Entries in the 'Suffering' Category

“Why Do Large Sectors Of Humanity Sometimes Get Hit By Major Blows Of Suffering, Like Natural Disasters And Wars?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why do large sectors of humanity sometimes get hit by major blows of suffering, like natural disasters and wars?

The more humanity evolves, the closer it comes to discovering nature’s interconnectedness and interdependence on a global scale. At a certain point in our development, we receive an invitation to rise to a whole new level of existence, where through our tightening global connection, we find that there is nothing left but to activate mutual concern.

Why, then, do we increasingly receive major blows of suffering, such as natural disasters, wars and pandemics? It is due to nature trying to return itself to balance, and in order for nature as a whole to enter into balance, humanity needs to undergo a certain kind of moral and spiritual correction.

And nature’s simplest and most direct way of prodding humanity to realize its need for correction is by sending us suffering.

The moment we suffer, our needs instantly decrease. We become ready to be satisfied with less in order to just not suffer. Take, for instance, what happens during wars and after natural disasters. People make do with little, making no moves for luxurious surpluses to their lives, and become ready to unite and help each other.

Suffering purifies us, lowers our egoistic drives, and makes us ready to be satisfied with less. We then become ready to connect with others in order to receive confidence and support.

Based on KabTV’s “Close-Up. Partnership Agreement” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on July 4, 2010. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“Why Do Some People Suffer A Lot More Than Others?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why do some people suffer a lot more than others?

We each belong to a single collective system, and we each have an inner foundation within this system. According to this inner foundation, our lives and the extent of suffering in our lives, is determined.

It is important to note that as parts of a collective system, the system as a whole does not take individual parts into account. Rather, it considers their inclusion, i.e. how they combine together in order to function as a single system.

As such, nobody lives alone similar to how a single cell cannot exist by itself within the human body. If a cell serves itself alone, then it becomes cancerous, and it brings about about disease and destruction to the body. Therefore, in order for the body to function healthily, there is a condition set in nature where each cell receives its needs for its sustenance, and gives its surplus for the benefit of the whole body. It thus has no self-considerations, but only takes the interests of the whole body into account, and as a result, it receives the life of the whole body.

Like the single cell in the human body, likewise with its organs: the heart, lungs, liver and several other organs all work not out of self-interest, but in order to serve the whole body. All cells and organs thus work together to create balance and harmony for the body. If, even for a moment, one part of this system considers self-benefit over the benefit of the whole body, then the system collapses.

We live in a similar system. Humanity is a single “body” and we are its parts. Suffering propagates throughout the system—humanity—as a response to us prioritizing self-benefit over benefiting the system as a whole. It comes as a sign that we are not functioning correctly, and we need correction. At our current level of existence, we cannot see why some people suffer more than others, but if we had a bird’s-eye view of the complete system, then we would see how suffering prods the system to undergo a major transition: from its parts feeling and living only for themselves alone, to the parts inverting their intention and living for the benefit of the whole system. Therefore, if we shifted our focus to implement relations of mutual consideration, support and encouragement throughout humanity, we would undergo our fateful transition in a way that alleviates the need for any further suffering.

Based on KabTV’s “Close-Up. Partnership Agreement” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on July 4, 2010. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“How Can Someone Find A Sense Of Meaning From Suffering?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How can someone find a sense of meaning from suffering?

When we—by our actions, by our way of life—will cause such suffering that we will be unable to turn away from it, it will make us think about the meaning of the suffering, or in other words, about the meaning of life, because life will be filled with suffering.

We will then start thinking whether we should live at all, whether we should suffer, whether it all makes sense, and what we should do with ourselves. We will then start asking serious questions about our lives and will try to find their answers.

Then, we will reach the conclusion that our life is incorrect and we must find the correct way of life so that everyone feels good and so that life itself does not end but rather leads us to its optimal outcome.

We will then become ready to start positively connecting to each other above our divisive and destructive drives, and by doing so, we will start attracting the positive force dwelling in nature into our lives.

Our lives will then undergo a dramatic shift to a new harmonious, peaceful and positive form that is more balanced with nature.

Based on KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” on December 2, 2021. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“Why Does God Allow Suffering?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why does God allow suffering?

