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We all look at the world with the same eyes and see the same thing. But besides eyes, we also have a mind that depicts what we see to us. The mind is different for everyone because it serves the will to receive.
To the extent that we can add the will to bestow to it, we will see the world through the contrast of these two qualities—reception and bestowal—and then we will begin to reveal the true picture of the world.
This is the difference between people in the world because everyone is very different in their minds. Although we all have the same eyes and it seems to us that we should see the same thing, none of us sees the same picture.
After all, everything depends on the mechanism behind the eyes and behind all the other sensations: smell, hearing, speech, texts we read, that is, all the information about the world perceived by a person. All information is processed in the brain, and everyone has their own mind. This is why no one can understand one another.
The more we feel our lowliness, the more we can see. After all, this reduces our egoism and then we can better see the Creator and His bestowal to the world. It seems conflicting and contradicts ordinary perception and ordinary education.
However, the lower a person puts himself with respect to his correct perception and the more clearly he understands that he does not understand, the more he is ready to see the truth.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/19/21, Writings of Baal HaSulam, Shamati #26 “One’s Future Depends and Is Tied to Gratitude for the Past”
Spiritual work can bring inspiration and pleasure even before a person comes to the revelation of the Creator if we inspire each other with the greatness of the goal and the importance of the group on the background of the crisis that we see in the world and the despair and confusion that has fallen over humanity.
If previously there were periods of relative calm and prosperous life when people could travel and have fun, today everyone is in fear for their present and future, and have already gotten used to living under such pressure from nature. Volcanic eruptions, extreme heat and cold, floods, earthquakes, wars, epidemics—it seems that all of nature has turned against us.
I do not remember when during the seventy-five years of my life people have been so worried about their existence as in the last decade.
Previously people were afraid of a world war. However there has never been such a threat from natural disasters, which are much worse than war. After all, we are not able to prevent them through our usual means, but only by correcting the relationship between us. And humanity does not understand this yet.
All the problems that we hear about today and that will soon reach us—hurricanes, heat and cold waves, and earthquakes—are reactions of nature.
Today when humanity has become global and affects the world on a global scale, we have to connect, and we do not do this. By this lack of connection, which should be between us, we influence nature and the Earth, which react accordingly.
Therefore it is time to finally understand that only through our ever more powerful and perfect connection can we calm nature and achieve a beautiful, magnificent life. If not, then nature will teach us by the blows that have already begun.
Therefore we want to help humanity by disseminating the method of correction and explaining what the true cure for all catastrophes, including pandemics and other natural disasters, is. After all, everything comes from nature; the Creator is nature, and everything comes from Him.
And our job is to convey this to people.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/16/21, Baal HaSulam. Shamati, 20 “Lishma [for Her sake]”
The fact is that the Creator organizes the world according to the large egoism that we need to correct. He does not choose desires and does not force them. The system that He created at the beginning of creation; all its conditions unfold and are realized in the course of the entire history.
The Creator is not going to revise and change the action of creation in the middle of the process, and He will not compromise. We are inside the system and we must determine through our own efforts which forces in it should be greater and which should be less, and how to use these forces to bring us to the right connection.
We are not canceling any forces. Everything remains: both evil forces and large egoism. Nothing is destroyed, as we would like. One exists against the other and it is only necessary to increase the power of bestowal relative to the power of reception, the power of good relative to the power of evil. Only in this form will we achieve a balance between these two systems.
And when they gradually come to balance, then between these two, within their correct combination, we will reveal the force of the Creator.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/19/21, Writings of Baal HaSulam, Shamati #26 “One’s Future Depends and Is Tied to Gratitude for the Past”
My new article on Linkedin “Despite Its Appeal to Young Americans, Socialism Is Not the Answer”
A recent Axios/Momentive poll revealed that among young Americans between the ages 18-24, views are shifting toward favoring socialism to capitalism. According to the survey, cited also by the Conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, “Among adults in Gen Z (ages 18-24), perceptions of capitalism are truly underwater: 42% have a positive view and 54% have a negative view.” Moreover, even “18-34 year-olds are almost evenly split between those who view capitalism positively and those who view it negatively (49% vs. 46%). Two years ago, that margin was a gaping 20 points (58% vs. 38%).”
I understand people’s disappointment with capitalism, but socialism will not solve their problems. For one, our egos grow continuously, and if a certain regime succeeded at one point in history, it will not succeed in the future since it will not be suitable for people’s bigger egos. Second, Americans are raised with such a self-centered mindset that for them to adopt socialism today is simply not something they can do.
