TV Program with Dr. Michael Laitman
“A New Life”
With participation of Oren Levi
December 28, 2011
Petach Tikvah, Israel
Not All That Tastes Bitter Is Unfit for Use
If we cast a glance at our own history, we can see that we are continuously developing. While the vegetative and animate levels of nature hardly change in the course of centuries, we develop with each succession of the generations and even during the span of a single generation.
I, for example, started life in the first half of the last century, and with the transition into the 21st century I see how the world has changed. Back then people were tied to villages, rural communities, and small towns with their set ways of life, while today everything is dynamic, everything is different: ways of thinking, approaches to life, and so on.
A question therefore arises: Is it not enough that we are born and live our life from year to year? Why do we need to change? It’s obvious that a newborn baby needs to grow in order to start living a meaningful adult life, start a family, have children, and pass his acquisitions to them so that they would continue his path. But why do people need some additional development, aside from the chain of generations inherent to the animal world? Where does this opposition come from? What is the goal of human development? This is something we don’t see.
Still, we can draw an analogy with a baby who is not yet ready for life. A lengthy development is required for a child in order to acquire reason, strength, and feeling until he or she actually learns to understand life, to arrange and alter it. Perhaps it’s the same story with us? Maybe the thousands of years of our development are comparable to the life of one person? Maybe every century of human history is like one year for a child?
However, we don’t yet see where we’re going. A child’s development proceeds on a well-trodden path, and we know how to secure for him all the necessary means, including exercises, games, and a specialized environment. And yet the goal of the universal human development is unknown to us, and that’s why we don’t notice the progress of the generations. It appears to us that this progress is random.
Like some clueless parents, we are looking at the baby and don’t understand where it came from and what for. We don’t have any idea about how to raise it, what exercises to give him, or what environment to place him in. As a result, our little one will tread through a thorny trail, lacking the necessary natural desires that would nudge him towards a true path.
With our own children, we give them knowledge, instill feelings, we teach them reading and writing, music, and drawing. They live in an artificial world in comparison to which the external world of adults seems like a feral prairie.
But where are the caring parents and educators of all of humanity? They are absent, and that’s why every generation, despite all the progress, is more miserable than the previous—it lacks more. On one hand, we achieve ever more, while on the other, we become more and more empty.
So what exactly have we come to today? What have we achieved? What did all our development give us? We went into space, walked on the Moon, but this topic isn’t especially popular these days, it’s hackneyed and superficial. We’ve achieved impressive results here on Earth, but we still haven’t found happiness, still haven’t discovered how to arrange our life.
The global crisis is escalating, families are collapsing, both parents and children are suffering, society is suffering, drug addictions are thriving, terrorism thunders, and depression is becoming the most widespread illness. Where is the joy? Where is the good mood?
It turns out that humanity doesn’t have kind parents to surround us with concern and raise us correctly.
In the meantime, we see that nature zealously cares for the correct development of each of its parts. When we become parents, we experience immeasurable love for our children, we want to give them only the absolute best, we dedicate our entire life to them. The best experts, enormous resources, and top technologies are placed at the service of children and their development.
And despite all that, we are not achieving success even though nature supplied us with all the necessary means. It gave us love without which we would remain indifferent to our children. In the same way the animals also love their offspring.
Ultimately, it becomes apparent that nature, while caring for the development of all creatures, demonstrates towards them a rather peculiar attitude. On one hand, it creates secure conditions for correct growth by inducing in parents this instinctual love towards children. As a result, we don’t have any other choice, we are simply obliged to care for them. But on the other hand, we see that the human species fails to attain any success.
A fruit on a tree is born bitter and unattractive, but in the end it ripens and appears in all its glory, juicy and fragrant. What if we are similar to this fruit? What if right now we’re undergoing transitional stages of development and simply haven’t ripened yet? It’s possible that our current state is akin to a sour, hard, unripe apple that hasn’t yet acquired its full colors? Without knowing it in advance, how can one foresee the happy finale of its development?
Similarly, looking at a little senseless child who still has a lot of growing up to do, it’s difficult to imagine that someday he would merge with the grownup life, act independently, and learn new things, changing the world. In contrast, an animal hardly develops at all beyond the few weeks past his birth. Acting on instinct, it doesn’t change itself or the world.