The world is full of suffering and we cannot justify murder, theft, or any kind of affliction of pain on people.

However, when we feel that our pain and suffering in this world can lead us to a correction, i.e. to the acceptance of justice, and to the sensation of joy and healing, then we start justifying pain and suffering. In general, we fail to understand that pain and suffering comes not as a response to sins or transgressions we seemingly conduct in the world.

Pain and suffering emerges for a single purpose only: to make us seek its reason and purpose. Blows act as a stick that prods us from behind in order to make us eventually seek a greater meaning and purpose to life.

The problem is that we fail to understand why we should be beaten and the blows might be very serious. There is so much pain and suffering in the world that appears to be simply unfair and unjustifiable. Nonetheless, pain and suffering accumulate to a single desire that makes us wiser: the beginning of the awareness that we were created to carry out a certain mission.

In fact, feelings of unjust pain and suffering, and the lack of understanding of why so much seemingly meaningless suffering occurs, which invokes questions about its causes—is precisely why it occurs.

Pain and suffering leaves us with a question mark, which ultimately directs us to the search for the true cause of the pain and suffering. We find that true cause when we eventually switch from the search for the meaning of suffering to the search for the meaning of life.

However, we generally have no clue that pain and suffering is for us to seek out its root causes, but nonetheless, that is the only reason we suffer.

Based on the lesson “How to Choose a Path of No Suffering?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman, on January 3, 2016. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash.

“IMF: Covid Scars The Vulnerable The Most” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “IMF: Covid Scars the Vulnerable the Most

On the homepage of its website, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) writes that it is “an organization of 190 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.” In a report the IMF published recently, titled After-Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the organization concludes that “The degree of expected scarring varies across countries, depending on the structure of economies… Emerging market and developing economies are expected to suffer more scarring than advanced economies.” As usual, the rich and powerful get away with everything, and the exploited weak bear the brunt. We don’t need an organization of 190 countries to know that this is the case, but to change it. When it does nothing to change it, it means that its purpose is not to change the situation but to perpetuate it, mask the ploy from the vulnerable, and if possible, collect a few compliments on its great service to society.

The pandemic is a blessing for the rich and powerful. They use organizations like the IMF as lip-service, and I have zero expectations from them. When they act, it is only in order to gain even more wealth and power. When you bring them an idea, start with what benefit they will get out of it. If you don’t, don’t waste your time or theirs. Things won’t change until the poor raise an outcry that they can no longer survive. Then, things will get interesting. But the clash will be short-lived. In the end, nothing will change because the ego has not changed.

The pandemic is a blessing for the rich and powerful. They use organizations like the IMF as lip-service, and I have zero expectations from them. When they act, it is only in order to gain even more wealth and power. When you bring them an idea, start with what benefit they will get out of it. If you don’t, don’t waste your time or theirs. Things won’t change until the poor raise an outcry that they can no longer survive. Then, things will get interesting. But the clash will be short-lived. In the end, nothing will change because the ego has not changed.

If the rich can get away from the crowd by hopping on a private jet to a resort in the Maldives, what incentive will they have to change anything? It looks like things will change only when humanity is lying face down in the gutter. As long as heads of states can get away from it all, and get away with it, nothing will change. On the contrary, there will be “world peace” based on a global economy where people have equally nothing, and a global moral system that says, “Steal as much as you can, however you can, and wherever you can.”

You would think that there is no point talking about the situation, but that is not the case. A change will come, but it will happen only when the lie is exposed to the whole world, and the world cannot ignore it. When this happens, humanity will not sit idly when more than 400,000 people are diagnosed with Covid every single day in India alone, and 4,000 people die there for lack of oxygen and basic medical treatment or adequate facilities. A few weeks ago, this disgrace was happening in Brazil, now it is happening in India, in a few weeks it will happen elsewhere, and we don’t care until it hits us in the face. It isn’t just “aid” organizations that are indifferent; it is all of us.

If we cared, they wouldn’t dare. They wouldn’t have the audacity to contort their faces in phony frowns of sympathy.

Sincerely, I have no hope that a change will come from suffering. People will continue to ache until they feel that death is better than living, but they will still not change. The only thing that will eventually change us is the realization that our only strength is in each other. Then, when people turn toward each other, they will realize that they cannot unite, that their hearts are frozen, and this is why they’re suffering. Only when people try to merge their hearts will they realize that their egoism is their enemy, the cause of their afflictions, and that all along, it has been fooling them into thinking that it is someone else’s fault.

When we try to form a bond, we will finally find the strength and gumption that we need in order to overcome our ordeals. The horrific future on our path will materialize only if we remain oblivious to the solution of unity, the only solution that can work.

Human suffering is not written in stone; it is written in our hearts of stone. If we turn our hearts toward each other, it will soften them, and this will soften our fate.

Nature isn’t cruel. No animal suffers as much as we do, unless we afflict it on them. The only thing that’s cruel in nature is human nature. If we change it, by reaching out to one another and forming a bond that is similar to the bonds among all parts of nature, nature will cease its lashing at us. Then, and only then, we will begin to heal, and start living for real.

“How Do You Deal With All These Terrible Things Going On In The World?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How do you deal with all these terrible things going on in the world?

I explain to people that suffering is not going anywhere, and things are not going to become any better or sweeter, unless we change ourselves: that we will want to correct our egoistic human nature into its opposite.

The world will improve to the extent that we rise above our egoistic nature, which by default wishes to benefit at the expense of others and nature, and enter into a new altruistic nature, where we wish to benefit others and nature more than we wish to benefit ourselves.

The more that we elevate our attitudes to each other in such a way, to unite above division, to build friendships in human society instead of letting ourselves go with the flow of remaining divided, indifferent, uncaring and even hateful of each other, then we can hope for a better future.

Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

The Special Influence Of The Creator

507.05“The Advantage of the Land,” Baal HaSulam: Thus, when one suffers, he becomes far from the Creator since he naturally becomes hateful of He who imparts him torments.

In such a case a person is called a sinner. He cannot justify the Creator with regard to what he feels in the world, and to this extent the Creator is concealed from him.

If we feel bad, we do not feel that this bad feeling stems from the Creator. It is the special intention of His bestowal unto us.

If the feeling is good, we feel that it stems from the Creator, but if the feeling is bad, if we have not prepared ourselves to feel negative impacts as positive, we do not feel that they stem from the Creator and instead feel them as torments.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 12/22/19

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“What Is Every Single Benefit Of Physical Pain?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What is every single benefit of physical pain?

Pain protects us by making us feel a boundary, where if we cross it, then we enter a danger zone.

We typically want to simply not feel pain, and if we feel it, we want it to disappear right away. Together with this tendency, it is worthwhile to add a scrutiny of why we feel pain, and how we can get rid of it. Or on the contrary, it could be that we feel pain due to a disease that surfaces, which is a sign that we need to get ourselves treated.

However, more importantly, we should understand that our nature is a desire to enjoy, which wishes to move away from pain and move toward pleasure, enjoyment and happiness. What, then, stands between our experience of total enjoyment and happiness in life compared to a life full of various pains? It is simply a different screen by which we can perceive and sense reality.

In order to achieve this change where we perceive and sense a world full of goodness and happiness, we need only connect with our desires and apply efforts to change them so that we will start perceiving everything in our world as good, enjoyable and pleasant.

This is an inner change that requires us wanting to give others everything that is good for them, and then in return, we will receive all the goodness that we want for ourselves.

If we make such a transformation, then we will experience utter perfection and happiness, or as it is expressed in the Torah, “a land of milk and honey.”

It all depends on our desire to give to others. The moment we get rid of our egoistic intention to receive at the expense of others, and replace it with an altruistic intention solely to benefit others, then when we attain such a giving desire, we will see that there is an abundance of everything good in life in front of us, and we will want only to give that abundance to others. It can be likened to all the gold, silver and diamonds in the world suddenly appearing right in front of our very eyes the moment we have no intention to receive any of it for ourselves, but only wish for others to benefit from it. When we reach such a degree in our intention, then we will experience total perfection and happiness.

Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“Suicide: Why Do People Kill Themselves?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Suicide: Why do people kill themselves?

People who commit suicide do not want to endure ongoing feelings of frustration and emptiness.

Like any person, they wanted to become fulfilled—and today there are myriad pleasures available to us at the tap of a button—but suicidal people find fulfillment to be completely elusive.

The inner distress they feel within exceeds any sensations that they can receive from anyone else.

What do these people ultimately need?

They need the answer to the meaning of life.

Do our lives have meaning, a goal and a purpose that make our lives worth living? What is our impetus to continue living on in life?

Such questions awaken in certain people, and they drive some people to seek their answers, and some to a pit of desperation, where they would like to invert such questions and sensations, but they cannot, and then they reach the end.

To get answers to the questions about life’s meaning, I recommend checking out the links in my Quora bio, where there is a plethora of courses and other materials available to help people find the answers to life’s deepest questions.

Photo by Lachlan Dempsey on Unsplash.

How To Reduce Suffering

laitman_294.2Rabash, “Love of Friends” Article No. 6: The most important thing is to always remember the purpose of creation, which is known to be “to do good to His creations.” Thus, if He wants to give them delight and pleasure, why are these three above matters—faith, fear and “Love thy friend”? It means that they need only qualify their vessels to be able to receive the delight and pleasure that the Creator wishes to give to the creatures.

The material of creation is a desire to enjoy. This is how the Creator made us. All forms of desire on the inanimate, vegetative, animal, and human levels only want one thing: to fill themselves so they feel pleasure.

Pleasure is a very complex concept. What happens in the body when it is enjoying?

We perceive everything like animals: “I feel pleasure!” What is pleasure? Where does it take place? In what cells and internal systems? Do you sense a certain kind of fulfillment against some feeling of lack? Does one complete the other?

Based on this, we see that pleasure can only be whenever there is a preliminary need, and only to the extent of its fulfillment can one feel pleasure.

In principle, what should the Creator have done? Only one thing: Having wished to give delight and pleasure to the created being, He needed to create a desire for that pleasure, or a feeling of deficiency. Yet the Creator did the opposite: He created evil, a minus, so that afterward by neutralizing and filling this minus with an opposite quality, the created being would feel the plus.

This is why it is written “I created evil…” and this is bewildering to an ordinary person. Evil, however, was created only in order to then replace it with good. This means that we need to do some work here, a certain manipulation of oneself, or nature, or the Creator in order to come from the feeling of evil to the feeling of good, from hatred to love.

This raises many questions. How could I feel all the qualities that are opposite to the Creator? Why do I have to go through all the terrible sensations that are worse than death? If the Creator wants to give me eternal, perfect fulfillment, does it mean that I have to feel a state opposite to it?

The solution is as follows: I do not have to go through terrible states, emptiness that is “worse than death,” and so on. I simply need to realize that after feeling even the slightest bit of suffering, I can immediately move on to enjoyment. More precisely, I should feel the suffering from the absence of pleasure, and then I will never feel the suffering itself.

This is where the wisdom of Kabbalah is leading us. It is calling on us to strive for connection, kindness, and love, and this is when I begin to feel that I am completely opposite to that. However, at that point I will already be in the positive field, in the field of the Creator, in His half.

This is why the contrast that I will feel when I aspire to clarify what He is and who He is will also be positive, since it is an indication that I am not like Him. Precisely at that point I will be able to demand and ask without detaching from Him. While trying to adhere to the Creator’s property—bestowal and love—I will feel how my “I,” my nature, is tearing me away from Him, and at the same time I immediately hold onto Him through the group.

Thus, I do not have to go through terrible, opposing states, but only small unpleasant sensations, like a baby who is being separated from his mother. This is enough for him to cling to her and always be concerned about drawing closer to her.

Such alternating small states that we go through are called the stages of our development. Each time, while we aim for the Creator through the group and constantly think about how to urge the friends toward Him, I feel how much compared to them I am still not succeeding in this, and in this manner I come closer to the Creator, I acquire His properties.

In other words, we do not have to go through states of darkness, separation, and estrangement, which are opposite to adhesion with the Creator. By working on His side, working through the group, it is enough for us to feel literally a tiny bit of separation from Him each time in order to pull ourselves toward Him, and to carry out our work in this manner.

The Creator’s actions on us will then be felt like small prods and calibrations, the way a mother nudges a child: “This is what needs to be done, give this a try.” They will be felt only in this manner and not in their true form of the enormous black abyss that is “worse than death.”
From KabTV’s “The Last Generation” 3/22/18

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