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Perception of Reality

A talk between Rav Michael Laitman, PhD with instructors of the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute, Michael Sanilevich and Eugene Litvar
July 26th, 2007
Lecturer: Michael Laitman, PhD


  1. Our world—an illusion

  2. The correct way of perceiving the world

  3. Why attain reality?

  4. What is meant by “Upper,” “spiritual”?

  5. Does time exist?

  6. So where’s God?

  7. Do angels have wings?

  8. About time travel

  9. Life after death

  10. Kabbalah and the UFO

  11. Does matter feel?

  12. How to avoid suffering

  13. Letters are properties

Our world—an illusion

E. Litvar: Hello, dear friends! We’re here in the studio with the foremost Kabbalist and scientist of our era, Dr. Michael Laitman. Our topic today is, “Perception of reality.” Speaking with Dr. Laitman are instructors with the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute, Michael Sanilevich and myself, Eugene Litvar.

First question: Any Buddhist or Taoist knows that our world is the world of illusions. They know it, but I still don’t believe it, I don’t understand how this could be. Can Kabbalah help me understand it?

M. Laitman: Many Kabbalistic sources, including those that are thousands of years old, like the Book of Zohar (written 2000 years ago), or the ancient Great Midrash, (3700 years ago), speak of the problems concerning the perception of reality.

Kabbalah has always viewed our world from a spiritual point of view. In other words, a Kabbalist is a person who ascends to a higher level, into another dimension, and from there observes our world and the world that has been revealed to him, perceiving both worlds as one whole. And he assesses all of our illusions from this standpoint.

Our world really is a world of illusions. To begin with, each living creature perceives it differently. Every one of us holds on to an illusion of the existence of this world—our world.

If our sensory organs were different, we would see the world differently as well. If we were to see in infrared, ultraviolet or x-rays, if we were to hear, smell or feel in a different frequency range, then our world—the sum of our sensations—would be completely different and would draw for us a completely different picture. We know that dogs perceive the world in spots of scent, and snakes in thermal stimuli—both see the world differently. If we didn’t have our sense of sight (which provides us with 90 percent of all the information we receive), we’d perceive the world differently as well, and adapt to it accordingly: if I couldn’t see any of these objects, but knew of their existence only through tactile sensations, I would create my inner world model based on those sensations.

In other words, if we were to replace our five senses—sight, sound, smell, taste and touch—with different ones, or change their frequency range, our worldview would naturally be different. That fact alone tells us that the world is simply our subjectively perceived reality, which exists within us. If we were to add different sensory organs, we would complement the unrecognizably-different picture of the world. But we have not even the slightest clue as to what exactly we lack.

To their usual five sensory organs, Kabbalists add one additional sense, called a “soul.” This isn’t just an additional sense; it functions according to a fundamentally different principle—one of bestowal, rather than consumption. In other words, he absorbs external information, thereby becoming similar to what exists outside of him. And then he perceives the true picture of the outside world, one that isn’t perverted or disturbed by his own body and its parameters. That is the difference between a Kabbalistic perception of reality and our egoistic one.

An altruistic perception does not disturb one’s worldview; rather, it gives a sensation, awareness and knowledge of the world just as it is, irrespective of the observer. And this is the main advantage of Kabbalah. This is why it is called, “the science of Kabbalah”—the science of receiving, of perception. Only one who observes the world in a truly objective way can acquire such a worldview, and based on this worldview, one can observe all of the illusions and metamorphoses that we undergo—our body dies, we get another body, exist in it, exist outside of it, and so forth.

E. Litvar: Seeing as I represent the interests of those individuals who have never studied Kabbalah, my questions are such as they are. And I must say that I am not convinced. Or I must’ve missed something. I don’t understand how the things that you’ve said show that the world is illusory.

M. Laitman: Because we perceive the world in one particular way. Animals and other creatures with sensory organs of different frequency ranges perceive the world differently, and have a completely different worldview. And if we were to change our senses arbitrarily, we would sense yet another, third worldview.

The question is this: does anything actually exist outside of us, which each of us perceives differently? Or is there nothing at all, and everything exists within us?

We insert electrodes into a person, transmit certain signals into his subcortex, into the various regions of his brain, thereby drawing up all kinds of pictures in his imagination, and they are incredibly lifelike and real—even more real than what he feels in his usual state. Sometimes in our dreams we see breathtaking images, actions, and panoramas of events, and remain stunned by the experience long after waking up. Perhaps even now, though it seems to us that we’re awake and exist here and now, we are actually in a dream, only we can’t pinch ourselves and wake up?

Where’s the proof that we exist in some actual scheme of events, that this life is real, and not some dream or illusory picture forced upon us by invisible electrodes? How can we know this for sure?

E. Litvar: But the premise that it is potentially unreal or illusory—it is still only a premise, and not a fact, right? I see a glass, Michael sees a glass, and you see a glass. I see you holding it. For me—that’s reality.

M. Laitman: In other words, any state that I experience at any particular moment is my reality. If, while I am sleeping, I experience certain states that arise within me, do those states comprise reality? Yes or no?

E. Litvar: Yes, of course.

M. Laitman: Of course it’s reality; after all, I exist in a state, where it is real with regard to me. Once I wake up, I enter into another state. So then, Kabbalists tell us that when we come out of this world into the next one (the spiritual one), we see that our existence in this world was as though a dream.

E. Litvar: Why?

M. Laitman: Because we change realities.

E. Litvar: Are there many different realities?

M. Laitman: Of course. But each time it is real with regard to me, to the observer—we measure everything precisely according to Einstein’s theory…

E. Litvar: Meaning…

M. Laitman: Everything is relative.

E. Litvar: So, suppose that a hypnotist hypnotizes me, and right now it seems to me that I am in a jungle, for instance. But everyone else around me sees that we are here in this studio. So which reality is my reality?

The correct way of perceiving the world

M. Laitman: Kabbalists, who examine our state from the other world, tell us: “You are all asleep. It seems to you that you exist in a real world, but you are actually in a dream.” But the reason they can tell us this is because they observe our “hypnotic state” from the side.

E. Litvar: In other words, I exist in certain individual sensations that create for me a certain reality…

M. Laitman: Presently, you and I exist in a dream.

E. Litvar: Does that mean that Michael perceives a different reality?

M. Laitman: No, our sensations are similar. Our sensory organs have an identical structure, which is why we imagine one another similarly—that we exist, live and develop.

All that we include in the domain of our world is merely a reflection of our consciousness. Does it actually exist? With regard to whom? This needs be discussed and researched. With regard to man, we say: “Yes, with regard to the observer—this is precisely the reality observed.” However, should he abandon his position, he will observe a different reality.

Perhaps there are many different dimensions or universes, in which we exist in various states. And there time may exist in a particular state, or it may not, or the state may be above time, beyond time. Or there may be other states, which exist according to entirely different parameters—without time, space or motion, without notions of above or below or other parameters that define our “I,” our existence. They may be totally different, but we know nothing about any of this. And Kabbalists, because they attain this other dimension vividly in this life, tell us about it, describe it to us, explain that this is the dimension that we must enter, that a completely different existence awaits us, which is so far removed from ours that it’s as though on a different planet—and we must achieve it.

E. Litvar: And that existence is not illusory?

M. Laitman: With regard to us right now, it is illusory, because we don't believe in it. But they reached this state, this existence, and with regard to their state they are telling us that ours is a complete illusion, like a dream.

