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Michael Laitman, PhD

Ask the Kabbalist (March 27, 2008)

Question: I know it has been explained that Kabbalah is a science that is very rational. And yet, Rambam, who is the “king of logic and rationalism and science in particular,” did not ascribe importance to Kabbalah.

Michael Laitman: That is incorrect. I’m sorry to say that, but the Rambam was a great Kabbalist and knew, as well as Rashi and other Kabbalists that lived and worked during the exile, especially, since the ruin of the Temple until the Ari, who we take as the Messiah son of Joseph, to always dress the wisdom of Kabbalah, wrapping it in superficial manners so that people didn’t understand their approach to Kabbalah, their immersion and the height of their attainment. Baal HaSulam wrote about this and especially about the Rambam. You can read it in the book Pri Hacham (Fruit of the Wise), Articles, vol. 2.

There, you can find the complaints about the Rambam and why it all happened. He was a great Kabbalist; it’s not that he didn’t relate to Kabbalah, he just couldn’t relate directly to Kabbalah because the time was the time of the exile. It’s not like after the Ari, when Baal Shem Tov, and all the other Kabbalists, Ramchal, Vilna Gaon and Kabbalists in Arab countries too, started bringing up the issue of studying Kabbalah. Past the Ari, in terms of time and the state of the world, they had to start.

Question: We say that the whole people will be redeemed if we start to love each other. But if I try to behave this way and am doing good, and not doing bad to anyone, not just at work or with friends, other people try to dirty me and make me fail, even my own sister. She seeks a place where she can harm me and damage me. How far are we going to deteriorate? If one tries, and another don’t, then where are our efforts going to?

M. Laitman: The fact that others are not that good in your eyes, does not give you the right to do what they are doing. You do not want to learn by bad examples. Everyone has his own kind of order, and we have to believe that the calculation is encompassing everything and does exist. Everyone tries to achieve love of man and to “love thy friend as thyself.” Those who do that, who try to achieve the “love of thy friend as thyself,” carry out the purpose of Creation. In the end, they discover the Creator in this world and are rewarded with everything that results from it.

I hope that very soon, we will all feel that we’re connected and that all of our thoughts, bad and good, and all our desires affect each other and that our world is being corrupted only due to our mistreatment of each other. Discovering it will help each of us rise a little higher, to introspect, and we will see the people of Israel with love of Israel and love of others. We will then achieve a good life. Don’t think that it is all that hard to do; it will appear all at once.

Moderator: What kind of feedback do you recommend for a person to search for as confirmation that he or she really is on the right path and is working correctly and progressing? She is saying, “I’m trying to love others, but, I am treated badly in return.”

M. Laitman: I too feel the same, if I’m speaking on the plane of emotions, the human simple one. I see with my eyes, many people hate and argue but I see it as a place for scrutiny, for in the end it brings us back to truth. All those arguments are only to clarify the truth. We ought to wait and we will once and for all clarify. Not everyone is as developed as this lady; perhaps, she is ready to a point and others are not. We have to forgive them, see that they are not seeing things clearly inside. So, the time will come, and in the meantime, you need to forgive. Act, as much as you can, in a way that perhaps you can give someone a book on Kabbalah about the purpose of creation or something. That will awaken them towards that direction, as well.

Moderator: Shouldn’t love be something reciprocal?

M. Laitman: Regrettably, we see that it is not. With ego there cannot be reciprocal love, because ego is the opposite. With ego, we want to use others. We love them because we want to use them--we feel good. Love of the ego is “love of fish”—we love them because we enjoy them. When we enjoy someone, we are happy with the other, so we agree for that other to exist and be close to us. The minute we don’t feel good with him, we reject him.

Moderator: You called it “love of fish.” Is there another kind of love?

M. Laitman: The other love is beyond egoistic calculations; it’s a different kind of love, one that we don’t know about. It’s when we transcend our ego, our nature and begin to love others by seeing that we are all in the same system. Then we surrender to this power, and we want to love others because we see that we’re all dependent on each other.

There also is a state above it, where even without this kind of consideration, love in itself, the quality of being able to give and to love and this sublime and worthy thing to me, that is what attracts me and for this reason I want to be in it. Love is something that allows you to transcend your own ordinary vessels, and then you begin to feel a different reality. We feel reality by absorbing; we want to receive, to absorb everything within us, and when we feel spirituality in this way, reality is so tiny and so restricted.

