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Tal Asher’s Interview with Rav Michael Laitman, PhD

Bnei Baruch, Tel Aviv
February 28, 2006

T. Asher: Greetings. We are meeting today to interview Dr Michael Laitman. We want to discuss what happened in Arosa and find out what the World Wisdom Council is. How did you become involved with it? Can you give us an introduction to it?

M. Laitman: I have studied Kabbalah for about 30 years. This science studies the general structure of the Universe, which includes the world that we see and feel with our senses as well as another part that our senses do not perceive. We investigate the latter directly, by using additional instruments. In principle, my profession is bio-cybernetics, cybernetics in general, as well as the theory of knowledge and philosophy, all of which I have studied. Together with Kabbalah, these studies comprise one whole.

It turns out that the field of philosophy comes from Kabbalah. The famous German philosopher Reuchlin and mathematician Leibniz both wrote about this. They also studied Kabbalah and describe it in their writings. I can show you these sources afterwards.

Kabbalah does not just describe the structure of otherworldly realms in general, but it mostly describes how they influence us and our world, meaning it describes the forces that govern our world. These are not physical forces that we can discover using our senses or instruments that we develop. They are forces that our regular instruments and senses cannot grasp or perceive.

Nevertheless, this is a science and I have written many books about it. Our organization is a worldwide scientific, educational center with a huge system devoted to disseminating and studying it. We provide instruction in twenty-seven languages and publish books in eleven languages. As a result, this activity is obviously noticeable in the world, including in the scientific world. It is because Kabbalah is studied in approximately 1700 departments in Europe and America. Specialists are very interested in it, especially in the real or authentic Kabbalah as opposed to other things that go by the name “Kabbalah,” such as lucky amulets, pills that are supposed to help a person, and other things of this kind.

I often participate in American universities’ lecture series, which includes international conferences with scientists. I am a member of the international organization called “the World Wisdom Council.” We met in Tokyo very recently, in December. In February, we met in Arosa, Switzerland, and in a month we will meet again in Düsseldorf, Germany. After that, we are planning our next gathering in Toronto, and after that probably in Israel, at our place.

In other words, we constantly socialize and gather more diverse and qualified scientists around us, who begin to participate with us depending on the theme of the conference. In principle, we work on different themes, but in general they are all directed towards finding a solution to the global crisis that humanity unwillingly finds itself in. We want to somehow find out what its source is, the ways it can be resolved, and what states humanity can reach in the future.

T. Asher: This is exactly what we wanted to ask you: on what basis did you conclude that the current threat to civilization is different from previous threats?

M. Laitman: It is because there was no threat in the past. The threat to civilization is not a cosmic threat. Do you see any asteroid flying at us? In principle, lately we are even discovering that the threat is not ecological, which is what we thought before, nor is it demographic, like we thought in the decades when people fearfully expected Malthus’ predictions and demographists agreed with him.

In reality, the problems of ecology, demographics, and the tension that is currently emerging between civilizations are menacing. However, the actual problem is on a completely different level than these problems, their occurrence and the solution to them. That is, we perceive the problem on the earthly level, but the solution to it is completely different and on a much higher level.

Therefore, the crisis does not lie in the fact that menacing changes are happening, such as the crises in science, ecology, and demography. There is also the general lack of understanding of how to act towards the world and society from our current state forward. Today, any serious monetary or economic planning program cannot be projected ahead for many years as we once did. In the past, planning for 50 years in advance was normal. Over time this was reduced to 20, 10, 5, and finally to just one year. Today it is no longer possible to make such plans.

T. Asher: Why?

M. Laitman: This is because the whole system is out of our control. We do not understand how it can develop further. Firstly, everything changes so quickly; professions and technologies change, and the whole world changes. It turns out that the world is interconnected and therefore interdependent; everything influences everything else. On one hand, we are discovering that we are very tightly interconnected and interdependent; and on the other hand, we cannot live together in peace, reach any agreement or compromise on any issues, nor find a “golden middle” between us.

This is happening to a person with regard to his family; there is a crisis in the family unit. As well a person experiences this internally within himself, causing the problems of depression, drug abuse, alcoholism and many others. Social distinctions become problematic. We are forced to be seemingly together; integration seemingly connects us and stuffs everyone into one small village as if into one room. However, we cannot live in peace and harmony within ourselves, and even more so with others.

In other words, human egoism has increased, exponentially exploded so much that together with so-called globalization and the feeling of interdependence, we find ourselves in a dreary situation. We do not know how to deal with all of this. This is also true for our search for a solution. In the past, even as recently as two or three years ago, we considered that perhaps a solution existed on the level of ecology, society, or demography. We thought that perhaps we could help the starving nations or regions, but today this is no longer workable.

We now understand that all of this is completely unproductive and does not lead to the Goal. Moreover, this even directs us against it. By helping the suffering population, you raise people who hate you because you put them in the position of being the ones who receive from you, depend on you and so on. Education does not give us anything either. In principle, the world does not need people today, whether educated or not. One person can feed thousands. One person today produces such a great amount of merchandise and everything else that we simply do not understand how to act in this new world.

In addition, the latest scientific research of all previous phases of our development (meaning our understanding of nature, society, and this whole tendency) points to the likely solution existing on a much higher, Upper level compared to the methods which we currently possess. The solution is not on the level of governments, family relationships or social changes. Big money will not help here. In principle, only one thing can help. We are reaching just one single conclusion: that in principle, only some kind of instrument of agreement between people can help here. This is the crisis.

Humanity has never faced this problem before. Meaning, people have solved this problem with war, peace, monetary grants, compensation, and other things. They were somehow able to solve it using these purely normal, technological, technocratic means. However, today we are discovering that all of this is ineffective. Instead, we have to increase respect, love, and the importance of others to us. We have to consider others as our fellow travelers on the path, our fellow-countrymen, inhabitants of the Earth, and simply consider them our loved ones, as one family on one small globe, and so on.

That is, we clearly see that things are moving in this direction, but we are not ready for this internally, in the ethical and moral sense. Moreover, not only are we not ready, but our egoism also begins to control us so much that it takes away our reason. That is when even regular systems of prevention, logic and diplomacy no longer work. There are people who now understand the problem, who understand that, in principle, the problem or crisis is a person’s relationship with himself and the world rather than a crisis in science, ecology or anything else. People who understand that it is an internal crisis are looking for a solution. This solution is not to be found in our philosophies or in the systems of social sciences we have built.

This is why today we are turning to different teachings, the natural and ancient teachings that contain great wisdom and that were somehow forgotten or unnoticed throughout past centuries, especially during the last few centuries of technological development. In reality, we hope to find the solution to these problems there, in these ancient teachings or wisdoms. Sometimes we cannot call them “sciences” from our point of view, meaning from the point of view of modern science. This is because they do not accurately fit our empirical system, such as the ability to perform a precise experiment using certain devices. Instead, this way to penetrate nature is based more on feeling; it is when we perceive it directly, perceiving its forces and influences. Perhaps we can become “psychic” in some sense, although this word has recently undergone a very negative use that has completely distorted its meaning.