M. Sanilevich: Are there any other states, besides those that are attained by Kabbalists?

M. Laitman: They can't tell us anything beyond what they actually attain. After all, man attains only from within himself, from his tools of perception, from his sensations. If he acquires some other sensations, then he'll be able to tell us about them, but otherwise—he cannot.

Moreover, when Kabbalists attain all this, their attainment is absolutely accurate and scientific—with graphs, formulas, and precise measurements; they convey it to one another in such a way that enables others to make those same movements toward this other world, to observe from it, describe their sensations, and the commonalities of their research. Meaning, it is just like the sciences of our world, in which scientists work together so as to expand on their research. At the same time, Kabbalists also warn us that all their observations are strictly subjective to their own attainments.

And just as in our world with regard to the observer, science studies our illusion, or reality, or illusory reality, (it doesn’t matter what we call it), Kabbalah too studies the other dimension only with regard to the observer, and warns us about this. It is therefore said: “All man has is what he attains in his Kelim,”—his tools. The actual proverb goes: Eyn Le Daiyan Ele Ma She Eynav Rohot”—“A judge has only what his eyes see”—as his strongest, most reliable attainment.

M. Sanilevich: This reality that Kabbalists attain—is it the same for all of them? Or does everyone have their own?

M. Laitman: No, it’s the same.

M. Sanilevich: Just as in our world?

M. Laitman: Just as in our world our sensations are similar, even though each of us experiences them in our own way. It’s the same with Kabbalists.

E. Litvar: All the Eastern teachings that claim that our world is illusory are in agreement with Kabbalah. However, the position from which they consider this world illusory may not coincide with what Kabbalists see and feel?

M. Laitman: These days even science is developing a clear understanding that our world is illusory. What does “illusory” mean? It depends solely on our sensory organs—their frequency range and mode of operation. That’s the “illusion,” though it is not really an illusion; rather, it is an entirely subjective picture that I draw for myself. Were I to have different eyes, different ears, different tactile sensations and so forth, I would perceive a different picture: an object that appears solid to me right now may appear gaseous. If, for instance, I were to see and relate to our world like neutrino or some other particles that penetrate everything, and sense that I penetrate and see as if through this matter, then, naturally, my perception of this entire world would be completely different.

E. Litvar: Meaning, I simply wouldn’t see this desk?

M. Laitman: Of course, it would be transparent to me. And why not? In my current sensations, a certain combination of certain elements manifests as this particular solid object, whereas in truth there are other states in our world, where its solidity is not perceived as a problem or an obstacle one bit. Under a certain amount of pressure, I sense these obstacles; that is what we call “tactile sensations”—the object presses back on me, and out of this pressure, out of my reaction I construct the object in my sensations: what it is, what it’s like, etc.

E. Litvar: I think I’m beginning to understand. What you’re saying is that my perception is subjective because it is I who receives this information, right?

M. Laitman: Of course.

E. Litvar: Meaning, Michael could’ve received it differently?

M. Laitman: No, Michael would’ve received it the same way, because our sensations are similar, our sensory organs have identical structure.

E. Litvar: Then it’s objective? Because if I, he and another hundred people…

M. Laitman: Objective for whom? With regard to man in our world. This is how our world manifests within man. But whether or not it exists on the outside, I cannot say. I detect certain sounds and certain images; they are drawn within me, but not on the outside. For instance, I see this table and this glass. Do they actually exist outside of me? I do not know, I cannot say. The only thing I can say is that images are drawn within me that appear to me as though they exist on the outside. This glass here—does it have the same form outside of my senses? No, it does not have the same form; it just appears to me this way. But what is it actually like? I cannot say what it’s actually like—only with regard to the perceiver, to the observer.

There are four approaches to perceiving reality. The Newtonian approach states that the world outside of us is the same as we perceive it within.

There is another approach that was developed by Hugh Everett, (American physicist, who first proposed the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics), which states that the world is the same as we perceive it, but also dependent upon the disturbances that we ourselves introduce to it. In other words, the world is something in between the observer and the picture he observes: I exist in certain contact with the world, and our common properties, our points of contact draw for me a certain picture. In this case, the picture of the world that I receive does, in fact, depend on my own properties.

Why is this so? Because even in our daily life there are certain things that I notice, and other things that I don’t, certain things that I perceive, but they escape my consciousness right after I perceive them. Meaning, there are certain things out there that I simply don’t pay attention to, or, conversely, focus my attention on. I exist in greater or lesser contact with various objects, which determines how they are drawn within me. In other words, I perceive only a portion of the world that exists around me. It may contain other objects that I don’t yet perceive.

And then there’s another view, which is closer to Kabbalah’s view, (there are also all kinds of other theories that exist between these), and it states that, in reality, we don’t perceive anything that exists outside of us. Nothing at all. We perceive only what is constructed within us.

You can look at it this way: there is a certain source that exists outside of us; if I knock on this table—you hear a sound. A certain action is made, and it creates a certain wave. This wave reaches your ear, strikes the eardrum, moves through all the systems, (electrical, chemical), reflects in your brain, which juxtaposes it against familiar data, determines that it is a sound, and informs you of it.

What does your own perception have to do with the outside sound? All sorts of reactions took place: mechanical pressure from this wave, followed by electrical phenomena, followed by all kinds of chemical reactions, juxtaposed against your various memories, recollections, and so forth. What does all this have to do with whatever took place on the outside? Very-very little. That is why it is said that there are similarities between the observer and various external phenomena.

But Kabbalah tells us that even these similarities don’t exist, and neither are there any external phenomena—everything exists within man. And outside of us there’s nothing. There is a constant force, within which we exist, and based on our compatibility with this constant force (this absolute constant), various kinds of internal phenomena occur within us, and create within us all sorts of sensations.

In other words, I sense and perceive only my own inner changes, my inner development with regard to this constant external force. And this picture of my inner changes is presented to me as my worldview. This is what Kabbalah states and describes, and does so scientifically—using mathematics, physics, graphs, and so forth, inviting us to enter into this reality. And when you begin to study it, research it, and enter into these states, you see that it is truly so.

And science is gradually coming to this conclusion as well. A time ago people’s trust lay in Newton alone, then Einstein, then Hugh Everett, and now they’re beginning to agree with or least to listen to what Kabbalah has been saying and describing for many thousands of years.

E. Litvar: It follows from what you’re saying that, throughout man’s whole life, while he thinks that he is studying the world around him, in reality he is studying himself?

M. Laitman: Absolutely right. Yes, we study only ourselves. Generally speaking, all this is no more than an act of self-awareness.

Why attain reality?

M. Sanilevich: But why should one attain another reality that exists outside of him? How does it benefit him? Does it teach him how to live his life or something?

M. Laitman: We are being pushed toward the entrance to this new reality, and we must enter it. We must feel ourselves in it. We must exist in it, because existence in this uppermost external reality is eternal and complete. This is what nature is pushing us toward.

It doesn’t matter whether we desire it or not. This is how we’re structured from the very beginning—we must undergo this gradual development and come to feel this external reality, enter and exist within it. So much so that the sensation of this world and our contacts within it disappears. And the present picture ascends, little by little, as though transforming into the images and forces of that external, upper reality.

M. Sanilevich: Alex from Berlin is asking the following question (I think that you’ve partially answered it already): “Once upon a time, Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, dreamt that he was a butterfly. When he woke up, he spent a lot of time thinking about what he was in reality: a butterfly, who dreams that it is Lao Tzu, or Lao Tzu, who dreams that he is a butterfly?” What can Kabbalah tell him?

