Entries in the 'Q&A' Category

“What Should I Do To Feel Less Stressed?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What should I do to feel less stressed?

Human nature is a desire to enjoy, and we are at rest when we enjoy ourselves.

The problem today, which is also why stress is on the rise, is that our desire to enjoy grows from one generation to the next, and we thus need more and different kinds of enjoyment to fulfill ourselves.

Likewise, since we all wish to enjoy ourselves more and more, we find ourselves in a situation where we need to share with others, and it becomes increasingly difficult to enjoy our lives.

As such, we become increasingly stressed.

Moreover, increasing stress coincides with more heart attacks, depression and drug abuse. In other words, more stress equates to a higher probability of disease.

It might appear as if stress indirectly influences disease, but stress is in fact the main cause of disease. Every disease in the body, especially of the internal organs like heart and lung disease, can be traced back to stress.

Stress follows us our entire lives, from the moment we leave our mother’s arms until the moment we die.

As small children, we experience stress at kindergarten because we are placed somewhere we do not want to be. Before the days of the schooling system, children were raised by their mothers and grandmothers, and later followed in the footsteps of their fathers’ occupations, keeping within the family circle.

Today, we need to meet society’s higher standards. That is, we are raised with examples of fierce competition in order to reach lavish wealth and success, and are under constant pressure to keep up with today’s social standards.

Situations where both parents work all day, neglecting their children, have become commonplace. Such children are left in the hands of kindergartens and schools from early morning until afternoon on a daily basis, an environment which is itself very stressful for them.

By nature, children need to be raised within the family, or in a wider circle that the children feel as their own family. The moment children are extracted from a family environment and placed into kindergartens and schools, they experience stress due to feeling insecure in their new environment.

In order to find calm, safety and confidence, the children try to be like their peers, seeking to “hide” among them.

After the initial stage of fitting in, when they feel accepted by their peers, the desire to enjoy then continues pressuring them from within, making them want to stand out.

They sway back and forth between their comfortable state where they fit in, and an ambitiousness to express their pride and power. The bigger the ego, the more they’re willing to step outside of their comfort zone and put themselves at risk.

These two poles of remaining in our comfort zones versus the desire to be a prominent figure in society stay with us our entire lives, placing us under constant stress.

In addition, the social and media influences that continuously bombard us with competitive, materialistic and individualistic images of success, i.e., where being more successful is perceived as being stronger, richer, faster or more unique than others in a variety of ways, add immensely to the stress we feel, as it becomes increasingly harder to stand out in such a society. Thus, rates of depression, anxiety, loneliness, drug abuse and suicide all rise together with rising stress rates.

Therefore, by understanding the nature of stress and how it is an integral aspect of the society we are raised in, we can conclude that in order to feel less stressed in the long term, there is a need for a solution not only at the level of “What should I do to feel less stressed?”

A comprehensive and lasting solution to reducing stress requires enhancing our feeling of connection in society, so that we feel society like one big family.

Essentially, the competitive, egoistic, materialistic and individualistic paradigm we are in, which values the “stronger, bigger, faster and richer individual,” needs inverting, so that we value contribution to society more than individual success.

We would then be on course to creating more balanced lives for everyone, reducing stress, and its related problems.

“What Are The Most Lucrative Future Careers Or Professions?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What are the most lucrative future careers or professions?

Our socio-economic infrastructure is currently undergoing a fateful shift away from luxury industries and to more emphasis on life’s essentials. Also, we are headed to a future where more and more jobs will become taken over by automation and AI.

Likewise, looking ahead, we should first and foremost realize that people’s basic needs—food, shelter, clothing, education and health—have to be met, and authorities will need to prioritize the fulfillment of people’s basic needs.

The question then becomes, after having basic needs fulfilled, what will people engage in?

With less workforce needed due to the lessening demand of luxury goods and the rise of automation and AI, coupled with a human population increasing to never-before-seen numbers, a new hole appears before us that we will need to fill: ultimately, what professions and careers will be necessary, contributory and beneficial to society heading into the future?

As our lifestyles of materialistic competitiveness will morph into much calmer and more balanced lifestyles that are more essentials focused, in order to develop sensations of happiness, support and confidence throughout societies, we will need to put in a major amount of our time learning and building an atmosphere of positive human connection.

