currently in existence that could prepare us for their arrival.
Moreover, while scientists are fearful of viruses and bacteria reawakening, I think that there can even be more complex life-forms that might spring back from extinction to existence. Fish, frogs, and even birds might suddenly appear. We have no idea what lies dormant underneath the ice, and which global warming is gradually reviving.
We must realize that nature is a single, closed system. Nothing ends in it, and nothing begins. When the time is ripe, things manifest; when the time is ripe, they vanish. But nothing stops existing; it only waits until it is time for it to reappear.
The changes we inflict on nature make things happen faster and in ways we cannot understand. Therefore, the only certainty is that the unexpected will transpire, though we cannot anticipate how it will unfold, what form it will take, how fast it will appear, and what consequences it will have. All we can say for certain is that we will not be prepared for it since one cannot prepare for the unknown and unforeseeable.
While we may not be able to prepare for the unpredictable, we can prevent its arrival. Since climate change is melting the arctic permafrost, and we, according to most scientists, are causing it, we can undo the damage we are doing to the climate by eliminating its cause.
Scientists attribute climate change to gas emissions and other manmade factors. However, this view ignores one key fact: Nature is a complete, closed, and interdependent system, not a heap of separate elements. Since everything affects everything else, one malfunctioning element in the system disrupts all of nature and throws the entire system off balance. Mend that element, and you have restored Earth’s balance.
When you look at the world, there is evidently only one dysfunctional element in all of it: humankind. We are so corrupt that we cannot even admit that we are the reason for the disasters befalling us. My teacher’s father, the great kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag (aka Baal HaSulam), compared human nature to the angel of death: It impels us to drink a deadly nectar. Even though that drop is placed on the tip of a sword, we are too weak to resist it. We open our mouths, bring the tip of the sword to our mouths, and let that deadly drop into our throats.
We are not there yet, but we are approaching it fast. Our only weapon is awareness of our nature and mutual support in facilitating change. If we help each other rise above our self-destructive nature, which kills us precisely by focusing only on ourselves instead of on the system where we live, then we can save ourselves. If we insist on thinking only of ourselves at such a time, we will perish.
We are the only being that has a deliberate will, an intention to do harm, possess, dominate, humiliate, and immortalize ourselves. This intention is the root of all the cataclysms affecting our planet and humanity. If we help each other build a balanced and harmonious society, we will balance all of nature, as it will mend the only broken element in reality. If we shun the task and stick to our egos, no remedy will save us from disaster.
My article in Newsmax: “The Chosen One: Israel Can Rely Only on Itself”
The Taliban’s control over Afghanistan and the diplomatic crisis between Poland and Israel after a new Polish law will limit claims of Holocaust survivors on properties confiscated during World War II are two major international events that have raised concerns of repercussions for Israel. One conclusion is clear: we have no one to turn to, so we will only be able to navigate these tumultuous waters if we unite among ourselves and remain internally strong.
Israel should not consider the Taliban taking power in Afghanistan as a threat particularly targeting us. They are Sunnis and they want to erase the Shiites as much as they do us, so the level of hatred toward us is the same as toward other groups in the region.
We do need to worry about the message America is sending with its departure from Afghanistan, though. It demonstrates just how volatile their handling of foreign affairs could turn.
As I have said many times, under Biden’s administration we have no one to rely on. It has no desire to deal with Israel and is not in our court, so it will be ready to sell us out in a moment.
We need to realize that the state of Israel is slowly entering a situation where it has no one to turn to. We are losing those we called friends — Russia, America, everyone. We are becoming increasingly isolated in the international arena, vulnerable against our enemies without any true ally to watch our back.
Who knows this fact the best? The Poles.
They already understand that we are helpless to back up demands for compensation from them for families whose properties were stolen during the Nazi occupation and under communism, as was confirmed by the recent Polish approval of a law limiting those restitutions.
The world has long been waiting for the moment in which Israel would be cornered and alone, a desire rooted in antisemitism. Although we have repeatedly witnessed how quickly everyone turns their backs on us if an opportunity presents itself, we prefer to either ignore it or look in another direction thinking that our fate will depend on other nations.
