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On Love and Marriage

A talk between the scientist and Kabbalist Michael Laitman with the Kabbalah Academy instructors, Michael Sanilevich and Yevgeniy Litvar
July 12, 2007


Y. Litvar: Hello dear friends. We have a leading Kabbalist Michael Laitman, PhD with us today. Today we start a new topic: "Love, family, motherhood, and children." I pass the microphone to my friend Michael Sanilevich, an instructor at the International Kabbalah Academy.

What is love?

M. Sanilevich: Our first question today is "What is love?"

M. Laitman: Love is the main quality in the universe. I'd say this is the only positive quality that moves, controls, and connects all of its parts. It unites the elements of all structures: inanimate, vegetative, animate, and finally man's inner world. We call this unifying quality "love" or complete mutual acts of giving. All nature submits to the law of universal love. The only exception is the human level on which we are given a free hand to do whatever we like, and we act in defiance of this law.

If we ask biologists, they will tell us that the law of functioning of any organism, of its existence and development is based on complete integral interaction of its parts. In accordance with this law every cell takes care of the whole body's vital functions and health, sustains its vitality. In other words, it automatically gives the body whatever it needs. It even obeys an order to self-destruct because it has fulfilled its function and used up its resource. Its program switches off, and the cell destroys itself. The general law of existence of a system, organism or organ controls all of its elements.

If we take the general, integral law of nature – the law of unification, homeostasis, then we will see that nature acts only based upon self-preservation, self-sustenance, and self-development up to a certain goal, and it disregards the possibility of existence and development of individual parts. This law of integral interaction, integral interrelation between elements determines the existence of all nature's levels.

However, when, after realizing this we look at man, we discover that he is completely opposite to this law. I do not mean man's existence on the level where our organism functions as an animate body and naturally submits to nature's laws. I mean the human level of our interactions, sensations, thoughts, where our "I" exists – that is where we are complete egoists. We do not want to take the world's integral wholeness and the interaction of its parts into consideration. Today we reveal that the world is a small global village where we all depend on one another. Being a part of nature, with our thoughts, desires and actions, we cause enormous damage to this integration at all levels. Ultimately, this damage returns to us as a negative influence of all nature's parts, and this is what we begin to feel today.

The law of absolute love – of universal interdependence, of instinctive, natural, unconscious attention, care, is not realized at the human level. If we regard everyone and everything in accordance with this law, that is to say, if we realize that we all are equal, interconnected, as with one heart, with one soul, and with the same thoughts, then our participation in nature will be correct and integral. Then we will merge with the rest of nature and our attitude to it will be love.

The knowledge of this law enables us to understand that love and hate between us today is absolute egoism, everyone's desire to use others – in sex, in a family, in a society – for his own illusory benefit. Illusory, because in the end man receives no benefit. Everything is based on a simple egoistical calculation. Without understanding the malignancy of his behavior, man only intensifies the crisis.

Today, being at the final stage of egoism's development, we see the total collapse of human interrelations. In the past we were connected by some ties, agreements, and conventionalities. In our time only barefaced, shameless egoism shows in its nakedness. This is good, because by seeing our true face we come closer to realizing the problem and finding its solution. Kabbalah reveals to us the way to achieve love.

Condition of love

M. S.: You say that complete interaction – love – exists at the animate level. However, when a wolf eats up a hare – is this love?

M. L.: No. This is a realization of nature's law – the law of constant renewal of life, when the next generation is born on the basis of the previous, past one. This process is similar to the substitution of used-up cells by new ones in our body.

The same occurs to life cycles: unless we had to die in the previous life, we would not be born in the next. There would be no development that drives us towards something we do not know yet. It seems to us that there is nothing good in this development; nevertheless, it leads to the bright future.

Therefore, by eating a hare or a calf, the wolf fulfills nature's law. There is no hatred between them. There is no love either. The law of nature that maintains the correct interaction between species is realized. The involvement of one's "I" is out of the question. Vegetative and animate elements of nature have no "I." It is remarkable how the existence of vegetative and animate organisms or cells in the body is based on the correct interconnection between them.