Hence the following conclusions can be drawn. First of all, our development occurs in phases. Moreover, the more “sour” the creation is at the beginning, the “sweeter” it will be in the end. And the further it develops, the more states it undergoes, the more magnificent is the finale of its development, and the more exalted are its achievements.
By collecting all those examples that Nature is showing us into a single picture, we can conclude that we are going along a path of particular development. From generation to generation we are developing as one being that hasn’t yet completed the transitional phases. This is why we’re so “bitter,” so unsuccessful. However, at the end of our development, a wonderful, perfect state undoubtedly awaits us.
We see that the human species dominates over the vegetative and animate world. A human being is the crown of creation. This is why the development of man takes the longest time. This is why he undergoes the most extreme states on the way, which seemingly do not relate to the same species.
And as far as nature that develops us is concerned, we can draw conclusions about ourselves and nature’s relation to us only when we will see the end of development. Otherwise we would err just like with the apple, whose early ripening stages don’t seem to promise anything useful. Only in the end we see with what wisdom nature nurtured it, forming a wonderful and delicious fruit.
According to this law we need to acknowledge that we, too, are undergoing a similar development, and its goal is to undoubtedly bring us at the end of the generations to a kind, wonderful, healthy, absolute, “sweet,” and beautiful state.
A Play That Transforms Into Life
Nature develops us incrementally, in stages. Each time, at every stage, through each generation we acquire more and more reason and feeling, we come to know nature and creation, rise above everything, and learn to perceive, to dominate…. And evidently, in the end of his development, man will indeed attain the highest level of reality.
In this case, let’s take a look at what helps us develop, what forces operate us.
Let’s examine the picture as a whole through a particular example of a child. In the absence of external human factors, he or she will develop like an animal under the influence of his natural impulses and urges. In this case, a child won’t mature to the level of the things humanity has created for him. If he isn’t placed into a society of peers, he will not know how to behave with other people, how to connect, play, and communicate with them, how to use them, help them, and seek their help.
On the other hand, if we organize an environment for him: a kindergarten, a school, educators, and games, if parents constantly try to develop him by means of external stimuli that will draw him forward instead of natural impulses that push him from behind, his growth will accelerate greatly. He can be taught music, drawing, sculpture, dancing, computer skills, and many other things—on the condition that we provide him with these means from the outside.
Accordingly, there are two forces of development: One pushes from the back naturally, and the other pulls from the front through the means of a correct environment.
Perhaps that very same principle pertains to us too? After thousands of years we finally understand that we need to develop like a fruit on a tree, from bad states to good. So let us organize an environment for ourselves that will draw us forward. Then we would go through the remaining phases quickly and comfortably, without receiving painful blows from behind. Let us take advantage of development games, intelligent explanations, and other wonderful means, whose influence will be gentle and pleasant.
Today, having already figured out the two modes of our development, we ended up in a truly tragic state and confronted by the global crisis. Humanity doesn’t know how to care for itself. It resembles a lost child who helplessly stands in the middle of a room, feeling that he’s been abandoned by everyone. The crisis engulfs all realms: family, education, culture, relationships between parents and children, drugs, divorces, science, and most importantly, economic and financial systems. Moreover, we are are experiencing an ecological crisis, having absolutely no idea what great catastrophes will befall us in the near future.
Are we capable of bringing everything into order? Are we capable of developing as comfortably and quickly as possible? We see that this depends on the environment. We also see that we can actually organize an environment for ourselves that will speed up our development.
Thousands of years passed before we invented many different tools for a child: games, computers, music, dances, activities of various kinds, and swimming pools…. After all, we had to first understand that it’s all actually worth it. Perhaps we need to implement the same scheme for the human society too?
We already know that to accelerate development, we need special means. For example, to hatch chicken eggs, we don’t wait for a hen to sit on them, but rather incubate the eggs and thereby supply the needed amount of chickens and eggs without waiting for favors from nature.
It turns out that our whole problem is only in acquiring an understanding about the means through which a modern person can be developed. We can also see the solution thanks to the modern global, integral crisis.
On one hand, it encompasses the whole world, but on the other, this threatening state essentially demonstrates a lack of our development. Today we are discovering that we are completely and totally dependent on each other. All kinds of research illustrate that. And essentially, our inability to unite is the source of all problems. We make our own life more difficult and insecure; we ourselves introduce fear and limitations into it. Something is interfering with our correct unification. Yet, by unifying among ourselves we would eliminate the majority of disasters.
