Entries in the 'Arts' Category

The Industry Of Integral Creativity

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: When film or theater directors or musicians, whose entire life is dissolved in their profession, come to the courses of integral upbringing, do we somehow take these individual traits into consideration? Do we unite them, use their knowledge? Or is this not necessary in our courses?

Answer: Together with education and upbringing, we also offer a very serious dissemination and teaching course. Every person studying with us must educate others himself. There is an entire industry of different education methods to do this.

Correction of the world is an enormous factory of development, editing, and creation of new types of media, information, entire layers of new cultures, and so on. For this we need writers, poets, songwriters, and musicians—absolutely everyone.

They start to be in contact with each other, to search for ways to express the feelings they experience during studying. We do not even obligate them to do it. Of course, we have an ability to present them the so-called platform, the stage to perform for us, we welcome them, and so on. But they do it on their own.

Creative people search for a way to express themselves, and they are able to do it. They “smell” each other out, unite, and immediately create music, arts, theater, and other groups. They make different clips, songs, and plays right away. They do this naturally. And we encourage them and then together enjoy their achievements.

I think that this will beget a completely new culture, which will be really needed and paid. At the end, it will fill all the virtual networks, which, hopefully, will soon begin to realize how empty they are. People are no longer capable of tolerating things like soap operas on their screens, and this is why all of it is collapsing.

Question: Do you think there is a place for a soap opera that develops a person’s integrality? If so, what should it be like?

Answer: These can be certain comedy or drama scenes, when a person searches for something, either finds it or not, does a number of scenarios “for” and “against,” discusses, and makes an analysis of whether he likes it or not. Just like in a movie: There is a beginning, a culmination, and the end. If this is a soap opera, then it ends in an incomplete way, and then it continues. These are the laws of the genre.

I think they are created to fully match man’s egoism, when he needs to be teased, attracted, pushed away, inspired, made to relax, and then to feel tension again. All soap opera makers know this.

We also need to use this. Only the topic is different, but human essence basically remains the same for now. However, the materials shown, things advertised, and the main idea of the plot, all of it relates to our subject matter.

Question: Movies and soap operas have a main scene when the hero and the antihero meet and one of them naturally wins. How do you see the main scene from the point of view of integral art?

Answer: The main scene is when a person meets himself, his two opposite characters, and he must make a decision. He either makes this decision on his own, or with the help of a certain group, say his relatives, or through sudden circumstances that take place around him, and they direct him in the right direction. Or maybe he moves in the wrong direction—“to be continued.”
From a “Talk on Integral Education” #11, 12/16/11

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New State – New Art

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is going to happen with art and desire to create in the future integral world?

Answer: The desire to create will of course remain. The desire for aesthetics, for self-expression is one of the basic desires of humanity.

It has all been developing since the times of petroglyphs. However, today we are undergoing a great crisis even in this field because there is nothing we could express ourselves with. How can it be expressed? Through some breakdowns? Our state is dead-end. On our current level, we have nothing left to express.

We have to rise to the next degree. We simply “crawled” from our level to a certain degree, but we are not able to ascend to it. We came to a dead end in all areas of our lives: culture, education, family, economy, finance—everything, even science. We hit this next degree and can’t climb it because we do not see it.

It is especially apparent in art and culture. We have always bore witness to the creation of masterpieces. But today we have mass culture that cannot even be called “culture.” Art is definitely not art any more. Mass culture fills in the TV screens, and we consume it along with fast food. And it is in fact all the same, meaning, everything is on such a level so as to suppress ourselves and make us think less. TV shows? What are they about? Robbery, betrayal, love stories, and cooking.

Unfortunately, in the field of art, we no longer concern ourselves with lofty, valuable interpersonal relationships, with searching for the meaning of life; instead, we present through our mass “art” (be it print or media) only what serves bodily needs: food, sex, and family. Within this entire framework dwell our so-called works of art.

On one hand, it is certainly a pity that such events take place, but on the other, they show us the crisis from which the new state must emerge.

The new art will be completely different. It will be founded on the unity of people. Its role will be to tell us about attainment of the upper world, about a whole new range of sensations that will be revealed in the connection between us. Those will be sensations and relationships of a completely different scale, and from then on, these very sensations and relationships will be expressed through art, and therefore, through our culture.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of the Integral Society” 2/5/12

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World Masterpieces No Longer Delight Us?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You constantly speak about integral education. But not everyone will spend all their time on spiritual work because people have other corporeal desires: dancing, music, creative work, etc.

