Entries in the 'Crisis' Category

Brownian Motion

538Baal HaSulam, “Peace in the World”: Everything in reality, good or bad, and even the most harmful in the world, has a right to exist and must not be destroyed and eradicated from the world. We must only mend and reform it because any observation of the work of creation is enough to teach us about the greatness and perfection of its Operator and Creator. 

Question: Terrible things have happened throughout history: monstrous murders, the genocide of entire nations. Can you explain how the worst states help advance humanity toward a higher goal?

Answer: The fact is that we consist of one very vivid desire to enjoy. We want to feel good. And when we feel bad, it pushes us to the next, as it seems to us, better state. In it, we feel like we are coming out of the past for a while, but we still feel that it is bad in it. It also pushes us to the next state. And so we move constantly.

This is our destiny, our fate, our history, our development, and everything that happens.

How can we not move like that by chance, along Brownian motion, from this “bad” to another “bad,” a third, and so on? How can we see our path in advance so that we can move from bad to good, and from good to even better?

This does not happen. There are better periods, worse periods, but in principle, nothing radically better happens.

So we have a problem: what is happening to us and to nature? We see how intelligent nature has created physical bodies, minds, qualities, feelings, and everything else, that is, a huge super-organism in which we are small, but very nasty bugs.

Question: Is all this for us to realize the evil of our egoistic nature?

Answer: Not only. Obviously, through this awareness we can come to change ourselves, and in accordance with this, to change the whole of nature. After all, on the one hand, we are the most egoistic beings in this world, and on the other hand, we are the most active, strong, and powerful.

So we need to figure out what we can do with our great potential and our great evil egoism.
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From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 5/13/19

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“The Hypocrisy Of Sex Scandals” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Hypocrisy of Sex Scandals

Every once in a while, and today more often than before, a sex scandal explodes in the media and everyone is shocked to hear that this or that celebrity, who used to be a role model we all grew up on and admired, is really a monster in disguise. When this happens, moralists click their tongues in disapproval, and quickly turn to social media to express their righteous indignation and disbelief that this person, the idol of our youth, was actually a sex predator, a villain of the worst kind.

When we talk about climate change, pandemics, power outages, or even a traffic jam, we don’t realize that these are manifestations of our connectedness. The only reason they are here is that we are unaware that our thoughtless and careless attitude to one another causes them.

I think they’re hypocritical. First, when such a scandal blows up, you will always find people who knew about it but kept silent, or would have known about it had they not tried so hard not to see the obvious. Second, there is nothing new about this phenomenon; sex perversions have been an inseparable part of human perversions throughout the ages. In ancient cultures, such as in Egypt, Greece, or Rome, some perversions were permitted and acceptable, and others were regarded as an abomination. In more puritan times, such as the Middle-Ages, one could find oneself tied to the stake for having done the same thing others did in antiquity, without anyone making a fuss over it. It is not that the condemning puritans did not commit the same “crimes” they had accused others of committing; it’s just that they hid it better, and were mainly better connected to the authorities in charge of exposing such “immoral” behaviors.

The truth about these scandals is not that such misdemeanors are burgeoning, but that they are used more often than before against their perpetrators. In other words, today, accusations of sexual misconduct are a weapon that politicians use in order to destroy their rivals. Exposing sex crimes will not prevent the next crime or make potential victims safer. It will, however, affect the accused, even if the accusation turns out to be false. Therefore, the next time a sex scandal breaks out, check who benefits from its exposure.

If we want to prevent sex crimes, we needn’t focus on punishment, but on educating the public. I’m not saying we should not punish sex offenders; I am merely pointing out that if we want to prevent such crimes, the way to do it is not by intimidation but by education to consideration.

We are brought up in a social environment that teaches us nothing but to focus on our own wants and needs, and ignore those of others. With such a narcissistic upbringing, people are bound to be inconsiderate and apathetic to other people’s suffering; they will not cringe at the thought of hurting other people.

But the truth is that such behaviors hurt the offender too, and not only the victim. In truth, we are connected and dependent on each other even if we aren’t aware of it. We could become aware of it; we could know how to conduct ourselves in a way that’s satisfying to us and to everyone around us, but we must first be taught to see ourselves within the bigger picture of humanity.

When we talk about climate change, pandemics, power outages, or even a traffic jam, we don’t realize that these are manifestations of our connectedness. The only reason they are here is that we are unaware that our thoughtless and careless attitude to one another causes them.

