Entries in the 'Quora' Category

“Why Do Other People’s Opinions Matter To You?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why do other people’s opinions matter to you?

It has been shown in various social psychology experiments, and Kabbalists have long described it as a fundamental aspect of our lives, that others’ opinions are important to us, even if we fail to acknowledge that it is the case.

There is a paradox here: According to our egoistic human nature, which prioritizes personal benefit over all else, we consider nobody but ourselves. Why, then, do we care about what others think and say?

Nature has set us up in such a way so that we will enter into a reciprocal relationship with our surrounding society and world.

If other people’s opinions would not matter to us, then we would not be able to reach our full human potential. That is, we would not be able to change ourselves, expanding our perception and sensation in order to realize our interconnectedness and interdependence with the single system of nature, including us humans as its integral parts.

Today, as we face a world closing in on us, with tightening ecological, economic and social conditions, the change to a more positively-connected human consciousness is of primal importance.

By recognizing the vast extent to which others’ opinions influence us, we can make wiser choices regarding our surrounding society: choosing the people we surround ourselves with, i.e., according to shared goals, needs and values, and also the kind of influence we input into this network and impart onto others.

Ultimately, the fullest realization of our mutual influence leads us to feel a need for mutual responsibility, consideration, compromise, support, encouragement and cooperation.

In other words, if we were to understand the full extent of our influence on each other, we would feel necessitated to think and act positively toward one another, as it would secure our harmonious coexistence. Any deviation to a negative hate-driven thought or act would be felt as harmful to the entire system we share, and thus also harmful to ourselves.

We would then feel a need to build a new enveloping social atmosphere that supports, educates and encourages everyone’s development to realize the change in human connections and consciousness positively.

Above photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.

“Why Does Life Punish Good People?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why does life punish good people?

In today’s distorted egoistic world, where people around the world prioritize personal benefit over society’s benefit, it is naive and incorrect to think that “good people” will have a good life, and “bad people” the opposite.

Rather, since our egoistic intentions underlie our social, political and cultural constructs, then it is natural to expect nothing positive to emerge from them.

It is especially the case today, where our egos have grown to enormous proportions, much bigger than in any other time in history.

According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, humanity is in a developmental process toward a state of total unification, where we will experience perfection. Our current era marks a major transition in this process from our old egoistic world to a new unified one.

Today, we can expect major flips and turns (the coronavirus pandemic is a prime example) where, if we successfully view them from within the natural process we are in, we will then see how they emerge in order to give us conditions that guide us to realize the very high density of our interdependence and interconnectedness.

We will increasingly feel on our flesh that if we fail to align ourselves with the new and more connected conditions, then we will experience them as painful. On the contrary, if we upgrade our attitudes to each other in order to balance with our tighter interdependence, we will then experience our transition to a more connected world positively and harmoniously—as a new world of greater happiness, confidence and prosperity for all people that opens up to us.

I thus hope that the awareness of our connectedness and our place in nature will spread, so that we will be spared from a lot of suffering as we head into completely new conditions, different to anything we have experienced before.

Above photo by Simon Shim on Unsplash.

“What Do You Think About How The World At Large Can Learn As A Lesson From The Coronavirus? Can We Expect Unity?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What do you think about how the world at large can learn as a lesson from the Coronavirus? Can we expect unity?

Until now, the pains that have befallen the world have led to no effective solutions or discernments.

People simply await its end so that they can get back to doing business as usual, thinking about how to minimize their losses, and even more so, how to profit off of the pandemic.

It comes as no surprise, since it is a mere expected outcome of our innate egoistic attitude to the world, which works on us involuntarily.

Therefore, the coronavirus is here to stay for a lot longer, since it has appeared in order to perform a serious change in the world.

Right now, we are going through a phase of trying to revive many businesses that we have no real need for, and give handouts for work that will be nonexistent in the future.

Authorities fail to understand the newness of the era that we have entered, that it is an era where we need to provide people with life’s essentials, and place all of our surplus focus on an upgraded form of education, which teaches us about this new interdependent world that is revealing itself to us, its laws, and how we can get along with each other in these new conditions. That is, it is a form of education that we need today, which we did not receive as we grew up.

