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My new article on Linkedin “A War over Worldviews”
The war in Ukraine seems to be at a stalemate; Russia had underestimated the determination of the Ukrainian people and the military power of its army, and Ukraine is not strong enough to drive the Russian forces out of the country altogether. As a result, a war that many expected to last no more than two weeks before Ukraine capitulates has become a war of attrition that is decimating Ukraine’s cities, displacing a quarter of its people, so far, and killing thousands of civilians. On the other end, the war is exhausting Russia’s military might, depleting its resources, and frustrating its leadership.
Yet, a more clandestine, yet very significant process is taking place in Ukraine: a farewell to imposing ideologies and the onset of a more rational approach to governance. Winston Churchill, England’s prime minister during World War II, knew a thing or two about fighting against tyrants. In 1947, he said, “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
I tend to agree with this statement, although clearly, we have witnessed the faults of Western regimes since 1947 more than once. Yet, it is not because we need to change the Western approach to governance, but because we need to add a missing element that will solidify it and guarantee its success: sincere concern for others.
If Western governments are plagued by the same hunger for power that soils every other regime, they will inevitably become despotic, too, albeit perhaps with titles that sound more appealing, and therefore more misleading.
In order to succeed, the goal of Western civilization must be to establish societies that are not only free from tyranny, but free from hatred of others, as hatred is the cause of tyranny and oppression.
Liberation from hatred is humanity’s next step. It is imperative to maintain democracy while we are evolving, but we must not think that democracy is the end of the road. All the while, we should be teaching ourselves how to care for others, starting with our own countries, and ending with caring for other nations just as we care for our own. Only in this way will humanity have a future that is not strewn with bloodshed.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Globalization 2.0”
BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, overseeing $10 trillion. Last Thursday, its founder and CEO Larry Fink, sent a letter to shareholders stating that “The Russian invasion of Ukraine has put an end to the globalization we have experienced over the last three decades.” Fink is not alone. Wall Street investor Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital echoed similar concerns in his own letter to shareholders on Wednesday. He wrote that negative aspects of globalization have been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and have “caused the pendulum to swing back to local sourcing.” I do not foresee countries disconnecting from each other, but there is definitely a shift. We are heading toward a world where economies share with one another, and people feel more like a global society than an assortment of nations. We are headed toward the next phase of globalization: globalization 2.0, if you will.
Previously, production required working hands. When the cost of labor became prohibitive in the West, companies sought cheaper labor elsewhere and began to move production lines overseas. At the same time, communication improved, transportation became more affordable, and products that were once distributed locally began to find global markets.
Today, however, there is less need for working hands, since much more is done by robots and automated machines. Products have also become increasingly compact, and these days even services such as call centers are outsourced to other countries. Locality, it seems, has lost much of its significance; it has become less important where something is produced, and less of a factor in its pricing. Clearly, many products are still dependent on location, such as ores or fuels, but the trend is crystal clear.
While locality has lost much of its significance, connections between countries have become imperative for their survival. The economic asphyxiation imposed on Russia through sanctions due to its invasion into Ukraine will hurt it very badly. Just as globalization sustains some countries, especially those heavily dependent on export or import, denying it can destroy a country by cutting off provisions and disconnecting it from the global financial system.
The only time when disconnecting a country is helpful is when it is for the purpose of forming a better, more correct connection. Just as parents sometimes send their children to their separate rooms when they cannot stop fighting until they cool down, sometimes countries need to do the same.
The situation between Russia and Ukraine is an example of such a situation. The two nations share the same culture, their languages are very similar, they intermarry freely, and even the borders between them fluctuate (and are therefore disputed). However, when they cannot get along and begin to fight, they must be separated until the tension subsides and they can communicate constructively.
Currently, it does not seem possible, but through their conflict, humanity will learn how to do it. It is, however, a terrible shame that people, and indeed entire nations, must pay so heavily to learn how to communicate, something that should be obvious to all of us.
In correct relationships, the participants regard the common needs before their own. It is as if there is a big bowl in the middle of the world, and all the countries circle it. Each country throws its dish into the bowl, and everyone enjoys the resulting stew.
On the one hand, countries talk about sustainability and restriction of production in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, the same countries produce twice as much as they consume or export. The surplus litters Earth’s soil, air, and water, while people who cannot afford the products starve for lack of the unsold goods. It is unjust, unwise, and unsustainable.
Globalization means we have become one society. It is time we began to act the part. It is time to establish global planning, global production, a global welfare system that really works, a global health system, and global education.
If we felt more like one family, or at least one country, and less like gang members who have been thrown into one prison cell to fight to the death, we would not need armies. The funds we would save would finance much more than the needs described above. There is an abundance of everything on Planet Earth. The only thing amiss is good connections.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “How connected are we with other people on this planet?“
Today, we live in times that kabbalists call “the last generation,” and the laws that apply to the last generation are no longer laws that pertain to certain regions or countries, but to humanity as a whole.
Moreover, we very much need to see these laws with our own eyes: how they encompass our planet, how everyone receives the intellect, emotion, perception and inclination toward these laws, and that we live in such tight and inescapable global interdependence.
Take, for example, the coronavirus pandemic. Look at how it connects everyone in a common concern. If we fail to reach the feeling of our interconnectedness out of our own accord, then a pandemic comes around to show us our connection. And if that is still not enough, then we can expect to experience more extreme natural occurrences, such as hurricanes and other disasters, in order to show us how small we really are, and how we need to be better connected in order to spare ourselves such blows.
Today’s times are global and human society has become global. All we need today is to understand the extent to which we are global, and to reach a common understanding of the general collective force that encompasses us. If we reach such an understanding, then everything will work out just fine.
Based on the video “A New Global Era” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
The famous Kabbalist of the XVI century Ramak wrote in the book Ohr Yakar that people studying The Book of Zohar awaken forces of the souls of the righteous together with the force of Moses. After all, a person who studies The Book of Zohar is in connection with the source of the upper light, with the force of bestowal and love. Therefore, he passes the upper light through him to all the souls that are below him.
There is a point in each of us that distinguishes him from others. It is within this point that he is the only one above all the others. This is how each of us passes the upper light through him to all other souls.
Therefore, we do not need to change the world. By changing himself, a person changes everyone else because he is in connection with them.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 2/15/22
Question: What secrets does the Creator have?
Answer: The Creator has no secrets, all secrets are in us. If we connect with each other better and better so that any inner distance disappears between us altogether, then we reveal the universe more and more. This is what The Book of Zohar talks about.
He needs … to know himself, to know who he is, how he was created, where he comes from and where he is going, how the body is corrected, and how he will be judged by the King of All.
By the body we mean the egoism of a person. And our physical body does not belong to the level of a human, but to the level of an animal.
The trial means that a person must reach a state where he can soberly assess his actions, correctly understand them, and judge himself.
To know and to observe the secret of the soul. What is the soul within him? Where does it come from, and why does it come into this body, which is a foul drop that is here today, and in the grave tomorrow?
A person must attain the source of his existence, where he comes from, and what he is here for.
To know the world one is in, and for what will the world be corrected; to gaze upon the sublime secrets of the Upper World, and to know one’s Master. And one observes all that from within the secrets of the Torah.
These are the tasks of The Book of Zohar.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 2/15/22
Question: Arkady asks, “It looks like the end of the world is near. And the worst thing is that everyone around is calmly talking about it. Only recently we wanted to live happily, we were making plans for the future, and we suddenly realize that none of this will happen. What do we do now?”
Answer: Who told you that what you wanted was good? Let’s sort it out.
Comment: People just wanted simple human happiness.
My Response: Get a shot and forget everything. Or even better, take a pill, fall asleep, be at peace.
This is not the purpose of our development. So we shouldn’t try to stay in the “sandbox” where we used to live and play that we were building toy houses from sand.
Question: So you think it was all child’s games?
Answer: Yes. A little egoism was developing. Now we must rise above that egoism. We must start looking forward and in a different way.
To play seriously means to play the Creator, to make sure that the Creator is between us in all our thoughts and actions. This is called to play for real.
Question: Is it possible to say that before I do something I kind of try to turn to the Creator?
Answer: Yes. And do it in a way that you imagine that you are doing it for His sake, instead of Him, for Him.
For Him means for the sake of others. Nothing affects the Creator and He does not need anything. There is only one possibility: to get strength from Him to act for the sake of people.
Question: Does it turn out that the formula “I want to be happy” changes to “I want people to be happy, I want everyone around me to be happy”?
Answer: But really happy, not the way I want them to be happy, but the way the Creator wants. Because this is the law of the universe. It is absolute and objective.
Question: How does He want people to be happy? What is it for the Creator?
Answer: Move into other people, enter them, and start feeling what is most important to them. Then build it together with them.
Question: What do you think will be the most important thing for people?
Answer: To feel close to each other. In this, a person begins to feel perfection.
Question: Is there peace, happiness, and security there, at this point?
Answer: The end of everything. Not the end in the sense of ending, but simply perfection.
Question: Are all people close to each other, like all people are brothers and sisters?
Answer: Yes, they completely disappear in the form they are in now. They enter the realm of perfection.
Question: So now if I want to use the other for myself, there I want to give myself completely to the other, right?
Answer: Yes. This is the mutual bestowal of ourselves to each other. It is called Hashpaa (bestowal) in Kabbalah. This is the state of perfection, the spiritual state.
Comment: This is a great wisdom we are studying.
My Response: It will be revealed even more! It will be developed even more, and it will expand into feelings.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 2/28/22
The more we develop, the more we approach the moment when nature reveals a global connection to us and, in principle, invites us to rise to another level of existence. In a global system we cannot exist other than by caring for each other.
But why do we constantly receive huge blows, such as tsunamis, earthquakes, wars, epidemics? Because nature is trying to bring itself back into balance.
The fact is that if it is necessary to somehow produce some kind of moral, spiritual correction of mankind, then the simplest and most direct action on the part of nature is the impact of suffering.
As soon as you influence a person with suffering, his needs immediately decrease. He is ready to be satisfied with less just not to suffer. Therefore, look at what happens during a war. People are content with little and do not want more, they are ready to unite and help each other.
Suffering immediately makes a person purer, lowers his egoism, makes him content with less, and he connects with others in order to gain confidence and some kind of support.
From KabTV’s “Close-up. Partnership Agreement” 4/7/10
Question: A person begins one’s spiritual path with some harmony like it was before the construction of the Tower of Babel when everyone lived as one nation. Then his desires begin to grow, which lead him to the state called Babylon where everything is confused and there is no harmony. Then he comes to the state called Canaan (from the word “Ahnaa –Diminishing”) when he diminishes his ego.
It turns out that first he reveals it within himself, and then we see historically that he really goes to some place.
What kind of law is this that the spiritual root manifests itself at least once in the material world?
Answer: It is said that any root should gradually grow in a person and reach a spiritual state, since our earthly structure, the structure of the entire universe, should express itself in parallel in a material and spiritual form.
That is why it is like this: once there was physical conquest and physical correction, and now we only have to add our internal, psychological, spiritual correction to this.
When describing the spiritual phases of development of a human soul, the sages encoded them in various symbols and words of this world. For example, entering the land of Canaan means diminishing egoism. When a person rises above the ego and begins to work for the sake of bestowal, then this land (desire) is already called Israel.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 2/22/22
Question: You have said that people do not understand that it is the relationship between them that affects the economy, outbreaks of epidemics, tsunamis, earthquakes, and other disasters, and if this connection becomes clear, they will inevitably give up their egoistic relationships.
Can you explain the connection between global disasters that are taking place and people’s attitude toward each other?
Answer: Until recently, we have not imagined that nature is global. However, many people have thought and talked about it.
For example, in Russia, the academician Vernadsky made a discovery, outstanding for that time, that everything is interconnected, everything is global, and he called this phenomenon the noosphere.
Before and after him there were many such philosophers, but people have never felt in the flesh, in our world, that we are really globally interconnected.
It seems to us that this was facilitated by the development of technology: the Internet, flights, business, all sorts of programs, and so on. It is nothing of the kind! It is nature that reveals to us its real system in which everything is interconnected—inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human levels, and also the upper layers that we do not feel. And all this is one single whole.
In this single whole there is a single law. Moreover, the system itself is global. It means that every part of it is connected with all the other parts and all of them affect each other and are interconnected with each other, like in a holographic picture. That is, each part includes all the others and what happens in it affects all the others.
In other words, I am a copy of the whole world, and you, and this, and that, that is, everything that can be imagined. Therefore what happens in each of us instantly affects the rest of the world.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Partnership Agreement” 4/7/10