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Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “The Age of Togetherness”
Why does it feel more and more like humanity is the bully in the neighborhood? Between nations, in personal relationships, with coworkers, among peers at school, and toward nature, we are as clumsy as an elephant in a china store, breaking everything we touch and leaving a chaotic mess behind us. There is a reason for this: The world around us is changing. While we are trapped in a mindset of having to work only for ourselves and that if we are weak, others will eat us, life has revealed its connected nature and shows us that if we act alone, we fail. Reality has ushered in the age of togetherness, and if we want to succeed, we will have to adapt.
In this new age, we cannot succeed alone. People’s strength comes not from their own abilities, but from their ability to connect and collaborate with others.
When we think of collaboration, we often think of having to compromise and give up things we would like in order to maintain a connection. That is no longer the case. On the contrary, the new togetherness requires that we use all of our skills, talents, ideas, and aspirations. However, we will use them for the common good rather than our own.
Currently, we use our abilities to benefit ourselves and prevent others from hurting or surpassing us. This puts us in a constant war with others. As a result, we frequently cancel each other’s good ideas and strengths, they often cancel ours, and we all end up tired, worn out, with unfulfilled potentials, and the whole of society loses.
When we use our individual advantages for the common good, we boost each other’s qualities, enhance each other’s achievements, and facilitate the realization of each other’s full potential. Everyone benefits from this. We feel fulfilled, confident, welcome in our social environment, and all of society benefits from our contributions. The energy we used to spend on self defense is geared toward development, and the achievements spur us on to give even more of ourselves to the collective.
The only thing that stops us from living out this dream society is our obstinate ego. As long as we let it rule, it will continue to destroy us and demolish our society. Eventually, it will destroy everything, and we will realize that we have no choice but to let go of our ego.
If we realize this now rather than later, we will spare ourselves that dismal outlook and bring the future into the present. If we help each other rise above ourselves, we will be able to do this, because in the age of togetherness, even rising above the ego is possible only if we work together.
Medium published my new article “Success Begins at Home”
A recent study conducted by the Israeli Ministry of Finance has found, unsurprisingly, that where you live has a major impact on your chances of success. The study found that people who live in disadvantaged areas of Israel have lower chances of academic and financial success. The study also found that these people’s chances of mobility — moving up from lower income brackets to higher ones — are also lower if they live in poorer areas of the country.
The solution people most often use if they want to improve their situation is to move to more affluent parts of the country, where the environment encourages achievements and opportunities are more numerous. This perpetuates the poor state of deprived areas. The study suggests that the solution to this problem may be in developing young, local leaders who will create their own environment of success and lift their area to better achievements.
This idea may work, but I believe that success begins at home. If your family encourages you to achieve and gives you examples of success, your chances of success are much better than otherwise. For example, I have three grandchildren who live in Canada. The oldest went to college last year, the middle one went this year, and the youngest is still in high school but will certainly attend college. The role models they see make it almost a given that they will follow the same path. They simply know that a college degree is a mandatory part of their education. Regrettably, in Israel’s underprivileged areas, most people do not even consider the idea of academic schooling.
The cost of higher education in Israel is also prohibitive for many, but there are many scholarships and other programs that allow students from disadvantaged areas to study at a fraction of the actual cost, or even at no cost. So the problem is not one of affordability, but of approach, awareness, and confidence.
Therefore, I think that the first step toward success must begin at home, by creating an environment of encouraging academic schooling. If there is such an environment in a family, it may be able to offset a less positive external environment with regard to higher education.
Subsequently, young local leaders can rise and lift the entire community. If they focus on the common good and try to improve the situation of society as a whole, and if they themselves set an example of success, they can do a lot of good.
Leadership development requires special programs and unique training. The leaders must first learn how to behave among themselves, and then with their community. They should not be raised to be politicians, but leaders who pave the way through personal example. If they can demonstrate how problems are solved by caring for the whole and cooperating with others, they will succeed, and the community will succeed with them.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “The odd synchrony between new eras and revolutionary kabbalists”
This week, we commemorate the anniversary of the passing of the great kabbalist Isaac Luria, known as the Holy ARI. It is therefore a good time to reflect on an odd synchrony between his arrival and the global events of his time. However, before we speak of the ARI, we should speak of the founder of the wisdom of Kabbalah, as such, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, also known as Rashbi.
Rashbi, author of The Book of Zohar, the seminal book of Kabbalah, lived at a critical junction in the history of humankind. He lived in the 2nd century CE, not long after the ruin of the Second Temple and the exile of the people of Israel from Jerusalem and dispersion throughout the world.