M. Laitman: Kabbalah can tell him this: eventually he will enter into yet another reality. He exists both in life, at least what we call “life,” and in a dream, but because his sensations are so vivid, he cannot tell one apart from the other. By the way, one’s sensations in a dream may be even more vivid than in life—is that not so? And the opposite can also be true, so this doesn’t mean anything. Whenever we fall asleep and then wake up, we are in control of ourselves, because we divide these two things—this is life, and this is a dream. However, in essence, both states are illusory.

Kabbalah would have shown Lao Tzu that there is yet another state, which exists beyond both dream and vigil, a state that contains an absolute and constant flow of information, and this state is called “eternal and perfect life or existence,” although this is not our understanding of “life.” And looking from that existence at our present state, the entire inanimate, vegetative and animate nature of our world, our universe, including man, is merely an illusion, clusters of energy—and nothing more. So, both of his states—dream and vigil—would appear to Lao Tzu as mere illusion with regard to those who exist in it.

M. Sanilevich: And one can exist in both worlds simultaneously?

M. Laitman: Until a Kabbalist fully completes his ascension into the Upper World, into this next dimension, he retains the sensation of our world. As soon as he fully enters this upper reality, he retains the sensations of this world only because he needs to maintain contact with other people. However, there is essentially no need for him to return to this illusion anymore.

M. Sanilevich: But as he lives here, does he also exist in that world at the same time? Or, for instance, in this world I can look or not look, I can hear or close my ears and not hear; does a Kabbalist also, while existing in this world with his five senses and in the spiritual world simultaneously, sometimes “drops out” of there?

M. Laitman: Sometimeshe does “drop out,” and this depends on whether or not he associates himself as the inner stress with the Upper World. In order to exist in the Upper dimension, one needs to act in a particular manner. For instance, if a person is very sick, if he loses consciousness or if he has no opportunity to focus himself appropriately and relate himself to this dimension, he may drop out of it.

M. Sanilevich: But does he know that he dropped out? Is he conscious of it?

M. Laitman: Yes. That is, the contact with the Upper World remains in a person forever. And reestablishing this contact depends on him alone.

What is meant by “Upper,” “spiritual”?

M. Sanilevich: But why this word—“upper”?

M. Laitman: “Upper,” because from there our present state is perceived as lower, limited and transient. A spiritual state is dominant and truly better. That is why it is called, “upper.” In our world, this is how we assign the correlation—“upper” and “lower.”

M. Sanilevich: And why is it the, “spiritual world”?

M. Laitman: “Spiritual,” because it bears no relation to corporeal objects—it is above them, beyond them.

M. Sanilevich: And where is the word “spiritual” itself from? From the root of “spirit”?

M. Laitman: In Kabbalah, the word Ruach is used. Generally speaking, though, the force that governs our world is broken down into five forces: Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Chaya and Yechida. And combined they are called the “Upper Light.” It is not the light of our world, but the Light of the Upper World, meaning completely different frequencies and properties. So then, the concepts of Light and spirituality are one and the same.

E. Litvar: If I’m not mistaken, one of the things that Julius Caesar was famous for was his ability to do 5 things at once. Can a Kabbalist use the mind of our material world to, let’s say, be engaged in a conversation with the two of us, while using his Kabbalistic mind to converse with, for instance, Julius Caesar?

M. Laitman: Constantly! Because these are two absolutely unconnected sections of his “I”: the animal one is the lower section of our world, and the spiritual one pertains to the Upper soul. Naturally, he exists in both worlds.

E. Litvar: And if the mind of one asks the mind of the other which place is more fun, what would be the answer?

M. Laitman: Well, what do you think? There’s nothing worse than our world.

E. Litvar: But there are so many interesting things here.

M. Laitman: Just like the kids in a kindergarten are also amused with their toys. But there really is nothing worse than our world.

E. Litvar: In every way?

M. Laitman: Absolutely.

E. Litvar: So, in all seriousness, any person in this world is always worse off than in the other?

M. Laitman: Any person. Because in this world that we live in, we are constantly fleeing from suffering. And even a tiny drop of pleasure we perceive as happiness. This drop is then immediately extinguished, and yet again we resume our hunt for illusory pleasures. And this hunt is what we call “life.” In truth, it’s nothing more than an endless pursuit or search for any kind of fulfillment. Hence, we really cannot call it interesting or good, except perhaps for want of a better alternative. But I suggest that you try the alternative, and then you’ll see.

E. Litvar: A two-part question from the internet: “Are there parallel worlds?” is the first part, and the second is addressed to you directly: “Were you ever in them?”

M. Laitman: I don’t know what they mean by, “parallel worlds.” There’s a variety of our reflections in other words. There are a total of five worlds: Assiya, Yetzira, Beria, Atzilut, Adam Kadmon and Olam Ein Sof—the so-called parallel worlds, but they’re all spiritual. There are no other corporeal universes or worlds, like ours.

We exist at the lowest possible level. All that exists above this level by even one degree is already the spiritual—a total of 125 degrees, divided by five worlds.

E. Litvar: In the 60-70s there were lots of disputes as to whether there’s life on Mars. So your answer is no?

M. Laitman: Mars is neither a parallel universe nor a parallel world.

Does time exist?

M. Sanilevich: Next question: how and why does a sensation of time appear?

M. Laitman: A sensation of time is a strictly subjective sensation. In accordance with this subjective sensation, we observe that our world is in motion, witness cause-and-effect processes, where cause always precedes effect, and effect, in turn, becomes cause for the next effect, and so forth. These changes, as they manifest to us in this sequence, create in us a sensation of time.

In reality, even science, beginning with Einstein, states that time does not exist in and of itself. There are probabilities, and not only probabilities, but also instances where effect precedes and determines cause, and both life and time flow not in a fixed direction, but in a completely different one. These are the findings of modern science. And Kabbalah states that there is not even the notion of time. It doesn’t exist.

E. Litvar: Time or notion?

M. Laitman: Time doesn’t exist. In other words, the real world (the spiritual world) is not a world of time; rather, it is a world of categories and forces. We cannot imagine this, because our lives are completely deterministic. Our pulse, our life: all that we perceive is recorded in us automatically in terms of time—when said event took place—just like in a computer. You press a button, and the time of its pressing has been recorded. The next action—the next button—recorded again. And whatever it is you do (receive or send messages), everything is always recorded in terms of time, according to the computer’s inner clock. And that same inner clock exists in us.

But in reality (in the spiritual world), this is not so. And science is gradually uncovering and agreeing with this, just as with everything else that Kabbalah says. It’s quite amazing. Imagine, The Book of Creation, written back in the times of Ancient Babylon (that’s four and a half thousand years ago!) speaks of the same “new” concepts and worldviews that science is only beginning to approach today. Everything that you and I are talking about right now stems from there.

E. Litvar: If I understood you correctly, the sensation of time arises in a person as a result of a change of state, an emergence of new states—they as though give him some inner indication or perception of time?

M. Laitman: If there were no changes, we would not feel time.

E. Litvar: And you’re saying that there’s no time in the spiritual. Perhaps my question will sound foolish, but doesn’t that mean that the spiritual contains only one state?

M. Laitman: Yes. That’s absolutely right. The spiritual cannot contain multiple states. Otherwise they would be classified in relation to one another: better or worse. The spiritual is absolute.

E. Litvar: But you yourself said that it contains five worlds.

M. Laitman: Those five worlds pertain to a gradual ascent to the final world. A true spiritual state is this final world, in which the notions of time and causality are fully nullified.

