What Lies Ahead of Us
V. Kyucharyantz: Dr. Laitman, most people think that Kabbalah is a secret Judaic teaching and they usually associate it with occult knowledge. How do you define Kabbalah to us, the unenlightened?
M. Laitman: In translation from Hebrew, Kabbalah means “reception” - the reception of special knowledge that every person can acquire. This wisdom was hidden. It originated in Mesopotamia, the territory of Ancient Sumer, 4000 years ago, in the Babylonian period. The founder of Kabbalah was an ancient Sumerian named Abraham. He discovered the ability to attain a part of the universe that is inaccessible to perception through our five senses. He was able to grasp this wisdom and pass knowledge about the hidden part of the world to his students. Abraham gathered a group of followers and since then, this hidden wisdom has been passed from generation to generation by a very small number of followers.
Really, it was always passed down in secret. A very narrow circle of Kabbalists existed during all times, up to our century. In our time the opposite is happening, Kabbalah is becoming revealed, humanity is beginning to have a desire to find out about it and study it because this knowledge can be very beneficial to us, especially now when the world is close to a universal crisis.
V. Kyucharyantz: Dr. Laitman, you began as a scientist in bio-cybernetics, meaning at the junction of two of the most promising sciences. What made you leave science?
M. Laitman: I had to leave science because it did not answer the question about the meaning of life. I hoped to find this answer in bio-cybernetics or in another field, or perhaps at the junction of some sciences.
V. Kyucharyantz: You call Kabbalah a science. However, doubt is the basis of all sciences and its consequence is experiment, replication of results and further development. However, if Kabbalah is an ancient teaching, then just as any teaching, it must be accepted on faith. Or does it have an experimental method after all, and does it continue to develop?
M. Laitman: Kabbalah is absolutely opposite to faith. It does not have anything to do with any religion or faith. It is pure experiment.
A person assimilates our world using his five senses and devices that expand the range of their abilities. In order to research the world that is not revealed to us in the five senses, one must simply develop an additional, sixth sense.
The sixth sense enables you to begin to perceive the hidden part of the universe and you study it by absolutely the same laws, canons, rules and replication of experiments. There is also a way to pass the knowledge from one person to another. These experiments can be verified and replicated many times in order to be convinced of their results. That is, absolutely everything is the same as in any other natural science, except a Kabbalist must first develop the sixth sense.
V. Kyucharyantz: Michelangelo wrote: “Can a mortal, who does not even understand how he comes into the world and leaves it, attain the harmony of the world?” As a person who has searched for the meaning of life and to whom the Upper world is already revealed in contrast to us, mere mortals, you obviously already know the meaning of man’s emergence in the universe, what purpose the Creator made him for?
M. Laitman: The Creator and nature is absolutely the same thing. It is the only general law that envelops the entire universe, both what is concealed from us and what is apparent to us. Nature created man so he will reach the highest state of his development, the highest state of nature itself. It pushes man towards this by influencing him.
V. Kyucharyantz: According to Kabbalah, man’s main gift is his egoism. This is his main attribute, his driving force and at the same time, the source of all evil on earth. Was it worth it for nature to work and create man this way only in order for him to correct himself, his egoism? Why could it not have made him altruistic to begin with?
M. Laitman: Really, the general law of nature is the law of absolute altruism. This is how everything in the world around us is built. If we read it, see it and observe it correctly, we will discover that with the exception of the realm that relates to the inner world (I mean the human in man), in reality, man is an absolute egoist. This is our matter, our form, and our attributes.
Why was this created? So man could attain his nature from his opposite state. By changing himself, he will learn the general law from nature, understand how all of nature is built, and ascend to the highest level of nature.
If we received this attribute from the beginning, we would be on the most primitive level. Perhaps we would have been corrected: instead of trying to conquer, acquire and use each other, we would do the opposite, we would bestow just as cells in the body, where every cell exists only to provide for the entire organism’s existence. However, we would not go beyond the boundaries of a mechanically altruistic, primitive act.
V. Kyucharyantz: But nature is extremely harmonious. Wasn’t it possible to give man this harmony on the same high level?
M. Laitman: Of course, anything was possible. But then humanity would not become independent, self-attaining, or developed. Humanity would not adapt nature to itself and itself to it. As well, humankind would not develop knowledge and great sensitivity, master nature, and the world. Humans would not achieve everything as they have now.
V. Kyucharyantz: The world today is swiftly changing, as if it is undergoing a phase change at a certain turning point. I once spoke with professor Kapitza. He thinks that we find ourselves in an unexpected process of historical compression that is causing a drastic change in development and conditions of people’s lives. The consequences of this compression are unexpected and scientists have difficulty predicting how the future will develop. Today we need to understand what awaits us. Does Kabbalah know the answer to this question?
M. Laitman: Yes. Kabbalah says that our entire existence, all history and all evolution over the course of millennia - are the development of egoism in us. The goal of egoism’s development is to bring humanity to the realization that its egoistic nature is evil and defective; to bring humanity to the state where it acknowledges this defectiveness and desires to get rid of it. By replacing its egoism with the opposite attribute, altruism, humanity will be able to understand the mechanism of the entirety of nature on all its levels: the inanimate, vegetative, animate and its own nature, the speaking level.
