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“Mommy, Why Is There War?” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Mommy, Why Is There War?

The deplorable bombing of a children’s hospital in Mariupol, southern Ukraine, brings to mind the story of the mother who told reporters that her son asked her, “Mommy, why is there a war?” She said that a few weeks prior, she had eased her son’s concerns by saying that people no longer fight wars like they used to, that we are past that. Now, she and her son were hiding in the metro station, a makeshift bomb shelter, while her husband was on the frontline.

Many children ask such difficult questions these days, a consequence of the terrible circumstances they have been thrown into without forewarning. But children understand war better than we think. After all, their lives are a daily struggle. Since they have not acquired the social skills that enable us to maneuver smoothly through social situations, for them, every day at the kindergarten or at school is a battle.

To give them a true and helpful answer, we should tell them that our ego is the cause of all the wars. The ego wants to satisfy itself and not take anyone else into consideration.

Subsequently, we should tell them that just as children might squabble over a toy, grownups squabble over parts of land. Likewise, when children fight, they might hit each other with a stick or a plastic shovel, while adults use tanks and airplanes.

Nothing changes from childhood to adulthood: Another person has something I want, or that I think should be mine, and I will take it by force if I have to. This is how the ego works, and this is the reason for all the wars.

A child who is hiding from the “toys” of the grownups will understand the message very clearly. This is our chance to explain, regrettably too vividly, that fighting is not good, that if we care for each other and share with each other, everyone will have more and we will not have to fight for what we want or to protect what we have.

Once children internalize the lesson of sharing, it will stay with them for life. It will help them in their relationships with others throughout their lives, and hopefully, thanks to their mothers’ clear explanations, they will be able to avoid wars in the future.

“No Winners In Case Of Nuclear War, But It May Not Matter” (Times Of Israel)

Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “No winners in case of nuclear war, but it may not matter

With Russian nuclear arms set to high alert, and Ukraine’s nuclear reactor at risk of being bombed, the danger of a nuclear catastrophe has become very real. Everyone knows that if such a disaster were to happen, no one would win, and the results would be horrendous to all of humanity, but the ego knows no boundaries. When people are set on their own victory, nothing will stop them, not even their own physical demise.

We think of war as a clash between two (or more) physical entities, such as countries or heads of state. However, a war is a much deeper process than a conflict of interests or a power struggle. What drives wars, especially today, is the ego, and the ego does not yield to anything and listens only to itself.

The force that creates life is a force of balance, harmony, and giving. This is how it enables the creation of life, the evolution of increasingly complex creations, which survive through the collaboration and interdependence among all their parts. Therefore, life requires harmony and mutual support.

The ego is the exact opposite of that: It is a force that sees only itself, thinks only of itself, and cares only for itself. The only time the ego relates to others is when it can exploit or harm them, and thereby assert its superiority. As a result, the ego is the opposite of life.

When two or more egos clash, it creates a violent conflict, or a war. A war between two egos can end when one of them has been defeated, or when both are too exhausted to continue, so they agree to “make peace.” In truth, the “peace” is merely a truce, which will last only until one ego feels it has recuperated enough to have the power to annihilate the other, at which time it will resume the fighting. And if demolishing nuclear reactors or using nuclear weapons are required in order to defeat the enemy, the ego will readily use them.

It has nothing to do with who is in power. There are no righteous people when it comes to egoism; we are all villains in potential, since it is human nature to behave this way.

My teacher’s father, the great kabbalist and thinker Baal HaSulam, wrote about the insatiability of the ego back in the 1930s. In his momentous essay “Peace in the World,” he wrote, “In simple words, we will say that the nature of each and every person is to exploit the lives of all other people in the world for his own benefit, and all that he gives to another is only out of necessity. Even then, there is exploitation of others in it, but it is done cunningly, so his friend will not notice it and concede willingly.” Also, he adds, one “feels that all the people in the world should be under his own governance and for his own private benefit. This is an unbreakable law. The only difference is in people’s choices: One chooses to exploit people by obtaining lowly lusts, and one by obtaining governance, while the third by obtaining respect. Furthermore, if one could do it without much effort, he would agree to exploit the world with all three together—wealth, governance, and respect. However, he is forced to choose according to his possibilities and capabilities.”

Ninety years ago, when Baal HaSulam wrote these poignant words, World War II and the horrors it brought with it had not yet happened. Today, can a reasonable person doubt the power of the ego to destroy everything that stands in its way?

I do not think that the war in Ukraine will lead to a world war or to the use of nuclear arms. At least it does not seem that way right now. However, if we do not learn how to use the ego constructively rather than destructively, there is no doubt that we will find ourselves in that horrible situation for the third time. And if we do not learn the lesson, even a fourth war is possible.

To prevent complete destruction, we must teach ourselves new values—that connection and unity are more important than any form of separation and enmity. Just as our environment currently teaches us to hate and strive to dominate, we should build an environment that teaches the opposite.

I am not an educator, and I have no intention to detail specifically how this should be done. All I do know is that unless we learn how to connect with one another and truly care for our neighbors, we will destroy each other.

If we opt for war, says Baal HaSulam in another seminal composition, “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 will not work for themselves more than is necessary for their sustenance, while everything else they do will be for the benefit of others” (The Writings of the Last Generation, Part One).

Go And Unite!

592.04Question: What should I do when egoism pushes me to unite by saying: “Go, unite, and you will attain the spiritual world”?

Answer: Great! Go and unite. It is good. Then you will see to what extent the ego will be against you, for you, and so on.