However, man should introduce his desire, his approval of this law of nature, and his intention into this correct interconnection. If he attains this understanding, corrects himself; willingly strives to participate in the integral development and interaction, then he begins to understand nature. He reveals those parts and voids of nature that he does not perceive today – new dimensions, new worlds, where we exist in a totally different way, before birth, after death, as parts of nature in our eternal state.

Kabbalah is called a secret science because it reveals these secret areas of the universe, where we exist yet fail to perceive today due to our opposition to them. Our egoism does not allow us to perceive images that accompany us in a different dimension, yet they are real. Everything depends only on the transition from man's universal hatred (his egoism) to love – only herein is the problem. Our life on the earth, our relationship in the family, between adults and children, would then become simple and harmonious.

It is said in Kabbalah: "A husband and a wife, and the Divine presence between them," – the Upper Light, the Supernal Illumination between them. There cannot be any connection between a husband and his wife who symbolize two absolutely opposite parts of the world, unless the Creator and love that controls the universe are revealed between them. However, to this end we should see how this law acts on a higher level, from which signals of control descend to us, and based on this we should establish relations between us. This must be learned.

Love is a very complicated quality that should be taught. Kabbalah deals only with this. The main rule is "Love thy neighbour as thyself," because by achieving this quality we attain integral inclusion in all the worlds.

Y. L.: You have given us a picture of true love from the scientific point of view. Yet simple people who feel inner pain ask this question. They perceive this pain as love. How can one explain to them that this is not love?

M. L.: This should be learned. We substitute love and lack of love with a quality that is totally opposite to what really exists in nature and is explained in Kabbalah.

I call my attitude to something that brings me pleasure "love." I love coffee; therefore I drink it. I feel pleasure when I do this. This means that I love it. In other words, I love the pleasure that is in coffee. This is not the love we are discussing. You use this word for a completely different sensation and attitude to an object.

What does the phrase "I love this woman" mean? I love to use her for myself. I have some needs, empty spaces, desires, hunger, and she fills me, delights me. This is why I love her. So do I love her? Or do I love the pleasure that I receive from her?

So I love my self. I love her as a source of pleasure, as I love fish or meat. It turns out that there is no love here. We should not call this "love."

Love is not reception of pleasure from somebody; it is giving to the object of love. The phrase "Love thy neighbor" means to fill another with what he desires. It is an external expression of your attitude to him, which is called "love."

Love is when you fulfill another. You begin to feel what your beloved wants and by fulfilling him/her you express your attitude to him/her, which is called "love." If you receive, it is called "egoistical reception of pleasure."

There is also a way to express love when receiving. When you precisely feel another, his love for you and understand that if you receive from him you will actually please him, then you may use reception for the sake of giving.

Just like a child knowing that his mother wants him to eat some porridge, he eats it and by doing so brings pleasure to his mother. Unless he enjoys the meal, he will not please his mother. He should enjoy her giving, and then she will enjoy his receiving.

This is a very complicated interaction. We see this even on this simple example, let alone such serious systems as husband and a wife, a man and a woman. The interaction between sexes or between groups or parties in the human society is a science in itself. This should be taught from childhood. Otherwise, a person does not grow up and fails to understand the most important thing – how to survive, how to organize the society correctly.

There are many theories on this topic. All of them disclaim one another. Adherence to any of them leads us to failure.

Y. L.: A woman says that she married a man she did not love at all only because he loved her. Did she want to please him? Is this love that you were speaking about?

M. L.: No. What does "he loved her" mean?

Until man passes from hatred to love for another, he will not understand what it means to enter another person's inner world, his feelings and desires, and to accept his desires as his own, while working with his desires in order to fulfill another. When a person regards himself as an instrument for fulfilling the loved one, this is called "love."

Did the people whom you mentioned have such a relationship? I don't know. Nevertheless, when we rise from the level of reception to the level of giving, then our relationships (in a family, between children and parents, in a society) change completely. The word "love" has acquired a very vulgar, mean connotation, so let's call this quality "giving." The person possessing this quality begins to feel harmony, sublime union with nature, and attains the sensation of eternity and perfection.

