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I don’t Believe You

Talk of the Kabbalist M. Laitman, PhD, with a journalist M. Reider
May 21, 2007


M. Reider: I hardly know you and yet I am skeptical of you.

M. Laitman: That’s good, in this case the interview will be sharper and more interesting. Why are you skeptical before we even started? Is this just your attitude to life?

M. Reider: No, my attitude to life is extremely positive.

M. Laitman: Then why are you skeptical of me?

M. Reider: “It’s me who will ask the questions here,” as investigating officers say in the Soviet movies.

M. Laitman: Well, okay.

M. Reider: To begin with, please, tell us in a few words about yourself and your life in the past.

Some words about life in the past

M. Laitman: I was born in Vitebsk to an ordinary intelligent Jewish family of doctors. My parents wanted me to become a musician, but I managed to avoid it in time. From my early childhood, I always felt that I lacked knowledge about the life’s meaning and about the purpose of living in general. Actually, everyone asks this question as a child but then suppresses it.

M. Reider: How old were you when this happened to you?

M. Laitman: It seems I started feeling this since the age of four or five. This question has always been at the back of my mind and I felt a bit depressed because of it. For this reason I chose bio-cybernetics as my profession. It’s a science about the internal management of living organisms and their way of existence. Nothing else existed in Russia at that time. I didn’t like philosophy and didn’t believe in these purely theoretical things, but I believed in science.

M. Reider: Did you not believe in philosophy because it was the Soviet philosophy?

M. Laitman: I didn’t believe in human inventions which weren’t proved by practice at all.

M. Reider: I understand you quite well. My attitude to philosophy is the same. I just know that this isn’t for my mind, not of my scale.

M. Laitman: I see. So, I entered the Leningrad Electronic Technical University named after Ulyanov-Lenin (LETI). I later transferred to the Polytechnic University where I continued specializing in the same field, biological medical cybernetics. I entered the department of professor Akhutin and graduated from it. I worked at the Military Medical Academy, at the alpha object, and also in the Institute of Blood Transfusion. I was starting my career as a scientist. As a result, I gave all this up. I started feeling depressed because nothing fundamental was studied there. The people were occupied with studying inner mechanisms, that is what influences what inside a system.

M. Reider: This wasn’t the level of cognition which you aspired to, was it?

M. Laitman: This means that in these institutes people not only didn’t search for the answer but they simply didn’t ask this question. For this reason I decided to emigrate and leave everything behind. This was in 1970. I wasn’t permitted to do this, so from Leningrad I moved back to Vitebsk, then from Vitebsk to Vilnius. During those four years I wasn’t permitted to emigrate.

In 1974 I came to Israel with my wife and my two-year old child. Naturally, I had to seek employment immediately. I found a job at the military air forces. It was aircrafts service because my profession included medical knowledge including research of living organisms, but mainly electronics and electrical engineering.

In Israel I was certified as an electric engineer and worked in the military air forces for four years after which I resigned. My parents moved to Israel and I had to help them. My father didn’t know what to do, so we opened a dental clinic together. I was managing it, my father and several other doctors who emigrated with him, worked at the clinic.

M. Reider: Does this mean that you are an entrepreneur?

M. Laitman: Yes, when it’s necessary. At least I was an entrepreneur at that time.

M. Reider: And what about now, you aren’t you that kind of a person anymore?

M. Laitman: Now I’m already not.

M. Reider: Is it the matter of time or are you just occupied with anything different?

M. Laitman: Perhaps, it’s mainly the type of occupation. Whilst working in the military air forces I was constantly searching for where the things were in which I was interested in. I was pushed to different trends, religion. I tried to find something there and even to carry something out. I was told that this way I will start sensing and realizing it. After all, it was the Jewish religion. I thought that perhaps it was really worth trying. But this was not so.

Finally, the people who were educating me in the area of religion in Rehovot, where I lived that time, consulted with their teacher who said that there was nothing else to do but introduce me to a Kabbalist. They started setting up meetings with Kabbalists.

This way I got acquainted with people who really spoke about the things I was asking about. However, they could not respond to me in the way I wanted. All this was obscured and based on confidence in the original sources in what was written. But the fact that something was “written” makes no difference to me.

M. Reider: What makes a difference to you?

M. Laitman: It’s practice, which means distinct attainment of what one is speaking about. Can one show me this or not? Will the universe start revealing itself before me or not?

I have met all Kabbalists who were famous at that time till in 1979 after about five years of searching I found my teacher Baruch Ashlag by accident in Bnei Brak. When I found him, I already knew what I wanted and how to ask. Also, I already knew how people answered me and caught their style of communication. When I started studying with him, I understood that this was something absolutely different and really serious. I stayed with him till he passed away.

M. Reider: What did he know that all the others didn’t? If you don’t mind, I’ll be taking pictures of you because it’s my second profession. Do you mind?

M. Laitman: Not al all.

M. Reider: You are very expressive.

M. Laitman: What did he know? He simply answered a question without deviating or asking another questions. If he couldn’t answer a question, then he would pose a series of questions, and as I was delving into them with him, he answered the questions. This was certainly a serious process of studying.

M. Reider: Which questions did he answer?

M. Laitman: All the questions. These were questions about the meaning of life, the system of the universe, the system of management, freedom of will, and a person’s perception of the universe, to which extent it is absolute or relative. This meant that I asked them from a scientific point of view as well in a serious manner (to the extent they seemed serious to me at that time) to which he provided academic answers, which simply amazed me at the time.

