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Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Devoid of Jewish Identity”
The national Jewish identity and the fear of losing it has become a question that troubles many people in Israel. On the one hand, there is no fear that we will lose our identity even if we want to since the hatred of the world toward us reminds us that we are Jewish. Our Palestinian neighbors also assist in that through their pressure. Were it not for their hatred, we would be long gone.
The Jewish national identity is derived from realizing a certain demand from the Jews as a group, as the Israeli nation. We have a common language, we have our politics and politicians, and even a distinct Israeli mentality. Yet, as long as we do not know why we are here, we are not really a nation.
If our spiritual calling is to be “a light to the nations,” but we are not sure what it means, the world will remain lost in the dark, not knowing why it exists. The more humanity advances, the more the questions about the purpose of life become poignant and painful. In consequence, the nations are growing angrier and crueler toward us, Jews.
Now we have come to a state where everything material is in abundance. The only thing we do not know is the purpose of it all. That aimlessness leads the nations to remember the calling of the Jews, so when we do not provide the answer they want, they hate us.
Since we are unaware of our calling, we do not understand why the world hates us. We think that leading the world in advanced technologies, contributing to the world in culture, medicine, agriculture, science, and entertainment should win us the world’s gratitude. However, it does not win us gratitude, much less favor. We do not understand why, but if we realized what it is that we must give the world, we would see what we are not giving it, and we would understand why the world hates us.
We may think that we do not have what the world wants, but we do. The world wants to know how people can live together in peace, since hatred is the only plague that ruins everything we do. The Jews have had the method for achieving unity since we formed our nation by rising above the vehement hatred that our ancestors felt toward each other and uniting “as one man with one heart.” Immediately after we became a nation, we were tasked with passing our method to the rest of humanity. The Bible defined it as an obligation to be a light to the nations, namely to pass on the light of unity.
Over the centuries, we had achieved high levels of unity. We lived out the motto “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and for a time, we really shone the light of unity to humanity. However, our unity was short-lived and with its decline, the world has plunged into eons of war, bloodshed, and hatred.
Now it is time to return to our Jewish identity—to shine the light of unity to the entire world by uniting among ourselves and setting an example to the world. The growing hatred toward us, which seems so unjust, is the world’s demand that we unite and show humanity the way. When we achieve unity among ourselves, the world will unite with us, and we will not need to search for our identity or justify our existence as a nation.
Medium published my new article “The Ultimate Pleasure”
Scientists discovered that an ant exposed to heat during an activity with other ants behaves as if it does not feel it. It continues with all the other ants as if it feels nothing, and changes course only when all the ants do so. The same is true of many flocks of birds, such as starlings, and of many schools of fish. They do not follow each other, but move as if they were all one organism consisting of innumerable specimens. I do not know if they do this by releasing hormones or by something else, but the result is that they are completely in sync with one another.
Humans cannot feel this way. We are denied the ability to merge completely into society; we always feel our individuality. Moreover, we give priority to our individuality over society, so we cannot connect with the collective mind that starlings and schools of fish work with.
Since we are unable to sense the collective mind, we are denied the understanding and perception of the collective reality. It is as if we live in a world where we cannot see beyond our own noses. At the same time, precisely because we are not born with a collective perception, we will gain infinitely more by developing it than by being born with it. We will gain not only the collective mind, but also the thought behind its development, the difference between having it and not having it, and the way to help others gain that consciousness, as well.
When we see that such a state of collective consciousness exists, we want to attain it. It motivates us to value it more than our innate self-centeredness. As our motivation grows, we understand that we can reach that state only if we prefer it to our selfishness.
Once we are in that state, we discover a completely new kind of pleasure, the ultimate pleasure. In this kind of pleasure, we strive to feel not ourselves, but our collective existence, our oneness. It is not suspension of the self, but an addition of a new self that consists of and belongs to every being in reality. Our original self continues to exist, and a new one is added.
Once we acquire that collective consciousness, we understand the true meaning of love and why everyone longs for it. In this love, we feel our separate selves, and at the same time feel everyone’s efforts to rise above their selves and unite with others in love.
In fact, in that state, the purpose of the ego changes and its new role is to distinguish between a state of hatred and separation and a state of love and connection. The greater one’s ego, the greater the joy of love because a greater ego requires a greater love to overcome it.