One of these ancient sciences is Kabbalah. It is the basis of many sciences, even our modern philosophy and ethics. This is proven by ancient sources, documents and writings of ancient philosophers as well as philosophers and scientists of the Middle Ages, beginning with Plato and Aristotle, then Newton, Reuchlin, Leibniz, and up to our day. Therefore this science is attracting a lot of attention today. And this is not the type of attention caused by mass-consumerism because Kabbalah does not offer miracles, or how to control your destiny, change something, cast spells or cure people. Kabbalah does not include any of this.

Firstly, Kabbalah is the sheer revelation of the structure of the world to a person. Meaning, it is a science about the perception of the world, about how we understand the world and objectively perceive it without distorting it with our feelings, thoughts and desires.

Currently a significant circle of international scientists is paying attention to authentic Kabbalah. When I give presentations at these international congresses, people are happy to listen to me and I find many interested listeners.

T. Asher: It is clear that scientists listen to you. Generally, every person lays out his concept and other scientists listen to him. This is customary in philosophy. However, I have a life-related T. Asher: do we have to change our current way of life? If yes, then does every person have to change as well?

M. Laitman: Kabbalah says that before anything else, first of all we have to understand what kind of a world we live in. Who are we? What is the world around us? How are we interconnected with it? Generally, what is existence before birth and after death, beyond a person? What would exist if I did not observe that which seems to exist? What exists when there are no people who observe it through their eyes, ears and other senses? How would it appear? Relative to whom would it appear? How? First, we simply have to understand where we are and what we are.

Of course, a person changes after understanding and delving into this whole picture (and this is generally what our reality today is forcing us to do). However, these changes happen inside of him because his inner awareness increases. He ascends and identifies himself with something more global that is beyond time. A person begins to see the eternal flow of nature and all of his transformations, including ones that are beyond his current short life. Of course, his opportunities and values change, and according to this, he obviously behaves and feels differently. This does not relate to regular life, where he remains a normal citizen and family member, for example, as a father if he is a man. He works and lives normally, but his attitude towards himself, others around him, and the world, naturally changes. This happens from the inside, and it never happens forcefully, but rather willingly, due to his better understanding of the world.

T. Asher: How does this change happen? What does he do?

M. Laitman: He does not do anything. This science simply says that a person has to figure out what he is and where he is. Nothing more. Based upon this, everything else happens within him to the degree he attains. Meaning, first of all, this science is about attaining the world, the universe. This is the most important thing. And then based upon this, everything else is addition. Meaning, a person’s attitude towards himself, our world, our sciences, the arts, people, our actions, and the structure of our life will change; all of this will appear differently to him.

T. Asher: You talk about the development of egoism in your presentation. What is egoism or egocentrism and why do we have to get rid of it? I will state the question more precisely. You said that egoism increased namely recently. However, we usually think that egoism is decreasing. Throughout the thousands of years of Kabbalah’s existence, people seemed to act very egoistically; nations conquered and annihilated one another, and people generally agree that this was precisely a clear expression of egoism. However, you say the opposite, that this was the beginning stage of egoism and that it is increasing. What is increasing exactly? That is, how does this manifest in the modern world?

M. Laitman: Primitive people or ancient nations fought each other in armed battle, annihilating about 100,000 people in one day of war. However, today all of this is being done through different methods. Naturally, perhaps these methods are not as bloody and perhaps they even have much smaller human losses. This does not indicate great or small egoism. We do not use the word egoism to denote people’s relationship to one another, but rather we use it to mean a person’s resistance to connect with other people into one whole. This is called egoism, in principle. Altruism is the opposite, it is a movement a person makes inside himself, in his heart or desire; it is an action he makes to perceive others as a part of himself. In principle, this is what nature demands of us.

Nature is altruistic and absolutely kind. Maybe we do not see it this way, but that is another topic for a different discussion. Nature is absolutely altruistic and loving, and it created life. Since nature relates to us this way, it demands us to be in balance or in homeostasis with it. We will suffer until we reach it. This means that altruism is movement towards this, agreement to reach balance and harmony with nature, while egoism is opposition to it.

Therefore, perhaps our earthly definitions of “egoism” and “altruism” are not completely suitable for this. That is, their definitions have to be precisely aimed at unifying with the common law of altruistic nature, instead of simply one person’s good or kind attitude to another. If his attitude is simply good or kind, perhaps we will see a good world that is full of good ideas and even actions, but ultimately, it will keep worsening for some reason.

Therefore the only altruistic actions a person can make are actions that are consciously directed towards unifying among ourselves so we become completely equivalent to the single law of bestowal, the only law of nature.

T. Asher: For example, a primitive tribe or person had to unify with others like him according to some laws of nature, for as long as it benefited him. The tribe did not unify further into greater groups of people because they did not need it. This group lived in harmony with nature.

M. Laitman: I would put it differently. A person naturally develops because his egoistic desire develops. I think everyone knows and understands that the mind develops next to the desire, in order to achieve the desired thing. Therefore, in principle all human development is based on economy. If a small family was able to feed and protect itself, then it remained small. If it couldn’t, it had to become greater. Different societies naturally developed with the development of technology, such as the development of food production, arable land, animal husbandry, and the ability to tame and breed animals. However, these things are not exactly based on love and friendship, rather they come from economic prerequisites.

T. Asher: Let us address the topic of the necessary degree. You distinguish people’s conscious altruistic attitude towards one other from the case when this attitude is compelled, when life simply forces them to have it.

M. Laitman: I am speaking from the point of view of Kabbalah. We can argue about it and try to convince one another, but my answers come from the point of view of a Kabbalist who narrates the history of humanity from his point of view. From the point of view of Kabbalah, humanity’s history appears to be a purely economic history, meaning it is based on man’s desire to develop, his natural desire to fulfill himself, enjoy, achieve safety and fulfillment. This desire always increases in him. This is what makes us different from animals.

Animals do not change during their lives or from one generation to the next. In contrast, a person changes during his life. When he is born, he is insignificant, small and weak, but he becomes strong and intelligent when he grows up. An animal does not undergo this process. Rather, it always stays practically on the same level. It already has the same attributes that an adult or a dying animal has just a few days after being born.

So what develops in a person? His egoism. It constantly increases. Egoism brings forth pressure in a person, a necessity to fulfill it. This necessity dictates a person’s entire development, means of work, defense, attack, and so on. All of this is balanced by and comes from egoistic necessity. This means that egoistic necessity also dictates the different forms of society we have. On one hand, as an egoist, I want to be alone; but on the other hand, I know that I will not survive on my own. Therefore, I have to unwillingly balance what I want with what I can afford to do. All of these factors have determined sociology and economy throughout history.

