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Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “The Inevitable Clash between Democratic Institutions and Democracy”
In light of the growing social and political tensions in Israel, Gadi Taub, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Policy and the Department of Communications at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as a political commentator and author, published an op-ed article in the Israeli newspaper Maariv. Prof. Taub argues that the phenomenon of powerful elite groups attempting to impose their governance on the people, often against the people’s democratic choice, is not unique to Israel. Taub writes that judges, public officials, NGOs, central and federal banks, as well as international forums are leading the effort to impose their governance. At the end of the day, Taub concludes, this struggle comes at the expense of democracy, even when it is fought purportedly in the name of democracy and for its sake.
Among the most conspicuous institutions that Prof. Taub describes as denying power from the people is the European Union (EU). At face value, the EU is a democratic entity where every citizen of Europe is represented through the European Parliament. In practice, however, the institutions that make the decisions are the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), and the European Central Bank (ECB), whose representatives are not elected by the citizens of Europe themselves but by governments. The European Parliament is not entitled to make rules, but only to confirm or reject the laws presented to it by the European Commission.
If this description gives the impression that the European Union is not really a democracy, that impression is correct. However, it is not only the EU that serves as a facade for democracy. Every institution is like that. Democracy, as such, does not exist, and never really existed. Some form of it existed in ancient Greece, where multiple city-states lived in what became known as “direct democracies.”
Today’s democracies, however, are “representative democracies,” and the representatives serve only those to whom they owe their seats. Their goal is to maintain and, if possible, increase their power. They tout slogans such as “democracy,” “justice,” “freedom,” and “equality,” but their only ambition is to dig their nails deeper into the state’s institutions and federal budgets. They couldn’t care less if, in the process, they will deny everyone else the justice, freedom, equality, and all the other lofty values they proclaim to cherish.
The parties to the power struggle are all aware of their quackery, but the general public is not, and people naively participate in the “democratic” process thinking that their votes matter. Every so often, parties switch chairs between opposition and coalition, but it is all part of the game, and, as we can see, nothing really changes.
Since there is no real democracy, and even when there was one, such as in ancient Greece, it did not benefit the majority of people, but only the elite, I think we should focus not on the type of regime we have, but on the people who constitute it, namely ourselves. In my opinion, what matters is not how the government treats the people, but how we treat each other.
Our current societies are built on the premise that we are aliens toward each other. It assumes that we do not trust each other, that we want to hurt each other if we can, exploit each other, and deceive each other. As a result, we build police forces, courthouses, and restraining regulations meant to prevent us from destroying our society. But because at the end of the day, the police, judges, and regulators are all made of the same self-centered material that all of us are made of, the “democratic” societies with their lofty aspirations are collapsing just as every regime has in the past.
Therefore, to build a sustainable governance that benefits the people, we must first change the people, and only then the government and mode of governance will change for the better. If we establish our relationships on mutual responsibility and concern for one another, we will not exploit, deceive, or steal from one another.
In short, everything depends on education. We need to teach ourselves about our mutual dependence, and that if we hurt others, it hurts us. In fact, we need to learn it in such depth that we will not only know it, but feel it in our bones. If we begin an educational process where we learn about that, our rulers will act according to these values, and we will not need to worry about corruption or exploitation.
Perhaps brotherly love sounds far-fetched and credulous today, but everyone intellectually understands that we are all dependent on each other. Now we need to bring it to our awareness to the point that we will feel compelled to act on it. This will start us off in the right direction.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Is it fair to push your child into activities they don’t want to do?“
A child’s upbringing should take place under the influence of the surrounding society.
Parents are a very important aspect of our upbringing, but in principle, in any society children are educated not by their parents, but by their surrounding societies and communities, i.e., by a great big family.
We are influenced from the moment we are in our mother’s wombs. We are then born and raised close to our mothers, and afterward, we move away a little and our education takes place under social influences.
In other words, first comes our inner animalistic development, and then we undergo a period of nursing until the age of three in which we are still non-socially-developed beings. Then, from the age of three, our education includes society.
When we are under society’s influence, we should seemingly show no trace of our parents’ influence. Society then shows us that our social interaction and integration with society is important. Such is the correct form of education, especially in our era when we are becoming a globally interconnected and interdependent society.
Therefore, the more we teach children the art of communication and integration with society, the more benefit they will reap. Society will then determine the kinds of activities that the children will want to engage in.
However, such development takes place together with others. It then becomes easier, more interesting and more attractive for children to engage in various activities. They will then gladly participate in the activities that society deems enjoyable, without parental pressure.
Based on KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Influence of Society” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on April 30, 2011. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Is the US Government Seeking to Delegitimize Israel?”
About a week ago, it became known that the “Biden administration’s outgoing ambassador to Israel personally signed off on a controversial $1 million grant to a program critics said was meant to delegitimize Israel, according to internal State Department communications.” According to a trove of emails released following a request by the America First Legal Foundation under the Freedom of Information Act, outgoing “U.S. ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides … personally cleared the State Department to offer $987,654 for groups to investigate alleged human rights abuses in Israel, Judea and Samaria, and the Gaza Strip.”
When the initiative became known, twelve Republican lawmakers pressured the State Department to cancel the program, saying that it would embolden the global BDS movement. “As a policy matter,” they wrote, “it is wholly unacceptable for the State Department to fund NGOs to delegitimize and isolate Israel.”
As painful as it may be, I think that Israel should wake up from the illusion that America is its best friend, and realize that the US treats Israel just as it treats any other country: according to what is best for America, and only for America. Today, it is easier for America to cater to the Palestinians and to the Arab world than to look after Israel’s interests.
Moreover, I feel that the administration in DC believes that it will be able to work things out with Israel if there are misunderstandings, whereas with the Arab world, it needs to work harder in order to gain its trust. As a result, the Biden administration makes greater efforts to appease Israel’s enemies than to please Israel. As long as Israel continues to ignore this reality, America will have no reason to change this policy.
It is not that there is a deliberate attempt to weaken Israel or hamper its efforts to protect itself. It is only a matter of priorities, and at the moment, keeping warm relations with Israel is low priority for the US.
It is not only the US that is giving Israel a cold shoulder. There are even Israeli representatives around the world who are working against Israel in the countries where they serve. Some of them even encourage political leaders and Jewish community leaders abroad not to meet with Israeli ministers on official visits to their country. Their motivation for doing this may not only be that they oppose the current government in Israel, but also that in today’s international arena, you are treated better if you treat Israel worse. To many people and countries, the temptation to win easy compliments is more than they can resist.
For its part, Israel can reverse the trend, but not by denouncing such behaviors. Criticizing others for hating you will not make them like you.
The only way to make the world like us is by starting to like each other. The internal division in Israeli society is exuding toxic attitudes and pugnacious thoughts. It is causing the world to reject us from its midst, and makes us pariahs among the nations.
More than any country in the world, Israel is always on people’s minds, and the atmosphere that it projects permeates people’s hearts. When people in Israel are contentious, so is the world; when Israelis are at peace with one another, so is the world with them.
Our sages have always told us that if we change, the world will change with us. We have no other way to change the world’s attitude toward us except through our internal unity, yet we have always refused to use it. Nevertheless, until we give peace among ourselves a chance, the world will not be peaceful toward us.
Question: My question is about the program of egoism. If a person has come to the invention of the bow, then the chariot, and so on, then in principle it is possible to predict the next stages in the development of his egoism. Now we have a lot of different technologies. Are there any other stages of development?
Answer: All these technologies will not be needed. A virtual connection will develop more, which at a certain stage will help people until they have an internal connection with each other.
From a virtual connection, they will come to a spiritual connection. They will not need anything else. They will make minimal use of this world in order for the body to exist until they completely correct themselves.
Then the feeling of the body will disappear because it is the lower egoistic animalistic part. The still, vegetative, and animate parts of nature will be included in the level of “man” and that is it.
There will be only one desire, which consists of all the others. But it will be fully directed toward bestowal, and therefore the body and this entire world will disappear from our sensations. The corporeal world is contrived by us; that is, it exists only in our thoughts.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Evolution of Egoism” 5/7/11
Answer: This is a secret because we do not have the quality of bestowal.
Question: But we are talking about it now, so it is no longer a secret. Everyone can read this.
Answer: Reading does not mean anything! You must feel this quality in you and with its help see the world! Then it will not be a secret anymore. So what if you just say that word?
Question: So the only secret is that one must become loving and bestowing like the Creator? Is that all?
Answer: It is Beresheet! It is “in the beginning”! Then everything is revealed further in order to come to equivalence of qualities with the Creator. That is, obtaining the qualities of the Creator is the means that in the future reveals His thought.
From KabTV’s “Introduction of The Book of Zohar” 5/21/23
Answer: Nothing, these principles provide you with some understanding of the structure of the world, the creation, in which you exist and nothing more.
Based on these fundamental blocks (principles), it is already possible to shape a tactic of your behavior: whether you can or cannot improve your condition in some way.
Among these principles, on one hand, is the principle of freewill and, on the other hand, the principle of absolute deterministic development, which means the beginning, middle, and end of all development follows a strictly defined program.
By studying the principles of creation, you begin to understand where you have freewill, in which cases it is mandatory and only in this it manifests itself, how you can act to change something yourself, or whether you are completely subject to the upper force.
In other words, you proceed from principles that explain to you one universal law of nature, but from different aspects: relative to yourself, relative to society, and relative to the elements of development.
Then you can shape your relationship with the world, whether you have the ability to somehow influence the world or the impact it has on you to improve your condition.
Why do we need to know this? Just out of pure curiosity? No. We want to understand what lies ahead of us and how we can change something in our destiny.
There are rapidly changing events taking place in the world right now. And in a year or two, this speed will seem slow to us. In a year or two, the world will be rushing at such a crazy speed that today’s change of events will seem to us like the movement of a cart compared to a modern airplane.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Laws of the Universe” 3/27/11
My Response: I do not take it seriously. Perhaps he will start behaving differently, but it is purely psychologically.
Comment: However, I noticed a pattern that people with the same names behave the same way as if they have some kind of program.
My Response: Maybe. I can agree with this.
Question: Is there any connection with spirituality in the fact that you were called Michael?
Answer: I do not know. I think I was named after my grandfather. This is a very ancient name that goes back to biblical times to the angel Michael.
Most of the names of mankind are of biblical origin. In general, these are Jewish names, only slightly adapted to other languages.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Choosing a Name for a Child” 5/16/11
Question: How can I control my reality?
Answer: We cannot control our reality directly but only through our actions, through our attitude to others. If we treat others correctly, we will positively change our own data, and then reality will be manifested in us clearly, correctly, and consistently.
Question: How do you understand how you can really be useful to people and do it with pleasure?
Answer: You can be useful to people only if you try to help them reach the correct goal. That is, imagine that this person is your child, and you are therefore trying to help him and support him. This is the most important thing. If we treat each other like this, we will become like a group of good children.
From KabTV’s “Blitz of Kabbalah Tips” 5/18/23
Question: The treasures mentioned in the article “Lock and Key” are the pleasures of connection with the Creator for which palaces are necessary, that is, great desires. Why does it turn out that initially we have no desire to reveal these treasures?
Answer: We are born in such a way that we do not need these desires. We will not feel anything special about them even if we reveal them. Just like if you give a baby gold coins, they mean nothing to him.
Comment: But I think many would want connection with the Creator if it is a treasure.
My Response: It depends on what conditions. Since the connection with the Creator can only be built on the equivalence of qualities, it turns out that we must acquire the same qualities as the Creator. This is bestowal, love, mutual assistance, and so on. They are the qualities of the Creator.
We, as a rule, do not have these qualities. Therefore, we do not feel Him, we do not feel a desire for Him, and as soon as there is any opportunity to aim for this, we immediately turn away from it and run away.
From KabTV’s “Introduction to The Book of Zohar” 5/21/23