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Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Fight or Flight”
If this incident were not confirmed by the airline, it could easily pass for fake news. Apparently, two pilots flying a commercial flight full of passengers faced the “fight or flight” question mid-flight in the cockpit, and chose “fight.” According to an AP report, “Two Air France pilots were suspended after physically fighting in the cockpit on a Geneva-Paris flight in June, an Air France official said Sunday.” Worse yet, they could not stop fighting until “cabin crew intervened and one crew member spent the flight in the cockpit with the pilots.” Thanks to the intervention of the crew, the plane landed safely.
There is more from that airline. The AP report also describes an incident of “a fuel leak on an Air France flight from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo to Paris in December 2020.” The pilots rerouted the plane, “but didn’t cut power to the engine or land as soon as possible, as leak procedure requires. The plane landed safely in Chad, but [France’s air investigation agency] warned that the engine could have caught fire.”
I wonder what more it might take for us to realize that our egos have taken over our lives, manipulate our common sense, and lead us to a disaster. If people who are responsible for hundreds of lives each day cannot control their petty egos and are willing to waste not only their own lives, but the lives of hundreds of people under their responsibility, who can we trust?
How many more disasters and wars will it take before we realize that we are our own worst enemy, that we must correct our ego? Will we do it only when tragedy touches us personally? In all likelihood, by that time, it will be too late to correct ourselves because we will not be around to do it. Should we not start now, while we are still here and can change ourselves?
The only way to correct the growing mutual dislike is to acknowledge that our enemy is not our co-pilot, or any other challenger, for that matter, but our own ego. And the only way to fight the ego is to strive to connect precisely with my challenger. In other words, anything that the ego paints as bad, I divert it toward the good.
I know this is not easy; I know it sounds impossible; but I also know that it sounds impossible because the ego wants us to think it is impossible. Once we begin to work on it together, we will discover that nothing is easier and more enjoyable than bonding with other people.
I wonder what the passengers on that flight would have thought had they known what was happening in the cockpit while they felt safe and carefree. I wonder what they think now that they know about it. But most of all, I hope this unbelievable story becomes a wake-up call that demonstrates just where the ego can take us if we let it make our choices for us.
Medium published my new article “Armenia-Azerbaijan Flare-Up — Reminder of Precarious Times”
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addresses parliament following an escalation in hostilities over the Nagorno-Karabakh region along the border of Armenia with Azerbaijan, in Yerevan, Armenia, September 13, 2022. Tigran Mehrabyan/PAN Photo via REUTERS
Two years after the latest ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan in their decades long conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, intense clashes suddenly erupted. According to reports, dozens of people have been killed in the renewed shelling. There is no apparent reason for the sudden flareup, but it is indicative of the precarious times we are entering, where people are sensitive, intolerant, uncompromising, and worst of all, combative.
We are facing a long and cold winter. The Russia-Ukraine war is still raging, and there is a severe shortage of gas. Its skyrocketing price is fueling the rising inflation, and staple foods are becoming unaffordable or altogether absent.
Additionally, new viruses or new strains of existing viruses are likely to appear, exacerbating the already heightened tensions. These explosive conditions are bound to ignite conflicts, which could lead to violent clashes like the one in Nagorno-Karabakh, or worse.
To remedy the situation, we must understand, as well as explain to others, that the only way to defuse the situation and reduce the tensions is to vigorously create a positive atmosphere among everyone. We must intentionally cultivate positive connections, since the negative connections are already in place, and the only way to balance them is to establish what is currently missing: positive connections. And if it feels unnatural (and unpleasant) to do so, it is only a proof that the negative connections are already in place and dominate our feelings.
We must remember that we can only make peace with an enemy, and only with an enemy do we need to make peace. It has to feel awkward, since befriending an enemy is the least natural thing to do. The natural thing to do is to fight against one’s enemy. But we have already seen where the natural way leads. I think it is time for us to venture down the unnatural, but surely more constructive and safer way — the way of peace.
We should not expect to agree with one another. The disagreements that have set us against each other will probably remain. Therefore, we should not try to settle our differences. We should, however, agree to disagree, and that from this starting point, we are building a relationship, not a conflict, but a relationship.
This approach will awaken a positive force between us, which will balance the currently prevailing negative force. This will allow us to see new ways of connecting, to find new closeness with people who until now were enemies.
We have tried war, we have tried boycotts, we have tried just about every negative option. It is time we tried to connect without imposing our views and without encroaching, but simply to bond for the sake of bonding.
Question: A 1.4 magnitude earthquake that occurred recently in Berlin during a performance by a British rock band. There is speculation that the people jumping and dancing at the concert caused the earthquake.
Can people jumping, dancing, and clapping cause earthquakes?
Answer: Of course not. But if we all want it at the same time, then maybe we will cause it.
Question: Without even jumping?
Answer: Without even jumping. And what does jumping have to do with it? If even seven or eight billion people jumped on the surface of the Earth now, nothing would happen.
But if in our desire to connect, we just sit and think together that our globe will help us a little and support us somehow, then it will work. If we want to, our thoughts can definitely do it. Common thoughts can stop an earthquake. There is nothing stronger than people’s thoughts if they think together.
Question: Does this require all of humanity to think about it?
Answer: At least some part of it, a serious part.
Question: Suppose there is an earthquake somewhere (many already occur). It happens spontaneously; no one knows how to stop it. You say that thought is the most powerful thing in the world. If we start thinking how to stop this earthquake and we all think about it, will it stop?
Answer: I am sure the answer is yes.
Question: So what are we dealing with?
Answer: We are dealing with the forces of nature. If we launch a force against the one that is currently acting, but one level higher (one level higher is still a person, a person’s mind, a person’s desire, etc.) and if people unite mentally and remove their egoism—the main thing is to be together and to unite in internal common movement in order to save the planet—then naturally it will have an effect.
Question: And earthquakes stop?
Answer: Please, let’s check.
Comment: To check this would require a general agreement.
My Response: So why do we have the UN, UNESCO, and other organizations?
Comment: Everything would exist precisely for this purpose, in order to unite humanity in thoughts about something.
My Response: With this method we could balance absolutely everything.
Comment: You say that all means of communication and all these organizations were created only for one thing: to unite humanity and direct it to some problem in order to eliminate it.
My Response: Yes. And as a result, while we never expected, never thought, and never could guess, we will discover a special meaning in connection. And it is thanks to our egoistic revelations.
Question: That is, egoistically I need to stop the earthquake. And is this a discovery?
Question: You say that we think about it together and it stops. And is it the same with all the problems of the world? Including wars?
Answer: Absolutely everything. Of course.
Comment: It is an invisible power. They don’t see it.
My Response: But all the forces, the most special and the highest—they are invisible.
Comment: One should somehow believe in it. That’s the whole point.
My Response: We must not believe, but rather proceed toward it, and by gradually organizing ourselves and coming closer to making an impact on such a force, we will find that it really exists, and that connection works.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 6/23/22
Our perception of the world and the feeling of life is contained in desire. Desire is the only thing that was created. It lives in itself and feels everything within itself.
It feels in two formats. Part of the picture is presented to it as itself and the other part is in the form of the outside world.
This is how we perceive ourselves and the environment in our split desire, internal and external, us and the surrounding.
The picture of reality is divided into circles that expand from the inside out: soul, body, immediate environment, distant environment. In fact, all this is sensation and it exists in me, inside my desire.
This is a mistake, an optical illusion! It would seem that strangers are in front of me who can be neglected.
But in reality, I simply do not realize that I am thereby bringing troubles and problems to myself. But my whole life is filled with this. What a terrible, distorted perception of reality.
The science of Kabbalah is designed to unite my shattered parts. I am not capable of it myself, but I can ask the light to come and correct my soul. Then I will see a single reality, a single desire, and in it a single Kli and a single light.
On the way to this goal, we try to direct ourselves to unity. By reading The Book of Zohar, I simply have to constantly bring myself to the feeling of peace within myself. Whatever is said, it’s all in me, all these are my forces, desires, and qualities.
All the spiritual worlds are in a person, there is nothing outside of him. There is no need to divide the world into internal and external. All this is one Kli.
With this in mind, we cause ourselves to be exposed to light, which connects the parts of our perception with each other.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/1/10 “The Book of Zohar”
Question: Where is the line between destruction and education? Let’s say a person has some qualities that he uses to the detriment of others.
Answer: As long as people have all kinds of egoistic problems, they act in this way. What can we do?! People are like people. Do you think they have been changing for millennia? A person remains the same, only his egoism is slightly modified. Do they not want bread and circuses in our time as in ancient Rome? Nobody changes! Nobody.
Let’s say today we live in peace and friendship with everyone, everything is blooming; tomorrow the whole world will turn into a pack of dogs fighting with each other. In an instant there will be Mussolinis and Hitlers!
It will be natural, they will be supported by millions, if not billions. All this does not disappear anywhere in a person.
Sometimes the waves overlap one another, nothing more.
Now we are approaching the state when for the first time we will begin to seriously change and an inverse change of the world will begin, as it is said: “I saw the opposite world.”
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call, Bread and Circuses” 4/27/13
Question: What is The Zohar?
Answer: “Zohar” means the “upper radiance.” This is the light of the level of the head of the world of Atzilut, which is Arik Anpin. The book is named after this glow because it speaks about the source, which through many different filters, gradually reduces itself and affects us.
Question: Why does The Zohar have a narrative form in the style of a story?
Answer: No! It’s not about people. Neither the Torah, nor the Zohar, nor even the Talmud speak about people but only about spiritual levels.
If you were at some spiritual level, then we would measure your level relative to the height of, say, Rabbi Shimon or someone else. This is how a person is measured, not by his name. What difference does it make to me what his name was!?
The level from which he speaks is important to me, because at this level he breaks through all the screens and sees the spiritual world. It is important to me what this opens up to him. He works like an accelerator of some micro-particles.
Therefore I need this data about him not as a person, but rather with what power and how many electron volts are in his “cannon” by which he breaks through all the barriers and reveals the upper world to me.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call, Entering The Zohar 3/22/13
Question: In The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Baal HaSulam writes about the miraculous quality of the singularity of the Creator. What kind of singularity are we talking about?
Answer: The fact is that in all His actions the Creator is absolutely good. He only gives and bestows; He only thinks and intends to do everything for the absolute benefit of creation.
He does not have any thought with regard to Himself, but only for the creation that He created. He has no desires for Himself, and therefore, He cannot be a source of negative actions. After all, everything He does is only for the sake of the created beings.
Question: Does it mean that we too should come to a state where we do not think about ourselves at all?
Answer: Yes, we will have to come to the same state as a result of our correction. The “miraculous quality” is to not to think about myself, but to think about others.
From KabTV’s “The Study of the Ten Sefirot (TES)” 8/14/22
Question: There is constructive stubbornness and there is destructive stubbornness. Is stubbornness a good property in Kabbalah?
Answer: Yes, it is good. Every property has a direct and a reverse side in its expression. In diligence there is also a negative side, you can get stuck into something and keep hammering at some completely needless thing. Everything should be balanced.
Harmony is the golden mean, the middle path we have to follow.
Question: Can stubbornness on its own destroy everything?
Answer: Certainly. There is such a kind of stubbornness that does not want to hear any reasons of its mind or others.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call, Stupid Stubbornness” 4/18/13
Preparation to the Lesson
Lesson on the Topic, “Purifying the Heart”
Lesson on the Topic, “Connecting the World in the Last Generation”