Entries in the 'Children' Category

Children Are Anti-Matter In Our World

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe only thing we lack are anti-egoistic screens (Masach). The desire itself does not change. It only becomes revealed for being used to the degree of the screen that it has.

The screen determines what desire you can use, how much, and in what way. Therefore, we already have everything besides the screen—it is the only thing we need!

The screen is the force to overcome my egoism in spite of my egoistic desire, despite the things that seem attractive, sweet, completely obvious and rational, and are confirmed by my entire mind! Yet I go and do the opposite!

And I don’t just do the opposite, turning a minus to a plus. That would be very simple. Rather, I am in no way guided by my desire, logic, or any of my calculations. There is only one calculation for me: “This is the desire of the Upper One!”

I don’t receive anything at all from this, and don’t desire to receive anything. I want to know just one thing: that this is the desire of the upper one. This is called a “screen”—the force enabling me to act this way, above my desire, above nature, above egoism and all of its calculations.

And there is great pleasure contained in this. This is not masochism from enjoying trampling my desire, but pleasure from the fact that this makes me similar to the Upper One in some way.

It’s like a child who desires to be similar to an adult. This is a natural instinct children have. They have to make great efforts to achieve this, even though nature helps them.

The upper nature has endowed children with this enormous gift, enabling them to grow. It gave the will to enjoy such a powerful thrust that it forces it to work very hard, never stopping to rest. Look at how little children act, running about non-stop and doing something all the time.

This is the pure upper force, the force of bestowal, the force of the Creator, which is present in small children and in any creature that desires to grow. They do this against their nature because our nature aspires to rest! We can see this from all the laws of physics: Everything aspires to a restful, motionless, and balanced state. The laws of entropy, conservation of energy are aimed at this.

Yet in the case of children we see how the body does not let them take a break. A child is always running about, eager to do something, and it is impossible to stop him. In our days this phenomena is called “hyperactivity,” but in fact it isn’t “hyper” activity, but normal behavior for the increased will to enjoy that is being revealed in the last generation. For such a developed desire, this is not an exaggeration, but the norm.

It’s a wonder looking at what children do; they are anti-nature. We have simply gotten used to the picture where children know no rest and that’s why we aren’t surprised by it. But where does this body or desire take this moving force, causing him to run around this way?

This is the regular picture, inherent in any creature. An adult mother, such as a dog or a lioness, is lazy, sleepy, lying down, sleeping, sitting calmly, and wishing to rest. And all around her there are cubs whirling about and never tiring. This is the opposite nature. And man behaves the same way.

This aspiration is given to children from above, against nature, in order for them to develop. Likewise, we have to ask for this force in order for us to spiritually develop!
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/24/11, Talmud Eser Sefirot

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How Can We Influence Our Children?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What does it mean to “raise a child with the ‘Torah and commandments’ and with the intention to bestow to the Creator instead of love for himself?”

Answer: Commandments are the steps of the correction of our egoistic desire, the desire to receive pleasure, which becomes revealed more on every step as if to hinder love between us. However, when we correct this egoism that pushes us apart and turn it into bestowal, love manifests itself specifically in it, that is, it becomes our ally. This is what we refer to as the Torah and commandments.

The Torah is the Light that Reforms, love and bestowal, and commandments are the actions of correcting the human desires into love and bestowal. The Torah is the method that allows us to attain love, union, and bestowal because it contains the Light, the force of correction. This Light created the desire, and only it can correct it. However, there is a condition: We must desire the correction, evoke the Light to act. This is the role of man.

Children are raised neither by their  father nor mother, nor by the school teacher. Even if you were the greatest of Kabbalists, you would not be able to raise a child; only the proper society can do it. No matter how much parents put into their children, children do not take anything from their parents, but rather fall under the influence of their environment on the street or in school,  and there they receive all their models of behavior and life values.

They perceive their fathers and mothers as a system and not their environment. The environment is something that is close to the children. It speaks a language the children understand and it also understands them. They are on one level. The need for the environment arises around the age of three to four, and it is necessary to place proper boundaries around them.

In the wisdom of Kabbalah, we learn that we only perceive either the Partzuf that is equal to us or a higher one that has descended to us. We do not perceive above the level equal to us. This is why a child perceives the father and mother as those who must serve him.

This is why it is only possible to educate through the environment. Create a proper environment for your children. Then, you will be able to influence them.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/10/10, “The Love of the Creator and Love of the Created Beings”

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Between Mercy And Judgment

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt is written in King Solomon’s Book of Proverbs (Mishlei): “He who spares his rod hates his son.” Parenting is built on judgment and mercy, just as we are governed by judgment and mercy from Above. There is no place here for unconditional love because the child must sense a balanced influence of these two forces.

In so doing we show him that he has freedom of choice. Let him make his choice every time, but he has to know that the wrong choice will instantly result in a negative reaction. As he grows, the child will acquire increasingly greater freedom for independent action because the negative response, for example, the “rod,” will be increasingly concealed. In the end, we will raise a person who lives in a wide world and knows that he exists between these two forces, reward and punishment, and that in order to follow a straight path, he has to actualize his free will in every step he takes.

