Entries in the 'Quora' Category

“Is war a necessary part of life?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Is war a necessary part of life?

The will to dominate is at the very foundation of our nature, and war is thus a part of our lives. However, it is counterproductive to our very own interests.

If we view humanity from aside, then we see that war destroys us. With all of our technological progress, we could have built heaven on earth, but we see the contrary: that we instead plunge into more and more wars and conflicts.

At the basis of all war is the human ego, which sizes us up against each other, placing us into a constant competition. As a result, we reach such relations where we see war becoming increasingly inevitable.

When can we reach some peace and quiet?

It is when we will develop ourselves and reach a state where, through a correct form of education that guides us on how to understand who and what we are, what nature is, how nature works and develops, and how we can enter into balance among each other and with nature, then we will eventually come to hate war and discover an eternal state of peace.

At the heart of such education needs to be a common love for one another. On one hand, war is embedded in us, but on the other hand, through learning and exercising love toward one another, we will be able to destroy our warring inclination.

Love will win over hatred and the warring inclination because love is a much stronger force. However, love is a force that can enter our relations and defeat the warring inclination on condition that we develop a desire for it to govern us.

Based on the video “Is War a Necessary Part of Life?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“Why do ultra rich people do philanthropy?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why do ultra rich people do philanthropy?

On one hand, the ultra-rich are driven by their own power and wealth, but on the other hand, they are motivated by a challenge—that they wish to see a positive result from their lives.

If we act for humanity’s benefit, then we feel a loftier result from our lives.

Whether it is through philanthropy or pushing certain entrepreneurial initiatives that they believe benefit humanity, they like to see that their success changes the world. Then, when they feel that they bring something good to the world, they feel as if they soar ever higher above everyone, only instead of money, they see humanity’s achievements in light of their work.

Based on the video “Why Do the Ultra-Rich Do Philanthropy?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“Is the universe endless?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Is the universe endless?

The difference between us and the Creator is endless.

Who or what is the Creator? It, or He, is the quality of love and bestowal—the opposite of our quality, reception.

In our oppositeness to the Creator, we perceive a very tiny part of the endless universe.

We are limited as created beings. However, precisely because we are created beings, we can come closer to the Creator—to reveal, feel and understand Him according to our equivalence of form with Him.

In other words, to the extent in which we accept upon ourselves the Creator’s quality of love and bestowal, we will be able to correctly perceive the universe—as the Creator’s true quality of endless love.

Based on the video “Is the Universe Endless?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“Why as a society are we so corrupt?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why as a society are we so corrupt?

Behind our every action and thought is an egoistic desire that makes us want to enjoy at the expense of others and nature.

Moreover, this egoistic desire constantly grows.

If in the past we could have been friendly with each other, today we view each other through the lens of how can we use each other to gain something. And we are not to blame for such an attitude. It is because our ego grew.

What can we do about it? Inside of us is some kind of an animal that constantly grows, and it demands that we exploit everyone and everything around us as much as possible for self-gain.

In fact, we have always been driven by such a desire, but it was not as big as it is today, so we did not experience it in the increasingly negative ways in which we feel it today.

The reason the egoistic desire grows in us is not simply for us to experience our lives and our society becoming increasingly corrupt. It is for us to reach a realization that our nature is indeed egoistic at its core, that we truly wish to use others and nature for self-gain purposes as much as possible, and that such a drive leads us to a plethora of negative outcomes throughout society. Then, this realization should develop in us a desire to make a fundamental change in ourselves: to change our egoistic nature to an altruistic one, where instead of thinking how to use others to gain from them, we will think about how to use ourselves to benefit others. If we will not undergo such a transition, then society will eventually fall apart.

Based on the video “Why Is Society Becoming More and More Corrupt?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“Why do we tend to trust some people over others?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why do we tend to trust some people over others?

We trust some people over others because we have no choice but to trust them.

Take babies for instance. Babies trust no one. Babies do not want to know anyone besides their mothers, and to cleave to their mothers. To the extent in which the babies grow up and get to know their environment, from their crib to their room, to their entire home, and perhaps their backyard, then these babies somewhat develop trust toward people in these familiar surroundings to the extent of their familiarity with them. Babies then approach those who are closer and more familiar, and stay away from others who are unfamiliar. In other words, trust is a trait that we need to acquire.

Then, to the extent in which we gain familiarity with our environment, our society, the surrounding world—determining who is closer and further away from us—we accordingly develop trust in certain people.

We can also see such examples in animals. There are animals that we have domesticated over the course of history, such as cats and dogs, which we have established a certain amount of trust with. We know that we likely cannot raise a lion at home, but we have developed a level of trust in some animals over time—where the animals trust us to a certain extent, and we trust them—and then we can take their offspring and begin to develop a kind of relationship according to the degree of trust that we have established.

Based on the video “Why Do We Tend to Trust Some People Over Others?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“How do people live in their own bubble so easily?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How do people live in their own bubble so easily?

