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Spiritual Geography

A conversation between Rav Michael Laitman, PhD and Kabbalah Academy instructors, Michael Sanilevich and Yevgeny Litvar
August 9, 2007

Y. Litvar: Hello dear friends. Today we have in our studio a professor, doctor, and renowned Kabbalist Michael Laitman. The topic that we are going to discuss is “spiritual” geography. As usual, my friend, the instructor of the International Kabbalah Academy Michael Sanilevich begins our program.

M. Sanilevich: Hello. Here is my first question: “Where did everything in this material world come from?”

M. Laitman: The material world appeared as a result of descent of the Upper spiritual forces. What does “spiritual” mean? And what does “Upper” mean? Forces that we do not perceive (they stand behind matter or before it) gradually come to a state, when they lose their superior properties and become very close to matter. It is then that they break through a potential barrier and as a result of this the spiritual forces become material. After that, by means of their subsequent descent they form inanimate, vegetative, animate and speaking levels of nature.

However, we should understand that internally all these forces are the same and only in our sensations are they portrayed as material objects. In reality, if we had different sense organs, we would not reveal any objects around us. We would see something else. We perceive this whole world; therefore, we can only speak about its corporeality in relation to our sense organs.

Kabbalah studies the theory of knowledge, of perception. Hence, the main issue in Kabbalah is finding out what we really are and why we perceive the surrounding world this way. Subsequently it turns out that we subjectively perceive reality exactly as it is reflected by our sense organs.

However, this is a somewhat different and very large topic that has nothing to do with geography. Geography itself is a particular subject that merely describes the results of our sensations. It does not explain how this world’s picture appears in our mind; it rather explains of what it consists and why it has such geographic relief. This may be astronomy or Earth geography.

M. Sanilevich: Which theory of the world’s origin is supported by Kabbalah? There is a Big Bang theory and that of the Creationists, the theory of divine creation. Others assume that the Earth was visited by extraterrestrials and only after their visit did material life appeared. What is the attitude of Kabbalah to all this?

M. Laitman: The view of Kabbalah on the origin of the world we sense is similar to the theory of the Big Bang.

The divine theory constantly refers us to some incomprehensible force or creature whose whereabouts are unknown, and which controls us as it thinks fit and seemingly acts in accordance with its desires. Kabbalah has nothing to do with this theory!

Besides, one should understand that Kabbalah is a science that develops man and is constantly developing with him. Man attains this world through hidden forces. Only after attaining these forces does he begin to see their hierarchy: where they move and how they line up according to the force net and the height of the gradually ascending worlds. All of this boils down to one single force called “nature” or “Creator” because both of these notions are absolutely identical in Kabbalah.

Kabbalah also studies Gematria, i.e. the numerical meanings of the inner essence of forces and objects. The Gematria of the word “Teva” (nature) corresponds to the Gematria of the Hebrew word “Elokim” (Creator). Thus, both “Elokim” and “Teva” constitute identical notional concepts. In other words, Kabbalah views the Creator (or God), the Supreme force or nature—higher, spiritual nature in its most sublime sphere—as identical notions. Kabbalah explains how the entire universe originated from this sublime force and that the universe is attained from below (from our world and upwards).

While researching nature Kabbalists tell us how this force descended from above and created all spiritual worlds. Afterwards, by using explosive penetration, it created a place for our universe and built it all, including the Earth with its gradual conception of life.

Y. Litvar: Can one say that all of this was taking place due to an increasingly greater coarsening of forces and energies that were descending to our world?

M. Laitman: Quite correct. That’s exactly the way it was.

Y. Litvar: So our world is the coarsest or lowest point of the entire existing universe?

M. Laitman: Yes. And one may say it is the worst point of all.

Y. Litvar: In what sense is it “the worst?”

M. Laitman: In the sense that it lacks that divine, spiritual, sublime natural essence that is present only in the Upper worlds. By its nature, inner essence, and properties, our world is the lowest of all because it is based on petty personal egoism. It exists for the sole purpose of maintaining and somehow filling itself, which is the exact antithesis of the development and purpose in the Upper worlds.

Y. Litvar: Does this affect the world that we see: the land, the seas, the oceans, the mountains, and the forests? Are all these things also “bad”?

M. Laitman: Of course, because these are our world’s animate, vegetative, and inanimate levels of nature with an egoistical force acting inside them. This force is very small at the inanimate level; therefore, it generates certain properties in objects such as rocks, minerals, liquids, and gaseous substances.

Y. Litvar: Does a stone also constitute a property of something?

M. Laitman: A stone is a desire to exist, receive, and fill itself. By looking at the outward appearance of a stone we see an object that aspires to retain its structure and does not change itself without reason. It has a special structure of atoms that are assembled in certain clusters and frameworks. It maintains its structure and tries not to give in to any external destructive influences. It has its own inner life. This life is an inanimate existence and an avoidance of change. Its minimal inner force is sufficient for keeping its form as unchanged as possible.

A more powerful force builds a vegetative object, compels it to grow, to absorb nutrients from the environment to eliminate waste, to open towards the sun when it’s cold, and to close when it’s warm, even to distinguish whether something is good or bad for it and so on. Plants grow with these properties.

There is an intermediate state between the inanimate and vegetative objects. Corals are the example of this; on the one hand, they are inanimate, on the other hand, they grow. They already have some properties of plants.

