Entries in the 'Egoism' Category

Our Faithful Assistant

115.06Question: A study was conducted at Harvard for 80 years where scientists have tried to figure out the main factor for happiness in people’s lives. They concluded that relationships between people is most important.

On one hand, we really want to be happy, and we understand that the most important factor is relationships. We invest a lot of money in medicine, devote a lot of time to a healthy lifestyle even though we understand that the decisive factor even for human health is the relationship between people.

And still, no matter how much we invest, we cannot fully realize, even purely selfishly, that relationships between us are the most important thing. Why?

Answer: Because egoism is a helper against you. It does not just push you to do what is good for you. This is a very special assistant that leads you not to achieve the most comfortable animal state, but to achieve a higher state. Only in a special way.

Selfishness is built based on the fact that you abandon it and rise above it. It is constantly pushing for this, but in exactly the opposite way.

Therefore, in the material world there is no greater helper for our development than egoism although it constantly confronts us with ourselves. It constantly pushes us to struggle, to opposites, to contradictions, all in order to find out who we are, what we are, what we are for.
[272012]
From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 7/30/20

“What Is The Definition Of Altruism?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What is the definition of altruism?

Altruism is egoism’s opposite, and egoism is self-centeredness, or a desire to enjoy at the expense of others.

Altruism is thus giving from oneself to others, to what is outside of us—humanity and nature.

Egoism is an inward direction—a desire to receive—and altruism is an outward direction—a desire to give.

After the definition of altruism arises the question: How can human beings become genuinely altruistic?

Becoming altruistic requires participating in a supportive social and learning environment where we can learn how nature operates altruistically, and practice how to think and act similarly to nature, together with others.

Genuine implementation of altruistic attitudes in a certain environment awakens forces dwelling in nature that can instill in us an altruistic perception and sensation of reality. That is, by regularly influencing one another in a certain social setup with the greatness and importance of altruism—how it is a nature-based quality, and how our becoming altruistic can solve all of our problems and lead us to much happier and more secure lives—we can then invert ourselves from being naturally egoistic, to acquiring a second altruistic nature.

We would then become beings with outwardly-aimed thoughts, desires, actions, intentions and goals—opposite to our current inwardly-aimed egoistic operating system.

Preceding participation in an egoistic-to-altruistic transformation process is a conclusion that more and more of humanity is reaching: the understanding of our egoistic nature leading to no positive outcomes, and the realization of the need for a shift to altruism, that altruistic forces that could grant us secure our survival, and even more so, invigorate, energize and enhance our lives.

View From The “Second Floor”

608.01Question: Is there a punishment for the sins of a generation? Is there a concept that children should pay for the sins of their fathers?

Answer: In general, yes. After all, we do not exist by ourselves, as we think. Usually, people believe that they can do whatever they want without realizing that they are within the framework of nature, which has its own laws.

We gradually reveal these laws at the inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels. But at the human level, we cannot reveal them. We can only assume that they exist.

The fact is that we look at inanimate, vegetative, and animate nature from the top-down, and therefore, we can understand it and somehow manage it. And we can only look at other people at our level. We do not have a “second floor” from which we can look at them. Therefore, on a human level, we constantly make mistakes. We have nothing to compare with, we do not have a second floor  to look from above to below.

According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, we must rise to the next level, called faith above reason, from which we will correctly see our earthly level and understand who we are and how we should behave.

Question: Where did the term “descent,” “decline,” or “coarsening” of generations come from?

Answer: We see that each generation develops in its own egoism, which is becoming more sophisticated, multileveled, and complex. Therefore, it pulls us down. We must necessarily balance it by striving upward.

We do not understand this yet. But in our time, we have already come to a state that allows us to understand how we can balance egoism and more or less influence our existence.

Question: Can we say that it is precisely the different level of egoism that is the cause of conflicts between generations?

Answer: Naturally. We are all selfish, but each one in one’s own way.
[269951]
From the TV program “The Post-Coronavirus Era” 5/21/2020

Related Material:
How Do Generations Differ From Each Other?
Generation Gap, Part 1
Hesed (Goodness) For Thousands Of Generations

“Survival Of The Fittest Is A Lie We Tell Ourselves” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Survival of the Fittest Is a Lie We Tell Ourselves

With each passing day, we have to realize that despite the growing tensions, we hate the wrong enemy. We think the enemy is that man who supports the other party, or that woman who belongs to the other race, or that person who is more privileged in some way, who is richer, smarter, prettier, luckier, or any other “er” that I would like to be or have.