The minute we come out of ourselves and begin to see reality through the perspective of bestowal, by getting out of ourselves through the love of others, then we begin to feel reality as different. We begin to see the true reality as something that exists outside of us, and that is called the spiritual world, the Upper world.

Moderator: In that state you are not as affected by others’ responses to you?

M. Laitman: No, of course not. You see that others are in a certain level of awareness of reality. They work and judge things and treat people a certain way out of that level of awareness. When a person can come out of his Kelim (vessels), and accept the world outside of himself that actually really is his own, that is how he sees it, then love bursts in him with a good attitude towards everyone. He feels that there is no evil in the world and no one harms him. He just relates this way because his ego controls him.

The Creator does it on purpose, so we will come out of it; we look at things in a different way. Then we feel and identify with the reality, which is eternal and complete. I think we need to pay attention to achieving this goal, and that will answer the questions to our problems.

Question: What is the spiritual root of globalization? On the one hand, it seems like it is contributing to the world, but on the other hand, it seems to be perpetuating the oppression of the weak by the powerful.

M. Laitman: Yes, it does seem that way. It is because we are discovering globalization due to our being egoists. We’ve been evolving for thousands of years, since ancient Babylon when we were as one family. Then, the ego erupted in us four and a half thousand years ago. We wanted to build a tower of Babel; we wanted to thrive and prosper on our own and follow our own egos. We started this race where we are all using each other, and we have achieved the life that we have right now.

Suddenly, we are rediscovering again the picture that we had in Babylon, that we are a small family, a small civilization and a small people. Then we were one family and lived well until the ego erupted, and we started building the Tower of Babylon and now again, we feel that we are one family. Well, we don’t really feel it, but we’re gradually discovering that we are one civilization, interdependent and that whatever you do on earth affects everyone else. It’s as if some suffer and some enjoy but afterwards, you see that it is not so. We are really all in one pot.

Globalization is nothing new, but today we are realizing it because we have come to the end of the road where the greatest ego has emerged. Now we are discovering, on the one hand, that we are dependent on each other in this comprehensive system.

On the other hand, our egos make us hate each other, so it turns out that we cannot get along. It’s like a family that live in a small apartment where sometimes they can’t tolerate each other, and they fight, but the external conditions force them to stay together although they can’t stand each other. Then, it explodes. And that’s what we have today: an explosion.

That is what the wisdom of Kabbalah talks about, and The Book of Zohar says it should appear in our time. This is why Kabbalah appears now, to show us that there is a solution, and that there is no solution without it. That is why we can see the solution is not in economy, education, science or politics, not in the structure of the nation and not in the connection between nations. Look also at what is happening with the climate and ecology in general. There is no area in which we are succeeding.

The wisdom of Kabbalah is now being revealed and that is the science that is explaining to us in general why this globalization and how we can achieve balance. This balance in Kabbalah is called the “law of equivalence of form,” where we have to equalize our form with the Creator, with nature; in Gimatria, nature is God.

So, Kabbalah discovers how we should become similar to God, equal to Him, close to Him or to nature, which is the same thing. When we make these changes in us, we’ll discover that we are living with love towards each other. Then we’ll really be connected with each other, because we have no choice as it is that way naturally. The interdependence will not lead us to anything bad, but will give us confidence, prosperity, the mutual guarantee, tranquility and peace. This is what, in the end, we will find in the world if we will all love each other. We will have to come to that because nature will force us.

This is what The Book of Zohar talks about, and this is what all the Kabbalists are talking about: the revelation of this method of making our world a better place here and now. We have already come to the recognition of evil and to what is happening in the world, and what might happen due to our egoistic desires. This method is called the discovery of the Messiah. The more we are opened to it, we’ll see that it is the force that pulls us out of our egos and connects us so we can truly exist well together.

Question: What does attaining of one of the sons of Ishmael is, with respect to the redemption of the world?

M. Laitman: Abraham, our common father, taught also his son Ishmael, he gave him what are called gifts. He also gave to Yitzchak (Isaac), and actually to the whole world. And, the whole world is now discovering that method called Abraham’s method, which is the wisdom of Kabbalah. If we realize it now, we will go back to being close, connected and in brotherly love. The whole world will have to come to it, and will have to come to the level of the Creator. As it is written, “they shall all know Me from the least of them unto the greatest of them” and “all the nations shall flow unto Him.”

According to Kabbalah, the sons of Ishmael, the Arabs, and the sons of Abraham, the children of Israel, and all people in general will need to attain the Creator in the same way and be as one man with one heart. They will all be tied together in a single system of a single soul called the soul of Adam ha Rishon (the First Man).This is the perfect state that we have to achieve. Now, according to Kabbalah, is the time for us to realize it together. I’m hopeful that we will understand it, feel it, and resolve this problem in our little conflicts, and in general in the whole world. Then we will all feel the best possible state in which everyone is perfect.

Question: In my character I’m very messy and disorganized. I have two little children and I’m trying to put some order into their lives. This is very troubling, because it’s unpleasant to live in perpetual chaos. I’m also very lazy. Is this connected to the root of my soul or to my animate nature? Does order have a higher root?

M. Laitman: Everything has a higher root. However, the higher roots hang down from the spiritual world to this world, and in this world, they are in a certain order between them. Their projection of the connection into the branches is just like that of the roots. But, if we start taking care of and attending to animate nature according to higher roots, it will take many years. I don’t think you want to focus on that.

It seems to me that if a person begins to take care of himself according to the wisdom of Kabbalah, first of all it will be a natural development for him because, really, we’re just developing the soul. The development of the soul causes the development and making of all those qualities that a person needs to realize himself. I wouldn’t try to deal with cleanliness or laziness or quickness or whatever. I would just deal with one thing: to know my part in the world, what do I live for and how to make the most of each moment for that part. Then the importance of things, as I learn them, will by themselves tend to my corporeal and spiritual character.

Look at how an embryo develops. It develops due to its inner software. We have to feed it and accordingly, the blood runs from the mother’s body into its own and that is how it develops.

So, don’t pressure yourself and say, “I have to take care of that, I have to change that and that’s a bad quality.” No, teach the boys according to the boys’ way. In general, give them the purpose of Creation; how they should develop, where they should get to and why they are connected to everyone. Give them the general picture and however they develop, will be according to their nature. In addition, that is also what I suggest for you to do with yourself.

Question: Why are we still doing circumcision, which is a pagan act and has nothing to do with internal profound change towards growth and ascension in degrees?

M. Laitman: First of all, I wouldn’t so decisively define it as such. All the customs for the people of Israel are projections of spiritual roots, and in each of them, there is a spiritual root. So, the act itself, too, does contain an internal essence.

Secondly, a pagan act doesn’t mean it is something you need to disrespect. I’m not really seeing that the contemporary world with its customs and conducts is all that happy, proper and prosperous in contrast to the pagan culture that people had in the past.

I think those conducts actually, frequently, and in many people, originated in their own nature and helped them survive and build their social lives. The circumcision has a very profound and high spiritual root. It talks about, first of all, making a covenant. Second, by doing that, it is making the covenant even though a person doesn’t really participate because how does the baby participate, the baby is crying. Why are the parents happy doing that to their baby? Because these are symbols of entering spirituality and a person who enters spirituality, each of us, including you, will have to circumcise himself.

What is the sense of it? In order to achieve spirituality, we have to remove from all of our desires, a certain portion of the desires called the foreskin which we will have to refrain from using. In our connection with the Creator, which is called the spiritual Zivug (coupling), we will not be able to use a part of our desires, because we will not be able to correct these desires, towards bestowal and love.

Within our nature, we have such desires that are incorrigible. Like the foreskin, we cut them off and don’t use these desires, and we proceed with the desires that we can correct into spirituality. So, this act called circumcision, which in Hebrew is called the “covenant of circumcision,” contains three degrees of correction of the desires towards making the correct desires for entrance into spirituality.

If you want to, you can open a book like Bet Shaar ha Kavanot (The Gatehouse of Intentions) by Baal HaSulam, who wrote it following the Ari’s writings. He explains thoroughly how in spirituality, the reasons for and the how we do the circumcision on ourselves in a very precise way. In corporeality, it is the same procedure, but it is in matter. So, this act is not a pagan act really, that is surely incorrect. As is the case with all the customs of Israel, they all have a spiritual root, and hence they are sacred.

Question: What does the verse, “you will bear children with pain,” mean according to Kabbalah?

M. Laitman: That is the higher Ima, mother.

If I want to give birth to anything, man or woman, it doesn’t matter, it is called birth. If a person wants to beget anything, to create something new, like writing a book or making a film, it is birth. So, if you want to give birth to a new degree, a new state of yourself, then within you, it happens through pain and sadness. Which pains? Labor pains. Why? Because you need to restrict yourself and to examine all your desires and work on them; you need to make yourself into something higher and cleaner. You have to pressure yourself hence, the labor pains. You make of yourself a new image, a small one, but in a new degree.