We all live in our own bubbles, and it is not necessarily a bad thing. Our bubbles are characterized by us feeling no desire for anything beyond them.

For instance, in my personal physical life, I barely leave my room. It is where I live and work. Sometimes I go out and travel, but only if there is a need, and I plan ahead for such occasions. There is a lot of benefit to living in such a bubble because doing so lets me feel that I have the optimal means to teach my students and create content to serve humanity.

However, living in a physical bubble does not mean that I live inside a perceptual bubble, i.e. a bubble of my connection with the world and with other people. I have my means of communication, various kinds of media, the Internet, TV, the radio, and I also have a few thousand students around the world and millions of people who regularly encounter the teachings I disseminate. Is this my bubble? Some would say that it is, even though it reaches a few million people—yet it is still a bubble.

We all live on a small planet that is floating in some universe, which is also a bubble. Everything is a bubble—our universe included. Who truly knows how many universes there are? We all live in certain bubbles, and it is natural, positive and correct to live in such a way.

Our perceptual bubbles are shaped by our characters, our natures, our outlooks on life, the way we are built on the inside and the way we perceive the world. We can see such a makeup in children, how each child has a unique perception and approach to the world, which we can do nothing about.

The Torah instructs us to raise children according to each child’s way. Therefore, we indeed each build for ourselves a certain perception of reality, which is our bubble, and out of this bubble, from this bubble, or in this bubble, we relate to everything in life. We cannot say whether it is good or bad. It is simply how we live.

The same goes for animals or for anyone who feels and responds to how the surrounding nature influences us. We live according to a certain approach and attitude of how we respond, with our inner qualities, to the surrounding nature, and we thus live in a bubble—a bubble of our relationship with the surrounding world.

We have the bubble that we live in instinctively, i.e. the bubble that nature places us into. Then, there is also a question about the extent to which we remain closed within our bubble, not wanting to come out of it, and the extent to which we devote ourselves to some ideal or goal that pushes our bubble’s boundaries.

Based on the video “Yes, You Live in a Bubble—and it’s Not a Bad Thing” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Photo by Alfred Kenneally on Unsplash.

“How can you balance emotions?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How can you balance emotions?

We can balance our emotions with the help of the environment.

What I mean by “environment” is our society and its influences, that we can surround ourselves with such influences that will guide us on how to direct the emotions that awaken in us.

For instance, we know the example of peer pressure, when our friends tell us to do or not to do something, and their influence makes us follow their recommendations. Using this force of our surrounding environment, we can choose our environment—the kinds of people, media and values we surround ourselves with—and accordingly change our attitude toward certain emotions.

We can then build our intellect with our social influences. Our desires constantly grow, and we correspondingly need to build a greater and greater intellect with which we can deal with our growing desires.

Adjusting our environmental influences in order to build the intellect so that we can best deal with our growing desires is the essence of education. It is what we need to teach the younger generation, that we can balance our emotions with our intellects, and by doing so, come to see our perfect state in life.

We should thus try to find an environment that would be able to supplement our constantly-surfacing emotions in a certain direction. Our environment should act as a damper, helping us mediate our inner excitements and eruptions, bringing them to a state where we would be able to realize them—but to realize them in ways that benefit both ourselves and others.

In other words, we need to examine ourselves in relation to our environment, whether the environment accepts what we want to do. If we find that our desires match those of the environment, then we can continue realizing our desires. We can then determine that we can carry out what we want to do, that it will benefit both us and those around us, and that everything will turn out just fine if we go ahead and realize our desires.

This is how we can balance our emotions—by learning how to balance between our intellect and our emotions via our surrounding environment.

Based on the video “THIS Is How You Balance Your Emotions” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman. Writtem/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“What’s the difference between an emotion and a desire?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What’s the difference between an emotion and a desire?

When we realize our desires, then we feel emotions. In other words, the feeling of a desire’s fullness or emptiness is called “emotion,” but it is the same desire. That is, emotion is a phenomenon within the desire.

We are activated by our desires at every moment, and we constantly try to realize the desires surfacing in us.

Desires awaken and grab hold of us, directing us to try and fulfill them, and the way in which we work with our desires depends on our social and environmental influences, i.e. the kind of upbringing and education we receive, and the values of the society we live in.

Were it not for our intellect and our social influences that can guide our intellect to navigate our desires, then our desires would overwhelm us.

It is thus in the balance between the intellect and the emotion, i.e. the extent of the intellectual force that we develop over our desires, that determines the extent to which we can control ourselves and our emotions.

Based on the video “What Is the Difference between Emotion and Desire?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“What must America do to fix its trust crisis?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What must America do to fix its trust crisis?

Indeed, we are living in times of a social trust crisis, and it could lead to worse states where our connections would freeze and we would be unable to move toward each other. Then, from a state where society lives in an iceberg of sorts, we will see that we gain nothing beneficial from our mutual distrust, and we will then start developing a desire for a newfound warmth and love.

We will then need a connection enriching teaching that will guide us on how to come closer to each other, and how to warm our relations with love.