Instead, we try to continue holding onto our past materialistic values, hoping that we will keep our shopping culture of boutiques, jewelry stores, expensive watches and cars.

Therefore, in relation to the change that nature demands from humanity today, the pandemic has not even started yet.

I thus hope that we will open our eyes and see that we are in a new, more interdependent and interconnected world, and living in this world requires making serious adjustments to how we used to live, which comes down to becoming more essentials-focused while engaging in learning of what is this new world, how we have developed to this point, and what we can do in order to survive and prosper in today’s new tighter interdependent conditions.

Above photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash.

“What Are Some Ways Of Changing The Society?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What are some ways of changing the society?

Before discussing ways of changing society, we should question what changes society should acquire.

In our era, the needed change in society is a change of values, that instead of valuing egoistic pursuits, to be more individually successful, wealthy, famous and/or powerful, if we want a society that is full of healthy, happy and confident individuals, then we need values of mutual responsibility, consideration, cooperation and positive connection permeating society.

In order to reach such a change of values, we cannot implement this change by ourselves. Rather, we need an outer influence to enable this change. However, we can persevere to reach such a change, and we need to understand nature’s general tendency to increasingly connect us for that to happen.

Outside of our perception and sensation, there is a single force of nature that acts out of absolute love, and which takes every single detail of reality into careful consideration.

It created and evolved many layers of the reality we experience, from inanimate matter, through plant and animal life, and finally, us humans.

Therefore, in order to enable a change in society, we need to invite the force of nature that creates and sustains all life, so that it operates on us and guides our change to a new set of values that bring us closer to balance with nature.

We simply need to gain more awareness about how nature works, how human nature is an egoistic and self-centered form that opposes nature’s general attribute of love, bestowal and connection, and how from the negative pole of creation, we can invite the positive force into our lives, to let it connect us, change our values, and likewise, our perception and sensation of the integral reality we ultimately share.

Above photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash.

“How Do I Unite The Left And The Right?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How do I unite the left and the right?

We need to understand that nature is guiding us to a state of complete unification, and thus we should be interested in seeking how we can unite above our differences.

It is incumbent on such unity that the diversity of differences, all individual characteristics and views, remain in place, i.e., that not one side or view eliminates the other, but that each view is given its duly space to exist.

In order to unite between differing and opposing views, a third source is required—an ability to concede one’s view to accept and even care about the other’s view, which comes solely from unification holding more importance than the details of each of our views.

While it seems impossible in today’s reality, when we understand that nature’s tendency is to unite all of its parts, including humans, and that we are being developed in that direction, then if we implemented such education of this tendency, we would gain the strength to be able to make the required mutual concessions in order to see:

  • all differing and opposing views as necessary parts of a single system,
  • unity above these divisions is beneficial to everyone, and that
  • it is fruitless to resist nature.

That is, we would see that agreeing to remain solely within our opposite sides only increases suffering, and that nature wants us to rise above such tendencies to unite.

Nature ultimately guides us to unite above all of our differences. People who have revealed this tendency in perception and sensation, i.e. Kabbalists, wrote about it that “love will cover all transgressions.”

It means that opposed parties need to discover the negative characteristics that each side holds, and bridge both sides with the help of a method of learning and implementing unity above division.

If we left ourselves to our natural devices, then we would only be led to more hatred of each other. That is, human nature is egoistic, primarily considering self-benefit over everything else, and our worldviews are all constructed on this narrow perception and sensation of reality. As such, they lead us to a crisis where we feel that others need to be changed or eliminated in order for us to be at rest.

Today, we have the ability to identify this problem. We are each individualists who each hold a unique place and view in the system, and we are thus each different from each other.

However, we have to raise our awareness about the single system of nature that we all share and exist within, how this system guides us to unite above our differences, and we thus have to establish connections above all differences and disagreements between us.

It is as if we set out to build a new floor in our building: our first floor contains all of our various views untouched, and on the second floor, we appreciate what connects us above all else.

There is room for everyone in today’s world. The time has come when we need to build a new connection between us, not where one wants to destroy the other. By destroying others, we destroy ourselves. This is a law of nature. Plus and minus need to exist alongside each other, and a new mechanism needs to be placed between them that lets them both work harmoniously as part of a single system.

