Articles on current events, culture, popular science, relationships and more, presented from the unique perspective of the wisdom of Kabbalah

Results 1 - 10 of 27239
Sleep Or Lesson Preparation?

laitman_962.4Question: Should I deprive myself of the pleasure of having a hearty dinner if I know that I would sleep longer afterward and consequently would have less time for the study of Kabbalah, communication with the group, and so on?

Answer: I would not recommend it.

I, for example, plan in advance what I can do to wake up for the lesson without fail. Moreover, I have to prepare for the lesson for at least an hour and a half: to read, delve into the material, prepare myself for certain sensations. Otherwise, how can I be accountable before my friends?

As I go to the students, I regard them not as pupils, but as my friends through whom I want to receive certain sensations. After all, I am not in the absolute state yet.

That is why I prepare for the lesson constantly: I familiarize myself with the topic of the lesson in advance and read excerpts on that topic. I tune myself similarly to the way a musical instrument is tuned before being played.

Moreover, you not only discuss tuning, but on the contrary, that you might not come to the lesson. Such a thing is completely unacceptable.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 1/12/20

Modern Types Of Obstacles

laitman_547.04Question: What is an obstacle?

Answer: In general, there are no obstacles. What we call an obstacle is help “against oneself,” when a person is given help but in a way that is very unpleasant to one’s egoism.

The purpose of an obstacle is to teach us to overcome it, to put spiritual elevation above any earthly achievement, meaning to place the Creator above everything else.

Question: What types of obstacles are there?

Answer: There are all sorts. But usually, it is food, sex, family, pride, fame, and knowledge.

Question: Until recently, hunger was a really big obstacle. The family of our teacher, a high-level Kabbalist, was starving. What does the Creator want to tell us by this?

Answer: He tests people. Will you be eager to earn as much as possible by any means or will you be content only with the fact that you exist and somehow subsist from day to day. These are very serious problems.

Comment: But today virtually nobody is starving. That is all in the past.

My Response: Yes, these problems have been resolved by previous generations.

Question: What obstacles does an ordinary person face today?

Answer: Today we have domestic problems with sex, family.

The family is disintegrating because a person with today’s egoism cannot exist in the same shell called family for a long time. This is why both psychologists and sociologists are saying that a person will have two or three families in the course of their lifetime.

Question: People used to live in a family for 20 years while today it is unlikely that a person will stand it for 50 to 60 years. That is, today the Creator sends great obstacles through a family, doesn’t He?

Answer: Yes, but not only. I think people will draw closer to spirituality through the obstacles of a different level: wealth, fame, and knowledge.

Fame drives a person forward. Look at what happens with the government before elections. And knowledge? Look at what transpires between scientists. Although they also have aspiration toward fame, it prevails over their aspiration toward knowledge.

Regarding the general mass of people, they are primarily interested in sex, family, and money.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 3/25/19

Blitz Of Kabbalah Tips – 12/29/19

laitman_963.6Question: I have been studying with you for a few years and my understanding of Kabbalistic terms is constantly changing. Apparently the word “hatred” is also a Kabbalistic term. How does this notion change for a person as one develops spiritually?

Answer: Usually, the term “rejection” is used in Kabbalah. That is, it is not the feeling of hatred itself but its reaction, its action.

Question: Is our goal to reach the Creator, who is love?

Answer: The purpose of our development is to reach the Creator or universal love, which are the same.

Question: Why does a loving Creator awaken terrible hatred, anger, and rage in me toward Him?

Answer: It is in order for you to resist these feelings, to overcome them, and bring yourself to the state of absolute love.

Question: Do love and hatred correspond to the pillars of mercy and justice?

Answer: No. Mercy and justice and hatred and love are very different categories; later we will later learn how to put together and thereby develop our soul. That is, we will learn to add a bit of hatred, a bit of love, a bit of every feeling depending on the circumstances, in particular combinations.

Question: It follows from the method of Kabbalah that a person cannot reveal the Creator on a deserted island? He has no one to love or hate.

Answer: Of course, one cannot. One person alone is not a man.

Question: Can one love others without love for oneself?

Answer: No, it is impossible. You can love others only when you love yourself.

Question: Can it be said that the transition from self-love to love in a ten is empathy or projection?

Answer: No. There is no need for these definitions.. They provide nothing. You will get confused with them and think we understand each other. No such words exist in Kabbalah.

Question: Who is “the other”: a single person, a ten, or the entire world?

Answer: “The other” is the ten, no less. Preferably ten.

Question: We speak about two opposites, love and hatred, all the time. Is there an intermediate, middle state where we have freedom?

Answer: Freedom is precisely between love and hatred. This is a so-called the middle part of the Sefira Tifferet.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 12/29/19

Obstacles—Help To Reach The Goal

laitman_423.02Comment: You once said that our whole world is one big obstacle.

