Entries in the 'Education' Category

New Life #243 – Happiness And Social Ties, Part 2

New Life #243 – Happiness and Social Ties, Part 2
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Tal Mandelbaum ben Moshe

True love and lasting happiness occur when I bestow to others without aiming to get something back in return. Humanity is the only part of nature with the evil intention to exploit. If we are to be happy, we have to change our attitude toward others through work in a group of like-minded people. Proper social connections happen when we connect to others with the intent of benefiting them. Real happiness is achieved in the center of the connection between people, in the center of the circle.
From KabTV’s “New Life #243 – Happiness and Social Ties, Part 2,” 10/17/13

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“From Generation Screen To Generation Connection” (KabNet)

KabNet published my new article: “From Generation Screen to Generation Connection

A lot of criticism has been raised about the younger generation trapped in virtual space day and night behind computer screens and mobile devices. Various detractors say that this is a lifeless generation lacking proper brain development, communication skills, imagination, and that they have sunk into themselves, buried between rows of words and myriad images. “Generation Screen,” however, is more adept than any previous generation at discerning the deadly disease of persistent self-centeredness festering within our world.

As the accurate diagnosis of a disease in its early stages gives us a great advantage to heal it, so “Generation Screen” brings forth the gift of “the recognition of evil,” i.e., the awareness of the destructive nature of the human ego — the desire to enjoy at the expense of others — residing within each of us as being the source of all our problems. Without such a realization, we cannot expect any positive forward progress, any healing of our disease.

“In an atmosphere of friendliness, warmth, sympathy and support for one another, we can build positive connections above our egoistic impulses in a spirit of open discussion.”

However, where our screen generation can reach a significant recognition of evil, the solution to the problem cannot be done through the same screens magnifying the problem. Books, too, although known to work more positively on brain development, improving linguistic, writing, imagination, listening and learning abilities, originally emerged as a disruption that spoiled a more natural word-of-mouth conveyance of wisdom from teacher to student.

In the distant past, teachers of wisdom sat on hills and under trees, surrounded by circles of students, and would deliver words of wisdom, teaching through conversation and interaction. We can thus learn from past conversational learning formats in order to approach a solution to our current problems.

In an atmosphere of friendliness, warmth, sympathy and support for one another, we can build positive connections above our egoistic impulses in a spirit of open discussion. In other words, when we acknowledge how our technological, scientific and cultural progress has been paralleled with a decline in the quality of our connections, then we can pair the desperate need for healing our connections with the method of connection, which was perfected in the educational methods of our sages, in order to find the cure to our current state.

When wisdom needed to be conveyed by word of mouth, our learning required attentive listening in order to understand what was being discussed, and in order to internalize and add the material to our memory reserve. Students would listen, ask questions and converse in order to gain knowledge and wisdom. In their circles, they would absorb the spirit of the material being taught. Through a conversational and social approach, students would connect among each other and with their teachers face to face.

Therefore, our challenge to correct the evil inherent in human nature today is to learn how to positively connect above our divisive drives. At the center of our discourse should be the understanding of such a need, and the impetus to balance ourselves with the law of nature that moves everyone and everything toward more and more unified states.

Our conversations would then gradually advance us in understanding and feeling a more powerful desire to positively connect with much greater mental and emotional aptitude. Our brains would then develop alongside our more developed hearts, as we would gain access to the ultimate unifying device for dealing with any problem and form of division that would appear between us.

How To Free The Planet Of The Garbage Trap

Whether you know it or not, in the Pacific Ocean, there is a new continent almost the size of the United States. No, it’s not the old-new Atlantis, it’s the island of garbage.

Billions of dollars are put into solving the problem of trash in the Pacific Ocean. However, while on one side, someone utilizes garbage, on the other side, someone litters even more than before.

What can be a real and practical solution in this situation? This might sound very profound, but it is all about human relationships. They are broken. If a person cares just for himself, he is most likely to harm others. If each person cares only for self-benefit, it definitely harms the entire planet.