T. Asher: We can say that the technological progress during the last few centuries was a great stimulus for human egoism to develop…

M. Laitman: Just the opposite! Egoism is the cause that stimulates everything else. It grows literally exponentially. This is why we see that great changes happened throughout millennia, then centuries, and in our times great changes are happening every year. That is, egoism is beginning to increase so steeply that people today already change their professions in two or three years. A person has to constantly study. Great changes are happening in everything. We are still not accustomed to this, but life is already moving according to what is inside us. That is, our mind and perception are slightly lagging behind what is there, what nature brings forth in us and outside of us. We are between these two influences, the inner and outer natural influences, and we feel uncomfortable.

T. Asher: Would it be correct to say that this exponential growth of egoism is exactly the reason why Kabbalah has become so popular?

M. Laitman: Yes. The Book of Zohar, which was written 2000 years ago, states that Kabbalah will be revealed to people toward the end of the 20th century. It has been hiding from people for 20 centuries.

T. Asher: Is a precise date stated? I always wondered about this.

M. Laitman: No. The Book of Zohar does not state a precise date. However, many Kabbalists throughout the centuries pointed to the 20th century as a special time. For example, sometime around the 16th century, Gaon from Vilnus pointed to this time. The Baal Shem Tov indicated this in the 18th century. Rav Cook, Baal HaSulam, Ramchal, and the Ari clearly pointed to this in the 20th century. Meaning, it is mentioned. For example, Gaon from Vilnius wrote that this would begin in 1995. 50 years before that year, Baal HaSulam pointed to it as the year when Kabbalah would really be revealed. I began seriously studying Kabbalah with my teacher in 1979 and everything was very calm back then. Suddenly, beginning approximately in 1995, a wave of interest arose and then another and another wave. Since then, up to our time, all of this continues to increase.

T. Asher: “Calm” in regard to politics, the economy?

M. Laitman: No, “calm” meaning that no one was especially interested in this. There was no agitation around this, naturally, there weren’t any profiteers using the name “Kabbalah” who sold drinks or amulets, and so on. Everything was completely calm and took place in almost the same way as in the previous centuries. People were interested, but in a calm way, without any stress.

T. Asher: There was general interest, but it was not directed from the inside, from necessity.

M. Laitman: No, this kind of interest was present. People who came were directed from the inside, meaning they felt a necessity for it. However, it was precisely those people who came. There was as yet no general national agitation about Kabbalah’s ability to solve problems. For example, “I have problems in my family, with my husband, with my children, someone backstabbed me, many misfortunes are happening to me,” etc., and Kabbalah can help and explain all of this, and so on. Due to their increasing number of problems, depression and other misfortunes, people began looking into ancient sciences and methodologies, including Kabbalah, seeking salvation.

T. Asher: What do you think will happen to these people in the future? Will they become disillusioned in Kabbalah as a means to solve their problems?

M. Laitman: I think this is simple. There are two kinds of people who come to Kabbalah. Some are people who simply have to know the meaning of their lives. “It’s difficult, I feel bad, but I want to figure this out.” These are serious people. That is, on one hand, they do not come to philosophically fill their mind, but rather they have a problem with themselves and with the world. This is an inner problem of feeling or depression and they have to seriously figure it out. These are people who come to our lessons, for example.

T. Asher: Didn’t this type of people always exist?

M. Laitman: This type of people has always existed. Of course there were less of them in the past and Kabbalists selected them very strictly. We no longer have this system of selection and now Kabbalah is accessible to anyone.

The second types of people are the masses of those who simply find life difficult and unpleasant. They are looking for a method to solve their problems, but they are not interested in anything global. In principle, Kabbalah is a theory of knowledge, a practice of knowing and understanding the universe. They are not interested in this.

Of course, we cannot blame them for anything because they were created this way, and perhaps they will gradually develop. However, Kabbalah does not have the solution for them because they have these small daily-life problems and questions, and they want to solve them immediately. However, people who call themselves Kabbalists have answers for them and sell them all kinds of, I would say, psychological ways of solving problems. “Wear a red string and you will feel better, buy an amulet or holy water, make a wish, meditate, and you will save yourself, fix your situation; of course, you have to give a contribution,” and so on. This helps psychologically.

We generally understand this kind of cure. It has existed in humanity for a long time. The placebo effect is famous, when people literally get cured of serious illnesses because they mobilize the forces of faith in them, and so on. Doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and others use this effect. However, this has nothing to do with Kabbalah.

Therefore, I think that nevertheless, these people are slowly ripening now. They will become convinced that, of course, none of this helps them and it is not a true solution to the problem. Even though they feel better, in principle, their problems remain. In the meantime, their egoism increases and they begin to have greater, more profound questions. Of course, this will bring them to Kabbalah in the end. I think that this is simply a very gradual maturation of humanity. Today it is returning to the Middle Ages, to its ancient states, in order to simply…

T. Asher: “The Middle Ages” in what sense? Their inner state?

M. Laitman: “To the Middle Ages” meaning that a person suddenly begins to believe… After several centuries, we are again returning to the same thing as before: we believe in otherworldly forces that influence us and in our ability to control fate using spells and curses. Look at what is suddenly happening! I understand that this was always fashionable in England; they are a special nation that believes in this. However, this is also suddenly happening in Russia, France and Germany, to people who are generally very far from all this. I think that this is an infatuation, or simply a tendency to slightly get away from all of this technology, medicine, our current allopathic approach, and everything else that did not give us an answer. It happens so we will take another look at things.

T. Asher: Meaning, this is disillusionment and a step back?

M. Laitman: Yes, steps back to take another look and come to a new world-view from a different perspective. On the way, we sometimes stop and check, “Can this be the key to salvation?” However, I think that this is already winding down. People are gradually beginning to understand that this is nothing more than a short-lived, fashionable interest.

I hope that the next wave of people will come to the real methodology of attaining oneself and nature, understanding how to really make our lives happy. A person will have to do this; it is unavoidable. This is innate in the forces of nature, in the way nature influences us and what it is leading us to. Meaning, we will have to achieve full harmony with it.

Nature has one single stream or flow and one single goal – to make a person equivalent to it. All life, everything that exists is based on this equivalence. That is, the still, vegetative and animate levels of nature are in balance with the general law of nature, the law of bestowal. They instinctively carry out everything nature demands of them. They already have specific innate attributes; specific necessities automatically emerge in them and they carry them out automatically. There is no freedom of will on these levels; they solve problems in a purely automatic way. Therefore there is no evil, good, egoism, altruism, and nothing at all on these levels. The cells interact on the animate level and so on, but nothing more than this.

We differ from animals only by our consciousness. This is what a person has in addition to his bodily animal structure. This means that we have to understand how the still, vegetative and animal levels of nature exist in harmony with the external aspect of nature. We must also attune ourselves in the same way although on a higher level, on the “speaking” level, in accordance and harmony with nature.

