You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Michael Laitman / Articles / Who am I?
Michael Laitman, PhD

Who am I?

Who am I and for what purpose do I exist? How did we appear here and where are we going? Is it possible that we have already been in this world before? Can we know ourselves and the universe? Why does man suffer and is it possible to avoid suffering? How can one find peace, satisfaction, and luck? How can we attain tranquility, fulfillment, and happiness?

Many people in every generation attempt to find answers to these persistently haunting questions, and the very fact that this happens from generation to generation demonstrates that we still have not found satisfactory answers. Studying nature and the cosmos, we find that all that surrounds us exists and functions in accordance with strict, purposeful laws. Regarding ourselves as the crown of nature's creation, we find humanity to be as if it were outside this system. For instance, seeing in the wise and logical manner nature created each part of our organism, seeing the precise purpose in the functioning of each cell of the body, we are unable to answer the question: what is the purpose of this entire living organism?

All that surrounds us is permeated by the cause and effect relation, meaning nothing is created without a purpose. In the world of physical bodies, there exist definite laws of motion, dynamics, and rotation. A similar logic exists in the plant and animal kingdom. But the primary question, i.e. for what purpose does all this exist, that is, not only ourselves but also the entire surrounding world surrounding us - still remains without an answer. Is there a person in the world who was never, at least once in his life, concerned with this question? The existing scientific theories maintain that the world is governed by invariable physical laws, which we are unable to affect. Our sole purpose consists in wisely utilizing those laws to live out, well some 70 to 120 years of our life, preparing the ground, both literally and figuratively, for future generations. But for the sake of what? "Did humanity develop by way of evolution of the simplest forms", or "was life brought from other planets"?

There are two dates - birth and death, and what occurs between them is unique and, therefore, precious. Or vice versa: life is nothing if after it there is an end, darkness, and precipice? Where is the wise, all-envisioning, logical Nature that creates nothing in vain? Or, do there exist laws and goals still undiscovered? Our studying of the world is in essence merely the studying of the world's reaction to our actions, which we perceive by our five senses: touch, smell, sight, hearing, and taste, or by instruments that increase their range .All that is beyond our studies is not perceived by us at all, it does not exist as far as we are concerned. Moreover, we are unable to miss the lacking senses, the way we do not miss a sixth finger, or the way it is impossible to explain eyesight to one born blind. For this reason, man will never discover hidden forms of nature by the methods at his disposal.

According to kabbalah, the spiritual world exists but is not perceived by our organs of sense; our Universe is a tiny part of this world located in the center and our planet, the Earth, is its inner center. This world of information, thoughts and feelings, affecting us through material laws of (perceptible) nature and chance, places us in certain situations that determine the way we act. We have no influence in matters like the time and place of our birth, or who we are going to be, whom we are going to meet in our life, and what consequences our actions are going to have.

According to kabbalah, there are four kinds of knowledge available to man, and he must comprehend them:

l. The Creation: Study of the creation and the development of the worlds: how the Creator has created it, how the spiritual and the material worlds interact, what is the purpose of the human's creation.

2. The Functioning: Study of human nature, of his connection with the spiritual world, known as Practical Kabbalah.

3. The Course of the Souls: The study of the nature of each soul and its course. How man acts in this life and in the following lives. What is the purpose for the descent of a soul into a body and why does a particular body get a particular soul? The history of humanity as a result of the certain order and the transference of the souls are discussed as well.

4. The Rule: Study of our world - inanimate objects, plants and animals, their nature and role; how are they ruled from the spiritual world. The supreme rule and our perception of the Nature, of the Time, of the Space. Study of the supreme powers moving the material bodies to the certain aim (point). Is it possible to divine the main mystery of the human life without asking about its source? Each man tries to think about it.

A quest for the purpose and sense of an individual life, as well as of the life of humanity at large is the central question of man's spiritual life. Since mid-20th century, we have been witnessing a rebirth of mankind's religious orientation. Technological progress and the world cataclysms that have given rise to all kinds of philosophical theories have given man no spiritual satisfaction. As kabbalah explains it, of all existing pleasures our world received just one tiny spark. Its presence in material objects gives us pleasure. In other words, all agreeable sensations that man experiences in different situations and that are caused by different things are, in fact, due just to the presence of this spark. Furthermore, as time passes, man has to keep seeking out new objects of pleasure in the hope of experiencing greater and greater pleasures, without realizing that all those objects are but outer shells and that the essence of Ner dakik remains the same.

There are two ways of bringing man to the realization of the need for elevating spirit over matter and absolute satisfaction: (1) The way of kabbalah. (2) The way of suffering.

The first way is the study of kabbalah while through such study man gradually becomes free of his egoism. The second way is standard: suddenly feeling a kind of spiritual hunger and seeking for a source of satisfaction. We can only advise choosing the way of kabbalah in time rather than waiting for the way of suffering.

Back to top
Site location tree