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Question: The screen is an anti-egoistic force that a person acquires in the process of studying Kabbalah. How would you define it? Is it property, a feeling, some strength, a state?
Answer: The screen is the ability to feel the world outside, above our egoism. What we feel in our egoistic desire is called our world. What we can feel above it is called the upper world or the spiritual world.
By acquiring the screen, a person acquires the ability to abstract from his I, from his personal benefit. He begins to perceive everything around him in a completely different form, not related to himself, but as it really is. This is its advantage.
That is, he is no longer a slave of his desires and aspirations, and he does not engage in conscious and even subconscious calculations for his own benefit. He precisely sees the objective picture of the world.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 8/20/21
My new article on Linkedin “Rosh Hashanah – a Chance to Conquer the Covid Separation”
A few days ago, a neighbor shared with one of my students that she was very sad because her daughters are arguing over the Covid vaccines. As a result, one of them, who opposes vaccination, won’t come to celebrate Rosh Hashanah [Jewish New Year’s Eve] with the family. What pained my student’s neighbor most was not her daughter’s objection to taking the shot, or even that she would not come to the festive meal. What really pained her was the hatred that erupted between her children. Disputes happen in all families, and so do spats, but the venomous burst of hatred devastated her.
Hatred is indeed the bane of our generation. It destroys everything and rips apart communities and families. Because of it, we need to work on our connections and conquer the hatred in order to keep our families and communities together.
We all have different views. The problem begins when different views expose deeper rifts that were hidden until now.
If a member of the family does not want to be vaccinated, as in this case, and therefore cannot attend a Rosh Hashanah meal, so as not to put others at risk, we should not hate that person.
We should approach disagreements not as reasons for hatred, but as opportunities for bonding. When we rise above differences and disputes, we strengthen our bonds and increase our love and unity even more than before the rift occurred. Our conscious effort to unite solidifies and strengthens our ties.
When we talk about conquering separation, we do not mean suppressing it as though it does not exist. Conquering separation means recognizing it, accepting it, and uniting above it nonetheless. That new unity, which had to be formed over division, will invariably be stronger than unity that has never been challenged.
Therefore, whenever division emerges, we should examine how much we value our connection with the person at odds with us. In the case that my student told me about, the mother’s pain evidently showed that she valued her connection with her daughters, and their connection with each other, more than she valued anyone’s opinion about Covid-19 vaccines. If she can pass her feelings to her daughters, they will be able to rise above their division and strengthen their ties. If not, their connection will break, to everyone’s regret.
Today’s society presents countless situations where we disagree with people. If we value our connections with them, we should treat them as opportunities to tighten our bond with them. If we do this, we can turn the bane of hatred into a boon of mutual love and closeness.
Apart from me, there is only one unified and unique force operating in all of reality. It fills the whole world I live in, but I am inside an airtight bubble that allows me to supposedly not depend on it.
And so I exist until I begin to want to break through the walls of this bubble I am locked within like a drop of semen that doesn’t have the possibility to enter the womb and start developing. I want to enter the upper in order to start developing. Therefore, I rip this bubble, come out of it, and start becoming more and more included in the Creator.
If I want to stop being a slave to my desire to receive and to start living in the spiritual world, I must take into account the greatness of the Creator more than the greatness of myself. And if I imagine that the greatness of the Creator is greater than my own greatness, that is, He is superior to me, then I can perform the actions that He demands from me: actions of bestowal, connection, and love. This means that I ask the Creator to elevate me to Him.
We are inside the Creator but everyone is locked in their egoistic bubble. If we come out of this bubble, we begin to feel a huge common upper force, that is, the Creator, the upper light. And if we do not break out of this bubble, we continue to exist in it as every person lives, immersed in himself and feeling nothing else.
Still, vegetative, and animate matter cannot get out of their bubbles and are doomed to exist inside them. They can be freed from them only thanks to man to the extent that they are required by man for his spiritual ascent.
