Audio Version Of The Blog – 6/27/22

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“The Appeal of Evil” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Appeal of Evil

Following the rise in terrorist acts and violent crimes in Israel and the world over, the Israeli newspaper Ynet published an in-depth analysis on the topic of human brutality. The analysis tried to understand what causes certain people to become particularly evil, and if humanity can defeat the spreading cruelty within it. The interviewees in the analysis pointed out many factors that may cause people to become brutal. Brain structure, hormones, the mother’s nutrition during pregnancy, and drug and alcohol abuse were some of the physiological factors, while abuse, neglect, and growing up in a violent environment were among the social and emotional factors.

What was absent in the story, however, was the exponential growth in human self-centeredness, which has already come to the attention of many researchers, and which is the root cause of all forms of malice.

Self-centeredness, or narcissism, as social scientists refer to it, is the culprit behind the increasing level of cruelty in society. It is growing exponentially and is the reason for all the negative phenomena that have been intensifying in recent decades. Violence and cruelty are certainly the more painful symptoms, but financial crises, reckless depletion of natural resources, and the economic wars that have escalated around the world are also offshoots of the reckless selfishness that is intensifying by the day.

Everything has some level of selfishness. Every organism takes what it needs without regard for others’ needs. When all those self-centered desires clash with one another, they balance each other out and the result is that everyone gets what they need, and there is enough for everyone. In that state, the clashes between species keep them strong and healthy.

The problem begins with people. We cannot settle for taking only what we need. We constantly compare ourselves to others. We do not look at what we need, but at what others have, and we feel that we must have more than they do. As a result, we cannot be satisfied until we have more than everyone else.

Because we are compulsive competitors and incorrigibly jealous, we are growing increasingly avaricious. And as the world becomes more and more connected, we find more and more people to envy, until we feel that we must surpass all the people in the world. Eventually, we come to enjoy not only surpassing everyone, but humiliating everyone, degrading them, and hurting them, and we enjoy seeing them suffer.

Certainly, not everyone is like that. Very few among us have reached such levels of narcissism, but this is the trend. To varying degrees, we are all like that, and the trajectory of human development will make more and more people become pathologically selfish, with all its consequences.

Worse yet, the more violence becomes commonplace, the more people will become violent. And the more cruelty becomes acceptable, as is the case in a violent and abusive society, the more people will become cruel and abusive.

In the analysis, Prof. of History Gideon Graif said that evil is often simply more attractive. As a researcher of brutality during the Holocaust, he reached the conclusion that not all the Germans were sadistic, but many of them became so in the atmosphere that surrounded them in the death camps. In fact, he says, they may have even competed at being the cruelest.

Since the Holocaust, many experiments (such as The Stanford Prison Experiment) have shown that under certain circumstances, even the most normative person can become sadistic and abusive. Since we always compare ourselves to the environment, we have no choice in the matter; we are compelled to become a reflection of our social environment. If the environment is sadistic, we, too, will become that, and we will not feel that we are doing anything wrong; we will have no remorse and we will feel no need to justify our actions. On the contrary, we will feel that we are doing the right thing.

If we want to reverse the trend of growing violence, abusiveness, and alienation in society, we must begin to change the norms that we regard as acceptable. Since we are compelled to compare ourselves to others, we should see that our role models are conscientious people. If we want to decrease the level of alienation, we must give public accolades to those who excel in bringing people together, who increase solidarity in society, who exemplify supportive and positive relationships. When we show positive, non-violent role models, we will have a positive, non-violent society, and not a day sooner.

“Toward a Fiery Turmoil” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Toward a Fiery Turmoil

Abortion rights activists demonstrate outside the United States Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., June 25, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Roe v. Wade is overturned and protests erupt, gun laws are revisited, war rages in Ukraine, Sri Lanka’s economy collapses, bank runs in China, escalating tensions between the US and China over Taiwan, an increasingly belligerent North Korea, and a nearly nuclear and wholly unruly Iran — all these are a prelude to a fiery turmoil that will storm the world. The unwanted, unintended, yet inescapable ties among all parts of humanity are raising the level of friction and aggression while our connectedness relentlessly increases.

