A Series of Talks between Michael Laitman and Psychologist Anatoly Ulianov
Talk No. 7
December 14, 2012
Evil Robed In Goodness
Question: According to the method of integral upbringing, a person is not supposed to be shown bad examples. But in psychology things are a little different: A person talks about his misfortunes and begins to evaluate what he is doing wrong. Essentially, a person is getting in touch with his evil, bad side, which he then tries to correct.
Answer: Our approach is absolutely different: Evil does not exist! There is no evil in the world! Even though all of nature appears evil to us, it is only because we use it incorrectly. If we use it in a different way, it will be absolute goodness. And we can also use egoism for good, and not bad.
When I play against my own egoism, meaning begin to evaluate and work with it as with an instrument of my ascent over it, it becomes my starting point, the guideline according to which I measure myself: how much I ascend and change.
I regard my egoism as a negative essence given to me, which I must properly robe into a completely opposite intention: to use it all for bestowal, love, and connection. Then egoism will constantly be of help to me; it will constantly push and goad me, pull me somewhere aside, and I will constantly work on counterbalancing it by finding ways to rise above it. This way it will be my help “against me.”
We know that any tracking or any developing system must consist of two opposite forces. And these mutually opposite forces achieve the best possible result, the common denominator by balancing each other out.
This is why the egoism in me must be balanced out by the desire to rise above it, lean on the environment, the help of the neighbors, friends, and the entire community in order to rise above it. These two systems—society, the environment on one side and my egoism on the other—are helping me. And it is as if I am standing between them and am raising myself this way.
Ultimately, I examine my egoism, reveal the qualities in it that can help me grow above it, use it for bestowal, advancement, joy, and helping others, and then it becomes the force, the mass, the matter, I am working with. I am in no way destroying it! It keeps developing in me, and I welcome with joy all the nuances of its development.
A modern person greets it with sorrow and grief: “Me again! What did I do?!” But it is not me. It is nature revealing itself in me this way—an enormous egoistic nature that reveals itself in us specifically this way so we would keep uniting over it.
This is why egoism is an engine that moves us forward. We need all its forms, all its manifestations, even the most horrible ones, so we could robe them in pretty clothes.
This horror remains on the inside, and let it stay there. But when we put a completely different and opposite shell on it, we create a discord, a dipole in every one of our qualities, which helps us increase the strength of egoism and use it for the sake of others in a way which creates a completely different structure called “Man.”
Now is the first time in history that we are coming to a state when we will be able to rise above the level of our corporeal existence (for the sake of the physical body) to the level where we create a completely different, spiritual structure: a common virtual humanity, where everyone is interconnected and mutually complete one another. And this single integrated mechanism, the so-called Adam, which is the prototype of the collective human being in the world, provides us with the opportunity to attain all the forces of nature, all its depths, and use them the right way.
So, by no means do we destroy or neutralize the egoism; on the contrary, we rejoice in all of its negative manifestations, like a sculptor who finds a good material to make a sculpture. Of course he is looking at a lot of work to shape it into a specific form. But he is glad that this material has landed in his hands.
It’s the same with us. The revelation of egoism is the new material with which I can work. And we only need to change the way we use the material and not the actual material—instead of doing something at the expense of others, we need to do it for their sake.
Imprisoned By Egoism
Question: Does the notion of “egoism” imply a certain desire or the realization of this desire? For example, I wish to take something from someone—this is my desire, I can work with it. But it is a whole other thing if I actually take it from them.
Answer: We are not talking about the action, but the actual intention. When you wish to take something from someone, realize something at the expense of another, and receive pleasure from it, for your own sake, to the detriment of others, this is egoism. But simply enjoying something is not egoism.
Egoism is when our actions are directed at pleasing ourselves and hurting others by doing it: people, nature—no matter whom or what.
Virtually any action that we perform is egoistic. It is always either realized in balance with nature, society, and people or against them since we do not exist on our own like in a vacuum, but in the surrounding environment.
I must always think about my kind attitude towards others, and this primarily comes during the upbringing process. My attitude towards the animate, vegetative, and the still world, my attitude towards all of nature, and the entire Universe becomes completely different: benevolent, compassionate.