All we need to do is to get out of the egoistic bubble that locks us inside ourselves.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/27/21, “Annulling Before the Upper One”
My new article on Linkedin “Rosh Hashanah, a New Beginning”
“Man is a wolf to man,” reads the Latin proverb Homo homini lupus. This aptly describes the way we treat each other in today’s society. One may have reached the point where we think that we have nothing to rejoice over—we have destroyed Earth, families, countries and peoples, culture and education. We have reached a very bad juncture. But on the other hand, this low point could serve as an opportunity to scrutinize our state, restart and ascend from this situation on Rosh Hashanah, this new year.
It all depends on how keenly we judge ourselves, evaluate the time we have wasted to amend our state, declare “Enough!” and take the necessary steps to a new life. And this new life does not necessarily imply building anything new other than good relationships between us.
Rosh Hashanah, from the words “head” or “start”[“Rosh” in Hebrew], and “change” [“Shinui”], signify the beginning of change, the ability to transform our current direction of suffering, insecurity, and emptiness into a new path in life characterized by happiness, confidence, and fulfillment.
The symbols of the Rosh Hashanah holiday resemble the state we aspire to attain. Apples with honey represent the desire for a sweet and happy new year. Eating a pomegranate with all its seeds symbolizes to us all the good deeds we need to do toward others. A baked round loaf of bread is the whole, complete life we want to achieve. And the head of a fish reminds us “to be the head and not the tail.” The fish also symbolizes to us the animal that lives in water, and water is grace. It is like getting a newborn child who was surrounded by water inside his or her mother’s womb. So, all these are signs that we stand on the threshold of a new era, a new life.
Where exactly should we begin this process of change? The first step toward a new beginning is through gaining awareness. It is important to realize that human relationships—either bad or good—determine our whole life. They affect not only us but all the other levels in nature as well: inanimate, vegetative, animate. The human level is the highest on the scale of nature, so if we repair the dysfunctional and reckless way we treat each other, this correction will permeate the rest of the system.
The increasing problems that we are experiencing globally should awaken within us a deep introspection to the point that we realize that everything depends on us, on our attitude toward our fate, toward nature, toward everyone. A thorough assessment of the quality of the relationships between us will reveal just how harmful we have been to each other during the last year, the root cause of the pains and sorrows we experience in return.
Consequently, a good new year will be determined by our desire to implement the great rule of the Torah, “love thy neighbor as thyself.” We have to scrutinize ourselves according to this tenet, whether we have behaved correctly or badly toward others.
With all the evil forces being revealed in human society and in nature, let’s hope that we will be smart enough to realize that our strength lies in our unity. Therefore, it is in our best interest to hasten our change of direction, from separation to integration. Then, instead of devouring one another like wolves, we will behave as a strong community of caring human beings who constantly support and cherish each other. Happy Rosh Hashanah!
My new article on Linkedin “It’s Not Nature’s Punishment But An Awakening”
The remnants of Hurricane Ida caused record-breaking floods and spawned tornadoes across the Northeast. Tens of deaths have been attributed to this storm through its torrential rainfall across eight states. A flash flood emergency was declared for the first time in history in New York City as the whole region’s infrastructure was severely disrupted. Why is this happening in U.S.? Because it is the most developed country and it has a role to fulfill. It is not nature’s punishment or revenge but an opportunity to repair our human behavior.
Besides the flooding in the Northeast, in the West, eleven states have experienced large multiple fires and hundreds of homes have been destroyed around the internationally renowned area of Lake Tahoe.
Natural disasters happen everywhere in the world and not necessarily on a lesser scale than in the US. The difference is that America is the most advanced country, the center of attention in the world, so we hear more about it and pay more attention to the events unfolding there. There is a purpose for that. Nature wants everyone in the world to wake up and start pondering more deeply where we are heading to and what we must do to change the planet’s direction.
We usually make calculations about past actions, “look what they did and now they are paying for that.” As if the U.S. has done more harm than others to the environment and so they are punished by nature. That is not correct. We simply do not understand the laws of nature. We interpret what happens according to an egoistic account, like a bill the rich and healthy need to pay in contrast with the poor and sick. Or if whoever steals more will receive a greater punishment. But the method of connection works with no reservations or egoistic selection. Everyone must reach the state of “love your neighbor as yourself.”
First, in a circular ecosystem, everyone has their share of responsibility for the poor state of the Earth. Secondly, nature does not take revenge. Its purpose is the correction of our incorrect human state. We do not long for connection, for love and bestowal among each other. Therefore, nature gives us all kinds of conditions that are increasingly harsh. This is in order to soften our hearts and bring us to human relations that are based on mutual consideration and care.
What leads to natural disasters and crises is solely because of our relationships at the human level —the highest in nature— in our connections. At the level of our thoughts, attitudes and behaviors toward each other, we cause ripples throughout human society and nature. Consequentially, nature reacts to us according to how we relate to each other.
If we narrow the gaps between us, aiming to positively connect, then we will experience positive reactions from nature. If we relate in a negative manner to each other, aiming to harm and exploit others for personal benefit, then we will face negative reactions from nature. This is what we are currently experiencing.
The feeling of nature’s approaching integral form should spark in us a sensation of urgency, like immediately after a breaking news announcement about an event endangering the whole planet.
We have entered a process of increasingly escalating pressure. This is why the method of connection has become revealed, explaining how we need to begin adapting ourselves to nature.
If we desire a better future, we must develop altruistic bonds between us in order to adapt to nature’s altruistic form. Then the entire ecosystem will be perceived as pleasant and balanced.
My new article on Linkedin “A Centenary for the Refuting of the Protocols”
A hundred years ago, a historic event took place in the struggle against antisemitism: The London Times exposed “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” as a hoax. At the time, the scoop was so sensational that The New York Times immediately picked it up and put it on its front page. But the truth did not catch on. A few years later, the Nazis circulated the Protocols and convinced Germany and much of Europe that the Jews were planning a global takeover. If this fake document proves anything, it is that people do not see the truth; they see what they believe.
In 1903, an unknown Russian author published a document titled The Jewish Program to Conquer the World. The publication quickly caught on and translations of it were published all over Europe. The text, which became known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, purported to describe a Jewish plan for global domination.
From bookstores to schools, the Protocols were treated as factual and fueled the already growing antisemitic sentiments in Europe. The Jews, who had only recently been given emancipation and equal rights, rightly feared that their efforts to amalgamate in their respective countries would be thwarted.
But in 1921, Philip Graves, a then young and aspiring correspondent for The London Times, gave them hope. That summer, while working in Constantinople, Graves “was contacted by a Russian émigré living in the city and told that this gentleman possessed conclusive evidence that a publication which had recently taken the world by storm was a fake,” writes David Aaronovitch in a story titled “The battle between truth and lies never ends,” published on The Times.
Aaronovitch writes that the evidence was “a small volume in French … printed in Geneva in 1864. It consisted of a dialogue between Machiavelli and Montesquieu, and many of its passages were, word for word, the same as in the Protocols, meaning that the Protocols, supposedly composed 33 years later, were a clumsy, plagiarised fake.”
According to the Holocaust Encyclopedia, “Other investigations revealed that one chapter of a Prussian novel, Hermann Goedsche’s Biarritz (1868), also ‘inspired’ the Protocols.”
Despite the refutations, more than a century later, the protocols are still touted as true. Some Arab countries teach it in schools, and many antisemites in both Europe and the US believe it is authentic.
It appears that changing people’s minds requires more than presenting “conclusive evidence.” To change what people think, we must change how people feel, what they believe. If we want to convince people that the Protocols are fake, we must convince them that the Jews are not trying to dominate the world. To do that, we must make them stop hating and suspecting Jews. This is how it works—from the heart to the brain, and never the other way around.
The reason that the fabrication caught on so well is that by and large, the world already believes that the Jews control the world. Publishing a transcript of some fabricated meeting of Jewish leaders conniving to take over the world sits very well with how people already feel, so it did not take much to convince them. What we should ask ourselves is not why people do not see the truth, but why they think that Jews control the world.
The simple truth is that the Jewish nation is unlike any other nation. Virtually everyone feels that this is so, including the Jews, except many of us are in denial. We developed the most fundamental principles of a humane society, and we attempted to practice them for centuries.
We were a role model, a light unto nations, and people from all over the world flocked to learn from us. We quarreled, hated one another, and killed one another, but we also united above our hatred. In presenting both extremes, we became a social experiment, a proof that people who were complete strangers when they first flocked around Abraham can ultimately unite so strongly that they love their neighbor as themselves.
No other nation possesses these abilities, and no other nation is obligated to live out these principles in daily life for the world to see. This is why the Jews are always at the center of attention. This is why whenever a predicament baffles humanity, they turn their gaze toward the Jews. If Jews respond correctly, they embrace them. If they do not, they banish and destroy them.
Jews do not control the world through some malevolent plan; they control it through the example that they set. When they are united, the whole world is united. When they are divided, so is the entire world.
For this reason, as long as we are divided we will not eradicate antisemitism. If we cannot bridge our hatred with love, the world will hate us no matter what we do or say. If we can unite above our mutual loathing, the world will embrace and love us.
In antiquity, when Jews celebrated their unity during the festivals of pilgrimage, people from the world over would “go up to Jerusalem and see Israel … and say, ‘It is becoming to cling only to this nation,’” writes the book Sifrey Devarim.
Nowadays, we do not set a good example. If we keep the world waiting for our unity much longer, we can only expect the publication of many more Protocols, and their resulting tragedies.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “How would you use the Internet to improve your community?“
The Internet is equal to all, and if it would explain to everyone that we belong to a global system, that in essence we are a small village, a single system, we must relate to each other correspondingly and also raise the next generation. In this network, we must speak about the fact that we belong to a single organism and that we must change ourselves. If we discuss this on the Internet, then this huge mechanism, which envelops all continents and everyone together, will carry out its predestination. It will then serve to unite us. In all languages and on all levels, it will connect us and give us the sensation of the fact that is was intended precisely for this purpose.
The Internet is unique in that simultaneously, in one instant, in real time, it can connect us and make us into one connected bunch of people around the planet. I hope that this will indeed take place in the near future, and we will feel our tight interconnectedness and interdependence—including the means of information that act across the Internet—in such a way that we will discover how integral it is, and begin behaving accordingly. We will then change our culture, education, economics and our approach to life.
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 “Will Lip Augmentation Make You Popular?”
The idea of cosmetic “fixes” has been around for decades. However, over the past several years, it has become so pervasive, and begins at such an early age, that it’s almost as if there is something wrong with you if you didn’t “fix” anything by the time your sixteen. Parents may be horrified when their twelve year old daughter wants to do a lip augmentation, but what can we expect when we let social media idols and TV stars be their educators?
The education system has long abandoned any aspirations to bring up people with values and ability to think for themselves. At best, it focuses on providing information. The parents, for their part, are usually too busy or too uncertain about how to educate. As a result, children grow up learning from their environment, which consists of social media and TV, and their peers, who also learn from social media and TV.
What they learn there is that only looks matter. If you don’t look pretty and rich, you’re worthless. When children demand that their parents pay for their nose-job or lip augmentation (and sometimes much more than that), they should not be dismayed or angry with their children. People, especially young people, learn by example, and by nothing else. If the values we expose them to say that only the exterior matters, they have no option but to become that superficial.
When I talk about education in my posts, I am referring first and foremost to the social environment that we create, since this is our real educator. In some societies, you have no social status until you kill someone. This, too, is education. It makes no difference what people learn; all that matters is from whom they learn. The values instilled in their social environment will determine their course in life much more than how well they know calculus, the difference between “subject” and “object,” or names of US presidents.
Superficiality pays; it makes people want to buy more clothes, phones, cars, and body “fixes.” For giant corporations and big-tech companies, our shallowness is a bonanza. But superficiality alienates people. If all they are is what they own and how they look, then all they want is for others to look worse and own less.
Only if we teach ourselves to look beyond skin-deep, we will realize the gifts that other people can give us. When we focus on connecting with people, we will not mind so much how they look, what they wear, or what they drive. We will mind how they communicate with us, how the connection between us makes us feel, and how much they care about others.
When we build a society of caring individuals, then, and only then will we be able to say that we have educated our children well. Then, too, our children will be happy, since they will know that their social environment embraces them and does not compete with them.
My new article on Linkedin “Hurricane Ida – Sixteen Years after the Once in a Century Hurricane Katrina”
Sixteen years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and much of Louisiana, as well as parts of Mississippi and Alabama. When it made landfall, Katrina was a strong category 3 storm, strong enough to claim nearly 2,000 lives and break the protective walls preventing Lake Pontchartrain from submerging much of New Orleans.
In the wake of the storm, meteorologists and other pundits explained that Katrina was a “100-year hurricane.” Last Sunday, 16 years after Katrina made landfall, to the day, Hurricane Ida made landfall in almost the same spot. Again, the city of New Orleans and much of Louisiana were struck, but with far greater ferocity than even the 100-year storm.
I think that the first, and most important lesson to be learned from Katrina’s misleading moniker, is that time is accelerating, and the remote, foreboding predictions are already happening. We simply don’t have decades to plan ahead for the next catastrophe; we must act now.
There have always been fires, and there have always been hurricanes in America, just as there have always been tsunamis in Asia. Geographically, this is how the world is built.
However, the ferocity and frequency of the events are unprecedented, and people will not be able to live in areas affected by such intense and recurring disasters. Since the areas affected by natural disasters are growing with each year, and since the recurrence of “100-year” storms is growing, we must think boldly and act resolutely in order to stop the approaching cataclysm.
Indeed, the answer is not in science; it is in us. First, we must admit that we are the cause of the disasters plaguing us. Science has already acknowledged that human behavior toward nature is detrimental to nature, and therefore to us. Yet, this observation has changed nothing since we haven’t been able to change our behavior. To change it, we must transform what prompts us to behave as we do—our own nature.
The more interdependent the world is becoming, the more difficult it is becoming to stand out and race to the top without “taking a beating” from nature. At the same time, it is human nature to want to stand out, to be on the top of the world. Therefore, the only solution is to learn to see other achievements than the current, self-centered ones, as the realization of our potential.
The world has plenty of everything we need in order to thrive. The problem is that we are not dispensing the abundance considerately, and we are overconsuming what we have. We throw away the surplus, polluting the planet, while starving others and denying them supplies because we are reluctant to help them and enjoy seeing others suffer.
This behavior has nothing to do with burning fossil fuels or polluting drinking water. These problems stem only from malice, and this is the prime cause of suffering in our world. Therefore, changing our ill-will, namely human nature, must be our top priority.
We cannot do this by force. We have already tried to revolutionize society in every possible way, from the extreme left to the far right, and what happened? We got bloodshed and misery all around. If we want people to have good lives, we must educate ourselves and all of society into realizing that we are all connected and dependent on each other, and that our happiness depends on the happiness of everyone else.
The disasters, both natural and manmade, will catapult us toward each other. The only way to come closer pleasantly is by doing so consciously.
Since the only negative element in nature is our attitude to one another, reversing the negativity will solve all other problems. This is what scientists cannot see—that our wicked nature ruins our human relations, which in turn ruins all of nature, reflected in the cataclysmic adversities that have been plaguing us. Unless we break this chain, the chain will break us. We don’t have many more summers to make the critical changes and take upon ourselves to transform not only human behavior, but first and foremost, human nature.