Answer: I don’t think that people will have many different secondary desires. The development of the integral community will be so wholesome that it will consume all the other habits, interests, hobbies, and people will find everything that can possibly fulfill them, including new culture, music, and literature, everything, in their integral connection, activities, and communication.

The fulfillment a person will receive through integral connection with others is the highest fulfillment, the fulfillment of Light. He or she will have no other demands. Of course this will include music, literature, and art, but they will be completely different. They will reflect the person’s new world, new vision, and new movements.

Comment: People object to the prediction of the disappearance of contemporary cultural values: music, art….

Answer: I don’t neglect cultural values, diminish their value, or encourage their destruction! Music, literature and art all are very important in my view and perception of the world; they are a source of positive emotions for me. But the thing is that as we advance, the culture, built on the egoistic perception of the world, will gradually disappear. The meaning, feelings, fulfillment, qualities, and values instilled in our current works of art will gradually be lost. They will have no meaning for us.

In other words, I will view the greatest music, the greatest literature, and the most beautiful works of art as something very small which doesn’t correspond to my new demands because they are created by a small person who only has the skill to draw pretty images, use words nicely, or express emotions through music. But all of this is on such a small egoistic level that only fulfills my small physiological soul so that when I develop new instruments of reception and attainment, I simply stop feeling any greatness in this.

I say things as they are: I have been to the Louvre, I looked at the paintings, and I was not able to “find myself” in it. But some time ago, they delighted me so much that I wanted to keep returning to these halls. You gradually begin to feel that all these things are on a level which absolutely does not fulfill you, does not delight you, and you see no value in them.

A person begins to demand a greater, higher fulfillment. And this perspective exists and will definitely happen. Basically, this is a vector of growth.
From KabTV’s “Foundations of the Integral Society” 2/12/12

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Music That Warms The Heart

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What should the music at the convention be like so it would really warm people’s hearts?

Answer: Joyful music is not mindless partying. Rather, it has to awaken a good feeling within me, sympathy for what is happening. At the convention, as well as every day, we must imagine our future state that we aspire to, from which we want to receive an illumination, a glow, an influence. Let the Light that reforms come from there and draw us there.

Looking at something beautiful, I am automatically drawn to it. But in this case I have to imagine the beauty myself, as an exercise before and during the convention. In December we will immerse ourselves in the world of the future for 72 hours. We have a single vessel in which a general bestowing force becomes revealed and we all dwell in mutual bestowal.

What do we discover by that other than a feeling of euphoria? What are our relationships? How do we interact in the family, among friends, at work (with our coworkers, employees, and employers), in the economy of the new generation, in ecology, in society? We are entering a new world and are starting to check its details: culture, upbringing, science, our attitude to all kinds of things…

And that’s where music can help us develop the right approach to life. And it doesn’t matter if it has words or not.

However, music should not draw me to any sad thoughts, to anything reminding me of a descent or despair. And this prohibition is effective in our day-to-day work as well. Sad music, the left line can only be used if I have built a strong right line ahead of time and am in it. As Baal HaSulam writes, only half an hour a day can be spent on critical self-analysis, on the condition that I worked in the right line for 23.5 hours.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/1/11, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”

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Man The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: People tend to think that mutual guarantee and unification is a threat to their exclusivity, that it erases their individuality. Every person feels special and does not want to give up this feeling for the sake of unity….

Answer: A person will always keep his exclusivity. No one will have to give up his initial, unique qualities. We unite on a level higher, above them.

Suppose I join a creative association of workers in the television industry: artists, screenwriters, authors, and other creative people who work to create a large-scale piece of art together. Should each of them stand out with his own individuality? Or on the contrary, should each be equally mediocre? Clearly, we need outstanding individuals with unique talents who put forth their best effort for the common endeavor.

We do not lose our exclusivity, but we lower our heads before the goal, before our brainchild. This is exactly what enables every person to reveal himself.

Today nature is placing us in conditions where we will involuntarily have to give up the animate excesses, which actually bring us nothing but harm. We have to build our lives based on what is good for the body, and not exceed this norm by an ounce. After all, anything beyond that leads to diseases and problems.