At the same time, capitalism also isn’t working anymore, and for the same reason: our growing ego. We’ve become so self-absorbed that nothing balances our behavior and the principles of free market and competition have become a winner-take-all contest, where the winners use and abuse everyone else.
The solution to our woes is in neither ideology, but in a new type of economy. The economy reflects the state of our society. Accordingly, to enjoy a thriving economy, we must have a thriving society. A society that is built on constant struggles, suspicion, and ill-will, cannot thrive. It will disintegrate, and the economy, which relies on the quality of connections among people, will collapse.
Having an economy that guarantees people’s well-being requires care about each other’s well-being. Establishing care and mutual responsibility must therefore be the top priority in every society, and the main focus of every future economic model.
People will still want to realize their dreams and express their unique skills and traits, but they will be happy to do it for the common good. Besides the satisfaction of realizing their potential, they will enjoy the recognition and gratitude of society for their contribution.
There will, of course, be a monetary system, but making a lot of money will not be people’s main incentive. Their present and future livelihoods will be secured by society, which will free them to realize their unique characteristics in a manner that supports all of society. Since contribution to society will win people society’s respect, while exploitation of it will result in harsh reproof and condemnation, people will do their best to advance the society, and everyone will benefit from their efforts.
In this way, we will learn to care for others, while they care for us. And the better we become at doing so, the happier we will be.
My new article on Linkedin “People Are an Open Book, How to Read It?”
In Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, there is an original library that is gaining momentum around the world and is called the “human library.” Here people do not come to borrow books but to ask human beings to share the story of their lives.
Anyone can come in and choose a person whose worldview or lifestyle is intriguing—such as a refugee or AIDS patient, a Tibetan monk, or a PTSD suffering soldier, transgender, or drug addict—and simply have a conversation with them for thirty minutes.
In a well-kept green garden in the heart of the city, the interviewees will tell the story of their lives openly and calmly, and the “reader” can freely ask questions, and engage in dialogue. The premise is to meet live people commonly persecuted and to confront them without prejudice or taboos.
Hypothetically if we could listen to all the stories of all the people in the world, whatever and whoever they are, we would discover a common thing: they are all stories of disruption and are a result of their environment’s impact on them, the education they received as children, and the society that shaped them over the years.
In a divided and polarized world, it sounds as if a tolerance-building human library initiative could help people, both the narrator and the listener, but it can only confuse them both. The narrator speaks from his or her gaze, imprisoned in their own narrative, because no private life story really leads to reading our great and shared story, the one that ends in a happy humanity.
Our common story begins with the plan of creation, a pre-existing and constantly running plan that directs everything in the entire system of nature and humanity. —Starting from the big bang, from the spread of an infinite number of particles in the inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human degrees, creation continues to connect all its parts, to collect and group all its details, and to bring unity between all creatures and the feeling of the wonderful harmonious power of creation. That’s the whole story.
The plot is complicated by the increasing egoistic nature in every person, another factor that stems from creation’s natural evolution, which strengthens our sense of individuality, separates us from others, and makes us feel superior to the rest. Therefore, the shared story is overlooked.
As a result, speakers in the human library brand their life story as a “bestseller” and it proudly inflates and reflects their life experience as if they were real acts of heroism. Instead of seeing how our inborn human egotistical nature, the evil instinct operating in everyone from an early age for the destruction of the other, has led us as a human society to abuse others.
The narrator will naturally soften the problem, color it in a certain hue, give others advice that they are unlikely to follow, and the personal example may confuse the listener. Instead of being impressed by the pervasive egoism that rules society and prevents us from reaching the purpose of creation and recognizing that we have deviated from the purpose of life, we only praise the lifestyles we have created and perpetuate them in beautiful words and define them as the essence of life.
There is no prevention or prohibition of cordial human conversation, nor is there room to undo the identity of each and every one, but the most important thing is to find and highlight in these personal stories the same hidden point that arises in the search for the whole story, a story of reconnection, a story of humanity’s friendly and supportive relations. This book is for any and everyone to open.
My new article on Linkedin “China and the Impact of Cross-Border Capitalism”
All over the world, China is buying, building, and operating strategic assets. In Israel, for example, it now owns Tnuva, the largest and most powerful producer and marketer of dairy products. China is also building two new harbors, and is already operating one of them, as well as the new metropolitan railway system in the center of the country. The same process is happening in many countries in Latin America, where China is in fierce competition against the US.