M. Reider: But do answers to these questions exist?

M. Laitman: Yes, answers to these questions exist.

M. Reider: And can a person attain them? Is this possible at all?

M. Laitman: Yes, it is possible. There is nothing frightful in it.

M. Reider: I thought that it was under the supervision of the “Divine office.”

M. Laitman: No “heaven administrations” exist.

M. Reider: Are you a non-believer?

M. Laitman: I’m an absolute non-believer.

M. Reider: I am starting to see you in favorable light.

I don’t believe, I sense

M. Laitman: Kabbalah doesn’t envisage belief. It envisages cognition, attainment, revelation by senses and mind, by heart and mind.

I immediately felt this at my very first lesson, and decided to study with my teacher Baruch Ashlag twice a week. In a week I was studying every day. I moved from Rehovot but only when he permitted me to do so. At first he didn’t permit me to do this. I left the clinic, moved to Bnei Brak to be next to him and was his assistant until 1991 for about 13 years.

M. Reider: What does “permitted” and “didn’t permit” mean?

M. Laitman: I wanted to move immediately in order to be next to him and because Kabbalah lessons were from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.

M. Reider: Is it always like this?

M. Laitman: Yes, it is. Sometimes Kabbalists even start their lessons at midnight.

M. Reider: Why?

M. Laitman: Because at this time all the others sleep and it’s quiet. Evening lessons took place as well. During the rest of the day a Kabbalist has to work as an ordinary person. He should not live on anyone else’s account

For this reason all students of Rabash worked. I wanted to leave the clinic. It worked quite well, and I could agree with my colleagues so that I would receive a small salary and sometimes come in and manage the business. But Rabash obliged me to work, and I would go to Rehovot in the middle to the day. Only three to four years later when my parents finished work and moved to Canada, I dedicated all my time to him. However, I continued working, a Kabbalist has to work.

The lessons were from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. After that we would often to go to the sea or to the park. Then I would go home and work. From about 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. we had lessons again. This went on for over 12 years.

I led a lot of new students to Rabash, and we arranged groups. Only five elderly men had studied with him before me. In 1991 he died in my arms. I organized a new group and called it Bnei Baruch, which means “Sons of Baruch”, in his name. Since the formation of the group we have been studying according to his method.

M. Reider: Okay. If it’s a science, I repeat that I know absolutely nothing about it.

M. Laitman: It is called “the Science of Kabbalah,” Hochmat ha Kabbalah. It isn’t a belief, it’s a science. Anyone can study it, it is not necessarily restricted to Jewish or religious persons.

M. Reider: This science focuses on studying the universe, doesn’t it?

M. Laitman: It is the whole of nature including the part which a person doesn’t sense. It’s the most important part. The reason for this is that all the forces which supervise our world, the universe, people and the whole of nature aren’t sensed. They are as if behind the matter, inside the matter.

M. Reider: What are these forces?

M. Laitman: These are forces that manage the whole universe. They are a sequence higher than matter and for this reason a person doesn’t sense them with his five senses. This means that Kabbalah is the science about attainment of these forces, the network of these forces on which the whole matter lies.

M. Reider: Great. How does this differ from belief in God?

M. Laitman: Belief in God envisages that someone has told a person that the God exists and he believes. This piece of information told by someone becomes fact for this person. Here there is no belief and no unproven facts. What one says to the person can serve him only as a method which he has to check upon himself. With the help of this method a person reveals the part of the universe which is concealed from his five senses.

M. Reider: But, still, you don’t believe in existence of the invisible forces.

M. Laitman: I don’t believe in them, I sense them and see them, because Kabbalah…

M. Reider: How do you sense and see them? They are out of the boundaries of a person’s perception.

M. Laitman: The first thing Kabbalah does to a person is that it develops the additional sense in him. Then it starts teaching a person just like people teach children in our world how to perceive, sense, investigate with this sense this wider world which has been revealed before him, all its laws and processes with diagrams, charts and formulas. All these things exist in Kabbalah.

M. Reider: Does this means that every person has a possibility to reveal this “inner vision” if it can be called so?

M. Laitman: It’s just the matter of the desire. If it exists then it exists. If in a person there is the desire to reveal this general world, to find out what the purpose of his existence is, why and what for he has come to this world and these questions really make him restless, a person can simply get satisfied with the common earthy life. It may happen that the earthy life has no significance if he doesn’t know the answer to his question, “What is all this for?” If such a demand seriously emerges from within a person then he is ready to study Kabbalah. In this case it’s really possible to teach him.

How do people come to Kabbalah?

M. Reider: How do people come to you?

M. Laitman: It is precisely this question that makes them find us. It’s like a charge in an electric field, simply according to an inner potential.

M. Reider: Do many people sense this inner call and ask this question?

M. Laitman: If one looks at the history of development of humanity, the number of such people increases with every generation. Because a person’s egoism increases with every generation, a person’s egoism grows during his life and from generation to generation. For this reason every generation is more advanced than the previous one. Egoism urges people to progress. At the same time, the question about the meaning of usage of egoism and the meaning of its existence arises inside this egoism.

Our generation is the first generation in which the question about the meaning of life is rising on the mass basis. In Kabbalah, in the Book of Zohar which was written two thousand years ago, states that from 1995 masses of people will seriously start turning to Kabbalah in order to answer this question. The whole world crisis is connected with this process.