From the animate level, we can see that every cell is egoistic, but despite this, since it is in the body, it completely submits to the body’s laws. Meaning, it completely nullifies itself and works to provide for the body, realizing itself this way. It carries out whatever the body needs, and it will even die and leave the organism if the body commands it to die. This is how the body lives. Does the cell win by annulling itself, its egoism, and completely working only for the body’s needs? By doing this, it ascends from the animate level to the speaking level because it participates in the process of a person’s existence.

This is an approximate sketch. If we begin to act as one whole on the human, psychological level among ourselves, acting as a single organism where every person is an individual cell, then we will feel the whole organism. Globalization is pressuring us towards this and we cannot avoid it. We have to do it in spite of our egoism, which separates us from one another. Precisely on these two opposing forces, by correctly connecting them, we will suddenly discover that they are not opposite, that precisely by combining these two opposite forces…

T. Asher: I apologize, what opposing forces?

M. Laitman: Opposing forces means that on one hand—there is our egoism, and on the other hand—there is the force of nature and globalization that pressures us to be together, while our egoism tries to separate us. By working to combine these two opposite forces, we will suddenly discover and attain the general Upper law of nature (the external pressure of globalization), which is above the animal, egoistic part of us and above the altruistic part. We will find ourselves on a different level, in a different format, and we will exist in a completely different realm.

T. Asher: Will every person do this separately inside of himself, or will this manifest in another way?

M. Laitman: This is clearly and completely manifested by unifying with the eternal, perfect flow of nature. A person attains this inside of himself. He adapts to this, associates himself with it, and unifies with it, and his animal body ceases to function as before. The body exists practically only to enable the person’s reason, feelings, awareness of nature and himself, his “I,” to ascend above it. When he does this, his bodily existence loses practically all meaning for him.

Nature has to bring us to this state, and it brings everyone, all humanity as one whole, towards this. The science of Kabbalah says that this program is now beginning to be realized in our generation, and it has to be realized beginning from our generation forward, in the near future.

T. Asher: I understand more about egoism. Concerning altruism, you said that a cell that begins to work for the whole organism, wins. However, as soon as it begins to understand that it wins, this ceases to be altruism; it remains the same egoism as before but only of a greater kind.

M. Laitman: You are correct. On one hand, we can say that the general body’s egoism is the cell’s altruism. On the other hand, we are nevertheless speaking about the animate level, rather than the speaking level. Meaning, the still, vegetative and animal levels…

T. Asher: Meaning, these examples cannot completely…

M. Laitman: No, of course not. However, nevertheless these examples, such as the vegetative level, allow us to see that altruism is the necessary condition for life. We even see this in the example of parents relative to children. It does not matter what level this happens on, it is always necessary. In addition, this type of altruism is obviously not the same as the one we are talking about, meaning the altruism that man has to reach. Man has to achieve altruism that is above the forces of nature acting in his animal body.

T. Asher: I think I am beginning to understand. Personally, my problem is that people use the word “altruism” to denote simply when others have a kind attitude towards you, and “bestowal” is when you share your last shirt with someone else, and so on. However, you say…

M. Laitman: No, this is not how we use these terms. We are even becoming convinced that this (kind of altruism and bestowal) is harmful.

Tal Asher: Yes. You use the word altruism to speak about the desire to unify with a higher system.

M. Laitman: Altruism is unifying with others, connecting with others, doing actions relative to others for the sake of unifying with a higher level, so we will all exist on a higher level. However, if it fails to take a higher level of development into account, to consider everyone’s achievement and ascent, then it is the same egoism. Naturally, this is what makes the egoism of a cell in the body different from the state we will achieve, which will really be altruistic. In addition, we see that every action we perform that is not goal-oriented precisely towards existence on a higher level of awareness, fails. After all, humanity has attempted to create altruistic societies of different kinds many times in the past. This happened in Russia, in Israeli Kibbutzes, and in different “utopias.” Even now there are small villages throughout the whole world that are trying to do this. However, we see that all of this fails even though people genuinely have a desire for it. This happens simply because nature does not agree with this in advance.

T. Asher: They did not receive any new attribute that would have allowed them to advance.

M. Laitman: Yes. This is simple. We are even becoming convinced that helping one another in any way will not lead to anything good unless it pursues a higher goal, meaning precisely the goal nature intends for us. Other examples, such as the integration of the Muslim civilization and the European civilization and other phenomena, show us that this desire to be good to one another only results in hate for one another. This is because two, three or four mentalities, civilizations or communities collide and do not share any common platform with each other. The common Upper goal must be present, and it has to be precisely the Goal which nature has intended for us in advance instead of another one invented by us. Otherwise we will simply end up with tragic revolutions and nothing more.

T. Asher: I have another question on the topic of nature’s intent for us. Returning to the example of the cell, a cell clearly sees an organism in front of itself, and it can decide whether it will work for itself or for the organism that already exists. In contrast, in the example of human society in our time, the new state or form that (as you say) humanity must reach has not manifested yet, it is not apparent. You seem to point to it, but you cannot realistically show it.

M. Laitman: Yes. The problem is that a person has to find it. Humanity has to find it through inner growth. It is impossible to show it because we simply won’t see it with our current egoistic perceptions. I cannot see another person’s inner state, even if he is on a higher level of development. Because to see it, I would have to be on the same level as he so that I would understand, be aware of, hear him, and somehow associate myself with him.

T. Asher: Is it possible to create a group of people that can serve as a model?

M. Laitman: In principle, yes. There is law stating that the particular is equal to the general, like a holographic image. We can build such groups and we are trying to do so. In principle, I think that things will continue to develop this way in the future. It is because currently there is not a simultaneous realization of the crisis or understanding of what the crisis is. As we said before, many people still think that the crisis lies in a completely different area. In addition, people are different, social formations are different, there are literally different civilizations and mentalities on the planet, and naturally, the religious boundaries between masses of people and whole continents are great. Therefore, naturally, this is a gradual process.

However, everyone knows that if a movement begins anywhere in the world, then it also happens in every other place. In principle, whether we want it or not, we are one organism and therefore any occurrence begins to awaken and respond everywhere.

T. Asher: Do you know what this reminds me of? A crystal in a concentrated salt solution, which begins to undergo a lava-like crystallization.

M. Laitman: Yes, crystallization. I think that this process has already begun. It begins with small groups and this is what is happening practically. These groups exist in many nations of the world; they are completely mixed and independent of nationality, religion, sex or race. These groups are simply working on self-attainment. In general, this is self-attainment. Therefore, the international congresses and conferences that we hold attract many people. I hope that this will expand and of course, that the world will see a way out of the crisis as a result.

However, if we are referring to the Russian-speaking audience, I think that of course Russia has its own specifics and specific problems. I am familiar with the work of Russian scientists; many of them understand the theme very well and are working on it. I think that the realization in Russia is very powerful, but it is not widespread yet.

T. Asher: Personally, I have read some books on the Internet. They understand the problem, but not where to go to solve it, meaning what direction to move in.

M. Laitman: Even I do not understand how a person can become aware of this problem on his own. I am stunned at how much they understand this and have reached this realization on their own. I understand it because of Kabbalah. I open up the ancient sources, I read what is written there, I see the picture of the world today, and this science explains everything that happens to me. I do not have to go through excruciating searches for decades to understand what is happening with the world today.

They describe the structure of the universe, the forces that are influencing us, our Universe, our globe, our society, causing the entire flow and movement. I am stunned that a person can reach this, and these scientists have reached it and they understand it. They are approaching the same barrier from the reverse side, and I approach it from the point of view of Kabbalah. Today we are meeting and we understand one another. Often it is still difficult for me to explain profound Kabbalistic notions in their language because even we do not have the adequate terminology. We still need to somehow transform it into regular language, but… Of course, the problem is in working out a boundary methodology.

T. Asher: “Boundary” in what sense?

M. Laitman: “Boundary” meaning that what Kabbalah says about our world and what scientists say about our world are nearing each other; we are in principle coming to the same conclusions, and from there on, from these conclusions, we can already work on realization together. When we begin to realize it, we often need proofs, evidence, persuasions, and bases from their side that can be presented to an earthly person. Meaning, when you explain all of this purely logically, it seems sort of correct. However! When we do not have clean graphs, tables based on familiar experiments, and statistics that any modern, literate person can understand; then of course we encounter a lack of understanding, cautiousness, and I would say a disconnection and separation. This is natural. We are currently working on this with many scientists in order to really create a substantial link between us. It will happen, but it may take several more years of great suffering when egoism will evoke greater and greater problems, social tension and other things.

T. Asher: Meaning, they do not yet accept it when you say, “I have the solution, Kabbalah has the solution”?

M. Laitman: Only a very small part of scientists understand this.

The problem is not that people don’t accept it. The problem is, “Well, how can I realize this from now on?” And this is where a person really has to sit and begin studying the structure of the world, the universe, and the human being in it according to other sources, in a completely different stream. This process simultaneously begins to change a person. It does not require a person to do any actions, meditations, dietary observations, or any physical actions.

T. Asher: Meaning, he does not have to change the things he is used to very much?

M. Laitman: We are talking only about the inner things he is used to. You do not have to believe anything at all or accept anything on faith. Meaning, this is a science, but it is a unique kind of science where you have to shift your vision of this world, where for decades you have been focusing your scientific life and therefore you see various manifestations in it, laws, connections and everything else. However, now you will have to see all of this in a different way. That is, you will have to refocus your vision. This is like those paintings that are painted in certain sketch lines, and when you completely refocus your vision you suddenly see the picture…

Tal Asher: Oh! The picture deep inside?

M. Laitman: Deep inside.

Tal Asher: Yes.

M. Laitman: So, there are such holograms. When you completely free yourself from all of your stereotypes and everything, and simply look, in this unusual way, completely independent from everything, you are empty, you do not intend to see, and then you begin to see.

So there is something like this when you come from science to Kabbalah. I remember how I used to do this, this refocusing, and naturally, it was unclear, unpleasant to me. This does not change anything in one’s past, it does not change one’s ordinary life, but still, this is a shattering of his ideas.

T. Asher: What is the main reason for people to go through this shattering ?

M. Laitman: If this is a serious, genuine investigator, he will go for it.

T. Asher: What about a level lower, just a thinking man, without any special motivation?

M. Laitman: You will not come to this without motivation. This is a serious science that transforms us into a new being. In fact, it creates in us a feeling that takes us into a different dimension. That is, into the forces, scopes, objects that exist around us now, although neither we nor the instruments that we produce can grasp them.

And, naturally, we have a predisposition to begin feeling these forces, these spaces, and these dimensions. There is no regular time flow in them. The cause and effect flow happens not over time, but only by the cause of the effect. The scopes that we imagine (here or there, etc) do not exist. This can be likened… One can say that the space that exists beyond the speed of light, when all of this turns into perfection… where time is zero and where “place” compresses into a point, and so on.

By the way, the ancient Kabbalists say that the true scope of the universe is beyond the speed of light. This is what Rambam wrote back in the XII century.

T. Asher: It follows that we know a mere few percents of the entire universe?

M. Laitman: Of a true universe, yes. Of course, we know just a tiny part of a true universe. But we do not know the most important, the informational part. All that we grasp, everything that happens in this world…

Tal Asher: Impulses that influence our world come from there.

M. Laitman: Yes, of course. So, of course, you need a big desire that would force you to pass this period of training, of inner self-attuning, much like one tunes a musical instrument.

T. Asher: I see a contradiction here. On the one hand, you are saying that Kabbalah gives a general solution to all nations. Now you are saying that this is a very specific thing for individual people. And that this is a serious science and without a serious motivation, it is impossible to…

M. Laitman: But today there are already thousands and tens of thousands of these special people, and there are more of them every single day. That is, a human being has to become a human being. Nature will not let him to remain an animal. Take any tribe that until recently existed in who knows what way. I won’t even say that they had a bad life. They lived in their world, they felt good, in harmony, everything was fine. Today, egoistic desire that suddenly explodes in them starts to rapidly evolve; it pulls them from their place, from their small villages, and throws them to who knows where.

The rapid development of egoism will force people to realize the need to come out of beastly existence and rise to the so called “human” level. But if we spread this knowledge beforehand, if we offer, teach, adapt it for contemporary people, for their language, their mentality, if by using normal earthly sciences we show how sound and real these ancient teachings about the universe are, then by doing so, we curtail humanity’s suffering.

Ultimately, the law of nature is unchangeable. Sooner or later we will inevitably come to it. But if we manage to do this not through the path of suffering, but rather by raising human consciousness, then, of course, this is preferable.

T. Asher: What is “the law of nature?”

M. Laitman: The law of nature is one law of nature by which it created us, according to which it guides, develops us, and the goal it must bring us to. This law is called “the law of absolute good.”

That is, originally, the purpose of creation with the general thought’s plan of creation... (by the way, now physicists also say that the Universe seems to be a Thought, Plan). So, this general plan of nature, its general thought, information, if you will, it has just one essence—good. In particular, out of this thought of good, nature was created. It developed as still, vegetative, animated levels, and now is approaching the “human” level of development.

When, being pressured by the laws of nature that in reality urge him toward good, absolute good, a comfortable, eternal, and perfect state, a human develops himself to the level when he feels this entire good. When he does so, he then discovers that he and the rest of nature are harmoniously connected into one system. And all of them (animate, vegetative, and the still parts of nature) engage themselves under humans and together with him rise to the same level of perception, realization of existence.

T. Asher: It is hard for me to understand what “absolute good” is. Good always has a direction: I do good to someone. So it follows that absolute good it simultaneously directed to all?

