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

Results 1 - 10 of 26062
Between The Desires Of The Heart And The Arguments Of The Mind

laitman_235Question: How does a Kabbalist find a solution when he experiences contradiction between the desires of the heart and the arguments of the mind?

Answer: In our world, these contradictions are based on the person’s ignorance. He does not know where he is, with whom he deals, what he controls, and what he has to balance. He has absolutely no foundations.

In the spiritual world, he takes the Creator as the foundation, which is the basis of the balance of these two forces because He is the positive force. He generates the negative force so that we can exist in it as creations, opposite to Him.

Therefore, the balance between the two forces is maintained by the Creator at the inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels, and at the spiritual level between the properties of bestowal and reception, but with our intervention, as much as we require, we ask Him to help us keep this balance.
[241711]
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 12/16/18

How Should One Perceive The Creator?

laitman_282.01Question: How should I perceive the Creator through a teacher: as a kind of mind or as a person?

Answer: Definitely not as a person! If such images arise, we must immediately dismiss them.

The Creator is a common force in all of us without exception. It unifies and fills us. It is a common field in which we exist. The quality of this field is absolute love and bestowal. Nothing else.
[240699]
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian, 12/02/18
Related Material:
What Does The Creator Look Like?
An Unchangeable Law Of Nature
The Concept Of God In Kabbalah

Harmony Is A Balance Of Contradictions

232.09Question: What is stability and harmony from the Kabbalistic point of view?

Answer: Harmony is a balance between forces of reception and bestowal that mutually balance each other, emphasize, expand, increase, and at the same time lead to stabilization.

Question: Then why was it necessary to create a contradiction? Was it not possible to immediately create harmony and stability?

Answer: No. Then we would not feel them. We would be like insects that exist in relative harmony. We see that existence, especially in our world, consists precisely of the struggle between the two principles. Therefore, there is no harmony here, but only an alternating, fluctuating struggle that leads to a state of either greater or lesser balance between the two opposite forces.

Only the wisdom of Kabbalah explains how it is possible to reach such a balance where both forces will mutually complement each other.

In the corporeal world, these forces mutually exclude one another, try to destroy and annul each other. “Kabbalah,” which is translated from Hebrew as “the wisdom of reception,” explains how to correctly build a mutual combination of two opposites so that spiritual existence would be possible between them.

Earthy life is founded on simple principles: on the relative equilibrium of inanimate, vegetative, and animate entities that exist for a certain time and then die. That is, the corporeal balance does not withstand the test of time.

Spirituality, on the contrary, develops constantly until it reaches absolute balance in all its manifestations, which is called Gmar Tikun (the end of correction).

Question: Does it mean that the concept of happiness can exist only if there are contradictions?

Answer: Happiness is only possible when there is a struggle and it is felt precisely during those moments when this struggle comes to balance. There can be no satisfaction, happiness, or pleasure if you do not feel emptiness beforehand. Therefore, there must be a struggle in order to feel its positive result. This is this way in everything.
[241707]
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 12/16/18

The Aspiration Of A Kabbalist Teacher

laitman_938.05Question: Does a Kabbalist with attainment have a desire for his students to also reveal his spiritual degree? Does he pull them up to his level? Or does he do that in order to ascend himself?

Answer: By teaching my students, I rise accordingly because I am disseminating this wisdom. And every potential small soul joining the common development connects to the general course of correction and affects everyone.

In other words, I affect the common soul of Adam by including you in it through me. Thus, I impact the whole universe.

Question: So, you are clearly interested in advancing?

Answer: I am obviously interested in all of you advancing. However, this interest is not selfish or egoistic because I personally want the whole system to reach adhesion with the Creator. There, the ego completely vanishes. Your question makes no sense because in Kabbalah the particular and the collective are completely equal.
[241104]
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 11/11/18

Why Is Purim Important Today? (The Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “Why Is Purim Important Today?

The Purim holiday is especially relevant in today’s world. In the theater of our current reality, the curtain rises and the performance begins with entry of the full cast of characters, the heroes and villains, and the intricate plot unfolds. Just like the Purim story’s scenario in Shushan, the Jewish people today face special times when great forces of separation operate to tear us apart. The events described in The Scroll of Esther hint at the corrections we have to go through as a people to overcome the threats looming over us. Our own survival depends on the realization of these corrections.

Let’s look at the characters behind the costumes:

Haman is represented by the resurgence of Nazism, hatred from the left toward Jews and Israel, and extreme voices from both sides of the spectrum that call for our destruction.

