Connecting the World in the Last Generation - Selected Excerpts from the Sources

1. Baal HaSulam, "The Writings of the Last Generation"

The basis of my entire commentary is the will to receive imprinted in every creature, and which is disparity of form to the Creator. Thus, the soul has separated from Him as an organ is separated from the body, since disparity of form in spirituality is like a separating axe in corporeality. It is therefore clear that what the Creator wants from us is equivalence of form, at which time we adhere to Him once more, as before we were created.

This is the meaning of the words, “Adhere to His attributes; as He is merciful, etc.” It means that we are to change our attribute, which is the will to receive, and adopt the attribute of the Creator, which is only to bestow, so that all our actions will be only to bestow upon our fellow persons and benefit them as best as we can.

By this we come to the goal of adhering to Him, which is equivalence of form. What one is compelled to do for oneself, namely the necessary minimum for one’s self and one’s family’s sustenance, is not considered disparity of form, as “Necessity is neither condemned nor praised.” This is the great revelation that will be revealed in full only in the days of the Messiah. When this teaching is accepted, we will be rewarded with complete redemption.

2. Baal HaSulam, "Peace in the World"

Attribute of singularity, which exists in each of us, whether less or more.

Although we have clarified that it comes from a sublime reason, that this attribute extends to us directly from the Creator, who is singular in the world and the Root of all creations, still, since the sensation of singularity has settled in our narrow egoism, it affects ruin and destruction until it became the source of all the ruins that were and will be in the world.

Indeed, there is not a single person in the world who is free from it, and all the differences are only in the ways it is used—for the desires of the heart, for governance, or for honor—and this is what separates people from one another.

But the equal side in all the people of the world is that each of us stands ready to exploit all the people for his own private benefit with every means at one’s disposal without taking into any consideration that he is going to build himself on the ruin of his friend.

3. Baal HaSulam, "The Nation"

By the term, “egoism,” I am not referring to the original egoism. Rather, I am referring to “narrow egoism.” That is, the original egoism is nothing but self-love, which is all of one’s positive, individualistic power of existence. In that respect, it is not at odds with the altruistic force, although it does not serve it.

However, it is the nature of egoism that the manner of using it makes it very narrow, since it is more or less compelled to acquire a nature of hatred and exploitation of others in order to make one’s own existence easier. Also, it is not abstract hatred, but one that appears in acts of abusing one’s friend for one’s own benefit, growing murkier according to its degrees, such as deceiving, stealing, robbing, and murdering. This is called “narrow egoism,” and in that respect it is at odds with—and the complete opposite from—love of others. It is a negative force that destroys the society.

Its opposite is the altruistic force. This is society’s constructive force, since all that one does for another is done only by the altruistic force.

4. Baal HaSulam, "The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose"

The crass, undeveloped person does not recognize egoism as bad at all. Therefore, he uses it openly, without any shame or restraint, stealing and murdering in broad daylight wherever he can. The somewhat more developed sense some measure of their egoism as bad and are at least ashamed to use it in public, stealing and killing openly. But in secret, they still commit their crimes, but are careful that no one will see them.

The even more developed sense egoism as so loathsome that they cannot tolerate it in them and reject it completely, as much as they detect of it, until they cannot, and do not want to enjoy the labor of others. Then begin to emerge in them sparks of love of others, called “altruism,” which is the general attribute of goodness.

But that, too, evolves gradually. First develops love and desire to bestow upon one’s family and kin, as in the verse, “Do not ignore your own flesh.” When one develops further, one’s attribute of bestowal expands to all the people around him, being one’s townspeople or one’s nation. And so one adds until he finally develops love for the whole of humanity.

5. Baal HaSulam, "The Peace"

The corrupt conducts in the states of humanity are the very ones that generate the good states. And each good state is nothing but the fruit of the work in the bad state that preceded it. Indeed, these values of good and bad do not refer to the value of the state itself, but to the general purpose: Each state that brings humanity closer to the goal is considered good, and one that deflects them from the goal is considered bad.

