Audio Version Of The Blog – 12/15/21
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From My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 12/15/21
Searches for the answer to the question “Why do I feel sad?” broke all records with a 10% jump from the previous year in the rankings of the most popular Google searches for 2021. Searches on topics such as: anxiety, stress, sadness, grief and methods to cope with them increased incomparably.
I can understand why people feel that way and I feel sorry for them. Even more difficult for me is to see that this suffering is not producing any results. It is as if the pain were not big enough to bring them out into the streets to demand global change.
Obviously we need to get to a level where the suffering is already coming from multiple directions and is felt by everyone. Only then will we begin to understand that across all the worries and problems, we need to connect with each other, to unite to influence leaders, to drive out the blight, to bring down inflation and to eliminate sadness.
I see this clearly: all human suffering stems from a lack of connection between us. We do not have good, friendly and amicable relations. Yet, simultaneously we are interdependent of each other and our happiness is dependent on the happiness of others, but we refuse to accept this reality.
Instead, we do not care that we cause harm to others, we do not curb our egoism, our relentless penchant for self-benefit, that drives us to commit harm and to be indifferent.
When suffering inevitably increases (Google searches show suffering is trending upward worldwide), then collectively we can recognize the problem and its solution, but when will that happen? How many more blows and of what magnitude will we have to endure? We are like heedless, stubborn children who do not want to hear anything. We do not want to acknowledge that we live by the laws of the ego. So, through blows and catastrophes nature will compel us to realize we have no choice but to submit to and abide by its laws since we are surrounded by and enclosed within the inescapable force of nature.
The inanimate, vegetative, and animal levels in creation practice mutuality based on their interdependence, and therefore the general natural system preserves them and provides the balance between them. Only the human race acts contrary to this system and shows no tendency to reciprocity; it singularly disrupts this equilibrium. We receive only for ourselves according to the laws of egoism and are unwilling to give according to the laws of nature. Thus, we disturb the balance not only between us, but also in all the other levels of nature, and they, like a mighty boomerang, smack us right back.
The year 2021 has been a year of discovering great inadequacies in the relationships in human society, a revelation of so much ugliness of the selfishness that dominates the human race and drives it to fight, harm and destroy. We must see this exposure of our nature as an opportunity and the foundation for building a new social structure.
We will rise from the crisis in the right way if we direct our efforts toward connection and cooperation. In this way, by the end of next year, our most pressing questions in life, such as “Why am I sad?” “Why am I suffering?” will be answered and put back in order.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “The World’s Only Harm-Doers”
As I wrote some three weeks ago, last Thursday the UN passed the final resolution regarding its support for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA). The tally, in a record vote, was 164 in favor of the resolution, and 1 against—Israel. The resolution was one of several votes, all of which condemn Israel very sharply, and one even declares that “the Palestinians are entitled to their property [since 1948] and to the income derived therefore in conformity of equality and justice.”
Two days prior, “expressing outrage over Israel’s continuing harassment of human rights,” the UN Human Rights Council has resolved to set up “an international, independent commission of enquiry to investigate, ‘all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up and since 13 April 2021.’”
If the entire world, not figuratively but literally the entire world, tells us that we are evil, that we are the only harm-doers, and we see no fault in our actions, shouldn’t we at least ask why the false perception? Could it be that it is our perception that is false? How come we never ask ourselves these questions and automatically reproach the entire world of being antisemitic? If it is antisemitic, and if it wants our destruction, why did it give us a country in the first place? And if it gave us a country, why does it now want to take it away?
It is not that Israeli copywriters are worse than their Palestinian counterparts, or that Israel does not allocate enough resources to explain its position. The simple truth is that in the eyes of larger and larger portions of humanity, we are the only harm-doers in existence. It makes no difference what we say or how we say it, since if we are the only ones to blame, then there is no one else to blame but us for everything that’s wrong with the world.
If this is the case, we should ask ourselves why the world thinks so. It does not think so because there is a Jewish state, since during the Holocaust or during the expulsion from Spain there was no Jewish state, but still we were regarded as the only harm-doers in the world. The world does not think so because of the libel that we pollute wells that cause pandemics, since the world hated us before and after the pandemics. The world also does not hate us because of anything that has to do with Christianity, since Muslims and even complete atheists readily hate us. Finally, the world does not hate us because of our race since there was antisemitism long before there were Nazis and racism.
The world changes its pretexts for hating Jews faster than the seasons change, but our own sages never change their minds, not once. They, too, think that we are the only harm-doers in the world, or as they put it, “No calamity comes to the world but for Israel” (Yevamot 63a). However, they also tell us why they think so, and their reasoning has never changed.