In this mayhem, countries will collide with countries, parties will jar with parties, societies will clash, and people will thrash one another. Everyone will be embroiled in a vortex in which everyone is connected to everyone else, and everyone influences everyone else. The clashes will demonstrate how hostile we are, how unwilling we are to listen to each other or hear about each other until everything seems to fall apart.

But then people will begin to realize the unexpected truth that the differences between us do not divide us, but nourish us. They will see that although we feel apart, we are actually a family where each member has a unique position, duties, and chores. Yet, above it all, we are a family.

When we realize this, we will understand and even feel that we can succeed only as a family, and not alone. We will understand that although mom does some things, dad does other things, and the children all have their different chores and duties, these differences are not what matters. What matters is not what we do in the family, but that we are a family; that we are connected in our hearts.

When we realize how closely and irrevocably we are connected, we will establish new relationships between us, family relationships among all of humanity. This will solve most, if not all, of our problems.

For example, the impending wave of hunger that will engulf many countries, or the heating problems that countless countries will face next winter, are avoidable crises. There is enough food and gas to meet the needs of all of humanity, and then some. But since there is no desire to distribute these staples, and plenty of desire to deny them and torment other nations, humanity is condemned to starvation and to freezing. In other words, the problem is our foul connection, not a scarcity of anything.

In the current situation, these problems will impact not only countries at war or those that rely on imports for provision of staples; they will affect everyone. The inevitable result will be a realization that our only option is to forge positive relations and connect with one another like the family, as we just mentioned. The question is how much fiery turmoil we will have to endure before we come to this conclusion.

Are there Punishments in the Spiritual World?

962.2Question: Does punishment exist only in the corporeal world or does it also exist in the spiritual world?

Answer: In practice, there are no two worlds. Just our perception divides all of the perception of the world into two parts.

Question: Perception in the egoistic sensory organs assumes punishment. Does it exist in altruistic sensory organs too?

Answer: Yes. for example, a mother suffers if she wants to give something to a baby, but he cannot take it because his tummy hurts.

Question: Does it mean that in the spiritual world, punishments and sufferings are not for myself, but for others?

Answer: Yes. And they are greater than for myself.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 5/31/22

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Each Degree from Zero

528.02Question: When musicians learn to play a composition together, they understand why they are doing it. But at first there is a kind of overcoming between them in order to find contact with each other. Through making great efforts, they begin to work together, and only then is an amazing piece born in which the contribution of each person is felt.

Then, as if a switch takes place and they again need to make efforts to act together. There is no pleasure, even if they have experienced a sense of a special unity between them.

Why is it that if, say, they need to record three compositions, and they know that everything will turn out fine, it becomes more and more difficult for them to do every step?

Answer: It is because they want to achieve greater skills. They begin to see new flaws even in their past excellent performance, as they enter deeper and deeper into the understanding of the work and start seeing some small inconsistencies.

This is a process of professional growth. The Kabbalists have the same thing when we begin to unite with each other.

Comment: People who are inside our system know how difficult every next action that will lead to a certain result is. However, these actions must be performed anew, gather together, and unite common efforts. The problem is precisely in the connection of one person with the other person. Then you overcome this bar and see that it has some special energy.

My Response: It is all the same, both in the spiritual and in our world, the processes of spiritual growth.

Question: Why is it in Kabbalah that this is felt especially strongly?

Answer: Because every next degree is completely new. The musicians add something, they get something new, it goes in, goes out, and comes back again. Their creative process takes place at the same level.

Kabbalists, however, have a new level every time. That is, all ten Sefirot are completely new; it is a new degree and you start all over again, completely. You get some kind of experience, but you still have to start over.

Question: Why doesn’t the previous experience remain that a person could rely on?

Answer: Because this is a new degree. The previous experience can only hurt you.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Kabbalah and Art” 6/10/14

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The Reward Is Working for the Creator

509Question: Why is it written in the sources that the work itself for the Creator or for His sake is considered a reward?

Answer: Because a person reaches his highest spiritual degree at the same time. He becomes eternal and perfect like the Creator, is honored with connection with the Creator, learns what the upper force is and in general what the entire universe is, the entire upper world. He rises to the degree where he is not limited by anything.

This can be compared to the work for some great person where working for him becomes a pleasure.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 5/31/22

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Depository of Humanity’s Memory

294.1Question: Is there some kind of depository of common memory of all humanity?

Answer: Yes, certainly. Everything we have done throughout history is located and stored in the same reality where we are now.  I can almost see absolutely everything that had happened two to three thousand years ago. It all exists as real as what exists today. Only we are in a certain process of development and that is why we feel the information that comes to us and that we have to process now.

In principle, we are inside of all information. We can, as if, rise above today’s day—what we call today, today’s information—and float in the general flow back and forth, anywhere.

There are no limitations here. It all depends on how much a person is capable of it. Therefore, there are people who feel the future and there are those who can also feel the past, and feel it all very clearly.

They can rise above the general layer of information. We all connect to the current state point by point, and they can connect to the future as well as to the present; it is equivalent.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Hologram” 7/28/11

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Humanity’s Development under the Influence of Spiritual Energy

214Question: You said that all suffering is brought into the world not by the quality of receiving, but by the quality of bestowal, the quality of the Creator. What does this mean?

Answer: If the Creator did not interfere with us, we would simply live without developing. When the quality of bestowal comes into our world, it begins to constantly spur us on. It is because of it that the quality of receiving grows in us.

Without this, we would remain animals and everything would be fine. But since the Creator wants to draw us closer to Him so we become like Him, He always sends us an illumination that develops us.

As the dough rises because of yeast, so do we constantly grow in our egoism under the influence of external spiritual energy, more and more, until we break out of this pan like dough. Then we begin to brew, like it is happening now when we do not know what we are living for or what to do with ourselves next.

Thus, the upper light, the quality of bestowal, brings almost all suffering into our world. On the one hand, the Creator created evil in the world. On the other hand, even this evil, which is us egoists, He does not leave alone, He constantly develops us to greater and greater evil until we realize it and want to break free of it at all costs.

I hope this will happen in our time because today we can already teach and spread Kabbalah everywhere, we can tell everyone about globalism, about the universal connection between us, about the need to unite, to overcome egoism, and to rise above it, which is something that we had no right to do in prior generations because we had not yet revealed the global nature.

Today, we can already hope that our next steps will be conscious and therefore sweetened by us. We will feel all further development is correct, convenient, and successful, and we will participate in it voluntarily and will prevent undesirable events. That is, we will keep developing but not under the influence of blows.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Branch of Sakura” 5/15/11

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Is it Possible to Do without Egyptian Plagues?

962.2Question: The world today resembles people that are in Egyptian exile. And what is happening today is similar to the Egyptian plagues. Because the Torah is the source of all religions and all spiritual practices, please comment on a very universal quote from the Torah that refers to the world as a nation.

It is written: The Torah, Exodus, 3:17 “And I said, ‘I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt, to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivvites, and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey.’”

The word “you” implies the world. What does this mean?

Answer: That the Creator will lead us out from under the control of our common egoism, which, in principle, He created and supports in order to show us the real exit to a kind, mutual, correct existence. This is our immediate good future.

Question: It means that we are under the control of egoism. Is this the Egyptian slavery?

Answer: Yes, all of humanity is in it.

Question: Is it only the Creator who can bring us out of this state?

Answer: The same force that created the negative force inverts itself and turns into a positive one. That is, the force that drove us there will also lead us out.

Question: Further, it is written about the process: The Torah, Exodus, 3:19: “However, I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except through a mighty hand.”

What does it mean for our world today?

