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From My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 2/24/22
The war between Russia and Ukraine leaves me bewildered, uneasy, and mainly worried, very worried. I have many students in both countries, and I care deeply for all of them.
These two nations that have lived side by side for so long, have so much in common. They have been through a lot, but I didn’t think that they would end up in an all-out war. As unfeasible as it may seem today, the only solution is still to rise above our egos and unite, since in the end, it is only the ego that sets the tone in this conflict.
Unless we, all the people, not only those in the embroiled countries, rise above our egos, the war will spread to other countries and will have horrendous consequences. As former deputy commander-in-chief of NATO Richard Sherriff said, the situation “could turn into a catastrophic war… on a scale not seen in Europe since 1945.”
Precisely because two nations that have so much in common—religion, intermarriages, and more—are emphasizing what divides them, I see the situation as ominous to the entire world. They are building a wall between them in their hearts, which will be very difficult to break down later.
But for all the hatred that is now erupting, in the end, we will have no choice but to rise above it and unite. Despite the agony and exploding rage, the war will hasten our realization that our only chance for happiness is not through destruction of others.
Negativity has never produced positive results. This is why eventually, all the parties will succumb to exhaustion and despair, and agree to try the path of mutual consideration, and even mutual concern. I hope and pray that it will come soon and with as few casualties as possible.
When my teacher, RABASH, passed away, he left behind many notes where he wrote down his thoughts. After some years, I published them under the title Assorted Notes. Below is one that seems particularly pertinent today, and which I titled “Love of Others”: I look at one tiny dot, called “love of others,” and I think about it: What can I do to help people? As I look at the public, I see people’s suffering, illnesses, pains, and the suffering of individuals inflicted by the collective, meaning wars among nations. And besides prayer, there is nothing to give.
My new article on Linkedin “Play Your Way Ahead”
Why do little children play even when they are sick? How come grownups hardly ever play? Playing is no laughing matter; it is the single most important tool in our development and growth. Lion cubs play hunting games. Fawns hop, run, and chase each other in what looks like their version of “tag.” Each species plays the games that develop its survival skills. It may seem like carefree fun to us, but playing is essential for the survival of the young, and the survival of their species.
Children, too, play, and for the exact same reason. For children, learning survival skills means imitating the grownups around them. This is why children play at being parents, doctors and patients, and other meaningful persons in their lives. By mimicking their behavior, they learn the skills they will need later in life.
Today, the meaningful persons in our lives are very different from the ones that children knew before the advent of the internet. Today, those meaningful others can be, and most often are, people we do not know, who live very far away, and whom we will never meet. But because these people have made a name for themselves and became media idols, children imitate them the way they would previously imitate the most influential figures in their lives.
On the one hand, this openness to the world exposes children to values and ideas they would never have encountered otherwise. On the other hand, it makes them susceptible to negative influences that parents cannot monitor because social media enables anyone to consume any content, and parents cannot control what their children see on their mobile phones.
As it is with children, so it is with grownups. Grownups’ games, even if seemingly harmless, such as computer sports games, do not develop them. They serve a different purpose: to pass the time and numb the mind. It is the opposite of development.
To ensure the proper development of children, and the continuous development of teenagers and adults, we should mind the games we play. As children, we need to learn more technical games in order to hone technical skills. For adolescents and grownups, the games should revolve around human communication, in order to polish our communication skills.
Only when we learn to communicate and collaborate with different mindsets and different viewpoints can we thrive in a diverse society such as the human society. A society where people do not play is a stagnant society and its days are numbered. A vital society is one where people change and develop, and this can happen only if they play games that challenge them to develop and grow.
Challenging ourselves to connect with people from other cultures and perspectives, and bonding with them above the differences enriches us and enriches our partners in the game. If we want to develop in life, learn, grow, yet stay as vital and as vibrant as children our entire lives, we must never stop playing.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Why We Do Need So Many People in the World”
At the start of the 20th century, the world population was roughly two billion people. Today, it is roughly eight billion. Of those eight billion, most are poor, and over a billion people are hungry to the point of starvation. Providing for so many people at a decent level seems too formidable a task for Earth. Moreover, each day, more bots, robots, and automatic machines are replacing human jobs. Humanity is producing enough to provide for everyone, so the question is why we need so many people. Would Earth, and humanity, not be better off if we were only four billion, for example?