E. Litvar: Does the person get dumber or something?

M. Laitman: No, he doesn’t get dumber; on the contrary, his attainment becomes absolutely boundless.

E. Litvar: So time disappears because it is no longer needed?

M. Laitman: Time is what binds us, and is the reason for our foolishness. Whereas without time our bindings disappear, and we can truly be all-intelligent and all-attaining. Cause-and-effect contracts, combines into a single whole, and we attain the Universe in full capacity.

E. Litvar: In other words, the sensation of time in the spiritual changes from the way I perceive it now to the final state, when this sensation disappears altogether? Meaning, it disappears gradually? And the sensation of time does exist in the spiritual worlds in some way, right?

M. Laitman: It exists as cause and effect. Time is when cause and effect are separated: here’s the beginning and here’s the next stage. In our world these two events may be separated by many years, but since nothing took place between them, in the spiritual they remain linked, standing close to one another, with one following the other.

In other words, the spiritual world isn’t constructed on the basis of the ‘tic-tac’ of my watch, my pulse or my heart; it is constructed on spiritual actions alone. Sequence of spiritual actions determines spiritual time. There’s no notion of mechanical time in and of itself, such as the revolutions of the sun, the Earth and so forth. In the spiritual, time constitutes causal development of a person.

So where’s God?

E. Litvar: When you say “spiritual,” do you mean some kind of angels?

M. Laitman: Angels are forces.

E. Litvar: For me, the spiritual means organ music, chubby angels against a blue sky…

M. Laitman: And what’s so spiritual about that? Go into any temple and you’ll see all sorts of attributes. Why are they spiritual? They’re absolutely corporeal. And they’re usually made out of some fine, expensive material. So there’s nothing spiritual about them.

M. Sanilevich: So where does God come in? We keep saying “time,” “worlds”… what about God?

M. Laitman: There is no God. Where have you ever seen a God? He doesn’t exist. There is a general force of nature, which surrounds and governs everything. You can call it God or Creator, which is how Kabbalah characterizes it.

Creator—because it creates. This is a force that created everything. But the God that is portrayed in religion—one that changes with respect to people, hands out punishments or rewards, is either kind or cruel, and so forth—there is no God like that, that’s nothing more than man’s fairytales. This is how a small child imagines the world for himself, transfers his sensations and perceptions of life onto higher categories. It’s just like the Gods of Ancient Greece—they got married, cheated on their spouses, killed one another, and so forth. The mythology is rich and beautiful, but a fairytale nonetheless. It is obviously invented by mankind on the basis of what it observes in this world.

The same is true with all the other religions. They’re all human fairytales, speculations on what may supposedly exist somewhere far, far away. At one time people thought that it existed in space, they don’t think that anymore. Perhaps behind a galaxy somewhere? I cannot imagine where else their imagination takes them. Which dimension? No one knows. Where then? What is this godling? Where is he hiding? Before people thought: the Earth is flat, perhaps he’s on the other side. Nowadays we know it is round, so you can’t really hide anywhere. What is mankind still imagining? It seems to me that it’s not imagining anything anymore.

M. Sanilevich: Blind nature, then? Is that what God is?

M. Laitman: The Creator is nature—a general, invariable law of nature, a law of absolute bestowal and love.

M. Sanilevich: Does He feel? Can He feel us?

M. Laitman: That we cannot say. If you’re talking about what He feels, that means that you perceive Him, study him, and know what He’s feeling by transferring your feelings onto Him.

M. Sanilevich: He can be studied?

M. Laitman: Why, of course! This is precisely the goal and purpose of man. “Attain your Creator” is a commandment. In other words, study Him and come to know him completely, be just like Him. It is this very Highest force of nature that we must come to. We must adapt it within ourselves, we must become like it, exist at the same level as it does. But this is a force, a property. It is not an object.

There are no objects in the spiritual whatsoever; the winged angels that you’ve mentioned are forces as well. They are not corporeal. An angel is a force. For example, the force of gravity is an angel. Any force is referred to as an angel. Why? Because it is part of the general force, called the Creator.

E. Litvar: When my level of perception of reality changes, and I will be above this world…

M. Laitman: Then you will see these forces yourself!

Do angels have wings?

E. Litvar: Will I then see this force as having wings?

M. Laitman: (laughs)

M. Sanilevich: Wait, but why are they drawn with wings? I really don’t understand.

M. Laitman: Well, my dearies, when religions needed disseminating, that’s when the whole “wings” issue came up—cherubs, seraphims and so forth—all that stuff is mankind’s speculations, nothing more.

E. Litvar: There’s this great artist—Hieronymus Bosch—he drew many books of sins… And it’s full of all these monsters and beasts.

M. Laitman: If you take the Bible or any other of the ancient books, they really do speak of winged angels. But what to these notions—“angels,” “wings”—really mean? We use words from the dictionary of our world to describe the spiritual world, but these words allude to completely different objects, completely different dimensions and actions. But when we use these words, we envision the images that they embody. Herein lies the problem: we imagine the spiritual world in terms of our world, with some other stuff thrown in. That there’s a cauldron that cooks sinners…

E. Litvar: Yes-yes.

M. Laitman: How are they being cooked? Is it the souls being cooked or something else?

E. Litvar: I cannot say.

M. Laitman: Well, who then, if not you? The body was buried, was it not? It’s not cooking anywhere. You can dig it up and see for yourself. So, what else can it be? What else can these poor demons feast on, if not the body?

E. Litvar: When I ascend above this level, do I still perceive this new level as some kind of matter? This world as the matter of this world, the other world that I attain (you mentioned the world of Assiyah) as the matter of the world of Assiyah?

M. Laitman: What do you mean by “the matter of the world of Assiyah”?

E. Litvar: I don’t know.

M. Laitman: Properties! Except for our perception of matter, everything else is merely properties and forces—nothing else.

This perception takes a long time to get used to, to delve into, to process existing information and add to it. It’s far from simple. I remember how we learned the theory of relativity in college. People had all kinds of problems: we needed to adapt to entirely different parameters, such as travel beyond time. And the students would also undergo these inner revolutions. And seven-eight months into learning the theory of relativity, they would suddenly begin to adapt some of the material—there’d be this spurt toward adjusting to the subject matter and relating to it properly. In other words, they ascend slightly above corporeal boundaries toward the level which Einstein, and then Hugh Everett, and so forth, all spoke from.

But here we’re speaking of an even more abstract level, one that is far from our corporeal perception. Therefore, it also takes some months of devoted study in order to begin to think in the terms and in the verbal images that Kabbalists speak of. There’s nothing you can do about that. We need time to adapt. Our mind is capable, but it needs to be developed gradually, step-by-step.

E. Litvar: Did Kabbalists convey their thoughts, theories and knowledge in such a confusing language on purpose, so as to confuse people? Or is there another reason? I really don’t understand—why write “wings,” if there are none?

M. Laitman: How else can you describe to someone in our world events that transpire in another dimension, one that he doesn’t perceive? Suppose you have been to this other dimension, came back from there and wanted to tell me about it. Go ahead and tell me, I’m listening. Well, give it a try, think of something. You’ll need to tell a person something like: “You know what I experienced there?! It’s like a glass, like a wall, like a house, like me, like you—like something…”

M. Sanilevich: Then why didn’t they write this way?

M. Laitman: That’s exactly what they wrote!

M. Sanilevich: They didn’t write: “It’s like wings, but not really wings.”

M. Laitman: Hold on a minute! They are describing events that as though transpire in our world, while implying actions that transpire in the spiritual world. How else can they describe them? Do you really think that they were writing about the actions of human beings in our world—breeding, fighting and so on? Is that what they were writing about? Is that why these books are called holy?

