Entries in the 'Egoism' Category

Is It Worth To Lower Your Ego?

963.6In the News (Times of India): “Low stress and anxiety levels are observed among people who experience … in the decreased activity in frontal lobes, attained during meditation. 24/7 working frontal lobes, processing complex information and events all the time, when experience lower to none activity during meditation practice or prayer, delve into the realm of enlightenment where there is no stress, hassle or worry. Lower activity in frontal lobe is linked with the ‘feelings of surrendering one’s will completely’, states Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist, and the author of The Metaphysical Mind: Probing the Biology of Philosophical Thought. When our egoistic mind submits itself completely to something infinite and larger than itself, it experiences enlightenment.”

 My Response: Certainly, because a person erases everything within himself in general. He greatly reduces his ego and sort of dissolves.

This is an incorrect state because at the same time he annuls his “I,” his personality, he wants to be in a passive state of merging with the surroundings in the form of an inanimate element.

Comment: Scientists, however, call this moment balance and proximity to nature.

My Response: Of course if I turn into a stone, then I am close to nature. On the contrary, if I am an egoist who wants to know, discover, feel, and try, then this is already an “I” existing in nature in its individual form.

It is wrong to lower your ego because it is against progress, against development, against evolution, and against nature itself. This brings us closer to the inanimate level. We simply have no way out, this way we come to a state of balance, peace, an undisturbed state.

Yet, in principle, it is necessary to advance to the point where we clearly use all our egoism, everything that can possibly appear should be revealed and developed in us, and at such a huge egoistic peak of feelings and mind, we are in balance with nature.

Question: Does it mean that it is the desire that affects the work of the brain? The more you develop the desire, the more actively the brain begins to work and serve the desire?

Answer: The brain exists only to pursue the desire. If the desire has a task to achieve, the brain helps us to be filled with what we desire.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Anamnesis” 2/19/10

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“When Will The World Become Disease Free?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: When will the world become disease free?

It is impossible to rid ourselves of disease without correcting our egoistic attitudes to each other.

Diseases are demonstrations of our inner egoistic attitudes toward each other, which is our very nature that we cannot escape. In other words, diseases are external expressions of our inner problems that exist on a spiritual level, which is why no technological or medical innovations will be able to make them disappear.

We find and create Band-Aid solutions to diseases, cosmetic fixes, that ultimately fail to make us happier or healthier. Even if we had pills that would prolong our lives, we would not find happiness by doing so.

Until we heal our core problem by correcting our egoistic attitudes to each other by inverting them to their opposite altruistic form, then we will achieve nothing positive in its outward appearance.

Based on KabTV’s “Close-Up: Anamnesis” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on February 19, 2010. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“Why Is Our World Becoming More Dangerous?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why is our world becoming more dangerous?

The human ego drives our evolution. As our ego becomes globally interconnected, our egoistic connections interlink, and we find ourselves in a snake pit of sorts, where everyone wants to use everyone else to their benefit.

Even though the growing ego develops us technologically, scientifically and socially, we need to reach a state where we question how we came to this.

Instead of making ourselves happier the more we develop, our egoistic development leads to the contrary. We find that no one truly benefits from such a form of development, except a few who manage to twist it to their advantage.

I thus see nothing positive in our so-called “progress” other than it bringing us closer to a state that Kabbalah calls “the recognition of evil.” The recognition of evil takes place when we realize our goals are wrong, that they lead to negative outcomes, increasing suffering, a terrible life, and we have no choice but to re-examine our entire existence, questioning how we reached such a state.

Also, what does it mean that our ego has become globally interconnected today, and how does that contribute to the world becoming increasingly dangerous?

According to Kabbalah, the human ego that drives our evolution is called the “desire to enjoy” with an intention to enjoy for self-benefit alone. The more we develop, the bigger the ego, and the stronger the realization of our egoistic goals. We then find ourselves increasingly wanting to devour others and nature in order to gain from the world, even if it means destroying the world in the process.

The reason we have not yet gone all the way and started an all-out war is because we see the end of the world as our own end. However, various crises—economic, cultural and social—loom in our world today, threatening to erupt in such a war.

If we wish to alleviate further suffering and change course to a positive path, we then need a new form of education, one capable of transforming our egoistic relations to altruistic ones. By changing the educational, media and cultural influences that we encounter on a daily basis to ones that teach how our true nature operates, the need for appreciating positive connection over divisiveness, as well as regular examples and exercises of the latter, and how altruism and positive connection are the fundamental laws of nature, we would then be on track to the greatest ever transition in history—from increasing danger, uncertainty, emptiness and anxiety to a harmonious, balanced, peaceful and happy life for all.