We begin to understand and perceive forces and layers that are concealed from us in the past, in nature, and in the surrounding space. We reveal the matrix, the design of nature, its inner meaning, its plan, where we exist and develop against our will. A person reaches the level of realization of his own participation, fate, destiny, and purpose.
Getting Acquainted with the Universal Mind
Question: What is the meaning of “revealing the design of nature”: Does a person see, hear, or feel something?
Answer: As man becomes similar to the surrounding nature, he begins to treat it in a positive manner and to understand its design, feelings, and thought. He begins to see that nature, which created everyone including him, man who possesses a higher mind and feeling.
By the way, many speak about this, people who are close to nature, who grew up and developed in it, for example the Bedouins inIsraelwho live in the desert. They perceive nature, its breath.
I have spoken with many people, who have spent many years in the desert, the tundra, and the jungle with apes. They told me of amazing sensations, when the perception of nature, its design, and its mind suddenly begin to communicate with the person, and he begins to perceive that he exists inside mother nature, inside an enormous wise system. He suddenly begins to speak, communicate with it, reveal its matrix, its plan, and identify with it, and a certain union between man and nature appears which raises him to the next level of development.
The understanding of the common design of nature and the ascent to its next level, the level of controlling our own lives, is the purpose of the modern stage of development.
Question: In other words, we see certain new relationships and they become more obvious, more natural. But nature itself remains the same? Or does it also change?
Answer: I am not speaking about the still, vegetative, and animate nature. I am speaking about nature, which bares itself before man, reveals itself, and he discovers a certain enormous common universal feeling, mind, and design. Man reveals this.
When he connects to this, he begins to feel that he is on the next level of development. In other words he gains the understanding of all processes, the view of the world from beginning to end, its design: Why our Universe developed, where it came from, what there was before the Big Bang, what happened after (since our Universe has obviously existed for a certain amount of time), and the perception of the Universe, how we perceive it outside of our five physical senses, through a universal mind, a higher heart and mind. As man attains this, he begins to understand that his entire lengthy historic process of development was in order to reach this level.
Many sciences speak of this. Terminal problems, which appear in every science come from the fact that further development of sciences is directed specifically in this area. Consequently, scientists will not be able to reveal anything without upbringing, without being transformed through an integrated relationship with nature. This is why all our sciences are in a crisis.
An Altruistic “Shirt” for Egoism
Question: What does it mean, “to rise above egoism?” How do you do it: through thoughts?
Answer: To rise means to work with your egoism in a sensible manner. When you are under the influence of society and the society seems to be to your right, while egoism is to the left, you become close to the society and merge with it as you invest yourself in it as much as you can and treat egoism as matter that you must use in order to make a person, to give it a human form.
This is the difference between our method and all the other methods, which are based on the destruction and suppression of egoism, its maximum concealment, leveling. But not here! Here it is easily revealed. And since it is one of the two forces of nature, as I reveal the second force, I begin to see in an absolutely objective manner how both forces can be used, and neither applies to me!
Today I identify myself with my egoism; I exist in it inseparably. But here I sort of come out of it and regard my body, myself, and those around me objectively; I separate every person from their inner egoistic essence. In this way, I start seeing people, not necessarily in their egoistic matter, but outside of their egoistic matter, outside of their egoism, outside of matter, the way they should be if they were to properly use these two forces, the right and the left. The left force is egoism, and the right is the surrounding environment, which demonstrates altruistic qualities to me that are opposite to egoism.
Question: I do not fully understand, what is the right line?
Answer: The right line is power. It is the idea that I need to transform my left line: all my egoistic desires, intentions, everything there is. Let us say I have 600 or 800 of them, it does not matter whatever number becomes revealed, even 10 or 20 different desires and thoughts. Under the influence of the society and the environment, I must transform all my egoistic qualities, desires, and thoughts, which are my egoistic heart and mind, into their opposite: altruistic. It is like putting an altruistic shirt over egoism.
Question: Let us use an example to make it clear. Let us say that I have a new desire to sing. I like singing, but I am bad at it.