On one hand, we will hold ourselves in mutual distrust and feel ourselves frozen in such a state, and on the other hand, we see how we have no choice but to learn how nature leads us to a helpless state as part of our evolutionary development.

Our increasing distrust is due to our constantly growing ego—the desire to enjoy at the expense of others and nature—that has reached overblown proportions in our era. It makes our relationships colder and colder until we eventually find ourselves completely frozen, unable to make any movements toward each other. At such a point, we need to start artificially activating warm relationships of positive connection.

How?

We will need to start such a process in small groups of people who agree to the need for a transformation from negative to positive human relations, and who will be willing to act out relations of mutual consideration and respect above their innate mutual distrust.

By engaging in this process of connection-enriching learning and exercising of positive connections in small groups, we will start seeing that nature demands of us to live as one body with mutual responsibility among its parts, like how cells and organs live and function together harmoniously for the sake of an organism’s health and well-being.

How do a variety of diverse and even opposing parts exist in a harmonious connection? It is because there is a natural system of life that ties them together.

We thus have to draw the positive force dwelling in nature—a force of bestowal, love and connection—to connect us similarly to how the many cells and organs of a human body interconnect.

Our next state of evolution is to realize our tight interconnectedness and interdependence in a positive manner: that we become aware of the need to mutually consider each other, that living in mutual distrust leads to nothing positive, and that we need to nourish each other with care and respect.

When we reach such a realization, then we will need to also develop a demand for the positive force dwelling in nature to vitalize our interdependence. It is an omnipresent force, but it is dormant and concealed from our egoistic perception; it is actually what is frozen while we let our inborn egoistic approach determine our lives.

When we reach a demand for the positive force of nature to enter our connections, feeling how our very survival depends on it, then we can then take that force “out of the freezer,” so to speak, and let it guide us first to positively connect above our mutual distrust, and then continue strengthening that connection until we feel ourselves as living in a single body.

Based on the video “Social Trust Crisis: Where it Leads Us and How to Fix It” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
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“What does the Tower of Babel represent?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What does the Tower of Babel represent?

The construction of the Tower of Babel represents humanity’s first level of egoistic development that took place around 4,000 years ago.

The story of the Tower of Babel describes people who, out of increased egoism, aspired to reach the governing altruistic force of reality, the Creator, which is allegorically described by their desire to build a tower that reached to the sky.

Humanity failed to direct its increased egoism toward the Creator’s attainment, because attaining the Creator means rising above egoism and developing contact with the altruistic force that governs reality. Their increased egoism made them stop feeling each other and their positive connections. It made them want to exploit the Creator, which is the meaning of building a tower that reaches the sky. They subsequently stopped understanding each other, and their oppositeness from nature alienated them from each other and from the Creator, and they dispersed.

In other words, the Tower of Babel represents a process of whereby we receive a growth of egoism—the desire to enjoy for self-benefit alone—which detaches us from each other and from nature. Instead of working to unite above our increased egoism and correct the disconnection that our egoism brings upon us, the Tower of Babel story discusses people who thought that they would be able to attain the Creator through their egoism, and not by rising above it. As a result, they experienced a collapse of the positive connection that they shared before their egoism’s growth spurt, and they started feeling hatred and separation from each other instead of feeling that they belonged to one nation.

Since then, we might have compensated for our detachment with various scientific, cultural and technological developments, but while we have developed superficial connections to each other globally, our inner detachment from one another continues growing due to our continually-growing egoism. We also find today that our abundance of scientific, cultural and technological innovations fail to give our desires any real lasting satisfaction, which is exemplified by the fact that our era has the most cases of depression, loneliness, anxiety and stress than any other one.

In our current era, we are reaching the realization that we simply cannot fulfill ourselves, i.e. our egoistic desires. Any fulfillment merely serves to extinguish our current desire, and a new desire appears in its place. The growing awareness of our egoism’s dead-end in our era shows us a new phase of the Tower of Babel: Where the Tower was once destroyed by the Creator, today we are reaching our own realization of its destruction the more we see our egoistic desires leading us to a dead end instead of to the progress that we once thought they would lead us to. In other words, we are at a similar juncture that occurred in the time of Babel, only now we are aware of our situation.

According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, the meeting point of our increasing global technological, economic and commercial connection, together with our increasing inner egoistic growth and detachment in our attitudes to each other, marks the beginning of humanity’s connection into a new united civilization. We can learn from our past experiences and from the Tower of Babel’s story that if we follow the commands of our growing egoism, we will be led to destruction. In order to correctly realize our egoism’s growth, we need to learn how to unite as a single humanity above our growing egoism, which will lead us to a new harmonious and peaceful state the likes of which we have never seen before. It is my hope that we will gain wisdom and awareness and go the latter route sooner rather than later, and by so doing, spare ourselves and our future generations a lot of unnecessary suffering.
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Based on the book, A Guide to the Hidden Wisdom of Kabbalah, 3rd Edition, by Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.