Y. Litvar: You speak about them as if they are living beings.

M. Laitman: Yes, since both corals and plants constitute the desire to retain their structure. Plants have a desire to develop. We observe an even bigger desire in animals. This inner desire makes them move, grow, copulate, produce offspring, and so on. An enormous inner force already acts inside animals. It compels them to develop, while creating a great number of inner properties, so they develop a character of their own. This is absent in plants, let alone stones. Each animal already has its own nature. As I said, no such inner properties are present in either a stone or a plant.

If all plants of one kind are similar to one another, e.g., all types of wheat are similar. However zoologists point out that there is a vast diversity even within the same animal species. There are cows with different characters in the same herd; whereas in the vegetative world we don’t distinguish the character of individual ears of wheat. So we notice that in each of these species more and more individuals appear that differ in quality, quantity, the intensity of their desire to exist, receive pleasure, absorb, and feel…

Plants and animals are followed by man who feels not only his environment, but also past, present, and future. He envies others and evaluates himself with regard to them… He may have everything, but it’s not enough. He must feel what he is as compared to others. The main difference between man and animals lies in the way they see others, which allows man to develop owing to his envy, hatred, and other similar properties.

The science of Kabbalah associates all forces that are present within us with the single force called “desire to receive pleasure” or “desire to receive”. This desire to receive, to support and develop oneself is already present at the level of inanimate matter. A speck of dust, a pebble, gas, liquid – why do they exist? They exist because they are sustained by the spiritual force – their own desire to exist manifesting at all levels.

If we could inject desire into a stone, we would smoothly transform it into a plant. If we injected desire into a plant, by raising the level of its desire we would gradually cause it to evolve to an animate state. By injecting desire into an animal, we would gradually developed primitive organisms into more intelligent creatures right up to a monkey and then man.

Y. Litvar: Is it possible to make such an injection?

M. Laitman: Unfortunately not. Fortunately only the Creator can do this. Imagine what we would do if we had such power…

Y. Litvar: A stone would come in and sit down beside us…

M. Laitman: Yes. Yet don’t even try to think that this is an evolution in accordance with Darwin’s theory. There is no evolution at all.

Y. Litvar: So a stone will never become a plant or a man, will it?

M. Laitman: It won’t. Everything in this hierarchy takes its precise place. The forces that define each element’s position cannot make a smooth transition from one element to another. Everything exists on a predetermined ladder or, in other words, at its own level. This resembles the table of chemical elements: the more complex an element is, the heavier it is, the larger its atomic weight and consequently, the greater the force that organizes and supports this structure. In Kabbalah this is very precisely analyzed according to inner spiritual genes, their level and magnitude. Our world’s matter is built and structured in the same way.

Y. Litvar: At the very beginning of the textbook The Science of Kabbalah it is said that the Creator created the desire to receive pleasure or “a soul”. So the world we perceive—rocks, the chair on which I am sitting, and plants—have a soul? In other words, are they in any way animate? Should I give my apologies to the chair saying: “Forgive me for sitting on you,” as Hindus used to do?

M. Laitman: You can also stop doing that with regard to people. Everything depends on how you perceive the surrounding nature. If one perceives all of nature as forces that result from the actions of one supreme Force, as a means for fulfilling a certain task; if in the enormity of nature one sees certain goals and reasons for all things created and realizes his own role within this system, then we can relate sensibly and effectively to everything so as to achieve the goal we set for ourselves.

This truly ideal goal is revealed to man with the help of the science of Kabbalah. It tells us about the purpose of nature and of man in it. It also explains why we pass through such life cycles and what our purpose is. Kabbalah shows man how to reach this goal in a correct, sensible way and in the shortest time possible during the lifetime in which one learns about it.

M. Sanilevich: I want to know what would happen if man’s desire was intensified by an injection? What would become of him?

M. Laitman: He would become a Creator! Because he would attain the Upper force that created us. Man should gradually absorb all components of the surrounding nature and thus become equal to the Creator. By exercising his free will every one of us in his own turn must reach this level.

Y. Litvar: So a stone or an animal cannot pass to the next level, whereas man can?

M. Laitman: Yes, he can. Speaking of man we mean not his body (a body is an animal), but something that exists within us as an embryo, a point of the Upper force. The spiritual gene, this point originates from the highest substance, but we can develop it. The theory and practice of its development is the science of Kabbalah, the science of attaining the most sublime state.

M. Sanilevich: Our viewer asks: “Is the Earth round or flat? Humanity used to imagine it as flat. What was the viewpoint of the ancient Kabbalah?”

M. Laitman: You’ll need to open Kabbalistic books to find out about it.

The first book The book of Creation (Sefer Yetzira in Hebrew) was written by Abraham 4500 years ago in Ancient Babylon.

In this book Abraham wrote that at any of its levels all nature is created in the form of spheres. This spherical descending structure is determined by the supreme infinite force in all of its endlessly diverse yet simultaneously indivisible properties. When this force starts manifesting and building a place for our universe and then the universe itself, it causes everything in our world to manifest similarly as spherical forces, bodies, objects, and interactions.

As man starts rising, he transforms within himself, all of these spherical forces into directed vectors. Yet prior to his using them they remain spherical. As the ancient science of Kabbalah says, the Earth also constitutes a sphere.

Not only in Sefer Yetzira which was written 4500 years ago do you find these assertions, but also in Midrash Rabah, the ancient commentary written 4000 years ago and then later in Mishnah and Gemarah, which are respectively 2500 to 3000 years old. These books describe the Earth as absolutely round and all heavenly bodies as spheres. They explain astronomical motions of the Sun and the Moon, describing the phases of the Moon visible from the Earth, and even explain why the Earth blocks the Moon from the Sun and vice versa, thereby explaining both lunar and solar eclipses.