This quality is formed within a person, when he or she rises above his/her small egoistical world. When he/she wishes to remain confined to this small world, we see what this leads to – disillusionment, drugs, divorces, and so on. We are unable to attain these magnificent states within ourselves; this is possible only if we unite with nature as it shows us.

M. S.: Can a person check whether he loves or not?

M. L.: In our world we merely start discovering that we are absolute egoists, that we do not love, but only try to agree among ourselves, because until our egoism explodes from within and breaks these relations, these fragile agreements, there is no other way. We forget, quarrel and make peace, we are tied by mutual children, we exist as partners sharing the same apartment; but this is not love!

In Kabbalah love has a very capacious scientific definition. Speaking briefly and approximately, it is when a person can feel someone else's inner world, his desires, needs, and serves to fulfill him. The sensation that he feels while fulfilling another, is called "love." At the same time, he himself feels delighted.

We return to the formula: "A husband and a wife, and the Creator between them." The Creator is nature's general force of giving, general force of love. If a husband and a wife start cultivating a relationship of absolute giving, this connection is born, this triple union is formed between them. The existence of an elementary human unit is impossible without the quality of giving.

Therefore, only a person who rises to the level of mutual giving by working on him/herself can be a true husband and wife. This is a very difficult correction that man has to go through. Kabbalah teaches how to do that.

It is very difficult. But the suffering of spiritual emptiness, of ruined family relations, between children and parents, in a society, will lead to the situation when people will be ready to spare no effort in order to attain this quality. They will subconsciously, instinctively begin to understand that this ideal exists, that it is distant, but it has to be achieved. In the depth of their fall they will start feeling the possibility of an ascent and they will be bound to do this. So I am an optimist – love will come!

Y. L.: This question was asked by a girl from Sochi: There are no men left who are ready to jump off a bridge for the sake of the beloved. Why isn't anyone attracted by romance?

M. L.: This was possible once, because men thought they deserved the kindness of not so intelligent female egoists and did not know where this would lead. This was caused by the sensation of the insignificance of one's "I," by insufficient development of the person's inner world. Why should he look big in someone's eyes this way? He should not.

A man should wonder whether he is in line with a special standard – eternal and perfect, but not how nice he looks in the eyes of others, and not how he complies with someone's momentary egoistical desires. It is a shame to waste oneself, one's life on this. Therefore jumping off a bridge so that some blonde would sigh and roll up her eyes is utterly senseless. This is a mere exchange: a jump off a bridge for a certain pleasure. What does it have to do with love? Do not confuse this cruel egoistical relationship between people with the sensation of giving, when you feel another person's inner world and wish to fulfill it.

About jealousy

Y. L.: A man asks this question: What is jealousy from the point of view of Kabbalah? Does this feeling have a spiritual explanation?

M. L.: Jealousy in our world, where there is no love, but only animal relations, is when a person perceives another as an owner looks at his property: "this is mine." However, if this property has to legs and it handles itself, this is already bad. In the past a band of virginity could be used, a girl could be locked up, but this cannot be done in our time of female emancipation. So jealousy is all that is left. Men eat their hearts, but then they decide that there is no point in suffering: if not this woman, I'll have another, and life will be simpler. A family gets ruined because it is not based on the elementary rules of a relationship. People are unable to rise above the animate level of consumption.

Y. L.: So how about the feelings, emotions within us, the sensations of pain and joy – something that we call love…?

M. L.: All of this can be explained by biologists, geneticists, and botanists.

Y. L.: About pistils and stamens?

M. L.: Yes. Plants, insects, and people – all function under the influence of hormones. These are inner biological processes, and we should not pass them off as love.

The problem is that man is not sufficiently developed in order to understand that his inner world is a world of pleasure! If he enjoys a beautiful picture, music, a woman, a child, a soup – it is all the same! If he receives pleasure while being as he was born and brought up, then this is called egoistical enjoyment.

Love is based on giving, on transcending oneself; whereas the processes occurring within us are purely animate. For some reason, we pass some of them off as unreal feelings and demand the same from others. What kind of love is this? You will receive an injection of hormones and you will treat the object of your love in a totally different way. This is pure chemistry.

Y. L.: Is there a measuring unit for love?

M. L.: A measuring unit for love is a measuring unit of self-sacrifice, of giving with the purpose of fulfilling the beloved. Love is based on mutual anti-egoistical concessions and it appears when two people realize their animate nature and start working on themselves to rise above it. Such a spiritual couple cultivates a relationship that is above our animate desires, attractions and repulsions, habits, attitude towards the world and creates a union on this basis. This union is built only on mutual concessions in order to create something common, where we would be virtually merged.

The volume that we create is called unification of a male and a female part into single whole. We have a need for this – to achieve merging of souls through merging of bodies. But this is possible only if there is a spiritual couple that understands how it should work to create this union. It is based on mutual concessions, on the acquisition of a reciprocal altruistic attraction, when each lives inside the other and fulfills the other.

The crisis that starts today will force us all to achieve this in our relations, between men and women as well as among people on the whole. We are advancing towards this. This is not a fairy-tale; suffering will make us do that.

Love means giving yourself to others

M. S.: The main biblical law is "Love thy neighbor as thyself." What does "as thyself" mean? Do I have to love myself first?

M. L.: You should find out how you love yourself and to this extent establish your attitude towards thy neighbor. This is called "concession", because by disregarding yourself you start pleasing, satisfying, fulfilling others. This aspiration to fulfill others that you develop within you is called love for them. A relationship of this kind, a mutual aspiration in the society will lead to eternal, happy life.

M. S.: But does man have to love him self?

M. L.: Man has to love himself for being able to merge integrally with all and fulfill all, and then he becomes equal to the Creator – the Supreme force of nature.

Y. L.: Doesn't it turn out to be "love as thyself" instead of "love thyself"?

M. L.: No, because in reality we exist not in ourselves, but in others.

Y. L.: In this way, the more I love people the more pleasure I start receiving?

M. L.: Correct. When I transcend myself, I start revealing my true "I," not the little ugly egoistical man, but my "I" that really exists beyond me. I see myself as a projection of all nature, of the entire universe. And this is "I", if such is my attitude to everything.

Y. L.: That is to say, will I begin to feel all sensations existing beyond me - in other people, in animals, in nature?

M. L.: This is "I." This is mine! In other words, when a person builds such an attitude to the world above himself, he realizes why he was created an egoist – in order to transcend himself, give himself to others and reveal himself in this.

By realizing this correctly and sincerely man will feel that he exists as eternally and perfectly as all nature. This is a general integral law of nature, and we will achieve this state anyway, if not in this life, then in the next one.

Y. L.: Is this love?

M. L.: This is the sensation of absolute love that should be realized in nature's most sublime and most corrupt element - man.

This is where man's freedom of will lies – to realize this need as quickly as possible and see it fulfilled not under the press of the developing crisis, but of his own free will. Our main task now is a circulation of knowledge about the causes of the problems that befall us, manifest within us today.

M. S.: Didn't anyone in the world but Kabbalists taste true love? Will the day come when all of humanity will come to know love?

M. L.: Such a day will come; this should happen within a few decades from now. I hope to see the final stage of this process, the realization of the goal still in my lifetime.

A Kabbalist is a person who correctly interprets the laws of reception (the word "Kabbalah" derives from the verb "to receive"), connections, communication, everything that occurs in nature between all of its parts. He gets knowledge from the world that is concealed from us, the world of altruism and bestowal (not the world of egoism and reception that we perceive) and acts in accordance with this knowledge.

Naturally, the people who have received this knowledge and can apply it in practice and attain a true sensation of love, eternity, and perfection. They enter into a different volume of the universe, into its different aspect, where love is felt as eternally existing.

Modern science is also searching for a different dimension, where the universe functions not the way our egoistical sense organs perceive. The revelation is at hand – Kabbalah helps us to speed up this realization.

How can one learn to love?

M. S.: But how can one learn to love? As in school, from text-books?

M. L.: Learning love does not mean studying Kama Sutra.

Learning love means learning correct interconnection with the one you love; and this does not necessarily have to be someone of the opposite sex. One should learn to enter the inner world of another and fulfil it with himself in the same way as cells act in our animate body. Each cell takes care of the existence of the whole organism and acts according to the program that is common for all cells. It does not consume for its own sake, but works in order to give to all the other cells and organs. This ensures the life of the body and the correct relation between all of its parts.

Illnesses constitute a breach of interaction between cells and organs. Imagine how ill our society is? This organism is affected by a dreadful cancerous growth, when instead of giving the cell begins to devour surrounding cells and exist at their expense. As a result the environment collapses and the cell dies. This is cancer.

Why is this disease so widespread in our time? We have become such egoists that this manifests at other levels of nature: animate and vegetative. There is no getting away from this. The source of our problems and even diseases lies within us, at the human level. Man determines the entire imbalance of nature.

And today it is our duty to realize the principal law of nature – the law of love – in its full measure. This depends solely on man, on our inner effort at the level where our "I" exists, where I am called "man."

M. S.: How does one learn to love?

M. L.: Open the book and study the method. Otherwise you will act based on your animate properties received at birth and the values imposed on you by the society, because you have nothing else in you. First, you have to receive the correct instruction; otherwise you will keep making mistakes. Kabbalah is such an instruction.

For practical exercises Kabbalists form groups. Indeed, many methods are based on group exercises. There is no other way. Here, as in any other matter, you need a teacher, a group, and an instruction which you try to realize with like-minded people.

Did I disappoint you?

Y. L.: On the contrary. You made me reflect.

Who invented marriage?

Y. L.: A question about a family: Did people invent marriage and family? Or was it God who created the institution of marriage?

M. L.: Knowing people and the animal world to which we are similar in this respect, we see that the institution of marriage was not artificially created by man, but appeared based on our natural qualities at the lowest, animate, hormonal level. We observe the likeness of marriage in the animal world, when coupling occurs for reproduction.

Kabbalah reveals the reasons for this – why the elements that interact based on the principle of attraction of opposites (plus and minus, electron and positron) were created exactly this way? Why do molecules and atoms merge, and why two separate opposites have to merge in order to create, give birth to something new?

At the primitive level there are forms when they are not separated and male and female parts exist in one body, merged and participate in the continuation of life together. Yet already at the animate level male and female parts confront a problem of a union for the creation of a new life. The level of superior animals and man is based on interaction.

Why is this arranged so in nature? Because nature strives to elevate man to such level of development, when he would consciously participate in this process, realize, appreciate, and attain its cosmic, universal scale, and approve of it. At the same time man rises to nature's highest level, which constitutes the purpose of existence of the universe, including our world.

Maturity takes one third of man's life.Therefore marriage - unification between male and female parts that created it – should be long and perfect in order to pass all the essential information accumulated by parents to a child.

Man should be brought up, fulfilled. He is born absolutely empty and insignificant, unlike an animal that adapts itself to the environment during the first days of its life. A human child should be constantly guarded, educated, nursed, cherished, and filled with enormous volume of information, so that it would become fit to exist in this world. This is why the institution of marriage exists; a need for it is incorporated in our nature. Nature evokes in us love for children; otherwise we wouldn't have formed couples and given them a chance to exist.

Y. L.: So this institution was not created for mom and dad (husband and wife), but exclusively for reproduction, that is for children?

What is the purpose of a family?

M. L.: For giving! For transferring, dissemination, and stepping out of oneself.

Y. L.: This means that my discontent about family problems, deficit of love and pleasure is caused by the fact that everything occurs in contradiction to giving, and failing to understand that marriage is created for a child, and that everyone seeks his own pleasure in it?

M. L.: Correct. Parents among some animal species either die after they produce offspring or become completely emaciated in order to give life to its offspring, feed, and raise it.

