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Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “The Need to Get Out – My Personal Story”
I remember how everyone looked at me 50 years ago in Belarus when I said that I had to leave there and go to Israel, that I had no other choice and wanted nothing else in life other than to come there, to Israel. People pressured me from all directions, “Don’t leave!” “What will you do there?” “They might put you in jail!” and many other warnings. But I could not listen; I knew I had to go, that that was my way.
After I submitted my application to the Soviet authorities to emigrate to Israel, I became a refusenik for several years. Refuseniks were people who applied for an emigration permit from the former Soviet Union to Israel, but the authorities rejected their application. Eventually, however, I received the permit and made Aliyah (lit. “ascent,” a term that designates emigration to Israel).
But when I arrived in Israel, the story repeated itself. I started asking questions, looking for someone to explain to me why we live, what is the purpose of life. Again, people looked at me awkwardly. “Why? What is it you need?” they asked me. I had to get answers to the questions about the universe and existence, and I knew that here, in Israel, the answer must be found.
In this way, I was led from above to the land of Israel, where, after a long search, on a rainy winter night, I was led to my wise and kind teacher, RABASH. He opened the books of Kabbalah to me and showed me the inner meaning of the teachings of Israel. He answered my questions one at a time, with scientific logic and in perfect order, questions that had been haunting me since childhood.
Like RABASH’s father, the great kabbalist Baal HaSulam, my teacher lived and taught within the Jewish Orthodox community. My calling was to be a cornerstone in bringing the wisdom of Kabbalah to the general public, to secular people. When I began teaching, people had no need for it. “What is it, philosophy?” they asked, “Is it some kind of psychology?” “Why do I need it? Isn’t it a religion?” “Do I have to pray three times a day?” Very gradually, I learned to explain the wisdom, and people began to understand what it is really about.
In part, my own efforts contributed to this process. I was willing to do literally anything to make Israelis realize what a treasure they have. In time, nature took its course and an inner urge to know the wisdom began to emerge in people, a craving to understand where we come from and where we are going.
Today we are approaching the same state that I felt in Russia and in Israel, a state that until today came only to a few. It will become a torrent that will push us into the straits, because if previously, we could settle for an apartment that we bought with great efforts, a good salary, a guaranteed pension, and even occasional trips abroad, soon these satisfactions will no longer motivate us to get up in the morning. We will feel that we cannot go on living like this; material satisfactions will no longer satisfy us.
The worsening situation in Israel will add to the heaviness, and we will feel that we are suffocating, that we are cornered and have nowhere to run, that we must break out, out of the dark and narrow dungeon and into the daylight, to a place where there is spirit!
This narrow place is our life, where we feel alone and our eyes are always looking for fleeting corporeal pleasures. We feel the spirit of life only when we break out from the straits into the feeling of others, when we include our brothers in us, care for them, and unite with them as one.
This duty is hidden in the teachings of Israel, in the wisdom of Kabbalah. It is the method to break out of our own boundaries into the hearts of our friends, and from there to include the whole world, all the people, and even animals, plants, and minerals. Kabbalah is the teaching that leads us into connection with the upper force that creates everything and sustains everything, and includes everything and everyone within it.
Question: Is there a lucky number in Kabbalah?
Answer: There is no such thing. Any number is lucky.
Question: Do you also not have a favorite number?
Answer: As a child, I had favorite numbers, and after that no. I remember my favorite number was seven.
There are no favorite and less favorite numbers, everything can be good, and everything can be bad. It depends on how a person applies all these numbers and these laws.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 7/26/22
Answer: The fact is that we are constantly in the ocean of light. But how we feel it and how we are prepared for this or that kind of influence of the Creator depends on us.
So we can’t say anything specific. Everything that comes from the Creator is called light, and a person, depending on how much he corresponds to the Creator, feels this influence more strongly and fully.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 7/19/22
There are no vowels in Hebrew. They are expressed by additional dots and marks above, below, or inside the letters.
The Hebrew letter consists of three elements: a dot, a line, a circle.
This point can express a circle and can expand in any direction from four sides (meaning movement on a plane).
We can talk about this endlessly because the movements of a black dot on a white background express the entire spectrum of the attitude of the Creator to creation and conversely, the creation to the Creator.
That is, the shape of some letter on a black background expresses how I perceive the Creator’s influence on my Kli (vessel). The white light is the light of bestowal, love, and unity with the Creator. As I feel this light, I perform some actions with it and send it back to its source.
We need to study all of this.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 7/26/22
In Hebrew there are no numbers at all; there is a letter record of numerical states. For example: Yud-Alef (י – א) is 11. The depiction starts from one to ten and beyond. By adding new letters, the following tens, hundreds, thousands, etc. are expressed. That is, letters express both words and numbers.
All this is connected to Gematria. Gematria is the numerical meaning of words that speak about inner spiritual force, not of the word itself, but of what stands behind it.