The truth is that we wouldn’t be better off; we would be much worse off. There is a good reason for the exponential growth in humanity’s population over the past century or so.
When we look at people, we see faces and bodies, human beings, and nothing more. But the truth is much more complicated and intricate than that. Try to imagine any animal without relating it to its environment, and you will realize that it is a lost cause. The shape, color, behavior, size, longevity, and every other aspect of its existence derives from the environment where it exists. Animals are not isolated from their environment; they rely on it, follow its laws, and at the same time make up the environment that sustains them and of which they are a part.
Humans, too, make up a system. We think of ourselves as isolated individuals, but we are actually parts of a global human society. We influence it, it influences us, and almost everything that is true for the animal kingdom is true for us.
There are only two differences between animals and people, though they are fundamental differences. The first is that people are inherently mean and selfish, while animals are not. The second is that our desires grow and intensify, while those of animals remain largely the same. While we want more money and power the more we have of them, animals settle for what they have once they have had their fill.
Worse yet, from generation to generation, we are becoming more greedy, domineering, and narcissistic. Conversely, animals’ “aspirations” do not change from generation to generation: Give them enough grass, or enough game, and they are happy campers.
The reason why our desires grow while those of animals remain the same is that an increased desire makes us accelerate our development. Eventually, humans are not intended to perceive only the physical existence, but to penetrate through it and perceive the connectedness and interdependence among all of us not only intellectually, as I am explaining it here, but in the senses, just as we perceive the physical world, if not more so.
Our constant desire to search, explore, discover, and learn stems from our aspiration to know the deepest levels of reality. That knowledge is the sole prerogative of humans since only people develop such profound desires.
As our desires grow, we must learn to direct them toward discovering the purpose and structure of life. New desires first appear on the crassest level, and we must cultivate them, raise them to the level where they enhance our perception of reality.
Because these desires are so intense, we need more people to “share the load.” As just said, although we feel isolated, we are in fact one system. Everything we think is ours is actually part of the system of humanity and all of humanity shares it. Therefore, our desires are also not personal, even though they feel as such.
Every time we elevate one desire from the corporeal level to the higher levels of perception, we influence all of humanity. And every time a person dies, the burden of elevating our common desire grows heavier on all of us.
This is why the life of every person is precious. It determines the pace of advancement of all of humanity. If we realized how deeply we are connected, and what harm we cause by mistreating other people, if we felt it as it really is—that we are torturing ourselves—we would not dare mistreat each other or leave one person uncared for.
My new article on Linkedin “We Can Still Lift Up the World”
There have always been clashes in humanity. There have been clashes between countries, between North and South, or between regimes and ideologies. But the clash today is deeper. It is a clash of nations that are unwilling to accept one another as they are, and want to oppress one another. Yet it is not too late to lift up the world from its decline, and we, the people who understand the value of diversity, are the only ones who can do this.
To build a peaceful world society, we need people to appreciate diversity. Only people who seek connection above differences can build a society that grows stronger the more it becomes diverse.
Everything that has survived the test of evolution comprises opposites that complement each other. From the atomic level to the most complex structures in the universe, everything consists of opposites that collaborate to create a strong structure where one element compensates for what the opposite element does not have. Therefore, if you destroy your opponent, you also destroy yourself.
As long as we maintain the attitude of “Only I am right,” the world will continue to deteriorate. It makes no difference who is right. An approach that does not include all parties, claims the sole right to the truth, denies its opposite, its counterpart, thereby voids its own existence.
Think of “day” without “night,” “love” without “hate,” “spring” without “fall,” or “kindness” without “cruelty.” None of the “positive” terms would exist if their “negative” opposite did not exist. Likewise, our entire world would not exist were it not for the balance between opposites that complement each other and compensate for each other’s “shortcomings.”
As precarious as the current situation is around the world, it is also an opportunity. Now we can circulate the idea that only by accepting, and even embracing our opponents, can we ourselves thrive. The growing political tensions make us attentive for any sign of reason, and the sound of reason today must declare that war to the end means the end of everyone.
I hope and pray that in this war, reason will win.
Question: What are the spiritual needs for which a mutual guarantee (Arvut) is needed?
Correct connection is called mutual guarantee. The ascent of each individual above his egoism is called “faith above reason.”
Maybe you need to listen to the same lesson several times, try to collect what is said in its different points, and then you will have an inner understanding, knowledge, and feeling.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/9/22, “Working in Mutual Responsibility” Lesson 6
Question: What can we fill our neighbor with? What can we bestow?
Answer: There is only one thing we can do for our neighbor. He is striving to rise to spirituality and this is what we wish for him and want to help him in this.
I don’t need to take him to a restaurant! I need to help him in his spiritual ascent because that is all he wants. And that is all I want. That is why we are together.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/6/22, “Approaching the Creator Through the Network of Connections Between Us” Lesson 1
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “How important to development is a father figure?“
In the words of Sigmund Freud, “I could not point to any need in childhood as strong as that for a father’s protection.”
The importance of the father figure is embedded in nature and our biology. A child who grows up with a distorted fatherly presence, whether the child experiences abuse or neglect from the father, leads to certain distortions that become part of them for the rest of their lives. On the contrary, a child who grows up with a positive father figure accordingly absorbs a positive influence. In our times, since the human ego has reached overblown proportions, in order to be a positive father figure to a child, men need to undergo an educational process that gives them the ability to rise above their egoistic drives and consistently exercise an altruistic attitude to other people, including their family.
If speaking in broader terms, then we can also say that humanity’s lack of feeling for its “Father,” i.e., the Creator, the upper force, is the cause of every problem that we experience in our lives. If we felt the caring attitude of our “Father”—the Creator, the upper force—which begets and cares for us at every moment, then we would bear witness to a completely different, positive, harmonious and peaceful world. However, it is impossible to feel such a presence with our inborn properties, because we would then possess no free will. We would feel the full love of the Creator, but we would also be subordinated by it. We thus have no such feeling, and it is in order to be able to act freely, i.e. to develop a similar attitude among each other in society as that of the upper force toward us. Until we do so, we will keep finding ourselves in a world that is full of increasing problems and crises.
Based on the video “The Importance of a Father Figure” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Semion Vinokur. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.
Question: How can we create an artificial relationship template that will force us to demand to actually feel the friends?
Answer: You should talk and communicate with each other more. You can even write down what you are talking about. And you will gradually develop a common language. You will begin to understand each other more and thus get closer to each other spiritually and internally. Everything will come from this. You will begin to feel the Creator. So you need to work on it.
Question: Is it possible to outline a certain format that we would like to implement?
Answer: You can agree on mutual guarantee between each other, then fulfill it, and each time correct this agreement, make it ever-growing. Please, do it!
You are mature people and you must understand what state you are in, what you should come to and build your rapprochement to the correct state step by step.
This is serious work for both men and women. And the Creator helps us by alienating us, dividing us, and thereby promoting unity. Both in this and in that direction, a little bit of plus and then slightly increased minus, then more plus than minus, and after that more minus than plus. And so we go, gradually increasing the amplitude.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/9/22, “Asking the Creator to Fill the Place Between Us” Lesson 7
Answer: That is correct. He is not concerned about the group or thinking about his friends. The right attitude toward friends is first of all to encourage them.
Question: If a friend admits that he does not envy anyone in the ten right now, how can he advance? How can the group help him?
Answer: We need to work on him. There is nothing you can do here. Give him an example, talk to him, maybe do something else.
You need to increase your connection. The more you work with each other, the more it will affect him, and you are yet to see what will become of him.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/8/22, “Deriving the Greatness of the Goal from the Friends” Lesson 4