There will be no winners in this war because it isn’t the right war. The right war is against our own egos, and we can defeat them only if we fight it specifically alongside those who are unlike us, whom we dislike, and of whom we disapprove, since this is the only alliance that our egos will never support.

But none of them are my real enemies. There have always been people who were more successful than we in some way, and there always will be such people. But they didn’t use to make us feel bad, and they didn’t use to make us feel that we want them out of our lives, and if possible, out of existence. They have always been here, but we were different. We were less self-entitled, less absorbed with ourselves, or simply, less selfish. Yes, our own egoism is our enemy.

We can’t control it; it’s growing from within us and is so much a part of who we are that we don’t even feel that it is the problem. But if we don’t learn how to work with our ego, it’ll lead us into civil war because we won’t be able to tolerate anyone’s existence but our own and those who think like us and look like us.

There will be no winners in this war because it isn’t the right war. The right war is against our own egos, and we can defeat them only if we fight it specifically alongside those who are unlike us, whom we dislike, and of whom we disapprove, since this is the only alliance that our egos will never support.

But it has to be a common decision, taken by the whole society on all its factions, or it is bound to fail. And should you ask what will motivate people to cooperate with those they hate, or even relate to them positively? The answer is that we have run out of options. If we don’t do it, we will all fall. We’ve come to a state where we are totally dependent on each other, and we are dependent the most on those we most dislike.

Actually, not only we, but all of reality consists of opposites that complement one another. They do not like each other, but are completely dependent on each other and their own existence guarantees and sustains the existence of their opposite or “rival.”

Think of “night” without “day,” “winter” without “summer,” “dry” without “wet.” Or when it comes to people, think of Black without White, Republican without Democrat, Liberal without Conservative. Can you imagine a coin that has only one side? This is how dependent we are on one another.

We think that when Darwin discovered the principle of “Survival of the Fittest,” he meant that only the meanest and most belligerent survive. This is a complete misinterpretation of his words that our pugnacious egos impose on us. A recent book by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods titled Survival of the Friendliest writes that “to Darwin and modern biologists, “survival of the fittest” refers to something very specific — the ability to survive and leave behind viable offspring. It is not meant to go beyond that.” Moreover, they add that “Darwin was constantly impressed with the kindness and cooperation he observed in nature,” and quote his book Descent of Man, which states, “Those communities, which included the greatest number of the most sympathetic members, would flourish best and rear the greatest number of offspring.”

We are headed in the opposite direction. We are breaking our social fabric, tearing apart our communities, and dismantling the country. In such circumstances, we ourselves will not survive. And the only culprit is the human ego. We are now at a point where either we unite against it and help each other overcome it by encouraging each other to connect, and by trying to unite with those unlike us, or the ego will win and we will all lose everything.
[270871]

Why Should We Rise Above Discord?

600.01Question: There are various conflicts in nature, especially in the animal world. Why, on a human level, should we rise above discord? Let’s live by nature!

Answer: We are descendants of the animal world, who have risen to the level of Man (Adam). Even our egoism is not the same as that of animals. They have it instinctively, given to them by nature, and they are not able to change it. They can only make the most of it for their own benefit.

Therefore, the animal level cannot be an example for us. Man is a social animal. To be socially useful, he must correct himself. There is nothing we can do here. We must do this; otherwise we will not have a future.

Remark: But we are part of nature…

My Response: We are part of nature only according to our animal body, but not according to our egoism. Do not confuse these two levels in us.
[270268]
From KabTV’s “The Post-Coronavirus Era” 5/21/20

Related Material:
Gift From Nature
Nature Is Dying From The Virus Called Humanity
Where Can One Find A Solution To Conflicts?

Management By The Brain

024Comment: New research suggests that the human brain responds more emotionally to negative actions that people perform and so it is easier for us to blame than to give them compliments. In order to compliment a person, we need to activate the part of the brain that is responsible for analytical thinking, whereas in order to insult and reprimand others, pure emotions and spontaneous feelings are sufficient. This means that the brain is to blame for everything. On the other hand, you say that the ego is to blame for everything.

My Response: The brain is merely a small machine. It does not produce anything. But in the end, when we read information, we see that it is harder to say something positive about another than to say something negative.

