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Question: If the greatness of the Creator depends on the greatness of the friends in my eyes, isn’t it better to speak about the greatness of the ten and not about the greatness of the Creator?
Answer: In principle it is the same thing. The greatness of the Creator cannot be more than the greatness of the ten.
Therefore, if you want to know exactly how great the Creator is in your eyes, you can measure it by your attitude to the friends, how great they are in your eyes. This is how it works.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/8/22, “Deriving the Greatness of the Goal from the Friends” Lesson 4
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Normalization with Gulf States Will Not Bring Normalization with the World”
Recently, Ahmed Al-Jarallah, Editor-in-Chief of the Arab Times, wrote an op-ed that urged Gulf states to normalize relations with Israel, and criticized the Palestinians. Al-Jarallah stated that Gulf states should not support the Palestinians financially or mediate between them and Israel “whenever one of them throws a missile at Israel.” If they attack Israel, he suggested, “let them rebuild what they destroy by their own acts.” In conclusion, Al-Jarallah stated, “All the Gulf states should normalize relations with Israel due to the fact that peace with this most advanced country is the right thing to do.” As for the Palestinians, he vented, “Let the foolish fend for themselves.”
Naturally, the Israeli media quoted the op-ed extensively. Finally, someone in the Arab world has listened to reason, looked at the facts, and realized that the Palestinians are the aggressors and Israel is acting only in self-defense. I, too, was happy to hear about Al-Jarallah’s words, but I think that if Israel did what it is supposed to do, it would have no enemies at all, not even the Palestinians. After all, we are the people who conceived the motto “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and we are the ones expected to realize it.
An alliance with Israel may be great for the Gulf states, and I am certainly happy when any Arab country wants to make peace with us rather than fight against us. However, for Israel, this is far from enough. No peace that we will make will hold until we make peace with one another. Look, for example, at the peace we have with Egypt and with Jordan. There may be absence of active fighting between us, but there is a lot of hostility toward Israel, especially among the citizens of the two nations. Therefore, in the event of a war, Israel cannot trust these countries not to join its enemies.
We may not realize it, but Israel, the startup nation, was initially a startup society. Our “experiment” was unprecedented, and has never been attempted since. The idea was that people who came from foreign, often hostile nations, could form a nation by extolling the idea of unity itself. If successful, the “formula” would be a role model for humanity.
For centuries, we teetered between success and failure, but in the end, we failed the world: We fell into such diabolic hatred of each other that the world has never since tried to establish a nation based on mutual responsibility and loving others as yourself.
Nevertheless, the world did not forget our obligation. Not only our own scriptures remind us of our mission, but antisemites and historians also recognize it.
Among those antisemites is the most notorious Jew-hater in US history: Henry Ford, founder of the automobile company. In his antisemitic composition, The International Jew – the World’s Foremost Problem, Ford details his grievances against the Jews. Yet, here and there, he throws some very thought-provoking statements: “It may be that when Israel is brought to see that her mission in the world is not to be achieved by means of the Golden Calf,” he writes, “her very cosmopolitanism with regard to the world and her inescapable nationalistic integrity with regard to herself will together prove a great and serviceable factor in bringing about human unity.” Ford also complained that “the total Jewish tendency at the present time is doing much to prevent” Jewish unity.
Regarding being a startup society, Ford advises contemporary sociologists to study the ancient Israeli society. In his words, “Modern reformers, who are constructing model social systems on paper, would do well to look into the social system under which the early Jews were organized.”
Similar to Ford, acclaimed historian Paul Johnson wrote in his comprehensive composition A History of the Jews, “At a very early stage in their collective existence [Jews] believed they had detected a divine scheme for the human race, of which their own society was to be a pilot.”
To this day, the world regards us as indebted. It cannot forge the kind of unity that it needs today—among nations and faiths—and it does not see the example it needs to receive from us. This is why the Palestinians can feel confident that the world will side with them. It blames us for every conflict on the planet, not only with the Palestinians, but also among themselves. And until we make peace with one another and become the pilot society, the social model that the world expects to see, we will remain the world’s pariahs.
My new article on Linkedin “Twenty-Two Billion Worthless Dollars without Love”
One of the most curious individuals in the cryptocurrency financial industry is Sam Bankman-Fried. In just a few years, he has turned from an anonymous son of two college professors into the richest person under thirty (he is twenty-nine), with a net worth of US$22.5 billion. According to the Forbes 400 list, he is ranked 32nd on the list of the world’s wealthiest people for 2021. But what is even more extraordinary is that Bankman-Fried plans to give it away. He believes in utilitarianism and plans to donate the great majority of his wealth to charity.
Regrettably, as noble as his goals may be, more money will not solve or even improve anything. The world has more than enough of everything, except for the one thing that would let everyone benefit from the abundance: love. Of this, there is none.
Twenty-two billion dollars might help foster love among people, but to do that, we first need to know what love is. Our current understanding of it is that we love what makes us feel good. If another person makes me feel good, I will love that person. If giving makes me feel good, I will love giving. But these do not make me a loving person.
