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The tree of knowledge of good and evil symbolizes the special governance of the Creator when the Creator gradually transfers his qualities to the created beings. This is exactly the same as we behave with young children by awakening all kinds of questions and curiosity in them, as a result of which they develop and thus grow.
Question: What do the terms “good” and “evil” mean in relation to the Creator? What is it about?
Answer: Regarding the Creator, good and evil are very simple. Connection and love are good and the opposite of them is evil.
Question: What does it mean that Adam ate an apple from the tree of knowledge of good and evil?
Answer: In principle, all this is an allegory, because we are not talking about a person himself, but about his soul, which consists of two parts: the desire to receive and the desire to bestow.
The desire to receive is Eve, the desire to bestow is Adam, and our soul consists of these two parts. We must make sure that we use both the Adam part and the Eve part in our soul as correctly as possible.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 6/14/22
My new article on Linkedin “Of Pope Francis, and of World War III”
Last week, a conversation with Pope Francis was published, in which he related to the Russia-Ukraine war as the start of World War III. In a conversation with the editors of European Jesuit publications, and which was first published by the Italian Jesuit publication La Civiltà Cattolica, the Pope said, “The world is at war. For me, today, World War III has been declared.” Subsequently, he lamented, “What is happening to humanity that we have had three world wars in a century?” I do not believe that the Russia-Ukraine conflict is a third world war or that it should devolve into one. However, the fact that there is such a danger, or that there is war at all, shows that we have not drawn the right conclusions, which puts us in harm’s way again.
It is clear to everyone that no one has anything to gain if the war in Ukraine escalates into a global conflict. That said, the war is yet another indication that we still do not know how to govern our desire for dominance and control.
We have come to a point where our ego does not settle for controlling others. Nowadays, people are willing to destroy others for simply behaving or even thinking differently from them.
If we want to prevent wars, we need to help all the nations realize that war does not bring any benefits, that we do not want it and do not need it. This is a process that must involve everyone, since each country must have its neighbors going through the same process, or belligerent countries will exploit other countries’ efforts to end violence.
If countries do not adopt this approach, they will continue to compete against each other, exploit each other and deplete the earth of resources. We are already seeing the consequences of this attitude on our planet, but they will grow far worse in the very near future. Hunger, extreme heat, extreme cold, and countless other problems will overwhelm humanity and force nations to stop abusing others and focus on their own survival.
To prevent this scenario from developing further than it already has, humanity needs to understand that we must learn to work together or nature will destroy us. Currently, many nations are still dreaming of conquests and subjugations of other nations. We must gradually make these nations understand that doing so will only harm them, and harm everyone else, as well. Unless we help everyone realize that we are dependent on each other for better or worse, and we must act accordingly, we will all be in big trouble.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What do old people and teenagers have in common?“
As a part of a school project, twins from the 10th grade met with a 77-year-old woman, keeping her company. The project ended a long time ago, but the connection that became established between the twins and the 77-year-old woman grew stronger, which developed into a very close and special relationship, where they spent more and more time together, eating together, and sometimes even staying over at the elderly woman’s place. The older woman mentioned that the girls brought light into her life.
Indeed, teenagers and elderly people can very beneficially complement each other. Teenagers, who have several deficiencies and insecurities, and who seek to make their way in life, can receive answers to a lot of their questions from elderly people. Older people have a surplus of knowledge, understanding and warmth, and they no longer have children whom they can pass it on to. For instance, the elderly woman in this example received vitality through her connection to the teenagers. There is also research showing how much elderly people become enlivened when connecting to children. Unfortunately, we see nowadays that after retirement, many elderly people become lonely, stay at home, and their health deteriorates, similar to flowers that start withering away.
There needs to be a system connecting those at the beginning and the end of their lives. Neither knows how to make this connection, but when that system is operating, then we would see great benefit for both age groups. I would very much recommend creating such connections as broadly as possible in different ways, shapes, forms and for different ages.
Based on the video “How Can Teenagers and Elderly People Complement Each Other?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Answer: He created an egoistic quality, according to which each of His creations wants to be filled with Him, the Creator. Such a desire is called “inanimate,” “vegetative,” or “animate.”
And if the creation wants to be filled not just in the form of inanimate, vegetative, and animate, but from the sensation of another, meaning, no longer within himself, but in another, then it is called “man.”
The Creator feels us outside of Himself. And if we reach such a state and can feel something outside of ourselves, then we will be called “Adam” (Man) – from the word “domeh” (similar to the Creator).
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 6/7/22
Question: What is the right name for the force governing us: the Creator, God, thought, the upper force?
Answer: Whatever you like. Whatever is more convenient for you in each case.
Answer: The Creator is a quality that we can approach and attain. That is why we call it Bore. If you get closer to Him in qualities, then you will understand who He is, what He is, and you will be able to explore Him.
Question: In the science of Kabbalah it is said: “What we do not attain, we do not know by name.” What does it mean?