Kabbalah says that precisely this process of realizing its egoistic nature as evil is now beginning to manifest in humanity. Over the course of millennia we have gone through the following stages of development:
at first, reception of bodily pleasures: food, shelter and sex;
after this, social pleasures: wealth, fame and power;
and then the final stage set in: the desire to be fulfilled by knowledge.
After a person has tried to find forces in them self to become fulfilled by making their life maximally comfortable, they became convinced that they cannot achieve a stable state, and a person comes to the conclusion that egoism is the reason for all their misfortunes.
Everyone in the world agrees that if we were altruists from the beginning, then everyone would feel comfortable and happy. Now we observe discord in families and a world that is overtaken by drugs, divorce and suicide. A direct threat of humanity’s annihilation has emerged, the ecology is disrupted, and a crisis in science, culture and social relationships has begun to show. All this will lead to the fact that humanity will be compelled to begin to change itself. However, on one hand the problem is being silenced, and on the other hand, we do not find any forces in ourselves to help us do this.
This is precisely the moment when Kabbalah, having been hidden for millennia, is beginning to be revealed to humanity. It was concealed because humanity did not need it before. Kabbalah could only have ruined its progress toward maximal egoism, and now it is gradually being revealed to give humanity the opportunity, the instrument, and the means to correct itself.
V. Kyucharyantz: Humanity confidently treaded the path of technological civilization for the last four centuries, and it has lead to such stereotypes of consciousness and such a fall of morality that we simply cannot survive with them. Some scientists think that the 21st century will enter history as the era of great renunciation of many customary things, both in the field of technology and in the field of morality or conception of man. Do you agree with this?
M. Laitman: I think that the 21st century will really be an era of humanity’s inner spiritual reconstruction, a change of its values. Its attitude toward the world and toward itself will undergo a fundamental change. A person can do anything, and at the same time they do not receive anything in return. Therefore the most important question now that acutely arises before a person is the question about the meaning of one’s existence, the meaning of life. It will soon be clear that our social problems, drugs, disintegration of the family, terrorism, wars, hate between people and nations, and dissociation with your very self – all this will be rebuilt and reevaluated, leading to a life that will be much simpler and clearer to humanity. Of course, all social interactions will change. We do not have much choice in this matter: the next social regime and form of government will be either Nazi, or altruistic. It will be one of the two.
V. Kyucharyantz: Do you think that Kabbalah is the only instrument for correcting humanity’s spiritual nature? Do you deny Christianity, Islam or Buddhism of this? Didn’t these religions determine the path of our entire civilization and give rise to culture and people’s spiritual development? It is true that these things did not improve the world, but why do you think that Kabbalah will become the long-awaited revelation for the Christian world and moreover, for Muslims?
M. Laitman: And for Jews as well.
I do not make any distinction whatsoever between different religions. They are all on absolutely the same level to me; none of them have any relevance to Kabbalah whatsoever. I would say that since Kabbalah reveals precisely the inner, additional, concealed construction of the world to us, it can serve as the means to correct humanity. Look at how we act in our world: we reveal our world and attain its laws, meaning the natural laws of the world. As a result, we are able to use it more fully, enjoy it, mold and adapt it to ourselves.
We are discovering the existing laws that govern the world on the social level, on the level of our thoughts and desires. Our desires and thoughts are forces that we do not perceive; they cannot be measured and we cannot define them, but they influence the world.
If we gain precise knowledge of how every one of us influences the world with his inner “I,” why the world is so harsh and bad to us, why we fail to interact with it harmoniously, then we will discover many social, intra-human laws. However, in essence they are all one law, the law of universal altruism. In the end, we will see it and perceive its influence on us just as we feel the law of universal gravity, the laws of electricity, magnetism, corpuscular and other laws that we know, can correctly use, and understand how to employ them to interact with nature.
Kabbalah allows us to simply see and reveal the hidden realm of the universe, precisely the realm where we influence nature with our regular human attributes, our reason, thoughts and interactions. This way, we realize that our negative attitude toward the people and nature around us makes the world a bad place in the end and returns to us as an opposite force, multiplied thousand fold. Our evil returns to us multiplied. If a person clearly sees this, they will not be able to act negatively. This is why Kabbalah is a very precise (I would say a very harsh and fast acting) means to correct a person. It simply opens one’s eyes so they see: right now you are acting badly, you are thinking badly and you are treating others badly.
Religions cannot help humanity in this regard at all. No religions: not Judaism nor the religions that originated from it. This is because man invented them to somehow answer the question about why he exists. However, Kabbalah reveals this in a clear way. That is, it is a science that does not have any place for faith.