Answer: If we do not put pressure on the egoism that the Creator created and supports in us, if we do not apply even greater force to it that will force egoism to begin to change, to retreat, then this will never happen. The Creator holds it. It means that the Creator must defeat and overcome Himself. This is how we get out from under the control of egoism.

The fact that we are suffering now, that the world is suffering, is the natural state of the world that it must go through in order to clearly assess what is good and what is bad.

Question: Is this what the Creator is doing to us?

Answer: Yes. We should read the story “The Little Son Came to His Father” in our childhood and actualize this study within ourselves.

At the moment, he feels that he is a tiny toddler and that he has to figure out how to live. Therefore, he asks his father: “What is good and what is bad? I do not know where I am. I take every step and it seems to me that it is good, but it turns out to be bad.” And he receives an explanation.

Question: And his father explains to him that the king of Egypt will not let him leave. But I will make him do it with a mighty hand.

Who is the mighty hand aimed at: the king of Egypt or me?

Answer: The mighty hand is aimed at the king of Egypt that is within you, at the egoism that is within you so that you want the good force of nature to conquer the evil force of nature. All of this is only within us.

Comment: Then there is this sentence: The Torah, Exodus, 3:20: “And I will stretch forth My hand and smite the Egyptians with all My miracles that I will wreak in their midst, and afterwards he will send you out.”

My Response: All the evil that exists in egoism should be revealed and a person should see it, sense it, feel it, in the present and in the possible future. Then he will see how the Creator changes it all to the opposite, and by this a person praises the Creator.

We are talking about the ten plagues that tear a person away from his egoism. These are the ten qualities we call Sefirot, from which we break away.

Question: Can we break away without plagues?

Answer: If you yourself will want to break away without them, then you can.

Question: Will I be able to want it?

Answer: To do this, you need to engage in self-education; that is, convince yourself that even the little evil that is now revealed in you is revealed in you relative to others, and you must do everything in order to hate these qualities in you. Then you will gradually distance yourself from them, up to complete separation.

Question: Who are Moses and his brother Aaron to the world? What is this?

Answer: These are two forces that lead us out of the state of egoism into the quality of connection and love between us and between us and the Creator.

Question: How do they appear in a person? At what point?

Answer: A person begins to extract them out of himself. They exist within him. In general, everything exists within a person. A person is a small world. The only problem is that we need to tune in so as to find these forces in ourselves, extract them, start working with them, and treat everything around us in this way through these two qualities.

Then the world changes. If I look at the world through them, it becomes different.

Question: Moses and Aaron come to Pharaoh. The Creator told them: “Go,” and they went. They say: “Let my people go.” And Pharaoh said: “Who is the Lord that I should heed His voice to let Israel out?” What is this?

Answer: People is a person with all his qualities. A person should get out from under the control of egoism under another control. This is called “let my people go.”

And the Pharaoh answers: “And who is this God?” because Pharaoh as if does not know that for certain. Pharaoh’s task is to trick a person so that he does not understand at all where he is. So that later he could clearly determine what is the Pharaoh, the Creator, Egypt, and outside of Egypt.

Pharaoh is our egoism that says: “I do not want to know any Creator. I do not know Him.” Because “to know” means to understand and obey.

Question: Will egoism always resist nature, the Creator?

Answer: Absolutely! We can never exit our nature while remaining in it. One contradicts the other.

Question: Pharaoh’s reaction to the request of Moses and Aaron to let the people go was simple. Pharaoh said, Exodus, 5:9: “Let the labor fall heavy upon the men”—upon the ones they want to lead out of egoism, upon these desires—“and let them work at it, and let them not talk about false matters.”

All this is empty speech for the Pharaoh. He is as if taking revenge; he says: “Do you want to lead the people out? We are going to burden them with work now.”

Can we compare this with the fact that in our world we are currently overwhelmed with work?

Answer: What does it matter whether they want or do not want? They only prolong their suffering by this. What else can be done? Piling even more work on them is what the Pharaoh does. Lock them up in some petty worries. Lock them up in such social, family, and other states that they will be just like little bugs.