Based on a video “Why Is Our World Becoming More Dangerous?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Nitzah Mazoz. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

“A Letter To A Viewer Who Discovered That Everything Is A Lie” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “A Letter to a Viewer Who Discovered that Everything Is a Lie

Valentine, a frequent viewer of my shows with filmmaker Semion Vinokur, wrote him that lately, he has come to feel that everything is a lie: The government is lying, his bosses are lying, the media is lying, and there is no truth anywhere. He then asked how he can go on living when there is no one or nothing he can trust. He added that he has never felt it so acutely, and asked for my response.

Below is my response to Valentine:

Deceit and egoism are the nature of the world. In the beginning of our emotional and spiritual development, we do not feel it. Just as we do not tell little children that there are bad people with bad intentions in the world, but save that morose information until they grow and can handle it, nature does not reveal to us the depth of human selfishness and willingness to exploit every thing and every one. Therefore, the fact that you have made the discoveries you are describing means you have developed to the point where you are ready to reveal the true nature of the world — that egoism is the core of human nature.

When a person realizes this for the first time, he feels lost and does not know where to run. Some people take off to remote places like deserted islands where they can live alone and isolate themselves from the outside world. Others think that if they accrue wealth, they will secure their future and the future of their children. Neither will diminish the fear.

The reason we discover the true nature of the world is so we may ask about its meaning. First comes the realization that the world is built on egoism, then the question why it is built this way, and finally the realization that only recognizing who we are will prompt us to step out of selfishness and embrace a different, and genuinely kind nature.

The world is built the way it is so we may change it. Only when we realize how deeply we are all immersed in self-absorption will we want to change. The only way to make ourselves aware of this is to really make ourselves that way — selfish to the core — and then bring this truth to our awareness.

When we look at the world around us and see wickedness and cruelty, we must know that they are there for a reason. Even if we see political leaders whom we think are ruthless and mean, for example, we should not seek to remove them from office because those who will replace them will be even worse. Instead, we must keep in mind that any negativity we see, we see it so we may wish to rise above it toward caring for others and connection with them.

Improvement must begin with people understanding what is going on and why, and striving to build good ties with people, all people. If we change, the world will change with us. If we correct our hearts, our hearts will correct our perception and we will realize why everything happens and how we can help bring the world to balance.

When Egoism Outgrows The Outer Framework

962.2Comment: When certain physical or moral deviations are revealed in a secular environment, this does not cause much shock as long as these people do not distinguish themselves from others, do not pretend to be chosen by God, and do not dictate to others how to behave.

When such a phenomenon is revealed in Orthodox circles, it is shocking.

My Response: The fact that religious people want to show that they are special is not important. Biologically they are absolutely the same as others, they do not have any special attitude and internal urge to be different. But all the same, in this environment there are very good relationships, communication, mutual aid funds, and a certain amount of support.

Their society is built in such a way, purely selfishly, that it has systems of mutual assistance. This is ordinary, earthly Judaism, which helps people in many ways and gives them certain moral and physical protection although at the same time it preserves our development.

Religion is not meant to correct man. Religion is just like house-building, a conventional practice. Just like a habit that a person has from his father’s home, his mother’s food, that way of life, religion gives him a certain environment, a shell for existence: do such and such actions, organize your life in such a way, it will help you in life.

And when egoism begins to develop, it outgrows this framework, and only the observance of external rituals remains from the whole religion while there are no moral attitudes left internally.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Return” 2/19/10

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“Mutual Responsibility – The Foundation Of Society” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Mutual Responsibility – the Foundation of Society

Today’s society worships the ego. Everyone who is “someone” shows himself in the most egocentric way. This is true of social media icons as it is true of sports stars, pop stars, politicians, and even money moguls. However, a society that worships selfishness undermines the very meaning of the term “society.” For a society to exist, it must focus on the social rather than on the individual. If it focuses on the latter, it will disintegrate, which is what we are seeing around the world today.

Social relations can exist only when all the parties recognize that they have a mutual benefit from each other that they cannot achieve on their own. The benefit must be big enough for them to relinquish some of their independence in return for greater rewards, such as greater chances of survival, better child rearing, or solidified economic prosperity.

For this reason, a society whose idols are those who contribute to the cohesion of society strengthens itself and the well-being of its members. Conversely, a society that idolizes people who focus on themselves and often act against the interests of society pulls the rug out from under itself. Such a society will collapse sooner or later since it fails to meet the most basic requirement of a society: mutual responsibility.

