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Michael Laitman, PhD


Question: Doctors cure people, psychics encode, the government puts people in jail and legislators debate. What does Kabbalah suggest? To replace an opium for the masses with another one?

Kabbalah offers knowledge about the laws according to which one’s own egoism develops. All the social diseases you describe are diseases of growth, meaning the growth of egoism in a person and in humanity. At the dawn of civilization humanity was at the lowest level and it did not desire anything besides the bread needed for survival. Only egoism and its growth in man led to the change of socio-economic formations and the emergence of culture and new technologies, and this enabled people to satisfy their egoistic desires. However, the more we receive - the more we want. Every following generation is much more egoistic than the previous generation. The development of culture, science and technology does not lead to egoism’s fulfillment. The technological revolution of the previous century caused only disappointment and today we perceive a much greater emptiness than 100, 200 or 300 years ago.

This emptiness leads to the fact that people are searching for artificial replacements, and they want them more with the passage of time. A person today is no longer able to satisfy himself with food, money, fame or power. Egoism demands a connection to higher sources of pleasure, and we will not be able to find substitutes for them in our world. Kabbalists who lived as much as thousands of years ago predicted the appearance of this new form of egoism. They predicted that, beginning with the year 1995, the so-called “egoistic boom” would begin, which will lead to the harshest negative consequences. Today we are observing some of these consequences: the falling apart of the family, the loss of social connections and individualism. Egoism has become so great that it isolates each person within himself. Even a science that studies egoism has emerged – ‘ego logy’.

Question: Does Kabbalah also study egoism?

Kabbalah does not need to study egoism because it knows everything about it. It knows about the causes that give rise to it as well as the consequences of its development. Kabbalah is the science about how to fulfill egoism without resorting to artificial methods such as alcohol or drugs. We offer a person the sources of spiritual pleasure, which are much stronger than banal vodka or heroin.

Question: But you do not deny that vodka and heroin are also sources of pleasure?

They are nothing of the sort. Look deeper. Vodka and heroin are merely a strongly acting means of cutting oneself off from the perception of emptiness. You do not receive pleasure with the help of a pill or injection. Rather, you dull the perception of pain.

Question: OK, but what should we do with people who are already dependent on the physiological level?

This is not a problem. I had many people like this among beginning students. Today they are no longer alcoholics or drug-addicts.

Question: This becomes cured so easily?

Over the course of half a year a person replaces one source of pleasure with another. He does not need to force himself by using surgical methods. He does not need to turn off his desire as psychics attempt to do, and he does not need to attempt to dull it as yogis do. Kabbalah does not kill the desire for pleasure. Rather, it changes its use to a more perfect and permanent one.

Question: Why are you so sure that you can defeat drugs with Kabbalah?

It is said that the Upper light is at absolute rest. “Rest” in the spiritual world refers to the absence of change in desires.

All actions and movements in the spiritual (altruistic) world and in our (egoistic) spiritual inner world within each of us can be summed up as the change of a previous desire to a new one. If the desire has not changed then nothing new has occurred, or no movement took place.

This is true despite the fact that a constant desire may be very bright and it may not allow a person to rest. Nevertheless, if the desire is constant and unchanging, this means that there is no movement.

Therefore, when people say that the upper light is at rest, they refer to the Creator’s constant and unchanging desire to please us. This light penetrates us, but since the point within us we call our “I” is bound within egoism’s shell we do not perceive pleasure by the light in which we are “swimming”.

The pleasures of our world can be divided into several types: those that society accepts as prestigious (wealth, popularity), natural (family-related), criminal (pleasures at the expense of others’ lives or at the expense of others’ property), romantic, etc. They are all accepted by society, although a part of them is frowned upon and punished. However, there is one kind of pleasure that is unacceptable in any society and that causes protest. People do not spare great means in the battle against it, although directly it probably causes the most insignificant harm to society.

Drug-addicts as a rule are unassuming people, they do not get in anyone’s way and they are concerned with their own inner pleasures. Why, then, do we not allow people who are the same as us to receive pleasures that are not dangerous to society? As a rule drug-addicts do not work. We are not able to offer them work, just as we are unable to do so for a great amount of other members of our society. Why does society not give out a free drug along with welfare and free lunches to those who do not work, in order for these people to avoid having to sell everything they own, to leave their kids without bread and to steal and kill due to the fact that they are slaves of the drug-addict’s hunger? Why do we not allow people to take pleasure in their unassuming peaceful type of pleasure? After all, they do not derive this pleasure at the expense of our suffering in the way criminals do. In addition, the price of drugs is insignificant compared to the huge means society spends in order to battle against drugs.