My Response: Yes, because it obscures the Creator.

Question: Who is stopping us and what is considered an obstruction?

Answer: Our egoism. Egoistic desires draw to us everything that surrounds us. It is hard to believe, but stones, trees, electronics, everything we create, see, and work with, and we ourselves, are just obstacles that disallow our revelation of the Creator.

Question: Does that mean that the Creator created this world in order to prevent me from reaching His state?

Answer: No, quite the opposite. It is with the help of obstacles that I attain Him.

Question: Do you consider obstacles as help?

Answer: Of course. For example, you are an athlete. For how long do you have to work with all sorts of weights to reach some result? What is it for?

Comment: I don’t even ask myself about it because if I would start asking, I would stop doing it.

My Response: You see. Wherever we try to achieve results and success, we must apply effort. What for? Why are there obstacles in any work, in any achievement, no matter what?

Comment: But I have a goal. Let’s say I want to be a champion. That is why I exercise. I lift a few tons of iron every day. And if it were not for the goal of getting respect from society and feeling good, I would not do it.

My Response: That is, in order to achieve something, you must make great efforts, in general, in monotonous activities, exercises, and checking yourself to see how much you are advancing. As a result, you come to a state where you reach your goal. So it is in everything.

Question: But how does this manifest in our case? After all, our goal is to attain the Creator, the quality of bestowal.

Answer: Here the situation is somewhat different: You build up external muscles and Kabbalists build up internal muscles. They work on a different principle.

In other words, I must work against my egoism, like you, but work acquiring the quality of bestowal above it. Instead of a small egoistic desire to lie down, to rest, you are attracted to sports. And I, instead of lying down to relax, am attracted to my internal work. I apply effort so that instead of an egoistic desire, an altruistic desire appears in me—concern for others, for my friend, for the Creator.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 3/25/19

Comprehend Love Of Others Through Love Of Oneself

laitman_527.02Question: You say that to “love the other as thyself” a person first of all has to love himself. What does it mean?

Answer: Before you start working on loving the other you should feel how much you love yourself, how much you think about yourself all the time, and how much you cannot give up on yourself. The most important thing for you is to please yourself, to feel good. You cannot really think about others.

When you examine all this and feel how egoistic you are, then you start realizing that you do not need anything except to transfer such an attitude toward your beloved self to others.

And a person who still does not feel that he loves only himself, and very strongly, cannot start working on love of the other. He does not understand what love is.

We comprehend the notion of love through love of oneself when I am all about myself, all the time for myself. For example, now you sit in the most comfortable way and already think about how you will come home soon, get some rest, and lie down on the sofa. “Where are my slippers, my TV set, and my dinner?” That is, you seek comfort all the time. You want to entertain only your beloved self, you want to wrap him up and put him in a warm bed.

One needs to feel this strongly within oneself. And one can feel it in a ten.

When you aspire to think about others in the ten, you truly begin to feel how you love only yourself. You do not need friends, anyone. You cannot think about anyone but oneself.

It is specifically from this realization that you can start talking about you needing to love others. You have an example of loving yourself. Now start relating to others the way you relate to yourself. It is not easy.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 12/29/19

Development Of Egoism And The Method Of Connection, Part 2

Laitman_115.05Babylonian Period of Development of Egoism

In ancient Babylon, people lived in harmony with each other, worked, and enjoyed life. Suddenly their egoism began to work so that they started to envy, steal from, kill, subjugate, and compete with each other. As a result of the growth of egoism, they began to hate each other so much that they did not even know what to do next.

Abraham, as the spiritual teacher of the Babylonians, investigated this phenomenon and discovered what was wrong. He believed that it was necessary to transform people, to change them because his role as a priest was to educate them.

He propagated this method in his speeches and spread it among the inhabitants of Babylon. However, people disagreed with him because no one wanted to change themselves, everyone wanted to get what they wanted. No one wanted to do what they disliked. Abraham began to feel that not only the population of Babylon was against him, but also king Nimrod himself, the Babylonian monarch.

In principle, Nimrod was not a harsh king. At that time, the system of communal dormitories flourished. However, when there was an outburst of egoism in Babylon, it required a different force, a tougher hand. Nimrod became the first king in whom a desire to rule completely was awakened.

Comment: In addition, in Ancient Babylon, people had one language; they understood each other and were like one family. However, after the surge of egoism, a strong separation began to appear between them.

My Response: In principle, egoism had been developing since the time of Adam. However, back then it was on an individual level, and in Babylon it became public.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 7/1/19

The Uniqueness Of The Force That Operates Us, Part 9

laitman_562.02Under the Influence of Light

Question: How can I come to feel a gray state and want to break out of it even though everything seems to be smooth and good? Where do I get the need for something more? Where does the search for the purpose of my existence and especially the ability to connect everything with the Creator come from?

Answer: This ability comes from exposure to the surrounding light. When you engage in Kabbalah, you invoke the upper light upon yourself, and it gradually moves you toward the Creator. This movement occurs either on the right or on the left line.

The Creator sort of flirts with us here. He draws us in and out, He puts us far and near in order to bring various sensations within us in connection with Him. After all, we cannot be in one state only, either in the right or left line, but only when both are constantly compared. This is how the Creator acts.

Therefore, if striving toward Him, whatever it may be, accompanies us in the group, in the classroom, while reading the original sources, etc., then we begin to see how these states change within us. This occurs constantly.

As a result, we see that we have no other opportunity, and as soon as we break through to Him, we compel, force, Him to reveal Himself to us.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 11/24/19

World Kabbalah Convention 2020, “Connecting To The Root Of Life,” “Day Three” – 2/27/20

World Kabbalah Convention 2020, “Living in the Greatness of the Creator,” Lesson 7

icon for podpress  Video: Play Now | Download
icon for podpress  Audio: Play Now | Download

World Kabbalah Convention 2020, “Embracing the Entire World,” Lesson 8

icon for podpress  Video: Play Now | Download
icon for podpress  Audio: Play Now | Download
There Is No Fatigue In Bestowal

laitman_282.02Question: Where do you get so much strength to have patience with us?

Answer: Kabbalah is the science of reception, not bestowal. Do you think I bestow to you? On the contrary, I receive from you. It is because when you give, you receive. That is why I always have strength.

Of course, purely physically, it happens sometimes that the body can no longer function the way it should. But essentially, there is no fatigue in bestowal. On the contrary, you are fulfilled all the time, you are bursting. This is pleasure! I advise you to reach that as soon as possible.

Try to teach. Teaching is very beneficial. Expand your circles. Be fruitful and multiply into more and more groups. You will see how it will advance you.

Someone who has a group, who teaches at least a few people, advances a great deal by doing so. You cannot even imagine how the Creator will take care of such a person just because a few more people come through him. It is very important that others stand behind you. Try doing this and you will see how wonderful it is.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 1/12/20

Syrian Father Who Went Viral Teaching His Daughter To Laugh At Falling Rockets (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “Syrian Father Who Went Viral Teaching His Daughter to Laugh at Falling Rockets

Boom! Peels of belly laughter roll from a little girl in her father’s arms. Boom!

Now zoom out on the scene to place the radiant moment of joy in its heartbreaking context:

Abdullah Al-Mohammad teaches his 3-year-old daughter Salwa to laugh at the sound of every shell that falls and explodes nearby.

As a Syrian trying to survive war and with no place to run, what is left for him to do? In order to reduce or eliminate the trauma of rockets falling, he teaches little Salwa that the sound of falling rockets is funny and that the noise of the shelling is merely a game. Life is beautiful (almost).

Abdullah’s poignant video went viral on social media and made him an instant Internet hero, earning him more than two million likes and positive comments, including proposals to adopt the method to help the children in Gaza.

In the chaotic reality of war-torn Syria, this father’s desperate tactics are an understandable attempt to provide his child with psychological protection against the onslaughts of traumatizing bombardment. He hasn’t the time or luxury to research the optimal educational intervention to take when shells fall in the yard. Clearly, there is no good solution or best practice model to calm the terror, only first aid.

What form of teaching would be most helpful for such tragic situations?

The education needs to be directed toward every member of society, parents and children alike, and must be designed to target the root cause of problems in order to provide a lasting cure.

Every member of society needs to understand, according to their level of maturity, that if we want to stop the wars once and for all, we need to try and connect to each other according to the unifying laws of nature.

While teaching children to laugh at threats and danger might help them get through immediate frightening situations more comfortably, it holds no long-term benefit because such learning can cause psychoneurotic maladjustments and misperceptions of reality. Such an out-of-place connection between peril and reaction sets up an incorrect relationship in the brain between threat and response. Thus, at times when vigilance is warranted, the amount of concern and caution is inappropriately reduced leaving them vulnerable to harm.

Medically and scientifically, crying and laughing cause the same shock response in the nervous system. So, while the emotion associated with laughter might feel more pleasant, the effect on the body is no healthier than that of crying.

Both crying and laughing are a reaction of excitement that exceeds the extent of a person’s ability to absorb at a given moment. Therefore, we do need to calm reactions to fears, and only afterward clearly explain the situation and why it is happening.

Step by step over time, children need to understand that wars and destruction take place because society has received no education to develop positive relations, and that there is no concern in society to learn how to positively connect above each person’s innate divisive drives.

They need to know that in order to stop the wars once and for all, we need to try and connect to each other correctly, and in accordance with the unifying laws of nature.

If children understood this principle, they would not laugh, and not even smirk. On the contrary, they would tell us straight to our faces, in their naïve style: Parents, fix your thoughts and behaviors, and improve your relationships with each other!