That period, the first CE centuries, was a time of radical global transformations. The world was shifting from paganism to monotheism. Rome was gradually declining, along with its pantheon of gods, and a fledgling religion that became known as Christianity was accelerating its expansion. That time also saw the dimming of the Greek culture and the beginning of a darker epoch in the history of humankind: the Middle Ages.
When the Middle Ages had ended and a revival known as the Renaissance began, a new kabbalist with revolutionary teachings emerged, as well. Isaac Luria, The ARI, lived in the mid-16th century. That was also when the Renaissance was beginning to spread throughout Europe. It was also the time when Martin Luther lived and spread his ideas. These two revolutionary movements, Renaissance and Protestantism, had changed the world forever. Lurianic Kabbalah, named after Isaac Luria, The ARI, was equally revolutionary; it changed the way Kabbalists studied and taught Kabbalah, and paved the way for explaining it in a manner that the world can understand.
The third great kabbalist who lived at a pivotal time in history was Rav Yehuda Ashlag, known as Baal HaSulam. He lived through both world wars and warned of an impending genocide of the Jews years before it happened. He also lived to see the establishment of the State of Israel and the emergence of the Soviet and American blocs.
In his writings, Baal HaSulam wrote extensive and clear commentaries on the writings of his two predecessors, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s The Book of Zohar, and the writings of The ARI. He is the one who truly made Kabbalah accessible to everyone, and who pioneered the spreading of the wisdom of Kabbalah to the entire world.
While I do not see a direct connection between the arrival of revolutionary kabbalists and the advent of ideological, religious, and cultural transformations in the world, there is still a connection between the two in the sense that they both express the appearance of an evolutionary change in humanity. The world changes in its physical expression, and Kabbalah changes in its spiritual expression, but both processes demonstrate the advent of a new phase in the evolution of humanity. Therefore, while they happen simultaneously, they are not derived from one another.
The odd synchrony between the arrival of new eras and the appearance of revolutionary kabbalists is therefore created not because they are connected to each other, but because both are connected to the same source, the engine of reality, the creative force of giving that engenders everything, sustains everything, and develops everything to its ultimate goal: complete unity of all things, bound together by threats of mutual giving and love, in utter oneness.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is consciousness?“
Consciousness is the energy, matter, information and qualities that we receive and that forms in us when we connect to the general collective volume of information.
There are forces that we receive from outside of us, and these forces form the picture of our world. If we connect in a balanced manner to the information outside of us, then we experience a state of peace and harmony. On the contrary, if we fail to connect in a balanced manner to the forces outside of us, we experience imbalance and disharmony.
We should thus not consider how we receive information from the outside, but how we connect to the general collective information field. The the extent of our balance or imbalance with the external field is responsible for how we feel the world, whether pleasurable or painful.
The quality of the general informational field outside of our perception is that of love and bestowal. If we wish to create the same quality within ourselves, then we connect to it and start sensing its information without any interference. We then achieve a state of total peace and harmony, a complete understanding and feeling of nature, the creation and the universe. In other words, by balancing ourselves with the quality of love and bestowal that exists outside of us, we become as eternal and perfect as that quality, i.e. as nature itself.
On the contrary, our inborn desire to separate, assort and compartmentalize distances us from the eternity and perfection of nature. It gives us a transient and incomplete perception of the universe. As a result, we experience an accumulation of suffering throughout our development, which is necessary to prod us to a point where we will desire to undergo a fundamental transformation of our paradigm: to wish to exit our detached perception and sensation, and enter into a balanced, harmonious and peaceful connection with the general informational field.
Based on KabTV’s “Close-Up. Hologram” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on July 28, 2011. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
In the News (Interesting Engineering): “In China, an AI could send you to jail. Researchers in the country have developed a machine that can charge people with crimes with the help of artificial intelligence.
“This AI “prosecutor” can file a charge with more than 97 percent accuracy based on a verbal description of the case, as per the team. …
“Shi and his colleagues said that “the system can replace prosecutors in the decision-making process to a certain extent,” in a paper published this month in the domestic peer-reviewed journal Management Review. …
“The machine was “trained” using more than 17,000 cases from 2015 to 2020. For now, it can identify and press charges for Shanghai’s eight most common crimes which include credit card fraud, running a gambling operation, dangerous driving, intentional injury, obstructing official duties, theft, fraud, and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” – a catch-all charge often used to stifle dissent.”
Question: Many believe that in the near future AI will be able to pass fair sentences and thus replace humans. What do you think about such a scenario?
Answer: I am certain it will happen because a person is in fact, predictable, limited, corrupted, and a lowly being above all. And prosecutors are clearly no exception. They will be ashamed to see what this electronic prosecutor reveals, what it is able to bring to the surface.