Question: So these worries and problems that exist in the world now, the crazy amount of news, is this the empty work that is piled on us? Will all our actions at the level of this earth lead to nothing?

Answer: I think people already understand this. And in addition to this, there are wars, sufferings, fears, and anxieties.

Question: Is it in order to take us away from all this useless work?

Answer: Yes. It is such a state that a person is just like a bunny sitting under a burdock and shaking. This is such a pitiful state for such a great, potential being as human.

Question: Do you think a person is already beginning to understand this?

Answer: He already hears it in some things. He does not know how to exit this state, but he understands that “yes, this is me, this is us.” And what is next? He cannot see what is next.

If he had at least a tiny bit, a little bit of some small vision ahead, if he were able to see through a crack that there is still an opportunity, then, of course, he would have strength. Not in himself alone but in the unity between them. This is what needs to be revealed here! After all, people are right: “Where did we come from, what are we, and where are we going? Nothing. Everyone is for himself.”

Question: Yet, you are saying that the whole secret is in connection. Can you reveal this to us?

Answer: It is impossible to get out of this state we are in now. We will continue to turn sour in it until it as if cements us in the pyramids of Pharaoh.

This is what Pharaoh wants from us. So that we voluntarily agree to enter together with him into this huge tomb and lie down there nicely, the way they lie there. And so continues our eternal path in egoism. Without changing—like those mummies.

But if we go on the path of connection and unification, then we will be able to break this strong egoistic cloak that covers us, encloses us, shuts all our senses, and we will be able to rush out of there and escape.

Question: Is this what humanity is now facing? Are we, as if, under this “cloak”?

Answer: Yes, and we will definitely come out of it. We will definitely come out.

Comment: Then it is written: The Torah, Exodus, 5:22-5:23: “So Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord! Why have You harmed this people? Why have You sent me? Since I have come to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has harmed this people, and You have not saved Your people’”

My Response: A person does not understand what else he needs to do in order to exit the egoistic state. But for Pharaoh, this desire of a person to exit egoism is not enough. He needs an extra, additional great desire. So that a person will turn to him. And not with reproach but with a plea that the Creator would go ahead of them and lead them all out of Egypt by hand. This is what is still missing.

Therefore, the Creator sends Moses back. He says: “You go and ask.” And ten times back and forth in this way until Moses already feels that this is it, all forces, all intentions, and all possibilities have dried out and only then do they succeed in escaping Egypt.

Question: Is it when the last, tenth plague comes that Pharaoh says: “You can exit”?

Answer: Yes.

Question: The last plague is the death of the firstborn. What is it from the Kabbalistic point of view?

Answer: It is the condition that man had when he existed in the world even before all these revelations. That I exist in an egoistic world, I am in it, I am under the control of the upper force. This is how I develop and live.

The death of the firstborn means that I tear off all my original, primary egoistic foundations and break away from everything that connected me with the past.

Question: Why is it so scary for Pharaoh?

Answer: Because the connection with him, with Pharaoh, is really getting torn. That is it, a person refuses to be under his control and to be connected with him. A person is ready to rise above himself no matter what! Whatever happens, just not to be under the control of Pharaoh!

Only then Pharaoh lets the person go. This is what he exists for, to bring a person to such a state.

At the moment when this thought, this desire, “Come what may, no matter what, just not with Pharaoh, not under him,” appears in a person, then everything happens. This is called the “death of the firstborn,” i.e., of the entire basis of a person’s egoistic existence.

Question: Does humanity need to reach such a cry, such a scream, such a state? Is it only possible then to escape from the control of egoism?

Answer: Of course.

Question: Is it possible for every person to come to such a state?

Answer: For every person, according to his measure. It will happen.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 4/18/22

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 6/27/22

Preparation to the Lesson

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Shamati #164 “There Is a Difference Between Corporeality and Spirituality”

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Shamati #154, “There Cannot Be an Empty Space in the World” 

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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”

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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Study of the Ten Sefirot, Vol. 1, Part 3,” Chapter 6, Item 5

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