Therefore, in order to free the Earth from the garbage trap, we have to correct our relationships, so they fit the natural laws, and start thinking of what we do, and take responsibility for each and every action that we take. We need to learn how to build positive connections above our personal selfish attitudes. By doing so, we will free the planet from garbage and bring about a positive future for humanity.

Changing Your Attitude Toward The World

laitman_293.1Question: Some people, feeling the lack of something, automatically feel unhappy. That is, there is a widespread model in society that happiness is continuous joy and pleasure. There should be no suffering in my life. Where does such a model come from?

Answer: This is the wrong formulation of happiness, the wrong formulation of the question, and the wrong upbringing. We do not know our nature, and therefore, unfortunately, we are unhappy.

If we understood who we are and what we are, we would be able to form ourselves so that our structure and attitude to any state would be perfect.

This is what Kabbalah does. It does not change the world, it does not say that you have to change something around you. You must change your attitude toward the world. Then you will be happy. And you will be in an absolute state.
From KabTv’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 12/15/19

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Youth Antisocial Behavior: Is There A Solution?

Recent times has seen waves of tragic events around the world. One of the saddest tendencies is mass shootings in the US, many of which have been carried out by the young generation.

What makes a person kill at such an early age?

We live in an information society. While parents work hard 24/7 to run for the recent innovations, children are left home alone with their phones and dozens of informational channels constantly influencing them. However, all these channels don’t give them a real sensation of being here and now, being loved, being taken care of. Therefore, first, antisocial behavior is the way to attract attention to themselves, to be seen.

However, if we look closer, we’ll see that the problem is rooted much deeper. According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, today, humanity in general reaches a point where it needs to start developing greater awareness of the nature enveloping it: the force of love and bestowal.

The younger generation, especially teenagers, feel this necessity the most. It is expressed in such questions as: “What is the meaning of life?” “How can I turn my useless existence into something great and valuable?” “How can I become needed by my parents /friends/society?” Children ask these questions and, unfortunately, don’t get answers. They are not stupid, they are not criminals, this is just how the inner pressure affects them, and they have no method of how to deal with it.

Therefore, in order to prevent today’s youth from supporting different kinds of antisocial behavior, society itself must teach them how to exit the false paradigm of this world, how to understand reality, deal with influences of the information society, and uncover the meaning of life – the entrance to the upper world and higher existence.

Freedom Of Choice, Part 7

laitman_560“Fate” from the everyday point of view

Question: If we consider fate not with respect to the final correction, but from the everyday point of view: who to become, whom to marry, what kind of children will I have, what problems, etc., can this be changed?

Answer: It is very difficult because for this we must educate future couples in advance in understanding the meaning of life, the purpose of life, the realization of this purpose, and how much they are ready for it.

To select these couples as they become ready, understanding what they should sacrifice, what they should let go of,  than, on the contrary, what they should help each other with and how they should mutually support each other to achieve this goal. A lot of work has to be done here.

I hope that if not in our generation, then in the next, people will do it because humanity will come to a state of separation from any solution to family problems. People will stop marrying and having children. They will not understand why they need it! Up to the point that even sexual instincts will “freeze” in them. This is a problem that will be addressed through the matter of suffering.

Question: But on the other hand, why should I change anything if, let’s say, I understand or believe that there is some upper force, and it leads me to the goal of creation?

Answer: It leads you by the way of suffering. However, you do not realize yourself as a person. If you go with the flow, then you are an animal.

Question: If I do not make conscious efforts to change myself, then does the upper force act on me in the form of suffering?

Answer: Like on any animal. At that moment you are called an animal. And you are called a man only in those moments when you yourself see the goal and exert forces to get closer to it.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 2/4/19

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“How Parents Can Prevent Their Children Cutting Them Off” (KabNet)

KabNet published my new article: “How Parents Can Prevent Their Children Cutting Them Off

When my late mother lived alone in her older years in Canada, I did everything I could to find her the best place to live.