V. Kyucharyantz: We are talking with the view of having Russians find out about Kabbalah. Whether we want it or not, we have to take into consideration that the Russian civilization’s spirituality or culture formed under the influence of Russian Orthodoxy which originally commanded man “do not kill”, “do not steal” and “love your neighbor.” However, Russia has been detached from these moral commandments for nearly a century, and for the last fifteen years it has preached the direct opposite. Today we have what we have, social and spiritual poverty, a government that is heartless and cruel toward the people, and so are the people toward each other.
Do you really think that in these conditions, even though it may be very profound, nevertheless an ancient Jewish teaching about pleasure will help? Can you imagine a remote place in Russia being immersed in Kabbalah study, for example somewhere on Erofei Pavlovich Station? Would it not be better for Russians to try to return to their own moral values? Call it religion or anything you like, but nevertheless these commandments “don’t kill,” “don’t steal,” “love your neighbor” and others comprised a base for the Russian culture in the past which we have lost today.
M. Laitman: These commandments are already three thousands years old. In early stages of human development and in specific conditions, they were really able to hold man back from expressing evil and egoism to a small degree and only partially. However, egoism grows from generation to generation and in our time no religion or commandments can hold people back anymore. They are universally common to all humanity because they have one source. These are the commandments that were received at Mount Sinai: “don’t kill,” “don’t steal,” “don’t commit adultery,” and so on, but who observes them nowadays?
Who is able to observe them now with the egoism, the evil that is becoming revealed in humanity today? We see that this is absolutely impossible. The only thing that can help is knowledge, a clear vision of what is ahead of you: if you act badly then a reverse reaction will immediately follow from the side of nature, and it will be many times greater. Evil for evil is the only thing that can hold a person back. Only the clear knowledge that Kabbalah gives to humanity is able to hold it back. And relative to the primary source, it makes no difference whether we call it Kabbalah or an ancient Jewish teaching. Does this have any significance? You can call it the revelation of the hidden part of the universe that can be revealed today.
By the way, Kabbalah is not a Jewish teaching. It originated in Ancient Babylon. Abraham was also not a Jew, but an inhabitant of Babylon. If humanity today still has all sorts of prejudices, then these disappear after one becomes acquainted with Kabbalah. I have students all over the whole world who study, understand and immediately begin to reveal the essence of Kabbalah. They see that it does not relate to any religion, specific nationality or ethnic group. It is common property of all mankind. Ancient Babylon is the cradle of all humanity, and this knowledge came to us from there.
V. Kyucharyantz: I concede. Let us speak about pleasure, one of the central ideas in Kabbalah. The consumer psychology is also built on this, which is precisely the driving force of current civilization. It is the desire to receive more and more pleasures. People often acquire pleasure through other people’s suffering, and this psychology has already brought the world to a dangerous edge. We cannot avoid noticing the contradiction between this and Kabbalah’s assertion about pleasure. Does it not exacerbate the spiritual crisis?
M. Laitman: Our nature is the will to enjoy or be fulfilled (whether by knowledge, power, fame, comfort or peace). This is unavoidable. We can reason on this topic forever, but when we say that it is our nature, we have to understand what we should do with it. We cannot brush it aside so easily, simply by saying: “It is bad.” What does “bad” mean? I still cannot jump over myself.
Look at how you are sitting. Your body occupies the most comfortable position in the given circumstances. You changed your position, you moved, right now you scratched and you are propping your head up. You always automatically think, “how can I maximally enjoy?” meaning, how to be more comfortable. All of our functions are based on this law, including the cells, the brain, the mind, the mechanism of making decisions, and absolutely everything. You are built this way and therefore you have to know the precise law that is concealed from us and that you must abide by in the realm of knowledge about nature and yourself.
We should understand our relationships with the environment, with society, nature, and our will. Our body functions according to this law whether we want it to or not on the inanimate, vegetative, animate and speaking levels. The human level is the only area where we have to find the means for our “I” to be in correct contact with everything around us.
If a person realizes that he is an absolute egoist and his heart, will, reason and thoughts work according to this, then this is already a great accomplishment, great attainment, because he already knows the truth about himself. Once he achieves this truth, he only needs to ask: “Fine, I am a total egoist. What next?” Next, he must see that this natural phenomenon, which is clearly egoistic relative to the environment, causes him great harm, and then his egoism itself will say: “No, no, no, I don’t want this.”
For example, you and I smoke and we would like to quit, but we cannot find sufficient forces in ourselves. However, if you and I saw that right here, right now, smoking is causing the development of the most horrible illness in us and we already have this illness – if we clearly see that it has already begun to act - then we will not be able to pick up a cigarette. Our egoism will function instantaneously and it will not allow us to perform specific actions.
We must reveal the world to such a degree that automatically, freely and calmly, we will not perform any bad actions. It turns out that egoism itself will bring man to altruism.
V. Kyucharyantz: Kabbalah directs people to the Upper worlds of the universe. However, the majority of people today are concerned with physical survival. However, if altruism is the essence of the universe, then why doesn’t Kabbalah, which possesses this precious knowledge, help people and alleviate their suffering in our earthly world? If it has known the answers to the most important question for four thousand years already, why did it hold them behind seven seals for such a long time instead of improving nature, man and society a long time ago already?