Besides, we can confirm this by taking a look at the path of development we’ve already undergone. With every change of the generations, the population of the earth grew, education improved, and we witnessed the development of culture, industry, cooperation, collaboration, mutual dependence, and so on. But right now we depend on each other not in things that pertain to our salary, income, banking, and business. We depend on each other in the human factor: We are not able to establish a connection, and its lack is preventing us from bringing security into our lives. We are similar to spouses that cannot get along inside their four walls. Except we cannot divorce because, as it were, we don’t have an extra planet.
Thus, experience and research indicate that the most desirable form of our development is unification, just like for a pair of lovebirds. If humanity finds a way to unite, it will achieve happiness.
Thus it’s clear what we need to do: We need to create an environment for ourselves that will educate us about how to unite correctly. Thereby we will be like a wise little boy who, knowing that he needs to grow up correctly, builds a corresponding environment for himself. For example, he comes to his neighbors and says: “I will give you money so that you start to unite demonstratively with each other and display your unity for me. Pull me into your unity, embody it like actors who are performing a play about a happy life. I know that these examples will help me to grow up in a good and correct way. In this manner, with your help, I want to liberate myself from the current situation.”
Another example: I wouldn’t mind studying music, but on the other hand, I don’t have a burning desire for it. I need a “locomotive,” an environment that will draw me forward, egging me on with brilliant prospects of the chosen path. Then I will reach out to musicians and pay them so they would come to my get-togethers, play their music, talk about music, or compose something while I’m around. All that impresses me, I understand that music is a sublime art, very deep and significant. Even though I paid them, the “harmony of the spheres” nevertheless enchants me.
In this manner the environment helps me develop through a kind path. Even if the means seem fake, the result is very real.
The most important thing here is the society. I can create this society myself, but undoubtedly it can also be formed for me by wise people who know how to use this resource. The world has many scientists and specialists who are very knowledgeable about human development, we only need to help them and to hear what they are saying. And they all say the same thing: We should surround ourselves with a society that will exert a correct influence on all of us.
Then we will set a correct course and will go along a kind path of incremental development. We will “ripen” ourselves before misfortunes and misery force us to do it through pressure from behind. Or, putting it differently, we will quickly hatch inside our “incubator” into a life in a new wonderful world.
Perfection Is the Opposite of the Crisis
We have a great opportunity. Looking at millennia of human development, we can understand what our current problem is and how to solve it without waiting for any additional hints or blows. We can listen to clever people who point out the need for a good environment that will develop us ideally and will lead us gently from one stage to another in a nice and easy way.
So what do we get from a good environment? With the help of a good environment I begin to recognize the evil in me. I learn that I am an egoist and don’t want to unite, that I am lazy and actually indifferent to my own development. There are many attributes in me that I am not eager to develop. Based on this, I understand that I have to create a better environment.
It is the same with an idler who joins a football team and needs much more intensive pressure to be constantly pulled in, egged on, and pushed into the thick of the game, into the center of the field, and so on.
So we need not only an environment but a “diligent mother” who takes care of everyone and ensures that no one is lazy and stays in this “game.” Small children grow and become wiser and stronger thanks to games. Likewise we will reach perfection thanks to our games in the group that advances us forward. By moving above all the crises, we will acquire a good life.
So we need a society, an environment that will play with us like with small children. Who can provide us with such an environment? Wise people who understand the way, like a baby’s parents. Let them build an environment that will influence us. My future form is in this environment, and when I incorporate in it, I will begin to change accordingly. Thereby I hasten my development. After all, I will have an example, which will be an attractive one, and I will certainly try to enter this environment by transforming myself.
The perfect form of human development is opposite to all the crises: There is no divorce, everyone lives happily, children don’t leave their parents, everyone is at peace. There are good stable relations among nations and peoples and in all of humanity. There are no fears or wars, no weapons and terror, no drug addiction, and so on.
So let us create a model environment that will influence us. I need its values. I want it to convince me, to “re-format” myself so that I resemble it.
How can we achieve that? Perhaps it should be a virtual environment. After all, we are all connected to the Internet. Perhaps the media will provide this environment because we all absorb our values from them. Perhaps this environment should be created not for adults but only for children—in kindergartens and schools so that we will educate the next generation. Or maybe it should include adults too as the number of unemployed people is growing worldwide. Maybe parents don’t know how to educate their children and their hearts ache when they see what is happening to their children. In this case they will be glad to learn, for example, through TV series and programs that we will film. This will serve as a model for them, and they will be able to influence their children.
