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Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Tomorrow’s Leaders”
With so many crises to address, it seems like the thing we need the most today is competent leadership. The incumbent heads of state seem to be preoccupied primarily with their own legacy or their own survival rather than the survival, much less prosperity of their nations. Moreover, in a globalized world, leaders cannot mind only the benefit of their own country because every country is dependent on every other country. Although everyone knows and understands this, no one seems to act accordingly. It seems like we are in for a hard awakening.
As we evolve from year to year and from generation to generation, our expectations and aspirations change, as well. A leader must therefore be one whose eyes and mind are given equally to the present and to the future. Leaders must see where humanity is heading and prepare their people for that state. Otherwise, they are not leaders but followers.
The main problem with today’s leaders is that although the world has become completely interconnected and interdependent, they lead their countries as if all that matters is their country’s own well-being. They do not realize that policies that harm other countries, ultimately harm their own country.
Worse yet, even when they do realize it, they rarely act accordingly since the human ego has evolved to a level where it does not care about anything beyond immediate rewards. Therefore, a policy that inflicts future harm is no match for a policy that grants immediate, even if false, rewards.
Having said all that, I think it is a mistake to pin the blame on leaders. Leaders are a product of their nations. They cannot rise above the level of their nations since it is the nation that enthrones or dethrones them. Therefore, more than shape the spirit of the nation, they reflect it.
If we want leaders who understand the spirit of the time and can adjust their leadership to it, we must first teach ourselves, the people, about our particular time. Then, the leaders, who will grow from within the nations, will know what to do and will have the nation’s support for their moves.
It follows that leaders will not be able to take the global interconnectedness into consideration before it becomes the prevailing mindset in the public. Even if the majority of the public does not understand or think about it, there needs to be an understanding that thinking only about ourselves is counterproductive and does not serve our personal interests.
Once leaders begin to think of the world’s benefit rather than only their country’s—or as is the case today, their own benefit—it will be possible to build functional systems that are sustainable and benefit the entire human society. When people understand that we must also mind the benefit of humanity and the benefit of the planet, leaders will design sustainable policies and will stop pitting nation against nation recklessly and needlessly. World peace and sustainable living must rely on the understanding that we are all interdependent, that we will succeed together or fail together.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is Purim? Why is it significant?“
Purim represents a state called “the end of correction,” where humanity merges into perfect harmonious connection with nature.
The Kli (vessel) at the end of correction merges with the light of the end of correction—the Kli of Ein Sof (infinity) and the light of Ein Sof—where we feel eternity and perfection, and where we leave behind all of our problems and sorrows, and we enter into a boundless world full of light and joy. That is why it is said that the day should be full of wine and other alcoholic drinks.
It is significant because the more we emulate the sensation of existing in the perfect eternal world, where there are no conflicts and no problems, but only one light filling reality, then we will draw that state of perfect connection to exist among us and fill us.
Based on a speech by Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on March 13, 2022. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Medium published my new article “What the US Stands to Gain”
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, addressed the United States Congress. Zelenskyy “pleaded with the United States to ‘do more’ by implementing a no-fly zone, providing additional aircraft and air defense systems, and creating a new security alliance.” Shortly after the speech, President Biden pledged “$800 million in security assistance,” including “800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 100 drones,” and other weapons and ammunition.
The Americans are very cautious. So far, they have not given fighter jets to Ukraine, and prevented Poland from giving it 28 MIG-29 jets, arguing that it might push the war toward a global conflict since Poland is a full member of NATO. Despite Zelenskyy’s request, the US did not declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine in order to avoid a direct conflict with Russia.
Judging by the results, I think that the US has so far conducted itself correctly. Their intelligence regarding Putin’s intentions seems to have been correct, and their analyses of the unfolding situation seem to prove themselves. They deserve credit for this.
Currently, the US is definitely gaining from the situation. Along with its allies in NATO, it is wearing Russia out, exhausting its military strength, and depleting its resources in a war it cannot win. America’s goal is simple: to empty Russia of arms, ammunition, and supplies, and silence it for a long, long time.
I do not think that the US or NATO have any plans to invade Russia or occupy any of its territories. It is more of a preventative measure than a strategy of offense.
The US already controls NATO. Once Russia is out of the global power game, it will leave only China to deal with, and in my view, America does not regard China as a military threat.
It is not as though China does not want to dominate the world, because it does. However, the Chinese do not have an inherently aggressive approach. They want to dominate through their labor power and purchasing power rather than through military occupation. In my opinion, they will succeed.
The saddest part of the story, however, is the Ukrainian people. No one cares about them; they are the cannon fodder in this war. The US is using them to exhaust Russia and drain its power, the Russians are destroying Ukraine in an effort to prove their strength until none of it is left, and in between, the Ukrainians are being killed in droves and their country devastated.
At the moment, the US has no interest in ending the war, not before it has achieved its goal: Russia’s depletion. Therefore, in all likelihood, it will continue to support Ukraine just as much as is needed for it to keep fighting, but not to win. If Ukraine defeats Russia before the Russian army has been eliminated, then the US will not have achieved its goal. Therefore, the grim conclusion is that the longer the war continues, the better it is for the US and NATO, and the worse it is for Russia and Ukraine.
This war is terrible, as is any war. Regrettably, humanity does not learn any other way. All the lessons we have learned, we’ve learned through pain. Now, too, humanity is learning a painful lesson: military power does not win wars.
Despite their inconceivable inferiority in soldiers, weapons, training, resources, and every military aspect one can think of, the Ukrainians are not only hanging in there, but are gradually moving on the offense. They are fighting for their country, and Russia’s warplanes, tanks, and warships are no match to their unity and determination. The lesson we should all learn from this war is that in the end, solidarity and mutual responsibility will triumph; these are tomorrow’s tools for success. What a shame it is that the tuition comes in the form of human lives and misery.
Medium published my new article “The Price of Freedom”
As the battles in Ukraine escalate and the pressure on civilians intensifies, it is becoming clear that a compromise or a “reasonable” solution are both out of reach. Not only is the misery on the ground escalating, but the enmity between the two nations is deepening as the suffering of people intensifies. Today, overpowering other nations with military force is impractical. Therefore, the parties will eventually have to put down their arms. If at that moment, the adversaries understand the need to give each other freedom, they will be able to advance constructively. If, however, they insist on trying to dominate each other, the price of freedom will soar, though freedom will eventually come.
While it is difficult to examine a conflict objectively when you are a party to it, the longer the sides stall with making this effort, the more they will prolong their suffering. In the end, they, and the whole world with them, will understand that the war being fought today is a fight not only for the freedom of nations, but the freedom of every person, and in the end, the freedom of our souls. The struggle, therefore, is the price we pay for our freedom.
To win this war, we need to understand what we are up against, who is our real enemy. The more we look into the drivers behind this war, the more we will realize that the real culprit is the human ego, which drives all people to seek glory, fame, power, and wealth. We all possess an ego; it is a monster that lives within us, and only circumstances and characteristics beyond our comprehension determine if we reach a position where they might manifest in us. But even if they are not expressed, an egoistic tyrant still lives in all of us.
Therefore, our battle should be on two fronts: the physical and the internal. On the physical front, we need to do what we can to save our lives. On the internal, more important front, we need to stand up to the tyrant within us and seek to rise above the ego that separates us and pits us against each other to the death.
The battle against the ego takes place in different ways at different times and at different places. In some places, it unfolds violently, through wars, terrorism, or other forms of violence. In other places, it manifests through economic sanctions, shortage of staples, skyrocketing energy prices, and other forms of economic hardships that influence our lives. In still other places, the war unfolds through political battles. Either way, these hardships are all prices that we pay for our freedom.
The ego may win in some places and lose in others, but in the end, it will lose altogether. The time of its dominion is coming to a close.
In his essay “The Freedom,” written in the 1930s, the great thinker and kabbalist Baal HaSulam wrote that every tendency and characteristic in an individual is unique and we must cherish and nurture it. Afterwards, he elaborated on the importance of maintaining the freedom not only of individuals, but also of nations. In his words, “From the above-said, we learn what a terrible wrong inflict those nations that force their reign on minorities, depriving them of freedom without allowing them to lead their lives according to the tendencies they have inherited from their ancestors. They are regarded as no less than murderers.”
And to be free, we must be liberated from our ego. In order to achieve this feat, we must form new connections among us based on mutual concern and mutual support. Instead of suppressing one another, society must learn to encourage everyone to be their true selves.
For their part, individuals must learn to rise above their egos, too, and use their unique skills and capabilities not for their own benefit, and often at the expense of others, but for the benefit of society. In this way, if everyone will contribute what nature has given them to the benefit of all of humanity, there will be abundance, peace, and harmony on our planet. Therefore, the sooner we choose to pay the price for freedom from the ego, the sooner we will reach prosperity.
Comment: The story “Megilat Ester” (“The Scroll of Esther”) begins with a great celebration. King Ahasuerus arranges a feast for his courtiers, which lasts 180 days. Then this feast continues for seven more days for all the people.
Moreover, the story lists the dishes and drinks in detail, as if it is of great interest to us what they drank and ate.
My Response: The fact is that this text encodes extensive information about nature about how we prepare ourselves for receiving the upper light, the revelation of the Creator, and so on. Everything is described under the guise of a meal.
A meal is the phenomenon of the revelation of the Creator.
Question: Why is it indicated that the feast lasted 180 days? What does it mean?
Answer: 180 days or half a year is allocated from above for the feast, and we must add from below in the form of a feast, a blessing in it and other fulfillments, we add through our presence to the complete Kli (Vessel), that is, to the complete state.
In addition, in the story of Purim, King Ahasuerus represents the Creator. That is, Ahasuerus is Keter, and his associates are Hochma and Bina. Therefore, by a feast lasting 180 days, we mean Ohr Hozer (reflected light) and Ohr Yashar (direct light)—9 Sefirot and 10 Sefirot in each of them.
Then, it speaks about seven days of the feast for the people. Seven is a very remarkable number in Kabbalah.
The soul consists of two parts: GAR—Keter, Hochma, and Bina are the first three upper Sefirot or Rosh (Head) of the soul. Then comes the body of the soul: Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, and Malchut—7 Sefirot.
The division of the 10 parts of the soul into three and seven stems from its work for bestowal. Therefore, the number seven is very important. It is in these seven Sefirot, that is, desires directed at bestowal, at the connection with each other and with the Creator, that all our work is done.
Comment: Can you imagine, encoding everything like that!
My Response: No, Kabbalists simply express themselves in this language, they understand what they are talking about. And if you do not understand, so be it. It is just like when you go into the garage and hear that something has short-circuited in the car, something has gone wrong, but you do not understand what exactly: the battery, the distributor or something else?
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 3/15/22
We see that throughout history, humanity reveals something, but still a huge amount of information is hidden from people. Would you like to learn what is hidden from us?
Answer: Absolutely everything is hidden. If we make mistakes at every step, do something wrong, and do not know what will happen tomorrow or in a thousand years, this is a concealment.
Moreover, the concealment is such that we are in a state of revelation at the animal level, which comes after the inanimate and vegetative. As for something more, that is, we cannot break through time.
I am located inside time. It envelops me from all sides and I cannot pass through it.
Comment: But about 200 laws of nature have been discovered over the past few 100 years.
My Response: It doesn’t matter! These are the mechanical and physical laws of our nature. What do I get from this? The most important thing is time. I want to rise above time. I want to see everything as a witness, not as a participant, from afar, from all over, outside the factor of time, so that it does not limit me in anything.
First of all, this is a cover-up. It leads to the fact that an upper force is hidden from me, which controls all nature, includes it in itself, and holds everything in itself. Therefore, revealing the highest controlling force of nature, which is called the Creator, is our most important task.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 3/15/22
We are at the center of the events of Purim, at the center of the battle between the Creator and Haman, the power of good and the power of evil. It is us who decide the outcome of their battle, and therefore, we are called Israel, that is, aspiring straight to the Creator.
And the Creator is the root for both Mordechai, the force of good, and for Haman, the force of evil. And therefore, it is said in Megillat Esther that the city of Shushan was in turmoil and did not know with whom the truth lies and what the Creator wants.
After all, the Creator allows Haman, the force of evil, to rule. Our whole world is driven by egoistic forces. Or maybe the Creator wants us to aspire toward the forces of love and unification no matter what? But we see how weak the force of good is, that is, Mordechai, who sits at the city gates. And Haman is close to the King and controls the entire kingdom.
Therefore, the story of Purim is called Megillat Ester, that is, “the revelation of the hidden.” And it is specially built in such a way as to give us the freedom of choice, to decide for ourselves with whom we want to go, with whom the truth lays: with the force of unification or disconnection.
And although our whole life is subject to the force of separation that forces everything to be divided into mine and yours, the true victory is not in subordinating one to the other, but in mutual fulfillment, in helping each other. Neither one tries to win, but on the contrary, each strives to yield to the other and act directly opposite to egoism. And that is how one wins. We will see how in the conflicts taking place in the world today it is the quiet power that wins over and not the one that fights trying to subdue others.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/16/22, “Purim“
Answer: Because it does not go through the right forces. In accordance with the general system, a person must produce positive energy around him, communicate with others with it. Thus, they will build a positive field around themselves that will properly guide them through life, heal and support them.
Question: If a person has the ability to heal other people, should he do that or not?
Answer: Usually such people receive permission from above, just like Kabbalists. And if these are not serious people, then they do what is convenient for them, what is profitable.
Question: Can all these phenomena in our world advance a person to the revelation of the Creator?
Answer: In the end, we will be convinced that nothing will help us except to do what the science of Kabbalah says. It means to reach such a state where only good deeds, good communication between us, will bring us closer to the only higher source of power, and He will be revealed in us, and we will be in Him. This is the real purpose of humanity.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 2/1/22
Question: Can the behavior of Jews around the world, and American Jews in particular, lead the world to the Holocaust?
Answer: It depends only on the Jews themselves. Our world is arranged in such a way that Jews exist in it for a reason. They must bring to humanity the method of unification first of all among the Jews and then among all the other people around them. Without any difference! So that the world will eventually come to an absolutely general state.
And if the Jews do not move toward this state, then terrible world excesses will begin at the level of nature and climate, at all levels, until nature breaks us. And nature is the Creator.
It will nevertheless make us understand that rapprochement between people is the main factor that will enable us to find the right life.
Question: It turns out that we as the chosen people slightly anger the Creator with our behavior. As I understand it we are elected or is this also a myth?
Answer: Yes, we are elected. But we were chosen in order to unite and show the whole world the possibility of uniting. And if we do not do this, then the whole world instinctively turns against us. And this is the reason for anti-Semitism.
From KabTV’s “Meetings with Kabbalah” 1/5/22