The attitude toward all children, from the littlest ones to big kids like us, has to stem from exerting and controlling judgment and mercy, gradually annulling them in accordance with the education level. We give the child more and more freedom, passing to him control over himself, until he comes out into the world and accepts from us these “reigns” of judgment and mercy, so as to become an independent person in their optimal combination, in the middle line.

This is what we instill in him, and he accepts from us the right and left lines, reward and punishment, and continues to build himself with their help.
From the Talk on Education 9/29/10

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The School of Truth

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can you explain to children the law of “love thy neighbor as thyself”?

Answer: Education should be the same for children and adults. Only with the child you reveal everything in a smaller measure, presenting examples that he can understand, that are merely “reduced” to his level, and not fairytales. In every case he must be told the truth! We simply need to make sure he understands us properly at his level, just as we adapt the language of the Kabbalists in an effort to bring it closer to the modern man and make it clear to everybody.

It takes many lessons to explain to a child a small part of what the adults study at the daily lesson. After verifying that all the previous lessons were grasped, I reveal a new problem for the group of children to solve; I give them “half a spoon” of it, just for a “taste.”

But afterward, the child must start asking questions, while lacking in understanding and plagued by doubts, discussing it with his friends, together trying to understand what is really going on, wherein lies the problem and its solution. And the teacher includes himself in the discussion on equal terms with them, guiding them toward the right path while keeping his distance.

First we fully clarify the question itself, and then we try to find the solution. Through this process the teacher evaluates the children’s progress: Every preceding degree connects into the succeeding degree with its lower part. No grades are given, everyone is equal; we only evaluate the collective solution to any given problem.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/4/10, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”

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Children Who Have Grown Old

A peDr. Michael Laitmanrson grows in such a way that at first he receives new desires and fulfillments, which are necessary for his development and which work for his benefit. This is the direction given to him by nature, which desires to raise him and make him self-sufficient, the way children in our world grow.

This is not considered forbidden pleasure, since I have to go through this natural path of development until I become an “adult.” Indeed, we see how children are usually full of different desires and take pleasure in this life.

However, the moment I become an adult, I have to start growing and developing consciously, rather than by the power of nature. Suddenly, all the pleasures I receive start being detrimental to me because I do not aim them for the sake of bestowal.

Previously all the responsibility rested on nature. The Creator determined my path and led me along until the age of 15-20 years. Everything I took from this life was beneficial for my development. But as soon as I completed this period of “childhood,” I have to start determining my own direction. I now have to add the intention of bestowal of my own accord. Otherwise any pleasure I receive will no longer raise me and advance me forward, but will kill me! It will lead me backwards in order to make me feel that it is impossible to keep going this way and that instead of developing by way of my egoism and pleasures, I have to develop through the intention to bestow.

Therefore, all the pleasures that a person receives after the age of adulthood are detrimental to him, like a person who is picking at his wound. How deeply do we have to become immersed in this evil in order to understand that we cannot continue this way, like children who have grown up and whom nature no longer permits to enjoy life recklessly, but instead demands bestowal from them?

How deeply will we have to “pick at our wound” is something that depends on us. We are given all the means and explanations, and we are brought to the study, the books, and the group, which is the place where we have to get serious and think about what we need to add to our lives in order to develop correctly.

What we are adding is the “true vs. false” discernment, in addition to “sweet vs. bitter,” unlike children who only understand “bitter and sweet.” In order not to remain children for the rest of our lives, as it says, “What to do with children who have grown old?”, we have to start acting according to the principle of “true vs. false.” Yet, we should not erase “sweet vs. bitter,” but rather build a new attitude to life above it. This is possible only be evoking the Upper Light upon ourselves through the study of Kabbalah.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/18/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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How To Grow Up To Reach The Zohar

Dr. Michael Laitman The most important thing while reading The Zohar is to unite with the text. If we remember that the Light influences us, this is sufficient.

A small child lives among adults, but what does he understand from their conversations and behavior? Does he know their world? No; it’s all a secret to him. We are built by nature like a child among adults: Without understanding anything or being ready for it, a child perceives everything by means of the “surrounding glow.”

This is the manner in which development takes place: gradually, indirectly, from outside, a child begins to absorb everything from adults and tunes into them without understanding what is happening ahead of time. By entering them through his desire, he begins to feel and then to understand. This develops new senses and desires (Kelim) in him, and then the mind.

When we are adults, we don’t develop, but merely fill ourselves with knowledge and sensation. Our senses no longer develop. They can only develop on the condition that a person enters an “area” where even without understanding or feeling anything, he desires to become similar to it. By means of his desire and drive, without understanding or knowing anything, he begins to absorb forces from this area and that develops him.

Adults do not undergo the same inner development as children. They merely fill their previous desires. Both in our world and the spiritual world, new desires can only grow when you want to feel and discover where you are.

When I read The Zohar, I don’t know what it is talking about. But because I desire to reveal this picture, I develop the senses through which my soul perceives. This is why it is written, “The study does not happen through reason” (Lo HaHacham Lomed).

Our spiritual development takes place in exactly the same way as a baby develops in our world. It can only happen when the lower level completely annuls itself before the Upper Level. After all, we are learning to feel a whole new world!

Kabbalists write about this in many articles. Baal HaSulam writes in “A Speech in Celebration of the Conclusion of The Zohar” that a student has to cancel himself before the Rav just as children do before adults. That is the only way you can attain a higher state.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/14/10, The Zohar

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Children Perceive Spiritual Meanings Naturally

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: Is it possible to explain to children the spiritual meanings of the words and stories in the Torah?

My Answer: Children are more ready for this than adults. They’re developing their sensations and senses. They don’t have a problem perceiving the language in other terms, because they’re hearing the words for the first time.

You can show a glass to a child and say, “This is a glass.” You can also explain that a “glass” is a sensation of some desire in oneself. A child will perceive these notions because he doesn’t have any definitions of our world yet. Or you can say that a glass is a vessel made of glass that we fill and that it is also one’s inner vessel which he or she wants to fill. A child perceives this naturally and he won’t become confused by it.

This is because children’s perception is not dual like that of adults. Children develop in our world in the same way as we’re supposed to develop now in the spiritual world. This is the same path and the same route.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/12/10, “Exile and Redemption”

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Spiritual "Parents" Never Part With Their "Children"

ifweunite The Creator enjoys playing with man just like a father enjoys playing with his child. In our world, nature has instilled in parents a desire to bestow to their children. However, this comes from the spiritual root. This corporeal example can help us understand the spiritual world. Just like we enjoy caring for our children, the spiritual parent, which is the Upper System, enjoys caring for its spiritual children. We are those children; we just don’t see it.

When playing with a child, the game itself does not matter. What matters is our attitude toward the child and his attitude toward us in return. When the child stops reacting, the game stops being pleasant to us. We only receive pleasure when the child receives pleasure, when he understands what we do for him, and when he appreciates what he receives from us. This requires a similarity of our desires and qualities. In our world, we don’t understand this because the bigger the children grow, the further they grow apart from their parents. However, in the spiritual world, it’s the other way around: the older the child gets, the closer he becomes to his parent and the stronger he bonds to him.

However, this doesn’t mean that the child becomes dependent on his parent. The child’s dependence ceases just as it does in our world, yet the connection between them strengthens. This same thing happens to parents and children in our world who share common activities and a goal; they unite.

The Creator and creation are connected through a common goal because they want to fulfill one another. They want to return pleasure to each other so that each would understand how much the other values what he has received and to discover love in this reception. Otherwise, we would never feel and understand the Creator.

Children Also Ask Why We Are All Connected

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why are we all connected?

Answer: The Creator created a single desire and then broke it into pieces.

In reality we are all connected on the inside, and we only feel as if we are disconnected.

I feel like others are separate from me. I lie to people, steal from them, hit them, and hate them, because I do not feel that they are also me. The entire world is all me!

The Creator has confused me on purpose. The fact that others are me will be revealed to me, and then I must ask myself, “How could I have treated myself this way? I took things from my own self, hit myself, stole from myself. I took so many good things away from myself.

I constantly hurt myself, my own health,  my comfort and my peace.  I do bad things to myself. What was I thinking? How could I not see the obvious?”

It is only in the egoism’s distorted mirror that the other parts seem to be foreign to me, even though we are one whole.

This is an unpleasant feeling, but the good thing about it is that it leads to correction.  It pushes us towards interconnection and motivates us to become closer and love our neighbor.

(From the Children’s Lesson at the North American Congress  10.17.09)

An Ocean Of Desire Reflected In A Child’s Question

Dr. Michael LaitmanChildren are an ocean of desires. Children ask questions with simplicity, but there is a certain depth in this simplicity that puts you in disarray.

This is because in reality there is no answer to their questions. All the answers lie beyond the other side of the Machsom where people see and feel for themselves.

This is why children are told fairy tales and stories – the deepest things can be presented this way.

Adults do not need this multitude of layers.  They are more confused and their souls have sunk under the dark cover of our world, while this has not yet happened to a child.

Question: Why do we need to unite?

Answer: I have only one enemy – my egoism, and I am not able to fight it alone.

My egoism is like a big, strong boy from school, who I constantly need to run from so he won’t beat me up.

I look for help to defeat my egoism, and I find it amongst my friends. They have the same problem –  the evil beginning, egoism, won’t let them be.

So together we decide to give it a good beating so to keep it away from us. We need to become friends in order to kick this “bad boy” and make him never want to deal with us again.

This is why we unite –in order to defeat a common enemy.  Life will simply become wonderful if we are able to get rid of him.

(From the Children’s Lesson at the North American Congress  10.17.09)