Are all other objects that attract us not the same false carriers of pleasure? After all, they too distract us from the real goal. We lose ourselves in the chase after them and we spend our entire lives as in a dream. We search for real pleasure and when we do not find it we do not turn to the spiritual. Instead we search for satisfaction by constantly changing the fashion and standards and producing more consumer goods in order for the carriers of new pleasures to avoid running out. Otherwise we will feel a life that does not give us any pleasures. After all, as soon as a person has achieved that which he yearned for, he must suddenly see the following goal in front of him. That which he has achieved immediately loses it value, and without hope for a new pleasure, without the search and chase after it, a person loses the desire to exist. Are all our fashions, standards and everything we constantly chase after not the same drug? Why does drug-related pleasure differ from the pleasures of the objects of our world?

Why is the Creator, the Upper governance opposed to drug-related pleasure and therefore we, here below, accept these laws while we do not accept the same laws to counteract against material pleasures in the form of objects of our world?

Drugs in our world are forbidden precisely because they lead a person away from life and they place him in a state of inability to perceive all the blows of our life - blows that are the result of the lack of egoism’s fulfillment with pleasure. These blows are the means of our correction. Only a small amount of people from the common mass comes to religion and to Kabbalah. As strange as it may seem, if we think about it we will find that a person turns to the Creator when he is in a bad situation such as a disaster. Sorrow shakes a person up. On the other hand, it may seem more likely that a person should have done just the opposite in this situation, meaning he should have turned away from the Creator Who sends him suffering.

Drugs are a false carrier of pleasure and therefore they are forbidden. A person is in a state of false pleasure or the illusion of pleasure. This removes his opportunity to advance towards genuine spiritual pleasures. Therefore society subconsciously accepts drugs to be the most dangerous activity, despite the fact that they are completely not dangerous to others and they might have become a good method for social work with the greater part of the unproductive population.

We are created in such a way that each person has everything he needs. Precisely because we are trying to concern ourselves with the material rather than the spiritual, we receive greater and greater necessities and the perception that we lack something in this world.

With the use of drugs a person is in the state of false pleasure. However, the Goal of creation is for man to feel pleasure from perfection, and therefore the use of drugs totally throws a person off the path towards the Goal of Creation because it seems to give him pleasure. He does not perceive the blows of fate or the Creator’s governance; therefore he is not on the path towards the Goal of Creation. On the other hand, the remainder of humanity and all forms of nature go through this path consciously or unconsciously – it does not matter how. Drugs themselves are completely not dangerous. Just the opposite, they might have served as a very good medicine for various unwanted problems if they were used in purely medicinal ways.

If society’s goal was to somehow neutralize egoism and to make it not dangerous, then it could easily do this. It would be possible to give out very interesting things for free and people who were born with bad inclinations and character traits would simply turn themselves off. However, the Upper nature, Upper governance, does not agree to this because this way a person really becomes totally separated from his predestination. Humanity will never agree to this, even with regard to absolute socially harmless, completely unproductive and useless elements.

Therefore drugs are a purely negative phenomenon. Regardless of what unwanted and extreme problems we would be able to resolve with their help, nevertheless they are not the way to solve the problem.

Question: You do not consider psychics or yoga effective?

Yogis try to extinguish pain by way of meditation. They decrease egoism and bring themselves to the state of an animal or plant. Naturally, a person lessens his suffering by training himself to desire less. However, this is only true up until a certain point. When egoism passes a certain threshold, a person is no longer able to follow these methodologies; he outgrows them. Interest in yoga and other eastern techniques today is cultivated in fashionable social circles rather than really existing and working. At the current development of egoism, we have already passed this stage.

Question: What about social means of battle such as communal and labor organizations?

No social system is able to satisfy the growing egoism. You cannot jail or cure everyone. The problem must be fixed at its root. What can we give a person when he has such emptiness inside? A person is an egoist. Only one analysis is at work within him: bitter – bad and sweet – good, instead of evil – false and truth – good. A person does not care whether something is true or false. The most important thing to him is whether something is sweet; this tunes him to the category of truth – good. If a person feels bitter or bad then he looks for a justification that will enable him call the source of this feeling “falseness” or “evil”. Just look at how politicians juggle these notions.

Question: The drug business today is an international system that undermines young people, and fashion works together with this system. There also exists ERJ. The vodka business in Russia seems to be second in profit after oil. We can talk a lot and for a long time about spiritual development and inner ways to satisfy egoism, but the drug dealers have a more powerful resource.

Opium has been known to people for two to three thousand years. In the East this has been a culture for many centuries. Simply there was no need for this before, but now egoism has increased and it no longer receives fulfillment. Therefore it resorts to being shut off from the perception of emptiness.

