Entries in the 'Quora' Category

“What Are The Positive Impacts Of The COVID-19 cCrisis?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What are the positive impacts of the COVID-19 crisis?

Aside from the ecological benefits that the stay-at-home orders spanning the world’s continents have brought about, such as significant drops in pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, another major positive impact is that the COVID-19 crisis put spokes in the wheels of our over-inflating egoistic, exploitative and manipulative interactions, heated social division and tense international relations, which were leading to a world war.

Also, while ordered to stay at home, we are now given time to calm down from our usual rat race, reconsider what is most important in life, and learn a deeper perspective of how nature works in order to exit this crisis into a better state.

Essentially, if we use this period we are now in to upgrade our awareness of ourselves as parts of a single interconnected and interdependent system of nature, it would result in an immense positive impact, both for ourselves and for nature in general.

The COVID-19 crisis is a prime example of how nature’s interconnectedness and interdependence is becoming increasingly revealed among us humans, as it forces us all into a common global problem.

We would thus be wise to learn from nature, to adapt our human thoughts, attitudes and relationships to the integral way in which nature operates.

If we fail to use this period in order to upgrade the quality of our connections, then we can expect nature to respond with further blows, whether an intensification of the current pandemic, or other natural disasters.

The principle is that according to nature’s interconnected and interdependent form, we, as the human level within nature, have to assume the same form in our attitudes and relationships to each other, in order to experience a harmonious and peaceful existence.

We have the free choice to make this leap, since our egoistic human nature that involuntarily prioritizes personal benefit over benefiting others sets us up in opposition to nature’s consideration of the whole.

Our selfish makeup is what led us to create a society functioning by each one trying to profit off of everyone else. However, as we see with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and other crises in our world, such egoistic development has reached a limit.

Nature is now trying to wake us up to our need to make a further step in our development: to exercise positive, supportive, encouraging and considerate relationships in a place where we by default relate negatively to each other.

Yet, as much as nature leads the horse to water by giving us this global shock, it still cannot make the horse drink. We will still have to make that leap from negative-egoistic relations to positive and mutually considerate ones by applying our own free choice.

This becomes possible if we study how nature functions as a complete integral system, and how each of us together need to act similarly in order to reach and maintain balance in the system.

Essentially, we need to reach a state where we care about others to the same extent as we care about ourselves.

If we thus use the time when we are bound to our homes in order to upgrade our awareness of nature’s unifying principle, and implement it in our relationships, we will then see far-reaching positive impacts of the COVID-19 crisis—a shift into a completely new and harmonious state among humanity the likes of which we have never experienced before.

“COVID-19: Is Nature Fighting Back…More Precisely Was Such An Outbreak Inevitable As A Response To A Disrupted Earth System?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: COVID-19: is nature fighting back…more precisely was such an outbreak inevitable as a response to a disrupted Earth system?
Due to commenting frequently on the coronavirus outbreak as nature’s response to the egoistic and exploitative way we as a human society had been relating to each other leading up to the pandemic, I was asked by one of my students:

How could a virus on a biological level come about as a result of people becoming increasingly egoistic and exploitative? It is clear, for instance, if one country wants to retaliate against another country that was exploiting it, but how are nature and viruses related to negative person-to-person attitudes?

To the naked human eye, it indeed seems as if the biological level and the level of human relationships are separate.

Everything in nature began from a single particle. That particle started connecting with another one, and then another one, and so on and so forth. At some point, this process generated atoms, and with further such development, molecules came about.

Life emerged when energy and information became transmitted between the various particles. This process then further developed into more and more complex forms of life.

In other words, everything in nature has been created such that even its tiniest parts are intrinsically connected with the whole universe.

Within this completely integral system, the human is the most complex and qualitatively highest level of all, and human thoughts, attitudes and relationships hold the most powerful influence over nature’s other levels.

Due to the capacity of human thoughts to impact other levels of nature, there is a Kabbalistic saying that states, “Everything is clarified in thought.”

I understand that we are unable to notice the extent of our thoughts’, attitudes’ and relationships’ influence on nature, and thus when a seemingly negative phenomenon strikes us, such as the coronavirus we now endure, we look like children who point at a broken glass that they accidentally hit while playing around, saying that it fell by itself.

