Entries in the 'Q&A' Category

“Why Must The Economy Be Reopened?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why must the economy be reopened?

Indeed, many countries, including those where new cases of the coronavirus are being regularly reported, have started reopening their economies.

Why must the economy be reopened, especially considering that a cure for the virus has yet to be found?

The problem is that many people need to pay quite dearly just to live their lives with its necessities, putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their heads, and they depend on the economy moving in order to do so.

We could ask the question differently: What would we do if we would not reopen the economy?

We then would reveal a greater problem, that we neither feel, think or act as a unified society. While divided, we succumb to the interests of various people and groups who play with power and extreme wealth, none of whom prioritize the public’s benefit.

How, then, could we reach a decision out of what would benefit society the most?

We would have to start by raising awareness of our tight interdependence, that the thoughts and behaviors of one person affect the thoughts and behaviors of everybody else.

Acknowledging our interdependence should pave way to our becoming more responsible and caring of each other, as even if we consider solely our personal benefit, when we realize that we’re interdependent, we then realize that our happiness, health and safety is linked to the happiness, health and safety of everyone around us.

The more we recognize our interdependence and increase our mutual responsibility and consideration in society, then the more we would also recognize that capitalism and egoistic competitiveness no longer serve as positive fuel in today’s interdependent humanity.

The coronavirus has acted as a hard lesson in global interdependence. It has shown the vast extent of our dependence on each and every one of us following each of our government’s health department’s orders in order to stop the virus from spreading, and how an epidemic in China quickly expanded to become a worldwide pandemic.

While the coronavirus clearly illustrated our interdependence in terms of our health and the economy, we would be wise to see how we are interdependent in many more respects, and how we all depend on each other relating responsibly and considerately—that we will at least not do to others what we ourselves hate, and in addition, that we will seek how to positively contribute to society according to our ability.

Ultimately, to experience healthier, more balanced and harmonious lives, we will need to reach a state where every single person receives great care and support. We will continue facing more and more challenges spanning health, the economy and human relations in general until we do.

Above photo by Iwona Castiello d’Antonio on Unsplash.

“What Is That One Thing Humanity Can Learn From The Coronavirus (COVID-19)? ” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What is that one thing humanity can learn from the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The coronavirus has revealed humanity’s interconnectedness and interdependence. Accordingly, we would be wise to adjust to this revelation of our connectedness.

As experts alert us to future pandemics and problems at global scales, we should hear this message of our global connection that nature communicates to us, and likewise prepare a new global basis for dealing with all such problems.

Humanity can thus learn from the coronavirus that dealing with global-scale problems with local responses is like applying band-aids to the skin when there is a disease affecting the whole body.

In other words, it is insufficient.

As we head into a recovery mode from the pandemic, we would be wise to revise society’s leading values in order to make recovery truly possible and sustainable.

What values are optimal for humanity’s state today? They are none other than the need for more mutual responsibility and consideration to flow among all people, societies and nations.

We are one interconnected and interdependent system, and as the coronavirus did not distinguish between the socio-economic status of who it infected, or whether it infected someone who was good or bad to the ecology, but treated all people as equal, we too would be wise to learn this lesson about our equality from the coronavirus.

In learning this lesson from the coronavirus, we can see ourselves as little children who were fighting and arguing with each other, and then our strict mother caught us. No matter how much we try to point out that the other children started it and are to blame, our mother doesn’t care about all of our finger-pointing, and simply punishes us all equally, forcing us to stop playing, think about what we were doing, and how to improve our behavior.

Therefore, the main take away from this pandemic is that we should relate to each other equally, that all people, societies and nations share a common role in a globally interdependent world, and that in such a situation, we depend on everyone taking responsibility, and thinking and acting considerately toward each other.

If we fail to upgrade our relationships to become more responsible and considerate toward each other, then we can expect more and even harsher blows from nature to come and alert us of our interdependence and our need to upgrade our relations accordingly.

In order to undergo an upgrade in our relations, we need a revised educational system, which will use all communications means possible in order to raise a new global society of positively connected individuals, societies and nations.

The more we are influenced by and reminded about the idea that humanity is a single family, and as it works in a family, every member should care, support and encourage the other members equally, according to each one’s unique place in the family, then we will experience a much higher quality of life, more happiness, confidence and prosperity throughout society.

Nature has its own means to bring us to this conclusion—the coronavirus being one of them—but the sooner we raise our own awareness of our global interdependence and improve our relationships, then the less negative phenomena we will experience from nature, and the more we will feel at peace and balance with each other and nature.

Above photo by Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash.

Answers To Your Questions, Part 246

laitman_962.4Question: We say that there is no Creator without a created being. All the work is done in a group that is meant to clarify the concept of the Creator, but apparently the Creator exists even before the created being understands and can perceive a Creator. How can that be? Is it possible to explain that by the fact that even before the created being attains and perceives the Creator, he already understands and perceives Him on an unconscious level?

If that is the case, does that mean that the body of each member in the ten is already in contact with the Creator on an unconscious level even before they have clarified the concept of the Creator?

Answer: We speak only about what we feel and not beyond that. Otherwise, we become philosophers or even worse than that.
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Answers To Your Questions, Part 243
Answers To Your Questions, Part 242

“What Is Human Development?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What is human development?

Human development is the development of positive connections upon our innate differences and divisions.

Prior to the existence of humans, connections formed on inanimate, vegetative and animate levels that paved the way for humans to develop and connect.

For instance, particles connected into atoms, and amalgamations that could sustain their connections continued living, while those that failed to do so broke down and became obsolete.

On inanimate, vegetative and animate levels, nature maintains balance.

However, at the human level, where we hold a certain amount of responsibility for our development, we see that we have made a lot of mistakes and brought about a lot of suffering to ourselves, and imbalance with nature.

Instead of focusing our development on connecting positively to one another upon our divisive drives, we let such drives define our so-called “development” until today.

As such, we have developed scientifically, culturally, technologically and economically, i.e. in numerous superficial fields, but we have failed to develop the most important aspect of our lives: our attitudes and relationships to each other.

In the process, we set ourselves up in opposition to nature and experience its side effects. Instead of becoming happier, healthier and more confident social beings, we experience rising depression, stress, anxiety and loneliness.

Nature shows us an example of how cells and organs function for the benefit of the entire organisms that they inhabit, and receive what they need in order to operate for the whole organism’s benefit. If a cell receives more than what it needs for the organism’s functioning, it becomes cancerous and brings disease.

Human society today is like a cluster of cancerous cells, each prioritizing self-benefit over benefiting others.

A shift to a healthier, happier and more confident human society requires a shift in our priorities: that we will all prefer benefiting others over benefiting ourselves.

We can also expect more and more events that will show us the extent of our interdependence—with each other and with nature.

The coronavirus was the latest such event.

Therefore, as we head into the future, the more we positively connect to each other, the better we will become equipped to deal with the changes taking place in the world, as the extent of our connections will be the extent of our balance with nature.

“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.

Success Depends On The Woman

552.02Connection between women can have a very strong impact on governments, countries, and the whole world. Indeed, during this time of the coronavirus epidemic, everything depends on our intentions and not on actions.

When men go to war and women remain at home, we think that the men were the force that ensured victory in the war. But actually this is not true. It is the women with their intentions that determine the success of the war.

From Malchut, that is, from a woman, from the depth of her desire, is what determines the kind of screen and reflected light that will be on him. Therefore, all success regarding how quickly we can end the epidemic of the coronavirus, come to a connection between us, and reach the end of the correction of the world depends on women’s intentions and the dissemination of information by women.

After all, this epidemic is a consequence of the fact that we are in the last stage of the development of mankind, which is called the “last generation.” So let us end the selfish development and former life, and move on to a higher level of existence, which is called life in the higher world.
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From a Women’s Lesson 4/4/20 “Questions and Answers”

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“Has The New Coronavirus Infected Any Children?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Has the new coronavirus infected any children?

As we start to reopen the economy, we see an anticipated intensification of the coronavirus unfolding—its infecting more and more children.

In the United States, United Kingdom and Spain, children are getting infected and dying.

As we continue the coronavirus era with the predicament of trying to get the economy moving again, we need to use our inventiveness and ingenuity to find new solutions to this new problem.

In other words, now, when our tight interdependence and interconnectedness is staring us in the face, we need to think about how we can realize such interdependence and interconnectedness positively.

More than ever, we are being shown how our health depends on the health of everyone around us, and so we’re necessitated to each take personal responsibility for the health of others. In other words, we have been placed into a situation where we depend on our mutual responsibility and consideration of each other in order to survive and live healthy lives.

With the increasing cases of children becoming infected, a new red alert sounds: Not only are we dependent on each other, now our children—who we thought were immune to this disease—are just as dependent.

Therefore, I hope we will move forward with more consideration and responsibility of each other, as we will be increasingly shown how living lives of indifference, estrangement and neglect of each other will only lead to more and more problems and suffering.

Above photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.

“How Will The Threat Of The Coronavirus Have A Major Impact On The Worldwide Economy As It Spreads Across The Globe?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How will the threat of the coronavirus have a major impact on the worldwide economy as it spreads across the globe?

The economy needs a major impact because it has been failing to provide for our needs. Instead, we have been providing for the economy’s “needs.”

The coronavirus pandemic has illuminated the question about what is essential and nonessential in life.

In the face of crisis, life’s essentials—food, housing, healthcare and education—were extracted from the dark alleyway we had them in before the virus struck us, while we focused the spotlight on growth, production, consumption and trade surplus or deficit.

The coronavirus then came along and reminded us about what is essential in life.

During this period, we have a chance to revise the way our lives are headed, and in the process, upgrade our economy to make it suit our needs.

The irony of our era is that the modern work force works more hours than slaves did in the past.

Today, we think that we have more freedom and security than the slaves of the past, but the coronavirus highlighted that, in a moment, our entire infrastructure can overturn.

A period of social distancing and stay-at-home conditions put the housing and even food that many take for granted into question.

Today’s office jobs, which provided many with a sense of security, showed themselves to fall short when it came to providing many people with the safety net that they envisioned.

While we still try to recover from this blow that the coronavirus struck on the economy, we have some time to revise the idea of work in general.

As we head into a future where technology is expected to replace much of the work force, and we will discover that we need not work all the hours we currently work in order to provide for what we need in life, then we can expect that:

Governmental allowances, such as Universal Basic Income, will become the way most people will receive their income.

Job titles will lose their value as markers of social status.

In order for society to not stagnate and grow in an age where our job titles cease to mark our value in society, we will need to mark social status according to the contribution we make to society.

Such a change would be possible if we provide basic income in exchange for participating in programs that let people develop and express their contribution to society.

In other words, the economy we are headed toward, and which the coronavirus period has hinted at, is one where we will need our life’s essentials covered, and one where we will shift our focus to strengthen and grow human society—social happiness, health and well-being—instead of each of us trying to build our personal empires.

In such an economy, we will place much higher importance on cultivating positive human relations than we do today.

As more and more of today’s professions will show themselves to be unnecessary for the world we’re headed toward, we will need to replace all the effort we place into educating and training ourselves into such professions, with education and training of a different kind: one where we will train ourselves to relate positively to each other and contribute to others above our growing divisive drives.

Above photo by Daniel Lee on Unsplash.

“What Did The World Learn From The Coronavirus Pandemic?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What did the world learn from the coronavirus pandemic?

The world is still learning from the coronavirus pandemic a hard lesson in how much we all depend on each other.

It has shown us how much our health depends on other people maintaining personal hygiene and social distancing conditions.

It has also shown us how much we need and miss each other when we are faced with prolonged stay-at-home conditions, and how our economy is ill-equipped to deal with such a situation.

Many people find themselves out of work, out of business, and see no future in sight, on one hand, and on the other hand, a financial elite that continues profiting in the billions at the expense of such people.

I hope that the world will continue learning from this pandemic, as I think there are many more takeaways that society has yet to realize.

For instance, we would be wise to learn that our definition of success is in dire need of revision.

Instead of equating wealth to success, as we have done until today, we will need to start equating positive contribution to society with success.

We can see some signs of such a motion during the pandemic in the praise that health-care workers receive for their efforts to help the often-unmanageable amount of coronavirus cases.

However, we need to further internalize this redefinition of success, as our social connections, life engagements, work and social values all stem from it: There is nothing successful in being individually successful and wealthy at the expense of others. Success lies in creating a positively-connected society, where its members take responsibility and care for each other, contribute to each other’s well-being, and promote to each other the need for centering everyone’s focus on benefiting others instead of benefiting our individual selves.

The world is learning about the need to be more considerate of everyone, as we all depend on each other. However, I think that an extra “push” on our behalf to further implant this understanding will serve to better balance us with the tighter interdependence and interconnectedness that the coronavirus era has revealed to us.

Above photo by Alec Favale on Unsplash.

“Are We Overreacting To The Coronavirus?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Are we overreacting to the coronavirus?

A tiny particle that our naked eye cannot see has infected and killed hundreds of thousands of people, and shaken the world’s socio-economic foundations.

Are we overreacting to this virus, or is it the dawn of a new system of human relations that was inevitable one way or another?

Before the coronavirus stormed into our lives, we lived on a principle where we each sought to profit from the other, and the better we could exploit others, the more successful we could be.

We were born into and raised in such a system, and tried to make our way as best as we could. While doing so, we became increasingly toxic to each other, and also to the world.

Then, the coronavirus emerged.

The coronavirus has shown us a clear example that when we calm down our struggle to rise above each other, our ecological environment quickly recovers.

Would we have known about that had the coronavirus not entered our lives?

I don’t think so.

Therefore, in addition to maintaining social distancing conditions and seeking a cure, we would be wise to adapt ourselves to a new system of human relations that the virus alerts us to.

What new system of human relations would that be?

It would be one where we primarily acknowledge the necessity to supply for everyone’s needs.

Moreover, reaching such awareness would be achieved through learning about our interdependence throughout today’s global human society, and via such learning, increase our concern for each other.

Instead of merely wishing for ourselves and our own families to be covered, we would increase our concern to others: seeking that all members of society would have the required quantity and quality of food, housing, healthcare and education that they need.

In addition to making sure life’s essentials are in order for human society in general, the new system of human relations would replace the old paradigm of keeping up with the materialistic Joneses with a new paradigm of keeping up with the socially contributing Joneses. In other words, instead of valuing the material possessions we can get our hands on, and wanting “bigger, better and faster” things than our neighbors and friends, our values would shift to appreciating each other’s contribution to society.

We would still compete in such a system, but our competition would be one that becomes increasingly beneficial for society, i.e., by competing to contribute to society the most value that we possibly could.

The coronavirus period presents us with a unique opportunity to make a shift in that direction, from a self-centered world to one where we place society’s benefit at the center.

I see taking that step as the optimal reaction to the coronavirus, and therefore think that it is not a matter of whether we are overreacting to the virus, but of whether we are reacting in the most optimal way to improve our society.

We have been handed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reach more balance and harmony with each other and with nature, and I very much hope that we will make the most of it.

Above photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash.