You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Michael Laitman / Interviews / Why All Values Have Depreciated

Why All Values Have Depreciated

Interview with the Kabbalist M. Laitman by the film director S. Vinokur
August 1, 2005

Question: Why has the man’s adaptation period with the world become so brief?

Everything created in the 20th century was created so that man could relatively quickly connect himself with the entire world: with its culture, science, business, philosophy, and industrial progresses. So that he would be able to enter into unity with his environment during a small segment of time, and feel what was happening in the world, in his sphere of life, and adapt to it. He would feel how the world changes and develops, so that as a consequence he would be able to become imbued with the suffering of the entire world.

Question: To include himself in the suffering of the entire world?

Yes! Upon a similar state of affairs, because of such an intense compression, everyone would have the time to experience everything within them during their short conscious life. As a consequence all the people, that is, all the souls, would unite in one common soul, one with another. In this way the world quickly would come to a state, where every man feels like he is living in a unified world, like in one village.

Man can be a simple farmer, but he still absorbs from the common culture the emotional experiences of the entire world and comes to the conclusion, (even though he has not experienced anything personally) that everything is useless, empty, hopeless, and that it does not lead to any goal. This farmer sees many people who walked their path of science, art, or business; however the path they’ve traveled ultimately brought them disappointment. And together with this common culture, the farmer also absorbs the disappointment experienced by others.

Remark: Sitting at home in front of the television?

Yes, sitting at home and not doing anything.

Question: That is, cinematography appeared for this reason?

The entire modern world mass culture appeared precisely for this. This is not simply cinematography, theater, literature, but an exchange amongst people of all that they empathise with.

Question: Why did this happen precisely at the beginning of the 20th century?

Humanity has passed through certain periods in its development: animal survival, desires for wealth, fame, and power. At the beginning of the 20th century the transition into the last phase of our development, science, started to be realized. After the desire for scientific attainments follows aspiration for the spiritual, which births the question: what can this entire world give to us? Aspiration for knowledge appears, which is for things that are above our world.

Means of mass communication are the most significant development in history, a development that mankind has attained against human will. The purpose of this is the attaining of a quick realization of personal uselessness on the very last phase of development.

From the beginning of the 20th century all of culture and art—literature, painting, music, ballet, etc—are being substituted with science, and are basically becoming like tinsel. Science is now becoming most important, because it “feeds” all the other parts, satisfying the need for food and clothes, gives fame, grandeur, power, and wealth.

Question: Does this embody the 20th century?

Yes, this embodies the 20th century. Science uses its resources for the fulfillment of human desires.

Question: That is, inside the scientific period there were the same problems: thirst for money, for power, but only on a different level?

Of course! Science now simply serves as means of satisfaction of all the previous needs. This happens because scientists are egoistic. They occupy themselves with selling their scientific attainments according to the wants of all the previous levels of desire.

Remark: As though there is no science for science?

Quite true, and in reality science exhausts itself by doing this. That is, we can be advancing in biology, in physics, in chemistry; cognizing matter, uncovering its secrets, discovering new effects, but in the end a question arises: “What for?” We used to believe that science can save humanity, fulfill everyone. Literature and art were once thus praised.

There were great talents that everyone considered an honor to become acquainted with, every king or emperor invited geniuses of the arts to his court, but all this died out at the end of the 19th century, and now scientists have gained a claim. What do we see now? Almost all the scientific workers simply became regular technicians. That is, all science became an ordinary trade. It became purely consumerist. And the attitude towards it became the same—consumerist.

Question: It is revolutions that interest me. What state is it an escape from? What is it? Thirst for power? Does a new phase of egoistic desire arise?

I would say that it is impossible to make a revolution if there is not an idea “of equality, of love,” aspiration to the higher ideal at its core.

Question: Why did revolutions occur in the beginning of the century?

Revolutions happened because society realized that all the previous ideals depreciated. The question about the meaning of life subconsciously arose in people again, only it still came down to the problem of food, rights, and ideas. People felt the need to find a way out of the continuous pursuit of desires, and strove to the attainment of something spiritual, to find a certain upper joy. Revolutions happen at the turning points of such processes. This was not done out of egoistic reasons.

Question: This is not an egoistic impulse?

Of course, it is not egoistic! This was a search beyond our world, beyond matter.

Question: Why?

According to “The Law of Negation of Negation,” when an opportunity of transition to a higher stage of development approaches, man strives towards it since he can no longer be on the previous one. At that moment a higher stage of development for him is an ideal. Only after people begin to soil this higher stage of development, egoism develops in it. But with the ascent to it realized, it is perceived as an absolute higher and is felt as more spiritual.

Question: And then it all continued developing in Russia as the threshold of a new egoistic stage?