My son, who also lives in Canada, would send me pictures and videos of her, as he was well aware of my concern for her, and regularly updated how she was getting along and felt. This continued until the very day he sadly informed me of her passing.

Today, there is a phenomenon where adult children cut off their parents. Sometimes it is due to physical or emotional abuse they suffered in childhood, but it is also often related simply to money. The older children feel that their parents fail to provide them with the money they wanted or expected, and so the children scrap the parents from their lives, cutting them off from their grandchildren as well, sometimes to such extremes where they even tell their children that their grandparents are dead.

“It is our duty to our children to sustain a parallel relationship of being both their friends and their teachers.”

Over the years, I have closely observed how my wife raises our children. She made it clear to them that they could get everything they needed from us. Every cent we earned was for them, and this is also how it is today when they are grownups with families. Also, we have organized our savings and assets to be handed over to them when we leave the world. They are well aware of our investment in them, and how much we sacrifice for them, and they also discuss it openly among themselves.

At the same time, they have never been spoiled. It has always been made clear to them that they had to pay for everything they received in one way or another. For instance, we paid for their university studies monetarily, and they had to “pay” for those same studies with their full investment and focus.

It is very likely that this is an outcome of the culture we were raised in. Nevertheless, however, it is a healthy and correct approach. Both of my daughters completed their national service, and each served the full two years. My point is that my children have always received my full support, but also a deliberate hand, which demands accountability, responsibility and effort.

It is our duty to our children to sustain a parallel relationship of being both their friends and their teachers. With such an approach, we prevent an attitude forming toward us as being something to use and discard of, i.e., where they perceive their parents as a mere ATM machine and a kitchen.

This is why it is beneficial for parents to spend time with their children: to talk with them, listen to them, and do the things that they enjoy doing together, i.e., becoming friends to a certain extent. Also, the children need to have a certain extent of fear in losing their parents’ positive attitude toward them if the children display contempt and laziness.

Such a relationship prevents any desire for children to cut their parents out of their lives. Why would anyone want to abandon anything that provides a sensation of confidence, security, safety, empowerment and warmth in their lives, especially in today’s turbulent times?

Our parents can be the closest people in our lives. Even today, I see my wife behaving similarly with our grandchildren. They get along very well, openly and honestly discussing everything together.

Education is conducted not by words, but by sensation. When children are impressed by a genuine person-to-person relationship, it is recorded in their hearts, and they naturally emulate it in their relationships with others.

The examples we receive at home as we grow up later affect our every relationship in life. The general principle is as follows:

  • the way that you relate to your parents is the way that your children will relate to you,
  • the way that you relate to your siblings is the way that your children will relate to each other, and
  • the way that you relate to your children is the way that they will relate to their children.

How To Fix Damaged Relationships?

laitman_961.2Question: Damaged relationships spoil people’s entire life, they can be confusing because of little misunderstandings. What is the right thing to do to prevent resentment, damaged relationships, and to improve them?

Psychologists give the following recommendations: Try to understand the point of view of the colleague. The result of an action is not always intentional. The difficulty with some micro-manifestations is that we all apply different standards to their assessment.

Answer: Where are the standards? The standard is mine—how I see others and compare myself with them or how I see myself and compare them with me. This is completely wrong. It is like taking a dress and putting it on. If I wear it, my stomach and my thin arms and legs will stick out, and the dress will look ugly to me.

There are no common standards. There can be only one standard—for the benefit of one’s neighbor. That’s all. I perceive no one in any way, neither myself nor anyone else. I am only interested in one thing: if some situations occur, whether they occur for the benefit of man.

By man I mean all of humanity, the general image of a person. In no way do I consider anyone specific or I most definitely will be lost.

Question: How can we understand correctly the point of view of the other person, whether it is right or not?

Answer: I cannot understand another person. How can I understand him? How can I exit myself in order to understand the other?

