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My new article on Linkedin “The Intelligence Paradox: Why the Most Intelligent Species Does the Most Harm”
Humans are the most intelligent species on the planet. Why then are we also the most injurious to ourselves, to all other species, and to the planet we live on? How come our superior intellect concocts plans that are supposed to improve our situation, but always end up making it worse? The answer is simple: Our minds are great, but our hearts are polluted with so much malice that they corrupt the way we think, and our corrupt thoughts create a polluted and corrupt world that reflects the malevolence in our hearts.
Every plan we draw, we base it on the failure of previous plans, or we would not need to draw new ones. But since we haven’t corrected the root that causes all the failures—our corrupt hearts—we draw new plans with the same foul mindset with which we drew the previous one, but with an intention to “speed up” the correction. The result, therefore, will be an acceleration of the corruption of our world.
If there is any benefit in the plans we draw today, it is that they will expose our incompetence. Because of our corrupt hearts that seek to exploit everything and everyone, our intellects devise plans that have nothing but the destruction of others and the advancement of ourselves as their goal. Since this is the nature of all humans, to varying extents, our plans collide with one another and destroy everything—the ground we stand on, the plants and animals that nourish us, and ultimately us. An ego-based civilization can’t help but cause destruction.
The fundamental difference between humankind and all other species is that they want to survive, while we want to defeat. This is why we developed our intellect: to surpass and displace others, to deny others glory, subsistence, and to either enslave or destroy them.
The only way to save our planet and ourselves, then, is to use our superior intellect to change our hearts so that our intellect serves our true interests rather than our selfish hearts. We can do this by learning to think of one another, by learning to value those who are considerate rather than those who promote only themselves.
It may feel unnatural, but our own nature is clearly leading us nowhere. So it is time we put our minds to work for something that actually benefits us.
It’s not enough for each of us to try to be a better person. Our social environment is stronger than we are and will impel us to behave like everyone else. In order to succeed, we must make a concerted effort.
There is nothing we cannot achieve if we work together. Even the obstinate human nature is no match for our collective power. If we understand the significance of consideration and empathy not only for our society, but to our very lives, we can move mountains.
Truth is always in demand, but in practice it is completely not accepted by society. Truth is too complicated for practical application because it obliges everyone in society to be equal so that everyone gets their share according to their efforts.
Here we are facing the egoism of each and every individual and his inability to do anything for the benefit of others. He is ready for this only out of desperation—when he expects to get even more for his own benefit in return.
Therefore, it is impossible to establish human relationships on the basis of truth.
People are all different. Some have strong qualities and others are strong in quantity. And there is always tension and misunderstanding between them caused by differences in human nature. There are people who are smart and energetic and some are lazy and mediocre. And of course, the energetic and persistent will eventually become managers, and the masses are ready to remain passive and follow the leaders.
However, we do not need to “correct” nature. We will not be able to be equal because this condition was given to us initially. As a result, we must come to the point when differences between us would work for our benefit, meaning, they would help us attain the Creator and become like Him.
In what form can we connect with each other to benefit from this connection and not increase tensions that lead to wars, revolutions, and conflicts that we witness again and again?
We need to organize such relationships so that we derive pleasure from our differences: from the fact that one is smart and the other is stupid, one is weak and the other is strong, one is lucky and the other is unlucky, someone was born in a special family or in a special country. It is not necessary to fight against these differences revealed by nature, which means they are given by the Creator, but it is necessary to understand that by using them correctly, we can achieve the biggest correction.
From each person: both strong and weak, stupid and smart, lucky and unlucky, you can draw common benefit so that everyone will be happy.
Instead of breaking the nature given to us from birth, we need, on the contrary, to look for how to connect with each other so that everyone feels good, not one at the expense of the other, but precisely by using the differences created by the Creator. If we know how to use this creation with all the differences inherent in it, we will reach an absolutely good state.
But how can a person be demanded to rise above his nature? There have already been attempts to force a person to give up his egoism, like in Russia, and collectivize everything. But nothing happened, and after a few decades, there was no trace of these experiments left.
And yet, on the part of nature itself, there is such a law that obliges us to rise above our egoism, unite, and completely fulfill each other. The question is how to connect two opposites: to bring our nature, which is against connection, to feel our neighbor as ourselves?
What means are there for this? History has proven that neither hunger nor suffering could make people connect. No Marxism-Leninism could bring people closer to each other. Our egoism continued to rule anyway.
Where can we get the strength to properly unite people in practice and not in fantasies so that everyone can keep this connection and enjoy it? The bitter experience of history shows that we must receive this power from above, and for that we need the science of Kabbalah.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/8/21, Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Peace in the World”
Asking for help from the Creator is our work. We think that asking for help means not working. But spiritual work should be completed at every step through my prayer—when I contact the Creator, address Him through the group, and receive from Him. I keep renewing my connection with Him.
And that is why our work is all based on prayer, request, gratitude, and a single direction all the time. I must constantly update my contact with the Creator because this is the most important thing. That is why He prepared all this for me, so that I can build my connection with Him.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/9/21, Writings of Baal HaSulam, Shamati #121 “She Is Like Merchant-Ships”
My new article on Linkedin “What Really Makes Life Meaningful”
We get up, start the day, prepare the kids for school, or head to work if we are single. The day passes in a flurry. Afterward, we get home exhausted and crash until the next morning so we can start over the next day. Could this be what makes life meaningful? That’s exactly what a recent global study investigated. 39% of respondents said that family was the primary source of meaning in their lives, compared to 2% who found meaning in faith and spirituality.
According to a recent study conducted by Pew Research Center among 19,000 adults in 17 developed countries around the world, the most important factors in a person’s life are their family, career, and financial well-being.
No wonder family is the main source of contentment. Family plays the most important and direct role in a person’s development, as it is the closest and most influential circle. The rest of the circles also influence and fill time with quality, but they are more distant, less stable, and can change from one day to the next. A person can switch jobs, friends, or a place of entertainment, but not their family. In spite of the difficulties sometimes experienced, the person is dependent on and connected to the family. This is why it is so important.
After two years of COVID-19, one might have expected that people would ask more about the meaning of life and, therefore, be more attracted to spirituality. But in the end, humanity is not particularly thoughtful or contemplative about the global epidemic. Rather, people feel oppressed for not being able to travel abroad freely, for having to wear masks and for needing extra shots to prevent the spread of the virus, as well as a number of onerous restrictions.
However, overall we have learned to live with the plague. Soon humanity will also forget about the new variant that invaded our lives. Our human nature is willing to voluntarily receive pleasure and enjoyment for ourselves and only for ourselves. Day by day this egotistical nature grows, becomes coarse and thick, so sophisticated and cunning that the person does not get impressed anymore about anything. We are constantly bombarded by information about wars, mass famine, and new virus variants, but until we experience such a reality in all our senses, we do not believe it is happening and do not take action towards change.
Nevertheless, I cannot say that the coronavirus has not had an impact on us. It revealed to us how much we depend on each other since we are a small global village. But in the network of communication between us, in our inner feelings, we remain indifferent and detached from each other. So, what will naturally happen is that the egoism will get stronger; more global blows will appear until we realize that only when we feel like one family, in mutual guarantee, will we be able to thrive.
We will perceive our lives as purposeful solely through our close human connection. If we were to shape the face of society with the pattern of an ideal family, we would have made our lives better, creating a good, warm, and friendly atmosphere for ourselves. We would have built a good environment that embraces us like a loving mother. The more we connect emotionally to each other, the more we will feel the power of connection, the supreme force of nature, an attribute of giving and loving, a good and benevolent force. If we just cling to nature’s qualities and intentions, we will discover the meaning of life, both in corporeality and spirituality for complete fulfillment.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “No Way to Unscramble Scrambled Eggs”
On March 8, 2009, during the financial crisis that became known as the Great Recession, then Wachovia Corp. economist Mark Vitner described the world’s jumbled economies quite aptly: “It’s like trying to unscramble scrambled eggs. It just can’t be done that easily. I don’t know if it can be done at all,” he told CBS News. These days, as the world struggles with disruptions to the global supply chain and vital commodities are stuck at sea for months, some pundits are suggesting that we do just that. But since 2009, economies have only become more entangled, and the idea of unbundling them has become even more unrealistic.
You cannot go against evolution, and evolution goes toward more complexity, not less. This is true at every level: the mineral, the biological, and the social. As a result, human society is becoming more complex and intertwined, and the economy, which is a reflection of human society, follows the same lane.
The reason we do not see such congestion and disruption in nature is that besides people, all other elements follow their instincts. The result is a harmonious flow, the cycle of life continuous uninterrupted and things evolve in synchrony with their environment.
Humanity functions in exactly the opposite way. We strive to rise above our environment, not in sync with it. We try to reach the top of the heap, to be faster, higher, and stronger than everyone else. When every country, company, and even person (to some degree) tries to do this, congestion occurs at the nodes, and everything gets stuck.
In other words, we are witnessing the result of our own self-centered attitude. If everyone had worked in harmony with the rest of human society, as every other element in nature does, there would have been no congestion and everyone would have gotten what they need, when they need it, and as much of it as they need.
Moreover, because we are competitive and derive satisfaction not from having what we need, but from having more than others, and even from denying others what they need, we cannot unravel our economies. Our desire to beat others binds us to them because their pain is our pleasure, and we cannot work without pleasure. To go it alone is to go against human nature, and we cannot do that, at least not in the long run.
If we are going to rationalize supply chains, we have to be clear about our interdependence. We need to start seeing ourselves as a unit, where the benefit of one is the benefit of all, and all parts contribute to the well-being of all other parts.
Our own bodies function in this way, every organism functions in this way. Without this approach, life would not be possible. When we act contrary to the fundamental element that makes life and development possible, we condemn our society to death and decay.
Once we recognize how nature works, how we work, and that it is in our best interest to change, we can stop disrupting the global economic system and begin to synchronize our actions. In simpler terms, we will be more considerate of each other.
Currently, we may not like the idea that we need to think of others and not just ourselves, but if we do not start teaching ourselves the truth today, global entanglement will worsen to the point that we will no longer be able to provide ourselves with the basic necessities for daily living.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What should we change? But what are we changing?“
We should change our inner attitude to each other: from our inborn egoistic attitude that prioritizes self-benefit over benefiting others, to a new altruistic nature that prioritizes benefiting others over self-benefit. Doing so leads us to balance with the altruistic and interconnected form of nature, which in turn invites the positive force that dwells in nature into the new altruistic threads of connection we establish among each other, and as such we achieve eternity and perfection.
Instead of the inner change of our attitude that we should be focusing on, we instead focus on changing all kinds of things other than our egoistic nature: failing to reach any harmony or balance, and instead become increasingly imbalanced and divided, experiencing an accumulation of suffering as a result.
An inner change of our attitude to each other requires education—a different kind of education to the one we have today. Education means organizing our environmental influences such that we would reach a desire to change our egoistic nature to its altruistic opposite. In other words, by witnessing regular positive examples of altruism in society, and by learning wisdom that lets us better understand how human nature and nature in general works, and how to align ourselves with a evolutionary tendency that is guiding us toward this fateful egoism-to-altruism transition, we can embark on a change of our nature.
If we undergo this egoism-to-altruism change, we would see a vast transformation and upgrade in human relations, our connection with nature, the family, business, culture, science, and literally in every sphere of activity. Our lives would change completely into a positive form as a result of our inner changes. We should thus focus on helping educate about and promote the inner change that we will all need to eventually undergo.
Without education, we can expect no such inner change to take place. In its place, we can expect suffering to accumulate the more we try to make all kinds of changes outside of our attitudes to each other, which would eventually lead us to seek an inner change anyway. However, the latter is an undesirable and unfortunate process that only leads to increasing desperation and helplessness, and this is the process we are largely experiencing in today’s world.
We thus need to start from scratch by establishing a new educational foundation. Wisdom of connection that explains how nature works, our place in nature, the purpose and plan of development, and how to align ourselves harmoniously with this purpose and plan, is incremental in impacting a change in our inner attitudes to each other. However, in order for such education to succeed, it needs to function like an environment that we are parts of.
The environment that raises us to undergo a transition of our nature from egoistic to altruistic should function similarly to an incubator, where it provides us with the most favorable conditions, the right amount of heat, and which adjusts itself to the conditions that are needed in order to eventually hatch us into a new form. In other words, such an environment needs to accord to people’s desires; it should not be coercive or oppressive in any way; and it should inspire people to learn about the deeper altruistic workings of nature through engagement and participation.
Based on talks with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Photo by Jane Palash on Unsplash.
Answer: An abomination means to prefer the quality of reception over the quality of bestowal.
Question: Does it mean that we are constantly in this abomination?
Answer: The fact is that we have a very limited capability to give more accurate interpretations. To do this we need to enter a certain style of explanation.
Comment: We cannot say that our world is entirely immersed in abomination, after all, it does not know the other part, bestowal.
My Response: Our world is actually nothing. You cannot identify it in any way. There is no quality of bestowal to oppose it and there is nothing to compare it with.
But when a person begins to use the world not for one’s own sake, but for the sake of others, for correction, for the revelation of the Creator, then new opportunities immediately appear for him, and the correct advancement begins.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 9/27/21
Question: If a person did not use the opportunity to reveal the meaning of life and lived it the way everyone lives, what remains as a result of all his efforts, passions, aspirations, and hopes?
Answer: Nothing. The animate body dies and its informational part continues to exist in a new body and develops further. And so it happens again and again. Each generation is born anew, that is, naturally; it is not bodies that are born but information that passes into new parts again and again.
It seems to us that we give birth to children by giving a woman our seed, she gets impregnated, and a new person is born. No. It just seems that way because it is just the animate part.
The fact is that at the same time we transfer to each other a huge amount of information that exists, as it were, around this seed that is fertilized and begins to develop in the mother. This information is all around us. It is our most important essence; it determines generations and their gradual change and growth.
We live in a generation where we begin to seriously ask why we exist because the accumulation of information forces us to learn about the meaning of life. Ultimately, this is a question about the meaning of suffering.
It is expressed in the fact that a person begins to feel the state he is in: this life is like a dream, it is not real, it is some kind of a game. I get up in the morning, run to work, do something—what for, why? Everyone around me does the same thing running back and forth. It is like a kindergarten. Something incomprehensible. I participate in the general game.
I watch TV, they constantly show me the way I should be, what I should purchase, how I should behave, and tell me I should take an example from the rich and famous. There is a game going on all around.
Some pictures are constantly being played out in front of me, and I repeat them all the time. I see this artist, and I am already acting like him. I read something, saw something, heard something, and according to it, like a monkey, I began to behave the same. That is how we live.
I even catch myself the moment I see myself imitating the image, the example I saw somewhere, this is how I am going to approach, this is how I am going to turn out, this is how I am going to act, like a wound-up mannequin participating in some kind of a common game. And so is everyone else.
When you look at it from above, a picture emerges that is stunning in its primitiveness, amazing in its pre-conceived flat emptiness! And when we understand this, while at the level of this emptiness, then, of course, we come to this feeling that we are in a dream.
It is said in Kabbalah that we are all asleep—the whole world is asleep—we are in an unconscious state relative to spirituality. I do not see that I am being controlled, I do not see my next state, the next moment.
Of course, I can assume something. But in fact, we see that we cannot plan anything in advance to make it come true. It turns out that we need the revelation of the Creator, i.e., the revelation of global nature. And this happens through self-knowledge.
Question: And there are no boundaries in this desire?
Answer: There is a boundary; when you reach the absolute revelation of your own and the external nature, you will come to overall harmony.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Individualist” 1/15/10
Question: You have repeatedly said that there is no coercion in spirituality. Why does nature put so much pressure on us?
Answer: The fact is that you will not be dragged along the spiritual path by force, but the suffering will make such a “cutlet” out of you, that in the end you will come to this path yourself. First of all, there must be awareness.
Coercion means I don’t explain anything to you, I don’t bring you to the need for awareness, I don’t engage with you at all, I just force you to do something. When you have one desire and I have another and I force my desire on you, this is coercion.
There is no such thing in nature. Suffering forces us to change our desire, to realize it as evil, and to understand that I need something else. Therefore, it is said that there is no coercion in nature. But this is the most terrible hard compression. Don’t we see how we are built and what our life is like?
Now we are entering a very difficult final period, the period of the Mashiach. “Mashiach” from the word “Limshoch” – “to pull out.” This is the period when we will be dragged from our current stage to the next. And since it is the opposite of us, the transition will be very painful, nature will press us, and strongly.
Therefore, Kabbalah, which has been hidden for all millennia, is revealed today, to relieve this transition for us. It explains the nature of our existence in this last final state and how we should change ourselves inversely.
Kabbalah tells a person about the goal, toward what he should develop. And this goal is absolute, we will not get away from it. Therefore, it is better to take it into account.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Fire Island” 1/1/10