Answer: This is not egoism. Egoism is when you wish to use something, which will hurt others and will supposedly benefit you. But even if we use the singing example, if you were to sing in front of your mother who loves you, your singing would please her, despite the quality of your voice and your ability to carry a tune. If you were to sing outside, people might not be very pleased to hear you. Thus everything depends on the degree of participation, love, and connection between you and your listeners.
Question: How do you turn an egoistic action into its opposite?
Answer: Introduce love in the connection between us.
Imagine a scientist, for example, a doctor that operated on a person who had a problem with his voice, and the surgeon gave the patient the ability to speak. Now, this person, completely out of tune and wheezing, sings. Imagine what pleasure the doctor is experiencing hearing the results of his work!
Here everything depends on the connection between the people, and not the correct reproduction. If your actions are making others happy, go ahead do it. All the doors are open before you.
The main thing is to have a proper connection with others when you perceive each other with love. Then your new relationship is in charge. You begin to perfectly and instinctively understand which qualities you can use. Just as before you wanted to instinctively and openly use egoism for your benefit, now you openly and sincerely use it in the opposite direction.
Poison Is Not Always Bad
Question: Let us say that we have gathered a group of people and are teaching them integrated unity. Sometimes several people wish to express their opinion simultaneously. But I interrupt everyone because I want for everyone to listen to me. This is an egoistic action because people are obligated to listen to me. How do you make it altruistic?
Answer: The action itself does not matter. The main thing is to create the right connection between people! Then they will probably interact properly and any of their actions will occur as desired. This becomes realized during the process of education.
At first the entire integrated upbringing course curriculum must be completed: who we are, what we are, what is our freedom of will, and what is the influence of the environment. Practical work begins once a person acquires a certain amount of knowledge.
Question: When two people are interacting, is it possible to show that one person is using his egoism and acting in an integral manner, while another person is acting egoistically?
Answer: This depends on the inner state.
Let us look at a surgeon for example. “He is cutting a person! Is this for real?” Show this image to someone out of our world, who does not understand these actions and he will immediately either stop the surgeon or kill him. And a lot of money is paid for this surgery.
Every medicine is poison, but its proper use makes it a medicine. The symbol of medicine is a biting snake! This means that even subconsciously a person understands and sees that everything negative in nature can be used in a very positive way, and it only depends on us. This is why the view of an unprepared person will not explain anything.
Sometimes parents punish a child by spanking him. Of course sometimes nowadays, they cross the line. But when it is done from the point of view of education, upbringing, when the child needs to be kept from hurting himself, it is best for me to smack him and use this way to prevent him from harming himself. So it is necessary to know this entire system of relationships.
I think that the main problem with modern psychology is that first it needs to introduce upbringing. The psychologist needs to educate his patients. But he has no time for this he only has a little advice. Of course they do make certain adjustments, but not drastic changes.
It’s Nice Doing Good!
Question: Let us say I am driving; I am running late and I’m stuck in a traffic jam. Suddenly an opening appears, so I can either move my car there or let someone else take the spot.
Answer: I assure you that you will be letting everyone go before you because you will enjoy doing it. You will feel like you are doing good. And you will simply enjoy doing it.
Try to somewhat feel this state, to feel this example, instead of just accepting it. Just accepting it is impossible. If we were to show this through mass media, if our plays, films, etc. spoke of this, we would naturally see a different picture of human behavior on the street.
Question: So we can imagine that a person who has received integrated upbringing will be letting other people go first through the doors?
Answer: He will not be able to do otherwise. He will do this automatically. Social influence will put us in a new field of influence, which will not allow us to act egoistically. We will not be able to do that! Everything only depends on the environment.
This is why the first thing we need to do is to educate individuals, and to create a strong environment with them. Try to penetrate the mass media and the government. Explain to them the need for such social development. Society will do the work in transforming individuals to correspond to it; moreover, they will do it willingly. And all this naturally needs to be accompanied by explanations.
A Delicate Experiment
Question: Modern people are completely opposite to integrality, which we are speaking about. A person who steps on other people to get ahead is better off than a person who yields to everyone and cares for others. As a rule the second one is a loser.