M. Laitman: It is true that Kabbalah has been revealed to humanity already for four thousand years, and all this time there have been people who knew about the construction of the Upper world. Why couldn’t they tell others about this? Simply because there was no need, no one would have heard them. If you spoke about altruism 500 yeas ago, people would take you for a crazy person and laugh at you: one more Campanella, one more utopian! They would say this even 200 and 100 years ago, and even today. That is, Kabbalah waited for humanity to completely ripen so it would become possible to tell humanity about it and to show it. When people are internally prepared to hear it, they hear.
People who hear about it are those who want to. You say: “Man today cannot find any order in his life. The most important thing for him is to get through life in any way, to somehow survive.” When people lead a wretched, defective existence, when danger threatens them literally every step they take, when they are literally under the threat of annihilation; then, precisely in these horrible conditions, they begin to wonder about the meaning of life.
Today Kabbalah can and does speak with the regular person on the every day level. To no extent does it call him into the Upper worlds. It speaks about how he can become happy in this life, how to receive a good attitude from nature instead of painful blows. It speaks to all humanity in the most accessible language, without calling on it to attain the Upper worlds or search for abstract interest. No. It turns to humanity and says: “I will help you put your small life in order so that in the closest future you will perceive eternity and perfection. The passage from life to death will not exist for you; you will feel the eternal flow of life in you. You will feel your connection with the entire universe, with the general law of nature so much that there will be no difference to you whether you are in this world or the future world. That is, whether your current state is in the body or outside of the body. Everything will become a single world for you, and I will reveal the second part of it to you.” That is, Kabbalah turns to humanity and speaks to it “about life”. It does not narrate about some kind of far away, otherworldly or mystical levels. Kabbalah is a very realistic science.
V. Kyucharyantz: Today people with the most diverse professions and types of activities are studying Kabbalah. Can businessmen use Kabbalistic knowledge to advance their business and their activities in our earthly world?
M. Laitman: Unfortunately, no.
I am a representative of official Kabbalah rather than the street Kabbalah that is sold on every corner and that uses the name “Kabbalah” to sell different amulets, red strings, holy water, that promises a person success in business, a partner in life, and all kinds of success. By studying authentic Kabbalah according to sources that exist in humanity for thousands of years, you will not get a recipe of how to succeed in regular life by using our egoistic attributes and desires.
Kabbalah does not promise a person any attractive results in his regular egoistic life where he wants to get a better job, marry well, become wealthy quicker, acquire power, receive a well-paying position and good health. You will not receive egoistic fulfillment in response to your study of Kabbalah. Kabbalah waits for humanity to understand that humanity does not contain any means to miraculously create something magical for itself. There are no miracles in the world.
If you really want to understand the meaning of life and to see how to behave correctly, then in return you acquire eternity and perfection. You will have all this, but only if you do not ask, “How can I profit from this world?” Rather, if you begin to think on a higher level, “What can I give to the world?” and when you begin to give to it, you will be happy. Humanity will come to this, even though it seems very fantastic and unrealistic right now. Nevertheless, precisely egoism will bring us to this.
V. Kyucharyantz: Thank you. You have dispelled a stereotype of Kabbalah that has formed a long time ago. Your last words reminded me of John Kennedy’s words, “Do not ask America what it can do for you, but ask yourself - what can you do for America.” Nevertheless, we spoke about the fact that instead of being a secret wisdom, Kabbalah today aspires to wide revelation: centers are being created, books are being published, lectures are being given, and Internet sites are being opened. Did something change? Did a certain appointed day “x” set in?
M. Laitman: Yes.
When I began to study Kabbalah (this was approximately in 1977-78), I did not believe that the time, as written in the books, would come: that from the end of the 20th century, from 1995 on, Kabbalah would begin to be revealed to the whole world and that a great amount of people who are interested in it would emerge. I was 33 years old. In principle, I knew a lot about the world, but I wanted to find out more. I tried to attract many people to myself with the help of this knowledge, but there was no one. People’s response was: “Why do we need this?”
The Book of Zohar, written in 70 AD, says that in 1995 (the year is stated precisely), Kabbalah will start being revealed to the world without any restrictions. Before this time, it will constantly develop in secret and adapt to its time, and Kabbalists of every generation will take part in this development. At the end of the 20th century, Kabbalah will immediately reveal itself somehow and in turn, humanity will begin to have a desire to attain it.
I did not believe this, because this was completely unnoticeable even until 1992 or 93. I began to have students and friends who studied with me, but these were individuals - only a few dozens of people. Today, 700-800 thousand people who desire to attain this science are studying within the boundaries of our Academy of Kabbalah.
They represent over 40 nations of the world: Mexicans, Indians, Japanese, and many more. Our Internet site works in 20 languages and my books are published in 9 languages. We hold congresses in all nations of the globe, Lithuania, Russia, Germany, Austria, the USA, Japan, and in Chile. We have big groups of people everywhere who study and understand that Kabbalah is the science about achieving peace, joy, balance with nature, and it gives a person a great gift: the opportunity to become eternal and perfect, which is how he really is inside.
V. Kyucharyantz: Nevertheless, despite such a great amount of people who are enthusiastic about Kabbalah today, who understand its significance for revealing their spiritual world and generally attaining nature, you cannot disagree with the fact that the world today is shattered, divided between at least two value systems: Islam and Christianity. We cannot avoid this in any way. We see the manifestation of this conflict between civilization and religion in the form of global terrorism. What attitude do Kabbalists have toward this conflict between religion and civilization? And as you yourself have said, the Book of Zohar indicated the year 1995 even in ancient times; this means that it knew about the future. Are there any indications in Kabbalah about this conflict? How will it end? What awaits us?
M. Laitman: The question is very complex. Kabbalah has things to say about this. There are many Kabbalistic articles and compositions, which appeared mainly in the 20th century, that analyze everything that Russia, Germany and the rest of the world have experienced, as well as how we now have an opposition with the Muslim world. More precisely, I would say not even with the Muslim world, because nothing like this is inherent in the basis of Islam. This is terrorism, and it is happening out of despair. This is the same egoistic outburst as when you want to conquer the whole world and as a result, you feel your impotence.
Kabbalah describes future states in a two-sided way, because everything depends on man’s behavior. Two paths are outlined before us, beginning with our time and onwards. As we already said, the world developed in a simple way before our time. There were desires for bodily pleasures, meaning food, family, shelter and bodily joys – this was sufficient. There was also corresponding social and political information. After this, the following state was the yearning for wealth. That is when the corresponding information emerged as well as humanity’s yearning for this. After this came the thirst for fame and power. And, approximately over the last 300 years, the yearning for knowledge began.
After these main human aspirations have become exhausted and realized, man saw that over the course of all history, he still hasn’t gained anything. What enables him to see this? It is because we enter this world in newer and newer reincarnations or lives and this information accumulates in us, it is inside of us. This is why we are smarter and more experienced with every new generation.
Today we have come to the state when power, fame and knowledge no longer give anything to humanity, in principle. However, the perception of impotence and the desire to become fulfilled by anything at all pushes people, all kinds of organizations, groups and governments to perform all kinds of reckless actions. This is the reason for terrorism. If we fail in studying and disseminating Kabbalah, it is likely that Nazi regimes will appear in the main nations of the world, in developed countries.
Thus, on the one hand this will be Islam with its thirst for supremacy. I do not mean Islam itself, but terrorist Islam, its radical part. And on the other hand it will be Nazism, which will become manifested in all its might in the most developed nations of Europe, America and possibly, Russia.
That is, if humanity does not get hold of the means to achieve a good and normal life, if it does not clearly see and become clearly convinced of the laws that exist in the world, if it fails to understand that the harm it inflicts on itself is so obvious that it’s impossible to continue behaving so badly anymore - then it will slide down into a dreadful period. Kabbalah indicates this course of development, and even ancient prophets wrote about it. All this indicates that the third and fourth nuclear world wars may happen, after which literally several million people will remain from humanity, who will nevertheless carry out the program of creation. These people will include all souls. The important aspect is not our bodies or their number, but the souls that have to achieve the highest level of existence which nature has programmed. I repeat: humanity will come to this.
Kabbalah says that the end is the same; it is absolutely kind and good. However, the path to it - precisely at this moment, at this stage, when humanity has entered the current level of development, when it can choose whether it will advance along a good path or an evil one - depends only on the will of people themselves. This is why the dissemination of Kabbalah today (at least, this is what Kabbalists think) is the most important task to possibly somehow shorten, improve, and soften the period that awaits us.
V. Kyucharyantz: There were many secret societies in history, from Knights (Templers), the Masons and the Rozenkreitzers to “The Golden Dawn”, the Tulia society and Anenerbo under the Third Reich. Today, more and more people are asking, “Who really determines the course of events in this world?” We have sometimes heard the idea of a certain secret universal government that is pulling the strings and determining the course of events, whether it is one international conflict or another, political conflicts or other crises. In addition, it does this so the majority of people who have seen enough of this drama leave without having understood who the producer was. What do you think about these sorts of speculations?
M. Laitman: I would say the following: Kabbalah must be brought into the world by Kabbalists. A long time ago it became established that there always exists a small group of people within the Jewish nation who study it, although today this is no longer so. By the way, Kabbalists were in opposition with the nation, they always entered in conflict with the official religious circles, and the situation has not changed now.
All other nations have the subconscious feeling that only the Jewish nation possesses Kabbalah and conceals it from the rest of humanity. A person subconsciously feels: there is something there that can fulfill me, but where it is and how - is unknown. The desire to be fulfilled by the Upper knowledge is inherent in man’s very nature. People really think that Jews have some secret that they conceal from the world, and this is the source of anti-Semitism. This is completely natural. Kabbalah explains that anti-Semitism can disappear only when this knowledge becomes revealed to the whole world.