If we were educated about our interconnections, we would know how to conduct ourselves so as not to inflict pandemics on ourselves. Moreover, there would be countless benefits to such awareness: We wouldn’t hurt each other since we would feel, not just intellectually, but truly feel it in our hearts that we are all connected. And just as I wouldn’t hurt myself, I wouldn’t hurt anyone else.

Can you imagine how living in such a society would feel? We wouldn’t have to worry about sex crimes, or any crime, for that matter, since people wouldn’t dream of hurting other people; they would feel connected!

It turns out that the true knowledge we all need is not the next tech gadget, but the awareness that we are all connected and affect each other in myriad ways. If we knew this and lived by this awareness, we would treat each other humanely, the way human beings should treat other human beings, and there would be no scandals of any kind.

“The Way The Pandemic Has Strengthened Religious Beliefs” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Way the Pandemic Has Strengthened Religious Beliefs

When one cannot come to terms with a somber reality, looking towards heaven is an instinctive reaction. In the US, half a million lives have been lost in the COVID-19 pandemic in a year since the outbreak of the virus. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center reveals that people from economically developed countries claim that the eruption of COVID-19 has boosted their religious beliefs, particularly in the US where nearly three out of ten American adults say the coronavirus plague has strengthened their faith.

The coronavirus is a reaction to humanity on the part of the harmonious nature, a sort of catalyst for re-bridging the gap that has been created between humanity and nature. Therefore, what we urgently need are positive connections between us—in other words, the religion of love.

The development of civilization has distanced us from nature; therefore, we are unaware of its conduct and feel more vulnerable to it. Thus, despite our tremendous technological capability, we stand helpless in the face of global epidemics, climate change, and other crises. We do not know where to flee, how to cope, and certainly do not see a bright future on the horizon.

The uncertainty of these times, the lack of clear answers, and the fading of hope sends people searching, as they have since time immemorial, for a higher power they hope might be guiding their fate. They begin to grope in the dark and ask: Where is this power that is creating this evil in the world that we see around us now, how can we survive the next blow, and in general, what is the meaning of this world? As we hear of more and more people dying from this plague, our sense of security is undermined, fear for our loved ones grows, and life takes on an unfamiliar, ambiguous gray tone. On the other hand, living conditions have drastically changed in the past year. Work has moved into home, children have become immersed in distance learning, and the framework of life has been reduced to within family boundaries. Our world has shrunk.

With reduced choices in the search for some ray of light that provides security now when people really do not know what to count on or where to pin their hopes, religion becomes an anchor, a source of stability. One may not necessarily find in it an answer to every question, but at least it gives some sense of relief from the frightening reality people face.

It is not a sign of a backward trend or a tendency to a more religious and conservative world. Instead, it is a sign of humanity seeking, in a time of turmoil and crumbling foundations, for the meaning of life, and a growing desire for a confident connection to the future in closeness with the Supreme Force that governs life. But in this quest, those who find religion insufficient for providing lasting calm and fulfillment will keep searching for answers.

Even before the main religions expanded to the whole world, numerous beliefs, rituals, and idolatry practices existed. The human being has always needed a sense of security and answers for the inexplicable. This notion prompted the controversial Karl Marx to claim that “religion is the opium of the people,” while Voltaire said “if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” As a matter of fact, it is good for a person to seek a connection to a higher power. It manifests throughout our historical axis of development: tribes danced around bonfires to honor their goddesses, bowed to statues, and worshiped the power of nature in different ways until such practices evolved into structured religions and systems of belief.

The strengthening of religious belief in the recent days of the pandemic, as the latest survey shows, actually indicates a broader developmental process that humanity is going through. The global COVID-19 plague is teaching us that we are one small worldwide village, and we are all interdependent under a supreme force that controls every detail in reality.

We are all in a single harmonious natural system, connected in all its parts, and a person, as a result of one’s opposite egoistic nature, time and time again severs the threads of connection between himself and others, thus violating the laws of nature and tearing human society from the feeling of the supreme power surrounding us. The coronavirus is a reaction to humanity on the part of the harmonious nature, a sort of catalyst for re-bridging the gap that has been created between humanity and nature. Therefore, what we urgently need are positive connections between us—in other words, the religion of love.

There is nothing wrong with the temporary tendency to return to the embrace of traditional religion, it contributes to our progress. Firstly, it connects people and hints to them about the good found in unity. Although in the meantime it is an egoistic connection, later it will be corrected to become altruistic. Secondly, religion reveals to believers their weakness in relation to integral nature and brings about dependence on the Supreme Force.

Such a deep relationship does not conflict with any religious practice, custom, or tradition, but goes with them in one turn. Foremost kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, Baal HaSulam, wrote in The Writings of the Last Generation, “Apart from ‘loving your neighbor as yourself,’ each nation may pursue its own religion and traditions, and one must not interfere with the other.” Because when you love, there is a place for everyone, for each and every one. That is the biggest strength of every society.
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New Life 1297 – An Era Of Lack Of Direction And Uncertainty

New Life 1297 – An Era Of Lack Of Direction And Uncertainty
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel

Today, all four generations are confused: grandparents, parents, children, and grandchildren. In earlier generations, life was simple, whereas today we feel that something has gone wrong, the world is unpredictable, and we don’t know what to offer our children. Evolution has exhausted our power of development: the desire to enjoy, our drive, our fuel.

The world has reached a dead end. There is a sense of helplessness and despair. For the first time in history, young people lack a good example to follow and this brings us to the big question of what happiness is in the first place. Today we will no longer be able to manage in life or survive without a method that guides us. Everyone needs to come to an understanding of the internal state of the world.
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From KabTV’s “New Life 1297 – An Era Of Lack Of Direction And Uncertainty,” 2/7/21

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The Four States Of An Egoistic Society

631.1Comment: The Torah examines four relationships between people. One of them: “What is mine is mine and what is yours is yours” is regarded as the worst and is called “Sodom.” And in our world it is considered normal.

My Response: No. This is an abnormal state because it cuts off all connections between people. I have no right either to give something to you or to receive something from you. So everyone in the society is absolutely isolated from each other. In addition, they even spy upon each other to comply with this condition.

Question: It is against unity, against the tendency of nature to bring us to one common whole?

Answer: This is completely against nature because nature is built on interconnection between atoms, particles, cells, and people at least in something, at least in some way. And here, everything is based on isolation.

The second state: “What is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine.” This is the essence of the nature of a primitive society where everything is common property: wives, children, dwellings, and animals. This state is characteristic of undeveloped egoism, in particular, of a primitive communal system.

The third state: “What is mine is yours, and what is yours is yours.” In the Torah, it is called Hesed.

This is a good but incomplete state in which I am practically locked on giving to another person and thinking about others.

This is good for small groups of people, for children, for weak societies, for the sick, and old people, when I give away and transfer everything to them. But this is a flawed state in which there is no flow of information and forces, no exchange. Everything goes in one direction, and nature is not built that way.

Nature is based on the fact that all of its parts are integrally locked in one common system, and  between them there is an exchange of energy, information, and vital forces to support the entire system together in its integral, correct interaction.

The fourth state: “What is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine” is called “criminal”—when I get from society more than I should.

Basically, all these four types of interaction between people exist in egoism. None is perfect. Kabbalah raises us above them.

A perfect state is when we are in complete interaction with each other, in inclusion in each other. This is not the case in any of the four states.
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From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 5/13/19

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“The Cold Spell – Nature’s Cold Shoulder” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Cold Spell – Nature’s Cold Shoulder

The extreme cold spell that the US is currently experiencing is truly historic. But then, so is everything these days. The American society has never been so divided, at least not since The Civil War, gaps between the haves and the have-nots have never been so wide, the Covid pandemic has forced historic closures on America that have not been implemented at least since the Spanish flu, and the level of violence, substance abuse, food insufficiency, and depression are all skyrocketing. In light of all that’s happening, and keeping in mind the historic fires that burned for months throughout the West and Mid-West all summer and fall, the cold spell, as bitter as it is, seems more like a natural continuation of the trend of extremism overtaking the US than an unexpected disaster. From the human level to the inanimate nature, everything is breaking records of intensity, and it is to no one’s favor.

If America wants to survive, it must reverse course. Just as it indoctrinated its people to overconsume, enshrine self-indulgence, become fanatic over privacy, individuality, and entitlement, now it must do the opposite. Now it must teach its people how to see each other—with their hearts, not with their eyes. It must teach its people that they are all dependent on each other, and that their fate is sealed unless they all work shoulder to shoulder to pull the nation out of the swamp.

The math is straightforward, the more extreme the egoism, the more extreme the climate—both social and environmental. America has put egoism on a pedestal, called it “individualism,” and enshrined it in its constitution. No country has put itself more at odds with nature than the US, and turned this approach into its core ideology.

Since America has turned itself into a role model of individualism, of going against the mutuality in nature, the harmony in it, the coexistence, nature, in turn, has made America an example of the consequences of inconsideration with nature’s most basic law of harmony, achieved through mutuality and balance. What you give to nature is what you get in return. When you give nature a cold shoulder, it gives one right back.

If America wants to survive, it must reverse course. Just as it indoctrinated its people to overconsume, enshrine self-indulgence, become fanatic over privacy, individuality, and entitlement, now it must do the opposite. Now it must teach its people how to see each other—with their hearts, not with their eyes. It must teach its people that they are all dependent on each other, and that their fate is sealed unless they all work shoulder to shoulder to pull the nation out of the swamp.

The menace that is Covid-19 is just the harbinger; many other perils will follow in its wake, and they will be far worse than their “little brother.” The only way America can “dodge the bullets” is if it unites as one nation fighting for its life.

But nature isn’t punishing America; it is merely balancing the extreme egoism America imposed on it. If America reverses course, so will nature, and all the storms will calm. Nature speaks the language of balance and harmony. The more we are like it, the more we understand it, and the better it relates to us. If America stops fighting and starts reciprocating with it, it will discover that it doesn’t need to conquer nature in order to build a good life for its people; nature itself will do it for them.

“Have We Seen The Last Of Covid?” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Have We Seen the Last of Covid?

The State of Israel is quickly approaching the fifty-percent mark of population that has received the second shot of the Covid vaccine. The country is reopening schools, gyms, movie theaters, malls, and hotels. Have we seen the last of Covid? I understand that people have been on edge and their patience has run out, but if I look at what experts are saying, I don’t see that they are so excited over what seems like rash behavior.

If we want to see the end of Covid, we have to focus on two things: 1) Let the health professionals hash out the solution among themselves, without interference from politicians and other interested bodies, and then follow their directives. 2) Unite our ranks, enhance our solidarity as a nation.

Children, for example, are not vaccinated. If we send them back to school, we know what will happen. The virus today is not what it was when it first appeared. It is affecting children, and even embryos, so how can we let children huddle up in cramped classrooms where they will certainly infect each other? And if they become sick, how will it affect their parents? How will it affect their siblings? Once again, decisions are made according to political interests and not according to medical considerations, and everyone is paying the price.

I understand that people want to have fun, but since when is this a factor in a government’s decisions? In the summer, people love going to the beach and swimming in the water. But if the water is contaminated, and dipping in the water puts people’s lives at risk, would people still go in the water? Would the authorities allow them to risk themselves and get in the water? In an orderly country, authorities have the authority to do what is right for the public; this is why they are called “authorities.”

Regrettably, the fact that politicians endorse policies that score them points in the public opinion because of the approaching election, regardless of the public’s safety, only proves that their interest is not our health, but the promotion of their own political careers. We should be more adamant in what we demand from our elected officials.

If we want to see the end of Covid, we have to focus on two things: 1) Let the health professionals hash out the solution among themselves, without interference from politicians and other interested bodies, and then follow their directives. 2) Unite our ranks, enhance our solidarity as a nation. We cannot erase our many differences, but we can, and must, elevate the value of unity above any personal opinion. These are the only tools we have to beat the virus. In fact, the latter tool will solve not only our Covid crisis, but all the crises we are facing now or will face in the future.

Freedom Is Restriction

273.02Question: Free trade, free market, is this good or bad?

Answer: But we see that it is not free. As long as our world is governed by rigid egoistic laws, nothing can be free.

We must regulate these laws so that we do not kill each other around the corner. Therefore, we must forcefully drive ourselves into some kind of network of mutual relations, restrictions, contracts.

The fact is that all contractual conditions that exist in society today come to us from the time of Ancient Rome and even from earlier times. We rely on them. Our laws are based on Roman law, Greek law, slogans of the French Revolution, etc. This all exists to this day and carries a limiting factor.

Freedom means restriction. But within the framework of these restrictions, a person feels free. From what? From the fact that no one will attack him, nothing bad will happen to him. That is, freedom is practically a set of laws that help us not kill each other and to coexist peacefully within these laws.
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From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 4/29/19

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Connection And Symbols—Brands

263Question: There is such a thing as branding. Scientists say that this reflects the state of humanity.

Six thousand years ago, our ancestors, while trying to unite people, began to develop concise symbols, a kind of branding to represent their beliefs, to define belonging to groups.

Today, there are distinctive symbols, brands, of corporations seeking to sell things to people. There is also branding that comes from society. They bring people together to encourage them to do good deeds.

Why do people need to express their union using various symbols?

Answer: How else can one create coordination between people for some purpose, in accordance with a certain direction, movement, teaching, methodology, theory, or practice? It all needs to be described somehow. After all, one needs to communicate with other people, teach them, develop them, gather communities, and create directions. Only then can you move toward a goal.

Humanity has always set some goals for itself, but, in general, they were unreasonable. Now, everything is moving toward ensuring that we understand the meaning of life, we present it in a more or less correct form, and we strive for it.

This is impossible to do here without brainstorming, learning, and connecting between us. Therefore, we need all kinds of social institutions, blocks assembled in accordance with different types of people and other parameters so that we strive for this goal.

I think that humanity will still have a lot to create and work in this direction. After all, in fact, it is an integral part of human development.

Question: Is there connection power in the brand symbols themselves?

Answer: No. It can only be in a person. But he needs to describe his aspirations, give them a complete form so that he can be in the right communication with people, languages, states, etc., until this results in the correct implementation.
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From KabTV’s “Kabbalah Express” 1/12/21

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“The Healing Force In Physicians Hands” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Healing Force in Physicians Hands

When I see the tremendous pressure that medical teams are under in the COVID-19 fight, I am filled with great sympathy. I know the world of physicians closely. My parents were doctors, and I too started my studies in medicine but very quickly left because I realized it was not for me. Instead, I switched to medical bio-cybernetics, my first profession.

The fate of every patient, every health team, and all of mankind depends on the revelation of the healing force of unity between us.

So who am I to turn and speak to doctors and nurses when they need to deal with decisions that may make the difference between life and death on a daily basis? They know how to cooperate and work together as knowledgeable experts treating their patients. However, too often now, they find themselves helpless to deal with the situations they face.

The year of the coronavirus has put extreme pressure on the health care system. Morbidity is rampant, mutations erupt at an alarming rate, and the vaccination campaign is at its peak. In this demanding scenario the medical teams are on the front lines of the battle. They have had to adapt to rapidly-changing conditions and new challenges as they strive to save human lives—all of this while covered head to toe in cumbersome, hot, protective suits and learning to read facial expressions through masks. The circumstances are unparalleled.

In this unprecedented situation, there is one recommendation for overwhelmed medical teams: Connect between yourselves more, not just in a professional connection or a temporary closeness forced by the plague, but with an earnest and deep connection. This will produce great positive forces. Medical professionals will receive the much needed fuel that will motivate them to work harder in times of fatigue and to rise to the task in spite of worsening situations.

When I speak of connection, I am not referring to ordinary mechanical cooperation. I speak of a continuous warm connection characterized by interdependence, support, and mutual recognition at work.

Certainly, these emotional efforts to connect require a great deal of inner energy because they demand care and consideration for others, which are unnatural for the human ego. But it is precisely these efforts that generate the strength and vigor that will reduce stress and bring the team to a common sensation of feeling each other without words, and the ability to identify together their next joint action.

A subtle internal tendency to connect will turn the team into an integrated unit with a spirit of one for all and all for one. Each member will seek to complete the other, to fill any possible void or concern, to be a guarantor for the other, and to open up their heart.

This sensation of perfect collaboration will crystallize their desires into one finely focused will aimed toward an indivisible unity that embraces every teammate.

This deep connection will recharge team energy and draw a special power to the medical staff from the force of nature, a power which is available when people unite. This is the force that fills the entire universe. It will not only strengthen the team, but will also help patients heal physically and emotionally. Both the healers and the healed will experience great benefit and satisfaction.

And even when conflicts, disputes, and outbursts erupt in their relationships—and such situations are expected and worthwhile—they are nothing more than a call to gather and talk for a few minutes, open a fresh page, and reconnect to their common goal to warm their hearts. Such moments are the time for reminding each other that everything that happens comes from a supreme source in order to reveal the sickness of hatred and ruthless competition between us that needs curing.

Thus, every predicament and ailment should be seen as an opportunity for connection, a place to overcome our difficulties in order to acquire greater strength together. The fate of every patient, every health team, and all of mankind depends on the revelation of the healing force of unity between us.
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