In order to avoid having to fear for our children, we must give them the correct upbringing, and this should begin at 6 years of age rather than 16. Look at your kids, who study Kabbalah. Look at how they react to all those fashionable trivialities and how they are protected from all these problems, which are small to them. A person first asks the question about the meaning of life at 6 or 7 years of age. If we do not give him an answer then he begins to look for it everywhere, including in drugs. He automatically follows his peers, thinking that they know what is right, and he becomes influenced by his environment. On the other hand, if we create a clear understanding about the world in him in order to reach this goal, then we will give his egoism the opportunity to develop and to become fulfilled. Then things such as drugs will not concern him.

Generally, all human attempts to cure social illnesses (that are caused by the growth of egoism) with social methods will not bring about any results. They will only lengthen the amount of time it will take people to realize their inability to go against nature. Only the Upper force that descends onto a person who studies the Zohar will create the correct use of egoism in him, and the person will feel pleasure from it to the full degree by perceiving the Upper world, eternity and boundlessness.

Question: About donated blood: does it influence the person who gives blood and the one who receives it?

Blood is checked with regular medical indexes, and if the two match according to their animalistic indexes then the blood is suitable for a person’s body. This has no relation to the soul. You can sew an arm onto a person, or a head, heart, liver or anything else. This may even be a body part of someone who is your enemy, but nevertheless you will remain with the same attributes as you had before.

A person’s desires are his purely spiritual attributes or his spiritual fulfillment. This can be compared to a spiritual CD, as in a computer, which is placed into our flesh and expresses itself through our body.

The physiological body does not have any spiritual attributes. It must simply be healthy according to its physiological index. Based on these indexes we can mutually change the parts; we can change some or all parts of the body, and nothing will change. I apologize for a slightly coarse example: we take a person, divide him into parts and replace all of them with parts of different people. Naturally, the soul will remain the same, even though all body parts will be new.

We have to take a part of the previous body and say that this little part of the previous body is the most important one. All the other parts are attached to this body, meaning they are an addition. Now the question arises: what should I take from the previous body in order for it to be the most important thing relative to the additional parts?

Maybe the other parts will be the most important and that which remains will be the addition? Thirty to forty years ago everyone was convinced that the heart is a person’s soul, his feelings, or his “I”. Now we understand that the heart can be replaced, but not the head. Maybe we will live to the day when people will do the same thing to the head.

The head is a calculating mechanism or a “computer”. It remembers, learns and accumulates experience, but in reality it is simply a machine that computes the most comfortable way to achieve what the soul wants. It is nothing more than this. That is, the head is merely a “computer”. Naturally, if we replace the computer then a person will acquire another one that is more productive, that has a greater memory, faster speed and other characteristics. However, everything depends only on the program that acts in the computer. This program is determined by the soul. The computer only brings this program to action with whatever speed it is capable of doing so. That is, if I am unable to run after I have been in a car accident, then nothing can be done about this. The soul is running not the body. The same thing is true for a computer. If I am sick with a fever, or if I feel bad and my blood pressure increases, then naturally the concentration of spiritual forces is different. Nevertheless, I work through the body since I am located within it. Naturally my work and its efficiency decrease.

Therefore a person should take care of his donkey or animal, since it helps him to do the work. You must take care of it to the degree necessary to maintain its health, in order for you to do spiritual work. That is, you must clean it and pet it, meaning fulfill it with what it needs. If you do this for the sake of spiritual work, then this is all-positive and becomes attached to the same work and the same Goal.

Question: On one hand you said that we should not reject the pleasures of this world. On the other hand there is the so-called “necessity”. These things intersect in some way?

I have to relate to the pleasures of this world and to everything I do in this world as necessity.

The level of necessities varies. Rabbi Akiva had a friend who lost all his property and became bankrupt. Hoping to provide necessities for him, Rabbi Akiva bought a palanquin in order for four people to carry his friend who was accustomed to this way of moving around, and Rabbi Akiva himself ran ahead of the palanquin. In Gmara it is highlighted that this was not something special for his friend, rather it was a necessary factor. To him this was the same as giving another person a piece of bread. He did not perceive anything less than this to be life.

In other words, you cannot evaluate what is necessary and what is not necessary. You can receive the whole world, but you must relate to this as necessity. You do not need this, but your demands change and they come from your material, which is not formulated by you and not brought to action by you. For example, my body wants to eat and drink and I give it what it wants. Why? The Creator created it this way therefore it wants this. Let it want a million times more things, but if I relate to its desires precisely this way, it is called necessity.

Thus, necessity does not require a person to measure 1000 calories a day, 6 hours of sleep a day and so on. Necessity is your relation, when you yourself are not related to it. The body needs it so give it what it needs. Moreover, we are saying the following: if you have various inclinations, possibly you should realize them in order not to end up dumbfounded, since thoughts of committing a crime are more difficult than the crime itself. They overtake a person for hours and days.

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