A negative reaction is purely emotional, and emotions are our direct ego, so we don’t need energy in order to use it. On the other hand, reaching positive conclusions about another person is great internal work, so of course a person is not inclined to do so.

Question: So does this mean that all the crazy unexplainable wars that are going on right now are a clash of emotions.

Answer: Of course!!! Isn’t this logical?

Comment: And you need to rise above your emotions, but you immediately claim that it is impossible.

My Response: It is impossible. How can we rise above our feelings if the feelings are who we are? We are not human beings without feelings, but computers, and we cannot operate this way.

Question: Does this mean that humanity will continuously clash in these wars?

Answer: Yes, unless it changes its feelings, it will not change its ego, and it will not correct it. So we are facing the era of the correction of the ego. It is not a simple matter, but it is clear and good. Here the wisdom of Kabbalah is revealed as the method of the correction of the ego.

Question: Does this mean that all we need is to reach the recognition of evil; that is it?

Answer: Yes, that’s all. What else do we need? There is no evil in the world other than that. Everything will work out for the best.
[240065]
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 12/18/18

Related Material:
Who Controls The Brain?
Feelings By Calculation
Calculation In The Corrected Heart

“The End Of The Ego Era And The Decline Of The Ego Kingdom” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The End of The Ego Era And The Decline Of The Ego Kingdom

The United States is a unique country. Its people immigrated there with the sole purpose of building a good life for themselves and to escape from the bad lives they’d had in their homelands. In many ways, its pioneers were escapees. They came from England, the Netherlands, and Germany, and built a country that idolized such values as “To each his own” and “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours.”

The virus told us that our exploitative civilization, where people are alienated from each other, cannot go on, that we must change how we relate to one another and to nature, and that the predominance of the ego must end. Naturally, the country most influenced by egoism suffered the worst blow: The United States of America.

And America succeeded. While other countries were chained by religion, tradition, manners, and culture, Americans were free to build their own lives for themselves, and they did it with vigor. They made religion one’s personal business with which the state must not interfere, sanctified private property more than the sanctity of life, and the country kept growing as more people from more nationalities and cultures kept pouring in.

Eventually, even slavery was abolished, ethnic diversity peaked, and America thrived. It seemed as though hard work would grant each person a house in the suburbs, a car in the driveway, and a picket fence around the lawn, or simply, the realization of the American Dream.

But something’s changed in the last few decades. The wage gaps grew, prices rose, and tuition fees spiked. Gradually, the Land of Opportunity became a land of disappointment, frustration, and despair. The ego, which the Bill of Rights crowned as the ruler in America, is failing to keep its promise of lush and easy living. Now, in the third decade of the third millennium, life in America has become hard, harsh, and hopeless.

But it’s not because Americans did anything wrong. For a long time, the American way has been the way to go. For a long time, America was proof that diverse ethnicities and cultures could live side by side (more or less) peacefully. The diversity of American society was a testament to the American motto of unlimited possibilities, and gave it strength and flexibility that no other country had.

But the ego isn’t passive. It is a monster that keeps growing and unless you tame it, it will rise against its owner. This is one part of America’s woes. The unbridled ego made inequality grow to such levels that while some people cannot feed their children, others have more billions of dollars than they can count. Such a society is unsustainable.

The other part of America’s woes is nature itself. It has become intolerant to egoism. If, until recently, you could get away with polluting as much as you want, mining and drilling as much as you could, and extinguishing species left and right, this year, nature has stopped humanity’s celebration through a tiny servant with a big name: SARS-CoV-2, aka. Covid-19.

The coronavirus stopped civilization in its tracks and showed us for just a few weeks of quarantine how beautiful the world could be if we only stopped destroying it. Moreover, the virus told us where to start, by watching out for each other’s health through wearing masks and staying six feet apart.

The virus told us that our exploitative civilization, where people are alienated from each other, cannot go on, that we must change how we relate to one another and to nature, and that the predominance of the ego must end. Naturally, the country most influenced by egoism suffered the worst blow: The United States of America.

All the countries suffer, and all the countries will continue to suffer from the economic, social, physical, and emotional blows wrought by Covid-19. But America, whose population is the most diverse, and whose culture is the most individualistic, will suffer the most.