When large swaths of populations will regularly engage in the teaching, learning and construction of positive social ties—as their new careers or professions—we will then see new well-connected societies blossom.

People in such societies will develop heightened sensitivities to each other’s needs, wants and feelings, as well as to the destructive tendency lurking within each person to exploit others for self-benefit, and they will exercise the maintenance of social unity and solidarity upon the divisive drives constantly itching away within.

There is endless room to contribute to a society aiming to positively connect above its divisive drives. The entire range of people’s skills and talents on offer can be applied, as long as they serve the creation of a positive society.

However, a regular dosage of learning the wisdom of connection has to reside in such a system as a prerequisite to any activities to further human connection.

Learning the wisdom of connection means both regularly acquiring knowledge about the vast-ranging benefits of positive social connection, as well as regularly engaging in connection-enhancing experiences.

Our definitions of “lucrative” and “profitable” will then change according to what we would value in such a state: not the competitive-individualistic forms of profit, where we prioritize the construction of our personal empires over everyone and everything else, but we would see profit in terms of how everybody gains considerable health, happiness and confidence from everyone’s contribution to building a positively-connected society.

What would then be the most lucrative career or profession?

It would be those that serve the needs of society, either in providing for people’s basic needs, or in contributing to people’s deeper needs for more meaningful interaction and fulfillment.

The more we develop, the closer we come to the realization of our natural connection to each other, and the need to actualize such connection more and more positively.

The more we work on improving our connections, the more we will grow ourselves into the discovery of a new harmonious reality.

In a situation where luxury industries drop in importance, and where automation and AI will assume many of today’s current jobs, we humans will need to work on what makes us human: our need to positively connect.

As more and more of our engagements will set off in that direction, then the gates to a much greater sense of happiness and fulfillment will open to many more people.

Above image: “One Goal” by Zenita Komad, 2015, taken from “Interdependence: How You Depend on Everyone and Everyone on You.”

“How Do I Clean Myself Spiritually, And How Do I Start?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How do I clean myself spiritually, and how do I start?

Spiritual work starts from accepting the laws of your own correction.

To do so requires:

  • reaching an understanding that rising above the ego is of utmost importance, and that
  • connection to others as a single whole according to the rule “love your neighbor as
    yourself” is the loftiest spiritual goal, and also that
  • achieving this goal requires a supportive environment—support and encouragement of each
    other’s aspirations to achieve the spiritual goal.

After setting yourself up in such a way, you can then make spiritual progress.

The spiritual path is full of contradictory states—elation one moment, lowliness the next, ascents and descents—sometimes we feel as if there are no spiritual states, desires or intentions before us, but if we create an environment that supports us on our way to the spiritual goal, we eventually undergo a correction of all these egoistic qualities, inverting them all into altruistic ones, as is written that “love will cover all transgressions.”

Undergoing spiritual correction means inverting our egoistic qualities to altruistic qualities.

Reaching such a state means discovering the common soul where everyone resides, with love connecting between us all.

“Why Does Coronavirus Not Affect Animals And Birds?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why does coronavirus not affect animals and birds?

We humans are the main victims of the coronavirus due to our negative connections to each other.

Animals have no hatred in their connections. For instance, even a lion hunting to kill an antelope does so out of an instinctive necessity for food, and not out of a will to express power and dominance over the antelope.

As such, the viruses and germs that animals pass to each other physiologically have lesser infectious impact as they do in humans, where our negative thoughts and emotions make us more susceptible to disease.

While animals live in balance with nature, humans have excessive desires that bring us out of balance with nature.

The exploitation, manipulation, abuse and hatred running in the midst of human connections make the effect of viruses that we spread to each other much more potent.

Therefore, no matter how much we wash our hands, wear face masks and keep our distance from each other, unless we undergo a fundamental attitude shift—from negative relations to positive ones, where we replace exploitation, manipulation, abuse and hatred with support, encouragement, love and care—we will continue seeing more and more coronavirus infections and deaths among us.

Also, note how we call our distancing “social distancing” and not merely “physical distancing,” since we need not only distance ourselves a few feet away from each other, but due to our negative connections, we need to distance ourselves socially and emotionally for some time in order to secure our health.

Moreover, even if we devise ways to heal ourselves from the coronavirus, with no accompanying attitude upgrade, then we can expect the virus to strike back in more complex and intricate ways, since our negative attitudes to each other will continue making us vulnerable to harm.