On the other hand, all of our successive movement, all of our development and flourishing, and the entire abundance of personal qualities will be realized in the spiritual dimension. Stated differently, in society I can find opportunities for self-expression, for personal contribution and participation as a person who is creative and influential. I can do many things in society and I do not demand anything in return besides a normal, sufficient, safe material life. The environment provides for the needs of my animate body, and in all other regards I want to be part of everyone, and there, in the common whole, to find my happiness, pleasure, and vital forces.

That is precisely where I acquire unlimited opportunities. No one limits me, I do not lack anything, and I do not compete with anyone or try to get ahead of those who seem more successful. Like a painter or composer, I realize and express myself fully in my art—in the creative work for the common good. I feel like a creator, and this sensation fills all of my desires.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/23/11, “Peace in the World”

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Kabbalah And The Seven External Sciences

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe science of Kabbalah talks about the spiritual world and the forces operating in nature. These forces influence the matter of our world, creating various images in it, which results in an entire universe with everything filling it: still objects, vegetation, animals, and people. But we see all of this on the screen in the reverse part of our brain, and that is why it seems to us that this is in front of us. That is how we imagine reality.

That is why the science of Kabbalah is separated from this entire false picture, even though this picture is what helps us to attain the depth of creation, its intentions, and the Creator’s character. Yet in essence, the science of Kabbalah teaches us how to go from this external picture to the inner, true state where only two forces remain—the force of the Creator and the force of creation.

Of course, each of them divides into many more parts, particular forces and actions. But in essence it is talking only about forces: the will to receive, the will to enjoy, and what happens between them. This makes up all science.

If a science talks about the interaction of these two fundamental forces, then we have the science of Kabbalah. And if it talks about various results from them on different levels of matter—still, vegetative, animate, and human, then we have the sciences of this world.

Of course, these sciences are true because they give us knowledge about the external behavior through which the action of these two inner forces is expressed. But these sciences are very limited and we can only rely on them within the boundaries of our narrow world.

It turns out that the science of Kabbalah, which explains the two fundamental forces operating in nature, is the basis for all other sciences. And that does not include just the natural sciences that study nature and the external world, such as physics, chemistry, biology, and zoology, but also those belonging to man directly, such as music, dance, and art.

All of this is also part of the “seven fundamental external sciences” because it gives us knowledge about man’s abilities to perceive and sense his world.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/21/11, “Introduction to the book Panim Meirot uMasbirot”

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What Is The Formula Of Inspiration?

Dr. Michael LaitmanAny kind of art form, including painting, music, and dance, and all means of self-expression are also considered “science” because they come from the same ego, the desire to enjoy. Just like I research this world, meaning I study my egoistic qualities in relation to the Light, in the same way through dance, art, or music I study my own expressions on the background of white Light.

Both reflect the existing regularities. However, in the arts I study my specific, individual qualities, whereas in science I research my desire on the level of our common egoistic nature. That is why we all discover the same phenomena, calling it science.

What is physics, for example? It is research of how I see my own nature on the background of the white Light. We all receive the same results, calling them “facts” because we research them on a level where we all have the same qualities (on the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature).

However, there is also a higher level of egoistic nature called “human or speaking,” and it is not the same in all of us because it contains a unique spiritual root for every person and our own freedom of will. Therefore, when using it we dance, sing, draw, or play musical instruments, and every person’s result is very unique. However, it all comes from the same will to enjoy.

Kabbalah provides a general approach to the perception of reality. It only seems to us that the strict scientific laws are completey unrelated to free art, while in fact, both are products of our egoistic desire. When we all do something the same way, we consider this form to be constantly existent in nature, declaring it a law and building our sciences upon it.

However, when we compose music, then one person composes one melody and another person composes a different one, whereas a third will compose a different one yet. We end up with thousands of different melodies, which is why we say that it is not a science because every person does it however he wishes.

On the “human” level we no longer observe the precise “scientific” regularities. This level includes psychology and all forms of art: painting, music, and dance. However, they are also “science,” meaning forms of my desire’s expression on the background of white Light, which we can see and study. Yet we can only do so practically.