Our time is special

M. Reider: Our time is the time of many mass phenomena: mass culture, sects, mass delirium, mass everything.

M. Laitman: Certainly, it is a revaluation of all values. An analysis is gradually carried out now.

M. Reider: I don’t quite understand how this is connected with human egoism.

M. Laitman: The whole method of attaining the arrangement of the Upper World is above egoism. One has to rise above human egoism and start “floating” above it. The negative result of its development is aimed at urging a person to come out of egoism, and then he’ll be able to sense his nature. The reason for this is that the entire nature, except for human beings, is altruistic.

M. Reider: Is the nature altruistic?

M. Laitman: Yes, it is, except for human beings.

M. Reider: Sure, a person kills when he isn’t hungry, etc

M. Laitman: A person gets pleasure from sufferings of the other one. He wishes to use everyone for himself. It’s his ego.

M. Reider: In what things do you see revelation of growth of the mass egoism?

M. Laitman: The science of Kabbalah emerged in ancient Babel when the egoistic burst occurred in humanity for the first time. Egoism grew to such an extent that people wished to manage nature and to build as if a “sky-high tower.” This is the first thing. The second thing is that people stopped understanding each other. Allegorically it is said that a multitude of languages emerged. This is the first sign of the development of egoism. Kabbalah emerged at that time. It was the time when Abraham created this science.

M. Reider: Okay, great. But you refer to the Bible as a source.

M. Laitman: No, I refer to the source which was written even earlier than the Bible. It’s The Book of Creation ( Sefer Yetzira) written by Abraham. In ancient Babel, Abraham was the biggest worshiper of idols, he was making idols and selling them. And it was he who revealed this science, Kabbalah. He became the first…

M. Reider: Just a moment, I’m talking about the confusion of Babel. It is described in the Bible, true?

M. Laitman: Yes, it is described in the Bible as well. And there are lots of books which describe this. It’s Midrash Raba, for example.

M. Reider: Great. But you said that you’re a non-believer. How can you refer to…

M. Laitman: I refer to history. These are historical documents.

M. Reider: Are “the confusion of Babel” and “construction of the sky-high tower” historical documents?

M. Laitman: One can read in Herodotus’s works about this. I have a doctorate thesis on philosophy, so I had to study these things as well. These are historically proven facts. Besides, one can see this on the basis of Kabbalah—he can see what happens. Kabbalah emerged as a method of elevation above egoism in order to sense the forces, forces which stand behind people’s egoistic world. From generation to generation egoism increasingly reappears in a person on purpose. Actually this has to enable him to rise above egoism and to start sensing the hidden forces of the world.

The design and goal of creation

M. Reider: If I got you right, there is a certain intended purpose of a person and humanity. There is a certain design according to which all this functions. Is it so?

M. Laitman: Certainly. This plan is absolutely clear and visible. It is calculated by years: approximately when it is to take shape, by which parts, how many rises and downfalls humanity and, in particular, the Jewish people have to experience.

M. Reider: Does this design have a final goal?

M. Laitman: Yes, it does. This goal is to lead every person to the perfect and eternal existence.

M. Reider: Physical or spiritual?

M. Laitman: There is no such difference as physical or spiritual. The reason for this is that what one senses physically is just his present sensation of himself in his five senses.

M. Reider: You are talking about the eternal life, aren’t you?

M. Laitman: About the things which are above the matter.

M. Reider: Great. A human body is mortal. I’m just trying to understand what will happen. Now I’ll stand up and go away. Do you know why?

M. Laitman: Why?

M. Reider: Because I simply can’t understand you. I don’t think I can understand you. You know what? I don’t believe you. I don’t believe you!

M. Laitman: But I don’t make you believe me!

M. Reider: You don’t. I have conducted dozens, perhaps hundreds of interviews in quite specific fields. I tried to understand the interviewee and he was sincere. I don’t mean that you aren’t sincere, but now there was something in your eyes…

M. Laitman: It’s because I don’t know how to explain this to you.

M. Reider: It is some smile you have. It seems to me so, I’ve read something in your eyes this way.

M. Laitman: It’s because I’m trying to tune to you all the time, so that you could understand what I want to say. I tell you about what is written in the books. It isn’t invented by me. I don’t want to sell you anything.

M. Reider: Okay, deal.

M. Laitman: The problem is the following. If you tell me, “Put this on the table before me now,” but I won’t do it. In this case you will say to me, “Do I have to believe you?” You don’t have to believe me. There is a method which will help one start really sensing and understanding how the world rotates around him. This method is identical to the one used for studying physics and the other sciences. The difference is the person can prove what he reads definitely and experimentally. He can do this practically immediately without changing himself and his five senses. But here one can’t immediately prove this by an experiment, because at first he has to acquire the instrument of research. And he lacks this instrument of research.

M. Reider: Perfect! We have started talking about something different. My first question was about the subject of research and the second was about the instrument.

On the sixth sense

M. Laitman: The instrument of research is the sixth sense. This is the organ which helps a person to perceive everything not through the five animate organs of a body, but outside of them. When a person starts acquiring this organ—what does “acquiring it” mean? This means to come out of one’s animate egoism, to rise above it. This doesn’t mean to become a kind or a do-good person, as it may seem basing on some other analogies. Absolutely not. This means to acquire even greater egoism but of absolutely different quality. This means even greater desire, even greater possibility to absorb energy, information, everything.

