Entries in the 'Egoism' Category

“A Selfie To Eternity” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “A Selfie to Eternity

Since cameras have become ubiquitous in cell phones, people have begun to take pictures of themselves (selfies) in various situations. Along with the growing significance we ascribe to social media came the need to present ourselves in more daring, special, and original ways. But people don’t know where to draw the line. According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, which operates under the National Institute of Health, there is an accelerating trend to take risky selfies. In 2011, for example, three people died in what became known as “selficides” (selfie-related fatal accidents). In 2017, that number was 93.

We cannot overemphasize how dangerous taking reckless selfies can be. We must be very adamant in stating that such irresponsible behavior can cost us our lives. However, we must also understand where this phenomenon stems from because if we are to truly prevent these tragedies, we must change people’s attitude toward themselves and toward their place in the world.

Taking a selfie is a way to “immortalize” oneself. Deep down, we cannot agree with the finiteness of our body since we truly are eternal, connected to the eternal force that creates all that exists, including humans. Because subconsciously, we feel connected to eternity, our dying physical demise is always in the back of our minds. We try to “trick” the limits of time and “perpetuate” ourselves, transcend the boundaries of time and place, and sometimes, we risk our present for the chance of eternal renown.

I, too, feel this drive, though not enough to risk my life for it. It is a highly developed form of narcissism that uses photos to defy the boundaries of time and rise above the physical existence. Just as Narcissus looked in the water and fell in love with his own image, we think that our picture in risky situations somehow proves that we are worthy, that we have achieved something worth remembering.

In fact, if there is any “achievement” here, it is the lesson that narcissism is bad for us. It is bad not because it is harmful in and of itself, although it is. It is bad mainly because our root is a force of giving, creating, and spreading of energy and vitality. By focusing on ourselves, we become the opposite of that force: receiving, destroying, and absorbing energy and vitality. Instead of becoming as immortal as our root, we disconnect ourselves from it and thereby make our existence not only transient, but also detrimental to the rest of reality.

If we want to emerge from our narcissism, we must try to be considerate and caring about others. The minute we begin to feel that our hearts are connected to the hearts of others, we will stop fearing death. Instead, we will be certain that although our bodies are fleeting, our selves, our souls will have attained a true connection with eternity. Our connections with others will vitalize us and prolong our existence long after our physical presence ends, and we will know that risking our physical safety is wrong because it denies us the opportunity to connect to people and immortalize our souls.

“On Appreciation And Admiration” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “On Appreciation and Admiration

These days, when admiration for superstar athletes, pop singers, and models sets the tone across the globe, it’s worthwhile to look at the phenomenon of admiration and how we can use it positively.

When chicks hatch, they naturally follow their mother. If their mother is absent when they hatch, they will follow anything big and moving as though it were their mother. We, too, have that tendency to follow someone great, someone who can direct us and protect us, someone worth following.

Our need for guidance begins at childhood. First, we admire our parents, who literally mean the world to us. Later, we learn to appreciate teachers, friends, peers who seem successful, and other people that we idolize. Without idols, we feel disoriented and uncertain where we want to go.

Interested parties exploit that vital need. Through mainstream media and social networks, they direct us where they want us to go and make us do what they want. They raise social media idols to stardom, turn them into celebrities that set the tone in public discourse, and make us think that these people are the greatest.

Gradually, through the influence of the social environment, our appreciation becomes admiration. This is already a higher level of relation to the object of attention. Fans are active; they have a sense of belonging and power, which stem from feelings of self-righteousness and entitlement that admiring the “right” people gives us.

To the rulers, this is the ideal situation. When people feel complacent and entertain themselves with sports, movies, and pop concerts, they can be easily manipulated. This allows the elite to gain wealth and power undisturbed.

If we are to advance to a better place than we are in today, as individuals and as a society, we must first determine the values that we want to promote. These values should coincide with the direction of the global development, which is making the world an interconnected and interdependent place. In fact, today, our level of mutual dependence has come to the point where we are dependent on each other for the most basic necessities.

Since this is the case, we need social values that correspond to our condition. Otherwise, we will create a dissonance between our aspirations and values, which stem from the selfish idols we emulate, and our reality, which is entirely interconnected and requires unselfishness as a basis for existence. In fact, this dissonance is why so many people are dissatisfied with life today.

The sooner we learn to value and promote mutual responsibility, caring, and consideration, the sooner life will change for the better. If we learn to respect people who promote cohesion and a sense of bonding in society, it will be easy for everyone to rise to the next level in our development, where the global village that we are is a thriving one, sustaining all its residents abundantly and easily, and everyone feels safe in it, and happy.