M. Laitman: Absolute good… No. Absolute good is the thought that created creation, the egoistic desire, and urges it to equalize with this thought. And this is the thought that completes this action by bringing this primordial egoism, and all of its parts (still, vegetative, animate, and human) to itself, to the level of existence called “good.”

T. Asher: Where is my individual good in this global process? That is, good for me personally?

M. Laitman: You play a critical role in this global process. It is because talking about the existence at the still, vegetative, and animate levels, well, our bodily level as well (when we refer to human body we mean our existence without knowing this Upper level of good), we are not talking about freedom of will at all or that we live sensibly. We exist under the influence of inner…

Tal Asher: Instincts?

M. Laitman: Yes, instincts, genes. In general, today, they say that there are genes for everything, and that we are under their total control. That is, everything is provided for.

T. Asher: Well, as they say, instincts plus influence of the environment?

M. Laitman: Yes, they determine everything between themselves. If we really saw the structure of a person at the level at which he is completely detached from the attainment of the Upper One and from transforming himself toward the Upper One, we would see that at such a level a person, of course, is absolutely nothing. As such, he does not exist at all. This is why nature does not pay any attention to these levels of our development until we start to treat ourselves sensibly and seriously as those who are obliged to attain the Upper existence.

Until this desire, thought, need emerges in a person he or she is automatically engaged by nature. And thus today’s crisis and everything that we went through over our entire history are simply blows of nature by which it pushes us “to happiness using a stick.”

T. Asher: And our reaction to them?

M. Laitman: Our reaction to them is involuntary, as well; it is an involuntary reaction.

Tal Asher: Automatic?

M. Laitman: Yes.

T. Asher: And what about other parts of nature—animate and so on? They seemingly have…

M. Laitman: Freedom of will is absolutely lacking in them, as in humans. Naturally, a question arises: what can a person be responsible for, if he has no freedom of will? Nothing…

T. Asher: So what is the difference?

M. Laitman: And, in fact, a person is not held responsible for anything. He begins to be held responsible specifically when he is given an impulse for the spiritual development, for this upper development.

T. Asher: Is this awakening possible in other parts of nature? Or just in a human being?

M. Laitman: Just in a human being. Only in him, because from the beginning, other parts of nature lack the sensation of past, present, and future, they lack awareness that “I’m alive”. Do you understand? Consciousness is tightly connected with the functioning of simply a biological body.

T. Asher: That is, one can say that without self-awareness there is no spiritual progress?

M. Laitman: Correct. Well, I use the word “spiritual” very carefully, because both “Kabbalah,” and the “spiritual”…

Tal Asher: Are already strongly discredited.

M. Laitman: Yes. So…

T. Asher: So why do other teachings, spiritual as well, cannot offer this to humanity?

M. Laitman: This simply does not exist. Also, Kabbalah is not a spiritual teaching, it is not a religious teaching either, it has no relation to any religion, including Judaism.

Kabbalah is the teaching that emerged in Ancient Babylon. According to the legend, at that time humanity really represented one little family. And when humanity’s egoism first grew in a leap-like manner and they failed to co-exist with each other, then what is called “The Tower of Babel” appeared. That is, the contradiction between them and nature emerged in them for the first time.

Before this, people were afraid of nature and tried to transform themselves as to correspond with nature and automatically looked for closeness, contact, and adhesion with it. In contrast, increasing egoism changed their tactics. People decided that they could protect themselves from nature using force, and began to equip themselves with amenities, guard themselves against nature. I mean, internally, I remain an egoist; I don’t have to yield to anyone. I build myself a technological environment: an artificial nature, some artificial micro-climate around myself, etc. that will protect me. I will develop sciences as well, I will develop everything, I will be strong and big. This is what the building of the Tower of Babel is—“to reach the heavens,” to rule, instead of uniting, merging. This was the first response of humanity during the days of Mesopotamia (yes, this is the cradle of civilization) to the challenge of egoism. And from there everything started.

Back then, there was, as they say, a single language, a single philosophy of life. The ancient teaching of Kabbalah originated from there saying that we are a single family, that we have to feel love toward each other, and then we rise to a higher contact with nature. We ascend above our world, that is, above our beastly existence, and become equal to the eternal perfect nature, and so on. And when they failed to correctly respond to egoism’s challenge, Kabbalah hid at that very moment.

And it is revealed again only in our times, as the method of that very same correct response to egoism’s challenge. But after all these millennia, when humans have already gone through all their searches in sciences, in technologies, in arts, in social life, in various formations and became convinced that all of this only harms them. And so today we are already under the ruins of this Tower of Babel, we sit and mourn over our five thousand years of needless development.

T. Asher: Can we say that this was a five-thousand-years long cycle of going through all possible solutions?

M. Laitman: Yes.

Tal Asher: Before Kabbalah, that is?

M. Laitman: Yes.

Tal Asher: And that they are virtually over?

M. Laitman: Yes. And they were bound to happen. Therefore, we would not be able to re-do the past. Even the Tower of Babel that they supposedly created and later destroyed… People settled apart from there, a great number of nationalities, languages emerged, went to India, went to Europe. All of this is backed by historic and geographic data. An entire science is very interestingly built on this thing: what was the origin of writing, and so on. In general, this is clear.

So, the truth of the matter is that today we need specifically this method again. And we had no choice but to go through this, because otherwise, we really could not rise with small egoism. However, now we can rise not to the Tower of Babel with this egoism, but rather, understanding what egoism is, we can rise to that Tower of Babel above egoism.

To rise above it, willingly, merging among ourselves as unified cells into one unified whole body, and to achieve it with this healthy beastly body, yes, to reach the “human” level. In Ancient Babylonian (Aramaic was a spoken language in ancient Babylon) “a human being” is called “Adam,” from the word “Dome,” “similar” to the Upper force. This is the state we have to reach.

T. Asher: Well, let’s say there is such a notion as “ethnocentrism,” that is, every nation is as if loves itself. How do you see the future society? What will happen with cultures, with nationalities?

M. Laitman: Kabbalah describes all of this in great detail. The truth of the matter is that settling apart, separation, distancing from each other is necessary. The division into races, nationalities, nations, mentalities, and in general, civilizations that occurred over history, all of that is necessary. It is because now we will attempt to unite despite this separation, and the might of unification will manifest; we will have an opportunity to rise above this separation, preserving all these differences, without suppressing anything, without downgrading or destroying anything. We do this by particularly preserving the uniqueness of everybody (a human being, a nation, a civilization) and by uniting all this into a single whole with nature in mutual giving.

So all these religious, national, ethnic, and mentality differences that are huge, (anything that you can imagine) will manifest more and more. This is only the beginning of egoism’s last stage that we now begin to realize in ourselves and all of them must be preserved. We should respect everybody and all of their distinctive features. This is because he who destroys even the tiniest manifestation of individuality, by doing so destroys humanity’s chance to clarify one more feature in the attainment of this great law of general good. The Upper attainment is built specifically on contradictions.