Answer: Let’s do an experiment; let’s photograph people and start showing them how they behave in different places. Let them see themselves from aside. Do you think this would not cause them to change, even without any social work?
Let us show children their parents’ behavior. This is the strongest factor of influence on the parents! Let us see how they will react to this.
This will change them. If the children at home were to express their disrespect or resentment of their parents’ actions, the parents would not be able to remain in the same state. They would be compelled to fight for the respect of their children. It is an awful catastrophe for parents when their children resent them, when children not only disagree with their parents but also with their actions, with who they are. We need to use this. Carefully and delicately, but necessarily, we must do it.
We Cannot Keep Putting It Off!
Question: Public opinion is a very powerful educational tool. How can we use this tool in groups in integral upbringing? What do we encourage? How do we bring out the desired behavior which corresponds to integrality?
Answer: We take time during discussions and conversations to show examples of correct and incorrect behavior and interactions; we analyze the motives, the different subconscious and conscious incentives, ones that are instinctive and conscious: instinctive being those that come from nature, and instinctively acquired from the environment during the upbringing process when habit becomes second nature.
We try to separate all of this, explain where it comes from, why it comes from the past society in which we grew up, and why we now need to change, and especially why we need to change and reeducate our children.
But if the children continue to be educated in the same environment with the same adults, it will be another several generations until they change. What can we do to change our children now? To do it we are the ones who need to change first.
I think that the interactions between parents and children, love for children, the desire to give them a good new world is a very strong factor of influence on the adults. And it must impel us to make a change so that we do not just play at, but we will actually build a good society for our children.
Corporeal Altruists and Spiritual Egoists
Question: Recently I have attended a gathering of representatives of Eastern beliefs. They all were very nice and caring toward each other. What in their behavior differs from the integral global upbringing that we are speaking about?
Answer: First of all, their behavior is not driven by the necessity ofnature. I am an egoist. I am completely indifferent to all the methods, including mine (if you can call it mine). I simply regard the world, its movement and evolution, like a technician, and I understand that there is nothing that can be done.
I am not a supporter of a specific idea. I am not trying to invent anything fictional, some beautiful new kingdom. I understand that we are here on the path of necessary development, and this is why this path is the best one for us and leads us toward the right goal. This is the first point.
Second, I do not have idealistic ideas. I apply egoism to our development without suppressing diminishing, or hiding it. It does not go anywhere; instead, it continues to develop even more.
In fact, now we are shutting down the egoism between us, it won’t develop. We do not feel how much we really hate each other, how opposite we are, how each one of us really wants to destroy everyone and remain completely alone, or just leave others as meek performers of all of his desires.
The method of integral upbringing and education involves the use of all the internal and external natural and human resources. It is in no way built on the suppression of anything, and this is why it works for all of mankind.
All the other methods are based on the suppression of egoism, the absence of its use. But it still jumps out and shows itself because it always continues developing in us, every second, from one generation to another, and there is nothing we can do about it.
Moreover, all of these methods are intended for a very limited number of people. According to studies, between six and ten percent of people in the world have natural altruistic inclinations: to give, to live in harmony, to paint flowers, etc. We are familiar with this phenomenon. But this destiny only belongs to a very few people and others cannot understand them at all: “Good, keep visiting hospitals, keep helping the sick and the elderly. You are not hurting anyone; it’s great what you do, you are good people. But do not drag us into it.”
But it is a whole other business here: Nature specifically obligates egoists to become altruists with the help of that same egoism. In other words, we give this egoism—all of our nature, all our properties—the maximum realization.
Rising Above Our Egoism
Question: What is the action of rising above egoism? Is it a thought process or activation of a certain intention? What is it?
Answer: You can try to reveal your essence either independently or with the help of psychologists. Just reveal yourself; it is like surgery, laying your essence down before you in all its qualities, desires, thoughts.
Qualities are given to us by nature, desires are formed under the influence of the environment, and thoughts form in order to execute and realize these desires, to attain the desired. This is the way we are made.
