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“The War — The Spiritual War” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “The War — the Spiritual War

To the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, wars “are the necessary grounds of all coming to be,” writes Abraham Schoener of the University of Toronto. “War is not only a principle in the world of mortal affairs; it governs all things, both every being in the cosmos and the cosmos itself as a whole,” Schoener adds about the philosopher’s views. Indeed, all of nature consists of contradictory elements that join together. On the subatomic level, between light and darkness, cold and heat, attraction and rejection, everything stems from positives and negatives joining together to create balance.

On the human level, the two opposites are expressed as egoism, with all its negative expressions, and altruism, with its positive expressions. The problem is that there is very little of the latter, hardly any. On every level of nature, the negative and positive forces are in equilibrium, maintaining harmony and homeostasis. It is only at the human level that the negative force far outweighs the positive and throws the entire world off balance.

The war that is currently raging in Ukraine is therefore not a local dispute, but a clash of spiritual significance; this is why the whole world is at least emotionally involved in it, and I hope it does not become military involvement. If we want to eliminate war, we must change our spirits from predominantly negative and abusive of others to a balanced harmony between the negative and the positive, in accord with the rest of nature.

There is an old Cherokee tale about an elderly warrior who told his grandson about the battle within us. He said that within each of us there is a struggle between two wolves: one is mean, greedy, and abusive, and the other is kind, generous, and compassionate. The grandson thought about it for a while and finally asked, “Which of them wins?” to which his grandfather replied, “The one you feed.”

Humans are social beings. We think that our thoughts are independent, but in reality, we are a product of our society. The mean wolf is winning because our entire society is leaning toward meanness, violence, and exploitation. Feeding the kind wolf means elevating the value of peace and caring.

Human nature will not let us feed only the kind wolf; it is inherently evil, as it is written, “The inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen. 8:21). Nevertheless, if we, as a society, place the value of peace above all else in life, then we ourselves will change.

Normally, we think of peace as absence of active fighting. In fact, there is much more to peace than that. The Hebrew word for peace is shalom, from the word hashlama, which means complementation, and shlemut, meaning wholeness. Peace, therefore, does not mean absence of egoism, but rather complementing it with altruism and creating a complete whole.

We must not deny or suppress our basic nature. If we try, we are certain to fail. Instead, we must complement it with its opposite. If we balance egoism with an equal amount of altruism, we will advance in harmony and peace, just like all of nature.

Since our egoism grows continually, we must never stop increasing the importance of peace. In this way, we will create a dynamic equilibrium, just as our body maintains it through homeostasis.

The current war, like all wars, is a call for humanity to complement our wickedness with kindness. We cannot avoid doing what we need to do on the battlefield, but if we think that winning a battle gives us peace, we will soon find ourselves embroiled in more wars, probably more devastating than the current one.

“A War Without, And A War Within” (Times Of Israel)

Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “A War Without, and a War Within

Shortly after World War II ended with tragic explosions of nuclear bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, my teacher’s father, the great thinker and foremost kabbalist of the 20th century, Baal HaSulam, wrote what later became known as “The Writings of the Last Generation.” He did not intend to say that the end of the world was approaching, but rather that the world as we know it was dying, and a new one was being born. Yet, labor pangs can be very painful, or not so painful, and we, human beings, can determine how we go through it. Baal HaSulam called these two options “the path of light” and “the path of suffering.”

In these writings, Baal HaSulam stresses that with technology, humanity has “invented the atom and the hydrogen bombs,” and “if the total ruin that they are destined to bring upon the world is still not evident to the world, they can wait for a third world war, or a fourth one. The bombs will do their thing, and the relics who remain after the ruin will have no other choice but to take upon themselves this work where both individuals and nations do not work for themselves more than is necessary for their sustenance, while everything else they do will be for the good of others.”

The war in Ukraine is not between Russia and Ukraine; it is a clash between two halves of the world. It is reshaping international relations and alliances between East and West, between countries and nations. This war is transforming our view of creation and of life. We have not gone down to the very bottom, but when we come up from the nadir, we will find that the world has changed dramatically. It will never return to the world it was before.