When one comes out of his animate body, he starts sensing the world not as he perceives it being in a body, but rather as it is in reality, objectively. The reason for this is that if instead of a person were a butterfly or a beetle or a cow or a dog, then they would perceive the world through their sensors differently.

In order to explore the world one has to take some sensor, which is absolutely independent of him. This is what Kabbalah gives to a person. For this reason it is called “the science about reception”— Hochmat ha Kabbalah, about perception.

M. Reider: Reception of what? Reception of knowledge, am I correct?

M. Laitman: Lekabel means correct perception or correct reception. At first a sensor which is independent from a person’s body is created and he starts receiving information through it. This is as if a person puts this independent sensor out of himself.

M. Reider: You say that this was invented at the time…

M. Laitman: This wasn’t invented!

M. Reider: Okay, this was discovered.

M. Laitman: This was revealed by Abraham. He described this in The Book of Creation— Sefer Yetzira. Today we still study this book. He created the first Kabbalistic group of ancient Babylonians. Over the years this group increased and started being named as the Jewish people.

M. Reider: Were all the first Jews Kabbalists?

M. Laitman: All Jews were Kabbalists. By this, Jews differ from all the others, and nothing else. The only thing that makes them different from the others is because of Abraham, in this small group Jews started treating the universe and perception of the world differently. Jews had absolutely different world view.

M. Reider: This is the secret which Jews know, isn’t it?! Is this the thing which makes us Jews?

M. Laitman: Exactly.And this is what we have to give to the world, but now we don’t do this. And people hate us for this. The reason for this is that we simply have the key to happiness.

M. Reider: I thought that… But it turns out that the others…

M. Laitman: All of them are right.

M. Reider: It’s interesting! It was worth coming here! Now let’s drink. I won’t become your student. Thank God, I’m protected from this by my love towards the world.

M. Laitman: Don’t forswear.

M. Reider: No, no.

M. Laitman: Perhaps you’ll not become not my student, it doesn’t matter.

M. Reider: It doesn’t matter. I’m not a greater Kabbalist than Madonna.

M. Laitman: Madonna has no relation to the Kabbalah to which I’m talking about.

M. Reider: That’s what I’m saying. But the thing you are saying are starting to interest me. It’s because the other day I was talking via the internet with a young Russian woman who was drawn to the Jewish people. She told me that Jewish people were special. I couldn’t understand what was so special about us. I wrote her, “Perhaps we know something special as we’re an ancient nation.” It turns out that this is what you’ve just said.

M. Laitman: This is the only thing. By the way, philosophy also originated from Kabbalah. Johann Reuchlin, a medieval German philosopher, wrote about this in Arte de Cabalistica. He wrote that the father of philosophy, Pythagoras, translated the word “Kabbalah” into Ancient Greek with the word “philosophy”. I’ll show you his works.

M. Reider: I believe but all this is written by people.

M. Laitman: I’m saying that many things originated from Kabbalah.

M. Reider: How is this instrument created in a person?

M. Laitman: By tuning in. When a person reads a book, written by the author who senses beyond his five senses, beyond the errors subjected to, and who perceives the outer world, that is, the interviewing of the acting forces, and he describes these actions…

M. Reider: Excuse me, what book are you talking about?

M. Laitman: The Book of Zohar or The Tree of Life or The Study of Ten Sefirot. This doesn’t matter, it can be any Kabbalistic book which is written by a person who has attained the exterior universe. When a person starts reading it, he tries to as if reproduce in himself the model about which he is reading. Gradually his aspirations lead and elevate him above his five senses. And gradually he starts perceiving. It’s the whole system, a person starts sensing the exterior world and everything that happens around him, all the processes. Next everything is just like in a science. A Kabbalist works in that world just like a person works in the sphere of science in our world.

M. Reider: I am starting to believe that you aren’t a swindler, that was what I thought of you until recently.

M. Laitman: It’s a pity. Now it won’t be an interesting talk.

M. Reider: This doesn’t matter. Don’t worry, I have many questions in stock. Besides, I’m a professional as you are. At least, you believe in what you are saying, and undoubtedly there is a certain system in it. But is this knowledge so necessary for a person?

M. Laitman: Our entire earthy civilization and the whole process of its development exist with the only purpose, which is to lead an earthy person, as a result of all his incarnations, to the state when people will realize that they have to rise above themselves and enter the general coexistence of the entire system. Otherwise they will be forced to do this.

Our progress is dead-end and egoistic. In each generation, during their entire lives, people try to receive in themselves, to be fulfilled by something, but can’t do this. The reason for this is that in our world the pleasure and the desire mutually neutralize each other. A person wants something and the moment he gets it, he feels a small pleasure and it immediately disappears. And again a person has to pursue some pleasure, to try to receive it, again for that moment. The whole process of one’s life lies in this.

Kabbalah says that one can receive pleasure which is eternal by its volume and by its power, endlessly and eternally. This is only possible in the case when he comes out of his ego. There is no point in trying to receive anything inside oneself, because when pleasure gets into desire, it neutralizes it. Again one will feel himself to be empty. When he comes out of himself with the help of another desire, not an egoistic one but directed outwards, then he doesn’t include pleasure in himself, instead includes himself into it, into this huge field of forces.