Let’s say I’m a big bear, and I want a baby to be born of it. It might be tiny but it’s already a man, so I restrict this whole bear from quantity into quality and from all this flesh, this matter, this ego, I want to create something smaller and cleaner; these are the labor pains in spirituality. That’s what I have to do with myself in every degree.

Question: In using guided imagination, which is proven as a cause of joy in a person’s life, is this a technique for blurring the ego? Also, thoughts were given to us by the Creator, so how can we change patterns of thought through use of imagination?

M. Laitman: It is a technique like any technique. If I am brought up a certain way, I have to conduct myself properly, I have to be courteous, kind and not get mad, and there are people born with bad temper. My nature truly is sensitive and really impetuous. So what? Everyone who is in a certain society receives from it certain upbringing, special pressures, discernments and inclinations; none of us is natural.

So, this technique of getting up in the morning and smiling to others, even though you don’t want to, and singing, even though you don’t want to sing, is fine; you’re doing good to yourself, and as a result, you develop a good attitude towards life. You don’t blur your ego or yourself but if with all this you know that these things will give a good mood and take things more easily, and make it possible for you to read after work and learn something about your approach to life, then you don’t fall into despair, into taking drugs, get mad at others or curse yourself or the Creator. This is good, and I am in favor of it.

There are many Hasidic stories about it, about how a great righteous man goes into the depth of a problem, and all of a sudden, he gets bitter about something. He closes the door and starts dancing and starts elevating himself to a seemingly artificial state of joy. But from this bogus joy, he comes to real joy; he opens his eyes and starts seeing the world in a different way—it’s not a lie. There are many stories how a Kabbalist would pay money for musicians to play music, and as a result, they would rise higher.

The Kabbalist’s wife would ask why he was paying the musicians, whom she thought were bums, drunks, and did not even care about their own music. The Kabbalist would reply that without them, he could not be inspired. What mattered was their music and the most superficial thing, seemingly, coming from a foreign place brought him joy; as a result, out of this a person is awakened to higher things. Therefore, in all the sources, these techniques are mentioned maybe not as guided imagination but also a technique to improve our spirits as we approach the real way of life.

Moderator: In the second part of her question, she asks if the Creator gives thoughts to us, how can we change our thought patterns through imagination?

M. Laitman: Two things come to us from the Creator, good and bad. In between them, we need to find ourselves, and that’s how we should relate to life. We should combine the two and see that “there is none else besides Him,” and that “if I am not for me, who is for me” and in this way, move forward.

So, first of all, everything I have at my disposal—artificial things, good ones, bad ones—all come from Above. Secondly, how do I use it and by which instrument? First, I need to have a technique to use them and find for what purpose and all of that we find in Kabbalah. So, if you relate to everything that you and the world have in a correct manner, then you lead yourself forward.

Moderator: I still don’t get it. How can we change our thoughts or thought patterns, as this person asks, through imagination, if the Creator is planting the thoughts in us?

M. Laitman: A thought is a result of desire. It means that what I want is what I’m thinking about. The thought comes in order to serve the desire, how to get what is desirable to me.

We’re all just one big desire to enjoy. In our desire to enjoy, there are many desires to all kinds of sources of pleasure, all kinds of things that we seemingly lack. When I want something, I activate the thought and the thought helps me realize the desire and obtain it. These are our thoughts, really. If I get, from society, from books, or whatever, something else, some new thoughts about something that is more important, then I begin to think about what society thinks. This is called the influence of society on a person.

I go someplace and I hear all kinds of things, and I’m impressed by what they want, what they are doing, and what they attain. This is about publicity, the commercials that we hear from dawn until dusk. I think about something and my thoughts change, my desires change.

“Why am I here?” you might ask. A person can clarify all of his thoughts and all his desires in order to bring himself to a goal he chooses in advance. That is what Kabbalah says, “Choose society, choose the books and choose why you’re living.” As a result, you’ll have changes in your desires and thoughts. The Creator, who sends them to you, does it from both sides, from the good and the bad, and in between them, you have to find the golden way, because He wants to raise you.

It is just like with kids; we give them all kinds of exercises, and deliberately confuse them. We break the pieces apart, and we want them to put it together. We don’t help them do it right away—that’s what the Creator does. He places all kinds of thoughts and desires in front of us that run around in our minds, and as a result, we have to clarify what is good for the attainment of the right goal.