Mordechai is the story’s representative of good. However, try as he might to be a positive force, he’s powerless to do so by himself. He needs to first gather and unite the far-flung Jews, and by doing so, Mordechai invalidates the decree of the wicked Haman, to eradicate all the Jews. “There is a certain people, scattered and dispersed,” Haman says to King Ahasuerus, contending that the Jews failed to uphold the king’s laws, which discredited their purpose for existence in the king’s eyes.

At this point, a question arises: Why did Haman connect the Jews’ dispersion to their disobeying the king’s laws? Haman understood that the principle by which the Jewish nation came into being was unity. Such a state of unity was achieved through the correction of egoism—exploitation of others for our own sake—to a state of love and bestowal. Purim symbolizes the end of this process of correction.

The Jews became sanctioned as a nation when they agreed to unite “as one man with one heart.” Their dispersion was synonymous with their disunity, which meant that they failed to live up to what established them as a nation to begin with. This is what Haman emphasized to King Ahasuerus.

While “dispersed,” Queen Esther could be of no service to the Jews because they were breaching the king’s law. When they united, however, they reestablished themselves as a nation, exactly as King Ahasuerus commanded, making Haman’s claim fall short. For this reason, Esther relays to Mordechai: “You want me to go to the king and beg for your lives? Don’t just sit there at the king’s gate; go, gather the Jews!”

Purim provides us with the happy-ending example where the Jewish people understand their role and purpose, and take responsibility to realize the king’s law: uniting above their differences and thereby securing their survival. The opposite end was clearly exemplified by the tragic events in the middle of last century that revealed what an escalation of Jewish hatred coupled with Jewish denial of that hatred and failure to do anything about it could lead to.

What is the unity we Jews must reach now? It does not mean that we need to physically gather in Israel or anywhere else, just as the Jews in the Purim story didn’t need to leave the 127 provinces in which they lived to physically unite in Shushan.

Uniting means that we must mentally and emotionally support each other in seeking a common agreement to be there for each other, “as one man with one heart,” above any differences between us. Moreover, uniting also means that, by our efforts to find our common unifying point, we will become conduits of unity to the rest of humanity, as is written, to become “a light unto nations.”

In other words, the dispersion and disunity between our hearts spreads dispersion and disunity to the world, and its opposite is also true—our unification spreads unification. Unity is the unfulfilled expectation that humanity currently has of the Jews. While it is difficult for both non-Jews and Jews to pinpoint or verbalize this feeling, it lurks behind all anti-Semitic sentiment.

From the doubt and fear in the face of utter destruction to the elation and euphoria after everything works out in the end, the story and meaning of Purim encompasses one of the greatest ever resolution of opposites.

We Jews hold the keys to both possible outcomes: the choice to remain disunited, which has devastating consequences, or the choice to unite, which brings about the elated state Purim symbolizes.

Every time that we Jews were threatened with extermination, it was our commitment to unity that allowed us to prevail and survive. Today, Jews must remember this history and set a positive example for everyone. This is the very action that will bring our people and the whole world closer to peace, balance and boundless joy.

Happy Purim to all!

Until All The Friends Are In My Heart

laitman_962.6The transition is a short and difficult period because it requires you to leave the old place, those special conditions in which we are located, our properties, and move on to new qualities. That is, we are obliged to leave the previous, familiar and comprehensible conditions under which we have already established contact with each other and created a common Kli in a certain form. Suddenly, we find ourselves in some intermediate state, incomprehensible, unknown, unstable, and confusing, containing several new, changing conditions, until we reach a new stage.

This new state is also unfamiliar, incomprehensible, and takes time to stabilize. There are people who adapt easily to such changes, while others have great difficulty. But in any case, the transition period is not easy for anyone. Our basic level is the animate one. An animal dislikes change. It exists according to its nature. However, now the human level is changing in us, and such changes cause us to constantly experience new feelings, confusion, and unsolvable contradictions.

First of all, one needs to understand that the transition period belongs to the human level and that without these changes, it is impossible to become human. Although it is not easy, Kabbalists must go through them. During the transition, a person loses self-control and does not understand how and exactly what to control because internal parameters change and the perception changes accordingly.

And besides, a person has no understanding where the change is or what is right and wrong. There are conditions that are very difficult to overcome. The only solution in this situation is to focus more on the action than on the thoughts: to connect more strongly with the group, the friends. You will then find yourself in a new state. There is no doubt that the next new state requires us to have greater connection with the group.

In the material world, transitional periods last billions of years, but on a spiritual level such a transition takes a few years, accommodating a lot of huge changes. We are moving from one world to another and even not once, but several times. Let us hope that we will make this transition with understanding and that we will support each other because this is a transition to a spiritual level.1

The whole world should be perceived as a person’s own spiritual Kli. There are friends in this world who think the same way I do and strive for the same goal. This is my support, my properties that are in solidarity with me. But there are those who have not yet been corrected and I need to try to bring them closer to me, correct them, and include them in myself. I myself am the most flexible part that I can dispose of, and therefore, I can descend to others, absorb, embrace, lift, and give the correct form to our connection.

The whole world should be considered as my soul, which I attach to myself gradually, circle after circle: from the first circle, my “I,” then my friends, the world community of Bnei Baruch, and then the whole world.

The transition period is the time of the learning about one’s own soul, the Kli. The whole world is my soul and I need to gradually start to attach it, take care of it, and include it. This is not just the outside world with many different nations, the inanimate nature, plants, animals and other galaxies. Such a picture only appears in my imagination. In fact, all of reality is within me, and I include the whole world.

Every person must say: “The whole world was created for me,” and so I must constantly take care of correcting the world and fulfilling its needs. In essence, I see flaws not in others, but in myself, and I pray for my correction until this entire reality is included within me, and I will see it as the ten Sefirot of my spiritual Kli.2

By changing my properties, I see how the world changes. The world is a projection of my properties. It only seems to me that it exists outside of me, but in fact, it is only inside of me, as if there is a projector inside me that projects my properties outwardly in the form of a picture of the world. Therefore, by changing my properties, I can change the world by projecting a film that I see in front of me.3

The group is given to me so that I can form my inner world inside it, as if it is my external reality, and begin to manage both worlds. Looking at the external reality, I change myself from the inside, and when I look at my internal reality, I know what needs to change from the outside.

The outside world is given to me so that I can see my inner properties with greater resolution, with more details. We must be grateful for the opportunity to see the world outside ourselves because it gives us a very accurate, wide, deep and rich knowledge. If we looked at these properties within ourselves, we would not see anything.

We change the properties within ourselves and do not really understand how this affects everything. Only by changes in the external world can one judge the essence of his internal changes. By correcting relationships with friends, I correct my inner qualities. This happens until all the friends are in my heart and turn into ten Sefirot, given to me each time to tune myself to the perception of a higher spiritual reality.4
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/17/19, “Bnei Baruch as a State of Transition”
1 Minute 0:20
2 Minute 7:20
3 Minute 17:23
4 Minute 23:40

How Does One Make The Right Request To The Creator?

laitman_284.07Question: How do I ask correctly if I realize that the request erases the feeling of the situation that I am in? Am I not avoiding what the Creator has sent me?

Answer: No. Often when you ask, you begin to realize your request is unnatural and weak and that you should be asking for something else, stating your request differently. It doesn’t matter.

You should understand that we exist inside a rigid system. You don’t just send off a letter somewhere and that is the end of it. You constantly work in this system; therefore, your appeal changes along the way, it is reformulated.

The system reacts in its own way. For example, as I start telling you something, my thinking changes. I start discovering other options for the questions, different answers, ways to express them, etc. This is the interaction with the system that I exist in, and I cannot exit this matrix.
[240831]
From the Kabbalah lesson in Russian, 11/4/18

New Zealand Massacre

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 3/18/19

Less than 48 hours after we heard about the terrible massacre in the remote and peaceful New Zealand, we were struck by yet another terrorist attack near an Israeli settlement.

In New Zealand, solidarity is on the rise, and promises are being made to change gun laws. In Israel, the demand to uproot the terrorist infrastructure is resurfacing, and some are exploiting the attack to serve political agendas.

However, no leader, whether in Israel or in New Zealand, is pointing to the root cause that continues to generate terrorist attacks. No public discourse on social media touches on the deeper culprit: the growing human ego, which we must contain.

Until we turn our attention to our growing egoistic nature, it will continue to generate conflicts and lead us to an extremely bloody reality. Ultimately, the human ego will drive us to violence between sectors, parties and entire countries.

In our time, a third world war could be ignited overnight. Our world is increasingly connected through a complex web of interdependence that cannot be unraveled. As human society becomes more globally integrated, binding together countries, economies and cultures, we begin to discover the reciprocity between all parts and aspects of humanity as an inescapable law of nature.

As long as our ego grows and evades our focus as the central problem, we will continue to see suffering. As long as there is a deep chasm between the narrow egotistical view of human beings and the law of global reciprocity that governs them, we will continue to feel unstable.

As long as we do not restrain the human ego – in Israel, New Zealand, and any other country in between – human society will go further and further out of balance. Ultimately, the suffering will force us to pay attention to the law of reciprocity that governs us. It’s not a punishment, it is a natural response that stems from the laws of nature.

From day to day, the world will inevitably realize that connecting humans above the separating ego is the only solution and the only way forward.

But there’s more. Subconsciously, an inexplicable demand is brewing in humanity towards those holding the key to the system for uniting humanity: the Jewish people.

The sages wrote that “no calamity comes into the world, but for Israel” (Yevamot 58). Kabbalist Rav Kook wrote that “any global noise happens mainly for Israel” (“Letters of Rav Kook”). And the book of Zohar writes in black and white: “poverty and sword and robbery and killing and destruction throughout the world are dependent on the Jews.” (Tikkun 30).

Today, both the Jewish people and the nations of the world are completely unaware of the dynamic between them. Therefore, to be realistic, the first stage is only to raise awareness of the necessity to follow the law of global reciprocity. This means knowing the foundations of the world as they are clarified in Kabbalah: the structure of nature’s global system, the power of egoism that rules rules over us and throws us out of balance, and the true meaning of the ideal we must strive towards: love your neighbor as yourself.

Everything Is Only From Him

laitman_962.1Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot”: There is a great need to explain once and for all why the coming of the Messiah depends on the study of Kabbalah in the masses, which is so prevalent in The Zohar and in all the books of Kabbalah. The populace has already discussed it pointlessly and it has become unbearable.

Even all those who do study the Torah, every grace that they do, they do for themselves. In that time, the spirit leaves and does not return to the world. This is the spirit of the Messiah.

The problem is that people separate everything that happens from the upper root and do not want to see that the upper force acts in everything. “There is no place free from the Creator,” there is no action that would be performed without His participation. This happens at every moment of our life. A person should realize that all his desires, thoughts, and actions, even the worst ones, are dictated by the Creator, and he should determine his attitude toward His actions. Then, he will come to adhesion with the upper force, in his current state.

A person justifies the Creator, realizing that He is acting to correct his attitude to what is happening. The Creator leads him through all sorts of states that are not justified from the point of view of an animalistic, rational logic. But trying to attribute everything to the Creator “besides whom there is nothing,” a person changes his attitude to what is happening. The main thing for him is to attribute everything to the Creator in order to please Him. He does not take into account his unpleasant feelings, fears, hurt, pride, etc.

First, he decides that everything comes from the Creator, but he cannot justify Him for his pain. Then he agrees with the unpleasant state, realizing that it is necessary. That is, he already justifies the Creator who corrects him in this way, but he still feels bad. And in the end, he rises above his bitter feeling due to the importance of the goal, which covers the material pain felt in the desire to enjoy. In this way he achieves devotion to the Creator.

All the previous stages are called “a slave,” a “handmaid helping the mistress,” his corrected desire, Malchut.1

In the state of Lo Lishma, I attribute all actions to the Creator, I try to cling to Him with all my thoughts and desires, connecting everything that happens in the world to Him. After all, “There is no one else besides Him.” But at the same time, I still add my feelings to it, feeling pleasant and unpleasant events, wanting some of them and not wanting others. That is, in everything that happens, my personal interest is present consciously or unconsciously.

I find myself thinking that I would like a different outcome of events and regret what happened. Sadness and regret testify to the fact that I am not pleased with the governance of the Creator. There is no doubt that only He governs me, but I still do not agree with Him, I am not devoted to Him. If I do not remain completely joyful in any state, bad and good, it means that I am not in adhesion with the Creator.

This state is called Lo Lishma because I would like to slightly turn each state to a more pleasant direction for my feelings and understanding. This indicates lack of adhesion.2

It is necessary to decide in practice whether all the states I feel come from the Creator or not. Different stages are possible here: greater concealment or greater revelation. This decision is made in the mind. And besides, it is necessary to define in feeling: is what is happening pleasant or unpleasant to me? Do I agree with it more or less? Am I joyful or not?

I must agree in my mind, heart, feelings, and with my reason that everything comes from the Creator and everything is beautiful; that is, the Creator is good and does good and there is none else besides Him. Good that does good, according to my feelings, and there is none else besides Him, according to my reasonable conclusion, my action. That is all we need to do.

If we have not yet achieved this, we must attract as much reforming light as possible through the ten and address the Creator with a prayer. And the main thing is to increase the importance of the Creator, His singularity in everything: He is the first and He is the last; everything is only from Him.3
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/1/19 Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Item 31″
1 Minute 12:35
2 Minute 35:05
3 Minute 1:17:50

Why Is The Path To Spiritual Revelation So Long?

laitman_294.3Question: Why is the period of preparation for spiritual revelation so long?

Answer: Indeed, the preparation period is very long. It can take 20 or 30 years before you begin to receive and comprehend the answers.

However, this is not just an expectation, as if you’re waiting for a train. It is rather your continuous change, your continuous adaptation to the state when you begin to attain the hidden, upper world.

Therefore, your whole journey depends on the depth of your soul. The higher it is, the greater will be the journey before the first revelation of the spiritual world.
[240612]
From the Kabbalah lesson in Russian, 11/25/18