We should learn this, because it is absent in us. We try to fill this gap at our level with the help of technology. A great number of people work to help a woman with a natural process of childbirth, breastfeeding, and infant development. Look how many aids and appliances surround little children. However, this does not make up for our basic mistake – our attitude to it.

In our time people in developed countries do not want to have children. They seek egoistical fulfillment, and the sensation of freedom. One room is no longer enough; a person wants an apartment with several rooms to be totally separated from everybody and everything. Joining my life with another person, living in the same apartment, giving birth to children, raising them, thinking about them day and night… what for? What pleasure will a family give me? This attitude is a result of development of serious egoism in man.

Only by revealing the Upper world, his next state, and the goal of creation, man will be able to see the future – what awaits him if he behaves this way. The vision of the future will sober him up. By clearly feeling the future as the present he will see what happens to him, and out of his egoistical motives he will want to change his life. Only Kabbalah, which reveals the secret world, can give man vision that will force him to change by outbalancing his egoism.

M. S.: Does man need a family in order to learn to take care of another?

M. L.: This is the sole purpose of its existence. We were created with the desire to give birth, raise, and bring up to give to other elements of nature.

Nature endows us with instinctive, animate love so that we would give against our will, get used to it, and gradually reach other levels of giving.

Y. L.: It turns out that the Supreme Force created a false sensation in man of love and attraction to another as a mere bait; so that he will give birth and raise a new man?

M. L.: Man's purpose is not to give birth to a little egoist like himself and aimlessly raise him. He has to realize that the ultimate goal is the attainment of the highest level of nature – the quality of giving and love. Hence, both a man and a woman were created with a need for each other and children to understand, feel, learn this quality from nature at the primitive, animate level and raise it to the human level. This is the reason why we were created as separately existing male and female elements, and by forming a union create the next generation. This is where the need in the institution of marriage lies.

M. S.: Why then is it not enough for me to learn to love my children and wife? Why should I love others, these billions of people?

M. L.: Human organism consists of many opposite, mutually balancing systems: heartbeat, blood vessel distention, compensational contraction, and so on. Everything is based on a seeming contradiction, on mutual balance.

Similarly, between people there are many systems of freeing oneself from egoism. Our egoism is a multi-layer system, and it has to prove itself as a giver on many levels, from a purely instinctive, animate level, up to the highest layers. Therefore, all possible connections should be used here.

The Kabbalist works on it in a group of like-minded men. The birth of a "spiritual child" in the group constitutes the connection among them, their common desire to rise above themselves. When dozens of men create a mutual relationship of love, they create a collective aspiration to ascend, which is called their creation. They give birth, while regarding their egoism as a female part and their aspiration to the spiritual as a male part.

But this is the next stage in the interaction between the male and female parts in our inner world. This is a practical realization of Kabbalists' advice.

Who dominates in a family?

M. S.: Who should dominate in a family?

M. L.: What we call the Creator should dominate – the quality of giving, to attain that which we unite with each other. The main thing should be the ideal – mutual giving, a derivative of two partners, the third force. It should determine all actions and relationship in the family. Egoism then disappears; we easily make concessions to one another to attain this quality; we begin to love one another and endlessly enjoy one another. Our feelings, mutual relations expand, and together we rise towards this common ideal.

M. S.: This resembles a situation when a person could sacrifice his life for his country, i.e., for an idea?

M. L.: Psychology explains that this is merely an egoistical desire to express oneself, to assert one's "I." Love for your country, for your party and for anything else is no more than an egoistical self-assertion.

Y. L.: Are there any spiritual obligations that a husband has to his wife and vice versa?

M. L.: If we speak about true love, then spiritual obligations are bound to exist. They determine all the rest.

However, no obligations and oaths will help. People cannot restrain themselves unless they have a common binding Supreme ideal that stands above this life.

This explains a leap in the number of divorces in the world , because all history is a gradual yet continuous development of egoism that in our time grows hyperbolically and defies all limitations.

People today do not want to feel constrained. They want to move freely around the world, use the internet, and enter hyperspace. They do not need permanent relationships. They wish to satisfy their momentary desires and do not tolerate pressure and restrictions. This is what today's egoism is like.