Kabbalah presents these explanations as something quite natural. However, they were concealed until our time and the Kabbalists felt no need to reveal their knowledge to people. This is because the science of Kabbalah is not intended for educational purposes; it serves for the spiritual development of man. So why did they have to reveal it? The same occurs with all knowledge that we receive from nature because it is often used to our detriment.

M. Sanilevich: Yet many people were trying to reveal those secrets. So many of them were burned! It turns out that Giordano Bruno died in vain…

M. Laitman: Whatever the case, he died in vain. To whom was he trying to prove something? This was utterly impossible… Furthermore, the famous Kabbalist ARI who lived in the town of Safed in 16th century (500 years ago!) wrote beautifully and simply about the development of spiritual forces. He described how they gradually become transformed into material forces and manifesting in our world give rise to all existing bodies: inanimate, vegetative, animate, and speaking. He also wrote about the four states of matter: solid, liquid, gaseous, and plasmic.

You can enter any bookstore and buy the ARI’s books. 500 years ago he was writing about things that people discovered in the 20th century – for example, about the plasmic state of matter. All of this was known to people long ago.

M. Sanilevich: Baal HaSulam wrote about a thirty-million-year period of cooling…

M. Laitman: Kabbalists wrote how our planet repeatedly cooled down and heated again under the influence of the mixing layers until a solid crust-covered sphere was formed. Imagine what they were writing about! They didn’t describe something flat, but wrote about a crust-covered sphere on which organic life starts to appear. These people described it in a modern scientific language although they lived and wrote hundreds of years ago.

M. Sanilevich: Isn’t this a form of allegory?

M. Laitman: They wrote about spiritual forces and how these spiritual forces manifest in the corporeal world through our senses, that is, in relation to us.

M. Sanilevich: But basically the Kabbalists do not write about the corporeal world, do they?

M. Laitman: If they write about the corporeal world they specify this in advance.

Y. Litvar: Why are there mountains, rivers, lakes, and canyons on the sphere called “the Earth”?

M. Laitman: This happens as a result of spiritual forces, of their special correspondence that forms the differing material bodies: inanimate, vegetative, animate, or speaking. Look at the way you were created: you too have mountains, cavities, canyons, etc… By looking at you from aside one may think: “What kind of body is moving here? Look how strange it is and what bizarre appendices it has!”

The science of Kabbalah studies this correspondence of spiritual forces. Moreover, Kabbalah studies everything that generally relates to man: his body, his inner organs. It analyzes why we have such faces, two legs, two arms, and so on. The human organism is determined by the correspondence of our inner forces that form this structure and then present it to our eyes in a materialized shape.

M. Sanilevich: Can all of it be explained, why we have arms, legs, and ears?..

M. Laitman: Of course!

M. Sanilevich: Is this difficult? Can you do this now?

M. Laitman: Kabbalistic medicine, geography, physiology, psychology are all at our disposal. Would you like to analyse all that?

Y. Litvar: Will I then understand why I have a nose?

M. Laitman: Certainly. The Kabbalists have a book entitled Talmud Eser Sefirot (The Study of Ten Sefirot). These are six volumes of most serious texts. The thirteenth part (in all there are sixteen parts) explains a complete structure of the human body based on the structure of a soul. A soul is a combination of forces, man’s inner spiritual qualities that exist in a certain interaction. The combination of these spiritual qualities (spiritual means not earthly) and the way they interact, determine the structure of a soul. This structure in its turn determines the external appearance of the human body.

Y. Litvar: Does this mean that absolutely everything in our world, even five fingers (and not four), eyes, hair and also the color of hair and brows originates only in the spiritual?

M. Laitman: Everything originates from the correspondence of spiritual forces. Together they form special combinations that cause the appearance of all our body organs…

When the fetus begins its development spiritual forces gradually affect it while controlling the way it forms; then eyes, ears, new organs that did not exist before start forming. Incredibly, something new starts forming in the midst of flesh.

However, this process is very precisely explained in the thirteenth part of Talmud Eser Sefirot. There you can read it all in a scientific and modern language. Although this book is based on material that was written 500 years ago, in the 16th century, the commentary on it was written in the 20th century.

Y. Litvar: Does everything that exists in our world—the environment, myself and any action that I or those around me make—occur by command from above, as if everything has a root, as if it's predetermined and only then does it take place in our world?

M. Laitman: Of course! All of our actions until now and everything that will happen in the future is predetermined as well. However, none of this will be shown to you.

Y. Litvar: Nevertheless you said that one could become a Creator.

M. Laitman: Yes. If you start growing similar to this Upper force, only then will you be able to change and become a Creator. But this doesn’t mean that “from here” one will be able to observe what happens “there.” We are used to thinking and acting in our world according to the following principle: “What will happen if I take advantage of my acquaintance with a minister and so I’ll do something at his level?” This is utterly impossible in the spiritual.

In the spiritual you first have to ascend the necessary level for which purpose your spiritual qualities should correspond to it. In the spiritual, you first have to ascend to the required degree, and for this to happen your spiritual properties should correspond that degree. Only then will you be able to act in accordance with this new level of yours without reasoning in the way you do now: “How would I act according to my desire!”

M. Sanilevich: Can you explain the meaning of the phrase “spiritual ascent”? I am utterly at a loss – where is this “spiritual”?

M. Laitman: Man needs to change nothing but his qualities. Nothing else!

M. Sanilevich: It turns out that there is only one material world. So where is the spiritual world?

M. Laitman: The spiritual world exists within the material one. When you discover it you’ll see that the material world doesn’t exist at all. The spiritual world is shown to us through our primitive sense organs. As soon as you start creating additional finer sense organs, you begin to realize that your previous attitude was merely a minimal level of existence of spiritual forces.