Cross-border capitalism, where wealthy and powerful countries use their revenues to generate more wealth and increase their influence in other countries, may create conflicts and tensions, but I don’t think we can avoid it. The question is not whether it is right or wrong, whether we can or should stop it, but how countries should conduct themselves in this situation, which is here to stay.
On the one hand, it is human nature to want to use whatever surplus proceeds I have to increase my wealth and my power. We should not be so naive as to think that countries have any altruistic motives when it comes to business and power. On the other hand, it is not necessarily bad that rich countries are buying assets and building large infrastructure projects in countries where they themselves would likely not have been able to carry out otherwise.
Just as capitalism helps build economies within countries, cross-border capitalism can help build the global economy. And since capitalist countries naturally want to take over anything they put their hands on, it is up to the host countries to restrain their ability to get their way. As long as the line between economic contribution to a country and economic occupation of it is kept, I see more good than harm in cross-border capitalism.
As a rule, I see the mingling of cultures and ethnicities as a positive development. After all, the world is going toward increased connection and global unity, in synchrony with all of reality. We may not like the ideas of unity or connection, but it is only because egoism governs us. Nevertheless, this trajectory is irreversible and in the end, positive, as it strengthens everyone involved.
We can come to unity in one of two ways: voluntarily or involuntarily. The economic “takeover” is more in line with the voluntary way. It is certainly better than military conflicts, occupations and counter occupations, and occasional annihilation of nations and ethnic groups, which had been humanity’s way until World War II exposed its cost with today’s nuclear technologies.
Either way, the days of the nation-state are ending. The whole concept of sovereignty exposes itself as nothing more than a fight over territory, a flag, and an anthem. It is absolute selfishness, and regular people get no benefits from battles over sovereignty. In the end, everyone exploits them.
As the world moves toward collective governance, though still with egoistic motivations, new rules will gradually emerge. While there is no doubt that countries will try to achieve global governance, as this is human nature, there is no other way to begin this process; without selfish motivation, no country will lift a finger to help another country. At the same time, we should be very careful not to let any one country become the sole ruler of the world.
To achieve this, we need to integrate education toward collaboration into the process of global mingling. We all need this education, children and grownups alike, since none of us have ever lived in a world where everyone depends on everyone else, and is therefore responsible for everyone else.
Therefore, first we must learn about the necessity to maintain mutual responsibility. Then, we will begin to see how mutual responsibility and interdependence lead to mutual concern for one another.
Once we start developing positive feelings toward each other, we will transcend our selfish nature and a new network of relationships among us will manifest, based on care and empathy. In this network, there will be no borders, regulations, or monitoring since our care for one another will guide us toward helping others rather than harming or otherwise exploiting them. In that state, cross-border capitalism will be obsolete since there will be neither borders nor capitalism, but a new, care-based economy.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Do you agree with Daniel Craig’s decision not to leave a large sum of money to his children as inheritance?“
By giving children more than what they need in order to start building themselves, it will just corrupt them in the end.
Love encompasses giving your children opportunities to develop, to enjoy the fruits of their own labor, by providing them with a good education and a profession that they will enjoy and make a living from.
A father’s love is expressed through encouragement and motivation, i.e., in giving the first push. The children will not understand this at the time of the push, but the understanding will settle later.
Based on “Should You Leave Your Children a Big Inheritance? | Kabbalist’s View with Dr. Michael Laitman.” Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
My new article on Linkedin “Prince William’s Call to Forget Space and Focus on Earth Won’t Save It”
In an interview on NBC News, Prince William said that “We need the greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.” Adding that “we are seeing a rise in climate anxiety,” Prince William stressed that “young people now are growing where their futures are basically threatened the whole time.” It’s true that the future looks grim, but “repairing” the Earth won’t help since there is nothing wrong with it. There is a lot that is wrong with the people who live on it: They are the cause of Earth’s “malfunctions” and they are the ones who need fixing. Any other idea is pointless, and a waste of time that will create even greater harm to the planet.
If Prince William, and other movers and shakers, begins to push for unity among all people, to rise above our differences and The pollution of Earth’s water, soil, and air, and the depletion of its resources, are just two forms of exploitation out of countless that the human race is inflicting everywhere. We inflict the same level of harm on our own species—on disadvantaged nations and ethnic groups—as well as on other animals, birds, and fish. In fact, we inflict harm wherever we go and whatever we do.
The basis of all our relationships is self-interest. Such a basis dictates only two attitudes toward everything around us: use it or flee from it. In effect, it is a state of constant war, which we are mostly unaware of, except for rare moments of sincerity with ourselves.