Hence, perhaps even religions will remain with their specific properties and differences, but people will rise above this, in shared connection to a common goal. In a family, when people love each other, no natural contradictions stand in the way (sexual, racial, national, or anything else). If above all of this, there is understanding, love, a common goal, then on the contrary, all of this may endow one with some additional traits, manifestations. This is what Kabbalah says.

T. Asher: Is it possible to realize this principle of the Upper good only in, say, Western civilization or only in the Eastern, in some part of humanity, and not in all humanity in general? Let’s put it this way: can it be realized partially?

M. Laitman: Of course, it can be realized partially, and Kabbalah also talks about this. It says that we first have to create a small society with all elements of the future world community, in a way that there would be no need to even add anything to it. Then, others will join it more and more.

Tal Asher: This is exactly like a hologram, when a little part of it…

M. Laitman: Yes.

Tal Asher: …when it is increased, it simply becomes a big detail.

M. Laitman: Yes. So, it is said that there will be no need to change anything. Such a small society can be built, but it can be built only from people who are at the corresponding level of consciousness.

T. Asher: A famous American sociologist Etzioni states that in order to build a future society each state will have to make some concessions. What is your opinion about this?

M. Laitman: Kabbalah does not speak about any concessions. Under no circumstances! In other words, well, you know, in our world they are good up to a certain point, when you feel that it is better for you not to compromise but rather insist on your previous conditions, and when you pick a certain moment and demand on a full scale, making concessions to nothing.

Kabbalah is a completely different method, the method for connecting to the Upper level. Hence, if you compromise, then you compromise your own egoism in order to rise to an even higher level. You do not make concessions to me, or I to you. In general, we do not deal against each other. Together, we rise and merge at the Upper level, and not at the corporeal one. Thus, the earthly relationships are defined only after people begin clinging with each other on the Upper level where all of us represent, will represent, and always represented a single whole, one united whole. This is why speaking of concessions is a completely wrong philosophy.

T. Asher: But you still think that it is necessary for the states to unite?

M. Laitman: We are not even talking about states; states have nothing to do with it. The fact that today the division of states is still continuing does not necessarily imply that groups of people have to unite with each other in this way. We are talking about humanity.

Furthermore, we can say that completely different groups of people exist in humanity, within each nationality or within each civilization, and these groups are just naturally different. We perhaps do not see them this way, because we look and say, “oh, these are Muslims, these are Christians, these are Catholics,” or we say, “these are western or eastern,” and so on.

If we look at people through another prism, we will see a completely different picture. We see that some people from the entire humanity belong to a certain group. Say, this is like in our body: heart, liver, stomach, brain, and so on. We suddenly see as if the parts of these organs are evenly distributed virtually throughout all of humanity. And perhaps they will gather together, part by part, and will feel who is closer and who is more remote, but not judging others by some artificial characteristic, such as religion, nationality, or race, etc. Do you understand?

Moreover, some common communication, language, understanding, and consciousness will have to reappear. Globalization is leading us toward this. We see that the internet and its common culture begins to slowly envelop the world. So, we are prepared for this.

In addition, humanity has a very interesting feature: about 10% of humans are natural altruists. These are people who feel bad when others suffer, and from that humanity suffers. This is how they are built. This is an altruistic gene. Naturally, it has nothing in common with altruism that we are talking about, for the latter is conscious, it is built on top of egoism, it is built consciously, cognitively, by changing the inner essence of a person. While the former is natural altruism, so called egoistic altruism, if we can say that.

But these people are, nevertheless ready to unite, they are ready to self-sacrifice. We see their activity in our world. Indeed, these 10% of earth’s population are invariant, the same 10% repeat from generation to generation, over the history of mankind. That is, the growing general egoism does not affect them. This is prepared by nature as a certain support. We do not yet know how it will manifest in the future in order to create this small society, which will be a prototype of the future generation.

T. Asher: You are saying that it is necessary to unite altruistic forces. Not everybody understands how there can be a different “Amnesty International,” “Friends of the Earth,” “Greenpeace,” or “International Red Cross Committee.” How can they be united, for they basically have different types of work?

M. Laitman: By the way, I have encountered many of them; during our congresses, we meet UN representatives on all these questions. What could I say? The fact is that when these organizations begin to realize that their activity is fruitless, when people, so called donors who donate billions to these organizations begin to see that even though these organizations work, they give virtually no positive results, then the need to review their own doctrine will arise. And this is where the good is.

Today, a serious revision of the entirety of voluntary, altruistic organizations is under way.

T. Asher: You said that a person does not have to compromise anything in the corporeal world in order to make a transition to the altruistic state, to undergo this transition. It follows that there is no reason. Why do people resist? Why are they not ready? What holds them back? Indeed, neither a state nor an individual person loses anything.

M. Laitman: You understand that a human being always acts only from within egoism that emerges in him. There is an egoistic urge, and because of this, a person comes to science, art, technological development, medicine, or to a simple family life, fishing, football, whatever, it does not matter. This is exactly how he has to come to Kabbalah at the end of his development.

Therefore, we are not preoccupied with somehow inspiring a person in advance. Nor are we eagerly waiting for you to finally become a bigger egoist, in order to understand that your life is totally empty so that you start searching, and come to us. Not at all. It does not depend on us; these are laws of nature, its flow. The only thing that we can do is to spread the knowledge or, even if not knowledge then information that there is knowledge that answers one’s question about the existence on earth. And if, accordingly, a person has an…

Tal Asher: Egoistic impulse.

M. Laitman: …yes, an egoistic impulse at the level where earthly life no longer satisfies him, he understands that he has already tried everything, and there is nothing for him ahead. Drugs, terror, divorce, suicide. What is he to do? In such a state, a person sees that self-realization does not exist in this life, and then he comes to Kabbalah.

So our task is to make sure that he or she knows upfront that such a thing exists, or that when that moment comes, a person would immediately find this method, without suffering. However, on no account do we influence a person. We want it (information) to be passively available to him.

Tal Asher: As a global information network…

M. Laitman: Yes.

Tal Asher: …of informational support?

M. Laitman: Yes, this is what we are developing. Therefore, we are not interested in any specific properties of a person, their religion, nationality, or what level he is at, who he is, or what is happening with him, nothing at all. We do not come to him. Our education system is absolutely passive, and it does not “catch” people because you cannot. And even if you do, what you will do with him next? He will not feel any inner response here.

Tal Asher: It is impossible to teach someone against his will.

M. Laitman: Yes. Therefore, those who come, come. They try it a bit, step aside, check out what is there, and what isn’t. And ultimately, if someone’s egoism has really developed to this level, he stays.

T. Asher: And doors have to be already open?

M. Laitman: Yes, yes. This is our task. The task of our organization is to ensure that necessary books are available in a required, accessible form in the entire world: for instance, various media, CD-ROMs, films, internet in all languages and so on. And to the extent that a person desires, it would be available for him, and moreover, it would be free of charge. Really, this is our task today. This is the goal of our organization. In other words, all of this is absolutely free.