Egoism is the angel of the Creator. For now we call it the “evil angel.” Later, we will understand that there is no evil in the world; there are just two opposite forces pushing us toward our one and only source in order for us to understand it.
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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How Do You Sign A Covenant With The Creator?

598Comment: The great Kabbalist Baal HaSulam writes that there is no difference between giving to your neighbor and giving to the Creator.

My Response: That is absolutely correct. If you acquire the quality of bestowal and there is no benefit to your egoism from it anyway, then it does not matter to you to whom you give.

Then it makes no difference to you whether you make an agreement with a friend or with the Creator. It is only in the fact that the Creator is the common, whole, and perfect. Our relationships in the group and between us are private, and come and go. That is, the Creator is the goal and friends are the means.

Question: What is the meaning of the contract? What do we sign?

Answer: You enter into an agreement about a request to the Creator that He will help you become like Him.

Question: And is this is the whole contract?

Answer: Yes. And what else could there be? All you need is His help you rise to His level. But all this is solved in connection with the friends.

Question: It turns out that I cannot directly enter into a contract with the Creator. Will it always be through other people, through society?

Answer: This will always be expressed in your good connection with others.

Comment: But in the primary sources it is written only about a direct covenant with the Creator. For example, Abraham made a covenant with Him directly, and so did other Kabbalists.

My Response: There it is about the highest spiritual laws. And in our world, in our state, it is possible to achieve love of the Creator only from love of friends, from love of others.

Only in this way can I turn to Him and reach Him.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 12/28/21

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When There Is No Correct Education

547.05Question: What is happening now with our children? Why is there currently so much negativity in the brains of young people? Why do both boys and girls try to change their gender to the opposite? What is happening on Earth?

Answer: The problem is that humanity is not standing still. Even the animal world is gradually developing. Humanity is also evolving because egoism is developing in it; it is as the main force of our life that is aimed at receiving, seizing, and desiring.

If a person does not have the correct education, then his egoism becomes uncontrollable, eats the person himself, and this leads society to terrible, disfigured states. This is what we are seeing in the world today.
From KabTV’s “Meetings with Kabbalah” 1/5/22

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If I Don’t Feel A Higher Power

527.03Question: Can I make a covenant with the Creator only when I am in His attainment?

Answer: Yes, of course.

Question: What if I don’t feel a higher power yet?

Answer: But you strive. It is clear that there are problems here. You don’t see Him; you don’t understand; you don’t know. But in order to get closer to the Creator from such conditions, precisely that is the rule for fulfilling the contract.

Question: Can a person break the covenant with the Creator at the level that one has already reached? Or once made is the contract forever?

Answer: In general, yes. As it is said: “Raised in holiness, but not lowered.” You can no longer break the contract. If you have fulfilled it, then you have already contributed this part to the quality of bestowal and love, to the connection.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 12/28/21

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Murder—Deprivation Of The Possibility For Correction

532Question: Let’s say a person killed someone, by doing so does he actually take away his right for correction. Isn’t the crime itself a punishment?

Answer: This is a complex philosophy. I don’t think it can be solved by us at this point. It depends on what level we are arguing.

If we rise to the level of souls, we will see that murder means committing a terrible crime. Moreover, it is not even a crime, but really self-punishment. With this terrible offense, a person causes terrible harm to himself.

If he saw himself in the correct way relative to other souls, in their connection, then he would see this as if he had cut his own throat.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Presumption of Innocence” 3/10/10

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What Attracts Men?

294.2Question: It has been said that the development of mankind can be traced through plastic surgery. At the heart of the profession of plastic surgery was helping those who were disfigured as a result of disasters and so on. Later they began to help older people look better. Then the youth came and began to correct their noses, ears, eyebrows, brow ridges, and lips.

But surgeons say that in recent years we have faced crazy desires. A woman wants her face to look like it was edited with an Instagram filter. More and more, a man does not want to be himself. Where does this lead?

Answer: It’s right that he doesn’t want to be himself. He is ugly both internally and externally.

Comment: But he does not want his inner ugliness to be somehow changed, he wants his outer ugliness to be changed so that he becomes more beautiful externally.

My Response: One cannot work without the other. In principle, we see a person from the inside. And no matter how beautiful he may be, if he is in himself internally terrible, then no beautiful appearance will correct his general ugliness, but will show all the more prominently that he is terrible.

With women it’s a different matter. There, men look at appearances. According to the nature of men, they do not look at the inner content of women. And outside, if everything is in place, then he is attracted by her appearance. But this, as we understand it, is only temporary, and passes very quickly.

Question: That is, the coincidence must be based on internal features?

Answer: According to internal signs, it is very difficult; it is not for a young age. You need special education, training, and time. And then people will begin to feel what is worth paying attention to, how to appreciate the other, and so on.

Question: Is it worth paying attention only to the internal, do you think?

Answer: But in the end, when do we come to this conclusion?

Comment: Yes. When we are gray and old.

My Response: If youth knew, if old age could.

Question: Yes, how much wisdom in all this! Do you think that when one person looks at another, considers that he or she is beautiful, and says: “This is a beautiful person,” does this reflect the inside of that person?

Answer: Of course. It should be like this. But if we are brought up in Hollywood, then of course it is hard for us because we are shown such images in advance and they want to make a standard of them: this is evil, this is kind, this is naive, this is smart, and so on. In fact, beauty is when I feel good with a person. That’s all.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 10/28/21

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 3/11/22

Preparation to the Lesson

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Lesson on the Topic “Winning the War (Against the Evil Inclination)”

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Writings of Baal HaSulam “The Peace”

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Selected Highlights

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