These books depict spiritual states. But they cannot be written in any way other than via images of our world. And it is now up to you (if you are capable) to look through this world, above and beyond it, and then you will see what they are actually speaking of. But they have no other way of conveying it to you.

There is the science of Kabbalah, but it can only be read by one who’s entering into the Upper World. Because the forces that it describes—their enumeration, their correlation (without any mention of matter)—are simply forces and their interactions. But you perceive these formulas, graphs and interactions of forces as some science—math, physics, etc. And it means nothing to you, because you don’t see or feel these forces within yourself.

Kabbalistic books are written in a special language, called the language of Kabbalah. However, they can only be read by a person that already exists at a particular spiritual level. Then, as he reads them, he immediately reproduces and sees the true picture. For him, the book is like a guide to a certain place: he immediately sees and performs all the necessary actions.

But if a person does not exist in the spiritual world, the description of that world can only be done via corporeal images. Thus came about the creation of the Bible, as well as all of the other holy books that (as though) speak about our corporeal existence: And the angel came to Abraham, and began speaking to him, and then something else happened, etc.

There’s no other way to do it. What is this spiritual force, called “Abraham”? And what of this angel: what is this force that influences the other force? And what is happening between them? The only thing in question here are spiritual categories.

E. Litvar: But Abraham did exist in our world, right?

M. Laitman: Whether or not he existed in our world is irrelevant. Kabbalah is not talking about history. Who cares about some Bedouin tending to his cattle somewhere?

E. Litvar: So who did the angel come to—to the Abraham that was in this world?

M. Laitman: No.

E. Litvar: Then why is he buried as the greatest Patriarch?

M. Laitman: The angel did not come into this world whatsoever! The, “coming of the angel,” means that he influenced the spiritual Abraham, and not the body that lived in a tent. What do you think—he flew into his tent and started hovering over him, flapping his wings? Reminds me of the paintings from the Middle Ages.

E. Litvar: Yes, the children’s Bible is very pretty; the artists did a great job.

M. Laitman: Now imagine what our kids are getting out of all this! We’re confusing them for life! So they stay confused from generation to generation.

E. Litvar: Alright, so all the holy books are speaking about something entirely different from our interpretations. Does that mean that there was no exodus from Egypt? That no one received the Torah on mount Sinai?

M. Laitman: All of those things did take place. But Kabbalists are writing about something else.

E. Litvar: So the Five Books of Moses are talking about something else?

M. Laitman: Something else entirely. Kabbalists aren’t talking about events of our world, but use them to allude to what transpires in the spiritual world.

E. Litvar: But did anyone in our world actually wander the desert for forty years?

M. Laitman: Yes, of course, but that’s not the point. If it were, why talk about it? What’s so interesting about that? Didn’t other nations experience something similar? But no, the Jews just had to write down and disseminate this autobiography of theirs, is that it?

E. Litvar: Well, it did become a pretty popular read… Alright, we have a question from Germany: “Isn’t the whole ‘no time, no motion’ deal kind of boring? Here you can at least pop down to Hawaii for a bit, but there?”

M. Laitman: There you don’t need to pop anything. In the spiritual world man is omnipotent, existing in a dimension without bounds or limits. Now compare that to popping down to Hawaii, hoping against hope to snatch some more trivial pleasures.

The spiritual world is perfect; it contains no states of emptiness, followed by marginal fulfillment, followed by more emptiness, and so on. Only our miserable life is built on these transitions, boiling down to an endless chase for tiny sparks of pleasure. This state does not exist in the spiritual. The spiritual world contains only the constant, even and infinitely-fulfilling Light.

E. Litvar: Does that mean that if I drink a glass of water in the spiritual world, my sensation remains with me forever?

M. Laitman: Yes. And every time you add to it your next sensation, thereby ascending and expanding more and more.

E. Litvar: In other words, if, for instance, I get thirsty in the spiritual world, all I need to do is somehow get this water via my thoughts? It already exists within me, and I just need to find it?

M. Laitman: Yes.

E. Litvar: I don’t need to run somewhere for a glass of cold water?

M. Laitman: There’s no motion whatsoever. Any desire is fulfilled as soon as it arises. There are no such states where you desire first and fulfill your desire only afterwards.

E. Litvar: And in that world, does the temperature rise to 45 degrees, like today?

M. Laitman: The state is one of absolute comfort and harmony.

About time travel

M. Sanilevich: A question about time travel: will we ever reach a state when our body will be able to travel through time, like we see in the movies?

M. Laitman: We can evoke such an illusion within us, just as we evoke the illusion of our world. Not a problem. But then what? What is present, past and future? They are but pictures that are already implanted within us, developing in our imagination along an axis of time.

For example, I look at a film strip and see all kinds of pictures separated by a beginning, a middle and an end. The film is played from the beginning, but I can fast-forward and see what happens in the middle or in the end. And then rewind back to the beginning. This film strip exists within us in its entirety and is gradually unraveling.

You’re asking me if I can rewind it? No problem, because it already exists within us. Nothing exists outside of us; everything is evoked from within. In other words, this entire film exists within us. And the VCR that plays this film for us is also within us. For me, skipping from the beginning to the end is not only possible, it’s easy as pie.

M. Sanilevich: So how can you do it?

M. Laitman: What for?

M. Sanilevich: I want to see how things were 200 years ago.

M. Laitman: That’s not a problem; all this can be easily evoked within a person. Of course, all these information records are protected by a special secret code, so to speak, like a private database in a computer, because you need to adapt them in accordance with your spiritual development.

Our world is really like a reception area, in which man gradually becomes disillusioned from his existence in this dimension, and is forced into a desire to enter into the next dimension. The next dimension is the spiritual dimension. And this is why we are not allowed to play around with time just for the hell of it, because then we wouldn’t be carrying out the program of creation—to attain the Creator’s level and to become equal to the Upper Force.

E. Litvar: When you were talking about the film strip and how easy it is to travel to the past, the future, (anywhere!), I was thinking that people would pay incredible money for this! For the pleasure to visit the ancient Roman empire, for instance, go to the Coliseum and watch the gladiators, to tell the Roman emperor: “Nero, my friend, listen…”

M. Laitman: No, that’s incorrect. You can watch this film, but you cannot intervene, because at that time you were in another incarnation, not the modern you that you are now.

E. Litvar: I can only watch the film as a spectator?

M. Laitman: You can go back and forth, but in accordance with your state.

E. Litvar: Meaning, the man I was then?

M. Laitman: Or the man that you will be. Of course.

E. Litvar: So I could only shine Nero’s boots and that’s it? I would go back to that same state, right?

M. Laitman: Or worse.

E. Litvar: Alright, but I was talking about something else. I really liked your description, but for us these things today are sweet but insurmountable dreams.

M. Laitman: Why? I personally see nothing pleasant in the history of mankind to warrant a desire to travel back there. You want to go back to your state? You will be shown your state 200-300 years ago, who you were and what you felt. Can you imagine what it was like?

You perceive this world from within yourself; the film (this entire illusion) is rolling within you. I would advise against going back. However, going forward is where you can exercise your freedom of choice.

