Audio Version Of The Blog – 1/14/22

Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Download:MP3 Audio

“A Purposeless Life Is No Life At All” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “A Purposeless Life Is No Life At All

John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson, nominated for an Oscar for Best documentary short subject for “Life Overtakes Me,” pose at a reception at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Mario Anzuon

A student of mine watched the film Life Overtakes Me, which tells the story of refugee children in Sweden who withdraw into a coma-like illness called “resignation syndrome” because of the uncertainties of their legal status. The student wondered how come children seem to “choose” death over life, although fear of death is purportedly the deepest, most primordial feeling.

This is where I think my student got it wrong: The fear of death is not the most fundamental fear, but rather the fear of life, or more correctly, the fear of life without a purpose!

The minute we live without a reason to live that is higher than life itself, we descend into a state that is below life. Animals have no such questions; they simply exist because they follow their instincts. Therefore, for them, existence is life.

Humans, on the other hand, need to know why they do what they do. Otherwise, they have no motivation to act, and all kinds of regressive phenomena occur, from substance abuse to depression, to resignation syndrome, and to suicide. The reason why suicide and other self-injurious behaviors are so common among humans and so rare among animals is that humans need a goal, a purpose in life, while animals do not. An aimless life is worse than death, so people prefer death to aimlessness.

Nevertheless, the feeling that we have no purpose in life is a powerful engine. It makes us question everything. Humanity’s greatest discoveries were made when people sought answers to life.

Today, people seem to have everything they need to lead a great life, but they have no reason to live. Therefore, they wonder what life is for.
This question is the most essential question one can ask, since the answer is not within us, but between us. The reason for our existence is our value in the network that comprises humanity. Each of us is a unique part in this network, and no one can fill the cavity created when one of us is missing. The greater our contribution to the strength of the net, the greater our value as individuals.

This is why today, sociologists and psychologists are discovering that the key to happiness is the quality of our social ties. Only when we have positive social ties, when each of us realizes his or her potential for the benefit of the entire human ecosystem, only then are we truly happy and at the same time contribute to our communities, our countries, and the world.

We can establish a balanced society, whose members are content and happy, yet do not exploit other people or the environment, only when each of us cares for others and we find our happiness in our connection with others, where we can realize our personal potential for the benefit of society and the entire world.

“We Ourselves Turn Emma Watson, Sally Rooney, And Others Against Us” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “We Ourselves Turn Emma Watson, Sally Rooney, and Others against Us

Emma Watson, Sally Rooney, and Roger Waters are only three of a long list of actors, musicians, authors, and artists of every kind and creed rooting for the Palestinians and calling for the boycott of Israel. How come they are all blaming us, Israel? Have we not stretched out our hand to them in peace countless times? Have we not offered to retreat from all the territories occupied in the 1967 Six Day War? Indeed we have. Did it help? No, it didn’t. Would it help if we gave up the land in its entirety? No, it wouldn’t. After all, they butchered Jews in 1921, 1929, 1936, and whenever they could before, in between, and after those dates of riots. What’s more, the Palestinians’ “best friend” was Adolf Hitler.

So why does the world care for the Palestinians and not for us? The answer is simple, yet counterintuitive: The world cares for them and not for us because we don’t care for one another. The world will care about the Jews when the Jews care about each other, and not a moment sooner.

We say that we want peace with the Palestinians, we sing about peace and pray for it, but we are not taking one step closer toward each other. Among ourselves, we are at each other’s throats, fighting for superiority and imbued with a sense of entitlement and righteous indignation against our brethren.

As just stated, we have tried every kind of peace offer possible, yet we have been turned down every time. Therefore, despite our inner divisions, it is time we examine what we are doing wrong toward each other instead of blaming the other side for not accepting our generous offers.

If we look into ourselves, we will find that the problem truly lies within us: It is the hatred among us. We cannot be in brotherhood with the Palestinians, and they will not want to be in brotherhood with us, until we are in brotherhood with one another. But once we are as brothers, the rest of the world will relate to us accordingly.

I realize that it may seem as though their sole wish is to drive us out of here, and I realize that they, too, feel that this is their true wish, but the Jewish people are unwanted everywhere they go not because they are trespassers, but because they are not true to their calling. The sole purpose of our existence is to serve as a model nation—a nation whose people rise above their rifts and form a union that transcends all divisions. When we achieve this, and there were times in our past when we did, we are the world’s darlings. When we fail to achieve it, and we usually fail, we are the world’s pariahs.

Therefore, we should not even try to break a crack through the world’s wall of hatred for the Jews; we will not succeed. Our efforts should focus solely on fostering good connections among ourselves. If we succeed, we will crack open every wall in the heart of every person in the world.

We can stop trying to “explain” our position, to prove that we are right, to claim that we, too, have a right to a sovereign country. No one is listening. But when we bond with each other, we will not need to explain anything to anyone; our merit will grant us everything we are currently demanding to have. What’s more, we will not need to explain it; it will be obvious to everyone, and everyone will befriend us.

Our books, our history, and our sages from every generation tell us that our only hope is unity. It is time we listened.

For more information on the merits of Jewish unity, look up my book The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism.

First Stage Of Movement Toward Correction

608.01Question: The more I annul myself, the more I rise above my egoism, right? Does this happen continuously as I connect with the ten more and more?

Answer: Yes, the more I annul myself, the closer I come to finally really annulling myself. This happens to the extent that egoism is revealed in me now, but not completely. It will be revealed for a long time over all future degrees.

But for the time being I have to carry out the work that was given to me so that in spite of my egoism, when I annul it, I unite with my friends and annul myself before them.

The moment I achieve the state of annulment of my ego to a certain degree—meaning I make a restriction on it—I receive an opportunity to use the upper light and begin to ascend. This is a different kind of work.

Right now we are talking only about the first stage of our movement toward correction, and this is annulling ourselves before the friends. This is what our world was created for. We are going through a great historical panorama and are participating in this from generation to generation in order to create all the conditions for complete annulment.

At each degree we must keep the restriction and then rise above it in order to use our desires in the opposite direction, in the direction of bestowal. Then, in this quality of bestowal, we will begin to feel some kind of similarity to the Creator. This is already a feeling of the upper light that will fill us.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/7/22, “Annulling before the Friends” Lesson 2

Related Material:
To Be A Complete Zero
The Rational Condition Of Connection With The Creator
If There Was No Creation, There Would Be No Creator

The Point Of Spiritual Ascent

530Question: If everyone in the ten is a zero and each annuls their desire, then there will be no desire at all, then what do I annul to?

Answer: Then you will no longer have to annul yourself before anything because you will be completely annulled. This is the first point from which you will begin your spiritual ascent.

Annulling ourselves before the others is the task of each of us at the starting point of the spiritual path. That’s where we will start our ascent. This is the task we are facing now.

And then the whole ascent will be based on the principle of faith above reason, when the quality of bestowal will prevail in us over the quality of reception.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/7/22, “Annulling before the Friends” Lesson 2

Related Material:
Zero Point Where Spirituality Begins
In The Zero Point Of Reality
The Only Place To Meet The Creator

Feel Who I Am And Who I Should Be

562.02Question: You said that there is no Creator and that the Creator is the property of the highest connection, bestowal. If there is no Creator, to whom do we pray?

Answer: In principle, we do not pray to someone, although this is how we express it in words. We raise the quality of bestowal, connection, and love above ourselves and try to rise above ourselves.

I kind of imagine a higher step and try to pull myself up to it. This is real prayer, conversion. Therefore prayer is called tfila, lehitpalel—that is, “to judge oneself,” to rise above oneself, to feel who I am and who I should be.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/6/22, “Approaching the Creator Through the Network of Connections Between Us”, Lesson 1

Related Material:
The Only Prayer
To Whom Should I Pray?
Creative Annulment Before The Friends

Spirituality Begins With Annulment

962.6Question: Is restriction taking the position of an observer?

Answer: No. This is not assuming the position of an observer, but rather a restriction in the use of one’s egoism for the sake of something. You must explain to yourself and know exactly why and for what you are restricting its use: maybe you’re ashamed, maybe you have some other benefit from it. All this should be clearly formulated for yourself.

Question: How do I check how much I annul myself in front of my friends and how successful I am in it?

Answer: You can’t measure it yet, but then at the next degree we will be able to do it. In the meantime we should just annul ourselves. The whole work starts with annulment.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/7/22, “Annulling before the Friends” Lesson 2

Related Material:
To Be A Complete Zero
Creative Annulment Before The Friends
Zero Point Where Spirituality Begins

“What Is The Difference Between Prediction And Prophecy?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What is the difference between prediction and prophecy?

Prediction can be attributed to people having some knowledge about social, technological, scientific and cultural development, upon which they make assumptions about the future.

There is no certainty in their assumptions. They just know several technological, cultural, historical and political moments of history, and by relying on their scientific experience, they can forecast the future.

It is, in principle, the usual work of scientists whom we consult for advice on the future. They are no prophets. They are smart people who predict the future with some kind of probability coefficient. They do not know the future, but they have knowledge of today’s state, as well as trends and tendencies, and can roughly say what might happen tomorrow.

A prophet, however, is a person who can become immersed in the system of the world’s governance, feel the forces controlling it, and can to some extent align themselves with such forces. Therefore, prophets do not predict what will happen based on some calculations, but simply say what should and could be.

We see stories about such people in kabbalistic sources such as The Zohar and the Torah, and we call them “prophets” because due to their spiritual development, they rise above our world’s limits of time, space and motion, and thus tell us what could happen.

There are no prophets in our time. We are at such a level that we no longer wait for them nor do we believe in them.

Based on the show “Spiritual States” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Michael Sanilevich on December 21, 2021. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

“Why Is Our World Becoming More Dangerous?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why is our world becoming more dangerous?

The human ego drives our evolution. As our ego becomes globally interconnected, our egoistic connections interlink, and we find ourselves in a snake pit of sorts, where everyone wants to use everyone else to their benefit.

Even though the growing ego develops us technologically, scientifically and socially, we need to reach a state where we question how we came to this.

Instead of making ourselves happier the more we develop, our egoistic development leads to the contrary. We find that no one truly benefits from such a form of development, except a few who manage to twist it to their advantage.

I thus see nothing positive in our so-called “progress” other than it bringing us closer to a state that Kabbalah calls “the recognition of evil.” The recognition of evil takes place when we realize our goals are wrong, that they lead to negative outcomes, increasing suffering, a terrible life, and we have no choice but to re-examine our entire existence, questioning how we reached such a state.

Also, what does it mean that our ego has become globally interconnected today, and how does that contribute to the world becoming increasingly dangerous?

According to Kabbalah, the human ego that drives our evolution is called the “desire to enjoy” with an intention to enjoy for self-benefit alone. The more we develop, the bigger the ego, and the stronger the realization of our egoistic goals. We then find ourselves increasingly wanting to devour others and nature in order to gain from the world, even if it means destroying the world in the process.

The reason we have not yet gone all the way and started an all-out war is because we see the end of the world as our own end. However, various crises—economic, cultural and social—loom in our world today, threatening to erupt in such a war.

If we wish to alleviate further suffering and change course to a positive path, we then need a new form of education, one capable of transforming our egoistic relations to altruistic ones. By changing the educational, media and cultural influences that we encounter on a daily basis to ones that teach how our true nature operates, the need for appreciating positive connection over divisiveness, as well as regular examples and exercises of the latter, and how altruism and positive connection are the fundamental laws of nature, we would then be on track to the greatest ever transition in history—from increasing danger, uncertainty, emptiness and anxiety to a harmonious, balanced, peaceful and happy life for all.

Based on a video “Why Is Our World Becoming More Dangerous?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Nitzah Mazoz. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

Doing Еverything For The Benefit Of Your Neighbor

622.02Question: It is written in many primary sources that the Creator is the property of bestowal. Can I assume that to love the Creator means to love the property bestowal?

Answer: To some extent, yes. This property can only be demonstrated in relation to other people. That is why it is said: “From love for the created beings to the love for the Creator.”

In principle, there is no difference whether you love the Creator or a person or the whole of humankind. But you can see it better if you use a huge mass of people and change yourself in such a way that you relate to them with absolute kindness.

To love your neighbor means to do what is good for him.

Question: And who decides that it is for his good?

Answer: To understand that, you have to rise up a little above yourself. And to do this, you need to start studying the wisdom of Kabbalah and draw what you need to really move forward from it: how to become kinder and better and how to be able to help others get closer to the revelation of the Creator. This is your task.

Question: You often say that to be able to love the Creator, you must love your neighbor. And loving your neighbor means helping him reveal the Creator, not that I must satisfy hundreds of his desires?

Answer: Of course not. There is only one desire that has to be satisfied: to reveal the Creator and do everything required to achieve this. This is everything.

It makes no sense to satisfy other desires of a person except those necessary for existence, because our main task is to reveal the Creator.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 12/14/21

Related Material:
Love Your Neighbor As Yourself
A Person Will Help His Neighbor
Love Of Friends (2)