By this standard alone is the “law of development” built—the corruption and the wickedness that appear in a state are considered the cause and the generator of the good state, so that each state lasts just long enough to grow the evil in it to such an extent that the public can no longer bear it. At that time, the public must unite against it, destroy it, and reorganize in a better state for the correction of that generation.

6. Baal HaSulam, "The Peace"

The law of development, which is spread over the whole of reality, is certain to reform all evil to good and useful, and acts through the power of the government of heaven above, meaning without asking permission from the people, dwellers of the earth. However, the Creator placed knowledge and authority in the hands of man and permitted him to accept the above-mentioned law of development under his own authority and government, and handed him the ability to hasten the process of development as he wishes, freely and completely independent of the boundaries of time.

It turns out that there are two authorities here acting in the above-mentioned conduct of development: One is the authority of heaven, which is sure to turn anything harmful and evil to good and useful, but it will come in its time, in its own way, heavily, and after a long time. Then there is the authority of the earth. When the “evolving object” is a living, feeling being, it suffers horrendous torments and pains while under the “press of development” which carves its way ruthlessly.

The “authority of the earth,” however, consists of people who have taken this above-mentioned law of development under their own government and can free themselves entirely from the chains of time, and who greatly accelerate time, namely the completion of the ripeness and correction of the object, which is the end of its development.

7. Baal HaSulam, "Introduction to The Book of Zohar", Item 19

All this agony is felt only by the Klipa of our body, created only to be perished and buried. This teaches us that the will to receive for oneself in us was created only to be eradicated, abolished from the world, and be turned into a desire to bestow. The pains we suffer are but revelations of its nothingness and the harm in it. Indeed, when all human beings agree to abolish and eradicate their will to receive for themselves and have no other desire but to bestow upon their friends, all worries and jeopardy in the world would cease to exist. We would all be assured of a whole and wholesome life, since each of us would have a whole world caring for us, ready to satisfy our needs.

Yet, while each of us has only a desire to receive for oneself, this is the source of all the worries, suffering, wars, and slaughter we cannot escape. They weaken our bodies with all sorts of sores and maladies, and you find that all the agonies in our world are but manifestations offered to our eyes, to prompt us to revoke the evil Klipa of the body and assume the complete form of the desire to bestow.

8. Baal HaSulam, "The Peace"

It is best for us to agree and accept the words of the Kabbalists that HaTeva [the nature] has the same numerical value [in Hebrew] as Elokim [God]—eighty-six. Then, I will be able to call the laws of God “nature’s Mitzvot [commandments],” or vice-versa (the Mitzvot of Elokim by the name “nature’s laws”), for they are one and the same.

9. Baal HaSulam, "The Peace"

Nature, like a skillful judge, punishes us according to our development. For we can see that to the extent that humankind develops, the pains and torments obtaining our sustenance and existence also multiply.

You have a scientific, empirical basis that His Providence has commanded us to observe with all our might the Mitzva of bestowal upon others in utter precision, in such a way that no member from among us would work any less than the measure required to secure the happiness of society and its success. As long as we are idle performing it to the fullest, nature will not stop punishing us and take its revenge.

And besides the blows we suffer today, we must also consider the drawn sword for the future. The right conclusion must be drawn—that nature will ultimately defeat us and we will all be compelled to join hands in following its Mitzvot with all the measure required of us.

10. Baal HaSulam, "The Writings of the Last Generation"

I have already said that there are two ways to discover the completeness: the path of Torah or the path of suffering.

Hence, the Creator has given humanity technology, until they have invented the atom and the hydrogen bombs. If the total ruin that they are destined to bring upon the world is still not evident to the world, they can wait for a third world war, or a fourth one. The bombs will do their thing, and the relics who remain after the ruin will have no other choice but to take upon themselves this work where both individuals and nations will not work for themselves more than is necessary for their sustenance, while everything else they do will be for the good of others. If all the nations of the world agree to it, there will no longer be wars in the world, for no person will be concerned with his own good whatsoever, but only with the good of others.

11. Baal HaSulam, "Peace in the World"

We must thoroughly know the proportional value between the individual and the collective, between the individual and the collective that the individual lives in and nourishes from, in both matter and in spirit.

Reality shows us that an individual cannot exist in isolation without a sufficient number of people around him to serve him and help him provide for his needs. Hence, man is inherently born to lead a social life. Each and every individual in society is like a wheel that is linked to several other wheels placed in a machine. This single wheel has no freedom of movement in and of itself but continues with the motion of the rest of the wheels in a certain direction to qualify the machine to perform its general function.

And if there is some malfunction in the wheel, the malfunction is not evaluated relating to the wheel itself, but according to its service and role with respect to the whole machine.

12. Baal HaSulam, “Peace in the World"

Do not be surprised if I mix together the well-being of a particular collective with the well-being of the whole world, because indeed we have already come to such a degree where the whole world is considered one collective and one society. That is, because each person in the world draws his life’s marrow and his livelihood from all the people in the world, he thereby becomes enslaved, to serve and care for the well-being of the entire world.

13. Baal HaSulam, "Peace in the World"

The benefit of each and every person within his collective is evaluated not according to his own benefit, but according to his service to the public. And vice-versa, we appreciate the measure of evil of each and every individual only according to the harm one inflicts upon the public in general, and not by one’s own individual value.

These matters are crystal clear both from the perspective of the truth in them, and from the perspective of the good in them. This is because what is found in the collective is only what is found in the individual, and the benefit of the collective is the benefit of each and every individual. He who harms the collective takes his share in the harm, and he who benefits the collective takes his share in the benefit, since individuals are parts of the whole, and the whole is not worth in any way more than the sum of its individuals.

14. Baal HaSulam, "Peace in the World"

In our generation, when each person is aided for his happiness by all the countries in the world, it is necessary that to that extent, the individual becomes enslaved to the whole world, like a wheel in a machine.

Therefore, the possibility of making good, happy, and peaceful conducts in one state is inconceivable when it is not so in all the countries in the world, and vice versa. In our time, the countries are all linked in the satisfaction of their needs of life, as individuals were in their families in earlier times. Therefore, we can no longer speak or deal with just conducts that guarantee the well-being of one country or one nation, but only with the well-being of the whole world, for the benefit or harm of each and every person in the world depends and is measured by the benefit of all the individuals the world over.

15. Baal HaSulam, "The Peace"

The collective and the individual are one and the same, and the individual is not harmed because of his enslavement to the collective, since the freedom of the collective and the freedom of the individual are one and the same, too, and as they share the good, they also share the freedom. Thus, good attributes and bad attributes, good deeds and bad deeds are evaluated only with respect to the benefit of the public.

Of course, the above words apply if all the individuals perform their role toward the public to the fullest and receive no more than they deserve, nor take from their friend’s share. But if a part of the collective does not behave accordingly, as a result, they not only harm the collective, but they, too, are harmed.

16. Baal HaSulam, "Introduction to The Book of Zohar", Item 68

Do not be surprised that one person’s actions bring elevation or decline to the whole world, for it is an unbreakable law that the general and the particular are equal as two peas in a pod. Hence, all that applies to the general applies also to the particular. Moreover, the parts make what is found in the whole, for the general can appear only after the appearance of the parts in it, and according to the quantity and quality of the parts. Evidently, the value of an act of an individual elevates or declines the entire collective.

17. Likutey Moharan, First Edition, Mark 5

Every person should say, “The whole world was created only for me” (Sanhedrin 37). It follows that if the whole world has been created for me, I have to look and delve into the correction of the world at all times, satisfy the needs of the world, and pray for them.

18. Baal HaSulam, "One Commandment"

I say that the first and only Mitzva that guarantees the achievement of the aspiration to attain Lishma is to resolve not to work for oneself, apart for the necessary works—merely to provide for one’s sustenance. In the rest of the time, he will work for the public: to save the oppressed, and every being in the world that needs salvation and benefit

19. Baal HaSulam, "The Nation"

The measure of egoism inherent in every creature is a necessary condition in the actual existence of the creature. Without it, it would not be a separate and distinct being in itself. Yet, this should not at all deny the measure of altruism in a person. The only thing required is to set distinct boundaries between them: The law of egoism must be kept in all its might, to the extent that it concerns the minimum existence. And with any surplus of that measure, permission is granted to waive it for the well-being of one’s fellow person.

20. Baal HaSulam, “The Writings of the Last Generation"

The religious form of all the nations should first obligate its members to bestowal upon each other to the extent that (the life of one’s friend will come before one’s own life), as in “Love your friend as yourself.” One will not take pleasure in society more than a straggling friend.

This will be the collective religion of all the nations that will come within the framework of communism. However, besides this, each nation may follow its own religion and tradition, and one must not interfere in the other.

21. Baal HaSulam, “The Writings of the Last Generation"

The rules of the equal religion for the entire world are as follows:

1) One should work for the well-being of people as much as one can and even more than one’s ability, if needed, until there is no hunger or thirst in the entire world.

2) One may be diligent, but no person shall benefit from the society more than the stragglers. There will be an equal standard of living for all.

3) Although there is religion, tokens of honors should be imparted according to the religion: The greater the benefit one contributes to society, the higher the decoration one shall receive.

4) Refraining from showing one’s diligence toward the benefit of society will induce punishment according to the laws of society.

5) Each and every one is committed to the labor of raising ever higher the living standard of the world society, so all the people in the world will enjoy their lives and will feel more and more happiness.

22. Baal HaSulam, "The Nation"

Our planet is rich enough to provide for all of us, so why should we fight this tragic war to the death, which has been dimming our lives for generations? Let us share among us the labor and its produce equally, and the end to all the troubles! After all, what pleasure do even the millionaires among us derive from their possessions if not the security of their sustenance for them and for their progeny several generations on? But in a regime of just division they will also have the same certainty and even more.

And should you say that they will not have the respect that they had while they were property owners, that, too, is nothing, for all those strong ones who have gained the power to earn respect as property owners will certainly find the same amount of honor elsewhere, for the gates of competition will never be locked.

23. Baal HaSulam,"The Writings of the Last Generation"

It is important to make such a correction, that no person will demand his needs from society. Instead, there will be selected people who will examine the needs of every one and provide for every single person. Public opinion will denounce one who claims something for oneself, such as today’s thief and scoundrel.

Thus, everyone’s thoughts will be devoted to bestowal upon one’s fellow person, as is the nature of any edification that cultivates it, even before one feels one’s own needs.

All this is based on that fact that we see that we are like any other animal in our consumption. Also, every contemptible act in the world stems from consumption. On the other hand, we see that all the good and joyful deeds in the world come from the property of bestowal upon one’s fellow person.

Hence, we must reject parsimonious thoughts of consumption for self, and fill our minds with thoughts of bestowal upon our fellow person.

24. Baal HaSulam,"The Writings of the Last Generation"

Clearly, the motto, “Each will receive according to his needs and work according to his ability,” is absolute altruism. When this is applied, the majority of the public, or all of it, will be armed with the measure, “Let mine be yours.” Hence, do tell, which are the elements that can bring the public to this desire? Today’s elements, namely the hatred of the capitalists and all sorts of animosities extending from it, will only bring man to the opposite. It will instill the measure of “Let mine be mine and let yours be yours” in people, which is Sodomite Rule, the opposite of love of others.

25. Baal HaSulam, "The Peace"

When all the work of bestowal upon others is based solely on the benefit of society, it is a rickety foundation, for who or what would obligate the individual to toil for society? From a dry, lifeless principle, one can never hope to derive motive power for movement even in developed individuals [motive power: a purposeful force that moves every body and allots it strength to exert, like fuel in a machine], much less for undeveloped people. Thus, the question is where would the worker or the farmer find sufficient motive power to work, for his daily bread will not increase or decrease by his efforts, and there are no goals or rewards before him.

26. Baal HaSulam, "The Peace"

And if you say that there is a solution—to place them under supervision so that anyone who is idle at his work will be punished by denial of salary, I will ask, “Do tell me where the supervisors themselves would take the motive power for their work?” Because standing at one place and watching over people to motivate them to work is a great effort, too, perhaps more so than the work itself. Therefore, it is as though one wishes to switch on a machine without fueling it.

Hence, they are doomed by nature, since nature’s laws will punish them because they do not adapt themselves to obeying its commands—performing these acts of bestowal upon others in the form of work for the sake of the Creator, to achieve through it to the purpose of creation, which is Dvekut with Him. It was explained in the article, “Matan Torah,” Item 6, that this Dvekut comes to the worker in the measure of His pleasant and pleasurable bounty, which increases up to the desired measure for rising to know His genuineness, ever developing until he is rewarded with the excessiveness implied in the words, “The eye has not seen a God besides you.”

And imagine that the farmer and the worker were to sense this goal before them while working for the well-being of society, they would certainly not need any supervisors, since they would already have sufficient motive power for a great effort, enough to raise society to the ultimate happiness.

27. Baal HaSulam, “The Writings of the Last Generation"

Neither bayonets nor education or public opinion can change human nature to work willingly without adequate fuel.

Hence, it is a curse for generations. When the compulsory government is revoked, the workers will no longer yield produce that will suffice for the sustenance of the state. There is no cure for this but to bring faith in spiritual reward and punishment from above into the hearts of the workers, from He who knows the mysteries.

Thus, through the right education and promotion, that spiritual reward and punishment will be sufficient fuel for the produce of their work. They will no longer need managers or supervisors over their shoulders, but each and every one will work willingly and wholeheartedly for society, to win his or her reward from Heaven.

28. Baal HaSulam, "The Peace"

There is no other cure for humanity but to assume the commandment of Providence to bestow upon others in order to bring contentment to the Creator in the measure of the two verses.

The first is “love your friend as yourself,” which is the attribute of the work itself. This means that the measure of work to bestow upon others for the happiness of society should be no less than the measure imprinted in man to care for his own needs. Moreover, he should put his fellow person’s needs before his own.

The other verse is, “And you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.” This is the goal that must be before everyone’s eyes when laboring for one’s friend’s needs. This means that he labors and toils only to be liked by the Creator, as He said, “and they do His will.”

“And if you wish to listen, you will feed on the fruit of the land,” for poverty and torment and exploitation will be no more in the land, and the happiness of each and every one will rise ever higher, beyond measure.

29. Baal HaSulam, "The Peace"

The tough, egoistic resistance among people, along which international relationships deteriorate, all these will not cease from the world by any human counsel or tactic, whatever it may be.

Our eyes can see how the poor, sick person is turning over in dreadful, intolerable pains, and humanity has already thrown itself to the extreme right, as with Germany, or to the extreme left, as with Russia. But not only did they not ease the situation for themselves, they have worsened the malady and agony, and the voices rise up to heaven, as we all know.

Thus, they have no other choice but to come to accept His burden in knowledge of the Creator, meaning to aim their actions to the will of the Creator and to His purpose, as He had planned for them prior to creation. When they do this, it is plain to see that with serving Him, all envy and hatred will be abolished from humanity, as I have shown above, since then all members of humanity will unite into one body and one heart, full of the knowledge of the Lord. Thus, world peace and the knowledge of the Creator are one and the same.

30. Baal HaSulam," The Freedom"

When humankind achieves its goal, with respect to the success of the bodies, by bringing them to the degree of complete love of others, all the bodies in the world will unite into a single body and a single heart. Only then will all the happiness intended for humanity become revealed in all its glory.