So, you needn’t be afraid of these techniques. If, through beautiful music, you can improve your mood, why shouldn’t you? It’s one of the means by which you can rise, and from this higher degree, the high spirits, start working. We all love to go into a place where there is joy and happiness. Who enjoys going into a place where people are mourning and just sit there all the time, or, alternatively, go to a place where the scornful hang out? You should choose an environment that influences you positively towards attaining the goal. We’ve been given the choice to achieve the higher goal through the right environment.

Question: Why, in your words, do you speak so much about Kabbalah, and so little about rules and sources from our sages? Can Kabbalah be taught as a closed and separate area from other realms of Judaism, because it is not the study that’s important, but the act?

M. Laitman: I know about the wisdom of Kabbalah; I received it from my teacher, Rav Baruch Shalom ha Levi Ashlag. I was his assistant for almost twelve years; I was his personal helper and disciple and this is what I disseminate. I think this is my role, to advertise to the world the method of Baal HaSulam and Rabash. In that, I am merely a tool in presenting this method to the world, the last method of Kabbalah. It is not really a new method, but it is how Baal HaSulam wrote it, especially to be used in our generation. We have to use it and thus, achieve correction because we are already in the generation of the Messiah, the generation of the correction of the common soul, when it is time to exit from the exile and to achieve redemption.

I use all the sayings of the sages that I can to clarify the wisdom of Kabbalah. We always study from the sources. Of course, not when we talk in this kind of talk, but if you look at all our lessons, they are always from authentic sources, either from The Book of Zohar, or the writings of the Ari, or Baal HaSulam, who relied on The Book of Zohar and the Ari, and who interprets them. The lessons are not from my own books or my own words, although I do explain what is written, and we always have the source in front of us, and we read what is written there.

So, the sources that were brought from the sages are what we use. When they don’t introduce it, we don’t ever search for it since these great Kabbalists, such as Rabbi Shimon, the Ari and Baal HaSulam, knew what to use and not to use out of all the words of our sages, the Sanhedrin, Baba Metzia, Midrash Raba or the Gmarrah, the Shulhan Aruch, Rambam, many, many sources, such as Ramchal and Vilna Gaon. I don’t think there are any Kabbalists’ sayings, throughout the generations, we don’t use to in order to clarify and explain the essence of the wisdom of Kabbalah.

We do talk about the Mitzvot (commandments) in a spiritual sense. The Mitzvot have a spiritual realm where they have to be kept, as well as a physical one. We don’t talk about the physical realm, since there are enough places where they are explained, such as, in the Shulhan Aruch, the Yorai Dea, the Talmud and many other places. There are many Rabbis and experts whom you can go to and study it; it’s not a problem. That’s why we don’t even touch the practical solutions in this world.

We’re talking about the correction of the soul. This is the purpose of the wisdom of Kabbalah: the correction of the soul that’s made of 613 desires, and the correction of each and every desire is called making a Mitzvah (commandment) . That’s what we explain in our studies, our lessons. That is why we talk about spiritual Mitzvot, how a person should correct the 613 desires of his heart. By achieving correction of each desire, you achieve love of others, because that is the rule encompassing the Torah.

All of our corrections are to bring the heart from a stony heart to a heart of flesh; this is the goal. So, I don’t think we are straying from the study of Mitzvot and Torah. On the contrary, we do study the Torah, but more internally. We don’t study the interpretation of circumcision, for example, because the people who do it understand it. Instead, we study what the spiritual meaning of circumcision is, how we should do it and how we can do it and what forces we need to summon in order to do it. That is how we study Kabbalah, which brings us to keep the 613 spiritual M itzvot.

Question: A person should become similar to the Creator. You can become similar to someone you know. How do you know who the Creator is and what His qualities are? Can we be certain as to what we believe His qualities truly are?

M. Laitman: It is a beautiful question. That’s why it says, “Know the Lord your God and serve Him.” If I don’t know how I should be, if I don’t have an example of what I should be, how can I know?

It’s like bringing up children; we always give them examples. It is known that education happens through examples. You can preach to them from dawn to dusk, but if a child sees that you’re acting differently from what you’re preaching, they’ll learn from your behavior, not from what you’re saying. The same goes with us. So, you have to have an example in front of you, seemingly, if possible, if you can say it about the Creator.

However, the Creator does not have an image, right? This is why our sages, who were all of very high attainment, gave us these examples: as He is merciful, so are you merciful; as He is gracious, so are you gracious. In other words, we need to give ourselves exercises as to how we become similar to His qualities. How do we become similar to Him? We become similar to His qualities. What qualities does the Creator have?