Question: Why, when looking at present day judicial systems, don’t we express some kind of an outcry; “Let’s get rid of them all”? We see it is all so corrupt and that it is basically rooted in egoism.
Answer: We can’t currently replace it with anything. It is a consequence of a society that is uncorrected and egoistic. So there’s nothing with which to replace it.
Question: To be clear, you’re talking about this judicial system?
Answer: Yes. In general, you have no way to fix anything. You can only say: it’s a little softer, it’s a bit worse, it’s better in one place or another, etc. But it all falls within the framework of human relations. All in all, we can’t do anything to directly fix it.
Question: If we talk about the ideal judge, what would he or she look like? I mean a human who is a judge; what does it mean to you?
Answer: A judge is a person who is in practicality a defender of the Creator, who stands as an intermediary between the Creator and the rest of the world. The rest of the world can bring any charges against the Creator and the judge can justify almost all of these charges. That is, he should not be a judge or a prosecutor, but a defender, someone who justifies.
Question: That is, the judge does not pass a sentence, but must instead always pass an acquittal?
Answer: That’s right. How can you justify a person despite the fact that he, a human, is controlled by the Creator? He is 100% under the control of the Creator.
How can we justify a person in this case, when the Creator committed such a crime through this person. Here we must rise to a level above the court, investigation, toward kindness and mercy. And consider before whom will he do it? Before the people who will judge the judge in this way.
Question: Are you saying that he is like an intermediary between the Creator and the people?
Answer: The people and society.
Question: So he essentially has the attainment of the Creator?
Answer: Yes, he must understand the claims of the people as well as the justification of the Creator in order to somehow coalesce them. It’s not easy. This is what is said about judges in the Torah. There is a whole “Book of Judges”.
Question: Could we bring it down a notch to our level? What should a judge feel in order to pass a sentence? Must he have some kind of empathy…or fear? Maybe his verdict will be unfair?
Answer: No, judges were collectively appointed by the people. Naturally, they were held to great standards and expectations back then.
Comment: Well in any case, nothing should “stick” to the judge, neither to the heart nor the hands.
My Response: That’s for sure! He is, on the one hand, a representative of the Creator, on the other hand, a representative of the people and must unite them; while also being above both of them.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 6/9/22
Until we come to mutual guarantee on the basis of “love thy neighbor as thyself,” we will not receive the Torah. And the Torah is the light that is clothed in the desire created by the Creator. In principle, the global law “love your neighbor as yourself” is the main law of the universe that will fulfill that everyone reveals the whole universe in himself.
Let’s try not to forget about it and gradually associate with it.
From the “Arava” Convention in Europe—Lithuania 2022, Lesson 2, 7/24/22
Answer: It’s not about the melody, but about how tense your hearts are. So the melody itself doesn’t matter. It is only important that we want to express in it how much we strain our hearts and put them together.
The melody is good because it is easily understandable. This is a common language for everyone. It is not expressed in words. And the notes are the same for everyone.
From lesson 2 “Arava” Convention in Europe – Lithuania 2022, 7/24/22
Question: How does the gratitude we feel toward the Creator as a group not neutralize our intense prayer? How does the feeling that we receive everything from the Creator lead us further to acceleration, active actions, and common prayer?
Answer: You can’t feel it yet because it is still in the desire to receive, not to bestow.
But soon you will begin to feel how much you have gathered your desires to bestow, and the light of the Creator’s bestowal will begin to manifest in them. As soon as you reach the degree of equivalence of the Creator’s minimal attitude toward you, meaning that you will treat Him the same way, you will immediately begin to feel the interaction between you and the Creator.
From lesson 2 “Arava” Convention in Europe—Lithuania 2022, 7/24/22
Comment: Until recently the Black-Scholes-Merton model was used to mitigate the risk in fluctuating markets. The economists who developed it (Scholes and Merton) were awarded a Nobel Prize for it. Today it has reached a dead end.
My Response: Just imagine, the world’s leading economists received a Nobel Prize, and ten years later a crisis broke out that overturned absolutely everything! To what extent humanity is like blind kittens!
The economy is the imprint of our inner egoistic state. If I am connected with you by some kind of ties, then all this can be calculated according to economic formulas: how much I owe you, how much you owe me, and the same between everyone. That is, the connection of people with each other is displayed in the clearest, rigidly formulated way in the economic ratio.
Therefore, we have reached a dead end: there they cheat, here they inflate some kind of bubbles, there the economy is more rigid, and here it is more social or naturally socialist, and so on. All this reflects the inner world of a man.
Today we are not only in an economic crisis, as it seems to us, but also in other crises. This shows us that we have reached the biggest general crisis that human society can experience.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. The Future of Humanity” 7/17/11