It was not perceived this way. Never is a new stage perceived as an egoistic one! Let’s say when a change takes place from a slave-owning system to the feudal one or from feudal to capitalistic, this is not perceived as egoism! On the contrary, it feels like the escape from the previous egoism into altruism. The next stage has not yet manifested itself, it is still in the embryonic stage, and for this reason it is perceived as spiritual, altruistic.

Question: What will the next stage be?

The next stage can only be Nazism.

Question: In any transition?

After today’s stage of development? Absolutely!

Question: Even Stalin was an altruist at first?

Hunger, organized in Ukraine, was intentional. It was a way for the Bolsheviks to prove to the people that they had no choice. It was necessary to work in a kolkhoz in order to have everything, and the individuals would not have anything on their own. It is as if they wanted to demonstrate to the people the model of an ideal future.

If people felt that nature itself is made in a similar manner, then they would accept it and agree with the necessity of socialistic relations. In this case people did not see that nature itself offers them this method of existence, but perceived it as intentional, artificial action carried out by the authorities. Therefore, their personal egoism did not dictate to them the need to consciously enter the given relations and did not give them the energy to work without compulsion under the motto: “All for the sake of others.”

Authorities did not have anything else left for them to do other than try to implant altruistic relations through forced methods. However, in the end everything crashed because it is impossible to attain love for the neighbor through terror, without the higher reward…

Question: How are these leaders viewed in Kabbalah?

Leaders are absolute puppets.

Question: That is, they drive humanity towards this phase?

They drive humanity towards the same thing as the Upper Governance. The past has shown that it is impossible to come to altruism by force. For this reason, when we speak about altruism or communism today, it is difficult for us to explain that this is attainable and that it is humane. In the consciousness of humanity, Russia’s lesson remained so ineradicable, that it demonstrated a kind fable, myth, and beautiful utopia, but it is absolutely inapplicable to humanity. Humanity has become certain of the incredibility and impossibility of such a path of development.

Question: That is, it happened so that humanity would become certain of the mistake?

Yes. And this is the realization of evil. But how will we arrive at the comprehension that altruism really is the highest form of communication between people, their union and the merging between them, when the entire humanity truly becomes as one man—so that everyone deserves eternity, perfection, immortality (in the literal sense of this word) through this existence?

We will come to this when our egoistical vices will demonstrate to us through obvious examples that there is no other way except for transition to altruism—none. On the other hand, humanity must try to imagine that in reality all of nature is altruistic. Nature treats us precisely this way! The Upper Law—nature—is such in reality! Only we perceive it the other way around, because we ourselves are opposite to it.

We do not have another possibility except than to come to comprehend that only Kabbalistic education will gradually bring every person to the necessity and attract to them the Upper Correcting Light through contact with other people. That Upper Correcting Light will pull all of humanity up to altruism, doing this only under its own influence.

Question: What are these periods—world wars?

Basically all wars happen because of weakness, when man would like to change something, but does not understand how, and yet can no longer remain in his current state. All coercive methods arise from weakness.

Question: Do you think that science has already exhausted itself?

This process has been happening approximately from the thirties of the 20th century. It has already finished towards the end of the century, sooner, towards the year seventy; and science has drained itself. The unrealistic use of science for the purpose of solving global problems became obvious. Before, America and Russia fought for power over the world for several decades, now—it no longer worries anyone! Power is shared—a couple thousand people rule the world. Repartition will not do anything here, and it is of no benefit to anyone to turn people into slaves. On the contrary, methods of solving problems should be obviously carried over to the ethical, moral planes.

Question: Why?

Because humanity, as a result of their development, has come to comprehend that there is nothing valuable in our world. People have gained so much different information from each other, such perception of uselessness, that they have nothing left except for the one desire: “Let me live in peace and I don’t give a damn about your ideologies!” This is why they don’t go to vote. The entire struggle between politicians is for power and fame, everything else is deeply indifferent to them, it is simply a sideshow all around.

Question: What is the future of this state?

Humanity could begin to wisely limit itself through coercive methods, and leave only what is necessary, but precisely our nature will not allow us to do this—since its plans are to bring humanity to altruism, to resemblance to the Upper Force, to the best possible state.

Humanity must come to a disappointment. It will not be able to limit itself by taking tranquilizers, by using drugs, or by creating a mass culture to satisfy its demands.

No, this will not happen. Terror will not let us live in peace. Some cataclysms will certainly occur. Even if people desire to artificially create a peaceful life, they will not manage to do anything. Nature will not allow them to do this. Our egoism is infinite, and for this reason there are no tricks that will help here.

I think that this will be the last attempt of humanity to find a method of existence without Kabbalah, when it will try to please itself in some way. But over the course of a couple of years it will become clear that nothing will work out by doing this. A new culture will arise over the course of this time; the one that limits oneself will deserve praise. Accordingly, films, literature, politics, and governmental organizations will appear, directed exclusively to the justification and support of this position. This will be a kind of resemblance to socialism; everyone has the minimum, so live in peace.

Question: And why is it directing towards Nazism?

Well, because there is nothing else that is possible, it is impossible to go back to have proper distribution of goods! There was an ideal in society—to come to the highest possible stage of evolution. Now, when that fundamental goal does not exist, the implacable force of development will bring us to a state when violence will be announced to be an ideal.

Question: But why? After all, during socialism, man was taught to be kind, good, and etc. And all of a sudden this crazy jump into crime, murder…

When the goal was good, some type of base was tried out by placing it underneath. Humanity cannot develop without a purpose. Attainment of the ideal is the stimulating energy towards action, and it fulfills ahead of time. It is worth working for, to give one’s strength and attention to, and to live for. But when disappointment comes and high ideals crash, an inverse reaction takes place.

Question: Do the ideals on Earth inevitably come to a crash?

Yes, absolutely all of them. Egoism must lift us to the level of the Creator. For this reason America, Russia, and the UN will keep trying to solve vital problems… They will announce, “We will feed everyone. We will do everything so that it would be quiet and peaceful everywhere,”—such will be the culture, the philosophy of life itself. And eventually it will turn into enormous world wars, when humanity, impetuous in its greed, and egoism accumulated as the result of such consolatory politics, will practically destroy itself.

Question: That is, you are speaking about a spring that contracts and then straightens up and kills the one that compresses it?

Yes! This is because we can not solve anything through such behavior. Egoism develops regardless. It evolves subconsciously, so we do not see it throughout the process of development. But when egoism bursts onto a new level, we do not have the power to restrain it. It splashes and pours out, inevitably regenerating into Nazism, a terrible opposition of the people.

Every phase of human development is the following jump of egoism. But in this jump of egoism, in its own turn, aspiration to come out of it exists—a desire to rise above it.

Question: And for this reason, these sorts of sparks of love constantly appear?

So, one can say that in a sense spiritual leaders and spirituality also existed in Nazi Germany. There, occult sciences developed and flourished. Because it was considered that all this was done to raise the spirits, for a spiritual splash and in the name of it, but they did not even live to see their own disappointment. All leaders, if they live to see the natural development of events, experience disappointment.

Question: Khrushchev, as a romanticist?

Khrushchev already understood at the end of his governing, that he could not do anything, that the growth of economy was interrupted. There wasn’t any progress.

Question: Why did Brezhnev’s “swamp” arise afterwards?

The reason was the same politics, that is, there is no way out, no place to go. The best time that even now we still remember, is practically consoling and lulling depression. Yes, this was a depression, but it was optimal.

Question: And why does Andropov come about afterwards with the purpose of trying to bring everything back?

He does not see a different possibility. Here present is the striving to preserve the stable state, hold everything within borders of previous relations.

Question: And why does Gorbachev emerge with his Perestroika?

It’s because the developing egoism demands realization—it has nowhere to go, you can’t hide it, that’s why people tried to give it reasonable acceptable forms. If people want to advance, then they need to be given an opportunity to do so, otherwise everything will crash.

Question: Reasonable forms? What is that?

Think for yourself, how else can this be done?! Try to stop China now! If power possesses wisdom, then it will give people an opportunity to develop in those directions, where people desire and it will correct their aspiration. People’s thirst for power should not plague society, as it did Soviet Russia.

Question: From the point of view of Kabbalah, which leader is ideal now?

There isn’t any leader now. Most likely, it must be a man (a group of Kabbalists) that will be able to give people knowledge about the current world process, about that, what awaits them as a result. This leader must understand the situation on the level of laws of the Upper Governance. Besides that, he must have both the possibility of disseminating knowledge around the world, and power, in order to keep the world in a stable state, until this knowledge penetrates it.

Question: Why would humanity listen to them?

First of all, humanity will not have another option. Today’s means of communication are developed and centralized to such an extent that there is no problem in spreading a new idea world-wide within a period of several days.

Question: That is, a group can arise that will instantly spread the knowledge. And the main thing is to hear them, because people are already different.

Yes. This can be a philosophy of life. I will not even call it Kabbalah. But when rulers will understand that there is no other force that can keep the world from destruction, they will accept it. Today it is to everyone’s advantage.

Question: But after all, every nation has a different development.

Nations are connected to each other within one economic system. This is not felt during a regional crisis, but if there is a world one, everyone will suffer.

Question: At the same time the level of human development does not matter?

No. Today the entire world is connected economically. At the same time, politics are defined by economics. The entire world is one market, a mutual bank. Today, the world is already prepared to accept and perceive Kabbalistic information.

Back to top
Site location tree