After all, the higher the level of development, the more extreme and opposite to perfection are the states we encounter on the way to the finish line. In the last phase we should develop ourselves, and here very dramatic states await us.
Up until now nature pushed us from behind and we couldn’t develop independently, consciously taking part in our development, influencing its pace and form in any way. But now, both the pace and the form depend on how much we acknowledge the next stages of our development and advance toward them.
This is the reason that the global crisis that stopped our development began. We will stand in the same place until we internalize that our desire and the recognition of the importance of our future development must precede every future phase. From now on we can’t develop instinctively, like before; an additional acknowledgment is required on every level from now on. This is called the human level of development.
At first all this seems like some vague philosophy to the general public, but we need to explain it gradually, to chew over these things in long talks.
Gradually people will understand what this is about. It doesn’t matter if they forget—it will still remain in them, as the degree that they have attained and understood once. It hasn’t become their “substance” yet and it is therefore forgotten, but they’ve already understood, learned, and agreed with something. It is already in them.
A New Perspective on Life
It is important to remember that the current state is the last stage in the development of humanity, and a sour, unripe fruit has to become sweet, tasty, and fragrant. All these additions spring from the fruit according to nature’s love to it. Nature develops us like a mother taking care of her baby. We have to reach the power of love, bestowal, mutuality, and the global unity between us as well as with nature as a whole.
This opportunity can be fulfilled only when we understand and feel how this development takes place within us. We cannot promise a person a good life unless he rises above himself, above the way he was born, by climbing the levels of understanding and feeling. He must come to awareness. He must know what kind of world he is living in. He must discover all of nature.
Unless each and everyone stops being a smart aleck, unless he knows what he was born for and towards what goal nature advances him, humanity will not advance and suffer from disasters instead.
Question: But you’ve just described a very exalted goal…
Answer: You studied history and geography, botany and physics, the history of humanity, as well as other general, global subjects in school. Now, too, you will continue to study. After all, you won’t be able to change yourself without knowing the process, without knowing that you depend on others. You don’t have to be an expert, but you must know the general guidelines. It is just like when you finish school and you begin to forget things you’ve learned, but there is still a general impression left in you of historical processes, geography, biology, and botany you’ve learnt. One way or another, what you’ve heard stays in you.
It is the same here, except that now you are studying the subsequent levels of development. Actually, you are taught what is most essential nowadays—how to lead a good life. There is no need to study anything by heart because later the practical studies of the environment will start: You will bestow upon it, and it will bestow upon you, and you will learn to get along.
But you still need several general lessons about a new world, a new society, and a new perspective of the world.
Surround Yourself with Goodness
Nature is leading us toward a perfect state. Up until this point we have advanced by compulsion. From this point forward, we can advance only by adding our understanding of how we develop.
Now we can sweeten and speed up our development through our environment. Both adults and children develop with the help of their environment. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, animal rights activists, or weight loss programs are all based on the society’s influence on a person. We have to do the same.
By developing in a good society we’ll be like good children, and in addition we’ll create a similar framework for our children so that they will be good. Ultimately, humanity has but one concern: creating a good environment.
Any parent would be glad to bring a child into a warm, friendly environment, where kids are being taught to unite. This unity provides them with a sense of confidence and rids them of fear of poverty, suffering, pride, and other problems inherent in human nature. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, simply a good environment that provides a “gentle place” for development.
Such an environment allows a person to open up and to better perceive and take things in because he’s not feeling that he’s constantly on the defensive in a hostile environment. We adults don’t even understand what it means to be in a good environment. Just like a newborn baby in the arms of the mother feels nothing except her embrace. This sensation gives him the strength to develop.
We lack this sensation and that’s why we’re facing a global crisis. In all areas where we previously were successful, we now find ourselves at a dead end.
The crisis can on one hand be a catastrophe and on the other hand a rebirth. The word “crisis” comes from the Greek word “krisis”, and means a new beginning. However, we use it incorrectly. Also, the word “crisis” in Hebrew means a place where new life emerges.
We have to explain to people that they need a good environment in order to be happy. The good environment will simply make our lives happy.
Thanks to the good environment for all of us, “I feel confident, I have friends, the whole world treats me well, and I just want to be good.” All are taking care of me, and I care about everyone. We live in a world imbued with warmth, confidence, and kindness. It’s all love.