Once a group of people has established a basic level of mutual responsibility, it can begin to build more complex structures such as clans, cities, and nations. The higher the level of mutual responsibility in society, the more it can grow and expand.

Nevertheless, it is a challenge to maintain mutual responsibility because human egoism is not static, but is constantly evolving. Therefore, cultivating mutual responsibility must be a constant task for society. Otherwise, it will collapse. Since we have neglected this for many decades now, we are witnessing an increasing degree of disintegration and dissolution in society.

Humanity has reached a crossroads: It can continue to avoid cultivating mutual responsibility in order to rise above the growing ego, or it can return to cultivating it until it becomes stronger than the current level of egoism. If it chooses the latter, it will achieve such a level of cohesion that people will stop feeling separated from each other. They will reach a new level of closeness, as if they were inseparable in their hearts, in their souls.

Once they achieve that level, the struggles among people that we see today will become internal struggles, where people grapple with their own egoism, which separates them from society. People will attain a completely different level of perception; they will experience oneness on levels they never thought existed.

This is where the current struggle between egoism and mutual responsibility is leading, and it will end in one of two ways: unity or war.

When Life Becomes Meaningful

627.2Comment: On one hand, nature has given us everything today, in terms of comfort, you can satisfy any desire. On the other hand, along with this, a feeling of inner emptiness grows in a person.

My Response: This is very good because we have nowhere else to develop. We went around the world, bought an apartment, a car, changed spouses several times, gave birth, and lost our children. We have already done everything. What is next?!

This world does not give more. What else can it offer to us? Therefore, some perversions appear. Okay, let us try them a little bit. That is all. Then what to live for?!

Then comes emptiness and disappointment, that is what you have come to. It seems to you that although we used to live primitively, it was nice: family, meadows, children. All this is drawn to you so pastorally, harmoniously. But today, what a horror! A person is obliged. He cannot run away anywhere, and most importantly run away from himself!

He tries to do this by saying, “I live the way I live.” But it does not work because the law of nature is such that we cannot get away from it. We will still have to reach an answer to the question of the meaning of life. Moreover, not achieve it philosophically and not to somehow calm yourself, but to find it, see it, understand it. What does a person live for? This is not just a purely theoretical question, search, and torment through thorns to the stars, and so on. No! We want to see it!

In fact, this question rests on death. A person should know that he continues to live, but not by some kind of faith—by what religion promises him. He should see a clear, beautiful, bright continuation in front of him. Then these tens of years of life make sense.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Centaurs” 1/15/10

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Turn The Evil Connection Into A Good One

507.05Comment: You said that the feeling of hell is an inner state of a person. One of the reasons for feeling unfulfilled is the inner attitude toward others to use them for one’s own sake.

My Response: Ordinary desires to receive are animalistic desires. They are neither good nor bad because they obey commands of nature.

A person has an inherent desire to exist comfortably at the minimal level, and this is normal. Even within the framework of the law, if someone stole a piece of bread somewhere just to satiate his hunger like an animal, I do not think they would be judged for it because it was necessary to maintain life.

Yet, everything we want to acquire above animalistic existence is already egoism. After all, everything that we acquire above it directly or indirectly happens at the expense of other people. Thus, we use others, look for ways to be higher, and show our hatred for them.

I begin to feel that the higher I am or the lower the other is, the more pleasant it is for me. That is, I am already thinking about ways to make it worse for someone else because it will make me feel better indirectly or even directly. Egoism is in the fact that I wish evil to the other.

We do not feel to what extent in our world we use each other every second. We need to transform our evil nature into a good one, use the same qualities, only not to harm but to benefit others, to connect with them.

Egoism is good because it connects us. I look at others to find out what I would like to learn from them so that I can influence them and subdue them. If it were not for egoism, I would exist as an animal on my own and I would not care about others.

Egoism makes us connect with each other. But in the form we use it, it is called the evil inclination. I need to turn it into a good one. That is, from what I receive from everyone, subjugate, saturate, and bind to myself, I turn this connection into one where I serve them, fulfill them, and give to them as if they were my children whom I wish only the best.