Nothing secret has ever existed in the world, no society or government. This is at least due to the fact that it is impossible to govern in our world. Today we can see how helpless all rulers are, and this has always been true. They were never able to do anything. They always acted and now act one way or another out of necessity. The laws of nature lead humanity forward and nothing depends on the government.
There exist specific laws of nature that govern us. Our task is to fully reveal them and correctly use them in life; it is completely irrelevant who is in power, whether it is Bush or Putin or someone here in Israel. Kabbalah says that not a single person in the world has control over anything at all. A person can exert an influence on the world only in one case: if he begins to exert a positive influence that corresponds to spiritual, Upper laws that descend on us. Only the laws of nature govern everything.
V. Kyucharyantz: What do you think: is there life on other planets in the Universe or are we hopelessly alone?
M. Laitman: Kabbalah says that nothing more than the still, vegetative, animate and speaking levels of nature exists in the Universe. The entire Universe is a practically lifeless space; there is no life on other planets. There may be life on primitive levels like “vegetative” and partially “animate,” but there is no other being similar to man in the Universe. There is no intelligent life anywhere else that has freedom of will and the possibility to correctly influence nature with its mind, desires and thoughts. There is only earthly humanity.
V. Kyucharyantz: In this case, what is a UFO?
M. Laitman: I think that this does not exist.
V. Kyucharyantz: Are universal constants and the entire universe the way they are because man exists? I am referring to the anthropomorphous principle.
M. Laitman: We exist in a certain closed space that we perceive with our five senses. If using the sixth sense we also discover the external space or more precisely, an additional dimension, then we will begin to perceive and work with additional forces that influence us and already begin to live with sixth senses. If this happens, all our problems and questions fall away.
We will understand why with all our current abilities, we are influencing nature incorrectly with our thoughts; we will understand how we can influence it correctly and enter an intelligent balance with it. Only this one law of general balance exists, the law of your equivalence to all surrounding nature. This is the most important law. This law states that as a human being, man must act altruistically and this allows him to come to the state of balance with nature. The science of Kabbalah is precisely the means to achieve and sustain this state of total comfort and balance with the surrounding world.
V. Kyucharyantz: Religion gives man hope that not everything ends with our departure, that there, beyond the boundary, we will encounter those who are dear to us who have passed away, our parents and loved ones. What does Kabbalah say about this?
M. Laitman: Of course, man’s life does not merely consist of his protein existence on the level we are familiar with. Man exists in his five senses and through them, he perceives the surrounding space; he perceives with these senses. We are a closed box that reacts to something entering it from the outside. We have eardrums and other sensory organs, and they are all built on the principle of balance in order to grasp a specific part of the world around us.
After our body with its five senses ceases to function, an additional, sixth organ remains in us called the soul. With its help we perceive the entire rest of the universe in its true form.
Man goes through reincarnations; that is, he exits beyond the boundaries of the perception of our world and again returns to the perceptions of just our world. Every one of us constantly goes through these reincarnations.
What happens when a person goes beyond the boundaries of our world? If he exits beyond the boundaries of our world as a Kabbalist, by acquiring the sixth sense, then even during his current life he perceives the entire universe and these invisible forces. He naturally perceives everyone living in our world and existing outside of the body, meaning the souls or the informational part of man. To a Kabbalist, there is practically no difference between the two. He sees people’s inner energetic part, the intelligent and feeling part that does not die together with the person.
Where do you think our desires are located? They are not located in the body. We can remove parts of my body and perform organ transplants, and what will happen to my desires? Where will they go? I can replace my heart or body, or anything at all. Nothing will change. That is, there is an informational part in us that does not depend on the body.
If a Kabbalist enters the level when he perceives and works with this inner part, then he feels the common flow of life of the whole universe and himself in these reincarnations. The passage from life to death ceases to exist for him. What does a person feel when he passes into a different energetic state? He feels the same thing a Kabbalist feels.
That is, he begins to really understand that the world is built altruistically, that completely different laws exist in it and that he should aspire to observe them. This is why he descends back to this world again, in order to achieve spiritual attainment in his next earthly reincarnation. This happens throughout all reincarnations.
Sooner or later, in one of his reincarnations, every one of us will eventually achieve the state when we will completely identify ourselves with the eternal part of us, the soul. When this happens, we will be able to say that humanity has achieved perfection and eternity. Any person can do this. Moreover, if you are hearing about this opportunity now, today, in this life, this means that somehow the Upper Governance has already brought you to it and you can achieve it.
V. Kyucharyantz: You allow for and agree with the idea of reincarnation and an infinite circulation of souls. However, does a person still feel his or her individuality in this energetic consistency when his or her soul leaves this world for another, higher, finer world?
M. Laitman: Of course. The soul is located precisely there. After all, what is our body? It is only a derivative of the soul. All of the soul’s parameters determine the body during its descent: how and where it is born, what attributes it has, what society it is in, what its state is, what education it receives, and how it will grow up. All of this is determined precisely by the soul. If we knew a person’s soul, we would understand why he is this way rather than another way. In addition, we would know how to help him become corrected, give him the correct upbringing, and so on. The problem of upbringing and growing up is humanity’s main problem.
