Michael Laitman, On Quora: “How does culture influence us negatively?“
Without any connection to how the general culture influences a person, the result of being parts of a culture that values materialism and consumerism is that it gives us a heightened sensation of emptiness, which leads us into more and more problems like depression, loneliness, stress, anxiety, drug abuse, suicide, extremism and crises in families and in our upbringing. The negative effects of living in such a culture generally leads us to a global crisis, and we could even reach such states as a Third or Fourth World War, or the threat of annihilation resulting from an ecological or nuclear catastrophe.
We are developing to a whole new peaceful and harmonious state of existence, but on the way there we need to experience our egoistic nature as an evil and negative force. It is undesirable to feel this realization of our egoistic nature as evil through suffering. On the contrary, it is desirable to reveal our ego as evil by means of a specific form of education and awareness.
However, for the time being, we are developing from a smaller ego to a bigger one, and from small pains to greater suffering. Nature is purposefully formulating a menacing feeling and environment around us so that, whether we want it or not, we would feel that our egos are the source of the evil that evokes all problems and suffering in our lives. Through such a realization, we will discover that egoism itself functions in order to compel us to see its evil and to annul our drive to serve it.
In the same token, there is also a possibility for a short, positive and painless path to a peaceful and harmonious world not via suffering, but via the realization of evil. We can do so only with the help of disseminating the wisdom about how nature works on all of its levels—still, vegetative, animate, and of course, human—and how to achieve the final state nature is guiding us toward peacefully and harmoniously. It is possible and much more desirable to achieve a change of human nature by means of awareness and connection-enriching education instead of by suffering.
Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.