For this reason the entire process of the development of humanity, which people call “progress,” everything is organized in a certain way to demonstrate failure of such way of existence. The present general crisis (depression, drugs, family disruption, terrorism, natural and ecological cataclysms), all this take place today precisely in order to force a person to start thinking about a possibility of another way to exist. Finally all forces of nature will lead and force a person to come to this.

Homeostasis or the state of balance with nature is what a person has to achieve. It is planned by nature in advance, to put a person in conformity with itself. The reason for this is that besides a person all the other parts of nature are in balance. Any cell of a human body is connected with the entire body and thinks about the entire body. It’s altruistic. If a part of a body is damaged, then all the cells immediately start thinking about this organ. Together they try to make it healthy. Each cell understands that it depends on the entire body. If any cell starts violating this principle, then its inner program gets spoilt. Instead of bestowing, it starts devouring the space around it. It becomes cancerous and dies. This is the egoistic principle.

M. Reider: Dies? Why does it die?

M. Laitman: Because it has nothing to take nourishment from, the organism dies, and the cell dies together with it. The entire nature is altruistic, the “I” of a person. His ego, his “I” is absolutely opposite to the general law of nature. For this reason all the forces of nature are focused on people.

Today people start revealing that the whole world is “a small village”. They reveal absolute dependence on each other: ecological, economic and at all the levels of existence. All the problems and all processes are aimed at making people realize that they have to achieve compliance with nature. This is what Kabbalah is doing: its goal is to lead a person to compliance with the law of nature, just like its still, vegetative and animate parts are in compliance with the whole.

Will our world exist?

M. Reider: How will this look in practice? How will the world look when Kabbalah wins?

M. Laitman: People will exist in the full volume of the universe. They will sense what nature senses. This means that they will sense their eternal perfect movement in full scale. They won’t identify themselves with their biological bodies via five senses. They will identify themselves with the sixth sense which is eternal and perfect because it’s equal to nature. Today everyone can achieve this.

And then a person looks at his body in an absolutely different way just like at a shirt, which one takes off and throws to dirty linen. This means that a person identifies himself not with the animate level, with a body, but with his corrected “I”.

M. Reider: It’s difficult for me to understand all of this. It’s because the body remains, it’s created as it’s created. Expressing this in a modern language, programs which manage the earthy life of a person in frames of his five senses are installed in his body. It’s my body, my hand, my hunger, my children, and so on. How will the world look at this in practice? Okay, a person is egoistic. No doubt about it.

M. Laitman: Do you want to ask if our world will exist in the same form as one senses it now?

M. Reider: Exactly.

M. Laitman: No, it won’t. It’s because a person will stop sensing it in such a form. He changes his sense of perception. A person senses everything which exists around him because he is organized this way. If he were organized in another way, then he would sense differently.

For example, now sound is emanating from someplace. It strikes one’s eardrum. What remains from it as it approaches him? And what if his eardrum is injured? The point is that a person draws a conclusion about this sound which has come from outside only on the basis of attributes and state of his hearing organ. This might be not a sound at all, but some action on his eardrum.

This means that everything lies inside a person. In reality nothing exists outside of him, only emptiness exists around him. All the processes take place inside a person. They are perceived by a person this way, and are depicted on the back part of his brain this way, just like on a screen, and no more than that.

M. Reider: Excuse me, some people base themselves and believe in perception by the sixth sense. For them this world is real, and they perceive it the way it was presented to them by the sixth sense. There are other people. And though the truth isn’t decided by majority of votes, people still live in their five senses have another perception of the world.

M. Laitman: It’s true for the present.

M. Reider: The world isn’t empty for them, experimentally they clarify…

M. Laitman: It isn’t experimentally. Every day experimentally people get more and more data, according to which one’s perception is purely subjective and one’s existence is purely subjective and depends only on one’s inner processes. Perhaps a person’s brain is crammed with electrodes and he’s made sense what he senses now.

M. Reider: It’s very likely.

M. Laitman: But people perceive this as life. Till one starts sensing what is outside, the inner world is absolutely natural and real. But when one starts perceiving it also from outside, then he starts understanding that it is purely a subjective perception of this substance. A person imagines it as his own “I”, as his body, as the surrounding world, as the matter at the still, vegetative and animate levels.

M. Reider: I recall recently an old story written by Stanislav Lem. The story is about two city dwellers who live in a village, one of them is a writer and another is a practically insane scientist, a cybernetician, as people would say today. This neighbor says to the writer, “Look, here in a shed there are ten black boxes connected by wires. Each of them is an artificial brain and each of them thinks it’s a personality. When I connect them with wires, they think that they are communicating and speaking with each other. This is a young beautiful woman and this is a drunkard. I can describe you exactly what she is thinking and what she sees standing in front of a mirror.” Is this nearly the same?

M. Laitman: It’s possible to say so. Today people reveal more and more interesting information on the subject that everything inside them is programmed to do and that everything exists inside them. A person is born against his will and not with such data which he would choose. He chooses for himself neither his parents nor upbringing, nothing. At the age of 20 he becomes seemingly independent, but there is nothing independent in him because everything is already predetermined in him from birth and by his upbringing, and he continues his life like this.

M. Reider: Yes, it’s absolutely true.

M. Laitman: If one goes deep into biology, he will also see that he has nothing, neither freedom of will nor freedom of perception or of behavior, etc. People are in a tough system. Till they don’t come out of it, they’ll perceive only this kind of reality. Nothing can be done about it.