However, the way that the coronavirus has forced us all into a common global situation, with many millions of people under stay-at-home orders, should serve to wake us up to our thoughts, attitudes and relationships to each other as being what ultimately connects us into a single network.

Moreover, we would be wise to reach the conclusion that our thoughts, attitudes and relationships to each other are the most important network that determines how nature responds to us.

If we create balance in such a network, we will then see how other levels of life become balanced. The gates to heaven on earth—a world of absolute perfection—will then open up before our very eyes.

“How Will Society Change Post-Coronavirus Crisis?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How will society change post-coronavirus crisis?
I think that we will not rush to malls like we used to, and that we will see the manufacturing-buying-disposal chain as a thing of the past.

After having a period to calm down from the consumeristic rat race we were running, we now—while we’re in the stay-at-home conditions of the coronavirus era—have time to contemplate on how a lifestyle where we each set out to benefit ourselves on account of others brought about great imbalance between us and nature.

Now, while isolated from each other in our homes, there is a lot of information being shared around that acknowledges how our pre-coronavirus life was leading us to a dead end, and how our current prolonged period of social distancing gives us a new space to revise the way we live our lives.

It is thus my hope that together with the recognition of our past competitive-egoistic paradigm falling short in the satisfaction and joy that it permitted us, we will also learn that true happiness will come if we enter into balance with nature. That is, as nature is an integral system, and as nature increasingly shows us how interconnected and interdependent we are globally—as exemplified by the current coronavirus crisis—then we would be wise to learn how to adjust our attitudes to each other to match the level of interconnectedness and interdependence that nature is developing our awareness toward.

We would then exit the coronavirus era by replacing our egoistic paradigm with a new altruistic one, inverting an era that was amounting more and more negative phenomena, such as exploitation, abuse, depression, stress, loneliness, anxiety and neglect, into its opposite positive form, where we would reveal mutual consideration, responsibility, support, encouragement, happiness, peace, unification and love.

And what would we do with the piles of plastic excess that we built much of our old economy on? What would happen to all the buildings and towers we built, all the malls and shopping centers, when we wake up with an upgraded human consciousness in the post-coronavirus world?

We would turn them into museums. We would wander around all these stores, gazing at all the unnecessary and unimportant objects we filled our lives with, thinking “How could we have thought that making, buying, selling and disposing of all this garbage would have brought us any kind of enjoyment? What were we thinking?”

The post-coronavirus era museums would act to signify our new state of upgraded consciousness: that by feeling a common atmosphere of support, consideration and encouragement, we would look upon our pre-coronavirus materialistic culture as an extinct era, and these museums would remind us that we would not want to return to such a failed attempt at happiness. It is as Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) writes in his article, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”: “Man was not created for acquiring fortunes or for building buildings. Hence, one should seek everything that will bring one to love.”

“What Are The Benefits Of The Coronavirus On A Global Scale?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What are the benefits of the Coronavirus on a global scale?

What could be the benefits of a virus that is making hundreds of thousands of people sick, and killing dozens of thousands more, around the world?

One benefit is that it is aiding the awakening of how small and weak we are in the presence of a much greater nature.

The coronavirus is a prime example of how nature doesn’t discriminate between rich and poor, famous and unknown, powerful and ordinary, educated or uneducated, and many other categories that we place upon ourselves.

Thus, while we have been placed in social distancing conditions around the world, we can indeed contemplate on how equal we all are in relation to nature.

We can see how the boundaries we set between each other and between nations become negated by a tiny minuscule virus that penetrates them all, and thus would do wisely to learn from such an example.

Nature is an integral system, and it wants us to rise in our awareness in order to relate to each other as integrally as it functions.

If we thus use this pandemic to reach such a conclusion—that nature is bigger than us, and if we related to each other more integrally, changing our previous paradigm of trying to benefit at others’ expense to one of trying to benefit the whole human society and nature that we are all parts of, then we would enter into balance with nature and experience its reactions positively.