Israel only needs to do one thing: to be cohesive inside. By achieving that, we would strengthen ourselves and ensure success.
If we unite, we will win. Otherwise, we will experience further problems reminiscent of those we experienced in the past and throughout our painful history.
As long as we are perceived as weak and divided, we will be easily defeated in a sea of enemies. But if we strive for increasing unity within, then Israel will sail smoothly forward and reach safe harbor, a good and calm destination.
In our attempt to forge unity among ourselves, we evoke a strong connecting power, a supreme force of love and bestowal that will cover all the differences between us, regardless of how deep they are. Such a force is the only partner which will protect us from all the threats we face.
In other words, we cannot rely on anyone to solve our problems or defend us because help will not be forthcoming. If we want to see positive change for Israel, we should start working toward a substantial transformation within ourselves, toward warmer mutual relationships. That is our only guarantee of a good future.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “How can we protect the cities from sameness? How can we retain the identity of different cities?“
It is impossible to keep watch over every city’s uniqueness. It is because, in the end, the connection between them is becoming so tight that obviously culture, education, specifics and language are becoming more and more common around the world. This is why it will not help us to treat certain distinctive characteristics of each city carefully. Of course, this will be preserved, but many people today want to develop in a deeper sense, and do not care that today they are in one city and tomorrow, in another one. They are not looking for the city itself, but for its inner content. Such people seek deeper and deeper for what is inside of nature. This is why we cannot preserve the individuality of each city, the “face” with which it will stand out. Instead, we will be able to safeguard the special inner content of each person. In essence, this will be our individuality.
It is time to stop looking at the still level, at the buildings that we erect and the characteristics of the animate level in nature. We must pay more attention to the human level, to the uniqueness of the person, to what is unique within. With such a focus, we will see how unique we are, and the extent to which each person is a unique creature in whom lies a unique character and unique wealth. As such, we will discover the world in all its fullness at the human level.
We should not divert our attention to levels lower than the human. We created and built all the other levels—beautiful buildings and so on—by means of our ego. When this becomes removed and does not bring us fulfillment, then the things we built will also be removed and will no longer be felt.
Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
My new article on Linkedin “Elul: A Month of Reckoning”
The month of Elul is the last month in the Hebrew calendar preceding Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) which is characterized by soul searching. It is no coincidence that this year, at this time, special conditions such as intensive wildfires, devastating floods, extreme heat, hurricanes, wars, and terrorism, are revealed. The state of the world is putting extra pressure on us to do the math, to examine what we have done wrong, to figure out what we should ask for forgiveness for, and to decide to amend our faults in preparation for the new year.
This month people feel in a way that they are closer to their destiny and want to be more serious about life, plans, and goals and wish that everything will work out better and more successfully for them in comparison to last year. Humanity is currently facing raging situations where worrying events unfold every moment. We are beginning to fear that we literally will not be able to hold on to the Earth.
I see how the Creator is getting closer and closer to human beings demanding repentance for the way we treat each other and for our selfish relation to nature. First of all, we need to understand that everything is determined by human beings and the Creator hears and performs our will. If our thoughts and actions are for the sake of others, if we open our arms to each other and want to benefit everyone, the Creator will do good upon us.
But if we continue to behave contentiously as we do today, in conflict and quarrels with each other, then we will definitely have a very unpleasant fate. So it is really up to us to turn things around for the better. As it is written, “from the love of people to the love of the Creator.”
The acronym “ELUL” stands for “I am for my Beloved, and my Beloved is for me.” (Song of Songs 6:3) This means that in the good connection between us, we generate a common loving attitude to each other and then to the upper force of nature, the Creator. In response, He is revealed in our unity.
Our soul searching is about why we quarrel with each other endlessly, why we were created with such an evil inclination. All the species in nature operate according to their instincts and so they are never wrong. Conversely, we fail over and over again. Why is that so? Because we try to use our emotions and our mind in order to harm others and it backfires on us.
