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My new article on Linkedin “Can Happiness Be Measured?”
If a country makes the cut, it means that its inhabitants are among the happiest in the world, according to the UN World Happiness Report, a global survey from people in about 150 countries. The study recently revealed a very simple premise that is usually ignored: our levels of satisfaction are related to the levels of generosity and mutual aid which have risen over the past two years due to the pandemic. But does it mean people are happier because they are suddenly more altruistic? How can it be really measured?
Finland is the world’s happiest country, for the fifth consecutive year, according to this ranking which is based on the standard of living and mutual responsibility. Donating to charity, helping a stranger and volunteering have risen 25% globally in 2021 compared with pre-pandemic levels, the report says. That is probably the case but how a survey can penetrate people’s feelings and fulfillment is debatable and therefore, unreliable.
I think we have grown up a bit and are no longer so naive as to take polls seriously. Everyone understands that they are funded and involve political considerations. For instance, if we were to believe the surveys, we might be thrilled that Israel, the country where I live, has reached the respectable 9th place in the global happiness index despite the constant menace of security threats and high cost of living.
The relationship between us is more difficult day by day and the conflicts are exhausting so the conclusion would be that the seventieth place in the happiness index is more realistic for us. Thus, by placing Israel on top of the list, the United Nations are simply trying to conceal their ongoing biased treatment toward us.
If you put aside the glasses through which the UN survey shows us the “global happiness index” and look at the reality itself, you will see that Scandinavians, who take the first places of the list, are hardly a poster picture of joyful outburst.
There are general contrasting waves in reality of heat and cold, expansion and contraction, waves of stinginess and generosity, happiness and sadness. And now a warmer, open and friendly wave is sweeping through the world. It has been preceded by the Covid pandemic and global suffering. But it is only a passing wave and it will fade away.
The world will close itself, and people will once again become vindictive and selfish. This is because life events affect us and draw us outwardly to some degree of connection at one time and then to separation at another. But on the inside, we do not change.
We have remained this way for thousands of years, and continue to live with the same inner instinct that we were born with as human beings. It is the selfish instinct, the ego. That ego does not allow us to be truly happy. It causes us to run over others to achieve what we desire at their expense which in the end keeps us apart and suspicious and hostile about each other. No one can feel truly fulfilled in such conditions and environment.
We are part of the whole of humanity, and also part of the whole system of nature. Therefore, our happiness depends on and is connected to the happiness of everyone else. We cannot feel private happiness if we are not happy with all our surroundings. To be truly happy we must address the extent of the ego’s control over our lives.
When we change our perspective from egoistic to altruistic, we will climb the ladder of happiness without depending on surveys and empty pride. Everyone will feel the inner joy that exists in the harmonious relations between us, the real source of lasting fulfillment.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “The Israeli Education System Is Imploding”
Ayala Moshe, a student of mine, has been a school teacher in Israel for the past fifteen years. This year, she gave up. The audacity of students, the poor salaries, the disrespect and rudeness of parents, and the physical assaults have become too much. “I have been slapped, thrown down the stairs by students, and had to watch security camera footage showing me being thrown, when I had to defend myself in court for being a victim of an assault.”
Ayala is just one of thousands of teachers all over Israel who have had enough. According to a special report by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, thirteen percent of the teachers quit within their first year on the job. Within five years, a quarter of the teachers will be looking for a new occupation. Worse yet, the higher a teacher’s education, the more likely he or she is to leave in search of a more rewarding career. Clearly, the education system is imploding.
If I were asked what to recommend, I would advise them all to quit, every single teacher. This may be the only move that will make parents realize that education cannot be taken lightly. The education system should be the most important system in the country, and so should be the status of the teachers. We cannot throw the responsibility for the upbringing of our children on the laps of teachers who are not equipped or meant to handle it, who face mounting pressure from conflicting sources, receive an embarrassing salary, then face public scolding and derision left and right for their poor achievements. Parents must be held accountable for the behavior of their children, and they must take part in mending it.
If the system is already crumbling, it is time for parents and teachers to put their heads together, envision the kind of country and society they want to see, and design a plan to make it happen. A situation where neither parents nor teachers can bring up children to be human beings, where no one knows what values children absorb from dubious sources online and elsewhere, that situation is intolerable.
Currently, children go to school to be force-fed knowledge they neither care about nor need for life. They hate it, and therefore hate the people who feed it to them. Given the growing intolerance in society, it is no wonder that some of them turn violent.
Instead of memorizing material, they should first of all learn how to relate to one another. Afterwards, they need to learn how to learn, since they will be learning their entire lives, and finally, they need to learn how to cooperate in teams that learn together and achieve together.
In the real world, there are no individuals. Everything is achieved in teams and through cooperation with other teams. If people leave school without having learned to be good teammates, then they have been brought up to be misfits. In such a state, they will either adapt to a reality for which school did not prepare them, or they will not be able to make a proper living. Social skills are therefore vital for success in today’s world, and virtually no school teaches them.
Social skills are critical not only at work. They are the basis of every relationship—with the significant other, with the children, at work, and even with pets. If you let a person grow from infancy to adulthood without providing social skills, then you have crippled that person for life.
Now that the education system is collapsing, there is an opportunity to build it right, and our entire society will reap the benefits.
Medium published my new article “The War That Awakened Europe from Its Slumber”
Despite the danger, the leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia boarded a train to Kiev to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to EU officials, this war has welded Western Europe together more than any other event since World War II. The continent will now arm itself against security threats.
In this war, Russia played the role of the unifying nation and brought European countries closer together. It gave them a good shake to make them feel that there are other important things beyond greed for oil and gas, such as security and preservation of nationalities. The Russians have done a wonderful job in that respect. Not by choice, probably unexpected, but that’s the way it turned out.
Europe has so far imagined that it can assert itself without investing in its existence and security. Each country has believed it can rest on its laurels forever without making any effort, contributing only a minimal share for security, nothing more. But that is not the way to ensure lasting security.
Due to the worsening situation, European countries are forced to examine the relevance of their NATO membership, which also requires NATO to prove that it really cares about everyone. To this day, when a country proposed to increase the defense budget, everyone blatantly replied that it was impossible.
Therefore, the blow in the form of war will make Europe realize that peace must be paid for. Hopefully this will happen and consequently the European psyche will change. They will unite for the sake of security.
There is no real unification right now between European NATO members, as true unity should be properly felt and a desire to unite should not be caused by compulsion i.e. the threat of war. Now it is happening only for lack of choice, but it is still a step forward to reveal the truth, which is to see how much there is a lack of union between the European countries and how weak and helpless they are.
So nature, the Upper Force, is working through Russia to awaken the lethargic Europe. It is the same force that created the world and drives humankind through all kind of predicaments and hardships to come closer and unite with each other.
Through the generations, the Upper Force has imbued humanity with pride, selfishness and other egoistic desires. The traits have caused all sorts of problems including separation and war. Since we all have the same selfish desires, we see the rest of the world as a tool to fulfill our whims. Thus, we exploit and take advantage of others for years, thinking that this is how life should be.
In our generation, these distinctions, which have lazily evolved through historical periods of slavery and coercion, plunder and cruelty, are gaining renewed importance. From now on, these insights will no longer develop gradually within us, but will fall upon our understanding like a slot machine from which a successful move drops an abundant stream of coins.
In the first phase, human society will realize that it cannot manage life without connection. We will see through plagues, conflicts and wars, and other unpleasant events, that without better human connection we have no future.
In the second phase, we will want to unite not only to survive and exist, but to live properly. We will also find out what counts as true life, how to overcome the egoistic instincts within us and resemble the force of nature, where everything is in balance. All that is required of us is the realization that the abusive and selfish relationship between us will ultimately lead to our destruction. From there, the path to the pursuit of unification is short.
Medium published my new article “What People Are Searching for in Podcasts”
You would think that people would have less and less patience to listen to other people talk, but the opposite is true. In fact, the younger the listeners, the more likely they are to listen to online podcasts rather than to music. According to the music business blog Hypebot, the 2021 Spoken Word Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research has found that “Spoken Word’s share of audio listening has increased by 40% over the last seven years; 8% this year,” and “spoken word audio’s growth is driven by large increases in young and multicultural audiences,” while listening to music has fallen 10% over the same timeframe.
I have often said that today’s young people are not superficial or apathetic, as some people refer to them. On the contrary, they are very perceptive, direct, and know exactly what they need. When we do not give them what they need, they turn their backs to us and we interpret it as apathy. It is not; they simply cannot bother with words that do not satiate their thirst.
They need answers; they want precise information about the world they live in, and we are not providing it. We need to provide people, especially millennials and even younger, with understanding how to think and act in a globalized, interconnected and interdependent world.
They live it naturally; they have friends from around the world whom they have never met but only chat with over the internet. At the same time, the countries they live in may be hostile to each other or even at war with one another.
We, the older generation, still hold obsolete views of separation and borders, while they live in the virtual cloud, where there are no borders, and feel very comfortable there. Now they need information; they need to know how to conduct themselves in such a life because none of today’s educational systems provides them with any information about this.
The world is changing rapidly, and the pace is only growing faster. If we want a smooth transition, we must prepare for it. The paradigm of distinct entities that struggle with each other over dominance is obsolete in a world where every entity depends on all the other entities to meet its most basic needs.
Unless we transition quickly into a more cooperative way of thinking and functioning, reality will force us to do so the hard way — through wars, diseases, natural disasters, and countless other “lashes” that Mother Nature has up her sleeve to discipline her insubordinate children.
Not only the younger generation needs answers; we all do. The sooner we recognize that the world has changed, the sooner we will begin to study our world from this new, interdependent perspective, and we will be able to find the answers we need for ourselves and for our children.
Medium published my new article “Do Scientists Determine the Results in Advance?”
A recently published essay has concluded something very interesting: The methodology that scientists use determines the outcome of the experiment. After examining more than 400 experiments on the connection between brain activity and consciousness, the researchers “found that supporting a specific theory can be predicted solely from methodological choices, irrespective of findings. Furthermore,” they conclude, “most studies interpret their findings post-hoc, rather than a-priori testing critical predictions of the theories.” This is yet another proof that as long as we are inherently partial, impartiality will not exist in science.
The experiment, jointly conducted by the Department of Neurology at the New York University School of Medicine, the Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University, and the Department of Psychology at Reed College, attempted to “present an unbiased, theory-neutral, quantitative and systematic review of empirical findings around leading theories of consciousness, providing a bird’s eye view of the field and looking for potential biases in interpreting empirical findings.”
Although clearly, neither the experiments nor their reviewers are impartial, the findings tell us that all of science is inherently partial, meaning driven by the ego. Because of it, we interpret all the natural laws that we discover through an egoistic lens, which paints everything we see as driven by the ego. This is why we cannot see that a non-egoistic force manipulates the connections between the egoistic particles that we perceive as independent.
We do see that humanity is becoming increasingly connected, but we interpret it as driven by egoistic interests, not realizing that even when we choose to separate, we cannot, since it contradicts the direction of the flow that is imposed on us. Hence, as hard as we may try, we will find ourselves increasingly entangled in a web of interdependence that connects us into one system.
Science makes life easy in more ways than we know. Without science, we would not even be reading these critical words about science. The problem with science begins where we cannot see clearly, yet still try to interpret.
This is where we get conflicting theories precisely because each theory reflects not the truth, but the subjective perception of its progenitor. In such a case, it stops being science, and we should not rely on it for anything in our lives.
If we want to find conclusive results that all the people will corroborate and that will benefit everyone, we must emerge from our self-centered perception. When it comes to fields of research where our perception is limited to our personal view, we must either accept the results as pertaining only to ourselves, or expand our perspective to include everyone else’s views, as well.
To achieve the latter, we must emerge from our inherently self-centered nature. This is the only way to reach a uniform result that will be valid in everyone’s eyes and that everyone will be able to use.
As said above, we currently perceive the world as governed by egoistic forces because we ourselves are selfish to the core. As a result, we cannot tell if anything is non-egoistic since we do not have that unselfish perception in our psyche. Yet, if we try to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and see things through their perspectives, we will find that all our separate views make up a complete picture that is none of the elements that make it up, but the network that holds them together.
