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Articles on current events, culture, popular science, relationships and more, presented from the unique perspective of the wisdom of Kabbalah
The content is based on talks given by Dr. Michael Laitman and is written and edited by his students.

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“How Do You Know When You Have Awakened Spiritually?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How do you know when you have awakened spiritually?

You shift to a more unified reality from the current divisive one.

It feels as if you wake up from a dream, see an evil and unjust world all around you, and then you close your eyes again, and reawaken into a perfectly harmonious world.

The awful world that you first saw was all in a dream, and you did not want to be there anymore.

When you awaken the second time, you see a balanced world and not the one that you saw in your dream. Kabbalists wrote about such a spiritual revelation, “They were as dreamers.”

The question is: How can we wake up from our worsening nightmare into a peaceful, balanced and harmonious world? The answer is by changing our perception of reality.

We currently live in a perfect world, nothing less than Heaven, where there is total goodness and not a shred of evilness. The sole obstacle we have in sensing reality as such is our perception. Therefore, by changing our perception, we change the world we live in.

Our current perception of reality is the lowest of them all, where all goodness inverts to its opposite form. Outside this perception is the tranquil and sublime world of Ein Sof (Infinity), but we perceive this eternal goodness through senses that immensely limit it to a tiny, transient and negative picture.

By learning how to rise above our current perception of reality, we will see ourselves blanketed in a warmth of love that we have no awareness of in our current level.

The process of rising above our current perception of reality to one that is perfectly connected, harmonious and eternal is called a process of “correction” in the wisdom of Kabbalah. The changes we undergo in our perception and sensation of reality are considered corrections, and the more corrected we become, the more positive and harmonious the world will appear.

Essentially, correcting ourselves and transforming our perception is a process of rising above our divisive drives, and by doing so, we see how others’ attitudes also change toward us.

In short, there is no need to change anyone or to correct the world. We need only correct ourselves, and then we will discover that we live in a perfect reality.

Based on “The Meeting of Worlds” on June 16, 2014. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

Photo by Frank Oberle on Unsplash

 

“What Does It Mean To ‘Let Go’ Spiritually?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What does it mean to ‘let go’ spiritually?

“Letting go” and “flowing with the spiritual current” means not objecting to the spiritual process. However, the ego is a great interference to simply “letting go” spiritually, as it constantly awakens its complaints and demands.

Therefore, “letting go” spiritually is more difficult than it may sound. It does not mean simply doing nothing and letting our egoistic instincts control us. On the contrary, it means joyously accepting everything happening to us and the world, seeing that everything emanates from a single force that wishes only to benefit, love and care about everyone and everything, and not having any inkling of criticism toward that force.

It can seem as if there is nothing out of the ordinary in such a process, just to enjoy life as much as possible. However, it is in fact very complex, because “letting go” spiritually means being in complete unification with the spiritual force of love, bestowal and connection.

Complete unification with that force means that we agree to and justify its intention to do only good to us, while we are made to endure countless contradictory states to that goodness. In such states, we naturally disagree with nature, the world, life, and myriad problems and crises that we are put through. In other words, we constantly disagree with “letting go” spiritually, as there is always some situation that surfaces in order to make us feel bad.

We are put through difficult and contradictory states on purpose. Kabbalists discovered how the single force of love, bestowal and connection, which they call several names including “the Creator” and “nature,” engages us through such states precisely in order to guide us to its discovery.

So how can we accept everything calmly and “let go” spiritually? It is only doable by changing ourselves, so that instead of perceiving through our inborn egoistic lenses, we develop new altruistic lenses that let us perceive as the Creator does, i.e., solely with an intention to love, care, give and positively connect. With such a transformation, we can achieve a harmonious existence, a state of absolute rest. This concept of absolute rest and harmony, however, is opposite from how we refer to rest and harmony according to our corporeal definitions. It is a rest and harmony that is built from our progress above the speed of light by participating in countless amounts of changes: At any given moment, by applying an intention to love, bestow and positively connect, we undergo billions of changes through completely accepting the providence of the single force of love and bestowal. We think logically while we engage in restricting and rising above our egoistic complaints and demands, which merges us with a state of absolute rest and perfection.

Based on a talk, “Secrets of the Eternal Book,” on July 29, 2013. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

Photo by Максим Степаненко on Unsplash.

“Why Is Spiritual Awakening So Painful?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why is spiritual awakening so painful?

The darkest time of night is before dawn. Likewise, the authors of The Zohar stated that humanity’s darkest time will come before its spiritual awakening.

Kabbalists Rav Isaac Luria (the Ari) and Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) both pointed out the time The Zohar was referring to as from the end of the 20th century, and into the 21st century.