V. Kyucharyantz: Many unexplainable things happen in the world. For example, I was always in wonder about the fact that films, books, paintings, and everything born by human fantasy, models reality in a strange way, becomes realized in it, and afterwards society suddenly remembers about strange coincidences. For example, we can look at the roles of actors. There are many examples of how a role placed its fateful seal on an actor’s destiny, as if it was repeated in it. Do you think the human brain is able to receive information about future events from one specific energetic-informational field? We might call it using Vernadsky’s term “noosfer.”
M. Laitman: These are wonderful questions. Academician Vernadsky’s hypothesis is correct.
The fact of the matter is that in reality, outside of the body, all souls are a single organism. In essence, this one Universal Soul is the only desire and the only thought. The Single Soul of absolutely all existing people is what governs us with the goal of bringing us (who are separated in this world by our bodies and our egoism) to the state where we exist in the external realm and where all our thoughts, desires and future states – the complete information – are located.
All forces of governance descend on us from there, and they elevate us to the level where we unify together into one whole by our altruistic desires. In essence, we are a single organism. The still, vegetative and animate levels of nature and all their forms are one single organism that is permeated by one altruistic force.
V. Kyucharyantz: English physicist David Bohm has a theory that speaks of the universe as a single fabric. If the world is a single fabric where everything is connected with and permeates everything else, then this means that my conversation with you can strangely influence, for example, the cyclone coming towards us from Scandinavia, the price of a barrel of oil, or the outcome of someone’s surgery. Am I going too far?
M. Laitman: What you are saying is absolutely correct.
V. Kyucharyantz: Will even words and thoughts soon be realized on the outside?
M. Laitman: There is no action, thought or desire on any level – the still, vegetative, animate or speaking levels of nature – that is not tied together in the single program of bringing humanity to its highest level of existence.
There is nothing accidental. An accident is that which is inaccessible to observation. The more we reveal the picture of the world, the more fully we become filled with the sense of its harmony, influence, complexity and at the same time, its single construction.
We see that when we do something in one place of the globe, we receive a reaction in another place. It is only that on our human level, on the level of our desires and thoughts, we do not yet realize how much we influence nature.
Absolutely everything in nature is interconnected. If the smallest change happens somewhere (and it can be even on the still or vegetative levels), it interacts with the general picture of forces in the single balanced system and evokes a change of the entire system. However, the most important changes are caused by our desires and our thoughts. They are the strongest means to change the world’s balance.
V. Kyucharyantz: If Kabbalah admits that man has freedom of will, then it does not allow for predetermination. I do not suspect Kabbalists of a tendency to make predictions, astrology and so on, but don’t they predict fate?
No one can predict the path that humanity will walk in advance, because this is its free will. No Kabbalist can say anything in advance. Kabbalists tell us about the paths that are possible in different cases of our influence on nature. But the choice of the path is unknown and unpredictable.
The only thing that is known from ancient times to our time is how humanity has developed. This is described in Kabbalah. At first our bodily desires developed, then the aspiration for money emerged, then for fame and knowledge, and finally, we are beginning to think about the meaning of life. This is more of a subconscious question about the Upper universe, about the place and world where we really exist. The entire 20th century is a time of unending questions. By the way, as a great scientist, Vernadsky also asked a similar question, as well as many others.
Over the course of 5000 years of conscious existence, Kabbalists have described what will happen, what formations humanity will go through, with total precision. This was predetermined because egoism was developing to the maximum level. Beginning from this moment on, people are beginning to ask the question about the Upper world: “How should we continue to exist? I cannot live in the boundaries of my egoism any longer.” This is when freedom of will already begins, and predictions cannot be made any longer.
There is only one thing: humanity’s goal of reaching total harmony with the general altruistic law of nature. But how will it reach it? This is when the problem of choice arises before us: what path of development to choose, a good or bad one? Either humanity will be punished like a child until it will finally want to make the intelligent choice, or we will wait until it becomes smarter on its own by seeing what kind of a system it exists in and understands that we cannot avoid developing correctly.
Kabbalists speak about these two possibilities, and unfortunately, the bad possibility is not excluded.
V. Kyucharyantz: We are speaking about Kabbalah, its age, and the fact that it was given as a ready-made knowledge of the highest level as long as five thousand years ago. At the same time, there exists a surprising fact: the priests of Memphis imparted to Herodotus that they had 11,000 years’ worth of historical records. They told him about the island state of Atlantis, which possessed the highest knowledge and technology. Other legends narrate about a highly developed civilization in Asia that existed 40,000 years ago. In both cases, everything was swept away by natural cataclysms. However, if we reached such a high level in several thousands of years of recorded history, can we not allow for the possibility that we are merely repeating a path that others had walked before us? In this case, the ready-made knowledge in Kabbalah acquires a more ancient address than what it says.