Think of it as an organism. There are some ten trillion cells, which make up the seventy-eight main organs in the human body. Each cell and each organ works separately and performs fundamentally different functions. Yet, together, they allow the body to exist and maintain its vitality and health.
So it is with humanity. Each person has a specific function in the global human organism. If we could adapt the perspective of all of humanity rather than our individual perspective, we would be able to draw the right conclusions and make decisions that are valid and beneficial for all of us. This is where we need to go if we want to exist in a world where people are happy and safe a few years from today.
On the Purim holiday, according to tradition, it is customary to make triangular cakes “Haman’s ears” (“Ozney Aman“). They are also called “Haman’s pockets” (“Kisei Aman“), which were supposed to be filled egoistically, but the evil forces did not succeed, and in the end we snack on them.
In addition, it is said that on Purim one must fall into such a state of intoxication in order not to distinguish Haman from Mordecai because in the corrected state we come to the fact that both Haman and Mordecai act on bestowal, which is called receiving for the sake of bestowal.
This is how the whole of nature is corrected. This state is a complete correction of egoism created by the Creator. We need to come to it. The Purim holiday symbolizes the absolute correction of all nature. We hope that it will be achieved in our time.
This is something that is still hidden from us. But now we are going through the process of correcting our egoism and are quite close to its completion.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 3/15/22
What is the spiritual root of the concept of peace from the point of view of Kabbalah?
Answer: Peace in Hebrew is “shalom,” which implies a greeting. Usually this is a kind greeting from person to person or from nation to nation and it doesn’t matter who is involved. Shalom from the word ‘“shlemut”’ means perfection, wholeness, and completeness. I think this is the simplest and most correct meaning of the word “peace.”
From the point of view of Kabbalah, we can say that a perfect person, a perfect society, and a perfect reality are the concept of peace.
Indeed, when all the qualities in a system (a person, a society, the world) complement each other and they interact with each other correctly, this object is in the state of peace.
From KabTV’s “Kabbalah Express” 3/4/22
Question: When Queen Esther asks King Ahasuerus to spare her people, he replies that he has already given instructions to destroy the Jews in all 127 countries and cannot cancel it. But he gives them the opportunity to defend themselves.
Why can’t he revoke his decree?
Answer: He has no right, because egoism must remain in nature. The whole of nature is under egoism, it is interconnected. The only thing that can be added is to do everything for the sake of connection and love. Therefore, it is said that the Kelim (vessels) come from Haman and their filling occurs through Mordechai.
Just as it is said in the Torah: “The hands of Esau, and the voice of Jacob.” Meaning, we should receive Kelim precisely from egoism. Corrected egoism is the vessel that will be filled with the revelation of the Creator.
But still the people are given the opportunity to defend themselves. This means making a restriction, a screen, and reflected light on yourself and filling yourself for the sake of others, becoming a transmitting link. Then all the light of infinity will pass through you. And you don’t have to be afraid that you will get it for yourself, because you are already aimed in advance to pass it on to others.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 3/15/22
Meaning, today’s global productivity is great enough to provide everyone with necessary food, clothing, and shelter without having to work. You suggest putting these people in classrooms for them to study something.
My Response: Not just to study. I propose making these people workers of a new generation so that they can transform their egoism into altruism with the help of a special study. This is the most inner work a person can do in one’s life in this world.
If we start this, we will see firsthand how our world will change. We will bring a positive force, energy, and direction that is lacking now. This force can only come from man, since he is the only bearer of evil or possible good. It will lead to massive positive changes in the world. This is as stated by Kabbalah as well as myself personally.
Question: Can regular classes, in accordance with a special methodology, really accomplish this? Is it just reading or working with teachers?
Answer: It involves people working on themselves and between themselves. Nothing else is needed.
It is better for us to start this early rather than to wait until the world is completely drained, falling into all sorts of problematic states, and descending into wars that are now quite feasible.
From KabTV’s “Virtual World” 2/9/22