In other words, the shots are already predetermined, but who you will be in these shots isn’t. This depends on you. Therefore, the future still remains a question mark. There’s a certain role that you must play, but how you will play it is up to you.

E. Litvar: All of these pleasures, albeit false or illusory, that take our breath away, to you seem ridiculously small. But in the spiritual you feel something tremendous…

M. Laitman: Of course, there’s absolutely no reason to bother with our world, other than helping others enter this dimension faster, as such is nature’s program.

E. Litvar: But everyone must enter it?

M. Laitman: Absolutely everyone, and in our time too.

E. Litvar: Even a Papuan that’s eating a banana somewhere at this moment?

M. Laitman: Of course. And not only the Papuan, by the way, but also all those illusions that we see—inanimate, vegetative and animate nature—they all attain this spiritual level together with us.

E. Litvar: You mean elephants, trees and rocks?

M. Laitman: Everything! There will be nothing left in the dimension that we perceive as our world.

E. Litvar: Does this planet then disappear?

M. Laitman: The illusion of this world disappears.

M. Sanilevich: In those who escaped it or in everyone?

M. Laitman: It doesn’t disappear in those who escaped it; rather, they observe it from the side. But when humankind actualizes its mission and all souls ascend onto the level of the spiritual world, the need for this world—the lowest corporeal perception—disappears. And these souls now perceive themselves as existing in the spiritual dimension only.

Life after death

E. Litvar: While existing in our world, a Kabbalist perceives both worlds at once. What happens to a Kabbalist when his body dies? How does he perceive this world?

M. Laitman: He perceives this world from the spiritual one…

E. Litvar: With his soul?

M. Laitman: Yes, of course.

E. Litvar: But he still sees and feels it?

M. Laitman: With his soul, just as before. But before he perceived our world both with his soul and his physical body. If his physical body dies, then he perceives with his soul only.

E. Litvar: Does Baal HaSulam see us right now?

M. Laitman: I don’t know what you mean by “see” and what you mean by “Baal HaSulam.” Because if “Baal HaSulam” is some humanoid that looks like you, sees, hears, feels, understands, etc. like you—then no, because he doesn’t have these sensory organs. He has only the spiritual sensory organs. They are called Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin, Malchut.

E. Litvar: Five of them, just like us?

M. Laitman: Yes.

E. Litvar: When you say “sees our world”—what do you mean?

M. Laitman: He perceives one single dimension of the Universe. After all, there is no division; it’s only us that see some tiny portion within ourselves, because our sensory organs are not developed past the bounds of this dimension. But if we develop them further, we will feel the remaining part of the Universe—the Upper World—and it will all become for us singular and transparent.

M. Sanilevich: Next question: what is the system striving towards—chaos or equilibrium?

M. Laitman: The system is striving towards revelation of a singular and absolute harmony. Meaning, it is neither chaos nor equilibrium the way we imagine them.

You can call it “equilibrium.” And we can see this even in our world. All the problems that we feel—all that transpires inside and outside of us—even though it may seem that we’re moving towards chaos, we are actually moving from chaos to harmony. Their purpose is to force man to see our world as absolute chaos, to discover this chaos within himself, to realize that everything depends on him alone—that’s what it means to create within oneself absolute harmony. Thus he will come to feel the world outside as eternal and perfect.

E. Litvar: Professor Vernadsky wrote that the Earth contains some information field. Does it really exist?

M. Laitman: Yes, of course. Fields and forces are all we’re talking about.

Kabbalah and the UFO

M. Sanilevich: Next question: Is there life on other planets or in other galaxies? What is Kabbalah’s attitude towards UFOs?

M. Laitman: Outer space may very well contain some vegetative or animate forms of life that are built on some other foundations, not ours. The one form that doesn’t exist anywhere else, however, is “human.”

What is “human”?

Human is an animal just the same. According to all modern research, including science, man can be regarded as a developed animal, nothing more. Still, there’s something in him that separates him from animals. He isn’t simply better than they are or possesses some other properties—freedom of will, for instance. He doesn’t, that’s just an illusion. However, man does contain a spiritual component—an opportunity to enter spiritual space—and that is the only difference between man and animals.

So then, man exists only on Earth, and nowhere else. There are no UFOs whatsoever. All these things are mankind’s own fairytales and illusions, created to window-dress its existence and provide “answers” to its questions.

M. Sanilevich: But there’s proof: they were seen, even filmed.

M. Laitman: That’s not proof; none of these things transcend the illusions of our perception. But if a lot of people get pleasure from busying themselves with it in their spare time, why not let them? At least until the error of it all is revealed.

E. Litvar: Can a minor change in perception of this world by one or several people change the world? For instance, diseases would disappear?

M. Laitman: If I perceive this world differently from you, it is I who perceives it differently, not you.

E. Litvar: Meaning, it changes for you?

M. Laitman: Correct, it changes for me. Now, how can I affect your perception of the world? Only superficially. If you desire it, then I can pass on to you some of my experience, (in other words), the science of Kabbalah. And then you will be able to gradually prepare within yourself for the perception of the Upper World. But it is you who will have to do it, not me. I am merely preparing you for this.

E. Litvar: In other words, as Kabbalists advance and change, they cannot really change our world, but can only help everyone else to change their own world?

M. Laitman: They cannot do the work for you. Their mission is to disseminate the wisdom. They prepare this wisdom for humankind, either openly or more discreetly.

Does matter feel?

M. Sanilevich: Nikolai from Moscow is asking: does matter feel?

M. Laitman: Good question. All matter is but a desire to enjoy. Why do atoms move around, why are elementary particles attracted and repelled? Why do they fly? What is happening to them? A desire arises in them, and matter itself actualizes this desire—either by moving or interacting with other matter and so on—so as to fulfill the desire on the still, vegetative and animate levels.

All matter constitutes an outer shell of an inner desire—the desire to enjoy. The desire to enjoy can be tiny and consist of only one desire—simply to retain its form.

E. Litvar: Meaning the still?

M. Laitman: Yes. But as it begins to develop, it can also be greater—vegetative, greater still—animate, and greater still—human. But it is still the same desire to enjoy. There’s nothing else in the universe.

All matter is founded on this desire. We do not perceive the desires themselves, but only the matter—the manifestation of this force that is aimed at reception of pleasure. Perception of matter itself is an illusion. There is no matter. It is the desires that appear to me in a particular form of matter—still, vegetative, animate and human levels, with all sorts of variations with regard to type, properties and so on. But all of this is merely various degrees of the desire to enjoy.

E. Litvar: You’re telling me that all that surrounds us is desires? These books right here, the table, flowers, butterflies—they’re desires?

M. Laitman: Yes. And all of you are desires as well.

E. Litvar: People too? Michael and I are desires?

M. Laitman: Yes. And our thoughts and feelings as well—all of this is desires.

E. Litvar: So, in reality, when I look at Michael, I’m looking at a desire that only looks like him, but I cannot see him in any other way?

M. Laitman: Yes. Subjectively. You see him the way you want to and are capable of seeing him.

E. Litvar: That is to say, I see the body, but I don’t see the essence. If I could see the essence, I would see the desires, whereas right now I see only the body?

M. Laitman: Yes. That’s the difference between the spiritual world and our world.

M. Sanilevich: And when did matter first appear?

M. Laitman: When man appeared who could perceive it.

M. Sanilevich: And before that there was no matter? Is that correct? But all the textbooks say that the material world exists for billions of years, and man appeared only some thousands of years ago.