Therefore, the institution of marriage cannot be kept by moralizing, let alone by force. Everyone understands how useless and pointless this is.

Man has drastically changed within the past hundred years! He is unable to accept someone's pressure today. He can work only if he realizes some Supreme goal. There will be no institution of marriage at the material, animate, instinctive level of our existence today. Technological development will make it possible to create and raise children artificially, like in horror movies. It will be possible to pay people for meeting each other and making a baby. This is the future of humanity. Every woman will procreate for a certain payment or in exchange for special conditions. Otherwise she would not give birth.

Therefore, man will have to realize the law of nature, the spiritual law, above our animate level.

M. S.: Can a lesbian woman become a spiritual husband for another woman?

M. L.: No, because according to her spiritual root she is a woman and an aberration exists only at her lowest hormonal level.

Spiritual husband and wife are completely different notions. A spiritual partner is a spirit, a teacher, a higher level with regard to me. This in no way relates to sexual orientation.

Becoming spiritual partners, so that physical intimacy will at the same time become spiritual is an ideal for every couple. This is a goal to which Kabbalah leads.

M. S.: Can Kabbalist babies be born in Kabbalists' families?

M. L.: No, this is not passed hereditarily as natural abilities, but solely depends on the soul's root and qualities. The soul's root is not connected to the body; it exists in another world.

My advice is not to disregard earthly circumstances, stop changing, brightening up, mending them. Stop the moment and turn to Kabbalah. In a little while it will become clear what we need to do in this life. Whatever you do withou tthis method will simply intensifying the mistake.

About biblical commandments

M. S.: It is written in the Bible: "Thou shalt not commit adultery." What does this mean?

M. L.: The Bible speaks only about spiritual processes.

Y. L.: "Thou shalt not commit adultery." This refers to thy neighbor, brother, friend. Is a man permitted to want the wife of a complete stranger?

M. L.: Kabbalah does not deal with man's bodily problems. It refers to the Supreme level where there are forces that control us. Only by ascending there, man can do something. Before that we cannot decide whether to wish or not.

I cannot tell another person: "Do not wish." "I do wish. What can I do? Make me stop wishing." To "stop wishing" means to rise up to the very root, at the level where you will correct yourself and stop wishing. At our corporeal level, where we are totally controlled by nature's laws, we will not be able to realize the demand "stop wishing."

Ordering a person to "stop wishing" is the same as ordering a cat to "stop wishing" to catch a mouse. This is impossible, because this contradicts nature! A desire comes from above and manifests within man. The next moment I will have another desire. I can suppress it under the threat of punishment, but I will not stopwishing! To stop wishing means to correct oneself. Correction means reaching the level of giving, realization of the forces that control us. Without the knowledge of Kabbalah nothing can be done.

The Bible (Torah) tells us only about what we should attain and correct. Ancient prophets do not demand from us to do something at the earthly level. They perfectly understand that nothing can be done on the earthly level. Our world is the Upper world's creation.

We see from our life experience that we can do nothing with ourselves. You can give an oath every day and then forget about it in a moment because we act based on our qualities, which can be changed only from above.

Y. L.: People take the phrases and instructions in the Old Testament literally.

M. L.: The Old Testament speaks about the path of a person who ascends to the level of spiritual roots, from matter to the forces that control it. When he realizes and feels these forces, he undergoes metamorphoses called "corrections," and this is what the Old Testament says. Hence the name "Testament" – this task was bequeathed to man to be fulfilled. However, this is possible only if we follow the advice of Kabbalists. They wrote based on their attainment of the Upper world. Therefore, the book is called "Holy Scriptures" – it was given to us from Above, and this is how it should be perceived. We have to ascend to the level of the Bible and its authors. This is what they call upon us to do.

Do the authors of the Old Testament tell us how to make human life in this world comfortable?! How to live a few decades and "good luck"? They urge us to rise to the level of organic, harmonious, integral interaction and love. This is what the Old Testament calls upon us to do. Its principal law is "Love thy neighbor as thyself." I hope that we will achieve this goal.

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