We are witnessing the onset of a new era, where people learn to cooperate and think of one another, where care and consideration take the helm, and self-absorption and entitlement become contemptible. Naturally, the country that led the world in self-indulgence will be the last when the new era sets in.

But all hope is not lost. America is a land of pioneers, brazen people who dared the unknown and beat the odds. It will need to reinvent itself, restructure its society, and reeducate its people, but if any country can do it, it is America.

At the moment, the U.S. is undergoing civil disintegration that could become a civil war. But if there is a will, there is a way. If the American people want to save their country, they must pull together and change their society into a cohesive, mutually accountable entity that serves as an example of the right way to live in an era of mutual dependence. The only question is whether Americans have the will.

How Do Generations Differ From Each Other?

600.04Remark: We can see from history that the duration of the change of generations is shortening. If before generations changed in a few thousand years, then in a few hundred years, today twenty years is enough.

My Comment: Yes, but what has changed in these twenty years? In principle, people do not change much. Only their attitude to material values changes: the pursuit of acquiring cars, smartphones, and clothes, the desire to travel abroad, and so on.

All of this does not define the generations. They do not change qualitatively in their inclination to the question about the meaning of life. Therefore, their names X, Y, Z, and so on are all quite conventional. Practically, what is there between these generations? The toys they play with.

Remark: There are common experiences. One generation survived the war, another, some other historical event.

My Comment: We just replace one with another. We replaced the purpose of creation and our aspiration to it in different epochs with something absolutely shallow, corporeal.

Question: What is the conflict between fathers and sons, i.e., between generations?

Answer: I do not see any significant conflict here. If the fathers played with primitive computers, the sons are now playing with more advanced machines. Yet, what is the qualitative difference between them? Is the difference in the approach to the meaning of life, to the revelation of the essence of our existence? There is none of this.
[269899]
From KabTV’s “The Post-Coronavirus Era” 5/21/20

Related Material:
Generation Gap, Part 1
Generations X, Y, and Z, Part 1
Generation Z—The Correcting Generation

My Thoughts On Twitter 8/31/20

Dr Michael Laitman Twitter

We must rise above the ego, to faith above reason, to the force of bestowal instead of the force of reception. We have squeezed the EGO (force of reception) to the last drop in attempts to find a way forward. From here, no more opportunities exist to advance in the ego. All attempts on the level of the ego lead to ruin.

Many types of bacteria prefer living as a collective. When attacked by antibiotics, they warn the collective of danger, selflessly send a notifying signal to their own, fight back against antibiotics, and create a defense against the medicines that have slain their comrades. We can learn a thing or two from them!

We have tried all forms of society, from the left (USSR) to the right (Nazi Germany) and everything in between. Only the opposite remains: a society built on common mutual connection. But for this, we must become disillusioned with our state, and the best way is to convince one another of it.
From Twitter, 8/31/20

Related Material:
My Thoughts On Twitter 8/30/20
My Thoughts On Twitter 8/27/20
My Thoughts On Twitter 8/26/20

The Dominant Desire

597.01Question: Can we say that today the desire for self-realization prevails over other desires?

Answer: In our generation, we are already turning the pyramid of desires into a circle. Since all nature is integral and is a huge ball in which all levels are connected and support each other, all the aspirations that manifest in humanity take place, whatever they may be. Not only to wealth, entertainment, knowledge, and discovery, but to absolutely everything.

We cannot say that the modern stage is characterized by something special in comparison with other periods. The only thing is that now a person begins to develop an attraction to reveal the Creator.

In the current generation, the desire for self-realization is more and more evident in the understanding of the main law of the universe.

Question: Psychologist Abraham Maslow believed that no more than 4% of the human population could reach the highest level of the hierarchy of needs (the desire for self-realization). Moreover, a person feels happy even if the thirst for self-realization is satisfied by only 40%.

Do you think that the realization of your potential is the highest point in the pyramid of desires?

Answer: Naturally, if the realization actually occurs. And if the desire is there, but it is not realized?

For example, in our time, many seek not even to know, but to reveal the Creator. Knowledge is open to all, and can be the lot of everyone. But if we are talking about the revelation of the Creator, it is not given to everyone, and therefore, it can no longer be said that a person reaches this state and is happy.
[269308]
From KabTV’s “Management Skills” 6/25/20

Related Material:
Accelerating Personal Growth
A Taste For Basic Needs
Managing Stress, Part 9