Answer: The fact is that we attain everything in our senses and not outside of them, and therefore, we cannot name anything in an objective form. We attain everything only in a limited, predetermined condition. Therefore, the Creator is called Bo-Re.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 6/7/22
Question: Baal HaSulam says that it is necessary to consider the Creator not as a person, but as laws of nature. It turns out that if you follow the laws of nature, you get rewarded, and if you don’t, you get blows. Can it be viewed this way?
Answer: Yes. It is not important. We must try to act all the time in such a way that we come closer to the Creator in the selflessness of our actions.
Question: Let’s say, by observing the laws of gravity, I live. And it does not matter if I understand them or not. Is it the same with the Creator? He says: “We need to connect with other people.” I comply, that’s it, I’m fine. If I do not comply, I feel bad.
Answer: No. Bad or good ,you cannot determine; otherwise, you will act in order to make yourself feel good and not bad.
Comment: In general, if I observe this law and somehow come closer to others, then I should understand that I will somewhere get some kind of reward for this although I do not see it.
My Response: It is still a reward.
Comment: But I do not see it.
My Response: It does not matter. You do not see the money in the bank either.
Comment: Yes, but I can always withdraw it.
My Response: Here too you hope that you will withdraw.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual states” 5/31/22
In the News (BBC): “It was March 2020, and caseloads of a novel and dangerous coronavirus were rising quickly here in the UK. Our Prime Minister was about to announce a lockdown. Schools and nurseries were going to close. Like millions of other parents, I was about to become my young children’s de facto school teacher. The idea filled me with dread. …
“Over the months that followed, many parents felt a crushing toll on their mental and physical health. More lockdowns and school closures ensued, along with reports of a worrying increase in levels of parental stress, anxiety and depression. Many asked themselves why this was so hard. Shouldn’t we be naturally good at raising our young without outside help? Didn’t humans cope without schools and daycare in the past, after all?
“As an evolutionary biologist, I do not hold the answers to all pandemic-related family crises, but I can say one thing for certain: as a species, humans are spectacularly ill-equipped to deal with parenting in isolation.
“From an evolutionary perspective, it is not surprising that many of us felt so overwhelmed. Despite the common idea that modern family life consists of small, independent units, the reality is that we would often benefit from help from others to raise our offspring. For much of human history, extended families provided that help. In contemporary industrialised societies, where smaller family units are common, teachers, babysitters and other caregivers have allowed us to replicate that ancient support network.
“This collaborative way of raising children makes us unique among great apes. Called ‘cooperative breeding’, it is more similar to how seemingly more distant species like meerkats and even ants and bees live – and it has given us crucial evolutionary advantages.”
“Cooperatively breeding species live in large family groups where individuals work together to raise offspring. Perhaps surprisingly, other apes, such as chimpanzees, do not parent that way. Although humans and chimpanzees both live in complex social groups, comprising kin and non-relatives, a closer inspection reveals some stark differences. Chimp mothers raise their infants alone, with little or no assistance from anyone else, not even the father.”
Question: We cannot do without the support of others; we are ants, collective creatures. That is what biologists say. Do you think this is our weakness?
Answer: In general, our individualistic egoism will not allow us to properly raise even our own children.
We are individualists. We cannot teach and we cannot show what it means to be dependent on each other, to voluntarily, correctly educate our children in love for our neighbor and not in love for ourselves. After all, this is what we show our children, and this is against the rules of nature—real nature, higher nature.
That is, if we educate a person to take care of himself, we educate him like a monkey. If we educate a person to take care of others, then we educate him as a human being.
Question: We aren’t engaged in this education in kindergartens, nurseries, schools, or anywhere?
Answer: Absolutely not. That contradicts our egoism, our foundation. We say the opposite: “He hits you, hit him back! Do not give in, hold on! This way you will be strong and you will win in life.”
Question: We teach to defeat the other?
Answer: Yes. We have created such an environment that only the suppression of the other allows you to survive and somehow thrive.
Question: So, why do we send our children to kindergartens and nurseries for upbringing, as we say?
Answer: What kind of upbringing is there? Monkey education! We have not climbed out of the level of primates and even worse. We should be above them in terms of social status but, in the end, we are not.
Question: So you think it is because of our individualistic qualities that parents got so anxious when everything was closed during the pandemic and they had to raise their children at home themselves?
Answer: They did not know what to do with this child because they were used to living exclusively for themselves.
Question: So it turns out that we send children to kindergartens and nurseries to dump them there? Just for that?
Answer: That is clear enough. You can conduct a survey and see how many people will say: “I send the child to kindergarten to go to work. And thank God I have a job. Not because I need money but because I need this job. It is better for me than sitting at home with the child.”
And how many women will say: “No, I am ready to sit at home with my child, and this is the most important thing for me”? If this is actually the reason and not to conceal some other purpose.
Question: Do you think that the percentage of those who send their child to kindergarten is two to three times higher than those who say: “I want to be a parent and stay at home”?
Answer: Yes. Wanting to sit at home with a child, I do not think there will be many of those. For the love of the child, to raise him myself because otherwise he will not be brought up the way I think he should. Wrap around it all that really should be there and you will see that, first of all, people are not suited for this. They have no such inclinations, such aspirations.
Comment: To do this, they must be teachers, parents, and everything. And also cook, and everything.
My Response: We are worse than primates. Primates take care of their offspring on an animal, natural, instinctive level, and they are doing the right thing.
And that is why monkeys do not get worse with each generation. And with us, with each generation we seem to become smarter, to develop something external, technology, knowledge, and we use it only to the detriment of ourselves and others.
Question: So we are not ants, as they say here?
Answer: No! We are nobody at all. We are a distinct, unfortunate, dead-end type of evolution.
Question: Is there a way out of this impasse?
Answer: Only through suffering. When we see where we are, what we have done, what consequences we bring about by our social relations, then, perhaps this insight will come. Today we simply have no brains, no desire, no feelings for this—nothing.
And if we ever, and I hope it will be soon, realize: “What are we doing? It should be exactly the opposite,” then we will have a lot of questions for the Creator and to Kabbalists.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 12/6/22
Answer: You should not hope for any pleasure. It should come precisely from the fact that through your efforts you bring contentment to the Creator.
You should simply imagine it. After all, if you really feel pleasure, then you will do everything only for the sake of it. Therefore, a person should close himself, make a restriction on himself, and not receive any pleasure from his spiritual work.
Question: But it is not clear where to get fuel for this?
Answer: You will get it, don’t worry.
Question: Are there some resources in nature that can be used?
Answer: You have no idea! They are much larger than in our world.
Comment: It is not clear what this altruistic fuel is.
My Response: It will come when you want to work without any egoistic fulfillment. You will see how many opportunities there are in the world to act without response, without fulfilling yourself, without thinking about reward, when the work itself, the action itself without any reward is a reward.
If a person is freed from thoughts about himself and starts as if exiting himself, this is the greatest pleasure.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 5/31/22
In the News (The New York Times): “Japan now plans to build as many as 22 new coal-burning power plants — one of the dirtiest sources of electricity — at 17 different sites in the next five years, just at a time when the world needs to slash carbon dioxide emissions to fight global warming. …
“Together the 22 power plants would emit almost as much carbon dioxide annually as all the passenger cars sold each year in the United States. The construction stands in contrast with Japan’s effort to portray this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo as one of the greenest ever.”
Question: Now, Britain asks: “What is Japan doing?! What is this?!” And Japan replies: “This is more important to us than the starvation of others. It is far more important to us, and we don’t give a damn about anyone.”
Answer: Very true that they “don’t give a damn about others.” Because it’s true. When do people not think about themselves?
So then all is well! We can’t do without coal. As to oil, who knows when and in whose hands it will end up or what will happen to it? As for gas, we’ll run out of it soon. And that’s it. But coal will stay. There’s a good reason it’s been decaying in the ground for millions of years.
This is the most reliable type of fuel. You get a bucket of coal and that’s it. Now you have heat.
Question: You think we will live by this truth up to some point as long as we don’t pollute everything to the max, right?
Answer: No. What are you polluting? I don’t think it’s really that terrible. People will go back to normal. This period of madness will pass.
Question: In your opinion, what is the correct formula for all of this?
Answer: The correct formula is the balance between humans and nature. People must do things for themselves; they must kill animals for food, burn coal, oil, and gas in order to reasonably use machinery, equipment, heating, etc. We can’t avoid it. We must use water wisely. All in adequate measure!
When we throw half of what we produce back into the ocean—creating so much excess dirt and garbage, naturally we will be drowning in it.
But nothing can be done about it; it is out of our hands. It is in the hands of those who greedily or foolishly try to produce and earn as much as possible. And if not, we’ll throw it out. And everyone around them keeps quiet because this process cannot be stopped. Try stopping it.
Half of everything produced in the world today is not needed. Overproduction. If you stop the process, what will people do? Revolutions? No, it’s better to let them pollute, and in the meantime “I will sit on the throne.”
Question: So, you’re saying, don’t ban anything; rather, figure out what is necessary and what is required for it, right?
Answer: Yes. You don’t have to ban anything. If we knew what we really need and what we don’t need, we would stop 70 to 80% of all production.
Question: Tell me, can “what is necessary” be determined by law? Is it possible to gather a number of scientists, sages, and philosophers, so that they decide this is what a person needs? It should be defined by law. This would determine the amount of coal, atomic energy, etc., needed to achieve it? Shall we start from this point?
Answer: Of course, you can approach this problem logically. Even from our point of view, even though we are unaware of many conditions, it is still possible to exercise this approach. People’s needs are already calculated and estimated by economists. But who takes it into account, who cares about everyone having enough but not more than that?
Question: Your conclusion is to calculate what is necessary and start from there?
Answer: Surely! Only from this.
But our egoism must be fed with something! There’s nothing you can do about it. You can talk as much as you’d like, but the ego says: “And what’s in it for me?!” The other guy will get the same as you get. “No! It means you won’t give me anything at all.”
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 12/20/21