Therefore, without the evil inclination that binds us together, we cannot develop. Thus, a universal, global evil connection between us is being revealed in the world today. Along with this, Kabbalah is revealed because we have come to a state where we begin to understand that we are connected in a bad way, and we have no other choice, we must be connected by good connections.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up—Faith and The Book of Zohar

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“54 Nobel Laureates Are No Match To Petty Politicians” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “54 Nobel Laureates Are No Match to Petty Politicians

Physicists Sir Roger Penrose and Prof. Carlo Rovelli, as well as fifty-two other Nobel Laureates, are among the signatories of a new initiative called “Global Peace Dividend.” The initiative seeks to “reduce military spending by 2% in all countries,” thereby “save one trillion USD over 5 years,” and use the money “to fight planetary emergencies.” Since, as they write, “humankind faces risks that can only be averted through cooperation,” the scientists suggest that we “cooperate instead of fighting among ourselves.”

As much as I would like their initiative to succeed, Nobel laureates do not run the world; politicians run it, and they will go to any length and spare no effort to achieve military dominance, even if it leads us to an atomic, third world war, which it will.
We have a problem. Hatred, folly, and selfishness have climaxed to levels that form an impenetrable wall. Humanity is in a desperate state. This is how I see it.

In every society, the people who excel in its most dominant trait are its leaders. In an egoistic society, the most egoistic are the leaders. Human society is not only egoistic, but is growing more so by the day. Therefore, our leaders are the most self-centered. As such, they cannot see anything or think of anything but themselves. They will preach to us and pretend to care about people when in truth, their only goal is their seat at the helm.

It is not their fault; it is human nature, and they cannot go against the nature that drives them from within. They are totally enslaved to it and will do whatever it tells them. If it tells them that it is perfectly OK to destroy the economies of their own countries to keep up with the arms race, they will not hesitate for a minute.

Russia, for example, has extracted everything it could. Other than a few hundred super rich individuals, the rest of the people are in poverty. The US, too, is deteriorating rapidly. Yet, governments cannot control their passion for control. Remember the rule: In an egoistic society, the one at the top is the most egoistic. Therefore, people should not expect any benefits from the leaders.

The only time when politicians listen to scientists is when they tell them that they can develop a more lethal weapon that will give them military superiority. If they tell them anything else, they will reply, “Just give us nuclear weapons; we will know what to do with it.”

In 2020, the world economy shrank by more than 4%. During that same year, global arms purchases reached an all-time high of nearly two trillion dollars. This goes to show how focused world leaders are on their own objectives. One would think that if there is a recession, arms purchases would decrease, but the opposite occurred.

When you think about it from a self-centered perspective, it makes perfect sense: The worse off we are, the more money we need to spend on arming ourselves, since leaders are more likely to start wars. Since leaders need to keep their people from rebelling, they must incite them against others. So the worse we do financially, the more we need to spend on arms in order to prepare for war. And if you think that at some point the resources for weapons will run dry, I would not count on it; leaders will spend their last dime on weapons.

Even building shelters will not help. You can build shelters that protect from rockets, but you cannot build shelters to protect a nation from atomic bombs.

The only solution that does exist is to change the ego itself. The ego is the drive behind the arms race and the impending war. Hence, only changing the ego and reining it in will help prevent a war.

People who understand me should join forces and nurture unity, care for one another, and eventually love one another above all the differences. This is the only antidote to the virus of egoism. There is no other vaccine for it other than to try to care for one another despite our inherent alienation.

If we are already aware that we are dependent on each other, and that narcissism is our enemy, we should start working together on changing our behavior from self-centered to caring. Just as we currently teach ourselves to be selfish, we should teach ourselves that if we are selfish, we are hurting ourselves, so we had better learn to be unselfish. If many of us work on it together, around the world, then it is not too late.

For more on the importance of solidarity, see my book Self-Interest Vs. Altruism In The Global Era.

Until Others Are Dearer To You Than Yourself

624.04Comment: Our planet is in a very bad condition. In the past there were all sorts of programs to fix things.

My Response: In the past we were more naïve, but now we already understand that there is nothing we can do. The human mind can only ruin, destroy, destruct, or lead us to a dark and gloomy future.

Question: So why do we have such confidence in our minds?

Answer: So that we will fully realize that our mind is worthless.

Question: Is it like a mousetrap?

My Response: Yes. What is the difference between man and all the other creatures? It is supposedly our minds. It sounds as if man is proud of it. We have a machine in our head called a brain and emotions in our heart, but they are both egoistic, closed inside themselves and locked in our daily existence, so nothing good can ever come from them.

Question: So what can we do?

Answer: The only thing we can do is to get closer to each other. We should reach such relations between us in which others are dearer to us than ourselves.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 11/29/21

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