When my younger daughter was a child, we sat down for dinner one evening and had fish. We started talking about love and I tried to explain to her what love means. I pointed to the fish on her plate and asked, “Do you like fish?” She replied enthusiastically, “I love fish!” I said, “Then kiss the fish.” The grimace on her face said it all. She realized that it was not the fish that she loved, but the taste of their flesh in her mouth.
To love is to want to give to another what the other person wants, to think and dream and plan your moves so they please your loved one. Love means cloaking yourself in the other person’s perspective and using that understanding to see how you can please that other person.
Money cannot teach that. Only people who know what it’s like to be that way can help you achieve it. Just as you would not take as a guide on a treacherous trail a person who has never walked it, if we want to achieve true, selfless love, we should follow those who have achieved it.
Of course, anyone can claim that he or she has achieved it, and there is no way to know who is honest and who is not. Therefore, the only advice I can offer is to follow your heart, and constantly examine if your teacher is teaching you to love selflessly or to love the teacher, or other sorts of unclean love.
If we manage to cultivate selfless love among us, we will not need billions of dollars, or even millions. All we will need is ourselves, and of this, there is abundance.
My new article on Linkedin “Plenty More Waves in the Covid Sea”
There is an oft-said consolation after a breakup: “There are plenty more fish in the sea.” As we are bidding farewell and saying “Good riddance!” to the Omicron wave, we must remember that there are plenty more waves in the Covid Sea. Although Omicron was a mild wave compared to its predecessors, there is no guarantee that its successors will be as forgiving, or even of a similar kind. One thing is clear, we are attracting troubles to ourselves. The holes we rip in the fabric of the smooth reality will draw every passing calamity upon us until we are convinced that we must mend the tears and straighten out the dents.
Covid, as with the rest of the crises affecting us, is not a freak accident. It is a direct result of our mistreatment of everything around us. All the crises, including Covid, aim to slow us down and restrain our vandalism toward nature and toward weaker people and nations.
From the very beginning, I was grateful for the coronavirus precisely because it forced us to slow down. I have no doubt that without it we would have been much worse off today than we are now. The Omicron wave was the mildest yet, but we still have not learned the lesson; we are still waiting for the moment when we can return to our reckless way of life. If we do not learn to be considerate, nature will impose its shackles on us through pain.
At the same time, if we do learn to be considerate and see that everyone gets their basic needs fulfilled, and we can do that without adding a single cent to our collective spending, we will see an immediate relief from all the crises plaguing us today. We should take the opportunity that nature has given us, the break from the pandemic, and tend to the urgent needs of humanity. We should secure food provision for all, housing, schooling, and health. If we do that and establish a balanced way of life around the world, we will stop suffering from plagues, wars, and other crises.
To achieve balance, we must build trust and understand that we are all dependent on each other. If we realize that all of humanity is on a precipice, and if one of us falls, we all fall, then we will let no one fall.
Just as new strains quickly spread throughout the world, rendering vaccines useless, any problem that anyone has will immediately affect the entire world. If we come to feel this and live with this mindset, we are certain to avoid troubles and the waves of the sea will not crash on our heads.
Mending the tears means mending the rifts between us. If, instead of tearing each other up, we will help each other mend our lives, the fabric of reality will be smooth and straight, and our lives-peaceful at last.
Rabash, “Concerning Yenika [Nursing] and Ibur [Impregnation]”: However, in truth, one must believe that his desire to begin to work the Creator in annulling his self is a call from above, for it is not within man’s wisdom. Meaning, if a person has a desire for spiritual advancement, it comes from the Creator. It is not caused by his own wisdom.
The evidence of this is that during this call, all the questions he had before he was called from above—he had many questions, and each time he wanted to do something in order to bestow the body resisted and could not understand if there is a person in the world who could annul his self before the Creator and not worry at all about his own benefit. He was always under some fear whether he could annul himself to the Creator.
But now he sees that all the thoughts and doubts have been completely burned and he would feel great pleasure if he could annul himself before the Creator.
Do not be afraid of anything. By relying on the group we can easily overcome all doubts and reach a state where we simply walk with our eyes closed. We do not need any questions, answers, anything. We only want to be in the quality of bestowal. And therefore, we want to achieve it above all doubts.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/7/22, “Annulling before the Friends” Lesson 2
We must imagine that we live inside the Creator. He surrounds absolutely everything, fills everything, controls everything, and moves each of us separately and all of us together. This is the state we really are in, it only our egoism that does not allow us to feel it.
The revelation of the Creator to a person in this world is the wisdom of Kabbalah. How can we do this? On the one hand, we give suitable efforts toward the fact that the Creator exists in the world, controls it, creates everything, and there is none else besides Him.
On the other hand, we must come to this state clearly, and clearly means together when we annul our egoism and try to reveal the Creator by force and to become similar to Him. All this together leads us to His revelation.
It is not hard work. I just need to adjust my heart and thoughts to the fact that I am going for it and I want to reveal Him.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/8/22, “Going with Faith above Reason” Lesson 5
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Can you lose your maternal instinct?“
Recent research shows that mothers’ engagements with smartphones and magazines are harmful to mother-child communication, which in turn harms the child’s development. In the research, mothers using their phones to engage with social media, and also mothers reading magazines, spent up to four times less time talking with their toddlers (aged two to three) than when they were not on their phones or magazines. Moreover, the mothers with phones and magazines responded less to their childrens’ calls, had a lower quality response than when not on their media, and sometimes even ignored their children altogether.
What does it mean when we see mothers—symbols of devotion, love and care—pay increasing attention to their phones and magazines than to their toddlers?
It is a present-day example of how the maternal instinct lessens and the natural connection between mother and child weakens the more that the human ego grows. The phones and magazines add to the situation, but also emerge together with our natural development, which is a continual growth of the human ego that increasingly detaches us from each other, up to a point of detaching mothers from their children.
As a result of our egoistic development, less and less people today want to have children or grandchildren, and more and more people are becoming concerned solely with their individual lives. Such development needs to unfold until we reach a state of helplessness and desperation, where we will feel no livelihood or fulfillment in a life of growing detachment to one another.
However, together with the growing helplessness comes the opportunity to correctly diagnose the root cause of our growing detachment to each other—the overblown human ego that resides in each and every one of us—and to stop identifying our egoistic drives as being our “self” or our “I.” In other words, by realizing the ego behind our growing detachment from each other, up to a point of mothers losing their maternal instincts, we should accordingly stop listening to its demands, and stop relating to it as being a part of us. We would then be able to start correcting it.
At every moment, the ego prioritizes the fulfillment of our own desires over everybody else’s. The more the ego grows, the more it leads us to thinking of ourselves more and more over even our own families. In other words, the ego is self-love, and it directs us to love only ourselves more than we love our own children, spouses and parents, up to a point where we feel no love at all for anyone else.
After diagnosing the growing ego as the root cause of increasing detachment, which causes an array of problems in our lives, we should then organize our relationships so that we relate to everyone with loving and caring attitudes. In other words, by raising awareness of the need to enrich our connections with more love, consideration, support and encouragement, then the wider net of positive connection we cast over society will serve to positively influence us to reignite love at the family level. Mothers would then experience a revival of their maternal instincts, albeit on a whole new level: they will not be mere “instincts” but the mothers’ new drive to draw closer to their children, families and relatives would emerge from acquiring a higher level of consciousness, i.e. connection with the positive force of love and bestowal that dwells in nature.
Based on the video “How Mothers Have Become Detached from Their Babies” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Question: What is the best way to train myself, to see each friend above me or the entire group?
Answer: Both are good.
Question: Is incorporating in a group considered work?
Answer: Yes, creating a Kli (vessel) is considered spiritual work.
Question: What should I do if I see flaws in the friends, and I have no reaction to them, no clarification, no prayer, and no plea?
Answer: You have to write on all the walls, everywhere around you, that the most important thing in your life is to come to respect the group and feel that you are small, premature, and underdeveloped next to them. This will be your most correct state.
Question: In order to see that we are truly connected with each other, do we need to ask ourselves whether we are ready to put our heart in the hands of the friends?
Answer: Yes, if we reach such a state, then, of course, this already is the highest correction.
Question: Is each annulment before the friends equivalent to our gradual ascent to the Creator?
Question: How, by annulling before each other, can we become integral so that the Creator would connect us into one desire?
Answer: This is exactly what we need to do—to unite in such a way that we all would be connected from zero to infinity, regardless of any external conditions.
Question: If the Creator is clothed in my intention to bestow to Him and to all the people, but this is not yet the common intention of the group, only a personal one, will I get the feeling of light before everyone else? And how do I act so as not to harm myself and the group?
Answer: Share it with everyone. Then you will definitely get the most optimal condition for your and for everyone in the group.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/7/22, “Adhering to the Friends” Lesson 3
Question: You said that I am incorporating into the friends and at a certain point I will receive the force of bestowal. What does it mean that I get the force of bestowal by incorporating into the friends?
Answer: You suddenly have a desire, an intention, and a direction to bestow to them. You begin to feel that an urge awakens in you to fulfill them. Where does it come from? It is just the way you see in a child: Yesterday he did not know how to do something, but today he is doing it. You look at him: Yes, yesterday there was no such thing, but today there is. Where did it come from? This is called development. The inner force of nature works on everyone and develops us.
For this, however, we on our part need to conform to it. When we do this in a group, we give the Creator the opportunity to act within us and to develop us in a certain direction. And this is how we are developing.
The Creator is revealed to us as a force that corrects, unites, and raises us toward Him through many degrees. He takes us “on His wings,” meaning, He raises us to the screen and above the screen.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/6/22, “Approaching the Creator Through the Network of Connections Between Us” Lesson 1