T. Asher: If this is free, then still, someone has to pay for this. Who is paying for this?

M. Laitman: This is paid for by members of the organization who have…

Tal Asher: All over the world?

M. Laitman: All over the world… who have regular jobs and deduct a tithe. This is also according to the law of Kabbalah. A person must give a tenth of his income to support humanity’s development, its elevation to the Ultimate purpose. And this is what we do. We implement our programs out of these funds.

T. Asher: How does the study at your academy differ from the study at the University? I know that there are Kabbalah courses, or that…

M. Laitman: Yes, of course, my daughter is currently completing her studies and starting to write a doctorate on Kabbalah at the University. That is, what they study at the University is not applied to a human being. They study the emergence of Kabbalah, its history over the centuries, main sources, what’s written in them, and so on. It is the way that a regular science about a certain historic phenomenon is studied; but nothing more other than about the phenomenon. This is because they do not intend to apply it to themselves. Nobody has set this goal for themselves, as they are not at the egoistic level necessary to demand Kabbalah for themselves. Just in the above mentioned aspects. That is, people write dissertations, as my daughter is now starting to write “Influence of the Kabbalists of the Middle-Ages on…” some kind of processes in a certain society and in a certain country.

T. Asher: As philosophy?

M. Laitman: Yes, this is a pure philosophy. This is Department of Philosophy.

T. Asher: That is, one can say that they study not Kabbalah, but about Kabbalah?

M. Laitman: Yes, about Kabbalah. And this is the same as what I have mentioned earlier: 1700 departments in the world study it this way. For example, when I go to America for a lecture series (I visited Universities, gave lectures), they naturally complain that basically “All lecturers, except you, teach Kabbalah as a science, without applying it to a person. You, in contrast, teach it as an individual method.” Well, I say that I specialize in the anthropological branch of Kabbalah. [ Rav is laughing] But of course, this is not fully clear yet in academics and not to all. Well?

T. Asher: How can we advance this understanding in academics, how to make your method accessible?

M. Laitman: I do not think that academics need this at all, or that it is ready, or that in general, it needs it and we need it together with them. We have to look for regular people as well as scientists who realize that crisis is crisis, (that it does not yet have a solution and that we do not even understand what its essence is) and who are ready to listen to other opinions.

There are many such people among the Russian scientists, percentage wise. Literarily over the last year there emerged individuals who talk about Kabbalistic ideas in their own language. So, it seems to me that very interesting contacts are possible, and I hope with your help. It’s quite possible that some very serious break-throughs can be made. We will be able to show to the world the nature of crisis and its possible solutions, and most importantly, its goal: to elevate us, and not so that we simply come out of it and continue to exist as now. And this is not a regular crisis. This is not a crisis; this is a message from Nature.

Tal Asher: Stimulus?

M. Laitman: Stimulus, yes, that basically… We have to rise above this. That is, this is a joyous point, not the point of disappointment, fear, and despair. It is very important to present to humanity our current situation in this way.

T. Asher: Can we say that a new emerging civilization is a certain stage of humanity’s evolution?

M. Laitman: Well, this is the last stage. This is why Kabablah calls it “the last generation.” Not because everything ends with it, but because this is really the last generation out of these unfortunate generations that we all have passed in great suffering. But now, when we begin to be aware of these sufferings, we experience them anew, already as the source for the attainment of absolute good.

T. Asher: You are going to Düsseldorf. What concept are you going to offer to the World Wisdom Council?

M. Laitman: Düsseldorf is a completely different scientific gathering. This is not a meeting of the World Wisdom Council, of which I am already a member. Düsseldorf gathers scientists: sociologists, philosophers, demography experts, anthropologists, to be honest, I don’t remember what else. Well, people of this kind from the set of sciences that already deal with questions closer to the goal. That is, “Ancient Teachings as the means for solving the current crisis.”

There will be very interesting lectures. Naturally, India, China, Japan, Oceania participate there. That is, we know what we are dealing with… Sufis, that is, this is a very interesting audience. Yet they, and not I, have resolved that after introductory remarks, I will give the first lecture followed by debate on it. This is because in principle, one way or the other, unconsciously or already consciously, a majority of people perceive that Kabbalah is the foundation of all ancient teachings, religions, beliefs, philosophies. This is why a general lecture is given specifically on Kabbalah, like a cap—opening all the rest. Later there will be separate lectures on different methods and their possible integration. Yet, Kabbalah comes forward as one universal principle.

This is happening from congress to congress, whether it was a congress in Tokyo that gathered altruistic organizations, or a congress in Arosa, Switzerland where a scientific council met, or in a council of representatives of various UN committees. Or now in Düsseldorf where a symposium of regular scientists of these main schools will take place. Nevertheless, with each time, it is becoming increasingly obvious that Kabbalah really presents the concept of and carries in itself such a generalizing picture of the world that everything else is integrally connected to it without any contradictions. All religions, various beliefs, ancient wisdoms, even art suddenly find their origin in it and integrate, connect to it as if to a certain…

Tal Asher: Common denominator.

M. Laitman: Yes, denominator. Thus, I hope that this will manifest this time as well in…

T. Asher: Maybe now is the time of a certain process of integration?

M. Laitman: Yes, integration around Kabbalah. Although in Eastern Europe, this word is still seen as…

Tal Asher: A black magic – this is a usual reaction…

M. Laitman: Yes, black magic, all sorts of (how do you call them?) closed groups of people who…

Tal Asher: Sects.

M. Laitman: Sects, masons, who knows what. Naturally, all of this comes from ignorance. We simply need to educate. What can you do?

However, in civilized countries, in addition to studying it at the universities as an academic subject, people also defend PhD theses and dissertations, and so on. The attack on Kabbalah is completely cleared away; all of such things are absolutely cleared away. At least, we publish books in German, Spanish, and English in the biggest publishing houses in the world. Now there is book coming out in China, in Japan. As I said, we have a university in 27 languages. And this is what is gradually happening because life is forcing it.

Let’s hope that we will have good connections and prolific scientific work with Russian scientists. I hope that we will be able to have a big general conference in Moscow with our group of Kabbalah students and a world scientific forum. It includes many Nobel prize winners, socially-minded people, and representatives of UN commissions of various developmental stages, and so on. That is, we would be able to gather in Moscow a very good international congress. I hope that Russian scientists themselves will be able to participate in this as it will be a good step in realizing the crisis in Eastern Europe, and for the benefit of the entire region.

Tal Asher: Yes, in general, a certain interest is building up around it; one can see that this idea is attracting interest.

M. Laitman: Thank you for your attention. Thanks for your questions!

Tal Asher: Thank you very much!

M. Laitman: We hope to continue, given the interest. Good bye!

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