Until the coronavirus hit us, we let our egoistic human nature, which wants to benefit itself at the expense of others, separate us more and more.

The human ego shatters the perception of the integral nature into small pieces.

As devastating as the effects of the coronavirus have been, it is likely that if the pandemic would not have entered our lives, then we would have caused ourselves a lot more suffering by letting our egoistic behavior lead us to such hatred and division the likes of which could have erupted in a world war.

Therefore, the main benefit of the coronavirus is if we use this period to consider how equal we all ultimately are in the face of nature, how our egoistic way of life leading up to the coronavirus was leading us to harm ourselves, and that we would be wise to learn how we can come out of this pandemic with more considerate, supportive, encouraging and giving attitudes to each other.

“What Does Nature Teach Human Beings?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What does nature teach human beings?

Nature is leading us to the understanding that we are parts of a single interconnected and interdependent system, and that we need to reach a higher level of connection among each other in order to discover nature’s perfection and eternity.

We are all egoists by nature. What this means is that all of our thoughts and actions are ultimately motivated by a desire to enjoy at the expense of anything and anyone around us.

As egoists, we each perceive a narrow reality. We feel ourselves as separate from other people and things, primarily concerned with our personal problems, each in a constant race after ephemeral pleasures.

Also, as egoists, the way we conduct ourselves increasingly clashes with the opposite way that nature conducts itself.

In contrast to the human egoistic quality, nature aims to connect everyone and everything into a single harmonious whole. A harmonious whole acts such that each part receives what it needs for its sustenance, and gives according to its ability for the benefit of the whole, similar to how cells and organs of a healthy human body function.

While our egoistic quality increasingly clashes with nature’s altruistic quality, we experience more and more blows. Blows from nature can appear as global pandemics, as we’re now experiencing with the coronavirus, as well as myriad other forms, from major ecological disasters through to each of our personal feelings, where depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, emptiness, meaninglessness, and other such negative sensations have been increasingly tearing away at us for many years.

What is the purpose of the blows nature sends us? What is nature trying to teach us through all the pains and problems it sends us?

It is all for us to pause for a moment and start contemplating our life, its purpose, why we are suffering, and rethink the direction in which we are headed.

We can then use such introspection to elevate ourselves from our current egoistic mode of existence, where the causes of our pains are hidden, to a more connected and altruistic mode of existence, where the reasons for our pains are revealed.

The wisdom of Kabbalah grants us this ability: to discover the hidden, connected and altruistic laws of nature, and to balance ourselves with these laws. By sending us blows, nature ultimately teaches us that we need to revise the way we live our lives, to recognize the bankruptcy of trying to continue living egoistically as we have until today, and that by changing our attitudes to each other from egoistic to altruistic, where instead of trying to self-benefit all the time, we try to benefit others, we enter into balance with nature, thereby experiencing a harmonious, whole and eternal existence.

“How Does Coronavirus Compare To Past Pandemics?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How does coronavirus compare to past pandemics?

Today, humanity is much more interdependent than it ever has been before, and thus the global socio-economic impact of the coronavirus differs significantly from past pandemics.

If past pandemics in Europe and other parts of the world had no influence over other continents and nations, the case with the coronavirus is completely different.

Today, we are culturally, economically and commercially tied together around the world.

Therefore, the coronavirus affects us all.

It spread from one part of the planet to another relatively quickly, and we have no escape from it since we cannot detach the connections that we have established.

We thus see that the coronavirus pandemic receives completely different attention to past pandemics, since we were never as connected as we are today.

Moreover, while so many of us around the world have become quarantined and instructed to stay inside our homes, we see how we cannot detach from each other. It has become impossible to imagine what it would be like to separate from our global connection.

“Is Nature An intelligence, A Form Of Mind?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Is nature an intelligence, a form of mind?

Nature is a thought.

It has a plan for the development of the inanimate, vegetative, animate and human natures, with a beginning and an end, and it implements this plan in a determinant manner.

As the plan becomes realized, all sorts of problems arise, since the inanimate, vegetative, animate and human natures all participate in this plan.

Human nature, which is the highest and most qualitative of all the levels in nature, is subject to all kinds of fluctuations and changes in both directions.