Y. Litvar: It turns out that while sitting in this arm-chair and changing my inner properties I’ll suddenly and easily be able to see not the things that I see now, not this world, but something quite different!

M. Laitman: Yes, through this world you’ll see all the other worlds.

Y. Litvar: Will I see this world and also something else?

M. Laitman: Yes. All the other five worlds up to the Supernal force, the Creator. It all depends solely on your qualities. We see and observe everything in accordance with our inner properties.

If my eye detects certain waves, then I see this cup. If it couldn’t detect these waves I wouldn’t see any cup just as I don’t see other objects that exist around me.

They are called spiritual or supreme because they are outside of my vision, beyond the perception of my sense organs. They transcend these bounds, my range of perception.

M. Sanilevich: And how about electricity? Is it spiritual too? We can’t see it, can we?

M. Laitman: We can’t see many things in our world. Yet we can’t call all the invisible and imperceptible forces spiritual. They are absolutely material. We don’t detect them with our sense organs, but with the help of measuring devices.

The difference between the spiritual and the material is not in the fact that I detect it or not. It lies in the fact that material worlds are based on intake while spiritual worlds are based on giving out.

Y. Litvar: What does the phrase “based on intake” mean?

M. Laitman: There are only two actions in nature: reception and giving, or the force that attracts and the force that repels or expels. Accordingly, there are only two qualities: reception and giving.

All forces, objects, and actions (everything that you can possibly imagine) based on the property of reception, absorption, filling itself is called egoistical or material. The rest—giving, expending for the sake of another, sending out, i.e., is directed at an external object. The forces that act this way are called spiritual. This is the difference between spiritual and material. It is not because the object is invisible. I repeat, many things in our world are invisible to us, such as atoms and electricity, this doesn’t make them spiritual. Our sense organs simply cannot detect them, although they still belong to the same “absorbing” category.

Y. Litvar: You mean that electricity also absorbs something?

M. Laitman: Yes, it is a material, absorbing force.

Y. Litvar: How can it be?! Electricity powers things not for itself, but for somebody!

M. Laitman: No, that’s how you use it! If you pay attention to an atom, you will see that its construction is based on absorption and preserving its set structure. Therefore, you have to spend an enormous amount of energy to pull electrons away from the atoms and direct them along a defined path because only then will you be able to use them. To receive and use an electric current you have to spend much more effort than the resulting efficiency factor, which will always be negative: 100 calories have to be spent to create electricity which results in only 10 calories we can use.

Any process in our world occurs with a negative result because all of our material forces are based on the desire to absorb. Only spiritual forces that take energy directly from the Creator and are similar to Him, are based on the property of bestowal. They suddenly begin to give and radiate. They do this neither because of inner actions that are material and egoistical, nor through absorption and subsequent emanation as a heated body emanates heat, but simply because bestowal is their property.

We don’t come across these spiritual properties in our world. We can’t detect them. It is as though you find a source of unlimited energy that appeared out of nowhere. Nothing like that exists in our world. Here it necessarily occurs under the influence of some inner material (even at the level of inanimate nature) and purely egoistical properties.

Y. Litvar: Does it mean that one day I will also be able to give?

M. Laitman: Of course. We all will reach a level of similarity to the Creator, when all of our properties will only be bestowal-oriented. You will also constitute a constantly giving and radiating spiritual object with regard to others. As soon as you reach this state, you become eternal because in itself the property of this force, which constantly gives without receiving anything in return, needs nothing. It just continues existing in this eternal form.

Our only problem is that we are transient, temporary, constantly changing in our egoism and the need to absorb. If we could acquire the opposite property, that of bestowal, we would become eternal. The problem is that we don’t have this unlimited inner battery, perpetuum mobile.

M. Sanilevich: Yet there are great numbers of people who give and work quite selflessly. For example, there is a secret altruist in Japan… People suddenly find cash- filled packets at railway stations, in toilets, and other places. No one found this person. Where does he get so much energy to give? He must have attained spirituality, right?

M. Laitman: I heard about this case. There are many people who work at hospitals and many other organizations as volunteers. According to research, ten percent of all people in the world are altruists. In other words, these are who enjoy giving. However, they receive pleasure from giving!

M. Sanilevich: So they are not yet the Creator, are they?

M. Laitman: They bear no similarity to Him. They give and perform acts of self-sacrifice for the sake of their inner need. This is the form in which they receive pleasure – by taking care of and helping others.

However, this in no way means that they are spiritual. Their need for giving is similar to the mother’s attitude to her child. This is an instinctive, animate, internal, and natural need to give, because this is exactly the way they receive pleasure. An altruist cannot help giving; otherwise he won’t be able to receive pleasure!

Yet we speak not of the action itself, but rather about the inner need that in any case consists in receiving.

M. Sanilevich: So one has to give without receiving any pleasure? As the person who gives money away doesn’t receive anything! No one even knows about his actions!

M. Laitman: This is impossible! Or perhaps he is a true Kabbalist who methodically transformed himself to become equal to the Creator with the help of the science of Kabbalah. However, even then he wouldn’t have acted this way!

Nothing can be achieved by such actions! Naturally, he may have pangs of conscience or follow a theory. Nevertheless, it is clear to me that this idea did not occur to him as a result of his similarity to the Creator, for otherwise he would see that the world can’t be corrected this way. The fact that somebody finds a cash-filled envelope doesn’t change anything!

The world can be corrected only by elevating man above its level.

M. Sanilevich: Can you describe briefly how a Kabbalist gives?

M. Laitman: A Kabbalist believes that the only good for the world is to teach people how to rise above our corporeal world. It is initially defective, limited, and full of evil. If you wish to change the perception of it in your sense organs, you should first of all change your sensations by elevating them to a different, spiritual level. That’s all there’s to it.

M. Sanilevich: By telling this to a neighbor will I be able to become more spiritual; will this make me a Kabbalist?

M. Laitman: No, you can only become spiritual by studying the science of Kabbalah, because while studying it you attract certain spiritual forces that are capable of changing you. When you read about spiritual actions in a book and imaging yourself at spiritual levels, you thereby draw them closer to you. This way a certain force affects you from there and you start changing. Therefore, only the science of Kabbalah (i.e., your description at higher spiritual levels) can change you. No other forces, sciences, and actions in our world can do anything similar. Naturally, this has nothing to do with religion or anything else on this Earth.

M. Sanilevich: So if tell someone about the spiritual, do I merely perform an external action?

M. Laitman: You simply show him that such an opportunity exists. After that it all depends on how he will realize it.

Y. Litvar: So I buy this book, read it, and that’s all I do? Do I become a Creator? What is then the meaning of the word “study”?

M. Laitman: No. “To study” means to learn from this book how to change and become like the Creator. Do you understand what you mean when you say “to become a Creator”?! Becoming a physicist means stuffing your head with all kinds of knowledge. Becoming a Creator is not about filling your head; it is about becoming Him.

“To study this book” means to be guided by it as an instruction for your gradual ascent to the Creator’s level, when absolutely all of your qualities change. A physicist doesn’t change his qualities. He just fills his head with the knowledge of our world and at the same time remains a fascist, a nihilist or a communist.

Here you become the Creator! Gradually, step by step you ascend 125 levels of attainment; you completely transform yourself and then at each level, in accordance with your changes, a totally new world is revealed to you. However, for this you have to change all of your sense organs, because there is no other way for you to discover these worlds.

You cannot simply read this book. You should read it and realize its teachings on yourself. Only then do you become equal to the Creator.

Y. Litvar: When I come across the word “study”, doesn’t it mean “read” or “memorize”?

M. Laitman: No, by no means! There are no such notions as “studying” and “understanding” in Kabbalah. “Understanding” means “attainment.” In other words, it is when you understand not with your head, but rise to the level of the described phenomenon. You observe the phenomenon after reaching its level; and then each time a new world will be revealed before you. If you simply read about it in the book without changing yourself in accordance with this level, this means that you merely read it.

M. Sanilevich: How much time is required for attainment?

M. Laitman: Three to five years provided that man tries hard, very hard. Well, frankly speaking, in practice it may take a little longer.

M. Sanilevich: People don't understand what does "becoming the Creator" mean?

M. Laitman: This is in fact both the initial plan and the ultimate goal of creation. The entire universe was created for the purpose of making a creation that would reach the Creator’s level and merge with Him (merging implies complete similarity of properties).

The creation was initially created for this purpose, and every second this purpose is being realized in all the worlds to bring man to this state.

Today we are standing at the threshold of a true realization of this action. As the world is plunging into a crisis today, it starts revealing a still unconscious, but already evident need for a qualitative change. Namely this qualitative change occurring in it of necessity will become a transition from an egoistic, all-absorbing force to an altruistic, bestowal-oriented, and emanating one.

We’ll have to do this to escape death and annihilation, because we have no other choice. When this humankind’s transition starts taking place, first the awareness and afterwards the gradual realization of this transition, we will then start attaining these endless plains of the Upper worlds; they will start revealing themselves to us.

M. Sanilevich: Is it interesting to become the Creator?

M. Laitman: It gives man absolute satisfaction and knowledge, an ability to unite internally all the opposite properties and phenomena above time, space and movement. It lets man enter a dimension in which he feels totally free, eternal, and perfect because the force of bestowal is in itself boundless.

Y. Litvar: You work 20 and sometimes 24 hours a day for the dissemination of this knowledge. Where do you get energy?

M. Laitman: I connect…

Y. Litvar: So by growing more and more equal to this force, which we call the Creator, do we receive additional powers in our world?

M. Laitman: Man’s soul is immortal and eternal. It has utterly unlimited resources of energy because it exists within the Creator. To the extent of man’s contact with his soul and his ability to act already based on this contact, he acquires a truly boundless source of energy.

The most extreme thing that may happen to him is when he passes from his external appearance to a more internal essence, yet his outer shell remains where it was.

Y. Litvar: All of this is very interesting, but we announced spiritual geography as the topic of our conversation. Please tell us why heat and cold, water and ice exist in our world? Why are both South and North Poles covered with solid ice? Why mountain peaks are covered with ice and why is it hot on the Equator?

M. Laitman: Childish questions are the most difficult ones.

Y. Litvar: This question was really asked by a boy. A child called and simply shoved this question into our broadcast: “and I thought, I would like to know about that”

M. Laitman: Why does it get colder as the distance between the center of the Earth and the poles becomes larger? A physicist can explain this to you: this happens because the atmosphere grows more and more evacuated and so on. Why is there snow and ice at the poles? Naturally, this is because their location with regard to the Sun is at such an angle that its light is not directed at them… At least this is the situation now. What it will be in the near future is unknown.

Y. Litvar: No. I am asking about the spiritual roots…

M. Laitman: I understand what this boy meant when he asked this question. I’d put it this way: spiritual roots form both material bodies and spiritual properties in our world. That is why our world is designed this way.

When you begin to study the thirteenth part of Talmud Eser Sefirot you learn what combinations the Upper forces form: positive and negative, with all of their secondary properties. You see how something spherical resembling a head covered with vegetative properties and forces looms between them. As a result it forms a human face (bearded, unshaved, in its natural form). You realize that these combinations of the Upper forces: positive and negative, right and left lines should group according to their inner properties while descending so that this exact image would be gradually formed with a pair of arms and legs, a head, and such qualities.

The same occurs when these forces are formed directly by man himself. Afterwards they descend even further where they start creating objects of lower levels: animate, vegetative, and inanimate. Thus, by forming it in combinations, they finally form the Earth in the form familiar to us, at the same time positioning it properly relative to the Sun, the Moon, and other planets. We study this in the fifteenth part of Talmud Eser Sefirot, where the Sun and the Moon pose as Zeir Anpin and Malchut of the World of Infinity.

Y. Litvar: Meaning their symbols? Or should we interpret this literally: our Sun that I see is Zeir Anpin?

M. Laitman: This is their exact copy, just as the functions they fulfill in our world are identical to spiritual actions. The same refers to the Earth itself and to its geography.

Take Zeir Anpin of the world of Atzilut, analyze its structure relative to Malchut, and you will see the exact geography of the Earth, because such is the correspondence of its inner forces. Rise to Higher objects, Abba ve Ima, Arich Anpin or Atik, and you will realize how these structures become transformed in the process of their descent. You will also learn the final result of all of their combinations.

The same occurs with other structures, when all nature with its enormous diversity of forces completely changes and ascends to the one single force. There is nothing random in this, because exactly this combination should be formed and because everything is determined in nature. Afterwards, all of nature ascends and out of this whole diversity of forces very gradually becomes one force.

Why are there two poles? Because there are two opposite forces equidistant from the third, central one: the equator and this is the only way they should influence it.

Y. Litvar: Does the equator correspond to man?

M. Laitman: It is the middle line.

Y. Litvar: You have already mentioned the terms “Zeir Anpin” and “Malchut.” Nevertheless, is Zeir Anpin a man and Malchut, a woman?

M. Laitman: Yes.

Y. Litvar: So a man in our world is a sun, and a woman is a moon?

M. Laitman: Yes.

M. Sanilevich: Here’s a question: “Why do cities and villages exist? Why don’t people simply live all over the Earth? Are they spiritually separated and placed in different regions?”

M. Laitman: The spread of people all over the Earth depends on the inner spiritual force that controls them. If people possess spiritual qualities with which they feel they are better off together, they unite and settlements and villages populated by relatives spring up.

If more individual qualities start manifesting, people become separated and houses, farm-steads, and settlements appear. The development of services brings the need for one another, for a common means of communication, the collective use of water, electricity, and so on. That is why people start gathering in cities. For although I hate my neighbor, still I am obliged to live near him so that together we can get rid of our waste, receive water and electricity.

Based on their inner qualities and needs people set the rules of their communal life. If we gather together in cities this doesn’t mean that we begin to love one another more. This means that we simply find it a more convenient way to pay for the services that municipal authorities provide us and nothing else. If I had my way, I would separate myself from the others in a huge tower and spit on everyone from above. Do you understand?

Y. Litvar: Well, only if it is a metaphor and not your personal opinion.

M. Laitman: Yes, it’s a metaphor.

M. Sanilevich: Are there villages and cities in the spiritual world? How is life there?

M. Laitman: In the spiritual world we are all united into one common soul. We exist in it as integral parts just like the cells of our body. Everyone knows his place and everyone knows how he should act in relation to the whole body so that this body (one common soul) can exist and be maximally and optimally filled with the Creator’s light.

Y. Litvar: Here’s a question from Queens: “Why do hurricanes, typhoons, storms, and earthquakes take place? Can’t we manage without these horrors? When will God finally crack down on the devil?”

M. Laitman: Well, the way we usually understand it, neither God nor the devil exist.

Y. Litvar: In that case who is making typhoons and hurricanes?

M. Laitman: The same Upper force. Nothing exists except this force.

There is only one eternal and all-embracing force in nature. It influences us with the help of a vast network of more particular forces in order to make all similar to itself.

We perceive all typhoons, hurricanes, and in general, all negative sensations (both internal and external) at the level of inanimate nature only to ask ourselves the question: “Why is this happening to us? Why does the Upper force treat us this way?”

It does this for no other purpose than to compel us to become similar to itself. It will continue affecting us negatively until we start correcting ourselves.

We had to begin our self-correction a long time ago, but we are still lagging behind in our spiritual development. Accordingly, negative influence will increase more and more. Nothing good awaits us ahead until we start changing. However, as soon as we start changing and becoming similar to the Creator, we will, to the same extent immediately turn His negative influence into a positive one.

Y. Litvar: Will typhoons stop?

M. Laitman: We’ll prevent typhoons by our attitude and positive influence. The sun will be shining and everything will be fine. The temperature will be optimal and everything will be normal and comfortable, at both the spiritual and material levels.

Y. Litvar: I imagine the following picture. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

There is a spiritual force, which we call “the Creator.” There is no force called “devil.” The spiritual force (“the Creator”) creates something that manifests as a hurricane in our world. The hurricane starts affecting, say, the United States, Queens, and all of this happens only to compel the man who asked this question to start his advancement toward the Creator? This terrible hurricane was sent so that he alone sitting somewhere on the seventh floor in Queens…

M. Laitman: Yes. Everything and everyone in our world is interconnected. We gradually reveal the general universal interconnection that will bring every person on earth to have the need to ask: “What is the purpose of my existence?”

M. Sanilevich: We have many questions concerning people moving from one place to another.

M. Laitman: We have already defined the meaning of geography. When different forces are combined in a certain way, they form a structure, which in its material manifestation forms the universe with its voids, vacuum, and gases. It creates the sun, the planets, and our earth with all of its parts, including inanimate nature in the form of liquids and minerals, mountains and rivers, and also animate nature at the vegetative, animate, and human levels.

The Earth differs from the rest of the cosmos in that it has vegetative, animate, and human nature. When certain spiritual forces influence the Earth, they affect each of its particles. Therefore, man changes while moving from place to place. He changes and his destiny changes with him. Why do we suddenly leave a comfortable place? This is because our inner properties change, and the inconsistency between our inner properties and our present state compels us to look for a new place: either you are forced or you suddenly feel that you have to act this way.

All of our movements—even something that I am doing right now—occur as a result of our inner changes. Nothing happens by chance.

Y. Litvar: Can one cardinally change one’s life and destiny by moving to another place?

M. Laitman: I don’t think that man can make a cardinal change this way because he remains the same, but he can make a considerable change. The only thing that man can do in our world is to change the surrounding society. Hence, if you transform your society, environment and friends, there is no real need to move. You can remain in the same place, but find yourself a different environment and fall under a different influence. This way you change your destiny.

M. Sanilevich: Can a place affect a person?

M. Laitman: A geographical location undoubtedly affects man, but to a much lesser extent. This is because a place constitutes merely inanimate nature. Vegetative and animate nature change little either. Man is mainly influenced by human nature, which generally inspires him.

Depending on the environment, on the qualities (hatred, envy, striving for power, knowledge, money or something else) preferred by it, on what it will see as a desired result from each society member, that is what will develop man in one direction or another.

Y. Litvar: A great number of people assert that there are places on the earth where man feels comfortable, for example, in India, in Tibet, and so on. What is so special there?

M. Laitman: I don’t know what is so special in those places. I go to a village, walk among hens, horses, and cows; the sun is shining upon me, birds are singing, the air is filled with the smell of grass and manure. Of course this is better than being in a large city. The sounds, smells, silence, and carefree life: this is all beautiful and nice. One can feel the same in India or in another such place. Quiet, calm people; they don’t need anything in this world. A man sits quietly in a fixed pose all day long thinking about something (if at all) or sleeping, which is good too. By looking at such people (this is the environment that affects me) I become as blissful as they are: I don’t need anything and everything’s fine. I have a cupful of rice and life is wonderful.

Of course, by running away from everything that the city imposes on me to such life one finds comfort and becomes self-sufficient. What is bad in it? Would you like to live like that?

Y. Litvar: No.

M. Laitman: Why? You live in comfort, have no problems, and everything is good.

What is bad in it? That is the way people live. Man wakes up in the morning without an alarm-clock just because the sun rose, stretches his limbs, smokes a little grass, and everything becomes just fine. He may wash in a brook (or not), lie down, sit down, meditate, fly away and return from there. What is so bad in it? Why don’t you want it?

Y. Litvar: I have spent a few lives doing these things! I want to put an end to it! However, the matter concerned spiritual comfort!

M. Laitman: Ultimately this is an escape from one’s own inner development into something lulling, soothing, which lowers you from the level man to the level of a plant. That is why human nature doesn’t agree with it. Even Indians will soon have no other way out, but to develop. We will live to see what crisis they will go through with all those techniques of complacency and escape from reality.

Y. Litvar: People from all over the world come to Israel, to Jerusalem, to the Western Wall. Does the place where Jerusalem stands somehow affect people?

M. Laitman: Of course. There is even a so-called Jerusalem syndrome. Doctors (psychiatrists and psychologists) know about it quite well. When some people come to Jerusalem, they start feeling something special and behave inadequately. A person may suddenly shout: “I am Jesus” or “I am a Messiah,” depending on what education they received and who their spiritual ideal is. By the way, there are very many such people.

Y. Litvar: So the geographical location of Jerusalem somehow affects people?

M. Laitman: It certainly does. Even the light in Jerusalem has a special yellowish tinge.

Y. Litvar: Therefore in Tibet, in India, in Mecca or somewhere else the concentration of forces is different than for example in Moscow?

M. Laitman: Yes of course. This is the environment that was gradually formed in this place. When the people of Israel crossed the river Jordan and entered Jericho they were not commanded without reason to proceed to Jerusalem to seize this city, which had existed long before the people of Israel came to this country.

Y. Litvar: Did it initially have such forces? Or did they come with the arrival of the Israelites?

M. Laitman: Not that they came… The forces had already been there in their unrevealed form; the arrival of Israelites merely activated them.

Y. Litvar: So the forces that exist in the land act not by themselves, but only…

M. Laitman: … under influence… But the land is not the point. There is nothing in the land. One shouldn’t think that spiritual forces exist in some objects. This is wrong. If we speak about the influence of a special spiritual force on every inch of land, we don’t think that these forces exist in the land itself. They don’t exist in any material objects.

Our world is simply permeated with spiritual forces. Permeated! They flow directly through it in all directions and by combining endlessly in a multidimensional grid they form our universe with all of its properties.

Y. Litvar: So if I buy a stone fragment of the Western Wall and bring it to Moscow, It will actually have no power in it?

M. Laitman: No. But you may take it with you, why not?

Y. Litvar: I didn’t buy it.

M. Laitman: When I was in Greece, I saw with my own eyes how they deliberately bring crushed stones to the Parthenon so that tourists could pick them up as souvenirs. Can you imagine what would have happened without these crushed stones? They would have cleaned out all of Greece.

M. Sanilevich: You’ve said that our world is permeated with spiritual forces differing in quality, and since I have a biological body with five sense organs, I perceive each property as an animal, plant, and so on. If I didn’t have this body, would I be able to see these spiritual forces?

M. Laitman: If you were at the level of these spiritual forces with your properties, you would be able to s ee them. What does the word “see” mean? They would be revealed within you. Similarly we see our world not outside, but inside ourselves. It does not exist beyond us. It exists only in our sense organs.

M. Sanilevich: We have another question: “Why do we need the material world?”

M. Laitman: This is not the material world. This is merely a world that exists in our basest sensations.

M. Sanilevich: Why does man need the sensations of the material world?

M. Laitman: We need them so that while being separated from the spiritual we could build, create, and model ourselves in accordance with the material world and stay totally independent of the spiritual world. Being in the material world, I start creating myself in the spiritual. In other words, I don’t depend on it.

Y. Litvar: Why then do some geographical places abound in geniuses while others teem with criminals? Why are some people very poor while others prosper?

M. Laitman: We observe such anomalies related to the spiritual forces that influence these places and also to man who has had a positive or a negative influence throughout their history and committed good deeds or crimes. I don’t think that Australia was a bad place. Yet when they started bringing thieves and prostitutes there, the state of the entire country was changed. And although everything seems to be cozy and beautiful there, the force and the environment that were prevalent at the time of its founding constitute a very bad foundation for the country’s existence; and those forces are still active in Australia.

Y. Litvar: Man creates an environment and then dies. After a few life cycles he reappears in the same place again. Is he influenced by the forces that he created again?

M. Laitman: He is, but this question is too complicated because it alludes to another question: “How could it suddenly occur to the English to turn Australia into such a dump?” Here we already touch upon rather problematic issues – about freedom of will, where it comes from, and about thoughts.

M. Sanilevich: A viewer from Israel asks another question: “Israel is a God-chosen country. Why is the climate here so difficult, extreme heat and little water?”

M. Laitman: Israel of today is not a God-chosencountry.At present it is totally separated and broken. It has fallen from the spiritual level and is in a crisis. This downfall is accordingly felt in all spheres: in human potential, in the relations between people, in the impossibility to start the process of correction (it is very difficult), in the impossibility to create a normal state and to achieve peace. The same applies to the climate and all the other local conditions. Israel is the most complicated point on the Earth!

Israel was once at the spiritual level under the influence of positive spiritual forces. Man completely distorted these positive spiritual forces. He transformed them into their opposites (negative forces) and now we see how they act in this country.

To change the existing situation we have to try to start the process of correction and ascend from here, because Israel is the central point of the world. Only then will all be able to feel the influence of a totally different force, and the whole world will really breathe freely. If you want to have confidence in the future, in the world economy, in the prosperity of science and culture, if you wish to improve the international relations, let peace and spiritual well-being come to Israel. Only then will the whole world be able to live comfortably.

Y. Litvar: Can you put the famous Sefirotic tree, the image of which is used in all Kabbalistic books, on our planet? Where will Israel or America turn out to be?

M. Laitman: America will not turn out to be anywhere. We study Kabbalistic geography in the sixteenth part of Talmud Eser Sefirot(The Study of Ten Sefirot), where Israel’s structure is precisely described from Mt Hermon in the north down to its southern parts. It is clearly stated what particular places correspond to each of the ten Sefirot. Jerusalem corresponds to the Sefira Tifferet. From Jerusalem the Sefirot spread as circles all over the country and then extend beyond its boundaries, to Lebanon, Syria, across Jordan, and reach Babylon.

The rest of the world beyond Babylon is considered utterly non-spiritual. We analyze this from the viewpoint of spiritual geography that is based on the spiritual descent. When man starts his spiritual ascent he spiritualizes the entire world because he expands. We speak about the universal creation based upon the fact that Jerusalem is the central spiritual point of humankind and Babylon is the next point after Jerusalem. However, this is already a material point, from which humanity spread all over the Earth.

Y. Litvar: I have a question. Why do the Jews always manage to make Jerusalem the most important place of all, a Keter (crown)?

M. Laitman: This is because such is the correspondence of spiritual forces. When spiritual ascent commences, they create their spiritual center, their capital in the place of their ascent. The descent of spiritual forces to our world was already predetermined in the spiritual world. If this occurred somewhere else, you would ask why there. Now, as man starts ascending, he equalizes spiritual forces because they all rise up to one single Upper force (the Creator) and merge with it there. The difference between them disappears; all forces equalize because absolutely all of them unite to form one general force. Start doing this in Moscow and Moscow will prevail over the rest of the world with its spiritual force.

Y. Litvar: Will it be called Jerusalem?

M. Laitman: It will be called spiritual Jerusalem.

M. Sanilevich: It turns out that the study of spiritual geography may be ignored because the place does not affect man as much as people do. Perhaps we should study sociology?

M. Laitman: First of all we study spiritual geography anyway. However, in comparison with the human factor everything else is really insignificant. Secondly and most importantly, if man starts indulging in his own spiritual elevation (regardless of where he may be, in the North Pole or in Alaska) a positive field will be instantly created around him. This way he transforms the whole world, making his environment most agreeable and comfortable.

If people could understand this, they would be able to prevent all imminent natural catastrophes.

M. Sanilevich: Only by self-transformation?

M. Laitman: Yes. We would then be able to cardinally transform the entire surrounding world. Let’s hope that our conversations will inspire somebody to do this!

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