M. Laitman: We’re the ones writing these textbooks, and this is how we express it, because this is how we perceive the world. How else can we talk about matter, which exists in the form that we observe, if there is no observer?

E. Litvar: I don’t really understand.

M. Laitman: Suppose that 50 thousand years ago there’s no man, no one to perceive all this. Now, if there is no observer, does our world exist?

E. Litvar: Well, no, I guess.

M. Laitman: What can we write about then? Only about what seemingly existed 50 thousand years ago, according to our understanding, our perceptions, and our ability to describe it.

M. Sanilevich: But they find fossils and other evidence all the time…

M. Laitman: This is how we perceive the world, the way it manifests to us.

E. Litvar: Then the world wasn’t created by some big bang, but appeared the moment I began to perceive it?

M. Laitman: This world doesn’t exist in the first place. However you describe it, that’s how it’ll be. And that’s that.

M. Sanilevich: And the dinosaurs?

M. Laitman: Anything at all. After all, it’s all according to the observer. However, we can descend to another level—(not the Kabbalistic position of viewing our world from the Upper World and perceiving absolute reality)—but the way it appears in man’s perceptions.

When I begin to investigate this world in my perceptions, I discover that the Universe appeared 15 billion years ago as a result of an explosion; 5 billion years ago—the Solar system and the Earth, 100 million years ago—dinosaurs, 50 thousand years ago—mankind, and so on. Again, I’m talking about my own perceptions, about measuring against myself, my own sensory organs.

E. Litvar: About the way I read these desires?

M. Laitman: Yes.

E. Litvar: And now, in order for me to see that all these 50 thousand years I’ve been reading only desires, I need to ascend above this world in the properties of a Kabbalist?

M. Laitman: Yes. Then you will start perceiving quite differently. And what’s interesting is that there are actually no contradictions arising from it, because even the modern sciences of our world are beginning to realize that everything is subjective and exists only according to the observer. Einstein was the first to create this revolution, followed by Hugh Everett, and the scientists of our time are already on the verge of realizing this.

And not just the scientists. Look at the movies coming out that are dealing with perception of reality, such as The Matrix, and so on. They speak of existence of other dimensions, in which we exist parallel to and in an utterly different form than in our world, connected or unconnected to it, and so forth. This means that in our minds such notions are clearly becoming quite possible. Do you see what we’re coming to?

E. Litvar: Science fiction writers have been writing about seemingly completely unrealistic things. But in so doing are they simply expressing man’s thirst for attainment, albeit via a corporeal method? After all, much of what they’ve been writing about is coming true…

M. Laitman: Yes. You don’t have to be a Kabbalist in order to predict events in our world. It is a manifestation of certain properties in certain people who have nothing to do with Kabbalah. Wolf Messing being one, for instance.

E. Litvar: And what was he reading this information off of?

M. Laitman: It simply existed in him. And when he needed to, he would read it. Because it exists, from beginning to end—remember the example with the film strip.

E. Litvar: Then a Kabbalist can read it as well?

M. Laitman: A Kabbalist doesn’t read as well as this Messing, because a Kabbalist deals with forces, rather than these properties on the level of our world.

E. Litvar: He doesn’t deal with them, because it’s unbecoming of him or what?

M. Laitman: What’s the difference? After all, this isn’t where man actualizes himself.

E. Litvar: In other words, the tasks set before a Kabbalist are more important?

M. Laitman: Of course. What’s more important—ascending to the Upper World or knowing what’s going to happen to Joe Schmoe?

E. Litvar: Well, no one wants to end up under a bus either…

M. Laitman: Ah, that won’t change anything anyway. Remember Oedipus? In spite of everything, he wasn’t able to escape his fate. Same with Messing—he could predict his own death and many other things, but he couldn’t change anything.

E. Litvar: And a Kabbalist can?

M. Laitman: A Kabbalist can influence or at least try to influence other people so that they change their future for the better.

E. Litvar: So the earthquake that’s supposed to happen in five years somewhere can be avoided if we follow the Kabbalists’ instructions?

How to avoid suffering

M. Laitman: Yes, because people will come to such harmony with nature that there will be no earthquake; rather, they will have to experience it within themselves.

E. Litvar: As an earthquake or as something else?

M. Laitman: As a kind of inner shock when ascending onto a higher spiritual level. Then there will not by any external manifestation.

E. Litvar: Is this inner earthquake painful?

M. Laitman: No-no, but they do need to correct themselves at the level of this suffering. They will need to adapt these shocks within themselves into a positive direction.

M. Sanilevich: Baal HaSulam writes about a third and fourth world wars. Does this mean that they may happen in our material world?

M. Laitman: All prophets, including Baal HaSulam, who was also on the level of a prophet, (a prophet is a Kabbalist who attains a particular level in the spiritual worlds), warned us of what may happen, but they were speaking about people. That is, it is in our power to take all these phenomena (tremendous pain, suffering, calamities, etc.), and thereby correct ourselves, so that they would occur within us, instead of in our corporeal world over a period of many years. Imagine a small child that doesn’t want to study; his parents attempt to force him and they punish him, but he’s being stubborn and still doesn’t want to study. If he does decide to correct himself, in doing so he cancels this long line of punishments that are awaiting him, and everything is fine from there on. Meaning, in the end, under the influence of the stick, he still needs to absorb within himself the desire to study. Compelling him to absorb the correct desire within himself and choose to develop without the influence of the stick is precisely what we’re trying to do by disseminating the wisdom of Kabbalah.

E. Litvar: A question: then it follows that although the proverbial chain of fate is predetermined, it can be traversed either by force or on one’s own volition?

M. Laitman: Those are the two paths that exist in nature. Kabbalah offers the good, painless path of minimal losses.

M. Sanilevich: If I take this film strip and look into the future, I will see the third and fourth world wars, right?

M. Laitman: Right. You will see that the third and fourth world wars will happen. Just as it is written in all the books by all the prophets—all of our terrible problems are predicted well in advance. However, they absolutely do not need to and may never actually take place. The prophets write about what must happen in accordance with the driving forces of nature, which propels mankind towards the goal. However, mankind can realize this and wise up, and traverse these steps via a pleasant, beautiful and simple shortcut.

M. Sanilevich: What will the film strip show then?

M. Laitman: The film strip will then show not the outer, but the inner states that one must go through. Meaning, yes—there’ll be a war, but an inner war with one’s own self, and not the outer war, which would cause such suffering that eventually it would force us out of necessity to experience the inner war and correct ourselves. Just as in the example with the child who didn’t want to study. How much time will he waste and how much suffering will he endure before he decides to start studying? Similarly, Kabbalah shows mankind the problems that await us, as well as the alternative, better way out.

M. Sanilevich: Is the Bible a depiction of inner wars as well?

M. Laitman: Absolutely! It speaks only of inner problems.

E. Litvar: Are thoughts corporeal?

M. Laitman: Thoughts are forces.

E. Litvar: Are forces corporeal?

M. Laitman: No. But if we perceive them, we perceive them from a corporeal carrier.

E. Litvar: Can a person change his life by the power of his mind?

M. Laitman: Of course. Thought is the greatest force in our world, in our Universe, in all the worlds. There’s nothing more powerful than thought or intention. Everything that we do is done by the force of intention only. The entire crisis of today, as diverse and global as it is, is solely the result of our incorrect desires.

E. Litvar: Desires or intentions?

M. Laitman: It’s the same thing. Because a desire in and of itself, without an intention, amounts to absolutely nothing. But what is it that you want to derive from it? You want to enjoy egoistically, using everything and everyone around you.

E. Litvar: Can I really drink a glass of water without an egoistic intention for myself?

M. Laitman: Well, that’s something that is essential for you and not harmful to others. By “incorrect desires” I’m referring to a person’s attitude toward others.

E. Litvar: So when we speak of egoism, we’re talking about a relationship between two or more people?

M. Laitman: Egoism is man’s attitude toward his environment—how he wants to use everything that surrounds him for his own sake. This includes his attitude toward nature.

E. Litvar: According to scientists, a human brain is capable of processing an enormous amount of information, yet we perceive only a tiny part of it consciously.

M. Laitman: Yes, only about two percent is used.

E. Litvar: Why is that?

M. Laitman: Because the rest of our brain is intended for spiritual work. This two percent is that maximum that we use in our everyday corporeal life. And that’s all we need. Everything else that exists within us is there to enable us to begin working for the next dimension, and then we will come to require the remaining part of the brain.

E. Litvar: So, when this body was created 50 thousand years ago, the need for spiritual development was already planned? And all this potential was already embedded?

M. Laitman: Well, of course, stemming from our last state, naturally. What, did you think that everything evolved blindly, as per Darwin?

E. Litvar: I think what I’ve been taught in school.

M. Sanilevich: Can we say that, from the standpoint of Kabbalah, evolution is still going on? In other words, in the near future will we need to evolve onto an entirely new level for all mankind?

M. Laitman: Today, in the nearest future we must enter onto a new level of the spiritual world, into the new dimension of the Universe. If we don’t do this, severe forces of nature will force us to do it through suffering. It would be better if it happens through recognizing this necessity.

M. Sanilevich: Are there black holes and can Kabbalists study them?

M. Laitman: Everyone has his own definition for these black holes, information gaps, fields that are consumed by some energy, its disappearance… All these questions deal with the material world and are physicists’ jurisdiction. Whereas Kabbalah doesn’t deal with matter whatsoever, even its undulatory or any other such aspects. Which is why I have no answer for you.

M. Sanilevich: And what does Kabbalah study?

M. Laitman: Kabbalah studies only the Upper Force, which includes all the worlds, us, and how we can ascend and attain the level of equivalence with this force. And that’s all we need.

If there is only one single force which governs and maintains everything, on which we are completely dependent, why study anything else? Why should we concern ourselves with some trivial matters? What can I possibly gain from it?

I am influenced by that very Uppermost level. I need to equalize myself to it, liken myself, achieve a state of homeostasis, balance and comfort with precisely this Upper Force.

E. Litvar: With the Creator?

M. Laitman: Call it the Creator, if you like. I need to attain His level, to become just like Him. This is embedded in each of us, and this is what we must actualize.

E. Litvar: A question from the United States: Have you ever wanted to just drop it all and set out in quest of adventure, see the world, and start a new life?

M. Laitman: These things are always on my mind, just as with any other Kabbalist. But what new things can I possibly find in this world? What can you find today? You can fly around our entire little globe, but what will you find? In all countries there’s just more of the same. What’s new in any of this? What possible news can there be in this world, on this tiny planet? Something to briefly occupy my senses? When all is said and done, what do I really see when I travel the world? By the way, I still like to travel, and I like nature. I do it to keep myself in good physical shape. But aside from that, this would make for a very limited perception of everything. I think that people will become bored with it very soon.

The visions that one receives from perceiving spiritual properties can replace any vacation. We are talking about endless and completely boundless sensations and discoveries.

E. Litvar: At a certain point, when we leave this Earth, it will disappear as well, am I right?

M. Laitman: It’s not Earth that will disappear, but this world that we perceive with our five senses, because these senses themselves will disappear.

E. Litvar: The entire Universe then, and not just Earth?

M. Laitman: Everything that we perceive.

E. Litvar: Adam and Eve are considered to have been the first people on Earth; were there people before them?

M. Laitman: Adam and Eve were not the first people. There was a man who lived on this Earth some five thousand seven hundred and sixty years ago, and his name was Adam. He was the first person to attain the Upper World, which is why mankind’s spiritual development begins with him. And that is why our entire earthly path is measured in relation to him.

E. Litvar: So he was the first Kabbalist?

M. Laitman: Yes, he was the first Kabbalist. Naturally, before him people existed in the same way as you and I. But they weren’t Kabbalists—they lacked the aspiration to attain their root, the Upper World, and that is how they existed on our Earth. They were chased after by animals, they procreated, and so on.

E. Litvar: So the Jewish calendar isn’t dated from mankind’s appearance on Earth?

M. Laitman: It’s dated from Adam. We couldn’t date it from the appearance of mankind; that was somewhere around fifty thousand years ago.

E. Litvar: That is, exclusively from the commencement of this spiritual movement?

M. Laitman: Of course, because that is the main thing, that is what’s called, “man.”

Letters are properties

M. Laitman: We have a very scrupulous record of information which stems from Adam and from the twenty generations from Adam to Abraham (to Ancient Babylon), who recorded and passed on their information, because these were already generations of Kabbalists. We know of all the Kabbalists after Adam (all that is described in the Torah), and there’s both written and oral communication of information between them.

And Adam was essentially already using our alphabet. Which brings us to the following question: letters and names of letters and the way letters are written (communication of information in the form of letters)—where does all this come from?

E. Litvar: In other words, written language. So where does it come from?

M. Laitman: Also from the spiritual world. When man attains the properties of the Upper World and wishes to describe them, to render them on the level of our world, the forces that he perceives are transformed within him into images of our world, and he depicts them in the form of letters. And that is why each letter has its own particular meaning and expresses a particular property. And adding these properties together constitutes transition from one property to another—they form words.

Why is mankind suddenly given an opportunity to communicate and express itself? Where does this come from? We are given this from the Upper World. This is how inner forces manifest within us. They are not revealed in anything external. They exist and develop within us. Mankind gradually developed to the point where it figured out how to express itself through lettering.

E. Litvar: And what about other languages? If they developed the same way, why are they all so different?

M. Laitman: They all emerged from that same Ancient Babylon, from that same alphabet brought there by Adam. Pick up Istrin’s The Appearance and Development of the Letter. He’s a Russian author, who published this book decades ago. Based on the writings of that era, he uses scientific evidence to prove that all languages come to us from Ancient Babylon. Adam laid the foundation for written language, and in Ancient Babylon it assumes its final properties and eventually spreads all over the world.

E. Litvar: I’m sitting here listening to you, and from what I understand it follows that the slogans of Nazis and neo-Nazis about Jews being everywhere are true?

M. Laitman: No-no. Jews are merely a small group of people from Ancient Babylon that followed the spiritual guidance of Adam and the subsequent twenty Kabbalists (or twenty generations of Kabbalists). They left Ancient Babylon, broke away from it together with Abraham, who was the first “contemporary” Kabbalist, so to speak. And the rest of humanity from Ancient Babylon then spread and settled the entire planet.

E. Litvar: So Jews are former Kabbalists?

M. Laitman: Jews are those same ancient Babylonians, just like everybody else, except they have undertaken to live their lives according to Kabbalistic rules. While everybody else went on to develop egoistically, they’ve chosen for themselves the path of spiritual ascent.

E. Litvar: Wait, from what I understand, their efforts were all for naught?

M. Laitman: What do you mean, for naught? Before the ruin of the SecondTemple all Jews lived with spiritual attainment. Only then did they fall to the level of our world. And now they must once again master this spiritual method and impart it to all mankind.

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