Because this is our only motivation, we are sickening not just the earth, but every realm of human engagement. To understand the harm in our self-centered attitude, think of cancer cells. These rogue cells grow without regard for the cells around them, snatch blood vessels to get as much nutrients and oxygen as possible, and as a result, “starve” the cells around them and kill the organs where they grow. Afterwards, they “migrate” to other organs and inflict the same harm there until the body dies along with the cancer.
We have already “metastasized” throughout the planet. We have contaminated every thing, place, and engagement with our malignant attitude, and now we are starting to realize that we are about to die along with our planet.
But focusing on one symptom, even one as painful as climate change, will not cure the cancer, which is our own ego. To cure our egos, we must accept the diagnosis that our ego is the problem, and resolve to fight against it shoulder to shoulder.
If Prince William, and other movers and shakers, begins to push for unity among all people, to rise above our differences and establish care and concern among all people, we will see a real change for the better. We are all one complete system, just like our bodies are complete systems. So as long as we enshrine the “Me! Me! Me!” culture, nothing will change. If we don’t accept that we must teach ourselves to care about others and develop mutual responsibility, rather than responsibility only for ourselves, then we’d best prepare for the worst.
My new article on Linkedin “When Jews Turn on Jews, So Does Netflix”
Last week, Netflix launched a new collection of Palestinian films professing to portray “the truth” about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But with 89% of the films being directed by BDS supporters, there is little hope that there will be any attempt to present a truthful, let alone balanced picture of reality. The films, which play on people’s most vulnerable emotional triggers, are bound to create even stronger anti-Israel sentiments than people feel already.
I share the frustration of those trying to fight against the demonization of Israel. However, I think that we are shooting ourselves in the foot by trying to explain ourselves instead of addressing our division, which is the root cause of the hatred toward us.
From the history of our people, and from the words of our sages at every generation, we know that the people of Israel determine their own destiny. The Book of Zohar (Pinhas 64) writes that Israel are not subject to fate or to luck; the Talmud (Shabbat 156a) states that Israel have no fate, meaning that they are not bound by it; and other sources state likewise.
When you look at how the world treats Jews, it is easy to see that we are always singled out, usually for condemnation. Jews were condemned before they were allowed to mingle with the nations in the Diaspora; Jews were singled out before there was a Jewish state; Jews are singled out now that there is a state; and if the Jewish state ceases to exist and a Palestinian state is established in its place, they will still be singled out for condemnation. Jews have been persecuted and executed for different reasons at different times because the root of Jew-hatred has nothing to do with the present circumstances of the Jews, but with their eternal duty. Until they carry it out, the world will hate them and despise them. When they carry it out, the world will love and appreciate them.
The world is not wrong in its attitude toward the Jews; we are not like other people. The nations judge us by a different standard not because they are antisemitic, but because we became a nation in order to set a different standard for the world. The world judges us by the standard we are meant to achieve, and not by the standards it judges the rest of the nations.
The standard that the world uses to judge us is the standard of unity. When we are united, we are praised; when we are divided, we are condemned. We became a nation only when we agreed to unite “as one man with one heart,” and we were immediately tasked with being “a light unto nations.” Only when we display unity, we are a light to the nations; when we are divided, we spread darkness and the world hates us for it.
According to the book Sifrey Devarim, 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.’” Conversely, the Talmud (Yoma 9b) explains that Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel and destroyed the First Temple because the people of Israel spoke to one another “with daggers in their tongues.” Similarly, the Second Temple was destroyed by Sina’at Hinam (unfounded hatred, hatred for no reason), say all our sages. Our cataclysms throughout history have all followed prolonged periods of division and self-hatred.
I have spoken to prominent Israeli academics who are active in the BDS movement; I saw how adamant they are in their objection to the State of Israel. In my view, subconsciously, they are trying to protect themselves by showing hatred for their own people. However, condemning their own nation and their own people will not help them escape the world’s wrath. Only our unity, precisely above those deep chasms that splinter the Israeli society will earn us the world’s favor.
We have to focus on educating ourselves on the importance of internal unity. This is the only thing we can or should do. If more Israelis understand the unique role of our people, the level of cohesion and solidarity that our nation is required to achieve, we will merit the world’s respect, and ultimately affection. But if we shun our vocation and choose division, then Netflix’s antisemitic films will be the least of our problems.
To elaborate on the topic, and to get a more historic perspective on the significance of unity precisely for the Jewish people, read my book The Jewish Choice: Unity or Antisemitism.