At the end of the process, a person feels the absolute selfishness of the ego, and at the same time feels the absolute love that exists in the collective consciousness. What fish and birds feel instinctively, we can feel only once we develop love for every iota of Creation. This ultimate love brings with it the ultimate pleasure. The ultimate love that we all long to feel is not to be loved absolutely, but to feel absolute love for others. When we experience it, we find that everything is absolute love.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Truth, Love, and the Connection between Them”
“The truth is in the eyes of the beholder,” says the famous maxim. In the age of fake news, it is more difficult than ever to tell true from false. So how can we decide whom to believe? How can we know which way is right when everyone seems to be dishonest? Philosophy, mathematics, law, and science all use different techniques to determine the truth and to define it. The wisdom of Kabbalah also has its definition: Truth is care for others. The Creator of the world created it with the quality of love for all of creations, or He would not have created them, and in Hebrew, Emet [truth] is the name of the Creator. Therefore, truth is the Creator, and it is a kind relation toward others. Every other relation toward others, therefore, is falsehood, or close to it.
Kindness, or care for others, means I relate to others with kindness and care, that I am thinking of their benefit. I do not have to know what is good for them and what is not; it is not about what I know or do not know, but about how I feel toward them. Through caring for others, I will also know how to treat them in a way that is good for them.
It follows that to become truthful, we must learn how to care about others, since our innate nature is selfishness. To do that, we must place ourselves in a society where we can cultivate such feelings toward each other, where I can show others that I am acting toward them in truth, meaning kindness, and they reciprocate that conduct.
Truth, therefore, is not something absolute. The measure of my truthfulness depends on the level of my kindness toward others. Absolute truth is the ultimate goal of our efforts, the final correction. It is the culmination of a process of correction of our relationships.
Note that we do not have to correct ourselves or change ourselves in any way. All we need is to change how we relate to one another, our attitude toward others. If we mean well for others, we are acting toward others in truthfulness. If we mean to harm others, we are acting toward them in falsehood. It is actually quite straightforward.
There is another saying, that only children and drunks tell the truth. There is truth to that because as we grow up and become more sophisticated, we cover up our bad intentions toward others. We exploit others and relate to them well only when it serves our selfish interest. As a result, we have to hide our bad intentions from them, as well as from ourselves, since it is very unpleasant to think of ourselves as egoistic people. In a sense, the only truth in our world is hypocrisy.
We can change our inherent egoism and become truthful, kind people. However, we cannot do it alone. To change ourselves, we must place ourselves in a social setting that constantly demonstrates to me that others are kind, or at least kinder than I am. Using envy in this way can elevate me from my current, self-centered disposition, to a state of concern for others, and changing my qualities from caring for me to caring for others is regarded as changing from falsehood to truth.
We cannot help but begin from falsehood; it is our inherent nature. However, we should use it just as long as we need to in order to resolve that we want to change ourselves. Once we determine that we want to change, we must rise above our nature, with the help of the environment as I have just mentioned, and acquire more and more kindness.
We see that we are dependent on others when it comes to changing ourselves. Therefore, if we want to succeed, we must see to it that many other people want to change themselves for the better, too. It follows, as the wisdom of Kabbalah always says, the individual and the society are dependent on each other, implying that if the society does not succeed, neither will the individual.
Will the extent to which I can balance my egoism within myself with the light, with the quality of bestowal, that influences me and pass it on to the other already be a letter, a word, or a sentence?
Answer: Yes. This will already be an expression of the relationship between the two participants in spiritual communication. It remains only to feel all this. This is ahead of you.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 7/26/22
Kabbalah is the science of how to reach the revelation of the Creator in our world, to feel and grasp Him to such an extent that you can pass it on to other people and to the next generations. Kabbalah teaches how to perceive reality that we cannot feel with the five ordinary senses.
But if it cannot be sensed by our organs of perception, then how can it be perceived by our mind? It cannot! After all, our mind is the result of impressions from our world. As we develop in this world, we build different forms, discernments, and images, all kinds of connections and synapses in our brain.
This is why we are not able to perceive the spiritual world. To do this, we need to develop new organs of perception: to open up new connections between us in our mind and in our heart, which are not present in an ordinary person. But we can do it.