Because today, everything is global, wars are global, too. Therefore, the foreboding prediction of Baal HaSulam seems very real today. In fact, on the current trajectory, I see no other result but the fulfillment of his words. The only way we can avert a nuclear world war is to take his advice and think of the good of others rather than our own, as much as we may dislike the idea.

Indeed, the war without is a reflection of the war within us. Every war, from domestic disputes to world wars, is a clash of egos. The ego wants control and superiority. Accordingly, the book Fitting In and Getting Happy: How Conformity to Societal Norms Affects cites a study by Solnick & Hemenway where more than half of the participants preferred to live in a society where they earn $50,000 per year while others earn $25,000, over a society where they earn $100,000 while others earn 200,000. The book’s author, Professor of Social Psychology at Tilburg University (Netherlands) Olga Stavrova concluded, “People do not desire to have a lot of a certain good as much as they desire to have more of this good than others.”

However painful the current situation in Ukraine may be, and it is very painful indeed, it is still a clash of egos. We need to understand that in order to solve this crisis, and every other crisis, for that matter, we must look at ourselves from aside and disconnect for a moment from our great personal pain, with which I wholly sympathize.

If we focus only on being right, then we will never end the wars. No one will ever agree and say, “I am wrong and you are right”; our egos will not let us do it. This is why looking for objective justice is inherently hopeless; it is choosing the path of suffering.

If, however, we put our grievances aside for a minute, and agree to take a break from trying to settle old scores, it will be possible to start building a positive future. In that state, we will be able to focus on nurturing mutual respect, and perhaps even mutual understanding above the numerous profound differences. If we persist with these efforts, this will be the beginning of the path of light.

At the moment, I would not expect more than that, but in the end, humanity will have no choice but to return to the words of Baal HaSulam, and agree that the best way for all of us is the path of mutual concern and mutual responsibility. If we do not want a third world war, then we must learn to care for one another. This is why the real war is within us, and the war without is only a reflection of our raging hate for others.

“Why The Great Resignation” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Why the Great Resignation

In the 2nd half of 2021 alone, more than 25 million Americans had quit their jobs. This wave, dubbed “The Great Resignation” or “The Big Quit,” is the largest wave of resignations since recording of data began at the turn of the century. Right now, this phenomenon is most prevalent in low-income occupations or in particularly hard and often unrewarding jobs such as healthcare workers. However, I anticipate that it will capture all the professions, and not only less popular or poorly paying jobs, and to spread not only in America, but around the world.

I can understand people who quit. What’s the point of slaving for a job that takes you an hour to get there, an hour to return, and leaves you no time for yourself or to be with your family? Besides, it is better if fewer people work; there will be less plastic waste, less air pollution, and less of everything else that is poisoning the planet.

In the past, fewer people worked, mainly because women did not work, but men also worked fewer hours and spent less time commuting. What has modernity given us besides exhaustion and poor health? We thought that this lifestyle would satisfy us, but we have found that beyond a certain point, the pursuit of a career and wealth mainly spoils our lives.

Therefore, I think it is good that we are becoming less materialistic and more indifferent and lazy. When people stop working, they find that they can get by with less money and still get the basic things they need. In return, they get freedom!

I believe we are witnessing a natural process, and not necessarily a negative one. It may be inconvenient for business owners or the government, but I do not think it is negative or that we need to “treat” it. Technology can take care of our needs, and if people find it necessary to work, they will work.

The current state of overconsumption is a distortion of society, a burden on the planet, and does not benefit anyone other than the shareholders of the corporations that sell us what we do not need, which is most everything that they produce.

Particularly now, when people are beginning to ask serious questions about life, they do not want to be burdened with material needs more than is necessary. They need the time to reflect and question life, to explore within them what they want from life and from relationships.

We are in the midst of a formidable transformation. It requires time, energy, and patience, and it takes people’s minds away from the mundane.

The more people embrace this new mindset, the better it will be for everyone. On the other end of the reflections lies a new worldview that incorporates all the people and shuns brutality and narcissism. So let people lay in the sun and think; it is better for all of us.

“Why Do People Stop Believing In Love?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why do people stop believing in love?

Many people stop believing in love because we live in a world built on the growing human ego, which wishes to enjoy at the expense of other people and nature. In such a world, hatred and desires to overpower others abound more and more, which makes the concept of love seem increasingly childish and unrealistic.

However, we need to understand that other than the negative pressures that emerge from our growing egoism, there is also a positive force that can govern and sustain us, yet it can do so only on condition that we want it.

Moreover, the more we experience pain, suffering and crises from our growing egoistic natures, the readier we become to recognize its evil, and to call upon the positive force in nature to correct us. This is what the kabbalistic texts mean by “the coming of the Messiah.” That is, the Messiah is a force that pulls or draws (“Messiah” [Heb. “Moshiach”] from the word “pull/draw/attract” [Heb. “Moshech”]) us out of our egoism and inserts us into a new reality of love and positive connection to each other above our differences and divisions.

Therefore, while we grow increasingly egoistic, we should not focus on our egoism and hatred of each other, but instead build positive connections to each other above our divisive drives. By doing so, we will draw the positive force dwelling in nature among us and raise an umbrella of love and goodness over ourselves.

Based on the video “Calling on the Good Force” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Chaim Ratz. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

Blitz Of Kabbalah Tips – 1/6/22

281.02Question: How much can we worry about the quality of reception when we are in the quality of bestowal?

Answer: There is no need to worry about the quality of reception. You should care only about the quality of bestowal, about the connection between you. Reception in the required form and amount will be revealed between you anyway.

Question: What is the highest degree above us that we can rise to now?

Answer: I cannot tell you that, it is up to you. But, in principle, this is unlimited.

Question: Is it possible to achieve in the ten an equal attitude of each friend to work?

Answer: It is impossible to achieve an equal attitude. Everyone has their own initial conditions in the group, in the work, psychological and corporeal ones. In no way can we treat people equally! We just need to understand that everyone is in their own state.

Question: Why is all the rest of nature, inanimate, vegetative, and animate, not created in evil? These levels of desire should not resist evil, but a person should.

Answer: These levels are included in the person. We consist of all four levels of nature, and when we correct the highest level (human) in ourselves, then all other levels get connected to it and participate with it.

Question: What is mutual incorporation? What do I incorporate in me?

Answer: When we want to be with the same intention, then, as a result of turning to the upper light, it influences us and mutual incorporation of Sefirot into Sefirot, Partzufim into Partzufim takes place. Thus, we begin to really connect on the spiritual level.

Question: How does one measure the force of connection?

Answer: We do not yet know how to measure the force of connection because it will be revealed only as a result of attaining spiritual degrees.

Question: What kind of desire can I fill society with?

Answer: With the desire to come closer to each other so that the quality called t he Creator begins to be revealed between us.

Question: Is it possible to reach love for others only by using the power of prayer?

Answer: Only by aiming for the connection between us. From this connection we raise a request to the Creator, that is, to the common quality of bestowal, love, and connection, which originally created everyone.

Question: Do we have to sacrifice all our desires in order to reach the correct form of connection?

Answer: We must act as much as we can for the quality of bestowal, the quality of connection between us. That is all!

Question: Why does it happen that friends become better, more directed to the goal, and I become worse and more distant from yearning for the Creator?

Answer: Well, this is wonderful! If you can appreciate them better, it means that you are rising. Conversely, if you can evaluate yourself as worse, you also rise. Perfect! Congratulations!

Question: If we have risen above some contradictions in the ten, have we already corrected some connection between us?

Answer: Of course.

Question: We are at the great Kabbalistic convention. How can we really go through every lesson, every question, every answer, and not just sit on a chair for three hours?