While nature runs a completely determined plan, we humans have free will within the plan.

We can change ourselves to either resemble or contrast nature. Accordingly, we can alter the path of our development: by resembling nature we feel it as amiable and agreeable, and by contrasting nature, we feel it as nasty and disagreeable.

One way or another, we will all reach the same ultimate final state, however the way in which we get there can either be through the implementation of our free will, or by letting nature’s plan unfold toward us without our participation in the process.

In other words, while our final destination as well as our way there is predetermined, we, as humans in this process, have the free choice to segment the process, where in each segment, we can feel nature’s development as either kinder and more enjoyable, or harsher and undesirable.

“What Is The Big Deal About The New Coronavirus, COVID-19?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What is the big deal about the new coronavirus, COVID-19?

COVID-19 is special because it touches everyone.

The coronavirus shows us the vastness of our interconnectedness and interdependence, and the extent to which our essential infrastructures are globally dependent.

Stocks are falling, air travel is limited, people are locked in their houses for quarantine, and it is all due to a minuscule virus.

Even before COVID-19 was called a pandemic, it affected over 100,000 people around the world, taking place in over 80 countries and becoming an epidemic in China, Italy, South Korea and Iran. Some experts say that it can be equated to a world war.

What matters, however, is whether we can draw accurate conclusions from this global-scale phenomenon.

First and foremost, we need to understand that in the face of nature and the common threat, we are all equal.

Over centuries, various scientists have been raising this topic, but nobody accepts it. Secondly, we have to realize that by living in society, we are all in one boat with no escape.

Since our perception is egoistic, through a lens that prioritizes self-benefit above everything else, we cause an imbalance in nature’s interconnected and interdependent system.

Understanding this phenomenon and taking corresponding actions will lead us to building a new model of human relations that fit the integral system we live in.

If we want to prevent further spreading of the coronavirus, we need to wash not only our hands—we need to also “wash” our thoughts and intentions.

When we start relating positively to each other, creating an environment of mutual support and encouragement, we will create a strong “immune system” capable of stopping any pandemic, and receive the ability to build a happy, prosperous, healthy and unified society.

“What Are The Causes Of Novel Coronavirus?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What are the causes of novel coronavirus?

Beyond the many theories of the causes of the coronavirus, at a deeper level, we need to understand that it is a reaction of nature to the way in which we have been conducting our lives.

Nature is obliging us to realize that we are in an integral system.

If we disobey the laws of this integral system, its basic law of mutual responsibility that connects together all parts of the system, then the system responds with blows.

We should take the coronavirus, as well as other viruses that are yet to be revealed, as signs of our incorrect connection with each other, where we each think and behave egoistically, i.e., considering personal benefit over the benefit of others.

Also, we should learn that we exist in an integral system of nature, where all parts are interconnected and interdependent, and that there is only one disruptive force in the entire system—the human being, with his egoistic nature.

Therefore, we need to correct ourselves by changing our egoistic mode of conduct to an altruistic one, which would let us realize nature’s interconnectedness and interdependence positively.

Nature will nevertheless force us to improve our relationships until they become completely positive, with ties of mutual consideration, support, encouragement and responsibility connecting between us all. When that will happen, the coronavirus, as well as other negative phenomena in our lives, will disappear.

“What Is The Role Of Women In Society Today?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What is the role of women in society today?

Women’s strengths should be directed in such a way where through female unity, they could contribute to society’s prosperity and happiness, unifying their efforts into building a new, comfortable and welcoming home for human society.

According to nature’s structure, the female represents the desire to receive while the male represents the intention to give.

Therefore, if women express a desire for humanity’s unity above all of its divisions, and if they unite as a major force with this desire, they will urge men in the direction of unity.

Then, when men receive such a strong impetus to unite from women, they will work to fulfill those demands, striving to unite and balance with the unified form of nature that functions with altruistic connections among all of its parts.

The world and human society will then turn into Heaven on Earth, a society that functions according to nature’s most fundamental law, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We will then all feel as if we share a common home, living among a giant loving family, in a completely new and upgraded kind of awareness of the laws of nature and the world that we exist in.