Therefore, together with the social distancing conditions that our health departments advise us to follow, and together with the efforts to come up with a vaccine against the virus, the ultimate remedy to this pandemic, as well as to many other problems in our lives, will come when we change our attitudes to each other from negative to positive.

Above photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash.

“Has The COVID-19 Pandemic Caused Any Increase In Antisemitism, With Some People Blaming Jews/Israel/Mossad For Releasing The Virus?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Has the COVID-19 pandemic caused any increase in antisemitism, with some people blaming Jews/Israel/Mossad for releasing the virus?

The websites Israellycool and Ynetnews documented multiple posts on social media showing blame of Jews for the coronavirus. Ynetnews published its findings just 18 days after the Israellycool post, and it showed a significantly larger amount of anti-Semitic posts added in that short timeframe.

Some views spread through the posts included the coronavirus engineered by Jews as a biological weapon for power motives, as a conspiratorial plot to reduce the world’s population, and that the Jews and Israel developed the coronavirus for wealth and power motives, which would be confirmed if Israel invented the vaccine to counter the virus. Also, the arrest of a 23-year-old man in New Jersey was reported after he stated, on websites favored by White Supremacists, his intent to target Jews he blamed for spreading coronavirus.

Throughout history, Jews have been viewed as the root of all evil, scapegoated for many different misfortunes that have befallen their surrounding societies and cultures, and this foreboding trend has continued into our very era. From blame for the murder of Jesus Christ, to intentionally causing the Black Death pandemic, to various economic crises, and many other phenomena, Jews have continually found themselves under accusation.

Image: Burning of Jews during the Black Death epidemic, 1349. Wikimedia.

In the last few years, as times have become tougher, anti-Semitic crimes and threats have also vastly increased around the world. A little before the coronavirus took the world by storm, a spike in anti-Semitic events in the United States started spawning questions as to whether a second Holocaust could take place in America.

As nature tightens humanity’s connection and more and more hatred surfaces between people, the time is ripe for learning how to realize our increasing connection positively: how to unite above the growing divisiveness, as is written in the words, “love will cover all crimes.”

Jews, whether knowingly or unknowingly, hold the method to unite above division and spread such unity to the world, i.e., to be “a light unto the nations.”

However, if we fail to progress to unity upon our own differences, we will then continue bringing a destructive negative tendency to the world, and more and more people will instinctively feel that we are the root of the world’s problems, as we now also see with the coronavirus.

The sooner we realize that our unity will have monumentally positive unifying rippling effects the world over, then the the sooner we can treat anti-Semitism at its root. By uniting, we fulfill our role in the world, establishing a new balance of forces between humanity and nature.

In the last few months, the need for unity has become pronounced in many ways: from the need for mutual responsibility and consideration in order to keep good health in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, to the need for unity in the face of growing social division, xenophobia and racism—in short, today there is a growing need to adapt to the world’s increasingly interdependent conditions.

If we realize our role and initiate our own unity, we will then not only see anti-Semitism diminish, but on the contrary, we can then expect a new love and respect for a Jewish people who emit a positive unifying example to the world. There would be no reason for anyone to hate Jews since people would know how to unite, and united people do not hate each other, nor the ones who show the way to their unity.

“Why Is There Such Chaos In America?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why is there such chaos in America?

Is America’s time up? Does it have to go in the same direction as those once-powerful nations and empires that reached their demise?

While it is clearly headed downward, there is a way to use America’s chaotic state as an opportunity to impact a major positive transformation.

To start with, America, with its superpower status, has an immense influence on the world.

Also, America is home to millions of unique individuals who have made tremendous breakthroughs, overcoming great odds to achieve prosperity.

If Americans could tweak the direction of this beating-the-odds characteristic, re-navigating it to overcome social divisions in order to unite the entire American society, then America’s greatness would become restored on a whole new level, suited to our interdependent times.

In other words, since today’s world is defined by tightening interdependence and interconnectedness, then any society that successfully unifies its members above its differences will match their societies’ with the present interdependent conditions.

The positive connection of society’s members will increase their balance with the global nature of today’s world, and they will thus enjoy safer and happier lives.

Moreover, due to the world’s interconnectedness, such a society would also receive a positive reaction from other societies, nations and cultures, as its unifying example would inspire people worldwide to follow suit.

The more we continue heading into increasingly interdependent times, the more we will feel how our divisive drives bring us nowhere good.

Therefore, an America headed to unity above division would ignite a new positive energy into the world.

The more that values of mutual consideration and responsibility would spread throughout American society, the more the American people would feel its positive effects—a safe, supportive and happy social landscape—and with the global magnifying glass on America, its positive influence on American society would be an inspiring unifying example for the world.

If the federal, state and local authorities would cooperatively prioritize mutual consideration and responsibility in American society as a means to unify above its divisions and differences—establishing a payment system for participating in connection-enriching educational programs, as well as media campaigns promoting nationwide unity above division—then America would be on course to resolving its current crisis.

A wise America is one that realizes its competitive-materialistic values are outdated and out of sync with today’s interdependence. Then, by making a fateful emphasis shift to unify its incredibly diverse society, America would reinvigorate its superpower status in the world in a way that is suited to today’s new globally-interdependent conditions.

Above photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash.

“What Will Happen If The Coronavirus Comes Back In A Second Wave?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What will happen if the coronavirus comes back in a second wave?

If we thought that the pandemic was under control, the time has come to think again.

The second wave of the coronavirus is already being widely discussed, even though the first wave never really stopped.

The economy’s reopening has helped bolster an influx of COVID-19 outbreaks worldwide, and we once again face an uncertain future with regard to the pandemic.

I am certain, however, that our world has undergone an irreversible change, and that we would be wise to realize how nature tightens our dependence on each other.

As much as we want it to become a thing of the past, the coronavirus is here to stay for a while. We need to come to terms with it being with us for a long time, and we should revise our socio-economic approach accordingly.

The World Bank has stated that the pandemic will be responsible for the biggest recession since the Second World War. We can still expect the closure of many businesses, a dramatic rise in unemployment, and as more and more people dig into the depths of their savings accounts, more and more people will face unpayable loans, rents and mortgages.

The immense changes we are brought to demand that we make some changes on our own behalf.

What should those changes be?

To start with, people’s essential needs have to be met.

Authorities should make sure that their populations receive essential goods and services, adjusting their budgets accordingly.

We will also need to get used to luxury goods losing their allure. There will be no need to invest in saving or reviving luxury goods businesses due to their diminished demand. Also, the increased awareness about the ecological harm that many such businesses contribute to further illustrates their non-necessity.

Our lives are on track to become calmer and more essentials-focused than we have been used to, and which our prior economy failed to prepare us for.

Any desires for surplus, any drives to progress and make breakthroughs in society, should likewise also be refocused. There is endless room for developing positive connections in society, and we would be wise to focus our growth on improving human connections.

By doing so, we would be on track to a whole new reality than the one we currently know, one where we experience our tightening interdependence not as a growing burden, but as an opportunity to exercise positive relations and share in a newfound harmony, happiness and confidence throughout society.

Likewise, after taking care of people’s essential needs, authorities would do well to implement a system of payment-based connection-enriching education, which will secure people’s needs via their participation in learning about today’s new interdependent conditions, as well as support active endeavors to develop a more positive social atmosphere.

Ultimately, the coronavirus is leading us to a much more natural form of existence. By highlighting our interdependence, it forces us to consider how we relate to each other, and we can already conclude that if we try to increase our care for each other, then we will live healthier, safer and happier lives.

Social distancing conditions have given us space for introspection, to see that genuine connection lies in our refined attitudes to each other.

As our pre-coronavirus socio-economic foundations become increasingly rickety the more we head deeper into coronavirus times, the uncertainty and anxiety about the future can quickly become filled with a renewed confidence in a society of people who have their needs secured, and who grow increasingly positive connections to each other on a daily basis.

We can think of the coronavirus like a treadmill that humanity has started walking on, and when we get off of this treadmill, we will have lost a lot of the materialistic-competitive fat that was weighing us down before the pandemic.

Now more than ever, we need to stay focused on our new stage of growth, that what nourished us in our previous stage no longer works, and to meet our new conditions, we need to develop positive connections to each other.

Above photo by Max Anderson on Unsplash.

“What Are The Things That Do Not Matter In Life?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What are the things that do not matter in life?

We are made of egoistic material, where we primarily consider self-benefit at the expense of others.

The more we develop, the more our egos grow, and in our era especially, our egos have developed to such heights that we find it increasingly difficult to fulfill ourselves.

