The Economic Crisis And The Need For A New Education
М. Laitman: I’ve heard a lot about you, Mr Khazin. I’ve also read a few of your works. Of course I am not an economist by education, although I also engage in the study of the global problems of humanity, but from the point of view of Kabbalah. I know that you’ve been researching and trying to find a solution to the problems of the world economy and the Russian economy in particular. I am very interested to know if we can find common ground in our two very different approaches. They could suggest a combined solution or additional ideas in our further research.
M. Khazin: The picture behind your back inspired me to give a short introduction, if you allow it.
М. Laitman: Yes please. Of course.
M. Khazin: This happened five years ago. I was taking my five-year-old daughter home from her preparatory school. We were in the underground at rush hour and were pushed into a corner. There happened to be a man and a woman next to me. They were obviously members of a semi-Christian sect, and seeing that I had nowhere to go they started to actively work on me saying: “Have you ever read the right books? Do you believe in Christ?” and so on.
Feeling a strong resentment, I asked them: “Guys, can you prove to me the existence of your God? Why are you bothering me?” They said: “This is written in the book.” I asked: “In the book? When was this book written?! Give me an example of direct, divine intervention.” They said: “We can’t do that.” I said: “You can’t, but I can.” They asked me, “how?!”
I told them: “Look what is written in the Main Book. In the comprehensible form of a parable the Main Book explains about man’s relationship with God. Let’s take one of the first parables, which is about Babel. What does it say?” they asked. “Well, it says that arrogance is a sin and if man decides that he can talk with God on his own initiative then he is terribly wrong. Yet punishment doesn’t follow immediately because man should be given time to change his mind. If he feels powerful enough to not only speak about his intention to establish contact with God but also to impose his opinion on the whole world (namely to build a tower reaching up to heaven), the punishment follows at once. The tower was destroyed and the languages were mixed upto prevent people from rebuilding it.”
“Now let’s have a look at 1991. The United States of America is at the peak of its power, openly declaring its values to be the most important values in the world. Consequently it intends to impose its values on everyone. In other words, it would replace God. What happens? Not only does the tower of American economy crumble during the following eight years, but it crumbles through destruction of the world’s unified language of economy—the US dollar. So you can see, this is not just an economic crisis. It is developing exactly according to the mechanism that was described twenty-five hundred years ago. Make your own conclusions.”
Over the last five or six years, when talking to my students about the modern crisis, I tell them this story saying: “Guys, when we speak about the modern economy we can certainly discuss interest rates, inflation or other things, but we should realize that certain basic values should underlie them. A deviation from these values (some believe this happened in the 18th century, others say it was in the 16th century) constitutes the basic contradiction. For this reason this economy is destined to be destroyed. Actually, it is being destroyed as we speak.”
This is what lies at the foundation and everyone should make his own conclusion about who controls everything and how. Essentially, this is the reasoning basis.
М. Laitman: Well, now I will take a few minutes to share my view of the tower of Babel.
At that time in ancient Babylon (this was around four thousand years ago) people reached the same state as we have reached today—a global universal interdependence. They too found themselves in a “small village,” dependent on one another (as in a “butterfly effect”), not knowing what to do next. Driven by their egoism, they decided to erect a “tower reaching up to heaven.” This was an allegorical expression of their egoism. As a result they stopped understanding one another and became alienated (language mix-up).
In fact, languages were not mixed up. There was one language at the time. Languages appeared later, when people were scattered to all corners of the world. Initially they simply stopped understanding one another (as if “speaking in different tongues”), just as we say when we don’t understand one another. That is how they were separated. Their egoism alienated them.
At that time there lived a pagan priest who made amulets and idols for sale. His name was Abraham. Abraham started reflecting on this process. He described his thoughts in his book called The Book of Creation. Abraham discovered that human egoism was constantly growing. In defiance of this egoism man should keep a general social balance. In other words, we should live in balance with one another in our human society and with nature just as nature’s inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels coexist in a state of homeostasis. Man is an exception because his egoism makes him opposite to nature and compels him to hate others. He desires not just to exist normally, but to build his well-being on suppression of other people and to enjoy humiliating others.
Abraham revealed all of this. He then said that “Love thy neighbor as thyself” is the fundamental law of nature. In reality, this is truth for the human society and not a fine phrase. This is a law that really exists in nature. If man attains this state, he achieves balance. The entire system of inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human nature achieves balance.
If we develop under the yoke of our constantly growing egoism and fail to balance ourselves with nature, we finally come to a crisis similar to the one that took place in ancient Babylon. They were able to cope with that crisis by dispersing in all directions. They stopped communicating with one another and abandoned one small village.
Kabbalah predicted (and Abraham wrote about this) that in our time, starting in 1995 (it even mentions the date) humanity will reach the state of a small global village again. People will be completely dependent on one another and they will naturally hate one another. This is the problem we must solve because the problem is not in economy. The problem lies in all human activities: culture, science, education, family disintegration, drug abuse, depression, ecology which we influence, and climate. The entire system is in complete disorder because man upsets its balance. There is no other factor.
The science of Kabbalah says that today nature forces us to realize our interdependence and to achieve balance.
M. Khazin: Firstly, let me say one thing. In and around 1995 the world economy passed a point of no return, the moment when the current crisis became unavoidable. I tell you the exact date because this is a process, but 1995 sounds very close.
As a matter of fact, this happened during the period of the Clinton administration around the middle of his term. If we go back to a strictly economic sphere, then it could be said: egoism doesn’t fall from the sky… How shall I put it? There are schemes for building a society that are limited by egoism and those that actively develop it.
Speaking of modern economy, its prerequisites appeared in the 16th century when after the “golden crisis” and the “minor ice age” in Europe, humanity chose modern capitalism (i.e., the use of a loan interest in production) in order to survive. To all intents and purposes, they abolished one of the basic prohibitions.
М. Laitman: Yes.
M. Khazin: This theory, this model developed for about 200 years. At a certain point it became clear that it was unstable. After that the development continued in two economic directions:
The first is the reinstatement of the prohibition of interest on a loan. In our terminology it is called the development of a “red” socialist project. It had only one flaw: its followers were developing the theory in the 19th century, which was the age of atheism. Due to this reason they made their theory fundamentally atheistic. That was its weak point and they finally lost because of it.
The other concept, the modern Western project, is a rejection of any prohibitions whatsoever. I can’t use a certain term because in different sources the modern Western society is called different names, but we usually characterize its followers as “amandiolists” (meaning “followers of a unified world government”). They chose the path of the development of freedom in the following sense: man is free to choose his own basic restrictions (commandments).
For example, this became quite apparent in the famous story of New Orleans during the hurricane Katrina. Every normal person has moral standards, a system of inner commandments. He doesn’t kill not because he will be punished, but because killing is forbidden. The people who lived in New Orleans during the crisis had a different (Western) system of values. They had a law, but no moral standards.
What is a law? It is a code, police, prison, court of justice, and so on. In the absence of police and court of law, killing is permitted. There is no inner ban.
One should clearly understand that modern economy in which profit is of paramount importance is based on loan interest. The economic creation of this system is a long story. It consisted of several stages: 1913—the establishment of the Central bank and the US Federal Reserve System; 1944—the Bretenwood agreement; 1971—rejection of a dollar’s gold standard, final separation of money from reality and establishment of a system in which multiplication of money became the main element of an economic system.
Today this system is dying before our eyes. It will be an extremely agonizing process with very grave consequences. The problem is that we have to invent a new model. Around a year and a half ago I constructed a report entitled “Basic values of a new financial economic paradigm” at the Rodos Conference “The Dialog among Civilizations.”
Today humanity should invent a model that is based on fundamental values, yet it should be a working model.
This is because one of the ideas suggested by amandiolists suggests the following: “There are too many people; hence they abuse nature and so on. We should reduce the world population of six billion to two hundred million and then everyone will be happy.”
No one will be happy because the problem lies in the economic model. The invention of a new financial and economic model is a problem which I have contemplated for a number of years. I hope that the number of people thinking about this issue will grow because it is impossible for this problem to be solved by one person.
М. Laitman: Don’t you think that the solution of this problem lies not only in building a different kind of economic relationship, but in the sphere of education? Unless we establish our economic relationships on a moral basis (one must correctly interact with others regardless of loan interest or police), then all our efforts will fail.)
M. Khazin: There is no doubt about it! In the absence of moral standards it will be impossible to build a new model. It must be invented.
М. Laitman: Why should we invent it?
M. Khazin: Because today’s model destroys moral standards.
М. Laitman: Yes, but why should we invent it?! We can take it from nature. Look how our biological body is built at the animate level (not at the human level). The human level is supposedly higher than the animate one. At animate level each cell of our body is egoistical, but all cells unite for the sake of the body, each of them neutralizing its egoism for the sake of the life of the whole body. Thus different body organs exist in harmony with one another. None of them receives more than is necessary for its existence and the sustenance of the body.
We see that nature can’t exist any differently! Life only exists based on this principle!
So if we want human society to exist normally, such relations between people must be established.
M. Khazin: If we use this analogy, then capitalist economy is a cancerous growth.
М. Laitman: Of course!
M. Khazin: An organism has mechanisms such as the immune system that protect it from such processes. We need to develop a system like this. How? I’m not really sure, although I recognize that this would take quite a long time.
There is another problem: I’ve talked a lot with different people who practice Islam, including a well-known man called Geidar Jemal who said to me: “Misha, there is a splendid Islamic model. It completely and strictly prohibits interest on a loan. Why don’t we use it as the basis?”
I answered: “Geidar, take note, no Islamic country has ever built an industrial state.” I don’t know…, perhaps Iran is an exception. But Iran is more a Persian than an Islamic state. I don’t know why, but I am inclined to believe that it could be that the strict ban imposed on loan interest creates certain problems.
The modern society only exists due to industrial civilization. All high-yielding crops give rich harvests only because we apply extensive fertilization; and fertilizers mean electricity.
So while we clearly understand that there is a need for a new society, we realize that it should fundamentally differ from the present one. It’s quite obvious that such a society should be based not on the economy, but on morality, there is no question about it. However, as an economist I clearly realize that the transition may be very difficult. I still don’t understand how we can even start on this path. We see from the past that it is very difficult to find a correct path without flooding the world with blood.
М. Laitman: What if we flood the world with information? We would forcibly remove all violence from TV, all yellow press from mass media, and simply start explaining to the world (in all possible ways!) what this world is really like. Globalization means connection between people. It is not a specialization, when nuts are produced here and bolts are made there. This is not the meaning of globalization! Its meaning lies in the inseparable connection, complete interaction, and mutual influence of people. If we start explaining this to people and showing everyone that to do otherwise means we face the threat of destruction, wouldn’t this educational process constitute a transition from an economic basis to a moral one?
M. Khazin: I can only express my own opinion. For a start, the fact that humanity has become a unified entity today (information-wise as well) is to a great extent the result of bolts being produced in one place and nuts in another. Modern society is built on an economic system ofdivision of labor. However, the problem of modern economy lies in the fact that the system ofdivision of labor is designed so that it must be constantly extended. There is no way to stop it.
М. Laitman: There is no need to stop it. Why would we?
M. Khazin: But there is no more room for extension.
М. Laitman: Of course there is! It can be extended wonderfully! We just need to create a different basis for it! Let’s establish good relationships among us, for otherwise we won’t survive. Our system is in conflict with nature’s global law.
M. Khazin: Look at what happens in practice: the USSR declares that it dismantles its system of the division of labor and joins the Western one. The fact that this happened due to objective or subjective reasons is of no importance at all. A certain thing took place. Let’s proceed.
The USSR had an aircraft building industry, which by that time had produced 40% of the world’s passenger aircraft fleet. Today Russia has practically stopped manufacturing passenger planes. In other words, the Russian aircraft industry has lost hundreds of billions of dollars that it could have made from airplane sales.
Russiaspent this amount of money on the creation and implementation of a television system with the purpose of explaining that this system is right and good.
The problem is that since the system of division of labor is based on a loan interest and multiplication of money, it always allocates enormous sums of money for the propaganda of its own value. Experience shows that very few people are able to ignore this propaganda.
I remember my personal feelings very well. I was a mathematician and started studying economics in 1992. I remember how seriously I was taking all of the Western propaganda (including the economic one) that was reaching the Soviet Union. It took me five years to realize that it was lying. I understand this quite clearly today… When I give lectures to my students, I tell them the same things that you are saying: “Guys, there are certain moral principles and they are more important than the knowledge that you receive here.”
М. Laitman: These principles are not moral! These principles are natural! They exist in nature! We can’t get away from them! Accepting or rejecting them is not our choice. Moral principles are those that we can add to our life. The principles that I describe are the principles of survival, of nature’s existence! Accepting or rejecting them means surviving or perishing. Do you understand?
M. Khazin: Yes, I agree with you,butyou can’t explain this to an ordinary person.
М. Laitman: Today the world is facing a very grave problem. You understand what is going to happen to it in the next few years better than I do. Today, when we realize that everything is crumbling, we can smoothly introduce a new system of relationships. We can put this “pillow” under the falling world and it will stop falling. To the extent of our understanding of how we should interact with one another we would gradually reshape our existence… We will be drawing up contracts in a different way! Governments and states will make different agreements. We will see that we have to do this! Do you understand what I mean?
Tell me as a mathematician: if we accept the global character of the world today, what kind of a big business can we do without taking the whole world into consideration? Ideally, this is impossible.
M. Khazin: A big business is impossible.
М. Laitman: In a couple of years even a small business won’t be an option! Even at a micro level there will be no interaction.Look how a family disintegrates; the very foundations of our society crumble.
M. Khazin: I agree, but the problem is that Lawrence Summers will be the next US President’s head economist and Hillary Clinton will be Secretary of State. I can assure you that all the documents they will prepare and sign will say that the dominance of the USA and the banks of Wall Street should be ensured at any cost. I know this because I used to work in the Russian Federation government in the nineties and I know who Summers is. He is not a man who will change his position, if only because he is sincerely convinced that the only right position is his.
I don’t even want to speak about H. Clinton. I am generally very skeptical about the situation in which women start solving global problems. Everyone on this earth has his/her own function. A woman’s task is not solving the world’s problems, but bearing and correctly raising children. These are different tasks, but this changes nothing in America.
М. Laitman: I completely agree with you on this. But that’s not the point.
The point is that we don’t upset anything by introducing universal global education. We say: Let’s explain to people what the world in which they live is like. They live in a global world. What is “a global world”? And what is “a butterfly effect”? What is “a small village,” “universal dependence,” “absence of trust” and so on? Let’s explain these things to people! In other words, today we are facing problems with which we can’t work.
M. Khazin: I would formulate it differently.Instead of saying “Let’s explain” I would say “Let’s start explaining” because sometimes a very long time passes between the beginning of a process and its result.
М. Laitman: All right.
M. Khazin: I meet many different people with whom I discuss the economy. The open-minded amongst them grasp the system I suggest, while others remain unconvinced and don’t agree. But on the whole they understand it.
Yet when I come across someone who spent a year studying in the United States of America (in Harvard, Princeton or Yale), all understanding stops. As soon as you start talking with these people, a hard impenetrable wall gets erected. They don’t want to hear and it is clear why.
It was explained to them that if they followed certain rules, their life would be a success: they would have a handsome salary, they would be invited to large conferences and interviewed by major newspapers…
М. Laitman: All of that has come to an end today! It is all falling! They are standing like little children, trembling and having no idea where they are. They are bewildered—the mother is gone and they don’t know what to do.
M. Khazin: Very few people really understand what is going on, especially those who bear no responsibility. The people who bear responsibility and understand the magnitude of the occurring events realize that things look bad.
The people belonging to these colossal so-called “expert communities” have never born any responsibility. They were receiving comforts and pursuing their careers without assuming any responsibility for their actions. Just look at all those fake analysts…
М. Laitman: Yes.
M. Khazin: It is a heart-rending sight. How many people did they bring to ruin? Yet they bear no responsibility for this. These people are sincerely convinced that everything that is going on is just another small crisis that will end in six months, or maybe a year or two. It will take a great deal of time to explain to them that the world in which they used to live has come to an end.
There is one more circumstance – they were receiving all of their advantages and influence from a certain source. This is a standard situation: when I carry on polemics with someone on the Internet, an argument of the following type is typically put forward: “Did he make enough money to buy an apartment? Is he invited to prestigious conferences? No? He’s not worth listening to, whatever he says. He is just a loser.”
We should clearly understand that until life itself clears such stereotypes away, there is no point talking; they don’t and wouldn’t hear.
М. Laitman: Well, I think that today we should simply work in our direction and the crisis will help us.
M. Khazin: Let’s hope so.
М. Laitman: The crisis will definitely help us.
M. Khazin: Yes.
М. Laitman: These people will have to work as builders or something like that to continue making a living because no one will need analysts anymore.
M. Khazin:They won’t work as builders.
М. Laitman: It doesn’t matter what jobs they’ll get.
M. Khazin:This is impossible.
М. Laitman: Then what will happen to them? What will happen to all those millions of people?
M. Khazin: A few options are available. The first one: extremist organizations will feed on them. And I really fear that there will be more ground for such organizations to proliferate.
М. Laitman: I see.
M. Khazin: Those people will be very displeased.
М. Laitman: By the way, Kabbalah says that the next social order that may emerge as a result of the crisis in all developed countries will be Nazism.
M. Khazin: Yes of course. It will be Nazism because people who feel that they are on shaky ground are quickly given the only right answer to all their questions. This is quite natural.
М. Laitman: That is why we have no other way out than to start an opposite process of popular education in a global society and explain global dependence to people.
M. Khazin: Look, the site that I administrate (www.worldcrisis.ru) has existed since 2003. Until September of this year around 5000 people visited it every day. Since September the number of visitors has trebled. Now we have 15,000 visits a day. At the same time I haven’t spent any money on this site. I have no money for a large-scale project. I administrate this site, each day for an hour or two, morning and evening.
When I was asked: “Why do you need this project if it brings no profit?” I explain that the sole goal of it is that every person should understand his social function, his social obligation. My function is to explain to people what problems they face and that these problems (including the economic ones) should be solved at a much deeper level. Without realizing the need to fundamentally change the value basis, it will be impossible to solve the economic problem.
М. Laitman: All right, so what exactly do you suggest?
I suggest that we should forcibly introduce a new system. When the state understands that there is no other way out and that Nazi regimes and wars are ahead, that the governments will be replaced by other governments, can’t a certain amount of money and effort be allocated on the propaganda of the most obvious fact: humanity’s global interdependence and the ultimate value of unity between all people?
This way we achieve harmony with nature. Otherwise we will be destroyed. If the climate doesn’t kill us, then we will destroy ourselves or starve to death. We have the solution to this; we have it right here in our hands.
M. Khazin: There is only one state in Europe that is working in earnest on reducing urban population and increasing its rural one. This is Belarus where a serious farming program was adopted at a state level.
In other words, there is a man in power who takes his country’s problems seriously. He even understands or rather feels the scale of the occurring changes.
Yet if you take Europe, the USA, and modern Russia you’ll see that the level of the political elite has become incredibly degraded in the last thirty years. After Richard Nixon there has been no President in the USA who would have an idea about the global problems that his country and the world are facing. And there is a reason for this. This too is a result of the current economic model. Its task was to eliminate the subjective factor in the changing of a situation. It has purposefully advanced people on the political ladder who had already made up their mind and had no desire to reject the model with which they grew up.
М. Laitman: All right, but we can’t herd everyone back into villages. Even if we could, this is against nature.
Lukashenko will fail. He certainly will! There is no way back to caves. There are too many of us.
M. Khazin: He is not herding people into villages.
М. Laitman: It doesn’t matter. I see what you mean, but this won’t work! Nature is driving us towards integral connection with one another; whereas he separates us. He chose the model of ancient Babylon: let’s move as far from one another as possible so that our egoism will not disturb us in our relationships. We will be more or less interconnected at a distance and our farmland will provide food for us.
We can’t afford this… Even if we could create all conditions for this; the general law of nature has its own dynamics. Evolution! It drives us to harmonious unity, just as the rest of the universe and the inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels of nature are interconnected, people should also be interconnected at the mental level. Therefore, we are obliged to achieve this level of interconnection.
Lukashenko wants to use an old principle: let’s distance one from another as in a family; let’s split; get a divorce. What’s next? This contradicts the general tendency! He will get a crisis that is much bigger than all those in the past.
M. Khazin: May be, but … I repeat – he is the only one. Since I participate in public administration, I can say that a functionary’s psychology basically boils down to the following: there is no need to look for a solution (in time the problem will probably solve itself). This is a self-sufficient principle today.
М. Laitman: In other words, you want to say: “Relax, no one will listen to you. You may be right, but no one will hear.”
M. Khazin: No, no, no. I am not saying this to you. I am sure you are right. But I also realize that it is an extremely difficult and almost impossible task to come to an agreement with officials today (not with a specific person, but with the system as a whole).
М. Laitman: So I will ask a different question. How can we appeal to people? We don’t need the authorities. We understand that they are marionettes and there’s no point talking to them.
M. Khazin: They are not just marionettes. A marionette suspects that someone is pulling the strings and it’s possible to speak with him. We are talking about the marionettes of a system that has no governing center.
М. Laitman: Right.
M. Khazin: This is a sort of a self-sustaining structure; therefore, there is no one to appeal to. On my site there is an amazing article “Lectures about bureaucracy”. It was written by Oleg Grigoriev, probably the most outstanding economist in the world today. He explains everything very simply in his article.
М. Laitman: So how can we approach people?
M. Khazin: I think that the only option is to use humanity’s inventions, writing and speaking.
М. Laitman: You mean the Internet…
M. Khazin: We can write books and post them on the Internet. The main thing is to address the young who areundoubtedly more inclined to understand.
I see quite clearly that a new young generation in their early twenties has emerged in Russia. They are strikingly different from the people who are thirty or forty.
The overwhelming majority of thirty or forty-year-old people see nothing but money. Any issue that you start discussing with them instantly brings up the following question: “Will I be paid for this? No? Good-bye!”
Twenty-year-old people or even younger (I simply don’t meet school kids) are ready to work. They want to receive a salary, but at the same time… If there is a meaningless activity that brings a lot of money and a meaningful one for less money, they will choose the latter. This new generation should certainly be taught and educated.
The main thing is to create an alternative hierarchical system. So, people could see that by working in this direction and circulating the right ideas, a person advances within it. This is also very important for one’s inner development.
This system should be created. These people need to meet. They need to be close and to communicate with each other. This shouldn’t necessarily be a system (the term “hierarchy” that I used is incorrect because it implies a commanding system). It should be a network structure, but not as in secret societies, when you know only someone next to you. It should be a system of maximum interaction.
М. Laitman: Can you name the people who realize the need for such an educational project and who are ready to participate in it?
M. Khazin: Of course. We have such people.
As a matter of fact, I have ten or twenty such people on my site. If each of them gets the word, then there will be more. I think that provided this work is being done, there will be thousands. I am not talking about tens of thousands, but such numbers may not be necessary.
М. Laitman: So maybe we should start organizing a powerful explanatory system not in one country, but throughout the world?
M. Khazin: That’s exactly what should be done because Latin America with its leaders is obviously ready for this now… when Hugo Chavez starts speaking about socialism, one should understand that he has no idea about socialism, Karl Marx, etc. For him socialism is a synonym of the word “justice.”
One should understand that if a state leader speaks about the need for justice, this means that a great number of people want to work in the framework of justice. However, what is justice and, most importantly, how can it be achieved? The “simplest” way is to shoot ten thousand or one hundred thousand, or a million exploiters. Yet if you look at these exploiters, you’ll discover that most of them are not exploiters at all. They just happened to be born not here, but there. Change them for other people and they will become exploiters while others will sweat.
Hence, one should clearly understand that this administrative system is self-sufficient. That is why this economic crisis is so dangerous. It destroys the model within which people exist and sharply increases their need for justice. Yet we have no model for establishing justice today.
The socialist model has been destroyed. The religious model has also collapsed because it doesn’t suggest the model of a state. As a result you have chaos and a very dangerous one.
Therefore I am trying to understand how a certain order can be built in the framework of more just relationships. Otherwise we will be watching horrible pictures with large regions populated by millions of hungry people. In this sense the situation in Central Africa is very indicative.
М. Laitman: Yes.
M. Khazin: I would hate to see this kind of a situation repeated somewhere else in the world, especially in the place where I live. As a person whose grandfather was in a concentration camp, I strongly dislike any fascist methods of solving such problems.