We thus need to reach a state where we will feel ourselves as existing above the egoistic human nature, which is the entirety of our being, and discover a much greater reality.

Above photo by Sven de Koe on Unsplash.

“When Will The Coronavirus End? Are There Any Vaccines Nearing Release?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: When will the coronavirus end? Are there any vaccines nearing release?

Despite the high anticipation for COVID-19’s demise, it is here to stay for a while.

The coronavirus emerged in order to change the way we think, and it will remain with us until we complete this transformation.

Since humanity is a massive diverse aggregate of different people, it will take some time for us to adapt to a much more interdependent world than what we were accustomed to in pre-coronavirus times.

Similar to how people get used to living with chronic diseases, so too we as a humanity will get used to the coronavirus.

It will simply become an integral part of our lives.

As any onset of a disease is felt severely as a shock to the body’s systems, likewise we are currently undergoing the initial pangs of the coronavirus’ “injection” into humanity.

However, this transition phase will settle and human society will assume a new, more independent form.

Even much of the engagement that the coronavirus has brought upon us has acted to exemplify our dependence on each other, i.e., how we depend on each other to wear masks, keep good personal hygiene, maintain our distance from each other and quarantine ourselves if we knowingly contact people with the virus.

We thus see how a small virus has helped us start seeing a more connected world, which operates on everyone and where everyone holds mutual influence, and it will continue to “teach” us such wisdom the more it stays with us.

We would thus be wise to internalize how we are all parts of a single system that is developing toward a new state of balance with nature.

That is, as nature is interdependent and interconnected, so we also discover more and more of nature’s and our own interconnectedness the more we develop.

Also, the more this process of increasing interdependence reveals itself to us, the more we will find ourselves at new sets of crossroads, stage after stage: We either agree to our increasing interdependence and accept more responsibility and consideration for each other, or we oppose it, and thus feel our tightening connection as an increasingly ugly and painful situation.

However, either way, nature presses us to connect more and more, like a steamroller of evolution that flattens our egoistic and harmful attitudes to each other. It squashes our egos like a lemon skin against a lemon squeezer, and will continue doing so until all of our egoistic juices become extracted.

At that stage, we will find a new kind of fulfillment in such qualities that currently seem less important or even ugly to us, like kindness, altruism, giving and consideration of others.

If only we could see that there is a very clear line from our current reality to a new, unified and perfect one, that nature has a state of perfection in store for us and carefully guides us there, then we would encounter everything in our lives more confidently, with a sense of purpose.

Now, we are divided in our attitudes to each other, and more than anything else, this division causes all of our pains. Our division is expressed as each of us being primarily concerned with self-benefit over benefiting others, which is opposite to nature’s holistic characteristic. Suffering is the differential we feel between our state and nature’s, and it operates on us to make us connect.

The more we make strides to connect with each other, the more balanced we will become with nature, and we will thus experience an inversion of our pains and sorrows to pleasures and joy.

We need only agree to connect above our divisive drives that constantly pull in the other direction, and when we reach such an agreement, we will likewise experience its benefits.

Thus, viewing humanity as a single organism and nature as its superior, we can see how nature vaccinated humanity with the coronavirus in order to heal us from our divisive attitudes to each other.

We can thus expect to exit the coronavirus pandemic as a stronger humanity, with healthier attitudes dwelling within, among peoples and nations. Therefore, while we are forced to keep our distance from each other, while doing so, we would be wise to think how we can become more internally connected.

What, then, would it take for the coronavirus to end?

By understanding that it is much more than a mere physical disease, but that it has come to bring upon a change to our thinking—from divided to connected, egoistic to altruistic, and individualistic to interdependent—then by adjusting our attitudes accordingly, we would truly put a stop to the pandemic, since nature would no longer need to use it to teach us a lesson.

Therefore, we should look out for each other, consider how we can prevent viruses of any kind to pass to others, from physical diseases to any kinds of harmful thoughts, and by exercising this mutual responsibility and consideration, the coronavirus will disappear from our lives.

Above photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash.

“Is The World Going To Change Forever Because Of The Coronavirus?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Is the world going to change forever because of the coronavirus?

The coronavirus is inviting us to make a significant change.

It is up to us, however, whether we will experience the impending change as positive or negative.