Baal HaSulam referred to our era as “the last generation.” The phrase describes a lofty spiritual state, which is the final and highest of all spiritual states, and not as it might sound, i.e., as a time of apocalyptic tragedy.

It is in our era, Kabbalists asserted, that we would enter the beginning of spiritual ascent, and eventually reach the final state of human evolution.

However, in order for a positive spiritual transformation to take place, we need to also apply ourselves voluntarily to a spiritually transforming process.

It is as if we currently experience the labor pains of emergence into a new era and generation, and as with any birth, the process is quite difficult and challenging.

Until our era, we had been developing according to corporeal desires for food, sex, family, money, honor, control and knowledge, and in our era, we start feeling a new desire that we cannot pinpoint like the other desires. Instead of feeling drawn to a new and higher state, we rather feel increasing dissatisfaction in our current state, that the desires we have fail to fulfill us. We become more and more divided and resentful of each other the more we find it difficult to fulfill ourselves.

Such is the awakening of a new spiritual desire among our corporeal desires. Ultimately, such a desire emerges in order for us to seek how to fulfill it, but in order to do so, we require educational and social influences that guide this desire to its fulfillment.

Until we discover and implement a method to fulfill this new desire, then the more we try to fulfill it with our past approaches and teachings, the more we will encounter crisis.

This is why our initial spiritual awakening is so painful—because we feel a growing need for spirituality without guidance for how to relate optimally to this new need.

Without the guidance of a new method for our newly emerging spiritual desire, we find ourselves experiencing more problems and crises across the board, on personal, social, economic, ecological and global scales.

The wisdom of Kabbalah was developed specifically as a method for fulfilling this newly emerging desire. Although it first appeared 5,000 years ago, Kabbalists kept it mostly secret over the generations as they knew that humanity had not yet ripened in its need for the wisdom. However, major Kabbalists such as the authors of The Zohar, the Ari and Baal HaSulam specified our era as the one when humanity en masse would become ready for the wisdom, and would be open to the teaching that it provides.

In other words, our era is characterized as the darkness before the dawn, and we need only learn how to guide our newly-emerging desire in a spiritually-productive direction in order to invert the overriding sensations of our era from those of troubles and crises, to higher states of connection and sublimity that we have never experienced before.

Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

Photo by Rick Medlen on Unsplash

Is There A Satan?

115.06From a Note to You: 

Tell me, does Satan exist? Personally, I think Satan exists, and it is Satan who rules this world. My question is, is it possible to defeat him, or will he lead us to the end of the world?”

Answer: “Satan” stems from the Hebrew word “sote,” which means leading us away from the righteous path.

This is our egoism. I will tell you a secret. He is in each of us, sitting somewhere in a corner with horns and hooves. 🙂 He encourages us all the time. This is Satan.

Question: So, your answer to the first question, “Tell me, is there a Satan?” is “Yes?”

Answer: Yes. In each one of us.

Question: And he rules the world, as you are asked?

Answer: Our world, that is, our state, is ruled by him until we correct it. We cannot expel it from ourselves , we can only correct it.

Question: To the question, “Can it be defeated?” 

Answer: You can. For this purpose, the science of Kabbalah has been given. It explains how to do it for us.

Defeating our selfishness is what we need to do. Each, within himself, and each, relative to the others. This is done in a group, in a circle of people who want the same thing. Just do not think that they are in the business of casting Satan out of themselves.🙂

They are simply engaged in what they want in order to approach the property of bestowal and love among themselves. That is all.

Question: That is, to put oneself in this environment and move with them?

Answer: Yes.

Question: And regarding the last part of his question, “Or will he lead us to the end of the world this way?”

Answer: He will lead us to the end of the world, this Satan. But, we can speed up this process and come to the end of this world much faster.

Question: What does “the end of the world” mean to you?

Answer: The end of the world is the end of the egoistic, limited, petty existence of a person in this terrible, otherwise dark world.

Question: And then, what is revealed to a person?

Answer: Infinity, eternity, perfection.

Question: So you are for the end of the world?

Answer: I am in favor of the end of this world as soon as possible because, immediately after it, comes the beginning of another world.

Question: The real one?

Answer: Yes. A higher one.
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From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 11/23/20

Euthanasia, Surrogacy, Cloning

294.1Question: Euthanasia, terminating the life of suffering patients, is a serious problem in medical ethics. How do you feel about it?

Answer: Although it is very important that a person dies a natural death, if we see that his suffering is inevitable and pointless, then we must do something to alleviate it.

Question: Surrogacy gives an infertile family a chance to have a child. But by doing so, the child becomes a commodity, and surrogate motherhood becomes a good, well-paid job. How do you see it from the moral point of view?

Answer: I cannot say whether to practice it or not. Such issues are decided only by society. I believe that if we correct a person, then all these options will take on a completely different form.

Question: Today, there are many controversial views on cloning. Here too, there is an ethical question. Cloning is prohibited in the USA and Japan. What is your opinion?

Answer: First of all, we need to look inside ourselves and understand what it is needed for and where it leads. If we figure out that cloning goes according to the plan of creation, then of course, we can use it.
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From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 10/9/20

Is There A God Or Not?

276.02Question: How does one respond to internal questions about the existence of God? Does He exist or not? Does this question occur to you?

Answer: No, it does not occur. There is no God.

Question: How does one respond to such a question?

Answer: If there is no God, there is no question.

Question: Maybe we need to find something else, some law or something? How could it be that there is nothing and that’s it?

Answer: Call God the universe and its basic law that includes absolutely everything. Call it the Creator.

There is a force, a central, eternal, and perfect force above which we do not know what is happening. Kabbalah restricts this and says, “Only after complete correction will such qualities arise in you and enable you to rise up and begin to explore the Creator himself. So, you will explore the upper force of the world, which affects you and the entire material world.

Please explore it, reach its level, and then we will talk. After all, today you will not be able to understand what is happening there because here you need a different mind, different feelings, and different qualities.
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From  KabTV’s “Ask a Kabbalist” 12/31/18

See A Beautiful Eternal World

712.03The Book of Zohar, “Song of Songs,” Item 483: To know and to observe the secret of the soul. What is the soul within him? Where does it come from and why does it come into this body, which is a foul drop that is here today and in the grave tomorrow? 

Question: Why does the soul need to descend into such a fetid body whose place is ultimately in the grave?

Answer: The soul has nothing to do with our body. We simply exist in this little egoistic desire, like little animals. And the soul has nothing to do with it.

The soul descends into the putrid body means that it reaches the lowest egoistic state and is in it in order to correct it.

When I correct my egoism, not the flesh, not our animal body that remains the same, but my inner body, and gradually, with the help of the power received from The Book of Zohar, I turn it into bestowal and love for my neighbor, then absolutely amazing metamorphoses happen to me.

I begin to feel the whole universe because I do not limit myself, I do not separate myself from everything and I feel everything that is happening in the world.

I feel how capable I am to be outside my body, outside the limits of my “I.” I begin to feel my “I” as spread over the entire universe. This is a new feeling. It is unfamiliar to us. And when we begin to acquire it, a person feels free. He suddenly leaves his little cage in which he existed.

Kabbalists give a very interesting example of this. They compare a person to a worm who sits in a rotten radish and feels that his whole world is as bitter as this radish. And when he finally pokes his head out of it and sees the sun, the air, everything singing, everything in bloom, he says: “I thought the whole world was like the radish I was born in, and now I see a grand, beautiful, and wondrous world before me!”

So are we. When we poke our head out of our egoism, we see a huge, beautiful, eternal world.
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From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #2

The Placebo Secret

549.02Question: Do most doctors not take the placebo effect seriously?

Answer: They simply think that it does help, but there is a psychological component in every medicine in the treatment of the patient. They do not want to emphasize this connection in particular because it will oblige them to relate to the patient properly. It requires a lot of patience from them and the right attitude toward the patient.

Like: “My friend, why do you feel this way? Something is wrong. But in fact, it is not so. Stress? You have no stress. Let me hold your hand, look, everything calms down.” Etc. Do you understand how much nervous energy costs?!

So, they prefer to resort to chemistry: 10, 20, 30 milligrams several times a day and before going to sleep and that is it, all the best! This way they can treat 100 patients on their shift.

The psychological component is especially important because it is about human beings and not just a chemical machine to which you can add a few milligrams of a certain substance and it is ready, fixed.

I believe that in addition to our physicians, we also need different doctors, which you may call psychologists. Yet it is not even a psychologist, but a doctor who truly heals people, not the body, but the human being.

Question: Then, according to what you say, as a person is balanced, then the diseases disappear?

Answer: Yes. I am sure that 99% of our medications are useless, and that we do not need them. If I want to maintain myself properly, all my bodily functions can actually be balanced by the right attitude toward me and through me toward the world. If they teach me to do it.

Mens sana in corpore sano, which means, a healthy mind in a healthy body.

How can we do that? If we try to attain the right connection between us in small groups, so that a person will be balanced with others, then, of course. the body, which is the next level, the lowest level of his being, will respond to that and he will begin to heal. There is no doubt about that!

But in order to attain this, we need experts who have been prepared for this. Doctors will not help us attain this.

Question: Do you believe that it works and that in principle one can be healed?

Answer: Yes, there is no doubt about it! But it is a problem, as the saying goes, there is no going back to the caves since there are too many of us now. So, we need to follow a different path, the path of the wisdom of Kabbalah.
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From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 11/27/18

“Finding Light In The Darkness” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Finding Light in the Darkness

Suffering, polarization and confusion abounds in people’s lives today. It is hard to see the horizon with a clear perspective of where society is heading when everything around us looks gloomy and frightening, but there is a way to discover light in a bleak situation. In fact, it is precisely the contrast of opposites that makes a new and better reality possible.

The confrontation between darkness and light is depicted in almost all our stories and movies. There are always good and bad characters, and the hero is the one who uses his or her special attributes to help everyone in need. However, depending on the angle from which we view our story, characters that were initially good evolve into evil, and bad ones turn out to be good. Does it mean that in our lives darkness and light depend on the individual perception of each?

In the life of the individual, the answer is yes. However, from the level of the laws of nature, we are able to note a consistent pattern: good is what helps all parts of nature connect in a positive and useful way, where each part benefits and supplements the others, and bad is what causes separation and conflict between people.

If we all yearn for light, why does darkness exist in the world? Evil exists in the world so that we can distinguish the good from it. These two opposite forms are always present. There is no plus without a minus. Only by placing something between opposites that effectively connects them, can we enjoy the presence of both.

We need to start learning the art of building a positive attitude toward each and every person above our inclination to try to benefit at the expense of others and start establishing an environment where each member takes care of others.

However, in our perception of the world right now, we see many different, contrasting, and even conflicting groups. Each one considers their own position as right and the others as wrong. How can humanity ever achieve a common unified state when such divisions abound between us?

The solution can be found in a unity that needs to be built above the differences and divisions rather than between them. It is written about such unity that “Love will cover all crimes.”

Leave the differences and divisions alone. Let them remain. Be aware of them and understand that we are remote and opposite from one another. We need to reach the understanding that our differences are part and parcel of the egoistic nature into which we were each born and raised. Because nature has taken care of making each one of us a unique individual with a unique assembly of views and experiences, we cannot expect any kind of uniformity across very diverse populations to emerge if we try to think and act solely from within the level of our differences and divisions.

However, at the same time, it is also clear that without discovering a way to unite us all on some level, we will continue to endure more and more suffering. So what is the solution?

The solution is not to try and establish unity at the same level of our disagreements, but to rise above them and discover a new kind of reality where we positively connect above our divergences.

The laws of nature act in such a way that if we attempt to rise above what separates us, then we gain the support of nature to help us. In such an inclination and effort we discover positive forces dwelling in nature, which are waiting for us to activate them through our common effort to connect above our differences.

By putting into action regular motions to unite, we will discover the solution for overcoming any disagreement and conflict. We will reveal that although we differ in our individual natural characteristics, a common tendency to positively connect above our differences is able to hold greater importance, and this will give us the strength to unite.

Then we will create a form of unity in which we all support each other. We will be able to acknowledge our negative and critical feelings toward others, and unite above them. It will allow us to see a harmonious, whole and balanced world, with each one of us acting like cells and organs within one body, participating together as one in the creation of a society of united, happy, confident and safe people.

“What Is chaos, Spiritually?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What is chaos, spiritually?

Chaos is a state that emerges on the spiritual path to the extent that we aim to build the necessary conditions for spiritual progress—positive connection among us.

The chaos unfolds inside the person, because the transition from one spiritual level to the next takes place like a computer overloading.

We thus feel inner spiritual transitions as chaotic. It is as if we undergo an erasure of everything we previously absorbed, and find ourselves before a completely new state. However, nothing in actuality becomes erased, but on the contrary, we undergo an inner reorganization. It is as if we shift from one frequency to a higher, more powerful and broader one.

If we aim at positively connecting to each other, and by doing so, resemble nature’s interconnectedness, then several new emotions, sensations and perceptions emerge in us, including the need to achieve more and more connection. The chaos that emerges within this process is not destructive, but on the contrary, we discover forces so powerful that our current vessels of perception and sensation are incapable of holding them. They give us a new challenge that we need to resolve, and by working on this challenge, we grow and eventually reach its resolution.

We thus feel such states of transition as chaotic, but they are in fact not chaotic at all. They emerge in order for us to rise to a new level of understanding, emotion, perception and sensation, and to see that there is a higher order in nature. The more we dedicate ourselves to such a process, the more refined our perception and sensation of reality becomes.

Based on the program, “An Integral World,” on November 26, 2012. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.