М. Laitman: Well, this makes it even more necessary for us to quickly think about how we can show people that there is no other way but to conform to nature’s laws, to be as globally interconnected as all the other parts of nature. Let’s just establish a normal connection among us. We can’t escape this law! This is a net covering us all!
This originated in Adam’s sin. What is the meaning of “Adam’s sin”? One unified soul broke into billions of fragments and those fragments are us.
As soon as we start reassembling these fragments in accordance with the principle “Love thy neighbor as thyself” we practically form one harmonious organism. As a result we begin to perceive a totally different existence; not just our body’s sensation of only animate existence, but above it. We start perceiving higher levels of existence: something we see connecting us in this sensation of interaction and love. This is what Kabbalah says. You reveal a completely different matter that is more subtle and sublime. Just because we unite in one organism, this organism rises from the animate level to the human one. It achieves the next level.
Here we come to an amazing result of which Kabbalists say: nature forces us to rise above the animate level and to become man.
The Hebrew word “Adam” (“man”) means “like Creator.” The Creator and nature are the same. In other words, we should achieve this likeness, and then we will attain a totally different sensation of life, eternal and perfect. This is by no means a religious approach.
M. Khazin: I agree, but again you are speaking about the result. So how can we start on this path?
М. Laitman: Only through education.
M. Khazin: How can we approach it?
Ok, but it’s one thing to educate your own son who is under your control. Even your son finds other sources of information when he turns twelve or fifteen. It’s a totally different thing to educate a person who doesn’t agree with you. There is and will be resistance.
М. Laitman: Yes I know.
M. Khazin: The modern Western civilization is a satanic structure generating ideas that profit and money are the most important things.
Hence, this crisis is very important. Why? Because by destroying this system of money-making it directs people towards justice. And the most important thing is to show justice to them.
At this point a very interesting moment comes. A time when you might say, “wow.”
I experienced two such “Wows.” The first one was when being a high-school student I read Archimedes’s proof of a theorem stating that the size of a sphere inside a cylinder relates to... After reading this, I realized that a man who lived two thousand years before me could do such a thing and I will never be able to. This was a revelation.
The second revelation occurred when I was a freshman at the YaroslavlUniversity and together with other students I was sent to work on potato fields in the country. For the first time in my life I saw how people lived in remote Russian villages. Of course I talked to people there, but their reaction to many things was very simple: “Misha, show us the button. What button should we push to achieve the result? We don’t care how the radio is designed. We understand that if we turn the knob to the right, the volume goes up, and if we turn the knob to the left, the volume goes down.”
We have the same situation. When I start telling a simple ordinary person about achievement of harmony, he says: “Misha, this is all fine, but tell me what button I should push. Just tell me what to do?”
М. Laitman: I’ll tell you what to do. As one Michael to another I’ll tell you: there’s no getting away from this! Nature will compel us to rise from the animate level and reach the human one. We can’t remain farmers in a Yaroslavl village. We can’t! We must reach a level when we realize where we are. Nature is pushing us to this realization.
This crisis is certainly a wonderful thing. It will squeeze and thrash us well and truly and it will force us to do this! Theoretically, we can continue doing nothing, but with the help of horrible sufferings we will be pulled to the top anyway. We will be driven to happiness with a stick. We can do this differently, however. We can soften and mitigate the blows, avoid multi-billion losses, destruction, etc. That is all I’m saying.
Since the time of Abraham, Kabbalah has been explaining this whole process, and everything has developed exactly as it had predicted! Egoism will force us to reach a level when we will have to work on ourselves. That is the purpose of its existence. It is said: “I provide you with help against yourself.” “Help against yourself.”
M. Khazin: I agree. I certainly do But we are talking about what can be done here and now. I believe the most important thing to do is to educate people, especially the young.
I used to work as a school teacher in the Soviet Union. I think that it is one of the most rewarding professions that a man can have. Theoretically, it should be the main occupation of man.
Indeed, an educational system should be created. At the same time, it seems to me that it is very important to avoid giving it fixed forms. If a person seeks justice, he shouldn’t be forced to seek justice in the form that someone else likes. He should be carefully directed and told: “Look, this doesn’t work and that doesn’t work, so try this way.” Otherwise we will find ourselves in a position of classical sectarian organizations, which say that one must believe only in the words from the right book. This must not be done by force. I believe this is the most important thing today.
At the same time, the overwhelming majority of people will have no interest in the way the system (the button they need to push) is designed. Man will be ready to sacrifice something to achieve harmony and justice for humanity as a whole, but building this model is beyond his grasp. He says: “Guys, I’m ready to work. Just show me my place.”
М. Laitman: Well…
M. Khazin: Today our task is to try building this model as a working scheme.
М. Laitman: Yes. We have to adapt our education to different levels of man’s development. Are you trying to find people who would understand that education is the main problem of humanity and that this crisis is forcing us to rise morally on a global scale?
M. Khazin: I am looking for such people, but you should understand: I was working for the state. My relationship with the modern system of Russian power that is undoubtedly induced by the West were very complicated. Roughly speaking, not only did I refuse to steal (because I think it is wrong), but I was also trying to prevent others from stealing. I thought that stealing contradicts certain basic principles, including the principle of development of society. I have a firm conviction that a society based on stealing couldn’t be right.
Well, in the end I had to quit. After that I wasn’t allowed to go abroad for a decade. They refused to give me a foreign passport. In fact, my first trip abroad was in September 1997 and the next one was in the summer of 2007. I was very restricted in this sense.
Now my activity has increased in this respect. But again I have a site visited by many people, including people from other countries. Naturally, the site is in Russian, but many people can read and write Russian. Unfortunately I have no budget even for translating basic materials into foreign languages, although some of my texts have been translated by people for free.
I am rather actively engaged in education. I go to different cities, give lectures, explain things to people, etc.
I am also work on another project as a consultant. The fact is that I clearly understand that the main problem of this crisis relates to the crumbling system of small and medium business...
М. Laitman: Yes.
M. Khazin: …when people try to make a living and to provide for others. In this sense the basic block of this formation is not a big business based on a loan interest, but namely small and medium business.
The fact is that people were taught and conditioned in the framework of a certain model. The model is disintegrating and without an understanding of what’s happening they will inevitably make very many mistakes.
These people don’t believe that the current crisis is about to end. The propaganda that is pouring from all media will strengthen their disbelief. I am the head of a small consulting company called “NEOCON” that employs three people aged between forty and fifty and many more who are between nineteen and twenty-two. They represent the youth that I was teaching.
Our products (partly paid and partly free) are intended to explain the things occurring in the world to small and medium businesses. I think this is also a very important thing.
And of course we should teach schoolchildren and students (aged 20 to 22) a basic system of values of which they may have heard, but don’t understand how much it affects their life including the economy.
For example, my friend’s son is a student of the High School of Economy, which is one of the central houses of liberalism. When I told him how the system of values influenced the establishment of a financial system, it was a revelation for him. They are taught that there can be no other model but the present one because it is the only correct model. This is something on which we should actively work.
М. Laitman: I’ll certainly visit your blog. I hope we will be able to correspond. I have a blog of my own. I can send you my information and I hope that we’ll be in touch.
M. Khazin: I don’t think we’ll have any technical problems.
М. Laitman: It seems to me that something will come out of it. I am looking for people in the world who understand that the uplift of moral standards will pull us out the economic crisis.
M. Khazin: Yes, I very much hope that the number of people who understand this will be growing all the time.
М. Laitman: We must look for such people.
M. Khazin: I agree.
М. Laitman: Thank you very much Mikhail! I’ll be happy to meet you again.
M. Khazin: Thank you so much!
Yesterday I received a link to your site on which my definition of the term “globalization” is being discussed. I didn’t have enough time to respond, but allow me to say that economic and philosophic explanations should not be mixed up. These are different terms, different languages.
М. Laitman: Let’s start our cooperation with this.
M. Khazin: OK, agreed.
М. Laitman: Thank you very much! I wish you good luck in everything.
M. Khazin: Thank you. It was very nice meeting you. Good luck to you too! Good-bye.
Education – article by Michael Laitman, PhD
How Do We Renew & Improve Education – lesson with Michael Laitman, PhD