When you see the entire picture of your psychological inner world before you, you can be objective towards it, as if it were not you, and work with yourself.
If at the same time, you connect to a special goal, which you want and can attain; begin to work correctly with your inner data, the qualities obtained from your parents or ancestors; work with the desires acquired from the environment during the upbringing process; and aim your thoughts for the purpose of realizing these qualities and desires as much as possible; and if you see a certain, very serious, big, and grand goal before you—this means that you can objectively begin to work with your properties with the purpose of attaining this goal.
This goal is supported by the surrounding society. You can begin to work with it with the help of the society, with its judgment and approval; this is the “pump” that provides strength and energy to start this work. And this society will always show you the precise direction toward the goal, because the goal is inside the actual society, your inclusion in this society as a harmonious element.
In this case you rise above yourself and look at yourself from aside, from the point of view of this society, this goal. And you naturally begin to change yourself correctly and objectively; moreover, you change independently from what you feel in your egoistic desires, thoughts, and qualities. Your main test is in your integral connection with the society, and coming even closer to your goal.
If this is so, you absolutely stop caring what you do with yourselves. This is called “to rise.”
A person must come to this goal, this level on his own. This is because every one of us must consciously achieve the state of integrated interaction with others through the use of all the internal and external social and personal resources at the same time. But the person must actually change instead of just popularizing this method.
A Small Part of an Enormous Mechanism
Question: What needs to change in me for me to become a properly operating cogwheel in a common mechanism?
Answer: A cogwheel supports the movement of the entire, cohesive mechanism instead of becoming a small useless wheel in it. Right now we spin in it against our will, this is why our lives are full of suffering. And if we were to spin with understanding, with a song in our hearts: What would happen then?
The fact is that when man connects correctly to the entire mechanism, since he affects it, gives it his thoughts, feelings, and his effort, he actually begins to spin this mechanism himself. He becomes like the Creator of this mechanism. He rises to the level of the upper force of nature, its design and its plan. And then a completely different level of existence, understanding, perception of eternity and perfection, which permeates all of nature on its higher level, appears in man. This is where we are going.
We are heading towards a state we cannot imagine. We cannot imagine what has been prepared for us. But this is the next stage, far from modern practical psychology.
Question: How can I become this good and proper cogwheel?
Answer: You first need to go through a certain number of classes, assimilate them, preferably in a group where people correspond to you in their development, mentality, etc.
Then, you can begin practical work through discussions and debates under the guidance of the instructors.
Then you need to create your environment, which will influence you and you will influence it. And in this way you will gradually build this system.
We must understand that mankind has gone through all the stages of its previous development in a gradual manner over hundreds of thousands of years, and this stage we can literally pass in one generation. We see the way everything develops today, how quickly it develops, because egoism has grown qualitatively, and there is high frequency of changes on its highest levels.
We have begun our talks with the idea that we have certain knowledge provided through a collection of lectures, through which you should receive certain knowledge, and then skills. And this in turn is followed by practice and their realization in life.
We cannot simply “throw” a person into the world; after all, we spend twenty years preparing an infant for life. We at least need to spend half a year working with a person so he could begin to realize himself.
Question: A psychotherapist’s work consists of continued evaluations of a person’s problems, at the end of which he begins to understand what is happening with him.
Answer: Your job is not to turn a person into a psychologist. Your objective is to give a person a specific correct advice, a prescription that he can use, and then everything will be good at this given stage. But he will possibly be back in a couple of months or years because he is always changing and problems and circumstances change. He will need you.
Basically, that is a very different approach. You are a professional and he comes for advice. Briefly speaking, you just give him medicine and that is it.
But our objective is to turn every person into his own specialist because he constantly needs to work with himself.
He constantly finds new unfamiliar inner areas inside of him, he reveals cavities, egoistic qualities, thoughts and desires. And as they all change they put him into specific new positions in relation to the environment. This is why a person needs to be constantly developing psychologically. He needs to be a master.
The Environment’s Amazing Influence
Question: I understand that I must not suppress my egoism. It is like the fuel I will use to change and transform. But I do not understand which action will turn me, an egoist, into a part of the integrated society?