“The Danger In Our False Perception” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Danger in Our False Perception

Today, when we look at the world, we see only one force: egoism. We think that everything runs only according to everyone’s efforts to raise themselves to the top of the heap, to be the hunter and not the hunted, the predator and not the prey. We, humanity, have reached the top of the pyramid, and from the zenith, we’re trying to find what more we can take. To achieve this, we learn, become more sophisticated, and develop technology, science, social structures, and everything we have developed in order to succeed in this world.

If we continue on our selfish trend, the horrible summer we are experiencing throughout the world will be the best summer of the rest of our lives. We don’t have to continue on this route; have another option: to bury the hatchet and make peace with nature and with one another, and realize that we don’t have to fight to win a good life; we only need to work together.
But now that we’ve achieved all that, we find that something is still amiss. We realize that we have gone too far. We have taken egoism to the extreme, and we have destroyed our planet. Instead of supporting us, our own home is caving in on us, releasing torrential rains that flood entire countries, bursting in flames that incinerate titanic forests, and launch ash to the highest levels of the atmosphere. Siberia’s frozen lands, once thought to be lifeless, are melting and discharging viruses and bacteria for which our immune system has no antibodies. And the animal kingdom, which we believed we had subdued, is infesting us with viruses and other bugs that arrest our entire global activity.

With the heyday behind us, and the threat of nature’s vengeance ahead, we seem to have one choice: Stop trying to dominate nature and start cooperating with it. This is the time to realize that nature isn’t run solely by egoism, but rather by two forces, egoism and altruism, which balance each other out and generate the dynamic harmony that enables the creation of life and evolution. Now is the time for us to realize that there is no hatred in nature but acceptance and inclusion of everyone into a larger whole that, in turn, sustains all of life.

If we develop a considerate, accepting approach to all of nature, including to all people, we will discover that this is how nature truly operates and we will be able to operate likewise. Currently, our own egoism hides the truth from us, since if we see reality for what it is, we will agree to relinquish egoism, and no egoist wants to be relinquished.

Yet, if we continue on our selfish trend, the horrible summer we are experiencing throughout the world will be the best summer of the rest of our lives. We don’t have to continue on this route; have another option: to bury the hatchet and make peace with nature and with one another, and realize that we don’t have to fight to win a good life; we only need to work together.

How Can We Distinguish Between Egoistic Desires And Altruistic Desires?

600.01Question from Facebook: How can we distinguish between egoistic desires that I have and altruistic desires? Very often the ego takes on different forms so it is difficult to understand whether my thoughts and actions are predetermined.

Answer: Altruism is different from egoism only in the fact that you want to be in good relations with others in order to attain the Creator by this good connection. There are no other definitions. Everything else besides the small connection in the group that is aimed at attaining the resemblance to the Creator according to the principle “love thy friend as thyself” is egoism.

Question: Is altruism good or bad?

Answer: Altruism is the desire to do everything for another person, to determine what he lacks and to fill this deficiency.
From KabTV’s “Answering Questions from Facebook” 3/10/19

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Comprehending The Hidden Part Of Nature

222Question: How can we work with people in order to bring them closer to an integral state?

Answer: Through conversations with them and between themselves about the meaning of life: “Why do we have such questions? Why, during the many thousands of egoistic developments of mankind, have we come to such a state when we have no idea where to develop further?”

Although the new generation is still striving for money by inertia, in principle, it is already beginning to show its fatigue and unwillingness to develop in the same form.

We see that egoism is no longer the driving force behind our development. We are ready to bury ourselves in our apartments with our phones and have no connection with anyone. The egoistic force of our development leads us to something completely opposite to it. Where did it come from? Why? Etc.

In general, there is a whole technique when, with the help of such clarifications, people begin to understand that the next level of development is supra-egoistic. It is aimed at ensuring that in unity we begin to comprehend the hidden nature—not inanimate, vegetative, and animate, but spiritual.

In principle, despite the fact that we are so developed, we are animals because we use the same egoism as all the previous levels—still, vegetative, and animate—only in a more exaggerated form. We must go to the next, collective level, Adam, to which the whole of humanity is gradually moving.
From KabTV’s “Videoconference”

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Expand The Scope Of Sensations

537Question: Today, physicists say that all reality is not matter, but information. We live in some kind of world and everything that exists brings us certain information. It is dressed in various garments, that is, in what we see around us. Why did the Creator create everything like this? Is it possible to see any information directly?

Answer: We see in our world that that is impossible. If we want to feel something, then any of our sensations consists of two opposite properties: sensing and what is felt. Therefore, the Creator created us as the opposite of Himself, so that we could feel Him, comprehend, and understand.

Question: The laws of nature do not depend on the observer; they are, as it were, unchangeable. And yet, if we change our internal properties, do we feel the laws of nature differently? Then even they change?

Answer: Of course, they change. What we feel, we feel in ourselves. If we change internally, then we feel that everything around us changes.

Question: The laws do not change regarding my natural egoism, but by changing my work with egoism, can I feel the laws of nature in a different way?

Answer: Absolutely. I kind of go beyond these laws. There is a realization of the true theory of relativity: everything is relative to a person.

Question: Do you mean about the egoist who perceives the world with five senses?

Answer: And above that. Five senses are not enough for us. In them, we feel only our world, and these are animal sensations. But rising above this, we begin to feel the above-egoism properties of bestowal. In them we feel the changing higher state of the world. This is perceived above our animal senses.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 7/2/21

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Don’t Lose Your Optimism

280.02Question: I am an optimist by nature and I feel joy and inspiration by studying the wisdom of Kabbalah.

But when I connect to people, I discover that most of them are pessimistic, depressed, and what I say even makes them angry. How should I manage my feelings of happiness correctly?

Answer: The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us how to ascend above our nature.

We see the world from within us through our egoistic desires. If we don’t like something, we are immediately irritated, we become apathetic and depressed.

The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us how to ascend above our egoism, how to be alert and ready to advance in our connections with other people and understand each other. To put it bluntly, we need to disrespect our ego and ignore it!

At first it is very difficult. There isn’t a person who doesn’t succumb to his or her ego, who doesn’t give in to its pressure, and who doesn’t feel sorry or distressed. But then everything is balanced and we advance forward, overcome our egoism, and ascend above it.

Everything depends on the extent to which we are in a united group that can help each other in our connections and constantly increase the property of the Creator in our eyes, the attribute of love and bestowal, the ascent above our ego, and the exit from it.

If we set such an example for each other, even when we don’t feel so good internally, we help our friends and then they help us, and thus we go through this period.

The period when we are depressed and under the control of the ego is not easy and is quite long. It is called the exile in Egypt because Pharaoh (our ego) dominates us.

So your friends are already in this state and you are in it not yet.

I hope you will not lose your optimism and that you will continue to show your warmth and enthusiasm to your friends.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 4/14/19

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When All Needs Lose Value

538Question: We live in times when most people have everything they need. Since our basic needs are initially covered, it is no longer necessary to monetize your life’s work, right?

Answer: After a certain historical period, perhaps in a couple of decades, we will come to such a state that robots will work instead of us, and people, in principle, will no longer need money, fame, or even knowledge, because all this will lose value due to the lack of meaning.

Gradually, we stop seeing the meaning of our corporeal development and we understand that everything is coming to a dead end, including science. What we reveal in nature is actually a path leading us to the dead-end of development, to a global crisis. Everything is much broader and on a different level.

Egoism develops according to certain degrees, and now it has come to the point that it has closed itself. It folds, becomes a small village, and eventually it will force us to connect even though we do not want it.

Here we can come to connection either urged by various sufferings, including wars and destruction, or through realizing that it is necessary because it is the implementation of the program of creation.
From KabTV’s “Videoconference”

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Becoming A Part Of One Common Whole

528.01There is no individual development in Kabbalah. It helps if a person becomes an organized part of the collective.

The fact is that our egoism stops working. It goes through such states that it pushes us out of itself.

We have already completed the individual egoistic path and we see to what an extent humanity does not know how to go further. However, Kabbalah says that the next level of development is not the level of individual complacency, attainment, or finding some kind of a niche for yourself, but it is the state when you reach collective thoughts and desires.

All the decisions are made only in the group, in the ten. Ten people connect with each other in a special desire and aspiration of thought, in which they suddenly discover a common integral force of nature, called the Creator. This is revealed through their correct connection when everyone rises above their egoism and connects with the others as if they are part of him.

Rising above the individuality and building a single common whole between themselves, they begin to feel in it, as in a new sensor, in a new feeling, this common force of nature according to the law of equivalence of form.
From KabTV’s “Videoconference”

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New Life 1310 – The Reasons For Losing The Sense Of Closeness In The Family

New Life 1310 – The Reasons For Losing The Sense Of Closeness In The Family
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Nitzah Mazoz

Connections in the family are fading away because the ego continually grows and doesn’t want to be dependent on anyone. This is a natural process. People no longer feel obligated to their siblings or parents.

We can still learn how to develop a warm human connection in the family if we teach our kids about the ego and how to work with rejections and envy correctly. We need to show everyone what they will gain from being connected to others by doing exercises like, for example, helping a different sibling each day in every matter that comes up.

We can learn positive competition by comparing who can ascend higher above their own egoism in order to get closer to the other family members and awaken love in them. Family should provide a sense of support, communication, commitment, and being closer on a new level when we rise above the ego together.
From KabTV’s “New Life 1310 – The Reasons For Losing The Sense Of Closeness In The Family,” 6/27/21

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