It’s just that now, on the human level we are unable to understand these forms. But when we develop this “human” layer with the help of the science of Kabbalah, we will be able to research it completely scientifically and precisely. We will then understand why we draw, dance, or sing the way we do, and where it comes from. Then it will turn into a precise science that studies the expression of our desires on the background of white Light.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/15/10, “A Handmaid that is Heir to Her Mistress”

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Dance Is The Most Serious Inner Work

Dr. Michael LaitmanThere are actions during our meetings when we have to give up all our criticism and simply merge with everyone. How can I do that? I can do it precisely by jumping and singing together with everyone like a child, nullifying myself.

This attitude connects me to the general state, giving me the ability to come out of my limitations and feel a spiritual "wind"! It might seem as though this kind of behavior is reckless, but it only seems that way to us because we don’t recognize the spirituality in it, and that’s because it is the Light of Infinity! We are unable to discern anything in it with our instruments of perception. That’s why it seems to us that it is lifeless or still (Nefesh). However, whether or not we will be able to see the whole spiritual Light of NaRaNHY in it depends entirely on our Kli .

Everything that comes from unity, even the smallest kind, is perfection. Therefore, it is precisely in this manner, through mutual dance when you are jumping together with others, that we have the opportunity to perceive a spiritual sensation.

These dances came to us from the great Kabbalists, especially Baal Shem Tov. Rabash also made us, his students, dance this way. It’s not just recklessness; inside the dance there is serious thought and tremendous work. Suddenly you don’t want it and thoughts "for" and "against" alternate within you with great frequency, evoking horrible doubts. Meanwhile, you continue to jump….

It also isn’t meditation because you don’t disconnect from reality. You are always standing before the question: What am I doing and why? What does this give me, who is making me do this, and who am I jumping together with, what connects us? You go through the entire inner work from beginning to end while you are dancing.

The dance forces you to go through all the different thoughts that exist against it! They are against unity, which you don’t want. Your mind always rises up in battle against this and you are forced to make discernments.

That is why the dance turns into arduous inner work. You come out of it simply drained, devoid of energy. And it’s not because you jumped, but because you went through so many discernments inside. You are dancing inside yourself, in your inner ascents and descents. And the fact that you are externally jumping at the same time is only there in order to awaken these inner states in you.

You are jumping externally, rising and falling, while inside of you there is a profusion of other ascents and descents taking place simultaneously – and that’s the most important thing! Without the external actions you will not be able to make the inner ones. One won’t happen without the other. That’s why the dance turns into a unique means of working. This is why Baal Shem Tov and the first Hassidim, who were Kabbalists, taught these traditions.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/12/2010, A Lesson About the Role of the Nation

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Art Will Change Along With Us

upper worldA question I received: I often think of my thoughts and feelings as an audience with different desires. One large group of desires are the “foes” of Kabbalah, who say, “We can’t imagine life without a wide array of feelings, including pain, suffering, and negative emotions! What will happen to art, music, theater, and cinema?”

Our existence is founded on comparison, critique and competition. What could be better than this? Peace, eternity and bliss are so dull! We only want a small piece of this “happiness,” but we don’t want it for everyone or forever. How will people be able to live without tears and drama?

My Answer: You envision spirituality as motionless and paradise as dull. However, the real drama happens only when our nature clashes with the Creator. Anything else, preceding this, is just “child’s play,” because for now we cannot even comprehend where we are.

We are like newborns, crying from small offenses and giggling from small pleasures. We will outgrow this phase and will come to understand how limited our presents forms of art are, expressing only our minuscule earthy egoism and its “dramas.” These “dramas” are fake, and you only hold on to them because you still have not outgrown them, or because you were taught “to suffer” through them.

Art is in crisis just as much as everything else. You will have to find a new means to express humanity’s modern pain; the old classics cannot help with this. Art portrays the inner world of each generation and therefore, it will change.

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Art In the New World

artA question I received: At the Congress, while answering a woman’s question, you said that sometimes, when a person begins to study Kabbalah, he loses interest in his profession, especially if it’s a creative profession that involves making movies, music, art, and so on. I write songs, but recently I realized that I don’t want to do this anymore, even though this work used to be the meaning of my life. Why does this happen?

My Answer: It’s because you have revealed something that’s more important in life than art. Now you have to combine Kabbalah with your former occupation: create movies, music, or art about attaining the meaning of life, unification, one’s inner search, and so on.

Actually, everyone in our world will have to bring their occupations into harmony with the new state of the world and the revelation of the Creator. And if someone is unable to do this, it means that their profession has no future.

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