Answer: To sit on a chair for three hours is also good, on the one hand. But, on the other hand, the more we get incorporated in each other, feel every question, try to answer it, and try to incorporate into our friends, then, of course, to this extent we participate in the convention. Participation depends on adhesion, connection, empathy, mutual assistance, and incorporation into each other.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/6/22, “Approaching the Creator Through the Network of Connections Between Us” Lesson 1

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Importance Of The Daily Kabbalah Lesson

219.01Question: During the congress, there were 10 to 11 people in the ten all the time. What can I do to support my friends so that we constantly have the same number of people at daily Kabbalah lessons?

Answer: Pray. Pray for your friends so that the Creator will give them the desire to systematically attend the morning lesson.

Of course, it means a great deal to be in the daily lesson. I cannot imagine how a person can advance without attending it. There is only one condition that frees him from this: if he is in captivity, that is, he has to work at this time or do something special that he cannot do at other times. But not in any other case.

The morning lesson [in Israel] is very important, especially when a person makes a special effort to attend it. It is these efforts that will advance him.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/9/22, “Asking the Creator to Fill the Place Between Us” Lesson 7

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Turn To The Creator

624.02Question: What in essence is prayer? And how can the ten bring forth a common prayer to the Creator in order to give Him contentment?

Answer: Prayer is a request in the heart when I raise my real request to the Creator. Like a child who cries to his mother although he does not even know who he is turning to. But he came out of her, he is connected with her, and he turns to her crying. And she hears him.

It is the same with us. We must turn to the Creator because we were born from Him; we fell from the quality of Bina into the quality of Malchut, and now we want to rise again into the quality of Bina. But we want to rise consciously!

This ascent will be called spiritual because we must rise above our egoistic desire (Malchut) into the qualities of the Creator (Bina). This is what we must do and ask for.

Question: If we must cry like babies to ask the Creator, then will we never grow up? Will we always be like children?

Answer: Of course. We will always be creatures and not the Creator. But we want to rise to the level of the Creator Himself. This is the purpose of our development. So, let’s try. He wants us to achieve this.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/9/22, “Asking the Creator to Fill the Place Between Us” Lesson 7

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Working With The Friends

947Question: How can we be impressed by friends and receive inspiration from them?

Answer: It depends on how much you value your friend, how great he is in your eyes. This way, you can be inspired by him and use his state as your energy. This happens in our lives too.

Question: Discovering that a friend loves me, is this the feeling of Shechina? How can we remember this love in the background of changing relationships?

Answer: When you are feeling the love of a friend for you, you should be able to appreciate it, raise yourself to the same level, treat him appropriately, and he should also treat you in the same way. You must connect your attitudes to each other so that the Creator will be revealed between them.

Question: When disagreements and tensions arise within me toward the friends, should I bring this up for discussion in the group, or is internal work within myself enough?

Answer: Basically, internal work is enough for you to start correcting yourself above things that are happening. However, if not, then you can turn to the group. You have to correct these states either by yourself or with others. But it is necessary to correct them.
From the International Convention “Rising Above Ourselves” 1/6/22, “Approaching the Creator Through the Network of Connections Between Us” Lesson 1

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A System Of Correction, Not Punishment

508.1Question: In ancient times in Israel, people who inadvertently harmed someone were placed in cities of refuge until the special jubilee year (Shmita Yovel). What happened if a person did not correct himself by that year? Was he still forgiven?

Answer: No. In the society where he lived, they would work on him. Punishment, of course, existed, but not in the form of imprisonment.

A person must be in an environment that not directly, but indirectly explains to him how to be a different element of society. And so, after some time, he receives a certain influence.

Give that criminal an opportunity to work and study philosophy, psychology, and other sciences; place him in a different environment so that he is in close contact with the others. This is the only way to influence a person.

And we, on the contrary, throw him into an environment of even greater criminals for whom perpetrating a crime is a brave deed. As a result, he comes out ready for new criminal actions.

Is this called punishment? This is called isolating him from society! You prepare him for more crimes. This is what we see.

We ourselves created such a society and systems of punishment. And according to Kabbalah, there should be a system not of punishment, but of correction.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Presumption of innocence” 3/10/10

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