What is the major change that the coronavirus comes to spark in us?

It is that we change our attitudes to each other, to think positively about each other in order to build a new society that is better connected and balanced with nature’s interconnectedness and interdependence.

If we saw nature’s tendency to develop us to become increasingly connected, with ties of mutual responsibility and consideration, then we would see that we need only implement more care and consideration for each other in order to positively realize our transition.

Failing to take any initiative to improve our connections would generate more suffering. That is, if we fail to upgrade our attitudes to each other, then we will feel the growing distance between the level of dependence nature requires of us and what we ourselves implement as various pains and complications. Vaccines and other medicines would then be of no use, as the coronavirus operates on a whole new level that we have yet to recognize.

It likely seems far-fetched that the coronavirus requires a change in our attitudes to each other more than anything else, and that we will fail to defeat it with mere physical means, but longer term effects of the coronavirus will urge our discovery of upgraded attitudes to each other out of a lack of other options.

In other words, through the coronavirus, nature has given us new conditions by which we undergo fateful changes. For example, if we want to teach our children a new language, mere explanations of that new language are insufficient in order for them to absorb it. But if we place them in conditions where they encounter the language more and more, such as posting words on post-it notes on various furniture and devices around the home, as well as holding regular times when we speak the new language together, then the practical change of conditions teaches the new language more than any explanations.

Therefore, through the new tighter interdependent conditions that the coronavirus pandemic has revealed to us, we would be wise to try and develop our attitudes, to match our new interdependence accordingly.

One exercise we can conduct in this direction involves masks. As health departments around the world have requested wearing masks in public places, we can check our attitude to such a condition: Do we wear the masks, or ignore the guideline? And if we wear the masks, is it because we don’t want to get infected by others, or is it because we don’t want to infect others in case we are asymptomatic carriers of the virus?

The latter discernment is definitely the most altruistic and closest to nature’s attitude to us.

That is just one exercise where we can check our attitude to others, and seek how to upgrade our attitude to such a level where benefiting others becomes as important, if not more important, than serving our narrow self-interests.

Above photo by Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash

“What Is The Spiritual Meaning Of Tisha B’Av?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What is the spiritual meaning of Tisha B’Av?

Our world is governed by two forces, positive and negative, and we humans exist between these forces. In spirituality, the root of the negative force is called “Tisha B’Av” (“the 9th of Av“).

Even as far back as in ancient Babylon, the negative force always reveals around this special date. Whether it be the sin of the spies, the ruin of the First Temple, the exile of Babylon, the ruin of the Second Temple at Tisha B’Av, and the expulsion of Jews from the Land of Israel, or afterward from Spain, Germany and England, the people of Israel execute major sins and also receive punishments on Tisha B’Av.

Why do such sins and punishments take place?

It is all because we fail to bring the positive force in advance of the negative force that reveals at Tisha B’Av.

The First Temple was ruined due to our lack of connection, and the Second Temple was ruined due to unfounded hatred.

In each case, we encounter a shattering due to our growing distance from each other, which unleashes the negative force among our relations.

As Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) writes:

“As the natural death of the individual results from disharmony among one’s organs, the nation’s natural decline results from some obstruction that occurred among its organs, as our sages testified (Tosfot, Baba Metzia, Chapter Two), ‘Jerusalem was ruined only because of unfounded hatred that existed in that generation.’ At that time, the nation was plagued and died, and its organs were scattered to every direction.” (Yehuda Ashlag, “The Nation.”)

On the contrary, our unity has the power to block the negative force from entering into our relations, and in its place, our unity lets the positive force shine through our connections, bringing about peace and harmony.

“What Do You Think About Reincarnation?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What do you think about reincarnation?

There are two ways we can think about reincarnation: in relation to the soul’s development, i.e., the ascent from this world to the spiritual world, and also as the succession of generations in this world.

In terms of the latter, reincarnation is the passing down of genetic, material, perceptual and sensory information from one generation to the next.

For instance, the current generation’s children contain information accumulated by their previous generations. This is why children in each generation can quickly work out how to use the technology and tools of their generation.

Humanity’s development thus unfolds as a succession of generations, where we transfer material progress in science, technology, art and culture, as well as psychological advancements and an inner human message, to each successive generation.