Beyond our life’s essentials—food, sex, family and shelter—our egos make us think that wealth, power and fame are important, so much so that many people are willing to dedicate their entire lives in order to reach one or more of those goals.

However, if we understood that beyond all of the corporeal goals we can picture to ourselves, there is a more exalted spiritual goal awaiting us all—one where we become awarded with an eternal soul, neverending fulfillment, a complete perception and sensation of reality, as well as harmony and balance with nature’s altruistic quality—then we would see corporeal pleasures as unimportant, since they are transient and lead to no lasting fulfillment.

It has been written about the spiritual goal by those who have attained it, that if a person would experience even the tiniest amount of spiritual pleasure, then he would be willing to give away everything he has in corporeality for the sake of spiritual growth.

Spiritual pleasure, however, is hidden from us.

This is because, if it were readily available, then we would become attached to it simply because it would be a much greater pleasure than everything available in our world, and by doing so, we would exercise no free choice in our spiritual pursuit.

We come to the spiritual path when we feel a certain kind of emptiness and lack of fulfillment in our corporeal desires. As much as we fill ourselves with food, sex, family, money, honor, control and knowledge, we keep finding ourselves lacking, wanting something different, and eventually question life’s meaning and essence.

Those with existential questions together with bitter experiences in their corporeal desires are led to a spiritual search, where they check different materials and groups seeking answers, ultimately, as to why they are alive.

If we reach the realization that we live in order to elevate ourselves to a higher perception and sensation of reality, where we attain our eternal soul, then when the greatness of that spiritual goal illuminates as being of utmost importance in life, we lose importance in corporeal goals of wealth, power and fame.

We then develop a much more natural and balanced approach to corporeality. We stop trying to extract all kinds of pleasures from overinflated corporeal desires, and instead, operate above them with an intent to reach the spiritual goal.

“How Would You Define Love?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How would you define love?

Love is a quality, force and longing to fulfill the desires of others, which is directed from the person outward.

How is it possible to fulfill another person’s desires?

It is possible if we understand their desires.

If we have shared habits, thoughts and opinions with others, then we know how to fulfill them and express our love.

If we lack understanding of their desires, then we should aspire to have desires that are similar to those whom we love, i.e., to build an inner model that matches their desires.

Building an inner model through which we can understand the desires of others grants us the ability to give them fulfillment.

We can then understand our own feelings when we receive the same kind of fulfillment, so we know how to fulfill them.

In the wisdom of Kabbalah, such a state is called “equivalence of form.” That is, by equalizing qualities with others, we achieve a state of unification, and love is the sensation of that unification.

“Are We Making A Mistake By Reopening The Economy So Soon?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Are we making a mistake by reopening the economy so soon?

I understand the push to reopen the economy and return to business-as-usual as quickly as possible.

Lockdown brought on a lot of mental and emotional tension, loneliness and uncertainty in the future, all of which contribute to a yearning to exit the state of isolation and re-enter into our familiar settings.

However, reopening the economy too quickly, without adequate readiness, sets the scene for more hardships.

In such conditions, we can expect a fiercer wave of the coronavirus to sweep over societies, infecting and killing many more people than the first wave, and forcing us into much stricter and harsher social distancing conditions in order to deal with it.

The coronavirus has illuminated both our tight interdependence, as well as our inner detachment from each other.

On one hand, our interdependence became marked by the need to maintain personal hygiene, wear masks and keep social distancing conditions in order to remain disease-free.

On the other hand, our inner detachment became visible in the mental and emotional wear and tear on many during the lockdown.

Therefore, any lasting solution to the coronavirus requires fixing the alienation that many people feel.

Instead of reopening the economy, we would be wiser if we realized that our negative connections to each other are the bigger problem in our lives, and opened new programs that aimed to improve our connections.

If we felt an enveloping togetherness over society, we would then have the means by which we could rise above our negative and dark sensations.

Therefore, we would do well to shift the focus of our attention onto the benefit of society, seeking how to make sure everyone has their needs covered and that they feel cared for, and also to keep in mind that our efforts to keep the virus away from others are ultimately efforts to keep the virus away from ourselves.

The revelation of our tightened interdependence demands an additional push of each person accepting responsibility for the health and well-being of others. If we do so, and society rises to a new level of mutual responsibility, we would then be on track to stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

Above photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash.