Entries in the 'Quora' Category

“Are There Ecological Limits To Economic Growth?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Are there ecological limits to economic growth?

The question is inapplicable because even before we achieve a certain techno-ecological limit of development, humanity will destroy itself in a Third World War. It is impossible to reach the limit of technical development, because we evoke much greater problems with our thoughts and our incorrect attitudes toward each other. This is why there is no ecological limit to economic development.

In general, the ecological problem is not caused by our technical or technological development, but only by the development of the ego and its inherent evil. This is why the only possible salvation here is for us all to understand that we belong to a single body, to a single global system, that we are interconnected and interdependent, and thus we are obligated to take care of each other. As soon as we understand that we belong to a single system, one organism—at that very moment, all of our problems will be over with. We will then experience nature’s treatment of us as positive and wonderful, to the same extent that we treat each other in such a way.

The principle is very simple: The worse we treat each other, the worse nature will treat us; and the better we treat each other, the better nature will treat us.

Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“Is It Possible For Humans To Imagine Creating A World Without Bloodshed?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Is it possible for humans to imagine creating a world without bloodshed?

Changes in human society, politics, the economy, and other fields, without bloodshed, are possible exclusively by means of one principle: we should gradually change people’s outlook, public opinion, to counterbalance the modern egoistic politics. Thanks to the formation of an altruistic public opinion, where we prioritize benefiting others over self-benefit, we will change the way power acts toward us from egoistic to altruistic.

As a result of spreading knowledge of the need to prioritize benefiting others over self-benefit, authorities will change their opinion and direction. It will be difficult, but public opinion is capable of doing such wonders. In the end, everything depends on the knowledge of the masses. This is why before a change in governance, there must first be dissemination, preparation and education of the world in such a manner.

There is no point in waiting for authorities to change, or in turning to them so that they change something. They are solely concerned with their power. Their change will only come about by means of changing public opinion.

Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“How Do You Explain Natural Calamities?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How do you explain natural calamities?

We first need to understand that we ourselves disrupt the ecological and other balances that we have with nature.

We evoke such imbalance not by using harmful technologies or by coarsely intervening with nature with our technologies. Instead, the problem lies precisely in our attitudes to each other, which are egoistic and opposite from the ecological balance. In other words, we disrupt nature because we are not in balance with nature, which is altruistic, at the level of our human interactions.

None of our actions and the efforts we make in the attempt to minimize different technological waste—pollution, dirt, and different factors of our influence on nature—will help. Even if we cease the use of all our technology and will no longer evoke problems in nature directly—nevertheless we will not achieve balance with nature. It is because we disrupt the balance on the human level, with our thoughts and our corrupt attitude toward each other. Our egoistic thoughts and attitudes to each other on the human level project imbalance and corruption onto nature’s lower levels.

This is why nature treats us badly. Our egoistic consideration, our attitude, and our unfounded hatred for each other causes problems of disease, helplessness, depression, drug abuse, and it also leads to ecological catastrophes. It is all in our attitudes to each other. No measures to restrict any technological development will help us. We will nevertheless come to a global crisis, which includes ecological crises, in all its might.

Herein, let us hope that we will understand that harmony in our attitudes to one another needs to be maintained, and not actions and behaviors on the level of the technologies we use. The more we understand and apply this principle, the less crises we will experience on ecological and other scales, and reach a harmonious and peaceful life much sooner.

Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“What Is Courage?” (Quora)

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

Courage means to stand up in spite of the world—even if the world is laughing at you, even if the world does not believe you, and even if the world does not want what you want to give it—and explain to the world with love, patience and high spirits what benefits the world, what brings peace to the world and what benefits humanity’s salvation today. Even though we cannot achieve such a state quickly, and it will be tough to explain it, and even though the response we receive will be a lack of acceptance, censure, a lack of understanding, and rejection—nevertheless we are obligated to bring the knowledge about the general law of nature to the world.

This is not faith, and it does not relate to any of the faiths, whether it be Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Confucianism or Buddhism. This relates to the general law of the universe, which is what the world is based on and the world will need to accept it. This general law of nature states that we are obligated to treat every person according to the principle, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Nature urges us to do so. We thus need to explain it to the world time and again through as many means and formats as possible.

In essence, treating everyone positively and spreading the wisdom about the need to positively connect is the greatest courage that humanity has. During such a process, we do not turn our mind and our pride against others, but on the contrary, we feel that we serve humanity, that we are beneath everyone, and that we need everyone, and wish the best for them.

That is true courage, and that is how we first and foremost defy our ego and make ourselves servants of the world. Only those who have overcome the ego can be real heroes.

Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“What Should I Do To Stop Feeling Despair?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What should I do to stop feeling despair?

If we feel despair, then we should seek the cause of this feeling. We ultimately feel despair because, even if we live to be 200 years old, we will still be unable to fulfill our desire to enjoy.

Our desire to enjoy is our nature. It pushes us to enjoy via our desires for food, sex, family, money, honor, control, knowledge and spirituality. The problem with this desire is that it is aimed at our personal benefit alone, so any enjoyment we receive is short lived, and we end up feeling emptier the more that we develop.

When we reach a state of despair from living, a state that all people will eventually reach, then in order to best deal with this feeling, we should seek a solution.

How can we exit the feeling of despair? We receive this question ultimately from nature. Nature is whole, perfect and eternal, and we too ultimately demand to be whole, perfect and eternal. We each face this eternal dilemma, and find no answer. Some of us might be able to pacify this question with psychological means or by making do with certain enjoyments for the time being.

However, the more we develop, the more we will be unable to pacify our existential questions, and they will pressure us more and more to somehow find their answers. What, then, can be the solution for our entire existence?

The wisdom of Kabbalah is a method that provides the following solution: we need to change the world by changing ourselves. The world is a copy of us. We project our qualities onto whatever is outside of us. Therefore, if we change our qualities into spiritual ones, i.e. to qualities of love, bestowal and positive connection, we will then feel a different world.

In other words, changing the intention upon which we wish to enjoy—from self-benefit to benefiting others and nature—is the key to stopping despair. By doing so, we enter into balance with nature and start feeling its flow of eternity, harmony and perfection.

Based on a talk with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“Should We Give Up Our Civil Liberties To Combat Terrorism/Preserve National Security?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Should we give up our civil liberties to combat terrorism/preserve national security?

We need to reach a decision that security should be universal, i.e., all over the world. If we lack security, and find ourselves in war, violence or using forceful methods anywhere in the world instead of cooperation, then the safety of the entire world will suffer.

Safety is respected and valued if it does not come from any egoistic consideration, such as power, force and pride. If we all observe such a condition, then the world and every society needs to accept it as a truly just form of security.

What amount of freedom can we forgo? We must reject our freedom for the needs of security on the condition that in the future we will correct society, having achieved freedom and safety. Otherwise all rejection of freedom for the sake of security is flawed.

Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“Why Are So Many People Who Live In Non-Democratic Countries And Dictatorships Hostile To The Western World?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why are so many people who live in non-democratic countries and dictatorships hostile to the Western world?

Many people who have been raised outside Western culture feel it as foreign because they see it as artificial and as an accumulation of several illusions. Much of the behavior among Westerners is distant from nature. For instance, Western culture generally pays little attention to human nature, and emphasizes external behaviors like how people should appear in society, and this gives rise to much hypocritical behavior, where we appear to be pleasant and well-mannered on the outside, and on the inside, everything is the opposite.

In other words, many people who were born and raised in non-Western cultures see the extent to which feelings of pride and superiority prevail in Western culture, and it is also the reason for Western democracy appearing to many as a total failure in building a just society.

In addition, Western democracy is based on Christian values, which are unaccepted by cultures that accord to different philosophies and religions, such as Islam, Judaism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, among others. As a result, they do not accept Western culture and Christian values, and they feel the degree to which such values place society into narrow confines. Therefore, even when people emigrate to the West in order to lead easier and more developed lives, many of them end up hating Western culture and develop certain boundaries so that they can live according to their own cultures.

Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“Should We Have The Right To Choose Where We Want To Live?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Should we have the right to choose where we want to live?

According to the way in which nature develops us, we need to reach a state where we realize ourselves for human society’s maximal benefit, and with maximal effectiveness. As such, if we thoroughly research our options and find that we can realize ourselves more beneficially for humanity in a specific location, then of course we should have the right to move to that place where we can be of more benefit to humanity.

However, I emphasize that such a move should take place only after we find that we can truly be of more benefit to humanity in the target location. It means that we refrain from moving simply because we feel like it or that it “seems right” at a certain moment. Instead, we make our decision to move according to our awareness of the general law of nature, and how nature develops us. Also, as explained by Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), we might need to receive special permission from the people who understand where we can best realize ourselves. We can then be certain that where we wish to move is where we need to be and act.

If we move simply because we are bored in one place, and think that we can reap more egoistic fulfillment somewhere else, i.e. aim to move is simply in order to egoistically absorb what others have prepared in the other location, then by doing so, of course we do not become useful to society and I do not think that such a move is justified.

Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“How Would The World Be Different If Africans Were Never Brought To The Americas At All, As Slaves Or Otherwise?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How would the world be different if Africans were never brought to the Americas at all, as slaves or otherwise?

The world would be nearly the same, other than America of course, which would look and feel completely different. America would be more like a Western European nation, such as France, Germany and England.

On one hand, America would be more closed off than it is today. On the other hand, we need to understand that nature unfolds according to a set plan, and it advances the world to a state of equilibrium. There is thus no point in discussing history in a subjunctive fashion, because the development we have undergone is absolute. We need to say that what happened yesterday had to have happened, and it could not have happened in any other way. Also, we should never regret the past, but on the contrary, we should always think and act with the present and the future in mind.

Regretting a particular course of historical events is an unhealthy, ineffective and detrimental approach to life. Why? It is because the unfolding of history is set in stone, and everything that has happened was for a very specific purpose—to guide us to a final state of balance with nature. Therefore, we would be much better off if, from this moment on, we adjust ourselves in a manner of “If I am not for myself, then who is for me?” and say in relation to the past that, “There is none else besides Him,” i.e. that nature enacted everything exactly as it needed to. We cannot change the way we have developed to this current point, and we should thus not focus on it.

Therefore, we have nothing to regret about the past. If we look back into the past with such an approach, then we become like the wife of Lot, who turned into a pillar of salt, having gained absolutely nothing by doing so.

We should thus focus on our future. What does a positive future for humanity look like? If we concentrate on building a positive future for ourselves and nature, then we will reach the conclusion that only by reaching the understanding of the laws of nature, knowing how nature works, and observing these laws, then we will be on course to realizing a much better future for all.

Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“What Is The Relationship Between Individual Freedom And Social Responsibility?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What is the relationship between individual freedom and social responsibility?

Society should feel, understand and decide on the boundary between the individual’s freedom and social responsibility, and not the individual.

The person mostly lives within society, and the life of a person should ultimately be for the benefit of society. This is why a major problem is to provide the knowledge that will let us feel social good as equivalent to the good of each individual. In other words, the goals of an individual and of human society as a whole should be the same: to reach a state of mutual benefit of each person to the greater circle of human society. We will then each live according to our loyalty to society.

In addition, society should influence every individual by raising the value of social responsibility and benefit to top priority, and rewarding every individual who acts to benefit society with respect, merits and appreciation.

We should thus understand the extent to which we are all influenced by society. Whatever society wants is what every individual wants, since everyone needs support from society. Our self, i.e. our ego, is activated by the values we receive from society.

If society pays no attention to egoistic acts that benefit individuals at the expense of society, and respects altruistic acts that benefit society, then everyone will strive to conduct altruistic acts in order to become respected, and feel that they are important and beneficial to society. We want others to support us, and to speak favorably about us. If we manage to instill an altruistic social influence, then we will all start realizing ourselves to our maximum in order to benefit society.

This is why society needs to be the factor that establishes the boundary between individual freedom and social responsibility.

Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.