The only purpose of our people is to serve as “a light unto nations.” Once we united “as one man with one heart” and established our nationhood, we were tasked with setting an example to humanity. We, the nation that emerged from an assortment of strangers who hated one another, became a proof that with great resolve, people can rise above their hatred and unite.
Through our unity, we formed a society based on mutual responsibility and loving our neighbor as ourselves. We fell out of unity and rose back to unity, and along with our ups and downs, we lost and regained our sovereignty in the land of Israel. Accordingly, our sages never pinned our downfalls on foreign tyrants; they always attributed them to our disunity. For instance, they did not write that Titus destroyed the Temple, but rather, “The Second Temple … why was it ruined? It was because there was unfounded hatred in it” (Yoma 9b).
We should have no qualms about it: If we maintain our division, the resolutions of the UN will grow increasingly hostile and increasingly emphatic toward the Jewish state. Soon, the nations will declare, by a huge majority if not unanimously, to give Palestine to the Palestinians and that Resolution 181, to divide the land between Jews and Arabs, was an unfortunate mistake.
As long as we are not being what Jews are meant to be—people who unite above their division—the world has no need for us. Once it gives up on our ability to set an example of unity, it will resolve to eliminate the Jewish state and expel its Jewish residents.
If we care about our future more than about the pleasure of righteous indignation, we should muster the resolve to show the world that Jews who hated one another just a moment ago can truly be as brothers.
My new article on Linkedin “Egoism Will Destroy Democracy”
Perhaps one of the most conspicuous phenomena in recent years is the deterioration of the public’s trust in the authorities. Whether it is demonstrations against Covid restrictions, protests against economic reforms, or riots against policies on any topic from education through migration to defense, the public is losing trust in its elected officials in democratic countries. The problem is that the most selfish and exploitative are reaching the top positions, and people are not blind to it. Until we correct the abusive nature of our relationships, regimes will become increasingly corrupt until they fall apart altogether and war and violence take over.
Since the 17th century, contemporary democracy began to take shape as parliaments began to form, and kings and the clergy began to cede power to elected bodies. Democracy reached its highest status after two world wars, when democratic countries saved the world from despots in Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Following World War I, a first ever intergovernmental organization emerged, the League of Nations, which later changed its name to the United Nations, and whose principal mission was to maintain world peace.
But neither democracy nor the United Nations lived up to the promises they made. Democracy did not provide real freedom of expression, although for a while it made us feel like it did, and the UN has been a total failure when it comes to maintaining, or even advancing world peace.
Worse yet, over time, humanity has become increasingly egoistic, a trend which has only accelerated in recent years and still continues. People today are so self-absorbed that if you test them by the standards that were used only a few decades ago, they will “qualify” as narcissists.
Because we are narcissistic, we take to narcissists and place them at the helm of our countries. Instead of choosing people who will cater to our needs, we elect the most egoistic people to run our most “open” societies. Recently, the self-absorption of leaders has made them so corrupt that people can no longer ignore it. Finally, people are waking up and they are angry.
On the one hand, citizens’ intensifying resentment toward governments is a good sign, indicating that people are realizing that our leaders are not leading us anywhere good. On the other hand, it is a precarious situation since the volatility of the social tensions could lead to intense eruptions of violence whose nature and outcome are anyone’s guess.
Another peril that stems from our growing narcissism is that unless the government gives us exactly what we want, we cannot accept its legitimacy. Democracy is built on the governance of the majority, while considering the needs of minorities. It is not built to contain a situation where minorities are constantly subverting under its foundations. The growing destabilization can lead to one of two outcomes: anarchy or war. Neither is welcome.
In order to prevent what seems like an inevitably doomsday scenario, we need to address the root cause of the dissolution of free societies: human egoism. We can do this only if we cater to our egoism by showing that it is in our own best interest to cooperate and be considerate toward each other.
The current reality demonstrates all too well that we cannot move without affecting numerous other people. Any delay in the production or supply chain of almost any product immediately creates worldwide delays that hamper economies and disrupt the lives of billions of people the world over.
If we realized it and acted on this realization, we would create a completely different world. We would not need to worry about totalitarian regimes since denying others freedom would be tantamount to denying freedom from ourselves.
Co-dependence creates affinity. When people are sympathetic toward each other, they begin to care for one another not only on the emotional level, but also on the physical and material levels.
Humanity produces abundance of everything. Every single person in the world could be satisfied if only we cared for one another and wanted it to be this way.
Therefore, instead of attempting to stifle other people’s egos or (worse) hiding our malice under a veil of fake smiles, with knives behind our backs, we should harness our egoistic tendencies to our collective benefit. If we realize that each of us is dependent on all of us, our egos will tell us what to do in order to guarantee that every one of us is satisfied and happy.
[Photo Caption: (L-R) Italy’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Sereni, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze, Phillippines Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L Locsin Jr, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly, Canadian Minister of International Development Harjit Sajjan, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell and Brunei’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof pose for a group picture during the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers summit.]
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Denying Antisemitism Will Not Eliminate It”
Antisemitism is on the rise and Jews are being attacked hourly in various parts of the world, but everyone seems to deny it. Even when the danger is right in front of their eyes, Jews in Europe and the United States say, “It will not happen to me.” Leaders and governments promise, “We will not tolerate such extremists,” but nothing really changes for the better. And nothing will change until we treat the root cause of the disease.
In ancient Babylon, about four thousand years ago, people stopped understanding each other, as a consequence, confusion, fighting, and chaos ensued. A sage named Abraham emerged and taught them how to overcome narrow-minded selfishness – receiving only for your own benefit – the cause of all conflicts. If we learn how to do this, we will discover in the new relationships that arise between us a special power hidden in nature: the power of love and giving.
Those who became Abraham’s disciples learned the method of connecting with love above their ego and differences, and then the nation of Israel was formed. Throughout history, the mentors who came after Abraham continued to teach the method of acquiring a desire for unity and bestowal. But about two thousand years ago, people began to submit to their egoistic selfish desires. This caused the ruin of the Temple, as hatred between people took over. The spiritual connection that existed between us was destroyed, and our altruistic worldview was reduced to self-centered concern.
From then until today, the main thing that keeps Jews together is the hatred expressed towards us from other people. It reminds us that we belong to that same nation that descended from Abraham. Antisemites make us brothers in arms against the hatred we experience.
The hatred towards us has caused all sorts of phenomena. Firstly, throughout history there were Jews who tried to escape from antisemitism by giving up their Judaism, and in the process became great antisemites themselves. “The Conversos”, Jews who converted to Catholicism in 14th and 15th century Spain were great examples of this. Secondly, Jewish communities suffering from persecution looked for ways to escape the hatred by assimilating with the other cultures in order to negate the antisemitism.
They even paid to the authorities and assisted in everything they could in the hope that they would let them survive somehow. It was clear to the Jews that they were hated, but there was no point in talking about it. Third, the authorities for their part also played the game. In general, it was good for them to deny basic antisemitism, and to find up-to-date excuses for their hostile treatment of Jews.
Today, we see the same lady with a different outfit. You will not find a government that declares itself antisemitic. The UN will also oppose antisemitism in public, of course, but it is evident the outrageous biased treatment of this organization towards the only Jewish nation, Israel, denotes something else. Denying antisemitism publicly is often a smoke screen for either doing nothing about the problem or worse, actually committing those actions they seemingly denounce.
So, one may ask, is this the fate of the Jews? Will this bad movie never end? Everything is in our hands. If we understand that antisemitism is a natural phenomenon, ingrained in the nations of the world, then we can also find the cure for that hatred.
What Abraham tried to teach everyone in ancient Babylon is desperately needed in the world today. The human ego has reached enormous proportions; people are more hateful towards each other, at a time when the world is becoming more connected and interdependent. We are all in the same boat, highly dependent on each other and without a new way of life, we will not be able to survive the 21st century.
People feel that the Jews have some secret that they are hiding, some special power, and their accusations are correct. Although we ourselves are not aware of this, we inherited the wisdom of connection which we are not spreading to the world. King Solomon said “Hate stirs strife, and love covers all crimes (Proverbs 10:12). This teaches how to evoke into action the force of bestowal to cover the great ego with love. When we reveal this force between us, we will see how the hatred towards us is replaced by love from everyone.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is the relationship between soul and body?“
We live in the body in order to develop the soul until the soul becomes independent of the body. In other words, by starting on the animate level of existence, we develop the soul and rise to the human or speaking level of existence.
While in the process of developing the soul, we make a step in the soul’s ascension, then descend back to the body, and such circuits of ascents and descents gradually develop our soul’s independence and degree.
The soul is a sense in us that we correct and fill. While we work on our soul’s development, we exist separate to it, as if we make some kind of mechanism and work on it. We abstract ourselves from the soul and observe it objectively. Specifically the development of the soul is why we need our physical existence.
By observing ourselves from aside, we become more objective. We can then ascend the levels of our soul because we also have a body in which we exist.
Based on a talk “Close Up” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Question: What is circumcision in a spiritual sense?
Answer: Circumcision means that a person’s desires must be strictly differentiated and then those desires that cannot be corrected for the sake of bestowal are removed from any use.
It is said, “Cut off the edge of your heart.” The heart represents desire.
Question: Why were the people born in the wilderness not circumcised?
Answer: Because all the desires with which they worked there were natural. That is, all four stages of light influenced the point of initial desire, which arose in us from nothing, and developed it along all four stages of the gravity, (weight, heaviness) of desire.
Question: So, were there no desires that, as you say, needed to be cut off?
Answer: There were. But they had to be isolated under the influence of the higher light and cut off and removed from use.
Question: While traveling in the desert were these desires just emerging and had not yet been corrected?
Answer: In general, circumcision has existed since the time of Abraham. So, it is impossible to say something about what happened to the people during the times of Egyptian slavery and the exit from Egypt.
But as they approached the land of Israel, they became increasingly concerned about using only corrected desires. Without this, you cannot begin to do anything.
You must count seven days from birth and be circumcised on the eighth. That means when the receiving in our egoistic desires begins (from the eighth stage), we must clearly use them only for bestowal.
Question: It turns out that the journey in the desert is not a process of correction, right?
Answer: The desert is a manifestation of desires and a gradual appeal to the Creator, a gradual approach to the property called the land of Israel.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 9/27/21
Circumcision—Rejection Of Egoistic Desires
Cut Off The Edge Of Your Heart
“From My Flesh I Shall See the Creator”
Question: Is there a spiritual root of natural disasters?
Answer: Of course there is. But the fact is that we invite them ourselves. It is the person, humanity, and their development that forces the entire nature to change.
Comment: It is strange because these disasters existed even before man appeared.
My Response: It does not matter that man allegedly did not exist in nature. He was in different states. As Baal HaSulam writes, everything develops only for the person and exists only for him. We are the cause and the purpose.
Question: What is the purpose of disasters?
Answer: To bring us to complete, absolute balance between us. Natural disasters are not punishment, but a force of development.
Comment: But every year millions of people are left without homes, tens of thousands of them die.
My Response: Nature hardly takes these things into account since they happen at the level of the animalistic existence of protein matter, not at the spiritual level.
Inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human nature in their various disasters affect each other from below upward and from above downward . Thus, the entire picture of the world moves forward.
The development of disasters can be prevented only by balancing the relationships between people because we are at the highest level of nature. If we stop taking the animate, vegetative, and inanimate levels of nature out of the state in which they are below us and dictate by our own balance their balance, then they will naturally come to it.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 11/24/21
Natural Disasters And The Role Of Humanity
That Loud Word “Nature”
The Crown Of Creation
Question: What does “shoes” mean?
Answer: “Shoes” are a screen between a man and the earth (egoistic desire).
“To take off shoes” means that a person no longer needs separation, rejection, and distancing from the earth (from his desires). Either he is already corrected or this is a special land.
Question: What does “to see” and “to hear” mean?
Answer: This is about attaining either the level of Bina (to hear) or the level of Hochma (to see).
Question: What is this law of the Creator “keep from the devoted thing”?
Answer: It means that you should not try to correct what cannot be corrected. You cannot take something that is impossible to correct.
Question: What does it mean that “Joshua was old, advanced in years”?
Answer: It means that he reached the level of Hochma, the light of life. It is because an old man (Zaken) is the one who has mastered the level of Hochma, above the level of Bina.
Question: What is the “city of refuge”?
Answer: The city of refuge is a place where someone who has unintentionally harmed another can hide. This means that the Creator set him up. From a person’s point of view, he can receive punishment, but from the Creator’s point of view, there is no guilt on him.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 9/27/21
“Crush The Head Of The Snake”
Kosher, Suitable To Serve The Creator
Question: What kind of substance is a soul?
Answer: This is part of the Creator that is constantly changing within us, and we can improve it. It can even disappear from us, and we can continue living in our body.
Let us say the soul, which is the feeling of the Creator, disappears from me now, and I feel only that I am sitting here with you; this is the animate level.
Then, according to this, by performing certain actions within myself, I come into contact with the Creator again. This part of my relationship with Him is called soul.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Individualist” 1/15/10″
Does A Soul Have A Place?
What Is The Soul?
An Eternal Soul