No, we simply need to act in a way that is good for the other person, for anyone. That is, except for my survival necessities, in everything else that depends on me, I must act for the sake of others.

This is natural. Very often we, as a result of our habits, make some movements, gestures, or utter some words, phrases that might seem even offensive to others.

We might not even feel and understand that. It is necessary to tune the heart. The heart should be adjusted to kindness toward others. All the rest will not work at all.

If a person is cordially attuned to the other, then it will be interpreted correctly. Even if he said something wrong, somehow could not express himself, the other person will feel that.

Aim the heart toward the other person, toward all people, toward the good. We need to get used to it. We need to educate ourselves for this. It is necessary that the same attitude be maintained by the environment and the surrounding society. Everything will then be good.
From Kab TV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman,” 7/14/19

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Israel Car Accidents

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 12/12/19

The number of mobility startups in Israel has exploded from 87 to 644, making up about 10% of the country’s total startups.

Google bought the Raanana-based Waze for some $1 billion in 2013. And Intel agreed to acquire the Jerusalem-based, self-driving tech company Mobileye, for a whopping $15.3 billion.

BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Uber, Volkswagen and Volvo are all paying attention, and have been investing in Israeli technology since 2016.

Ironically, while Israel is cementing its position as an auto-tech leader, the stats indicate that local car accidents are on the rise.

No matter how sophisticated our technology becomes, it will never replace the one thing that protects us the most — genuine human connection.

The Root Cause for the Car Accidents

We typically look for technical reasons when car accidents take place — problems with the car, the road, visibility, etc. And, we typically blame other people for the rise in car accidents, but the truth is that we are all equally to blame. Why? Because at this point in our evolution we’ve simply stopped caring about our fellow man.

The ever-evolving human ego doesn’t allow us to be considerate of other people in general. We simply don’t feel others as important as ourselves. It’s a law of nature.

Our ego literally clouds our field of view from seeing the others in our way. It’s as though they don’t exist. I see only me — where I want to be and how I want to get there. And this dynamic happens not just on the roads. It’s everywhere; from international politics, through trade, to kids at school. Our ego wants others to just move out of our way.

Is There A Way Out?

What can we do? We need to start treating the root problem: we can’t stop the naturally growing human ego, but we can learn how to rise above it, and that’s what the wisdom of Kabbalah is meant to do for us.

Ultimately, we’ll come to a meeting point between mankind and the wisdom of Kabbalah. People will suffer enough to realize that the only way out of our troubles is a new level of human connection, and the Kabbalists, on the other hand, will have to bring their method closer to humanity.

The situation on the roads is just another indication for our lack of mutual consideration. In order to see the other cars around me, I need to feel the people inside those cars as close to me. We need to acquire a sense of how we’re moving together internally, and then we won’t have any accidents externally.

A driver’s ed course, for instance, should be about training us to feel each other and not certifying people before they do. Otherwise, our cars are like dangerous weapons in our hands. And don’t expect autonomous cars to fix our problems. Nature will push us and mold us until we begin to feel one another.

If we don’t train people to feel each other, we’re going to see all kinds of accidents happening everywhere, from the air to the sea. People won’t be able to prevent themselves from causing great harm to each other, as long as our ego grows beyond our sense of others.

So I would recommend a new standard for getting any kind of license — training people to become sensitive to each other. Rather than just technology, Israel should be the first to set these new standards of social connection as a positive example for the rest of the world. Social innovation is the future, and what the world truly anticipates from Israel.

Family And Marriage, Part 6

laitman_600.04Time and Love for Children

Question: Do I understand correctly that nature instinctively instilled love for children in us only so that we would learn to treat other people the same way?

Answer: Yes and no. Over time, love for children will change. It is already changing. Today, people relate to children differently than before.

Throughout all generations there has been a draw, caring, and love for children, but all this is changing.

Since our desire, understanding of the world, and method of communicating with the outside world are changing, naturally, the attitude toward children as a part of the world is changing too.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 1/1/19

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