M. Laitman: To answer this question, I have to first explain the meaning of the world we exist in.
What will happen to us on earth if we achieve the level of eternity and perfection that Kabbalah describes? Will we return to our bodies again and continue our earthly existence? Will we again endure crises and cataclysms like the universal flood that wipe out life and are followed by the development of a new cycle, possibly, a repetition of our past existence? Or is this not true?
The fact of the matter is the following: if we achieve the highest level of existence (and we are obligated to reach it in the next 200 years or sooner), then our world disappears. We simply cease to perceive it.
What does “our world” mean? Our world is whatever we perceive in our sensory organs. It does not exist outside of us and it does not exist in the form we perceive it in. If we had different sensory organs, we would feel the world around us differently. If there were no sensory organs at all, we would not perceive the universe we are seeing today.
If we enter the level of perceiving the universe with our soul, then we will stop perceiving our world as such. It is because the five senses will disappear, we will not need them any longer, they will become suppressed by the sixth organ’s perception, (which is common to all and immense) and its experience. In this case our world, whose existence we imagine, will simply disappear from our perceptions. This is why it is senseless to talk about what will happen to it afterwards. Nothing will happen.
Our future existence will be realized on a higher level where there is no still, vegetative, animate and speaking matter in the form we imagine them. This will be existence in a completely different volume, in a completely different dimension. This is what Kabbalah says.
Repetition will not take place. It is possible that these repetitions really occurred on our small planet in the past, and that civilizations great and small have disappeared. Kabbalah mentions this very sparingly. History describes great civilizations, which although not spiritual, had achieved a similar level and corrected themselves to such a degree that they entered the spiritual state. This simply refers to periods of prosperity and downfall of some human civilization. Yes, this exists and has existed.
V. Kyucharyantz: What I meant was, as a science or wisdom, is Kabbalah the inheritance of that ancient knowledge?
M. Laitman: We do not know about this. A man named Adam who lived 5764 years ago wrote the first Kabbalistic book. It is called “Secret Forces” or “Secret Angel” (angel is the name for a force). This book is sold in stores even now, but it is very difficult to read. Abraham wrote the next book.
Where did they get this knowledge? Adam describes an ability or opportunity to penetrate through matter and perception of forces that stand behind matter. Abraham also asked the question about the meaning of life, he longed to find out why the world is built this way, meaning the still vegetative, animate and speaking levels of nature, and their states.
Abraham acquired the ability to see or feel through matter precisely thanks to his immense desire. He found out how it is enacted and what forces exist in it that connect all matter from the opposite side.
This is like the reverse side of embroidery: there is a picture embroidered with “X”s and on the reverse side you can see tiny strings interconnected with one another in a seemingly disorderly way. He saw the forces that connect the picture we see, and described this as his personal attainment that he did not receive from anyone.
Abraham had students. He sent a part of them to the East, and this is how Eastern faiths of India, China and Japan originated. We can find the same descriptions in the ancient Talmud. He educated another part of his students as Kabbalists and sent them to the West. From the Mediterranean, they passed into Israel, then into Egypt and so on.
However, there is no information indicating that this came to us from more ancient civilizations. I have not read about this anywhere, with the exception of speculations and hypotheses that Kabbalah does not confirm. Instead, Kabbalah says that this knowledge is accessible to anyone and everyone. Some people are quicker on the uptake than others. Some individuals in history achieved this independently with nothing but a great effort of will and a passionate desire to see how the world is built through matter.
V. Kyucharyantz: Please tell me about time. Physicists today view time as something integral, built like a landscape on which past and future events are laid out. How does Kabbalah view time?
M. Laitman: Since we are speaking of forces that influence the entire universe, we are using the notions of “reason”, “desire” and “information”; and we do not refer to bodies. This way, we should immediately agree that Kabbalah does not mention things that are in space, or space itself; everything is outside of space. Space does not exist as such. It is a derivative of our five senses. Imagine our Universe, take everything still, vegetative and animate out of it, and then look to see - what remains of it? What is the significance of this space and everyone inhabiting it?
I repeat, Kabbalah says that space does not exist as such. If it does not exist, then there is no movement of the kind we understand. If movement does not exist, then there is no displacement and consequently, no time. That is, the notions of space, time, and movement (these purely human notions) are used to help express everything that we study in Kabbalah.
We are built so that we have the perception of time, space and movement. This is also how we perceive the influence of the force we call “our Universe,” which shifts and influences us in a specific way. It is a derivative of our inner construction, of our five senses. When a person exits beyond what his five senses perceive and enters the sixth sense, he understands that time, space and movement do not exist. There exists only another volume containing just forces, information and desires.
V. Kyucharyantz: Since we feel time in our senses and perceptions, my personal perception right now is that I would like to continue this conversation forever, because it is extremely interesting to me. I feel that although there is nothing longer than time, nevertheless it still would not be enough to ask all of the questions I have for you. I have to simply thank you for the time you have given me and for your patience in explaining questions that are perhaps very simple for you, but very complex for me. Thank you, Dr. Laitman!