If we gradually build such connections, then they work like synapses in the brain and connect all kinds of concepts and opposites for us. In essence, these are formulas for connecting everything that exists in matter and space.
In this way, we build vessels for perceiving reality within ourselves that is above the corporeal senses and mind, and we begin to feel the spiritual world.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/10/22, Baal HaSulam “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”
Comment: The influence of the environment on a person is enormous. For example, an African who grew up in Russia becomes the same as all Russians.
My Response: This is natural because you take an individual and let him develop under the influence of the environment. But this has nothing to do with Kabbalah.
This can be attributed to religions, to all kinds of beliefs, philosophies, anything, and in whatever may fall within the framework of this world for an ordinary person.
There are very few individuals in the world who are concerned about elevating themselves and following the point of their soul; there are very few of them in the world, maybe a couple of million, for whom the earthly does not exist. They consider everything earthly to be an animal level of development; therefore, they must rise to the next level of “man.” Their discernment takes place according to a completely different system.
A man is the term for one who achieves the quality of bestowal. That is, one who makes a complete restriction on one’s entire animal part, feeding it only what is necessary like with a domestic animal, and directing everything else only toward bestowal, toward connection with others, and to filling outside of oneself— aimed ultimately at the Creator.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. The World Through the Eyes of a Baby” 2/10/13
Comment: The consequences of nuclear war are already being seriously and calmly considered. It is painted that as a result of nuclear explosions, soot and smoke would be emitted into the upper atmosphere. It would prevent the sun’s rays from reaching Earth.
In the first month after such a war, average temperatures would drop by 13 degrees. In the first hours of the war, about a hundred million people would die. A sharp drop in temperatures would destroy agriculture. Approximately two billion people would starve. Ocean temperatures would drop sharply and algae would die, which means that the chain of fish, fish farming, and so on would die.
Yet people continue to live, travel, think about the future, and somehow plan a vacation. No one cares about it, although the realities have approached very closely.
My Response: What can you do?
Comment: At least talk about it. Not just write about it but talk, to wind up the world—that we are approaching this, that this is the future of our children and grandchildren, and so on.
My Response: What for? Are you ready to sell sedative pills? What are you going to do this for?
Comment: On the contrary, now I have the feeling that the world has taken these sedative pills, and I do not want them to take them! I want them to go on without pills, to scream, to howl to start: “What are we doing? How is humanity approaching this?”
My Response: Will it help?
Question: You tell me. If everyone starts talking about it, if everyone worries about it, writes about it, and makes films that it is necessary to stop it, necessary to start disarmament, will it help or not? We already passed this stage more or less, and it did not work out. What about now?
Answer: Now it will not work either. People are used to this fear.
Question: Why? In principle, when it concerns a person, as it touched Japan at that time, it is scary. It remains such a terrible memory for centuries. Why does it not bother us in any way? Why are we not afraid?
Answer: We are not afraid of anything at all and do not want anything. We want to live this moment. And what will happen tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, we have no memory for it, we have no mind for it.
Question: Why did the Creator take our minds?
Answer: In order for us to be able to exist. Otherwise, everyone would go crazy.
Question: Is it so that we can plan our lives, have children, and so on? So what is our correct existence like?
Answer: Calm down and continue to breathe deeply, evenly, and everything will be fine.
Question: Do not pay attention to it?
Answer: There is nothing you can do about it. And the solution is in a completely different place. Not in you and not in our plane.
The solution is only in a good connection between people. And even more specifically, in the good connection between Jews. So if everyone in the world asks Jews to take good care of the connection between themselves, then everything will be fine. There are no other responsible people besides them.
Comment: We have repeatedly talked about the feeling that Jews are at the center of all issues, all problems, and the world in general.
My Response: This is the only problem. And if humanity realizes that this is the only problem, and the Jews understand it, then everything will begin to rebuild.
Question: Then will the disarmament of the world begin?
Answer: No. There is no need to disarm or think about it at all. Then everything will be aimed at giving Jews the opportunity of the desire and commitment to arrange the world so that it becomes better, kinder, more concrete, interconnected, and so on.
You cannot do anything else. We will not need any weapons or anything. There will be nothing to do with them. People will forget.
Question: So the arms race will turn into something else?
Answer: Of course!
Question: If the Jews themselves understand this and start building good ties, what will happen to the arms race? What is with all these nuclear weapons?
Answer: Nothing, they will slowly be disposed of and that is it.
Question: So all this is happening around in order to first force Jews to come to good relations with each other?
Answer: Yes. To understand that the Jews themselves cannot do this. The nations of the world can force them.
Question: Different people write comments to you. Some say that “Yes, maybe, probably, you are right.” Others write that “Looking at the Jews, we understand that this is impossible. They are mostly bankers, they earn money for us, they drink blood, they are behind all the wars, and so on.”
People write and ask, “How can such Jews turn around and go toward a good connection? How?”
Answer: Awareness of their responsibility for the world and the fact that the world will come to them with the question, “When will it all end?”
The Jews, the world, and all the nations of the world will turn to the Creator, and then everything will change.
Question: So even in these Jews, who are not a model for the world of honesty and purity, something will turn over in them?
Question: How does this happen?
Answer: Because what a person did, he did based on his great egoism. And now he will have to restructure accordingly with this.
Question: And big egoism will immediately become big altruism?
Answer: Not immediately, but yes.
Question: Is it a correct law that big egoists become altruists?
Answer: Yes. The right law. From great depths to high elevations.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 7/11/22
Question: The spiritual world is the world of our relationships at the level of intentions. In order to convey all the feelings that a person experiences in the spiritual world, the Kabbalists of antiquity invented the “language of branches.” They could see the roots of everything that happens and their consequences in our world, and they took the words of our world and explained spiritual processes with them. This was their technique.
What did the Ari do?
Answer: The Ari is a great soul who was able to attain the depths of the universe.
Let’s say you are in front of some machine or computer and you start to explore it, press the keys, and though you don’t know what it is, you study the screen and keyboard. Gradually you begin to understand how you can interact with the keys, with the pictures, and with yourself.
You discover that this computer is not outside of you in front of you, but rather it is inside yourself. You begin to evoke certain feelings, thoughts, intentions, and attitudes in yourself. By typing all kinds of instructions inside yourself, you cause the corresponding consequences. Thus, you study yourself and the world around you as an interaction of special forces.
For the first time in the history of humanity, the Ari revealed this special interaction between man and nature, described it, and taught this to his students, mainly to one of them whose name was Chaim Vital. And Chaim Vital wrote down everything he heard from the Ari, and it came out in a large collection of books.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 8/2/22
In the News (The UN Refugee Agency):
“The [Refugee Data Finder] database contains information about forcibly displaced populations spanning more than 70 years of statistical activities. …
“An estimated 36.5 million (41%) of the 89.3 million forcibly displaced people are children below 18 years of age. …
“More than two thirds of all refugees … displaced abroad come from just five countries.
Syrian Arab Republic
Question: We read this data, and it no longer shocks us. 36 million?—36 million. Children?—Children. These are children who have no childhood, it was taken away, these are children who did not know what warmth is, and maybe they will not know. What is embedded in them is fear, aggression? What can this result in?
Answer: They believe that such is the world, that this is life. They will continue to live with this feeling.
Question: What will they turn out to be?
Answer: It depends on who will feed them. If there will be anyone.
Question: Kabbalists say that suffering softens the heart right?
Answer: This is if a person does not see suffering in others, but suffers himself, then these sufferings soften his heart.
But for this, he must already be at a certain level. We always forget what level of inner development in a person we are talking about. If he is a beast, then he does not understand anything; if a little higher, it can turn into opposite qualities and he will begin to rob and kill. If even higher, then… it all depends on the level of development of the sufferer.
Question: So when you say, that suffering softens the heart, are you talking about the level when there is already a heart?
Answer: Yes, of course. Then these sufferings lead to correction, to the fact that this person begins to treat suffering differently. He looks for its source and finds it. As it is, suffering simply causes an instinctive movement in a person to find and destroy the source of suffering and nothing more.
Question: The corrected heart is when you find the source of suffering, right? Then what?
Answer: You discover it in yourself, that you are suffering from yourself.
Comment: This is a high bar.
My Response: No, it will be fast.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 6/20/22