Answer: The influence of the environment and nothing else. The only positive thing there is in you is the fact that you submit to environmental influence. And this is why only the environment can control you, and nothing else.
When the environment gives you a direction, the value of and the importance of certain qualities, behaviors, etc., you are obligated to follow it. You cannot refuse it because fame, power, jealousy, shame, these huge forces that drive us, will still obligate you to listen to the environment.
Question: Let us assume that we are studying the course about the evolutionary development of egoism. Is this enough to begin to behave in an integral manner?
Answer: No! This is just knowledge. But we also need to unite everyone into a group and turn it into a society, which will have the proper influence on every one of its members.
For example, when we put children into certain conditions under the guidance of specialists and educators who behave the right way in relation to them, when we bring older children in and they become instructors for the younger children, we get amazing results. This is because the younger child enjoys listening to the older child and tries to become like him. This is natural among children. They do not take the example from us, but from other children, who are 2-3 years older than them.
This is why we need to use the only opportunity that exists: the environment and nothing else.
Question: I enter an environment where people are warm and attentive to one another. I also really want to become a part of this system. Is my desire enough to eventually become a part of this system?
Answer: Your desire is optional. It would be a bad thing if your desire were necessary, because this would mean that the method would not work.
If we take any person in the world and place him in the right environment, there is no doubt that he will change.
There are many examples especially in psychology. Bring any person to a nude beach. Let him try to avoid taking his clothes off… Shame will force him to undress!
This is why the environment is the only method of correction.
The Purpose that Gives Strength
Question: What is the difference between a good integral environment and an incorrect one?
Answer: Only the desire to ensure that we attain the perfect level of our state and nothing more.
In other words, people who understand that there is no other choice and that we must come out of the crisis, and preferably without a war or horrible dramatic events come together. It is best if we artificially direct ourselves toward this and start doing it. We study this system, try to realize it, and thus influence each other. There is nothing else. But at the same time we rouse the power of the goal they strive to, which is concealed in nature, and this goal seems to shine at them from afar. It emanates its power, its perfection, and this is their life. And this is why they acquire new strengths.
Any great goal has power. And those connected with it can overcome enormous work.
Question: Is this aspiration to the goal the “ascent”?
Answer: Yes, every time we ascend specifically in relation to the goal. But when we are in the group, this small community, we can coordinate ourselves correctly.
How can I know what this goal is, where it is, what mutual participation of the cogwheels in the mechanism is, etc.? I can see the way I apply myself in the group: whether I behave correctly inside this small community, with maximum integration and kindness towards all. I must study the consequence of all my thoughts: thoughts, not just actions. The thought is the action.
Our thoughts and desires play the same role on the next level of our existence (on the level of “Human” (Adam), the level of the integral system) as actions do on our current corporeal level.
This is why we must reach the control and correction of our desires and thoughts. This is the main thing. Actions can remain just as harsh and cruel as in an operating room, but they will be directed towards the good of others. The main transformation takes place in desires and thoughts.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Question: Should there be different books or textbooks in the integral education course? Or should there be one textbook for all, translated to different languages?
Answer: When a person begins to ascend, he loses his identification with the corporeal world: “your tribe,” the people, the clan to which you belong, your upbringing.
This does not matter because when you direct everything towards the good of others, you must understand the others: What does it mean “for the good”? Maybe it is not at all for their good? Basically, you cannot be the judge of that.
For example, when I like a certain food and it is good for me, I might cause harm or unpleasant sensations to another person by offering it to him because there are many opposite tastes and opinions.
This is why integration assumes both, the feelings of the other person and the inclusion of his desires and thoughts, and using yourself for his fulfillment. Basically, in this case I must constantly control myself, but not in accordance with my desires and thoughts: not that whatever is good for me is good for others, and thus “pushing” whatever I wish for myself at them. This sometimes happens with us, and it usually causes conflicts between parents and children. On the contrary, I must enter this person, feel his desires, and fulfill them with the help of my desires.
This is the right connection of cogwheels. Thus every one of us is working for everyone else, like cells in a body.