M. Reider: But still, don’t you think that what Kabbalists do is the same impudence as the confusion of Babel?

M. Laitman: This is the only possibility to enable a person to escape from the miserable existence in which he now finds himself in.

M. Reider: It isn’t miserable. There is miserable existence, but there is happy existence as well.

M. Laitman: There isn’t.

M. Reider: Why do you say this?

M. Laitman: Because as the result our entire life, if one looks at it objectively (I mean your live as well), is a continual pursue for even the tiniest pleasures and fulfillments. Or it’s simply escaping from sufferings.

M. Reider: Yes, it’s so. And I love this!

M. Laitman: No, you love this because you can’t compare this with anything. All you have is a bit more of fulfillment and a bit less of it.

M. Reider: What do you mean by saying “you can’t compare this with anything”? What do you know about me?

M. Laitman: I don’t know you. You are an ordinary normal programmed protein creature. I know nothing about you personally. I simply know everything about the form of existence of this protein body. Nothing else is needed. From the viewpoint of Kabbalah this existence is really the most miserable, the lowest and the vainest one. For this reason today at the stage where humanity faces the general escalating crisis which will continue to escalate (it won’t get better, it may get worse), Kabbalah provides a person with absolutely new possibilities of entering the other level of existence.

M. Reider: When will Kabbalah win in the world? All this is written in The Book of Zohar or in some other book. It’s written that in the year of 1995 an outburst of egoism will occur. When will communism, excuse me, Kabbalah win? Name the year, the date?

M. Laitman: If we speak about the year it’s maximum is till the end of 6000 years. Today is the year of 5767.

M. Reider: Does this mean that we have not more than 33 years left?!

M. Laitman: No, 233 years. But this can happen earlier. And everyone can achieve the perfect and eternal existence individually.

M. Reider: What will the world look like? Will protein life cease? What will happen? Will the souls fly and will everyone sense anything? How will everything look in practice? Do you know that?

M. Laitman: That’s what I’m trying to explain, and I don’t want you to misunderstand me.

M. Reider: No, no, this is all very interesting for me, incredibly interesting.

Life without body

M. Laitman: Our world, which one perceives, is an illusion of the five sensors which is created inside man’s ego, this closed “box” with five holes, inside his entire egoistic desire. The whole program exists inside it. There are Reshimot, informational data which gradually evolve in a person and give him sensation of life, really like in Stanislav Lem’s works: sensation of life, sensation of communication with the other people, and so on.

I want to emphasize that everything I’m telling you now is taken from The Book of Zohar. This includes perception inside oneself and a screen which seemingly exists, like in a cinema, on the back part of one’s brain. I can show you the original sources which contain all these statements.

M. Reider: No, I don’t doubt you even for a second, I understand.

M. Laitman: As soon as a person comes out of this box of his body with his inner perception in five senses and starts sensing via his sixth sense, his perception of the world changes. At the beginning this perception is supplemented by a body, but then it predominates to such an extent that these five senses simply disappear. They as if join and become included into this new perception from inside.

M. Reider: Great. Will a human body exist after the year of 6000 according to your Jewish calendar?

M. Laitman: It won’t exist in a form in which a person senses himself and the entire universe does now.

M. Reider: In which way or form will it exist?

M. Laitman: In a form of forces and nothing else.

M. Reider: What is the force?

M. Laitman: It’s the desire.

M. Reider: The desire for what?

M. Laitman: It’s the desire to be fulfilled by the light. These two initial substances, the desire and fulfillment with the light, are the source or the origination of everything.

M. Reider: What will be the carrier of this force?

M. Laitman: There is no carrier.

M. Reider: Where will it be placed? Will it be a particle?

M. Laitman: It won’t be placed anywhere. This will be a force by itself.

M. Reider: What will happen to a person?

M. Laitman: Every person is a certain sum of various forces or vectors. One looks at a computer screen and sees a picture there. It seems to him that this is an integral picture, but in reality it consists of a great deal of vectors and forces. A person goes to the world of these forces, but not of pictures drawn on a screen.

M. Reider: Does this mean that a today’s person doesn’t have a body, but only his imagination?

M. Laitman: No, today we speak about what we tangibly sense. If a person pinches himself, then he’ll feel pain, this means that a body exists. But we speak about what exists in relation to our senses. If a sense changes, then everything will exist in a different way.

M. Reider: We’ve come to some blind alley.

M. Laitman: This isn’t a blind alley. Look at this as a biologist, how other creatures look at the world and how they perceive it. You’ll see that they do this in an absolutely different way.

M. Reider: No, no, I don’t mean that. Well, of course, I know. There is even a photo lens call “fish-eye” which means that a fish sees everything differently, within 180 degrees.

M. Laitman: Certainly. If not certain details of egoistic perception were changed in a person (in one perspective), when he tried to take everything, but if his perception changed completely, when he tried to sense something outside himself, outside his ego, then the world would change in a quality manner. It’s interesting to mention that this was written 2000 years ago.

M. Reider: This means that by all appearances, time doesn’t exist in the way people think it does.

M. Laitman: You see, you’ve said this yourself. How can a person detach himself from time and space? Compress the time into zero, what will remain? Some time ago people perceived the world according to Newton, what a person sees is what exists around him. Then people started perceiving the world according to the theory of Einstein, an observer brings in his own distortions into his observations and investigations. Hugh Everett developed this even further, there is a person and there is the world, and a person’s perception is something intermediate between his attributes and the attributes of the world. A person brings in his errors and, thus, perceives something average. Kabbalah states that the world doesn’t exist in reality, and a person perceives everything according to his own attributes. This is the next step.

M. Reider: But still, the human body is a carrier even of the sixth sense, isn’t it?

M. Laitman: No, it isn’t. Neither the human body nor its five senses are the carrier. It only seems to people that they perceive via eyes, ears, a nose or a mouth.

M. Reider: But this is no more than one of the hypotheses.

M. Laitman: Why? Remove an eye, instill en electrode, and it will give the same picture. What’s the difference?

M. Reider: But, anyway, an electrode is instilled somewhere.

M. Laitman: There is a custom and an established world’s view from which it’s very difficult to refuse, and a person senses that he flies somewhere in unknown direction. It takes time to collect all these facts and to start living with them. When a person studies Kabbalah, the gradual entrance or adaptation takes him from three to five first years.

M. Reider: I understand, but an interview which lasts for an hour can’t give this.

M. Laitman: Certainly, it’s difficult. But then a person starts seeing both of these states and understanding that they exist in reality. These aren’t illusions, a person gradually sees, controls and checks himself. When a person starts attaining these forces, he attains everything from a purely scientific viewpoint. He’s given diagrams, tables and formulas of interactions between these two systems.

M. Reider: What does “two systems” mean? Is that perception by five senses and perception by the sixth sense?

M. Laitman: Yes, of course. A person is explained how he transcends from state to state, what determines his earthy state, which thoughts emerge in him now and then and why they emerge and how his inner programs are launched. As a bio-cybernetician, I was astonished when I saw this.

M. Reider: You might get a false impression from my questions, but the point is that when I was young, I, as well as many other young people, was interested in the issues of faith, the universe, and so on. Sometimes this came to some obsessive states when I knew that some process was constantly going on in my head, while at the same time my life was a normal one of a Soviet working intelligent person. I remember that one accident happened to me. I wasn’t a religious person or a believer in the traditional understanding of this word, but still I used to interpret that accident (to some extent even now I interpret it like this) as “the divine afflation” or religious experience.

M. Laitman: These were your inner fluctuations, and nothing else. Everything is only inside a person. A person’s inner psychology evokes the lighter structures and he senses this. There isn’t any belief in any God. There’s nature. That’s it. Nature is single, constant and eternal forces. Gematria (numerical value) between the word Elokim (God) and the word Teva (Nature) is the same.

M. Reider: God is the nature, isn’t He?

M. Laitman: Yes, and nothing else. A person starts clarifying its upper layer, which the Kabbalists show him and to which they can direct him.

M. Reider: In engineering and science there are such things as voltmeter, ampere-meter and other devices.

M. Laitman: They were created by people.

M. Reider: No-no, wait, what do you utilize?

M. Laitman: Only this sixth sense.

M. Reider: What are you doing, properly speaking? How do you sense the universe?

What a Kabbalist is engaged in?

M. Laitman: I sense the forces which probably exist outside of me, but I can’t sense them outside of me. I sense the forces that enter my sixth sense. I can’t sense them outside it. Anyway, I remain restricted in this. I don’t talk about the universe in the abstract, I can talk only about the universe which I attain.

M. Reider: Does this mean that you’re occupied with attaining the Universe? Is this the subject of Kabbalah?

M. Laitman: Yes, but it’s the real attainment, which means that a person is led to the new level. It isn’t philosophy with it’s a purely theoretic conceptions. With the help of Kabbalah a person enters the level of total volume of the universe, and it becomes the level of his existence. If a body dies, then he perceives this simply as if some layer of sensations, the lowest one leaves him.

It’s just like a person when he’s still an animal (it’s clear that we’re animals), cuts his nails and hair and doesn’t sense that he loses anything, because this is the vegetative level of his body. A person doesn’t sense that removal of this lower vegetative level (in comparison with his animate level) is painful or that it’s loss of anything. Similarly a person, when he rises to the upper level, doesn’t sense any loss of his animate level when it passes away, it’s as if a nail is cut.

M. Reider: But a person also has his corporeal existence, he has his children and relatives. What happens to them?

M. Laitman: All this is perceived as forces, but not as corporeal bodies. This is perceived within the process of the common timeless existence. A person senses why he was connected with them and why he is connected with them now. During this entire flow of eternal existence he doesn’t relate to them in their earthy appearance.

M. Reider: Really? My head isn’t created for what you’re talking about.

M. Laitman: You don’t say so! I’ve already sensed you. It’s just on the contrary. It only seems to you.

M. Reider: You know, I love the corporeal life and don’t want anything else. It’s true, I really don’t want it.

M. Laitman: I’m not going to persuade you.

M. Reider: Thank you.

M. Laitman: You understand everything yourself. I’m just saying that disposition to this is clearly expressed inside you. You try to suppress it by using some technical means and to restrict yourself into some more reliable platitude.

In reality when a person starts studying Kabbalah, he starts feeling such confidence that what it teaches is true! This is because it starts confirming all the facts he knows. It starts integrating all the facts in the world into such general picture that a person is simply astonished with this integrity of nature, which it starts showing to him. A person starts understanding how everything interacts with each other.

M. Reider: Does it make you feel good?

M. Laitman: This is the highest pleasure that a person has, attainment of the volume of the world which he exists in. There are different levels of desires. The desires of the body or animate desires are the desires for food, shelter and sex. Next follow the human desires, which emerge under the influence of the society: wealth, power, fame and knowledge. Knowledge is the highest level, of course, here mere technical knowledge isn’t meant. They give to a person the most complete sensation of himself, of his “I,” of his triumph and power over everything. This gives such fulfillment!

It isn’t random that 1,300,000 of people all around the world study within the frames of our Internationa lKabbalah Academy. We have students in Nigeria, Russia, Australia, South Africa and South America, there are lots of Arabs, Italians, Germans. They are sincerely interested in this knowledge.

M. Reider: Yes, I understand that people believe in all this.

M. Laitman: We don’t “catch” ordinary people, we “catch” those who live with the question about the life’s meaning and their place in the universe who are interested in this, for those we want to make the path shorter.

M. Reider: Yes, it’s clear. I still want to tell you about one experience I had. I call it “the religious experience” because people who have experienced it called it so in various sources of various periods, from Joan of Arc to the sources of 19th-20th centuries. I have compared these experiences according to the scientific approach, which is called “according to transitivity.”

I was quite young, probably 21 years old. For a Soviet young man it wasn’t much. If you remember, Jewish young men were quite infantile in the Soviet Union, and I wasn’t an exception, although I already worked among the working people, had an access permit, and was going to emigrate.

Once I fell asleep and had a dream that I was wandering in somelabyrinth (hello from Freud) and couldn’t come out of it. And I heard the voice speaking, “You know where the exit is, but you’re afraid to confess this to yourself.” At that moment I woke up. My brother and I slept in one room, and he told me that I was groaning in sleep. When I woke up and had a sensation that the one who was talking to me in thick darkness was next to me, sitting there. I didn’t see, but knew that the source of the voice was there. I fell asleep calmly afterwards.

I woke up in the morning and recalled that this thing occurred. Some joy, happiness or joyful knowledge, with which I wanted to share. It filled me and I knew that this it was necessary to do this. These were as if fluctuations, or whatever this might be. One of my friends who worked in the Institute named after Behterev told me, “When a person hears voices, this means the start of schizophrenia. If this happens again, tell me”.

However, as it seemed to me that time and as it seems now, in a moment I understood that there was a source of love, and why one should be a good person, but not bad, and all those things. I wanted to bring this knowledge to the others. It was such joy with which one can share and it’s inexhaustible.

For example, a person was somewhere on vacation and now tells everyone, “Wow, it was so amazing!” He has told about this three times, and that was all. This had become boring even to him because his impressions had disappeared. While this joy was as if eternal, it was great happiness as if it were some extremely important knowledge.

It’s probable that this was some very important (and perhaps it’s impossible to say “the last one,” but by now it’s so) experience of communication with I don’t know what. Perhaps these were my own fluctuations.

M. Laitman: With your subconscious mind.

M. Reider: This might be everything, but at that moment I understood a lot. I clarified many things which I’ve read and heard and about which people talked. Moreover, when I listen to and look at many religious people here, I realize that I know what they don’t know even though they were born there, in Bnei Brak or in some similar place, and are here from their childhood. It seems to me they don’t know the most important thing which I know.

For this reason I treated you suspiciously at first. Now I don’t treat you this way because I now understand that you aren’t a swindler, but a person who believes in what he says. I don’t know why but I simply wanted to tell you about this (perhaps I had to start with this) so that you understand that these things aren’t alien to me.

M. Laitman: What happened to this voice later on?

M. Reider: This voice didn’t come back and I didn’t fall ill with schizophrenia. That is the first thing. The second thing is that I’ve reached some balance. Since that time I didn’t have any religious obsessions. I never felt any need to learn in this sphere more than I know now.

I do what is interesting for me at my level. I’m a journalist and a photographer and I’m interested in people as they are. It is probable that the Upper knowledge which you’re talking about is a wonderful thing, but at the moment I sense no need to come to you and to listen to your lectures.

M. Laitman: This means that during your whole life you have a very healthy instinct of self-preservation.

M. Reider: No doubt about it. It’s very strong, if I’m still alive and didn’t go mad.

M. Laitman: That’s good. But, anyway, you’ll be led to this. If not in this life then in the next one.

M. Reider: Perhaps. One more question. I was told about one occasion which happened several years ago, if I’ve got it, you didn’t allow one of your students, a musician, to go to study in England.

M. Laitman: On the contrary, I encourage everyone to be engaged in their profession. I have students who play in American orchestras, and there are lots of actors among my students. Sasha Demidov has been studying with me since 1991 when I just arranged the group. Arkady Duhin studies with us, and many others. Did I forbid anybody to study?

M. Reider: I understood this from one of my friends whose daughter plays in one band with your student. I was told that Rav told this person that it was too early to go.

M. Laitman: I think that everything was just on the contrary! To England? Perhaps to America? We have a student there, Gerchikov, he’s a violinist.

M. Reider: Is he in America?

M. Laitman: Yes. Do you know him?

M. Reider: Of course I do, I’m speaking about him.

M. Laitman: On the contrary, he wanted to stay here.

M. Reider: Really, did he?

M. Laitman: I insisted that he went. Now he’s here, has come for a while. I saw him today at the lesson, he’s eager to come back. I tell him, “No, you have to reach a good professional level”.

M. Reider: Really?

M. Laitman: Of course! Kabbalah makes a person work. He has to realize himself at both levels in this life.

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