In terms of our ascent from this world to the spiritual world, reincarnation starts from when we feel the awakening of a spiritual desire.

Such a desire is expressed as questions about the meaning and purpose of life.

Kabbalah describes this desire as the seed of our soul, and calls it a “point in the heart.”

Depending on how much we feel such a desire, it urges us to seek through various teachers and environments until we find one that we feel can guide us to attain our spiritual root.

Attaining our spiritual root, according to Kabbalah, is our life’s purpose.

By attaining our spiritual root, we receive clear answers to questions about the meaning and purpose of life—clear because they become expressed in us as sensations of attainment of the spiritual world, where our perception opens up to the complete fulfillment and knowledge that exists above the level of our current world, in our soul.

The journey of developing our spiritual desire and reaching the attainment of our spiritual root is by undergoing a series of spiritual reincarnations, until we reach our final destination from where we emerged.

By doing so, we complete our reincarnation cycle.

Kabbalists explain how such a process can take many lifetimes. Thus, if we discontinue this journey, we will return to it in future lives until we eventually attain the root of our soul.

Until we become granted with a spiritual desire, we accumulate suffering via the formerly-mentioned process of reincarnation at the level of this world.

The more we suffer in our development, the more it leads us to ask existential questions, differentiating our spiritual desire from our other desires, and adding to our yearning to rise above this world and attain our spiritual root.

“How Will Coronavirus Change Consumer Behaviour Forever?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How will coronavirus change consumer behaviour forever?

The coronavirus put spokes in the wheels of the egoistic-competitive paradigm that we had accepted as the norm until recently.

It is because we have reached a point in human development where we need to start growing beyond our egoistic human nature, the inclination to personally benefit at the expense of others.

In other words, our present era is characterized by nature pressing upon us to enter into balance with its interconnected and interdependent form, and thus, it is no longer tolerant of our abuse.

As such, businesses involving the exploitation of people and nature will gradually disappear. The days of opening any business we want—with profit motives at the forefront, and social and ecological considerations in the background, if at all—are over.

We thus have a major undertaking ahead of us. It requires none less than to balance with nature, i.e., to adjust our attitudes to each other in adaptation with the integral relationships among everything existing in nature.

As nature functions according to laws of altruism and interdependence, so too we need to upgrade the quality of our relationships—from egoistic to altruistic, divisive to well-connected—in order to experience healthy, safe and happy lives, balanced with nature.

We have interesting times ahead of us. I think that when we eventually become freed from the pandemic’s conditions, we will more clearly feel how there is no return to the steroid-pumped capitalistic framework we were in before the coronavirus entered our lives.

At that stage, I also see us starting to acknowledge the extent to which we have changed.

Where until recently, people respected the idea of increasing profit margins, paying more attention to the digits in each one’s respective bank accounts than to other people’s well-being, I think more and more people will despise such a tendency.

We will enter into a difficult and confusing period. There will be a a lot of effort put into trying to revive the pre-coronavirus world together with an increased distaste with that world.

Businesses and consumer habits will become more essentials-focused, and people will hold to more normal universal values.

As we head into the future, people wanting to run businesses will need to think very hard about whether and how their business will provide people with something they really cannot do without.

Nature itself will no longer let us splurge in surplus leisure. High unemployment will sweep through societies and the unemployed will be unable to find work that deals with nonessential goods and services.

Governments will be faced with a major problem in terms of what to do with their vast unemployed populations.

I have proposed a model, which recommends paying these people a stipend that covers their needs in exchange for engaging in a new form of education that teaches how to live harmoniously in today’s interdependent reality—the kind of education absent from the schooling system that raised us.

The rest of the the population will be engaged in needed and vital work for humanity, and not in work for the sake of profits, riches and individualistic success at the expense of others.

I sincerely hope that we arrive at such a setup sooner rather than later, because we will reach it one way or another.

While we perceive ourselves as separate from nature, able to seemingly think and act freely, we simply fail to see that we are nature’s parts, and nature is guiding us to match its laws with or without our awareness.

We have reached a stage of development where we experience nature’s disagreement with our excessive exploitation of its resources and of each other, in the form of the coronavirus. And I see this pandemic as our first major stage of purification.

Above photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash.