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My new article on Linkedin “Where Is Greta Thunberg?”
It seems as though the world is on the fast lane toward cleaning the car industry from polluting emissions. Everyone is rushing to create clean cars, whether battery or hydrogen powered engines, and bask in their cleanness.
But the green alibi hides behind it a dirty truth: Zero emission does not mean zero pollution. Mining rare Earth materials required for zero-emissions engines, building charging stations, and the complex logistics surrounding the “clean” industries will take a heavy toll on Earth. In the end, the only ones who will gain from the “clean revolution” are the tycoons who are selling it to us, and the government officials who placate them for their own reasons.
Where is Greta Thunberg these days? Like the rest of the pawns in the battle for wealth and power, the “climate knights” have sent her back to oblivion once they finished using her. It is all power games among giant corporations, but the environment and the climate are no one’s concern.
Even if we switch to wind energy or ocean-wave energy, I don’t believe that we will gain much. We will have to pay for it elsewhere.
For this reason, I think that the crux of the problem is not emissions, but our behavior toward nature and toward our fellow human beings. Here is where we can produce positive and lasting results. If we could communicate with one another positively, we could stop the madness of excessive development that manufactures unnecessary and harmful products.
If we could slow down a bit, we wouldn’t need to burn so much fuel in order to defeat competitors in a race for wealth that makes no one happy. Only if we realize that our happiness depends on the quality of our relationships, and not on the padding of our bank accounts, we will be able to pause a little, think, and rebuild our civilization in a way that contributes to nature, to humanity, and to each of us.
My new article on Linkedin “Selfish People Can’t Produce Unselfish Solutions”
In Europe and elsewhere, governments are paying colossal sums to big corporations to help them avert bankruptcy. Whether they call it a “rescue package” or “quantitative easing,” in the end it’s all the same: the government pays companies to stay operative.
I don’t think it will work in the long run. It may keep companies afloat for another six months or a year, but as a rule, a government, any government, cannot sustain companies that cannot sustain themselves. In the end, the situation will blow up in a blast that will be worse than what it would have happened had the government let them fall naturally.
There is more to it than that. I don’t believe that a government can do anything good for its people. Civil servants, ministers, and deputy ministers always pull their own way and have their own interests in mind. Since everyone is inherently selfish, everyone has an ulterior motive that is not for the benefit of the public.
We cannot expect selfish people to do unselfish acts; it is like asking a tiger to become vegetarian. If it goes against nature and it won’t work. Therefore, asking people whose only focus is their own career to focus on other people’s well-being is unwise, unrealistic, and will invariably fail.
Socialists, capitalists, far right, or far left, they are all immersed in egoism. It is not their fault; it is human nature, and we should adjust our expectation from our leaders.
If we want a real and lasting positive change, we must transform human nature. Since our nature is selfish to the core, changing it is the only way out of the crises that the world is falling into nowadays. We will fall deeper and deeper until we realize that the problem is not the fuel we burn, the forests we cut, the water we pollute, or the people we kill. The problem is the cause of all those harms we are inflicting on nature and on each other: our inherent self-absorption. When we start working on changing ourselves rather than demanding everything and everyone else to change, we might be able to save ourselves before it is too late.
My new article on Linkedin “Where Europe Is Going”
More and more, I have been hearing about the worsening economic situation in Europe. Friends and students from all over the continent have been telling me that life in their country is deteriorating, that it’s getting harder and harder to make ends meet, and they are losing hope. I have been warning about it for quite a few years now. Nevertheless, the solution now is what it’s always been—reeducation from the self-centered attitude Europeans have endorsed to an inclusive and considerate one. This is the continent’s only way out.
Currently, there is no reason for things to get better. The reports I have been getting about rising prices of housing and goods in the Czech Republic, the migration out of Hungary in search of work, the growing inequality between inland Spain and its coastal areas, and countless other problems I have been hearing about do not even scratch the surface. In addition, the struggle of the second and third echelon countries in Europe against the affluent European countries helps neither the oppressors nor the oppressed.
European countries are at a risk of war, and the immigrants pouring into the continent are only exacerbating the situation. Now that Europe’s economy is shutting down, what will they do? Add to it the “icing on the cake,” aka “coronavirus,” and you have a very precarious and unstable situation on your hands.
I am not optimistic, but as long as there is hope, we must try to explain the only way out of the downward spiral. Europe can be saved only if people and nations stop looking only after their personal profit. In an economy where everything is interdependent, the concept of “personal profit” simply doesn’t exist. “Interdependent” and “personal” are, in a sense, an oxymoron.
No one can tell Europe what to do; they must take their lives into their own hands. However, they must take everyone’s lives into account, not just those of the wealthy countries, or they will destroy everyone’s lives. Europe needs to teach itself what it means to be considerate, to see that everyone, truly everyone, has what they need. If it is to be a common market, as it professes to be, then it must see to the common good. Otherwise, what’s the purpose of a common market in the first place?
In order to create a (truly) common market, there must be a common interest. This means that first of all, Europe must stop the influx of people from all over the world, mainly from Asia and Africa. Their interests are very different from those of Europe, and their culture has nothing in common with European culture. At the moment, Europe is unable to sustain foreigners invading it and changing its cultural and religious makeup on top of the economic and structural problems it already has.
Next, once they stop the migration influx, they must see that everyone in Europe has minimal and decent living conditions. If one part of the European market is neglected, the whole arrangement will tumble like a deck of cards.
Third, caring for everyone’s provision must be a given, just as one does not abandon a close family member. However, acting in this way requires Europe to overcome centuries of wars, conspiracies, and bad blood among the countries. We must not forget that the two world wars we’ve had so far began in Europe, and for a good reason. This is the education I was referring to in the beginning of this piece: education toward mutual responsibility, trust, and good faith.
A lasting change can only be the result of a thorough educational process. If all the countries agree to it, Europe can come out triumphant from the challenge it is facing. If, on the other hand, it lets countries opt out of mutual responsibility, or allows aliens to keep pouring in, it is doomed. It will not be long before Europe’s fate is decided one way or the other.
My new article on Linkedin “The Jewish People Are About Quality, Not Quantity”
The Jewish people are growing. A comprehensive study conducted by researchers at the Hebrew University and recently published by the Jewish Agency reveals that despite antisemitism and other threats, the Jewish population worldwide has increased from 15.1 million last year to 15.2 million Jews today. However, the rise in the number of Jews does not represent a sign of higher strength. The potential of the people of Israel lies not in matter, in quantity, but in spirit, in the quality of our unity.
About 45 percent of all the Jews in the world reside in Israel, that’s close to 7 million. The United States, with 6 million Jews, represents the second largest Jewish community globally. In the face of growing antisemitic events in the world, we were supposed to see new waves of immigrations to Israel, but that is not the case. There is no correlation between the increase in the number of Jews on the one hand and the pressure on them on the other.
Antisemitism is hardly a factor influencing Jews to immigrate to Israel because they are already accustomed to looking for a place to hide on earth despite the fact that it is round and connected and there is literally nowhere to run to. Sooner or later they are exposed to hatred.
It always seems to the Jews that they have managed to find a safe haven, but it is only on the surface, like a child who closes his eyes and thinks the danger has passed. Jews have an innate urge to live among the nations of the world, and the possibility of living among Jews in the Land of Israel does not appeal to them.
Diaspora Jewry is not where the State of Israel can cast its hopes for the future, nor do we need to because numbers have no significance. As it is said about the people of Israel, “You are a few of all the peoples.” The might of the Jews is not measured by our numbers but by the quality of our connection.
Today we do not feel the strength of the spirit in the people of Israel because we are divided and conflicted, immersed in material and earthly struggles. When we are properly united, we create an extraordinary spiritual force. It is the quality of the relationships and connections between us that determines the intensity of that force.
The opposite happens in our current state. The Jewish People’s Policy Institute has recently warned of the erosion of the Jewish people that has intensified in the past year and is reflected both between Jews and in their relations with the rest of the world. One of the reasons for this, as the researchers suggest, is the distance of the younger generation from Israel and the weakening of their Jewish identity.
Even if there are a plethora of organizations aimed at connecting the Jews wherever they are, they are also split, arguing, divided by partisanship. We are confused in thinking that Jews can prevail when they are weakened by political polarization which has no grip in Judaism that speaks only of unification. The people of Israel are founded on the principle of being as one man in one heart. When the people are partisan, the Jewish idea is dead.
This is the only problem the people of Israel have. We do not realize how critical our connection is. Our fate depends on that because if the Jews connect above all differences, in this they bring peace within them, which is then poured out to the whole world. Judaism has only one ideology: to be as one. This is called “being with the Creator.”
We just need to drop the political discourse, the shouting over opposing opinions, and connect together above all the differences. This is the only thing that can help us strengthen the nation. We must strive for a situation where we decide not to consider anything other than a clean and authentic desire to be brothers and sisters. Think of a mother who has a million children. How does she want to see them? This is how we should behave toward each other.
Comment: On the eve of Yom Kippur, the ceremony of Kaparot (atonement) is performed. It looks like a pagan rite: they take a rooster, twist it over their head, and then kill it.
My Response: The fact is that rituals of many religions seem barbaric to us today. On the corporeal level, for the sake of redemption, a person seemingly sacrifices a rooster instead of himself, imagining himself in the form of this rooster.
In fact, all this should not be so because from the point of view of Kabbalah, everything happens on a spiritual level.
Comment: There is also a custom to wish for us to be recorded in The Book of Life—Gmar Hatima Tova (A good record in The Book of Life).
My Response: The Book of Life is also an allegory, a symbol of the upper light, which records all human actions. To the extent that he wants to use this light for his correction, his similarity to the Creator, his good deeds are recorded.
It turns out that a person himself, during not only a year but throughout his life, writes down his deeds; through attracting the upper light corrections are made and these are good deeds, without attracting the upper light are evil deeds.
Question: It is believed that you will live next year the way you spend Yom Kippur. Does it somehow affect our corporeal life?
Answer: In fact, nothing in our world affects the spiritual world except for our relationships to each other. So it is said that Yom Kippur does not correct them. Man must fix them himself.
The Creator can seemingly forgive all sins on this day except for our evil attitude toward others. This is above His mechanism under which our world, the Universe, was created. And the closer we are to each other in sensation, spiritually, the closer we are to the Creator.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States. Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur“
Comment: On Yom Kippur, there is a tradition to read the story of the prophet Jonah, which clarifies the responsibility of all the people of Israel, especially those who aspire for spiritual attainment, to correct themselves and pass this on to others.
My Response: This is a story about how the Creator instructed the prophet Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh to save people, that is, to rescue them from egoism. Jonah did not want to go there, got on a ship, and sailed out to sea.
The Creator brought a storm to the sea, and in order to save the ship, the sailors started to look for who was responsible. In the hold of the ship, they found Jonah sleeping peacefully and asked him: “How can you sleep peacefully? We are sinking! What should we do?” He replied: “It is because of me. If you want the storm to subside, throw me into the sea.”
The sailors had no choice but to do this, and the sea immediately calmed. Jonah was swallowed by a large fish that brought him to the shore near the city of Nineveh.
He came to this city and fulfilled what the Creator had ordered him to do, to make all the inhabitants of Nineveh righteous, that is, to turn their evil relations into good.
Question: Does it mean that he could not escape his duty?
Answer: Man will never be able to run away from the Creator! It is obvious.
Every person has his own mission to do some good deeds in the world. He must do it and not run away from his duties. This is what Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) symbolizes to us, namely the part of the Torah called the “The Book of Jonah.”
There is a program of creation, and if a desire for correction was awakened in a person and he has started this process, then it is impossible to run away.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States”
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “How can two answers to a single question be right, but still contradict each other?“
If the question is being heard by people who are on different levels of development, then even though each one hears the same question, they might hear it in opposite ways. Each one who hears not the question, but the answer, also hears it in his own way—according to each person’s level of development. What is correct for one person might seem incorrect and even opposite to another one.
This is why people cannot understand each other until they reach an altruistic form of development. We have to suppose that the levels of development determine the fact that each person hears something different each time. It is because that which we heard and understood yesterday can turn out to be opposite to what we hear and understand today. This is why our approach to each person must be completely relative. Nothing can be taken as an axiom, as something absolute.
At that point, we must understand that on one hand, everything is predetermined in advance, and on the other hand, everything depends on the person—and we cannot grasp this law with our mind. We say that everything descends and comes from above—it is as if everything is known in advance, and at the same time, we assert that a person is able to change something and achieve results that depend only on the person. We are unable to combine both, i.e. that everything depends on oneself, and also that everything is determined in advance.
Precisely thanks to understanding that this relates to two levels of development, to two forms in which a person exists—we can smooth out the seeming contradiction and understand that everything correlates only with the person.
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: “How can an economic system be devised that is not in conflict with the rights of humans or animals?“
Such an economic system must correspond to the law of altruism, where we each use only as much as we need in order to exist, and give everything else to equal distribution among everyone.
This is how our body’s cells merit life, because they each receive the necessity for their sustenance, and give any surplus to the whole body. In other words, each cell lives by means of the barest necessities, while its entire nature and activity is to provide the body with the forces of life.
We should each function in human society according to one principle: to live by using the small part that we need to exist, and to give everything else in order to fulfill society’s needs. In such a way, we will distribute products among everyone according to how much each person uses and needs. This is what everyone will be equal in, while everything else will pass over to humanity as a whole.
Everyone will then achieve balance. This is how we can balance ourselves according to nature’s general altruistic law, which envelops us and acts in human society, even though it is beyond our current perception.
Receiving for ourselves according to our necessities, and giving to society according to our abilities is how we can merit receiving a positive response from nature. There will then be no catastrophes, tsunamis, illnesses, epidemics or wars. Everyone will live a peaceful, safe and healthy life. Nature itself will provide a wonderful, equal and comfortable existence for all. Whereas if we will not observe the general altruistic law of nature then we will lead ourselves to annihilation.
We need to fully realize nature’s altruistic law in our times. It is why we are becoming increasingly globally interconnected and interdependent.
Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Question: Several years ago when answering a friend’s questions about his difficulty to integrate in the group, you said that if he cannot rise above himself and integrate in the group, he should completely dedicate himself to dissemination because this action can replace the work in the group.
Is this still valid today? And in general, is the advice that you gave several years ago still valid today or is there an expiration date?
Answer: My advice has no expiration date, but it does have a fulfillment date. I have students who live in Alaska, Southern Australia, the Andes, and in distant places around the globe where there is no one around them, nothing.
What can they do? They can only listen to the morning lesson and sometimes connect through the Internet.
What can they do? Disseminate. Where? On the Internet. By connecting through the Internet you can start disseminating our materials, my Twitter tweets, etc. as much as you can.
It is a must to participate in the common work with others although no one knows you, and even if you do not have a virtual group, you are still adhered in every other way.
So, dissemination can replace everything. If you disseminate seriously, from the bottom of your heart, with all your strength and abilities, even if you are not in a group, you will eventually find your ten.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 2/12/19