Question: For example, God is Elokim in Hebrew. In Gematria, it is Peh-Vav (פ-ו)—86. What does this mean?
Answer: For a person who does not study Kabbalah, this does not mean anything. It speaks to someone who knows what it is about. This means that the force value of this word is 86 (Peh-Vav). If I say Peh-Vav to a Kabbalist, he understands what kind of connection with the Creator we are talking about.
Question: In principle, there are no secrets in this?
Answer: No, of course not. There are no secrets in the world at all! It all comes down to just knowing what is behind the words, numbers, etc. Nothing else.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 7/27/22
Question: Is it true that babies have a much greater perception of the world than an adult even though it seems to us that they do not perceive anything at all?
Answer: The fact is that children’s perception is not constrained, not limited by the framework imposed by society, the environment, conventions, so-called “education,” and so on. It is not yet narrowed to a frame, like with the aperture of a lens, by the requirements of the environment.
Therefore, we can say that it is undoubtedly more open than in adults. We do not see very much. We see everything that society directs us to and restricts us by. Every time we hear or see something from the outside, we constantly include it in ourselves, and as a result, our field of perception narrows and distorts under the influence of the environment.
The perception of a baby is like clean photographic film on which it can record everything directly. Our perception however, can be compared with something worn-out because society with its stupidities coarsens us so much that as a result we perceive only some scanty information from the environment.
Therefore it is of course wonderful to rise above the influence of society, which means to throw away culture and all external conventions, that is to say, external egoism, to drop the inner egoism that was introduced into you, and to begin to perceive the world from your point, which you pull out of there. Then you discover yourself, not what was done to you.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. The World Through the Eyes of a Baby?” 2/10/13
Answer: Yes, it is possible. But this should immediately manifest itself on the basis of some common platform: for what, why, what is in the past, future, or present. There should be something in common. If it turns out quickly, then I am ready to communicate.
For example, I have interviews with people who come to our studio. So right away within 10 to 15 minutes, I find out in a polite conversation whether we have a common platform, a mutual understanding, or a common viewpoint on some problem in the world or on all problems in general.
If so, then we have something to talk about. We debate and discuss things in this common field. If it is not the case, then no. Then we politely slip one past the other and that is it.
I never convince anyone that I am right. It is useless and unnecessary. Even if you could politely convince someone that he is wrong and your point of view is right, you should not do this, not because I am afraid to somehow hurt my opponent and leave a bad impression of myself as an arrogant person exerting pressure, but because this will not help.
A person himself must “ripen” from within, and get to the point of view that appears each time at the moment of its maturation. Maybe someday he will agree with you, and maybe you will agree with him. So you should not pressure anyone.
Tell your opponent what you think is the right thing to do. Also to listen to what he thinks. But in no case to try to pressure him. Even if together you want to come to a common opinion by putting pressure on each other, it is also wrong. Let your feelings and mind develop normally and calmly so that you finally feel your next state. It is you who should evolve!
Therefore, I have no need for any discussions with anyone or getting into special contact with anyone except in cases in which some kind of influence on a person who has a special status is possible. For example, I was in Italy where I met with a representative of the European Union and explained our method to him and what can be done to overcome the crisis. He enjoyed taking notes on it. For an hour and a half, I dictated to him what to do, as if he were a student, and he, like a student, wrote it down.
It was very serious work that we did together for an hour and a half. It gave a lot to me and to him. Not because I was engaged in moralizing, as it were, but because I saw that this man really understands the problem and does not know how to solve it.
And he really wanted to find a solution. And I, for my part, felt that this was how it should be solved. In general, we made good contact.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Laitman’s Contacts” 2/7/13
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Can we consider all humans as being ill? If yes, why?“
We are ill in the fact that we cannot distinguish good from evil, and we cannot gather and integrate the good in ourselves so that it gradually covers the evil.
Evil in this case is egoism, the desire to enjoy at the expense of others and nature. We need to reach a sensation that we are complete egoists and that it is our collective illness, and when we feel how this quality is evil—that it is the cause of every shortcoming and pain that we experience—then we will seek some kind of remedy.
Today, we already experience an accumulation of suffering that evokes a luminescence of a good light upon us, which can reveal where the evil is in us. Together with our egoism, we also have a tiny spark, a very small good desire, which we still have yet to fully clarify, but which connects to egoism’s opposite: the positive force of love, giving and connection that dwells in nature.
Remedying our egoism is by learning how to develop and expand the good point within us. Doing so requires applying a method of connecting these points between us in order to attract more and more of the positive force dwelling in nature into such a connection. In the process, we will be able to distinguish good from evil, and amplify the good quality so that it covers the evil. We will then experience a whole new harmonious and peaceful life.
Based on the video “What Is Humanity’s Illness?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Semion Vinokur. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Preparation to the Lesson
Lesson on the Topic, “Living Between Opposites”
Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of Kabbalah and Its Essence”