Entries in the 'Egoism' Category

The Denseness Of Social Networks

laitman_959Question: Why do you think that a billion people sitting in Facebook aren’t a manifestation of clarification of the correlation and relations between themselves and nature?

Answer: We’re very similar to wild animals, which are constantly fighting among themselves. But those people have at least some sort of clarification of the relationship, and this result isn’t observed on Facebook. Everything operates on the principle “you are a fool yourself.”

I don’t see people becoming wiser and better from such communication. Unfortunately, social networks are still in a dormant state.

Question: What do you mean when you say the development of relations between people? Is it another court, other laws, or other values?

Answer: All these and even more: the right relationship between people, when a person pursues one single goal in his intentions, so the other person would feel good.

Our closed, integral system of human society is tuned to this. If everyone interacts with others like that, then everything will be fine with us.
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From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 4/12/20

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“Fake News For A Fake World” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Fake News for a Fake World

The director of the World Health Organization said about COVID-19: “Fake news spreads faster and more easily than this virus.” Indeed, if you’re looking for truth in today’s world, then the truth is that everybody’s lying. Every media outlet warps and manipulates the news according to the agenda of its owner.

We can keep avoiding the sincere soul searching that we need to do and go down the path we have been on for decades, but evidently, it won’t lead us anywhere good.

In the past, when newspapers and television received their funding from subscribers, from people buying actual copies of newspapers, the press was obliged to provide the readers or the viewers with true stories. Today, when the media is owned by media moguls and depends on advertisers for its existence, it is indebted only to them, and honest reporting has become obsolete. The good news, if you can call it that, is that today everyone already knows that everyone is lying.

We still consume news from the media, since there is no other source of news, but at least it’s with a grain of salt. And speaking of salt, the media today is like the food we eat: big, shiny, and flawless in appearance. But inside, the food is pumped with hormones, steroids, and antibiotics. We all know it, and we all eat it. What else can we do?

Here we need to be honest with ourselves. It’s true that the media is corrupt, but this hasn’t been news for a long time now. So we should ask, Where did the journalists come from? Where did they grow up? Where were they educated? Where did they learn to distort and manipulate? They learned it in the same place where we grew up, where we were educated, where we learned to manipulate one another. The media are not more corrupt than the environment that bred them, which is all of us. They are made in our own image.

To get truthful news, it’s not enough to condemn them; they cannot be better than the public that engendered them. Instead, we need to look at ourselves in the mirror, admit that the people we patronize with our self-righteousness actually do reflect who we are, and ask ourselves if this is the society we want to live in.

If we do, then there is nothing to complain about. But if we don’t, there is a lot we can do. We can start by learning how we are all connected to each other. Just as one person with the coronavirus can infect dozens of people, if not more, so can our actions and even our thoughts. When ill-will toward each other reins high, people will do bad things to one another, reflecting what they feel inside. But when they feel connected to their communities and countries, when they care about their neighbors, they will not harm them. So the root of the problem that creates bad press is that we ourselves are bad to one another. If we are bad to one another, can we complain that someone else is bad to us?

We are reversing JFK’s motto, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” and complain when it doesn’t work. In principle, we all agree with JFK, but we want everyone else to go first. With this attitude, we will die before anyone does something.

The present is the way it is because we have avoided dealing with ourselves, with how we relate to each other, and with what kind of society we are fostering. We can keep avoiding the sincere soul searching that we need to do and go down the path we have been on for decades, but evidently, it won’t lead us anywhere good.

Alternatively, we can decide that we have to finally get off our couches and start working for each other. It doesn’t require radical changes; we don’t need to donate our savings, if we have any, and we don’t have to sacrifice anything. We only need to look inside ourselves and observe how we relate to one another, because this is where we are really sick. This is the virus we are giving to each other morning, noon, and night. If we want to become different to each other, we will, provided we want it together. This is the idea we need to promote, that together we can build a caring society, whose people are responsible for one another. If we adopt that tiny shift in our mentality, we will see a different world. Together, we can move mountains.

How To Cure Egoism?

laitman_433.02Question: I remember myself in early childhood in the 80s. We swam in rivers and drank water from them; flowers and berries in the forest smelled so strongly that their aroma was simply intoxicating.

And today I see how everything has changed. Now these rivers are unsuitable even for watering cattle. Consequently, I have a certain feeling that we, our egoism, gobbled up this planet. What can we do to cure egoism? How can we correct it?

Answer: In principle, this is not so difficult. We just need to want this together and support one another so that many thousands of people would gather together and try to act not selfishly, but above their egoism, using it as little as possible.

And we do not need to do anything special, but first of all, just spare nature, stop robbing our Earth. And secondly, to spare people, i.e., treat one another with maximum understanding and friendliness.

If we act in this way with regard to nature and man, we will call upon ourselves the positive forces of nature, upper light, as we call it, and it will correct us. We will become more friendly, open, trusting.

We will be able to see through nature how good and evil forces interact with each other. And we balance them like plus and minus in electrical circuits. After all, it is impossible without the minus.

We need to learn how to do this. My whole life has been dedicated to teaching people how to properly use both forces inherent in nature: positive and negative.

The negative power is our egoism. It manifests itself everywhere and just burns us. But there is a positive force that we are not revealing. It can emerge only as we are awakened to it. If it (awakening) is not there, it (positive force) does not appear, and we remain under the control of only one negative force. As a result of this, we come to a state where everything becomes solely negative: inanimate, vegetative, animate nature, and man.
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From KabTV’s “Meetings with Kabbalah: Victoria Bonya,” 3/29/20

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“What Are Some Cool Examples Of Two Kinds Of People?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What are some cool examples of two kinds of people?

There are fundamentally two kinds of people in our world: egoists and altruists.

Egoists do everything out of a calculation for personal benefit, and need to see justifiable compensation, like more money or an improved social status, for any act they do to benefit others.

Altruists willingly concede of themselves and of personal compensation in order to benefit others.

Egoism is human nature. It exists in every single person. Altruism, on the other hand, runs against human nature.

However, there are a minority in the world—altruists—who are an exception to society’s majority of egoists. Altruists constitute up to ten percent of human society.

Ultimately, however, we are developing to a state where we are realizing that an altruistic modus operandi in society as a whole will be able to alleviate the increasing problems we see in our egoistic-consumerist society.

The problem with making altruism a social norm is that the majority of egoists would feel a lack of compensation to be altruistic. It would be like a turning on a machine without any fuel.

Our current fuel to work in our egoistic-consumerist society is reward and punishment. In an ideal egoistic-consumerist setup, working more means reaping more rewards, which means more wealth, respect, power and knowledge, and working less means receiving the “punishment” of being unable to fulfill those desires.

However, the more we develop in an egoistic-consumerist society, the harder we find it becomes to fulfill ourselves. Various crises will eventually bring us to a sensation of helplessness, that we can no longer find fulfillment by prioritizing self-benefit over benefiting others.

We will then become readier to change our way of life and become more altruistic.

However, we will still require fuel for our altruistic society to function.

And what is altruistic fuel?

It is when giving, improving others’ lives and positive contributions to others become society’s leading values.

Developing an altruistic society starts by rewarding and appreciating acts of positive social contribution, and gradually, after a period of doing so, we would start appreciating altruistic values in and of themselves.

“Why Do People See The Human Ego Is Bad?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why do people see the human ego is bad?

The human ego is seen as bad when it is overblown, causing people to exploit, manipulate and abuse each other in the name of pleasure.

Due to the ego causing so much division and conflict in and between societies, many people try to lessen the ego’s impact, trying to restrain it using a variety of techniques.

I have been studying and teaching the wisdom of Kabbalah for over forty years, which fundamentally differs to many other approaches to the ego.

It does not deal with restraining the ego. Instead, using Kabbalah, we reach an acknowledgement of the ego’s purpose, and learn how to navigate the ego in a way that makes it beneficial to society.

The human ego differentiates us from animals. It is an additional desire to enjoy ourselves beyond our survival necessities.

While on the surface it might seem as if certain animals are bad because they live their lives killing other animals, it is far from the case. Animals follow an inner programming that leads them to fulfill their survival needs, and if they kill other animals, it is due to their programming to feed themselves and their offspring, which emerges naturally.

Humans, on the other hand, can kill out of hatred for others, enjoying from others’ pain, and of their own growth in status above those that the human kills. Such hatred and enjoyment in the pain of others is a quality unique to humans, nonexistent in animals, and which extends from the human ego.

The ego thus separates humans from animals.

On the other hand, the ego is a driver of human progress. Our pursuits in science, technology, arts, music, culture and many others, are primarily fueled by the ego that wants more than the other.

It has placed us at the top of nature’s four-layered pyramid comprising the inanimate, vegetative, animate and human.

The question then becomes when is the ego detrimental and when is it beneficial?

The ego becomes problematic when we use it to self-benefit at the expense of others. When we adjust the intention upon the ego, directing it to benefit others over its drives to self-benefit, then the ego becomes beneficial to other people, as well as to all other levels of nature.

The adjustment of our intention upon our ego from self-benefit to benefiting others is possible the more we acknowledge the tightness of our interdependence.

The more we feel dependent on each other, then the more we will realize that we need to aim our egos at the common good.

On one hand, blows such as the coronavirus pandemic increase our understanding and feeling of our interdependence. On the other hand, we need not wait for such blows to wake us up to our interdependence, but can instead learn about how we can realize our interdependence in a positive way, and by doing so, alleviate many blows that we otherwise feel.

In the wisdom of Kabbalah, the way of accumulating suffering and blows to wake us up to our interdependence is called “the path of pain,” and the way of actively waking ourselves up to our interdependence and how to adjust our egos to it is called “the path of light.” The latter path is one which the wisdom of Kabbalah offers a method to access.

“Above Our Petty Selves” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Above Our Petty Selves

Detecting new phases in the development of humanity is easy: If a new level of interconnection and interdependence emerges, it’s a sign that we’ve moved into a new phase. COVID-19 is a classic case of emergence of a new phase.

Until now, even in the worst blows that humanity had suffered, such as the two world wars or the Black Death, not all of humanity was involved. The coronavirus brought about the first pandemic that truly merits its name. This is a clear sign that the evolution of reality has entered a new phase. The sooner we accept this and stop expecting life to return to the pre-coronavirus mode, the better it is for all of us.

This supergerm isn’t just another virus. Its impact on the world is forcing us to rise to new levels of connection. Until recently, very few people would as much as think about someone else’s health. Now, all of us are thinking about everyone’s health. Although there is clearly a self-centered motive in this thought, it is nevertheless a level of connection we could not achieve before. Even as the level of contagion in society decreases, we will continue to think about others’ health since we will not want them to become sick and endanger our own health. In this way, the virus has inadvertently connected us and made us considerate of each other.

Once such a level of interconnectedness and interdependence manifests, it does not decline. From now on we will have to calculate all our moves as a society rather than as individuals. Clearly, this is a very difficult shift that our egos shun, but evolution does not cater to our egos. Evolution advances in its path, which has always been toward increasing complexity, increasing interconnectedness and interdependence, and therefore increasing consideration of others. The fact that our egos are uncomfortable with it is irrelevant. This virus or the next, or the one after will impel us to learn to think of others no less than we now think of ourselves. To the extent of our obstinacy, so will be our pain.

Nature’s goal is not to torture us. Its goal is to lead us to greater and much deeper joy than we can even imagine today. It aims to open our eyes to all of reality, to make us omniscient. Yet, nature can do this only if it lifts us above our concentration on ourselves. It has to lift us to heights from which we will be able to see the whole world, not just our own little bodies. To do that, it needs to raise our gaze above our petty selves.

Just as a mother painfully presses her baby out of her womb through a narrow birth-canal, all of humanity is now being pressed out of its old worldview into a new reality, a new world. And just as a baby has no choice but to be born, so will we be born into the new world, as pang by pang our consciousness accepts the reality of our interconnectedness. But once we accept it, we will discover that the world we had lived in before was dark, cramped, and inhibiting.

Through sympathy with others we will learn what true love means, what mutual responsibility is all about, and how each of us is so unique that the whole world will not be complete if we’re not there to give it our share. We will live in a reality of total personal expression and absolute devotion to humanity all at the same time. We will feel satisfied and safe, and we will give that feeling to everyone around us and to all of reality. Life will stop being a nightmare and will start being the dream world that we all feel it should be.

Achieving these rewards depends entirely on our mutual contribution. Only if we all pitch in, the new world will emerge. And until we pull together, we will have to endure the likes of the coronavirus.
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The Case For The Ego

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 5/6/20

We often state that the human ego causes all the problems and without it everything would be great in the world. But there’s a very good reason for the existence of the enormous human ego.

The ego is what separates us from the rest of the animals. It is the engine behind every human invention since prehistoric times. As harmful as it is, the ego is what has made us the apex of creation. The problem with the ego begins when we misuse it. When used correctly, the more we use of it, the better.

To use the ego correctly, we need to see the truth: Reality is one complete system whose components are interdependent. Then, just as a mother uses her ego for the sake of her entire family, we will use our egos for the sake of the entire planet—humanity, animals, plants, and minerals alike.

Our innate perception is that only we matter. Therefore, education must begin with changing our perception to a more integral one, which encompasses everything around us. This is called “Integral Education,” and today we must all be somewhat “educated” in that direction. This is the key to building a world that does not exploit people and nature, and does not produce pandemics like COVID-19. Integral Education is the real vaccine against any virus.

The Essence And The Root Of Unity, Part 8

Laitman_510.01The Cause of Unfounded Hatred

Question: Our desires, on their own, are neutral. Is egoism the intention of how I use my desire?

Answer: Yes, because actions themselves do not determine anything. The main thing is the intention that precedes the action. Therefore, I cannot say about a person whether he is an egoist or not if I don’t know his intentions.

Question: There is such natural hatred between people called unfounded hatred. Why unfounded? I understand that if someone offends me, I have a reason to hate him. What is unfounded hatred?

Answer: Unfounded hatred is when I want to humiliate another person because I am an egoist and I have such inner impulses.

Question: But still there must be some reason?

Answer: The reason is very simple—my egoism, which acts without any excuse or reason. Since there are still others like me, I want to be above these people, to suppress them all the time, and to feel superior. It brings me pleasure.
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From Kab TV’s “Systematic Analysis of the Development of the People of Israel, Part 8,” 3/24/19

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The Secret Of Using Egoism

laitman_232.05Question: On one hand, we need to reduce the ego and annul it. And on the other hand, it is said that the ego is not destroyed and even grows. What does it mean?

Answer: The fact is that we do not destroy the ego but its use for our own sake.

Desires for our own sake are called selfish desires. Desires for the sake of the Creator are altruistic desires. We must shift our intentions from for our sake to for the sake of the Creator.

So do not worry, nothing disappears or is destroyed. Understand that the ego is specially created from above to be a minus against a plus. Therefore, when minus and plus work together, we can receive the energy between them, some kind of productive effort.
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From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 2/16/20

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Answers To Your Questions, Part 240

laitman_547.03Question: Could imposing a fine on the ego help in correcting people if such a fine were introduced in one or several countries?

Answer: The restriction on using the ego is possible only by voluntary awareness of the person; otherwise, it will not be a correction but a modification of the ego.

Question: How can I strive to bring contentment to the Creator if I do not imagine Him as existing outside my sensations?

Answer: You try, and gradually the picture will become clear in your sensations.
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