In the additional mind and emotions we were given compared to the animals, we have freedom of choice. Therefore, our role as human beings is to find the way to connection and unity. We look for the way, but each time, we discover that really we don’t want to unite and we don’t yearn for connection. This is actually our only sin or transgression; it is what stands in our way of achieving unity among us. Discovering this notion is what correction is about.
It is precisely during this time of the year when Selichot or days of repentance take place when we ask for forgiveness. First of all we ask forgiveness between us for our separation and harmful relations, and then we turn to the Higher Power asking Him for forgiveness. This way we finish our account for our deeds of the past year and start a new year with a clean sheet.
A prayer, then, is judging ourselves; it is the desire to discover and bring out all your sins and transgressions so that they can be corrected. Regret and repentance are not tears but the recognition of the need to unite. We see that the world is beginning to realize that without cohesion we simply will not be able to survive.
The conclusion of the month of Elul is that we want to reach a state of balance, the state of “love thy friend as thyself.” In order to achieve this goal and attain an inner transformation from egoistic to unselfish and compassionate we just need one thing— to open our hearts to each other. It is worth the effort.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Do you support the use of genetically engineered crops and foods?“
Regarding genetically engineered crops and food, we have no choice: we are compelled to use genetic technologies and replications, because otherwise we will be unable to feed everyone. Today, we are obliged to think about how we can provide food for everyone.
Since we are egoists and are unable to control the specifics of food, then we will be able to do so later by means of a method that guides us to positively connect above the ego. At that stage, we will do everything for people’s benefit, and there will be no calculations of developing anything with the primary goal of profiting as much as possible. People will change internally and will relate to others as to their loved ones, as to themselves, and this will already compel us to think about the optimal technology and the use of the developments of biology and genetic engineering, thanks to which we will be able to provide ourselves and humanity with the best food possible.
Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What needs to be changed in humans?“
A Global Trends Report by the US National Intelligence Council predicted the pandemic back in 2017. They warned that the next 20 years will be chaotic and turbulent: the slowdown of population growth, major aging of the populace, and climate change; storms, hurricanes, floods and heat waves will lead to an increase in migration. International relations will become unpredictable; ties will not be established and potentially break apart. There will also be an increase in famine. The pandemic will have a long-term impact. There will be growing distrust of medicine, science, authorities and politics, and eruptions of protests and riots. In short, according to the report, we face a bleak future.
We see that many reasons are emerging for us to change.
Give humanity a good future and it will go completely wild. In the Soviet Union, we were told that things would get better, that in ten years we would arrive at communism and capitalism with the promised slogan: “Don’t worry, business will grow, and everything will get better.” Seemingly the promise of a better future is not a very good idea today after all. Those who propagated this ideology tell us “Let us lead and everything will be great for you in the future. In the meantime, go on as you were, and be content.” However, having clear hope and faith that everything will be better is no solution.
If nature’s course and our course are unaligned, then nature must force us to correct ourselves, to change. It is a process, and we initially need to see a bleak picture of the future in the event that we fail to change. We need to see a clear dependence and connection between the person’s internal state and nature’s external state. In other words, if we change, everything around us also changes. Nature influences us this way, through an opposite, negative connection. It will force us to change through all sorts of problems, and by doing so, we discover this dependence.
We will come to the realization that we have no other way out and that the only way to break out of this rotting corporeal existence is to become a self-changing being. A human being is one who strives to be like the Creator. This is expressed in Hebrew, where the word “Adam” (“human being”) stems from the words “Domeh le Elyon” (“similar to the most high”). The Creator is the immense unified force of nature, the giving force, which births everything emanating from itself. We need to become like that force. We need to reach a state where we treat everything outside of us with total love, and then everything will fall into place.
Indeed, we must change and reach a state of likeness to the Creator, where we emanate love, kindness and warmth. One day, we will desire this state more than life itself. Moreover, we need nothing but such an alignment. Also, we should think beyond mere self-transformation and consider global transformation—that the whole world will acquire the quality of love and bestowal. Through the human level, the animate, vegetative and inanimate levels will also change. In the end, absolutely everything—the still, vegetative, animate, and human levels—will be at the degree of mutual, eternal and boundless love. Then, in this huge desire, which will be common on all four levels, the upper force will manifest and envelop everything within itself, and the world will take on a singular form.
The foundations for this transformation are being laid and we must give the optimal shape to this act of nature and our personal aspiration, to aim it correctly through our appeal to humanity. Since we are sentient beings, then it will happen. We can be intimidated, brought to our knees, coerced, and we can thus be taught. At the moment, nature is relating to us more and more like a misbehaving youth, giving us blows in order for us to wake up to the change we need to make. While we can train an animal to the point of becoming a well-behaved animal, we can change a human being in a way where he rises above his nature.
The report from current-day experts is very acceptable and realistic, to put it mildly. There will be various waves from different sides, and they will batter us. We will be unable to keep up and to react with effective remedies unless we get smarter. We will gradually reach an agreement with the upper force that coerces us. The current pandemic will subside and give way to the next wave. And we will try to cope with the next wave too through our own efforts, trying to do something about it. We will come to see how selectively these waves of all kinds of suffering will affect us, forcing us to change.
Our first and most important realization is that pain will be the source of wisdom. Nature will continue battering us, and through the relatively continuous blows we will receive from nature, we will grow in our understanding of where nature guides us. These waves will depend on the extent of our intelligence. Here, we can already engage another higher and more connected level of consciousness, and the people in touch with that consciousness should pass it on to the best of their abilities.
Based on a talk with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Semion Vinokur. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Question: “What to do when your children fall below the base and do not want to ascend spiritually but continue to chase the golden calf? They say: ‘Do not teach us how to live better, help us financially.’ I want to hear Laitman’s answer, not in general, but specifically, in essence. Thank you in advance. Raya”
Answer: Dear Raya. If your children have grown up so that they are chasing the golden calf, then you should help them in some way to enter this field.
The rest is God’s will. You do not have to fully participate in this, but you must give them an initial push, you must help them at the beginning, as they are your children. It is written: “One learns specifically where one’s heart desires.”
If they really have an aspiration for something, help them a little, not hundred percent, but help normally, so to speak, push them forward. But no more than that.
Question: So I should not load them with the pursuit of spirituality? I shouldn’t tell them: “You are not looking for spirituality, you are only looking for the material. What are you doing?!”
I looked at my teacher’s family and saw how calm he was about it. There were many children and many grandchildren there. He always used to let them do whatever they wanted, move out, separate, have children. This is their business. If they want to, they will be interested in life, the source of life, the purpose of life. If they do not want to, that is their business.
Question: Does that mean to let them go? Help them in whatever they want, and let them go?
My daughter also wanted to go to a certain university, please, go. The second to a different university, no problem. The son wanted a certain direction, please. That is it. In whatever I could, I pushed them forward.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 7/8/21
Question: What is the correct way to realize the internal suffering of creation by connection with the Creator? How can one annul before the upper, before the group, the moment evil is revealed without harming the connection?
Answer: If you want to do it quickly, only with the support of your friends. The process is a little slower through reading the correct sources: the book Shamati, Rabash’s articles, Baal HaSulam’s and Rabash’s letters. But it happens best and fastest under the influence of the environment, i.e., the group, the ten.
If there is no group, then advancement slows down, it becomes very painful. No matter how much a person tries to study independently, in the end one still must find a group, enter it, and within it find oneself and act.
The entire reaction of a person to any influences in his life, but mainly to spiritual ones, should be in the ten. Whatever happens to him, if it is connected with his relation to the Creator, to his friends, to himself, no matter what, this is his spiritual part. He must realize it in the group because it is our soul.
A person by himself is a unit, one part of the spiritual body. When he connects with nine more, and they begin to form a spiritual framework, a spiritual diagram, they gradually connect and enter into each other more deeply. When this system suddenly begins to match the upper force of bestowal, connection, then love is felt in it. This power is called the Creator.
The correct connection of the ten gives the revelation of the Creator in it. The desire that the friends find in connection with each other is called a Partzuf, and the fulfillment in the Partzuf is the upper light of the Creator.
From KabTV’s “Videoconference”