So, now we can begin to learn. They are saying that to learn how to be similar to the Creator is possible only through the wisdom of Kabbalah. Through the teachings of Kabbalah, a person gets a special higher Light called “Surrounding Light,” and it affects you and changes you. It shows you how opposite you are from the Creator’s quality. You begin to feel these changes inside, how wrong you are here and there towards your kids, towards other people in general, and towards the Creator. You begin to feel the ego in which you are immersed. That first stage of your studies, when you begin to study Kabbalah, is called the “recognition of evil” and you begin to see how immersed in evil you are.

Once you know your evil, the evil helps against you, and you begin to see the opposite of what you should be like. Then you begin to invert things, and you achieve good qualities. That is how we go from discovering the bad qualities within us. “He who is greater than his friend, his desires are greater than him”—you discover the evil inclination and you come to achieve the good life by seeing that you are already corrected.

So, the Creator doesn’t appear before a person to give an example of how to behave, like a schoolteacher or like a righteous person whose behavior you can watch and imitate. On the contrary, from our own negative things, through study, which brings us the Light, and from our own negative things, we begin to see how we can build the opposite of them. This is called building the image of the Creator by us. However, the Creator is imageless, so what is the image of the Creator? It’s the corrected form that we build of our self; this is called Creator.

That’s why the Creator is called Bo Re’eh, (come and see), because we built it. It is the individual, who, through the corrections on himself, builds this image.

Question: What happens to a person’s soul who is suffering torments and decides to commit suicide? What do you think about euthanasia (painless killing to relieve suffering)?

Nothing happens to his soul, because this person hasn’t even developed a soul. It’s like a drop of semen that has not been allowed to develop into an embryo.

Moderator: I don’t understand. A person, lived, suffered and decided to commit suicide. He committed suicide, then what happens to his soul?

M. Laitman: He didn’t do his part; he didn’t take advantage of his chance for correction, so he has to reincarnate because he didn’t do it in a natural way, of overcoming the failures. A person is given problems to the extent that he can overcome them. Instead, if he killed himself, so now he has to reincarnate and begin his corrections anew, and under a little harsher condition.

Moderator: How does that different from a person who dies at a good old age and didn’t do his correction and is reincarnated into our world? What the difference between those two people? They both didn’t correct themselves.

M. Laitman: They both didn’t correct themselves, but one continued his way naturally and hence, continues his correction naturally in the next reincarnation. Let’s say he’s born in next minute, and the other one who killed himself too is also born in the next minute. However, he really cut off his previous life and didn’t use the conditions, although as hard as they may have been, and as a result, he has to drag these conditions to his new life.

It is not to his benefit. You can’t really explain these conditions because it has to do with connection of all the souls, but it will make his correction in the next reincarnation harder.

Moderator: A person who dies naturally, does he starts with a clean slate when he’s reborn?

M. Laitman: There are no clean slates; we’re all incarnations over incarnations. We all carry our previous incarnations. But, if the incarnations are on a corporeal level, an egoistic level where I develop and follow the Reshimot (reminiscences) that I was allowed to develop in, I continue my life and continue my correction. At one moment in my life, I feel a pinch in my heart, and I want to achieve spirituality and know what I’m living for. Then I continue, and instead of moving on the same level, I suddenly want to rise higher; that’s the natural regular way.

But, those who end their lives by committing suicide, by taking their own lives, the end that they bring on themselves brings them into much harsher condition because they drag the Reshimo, as a result of their act, into the next life. And, in the next life, the correction is harder.

Moderator: Her next question is asking what you think about euthanasia. Euthanasia meaning when a person is in a bad medical condition, on life support, and she is asking what you think about mercy killing.

M. Laitman: I don’t think so. We have a clear law of what to do, and that’s what we should follow, towards people who commit suicide, towards people who end their lives in this way. People should go naturally. On the level of this world, we have to follow the laws; we have to follow what is written. All the rules that the Torah talks about on the level of this world are projections of spiritual roots.

Question: Were there ever ghosts and demons in corporeality? Kabbalists, in their books, describe ghosts and demons in spirituality, but they take the words and descriptions from our world. So, what are demons and ghosts according to Kabbalah, and what do demons and ghosts mean in corporeality?

M. Laitman: Kabbalists only write about the spiritual world. The Torah, in general, tells us only about the spiritual world. That is why it is called the holy Torah; holy means separated from our world. You are holy to me, sacred to me, do we say for a bride; you are separated from the world and dedicated to me if I’m the groom.

So, the Torah is sacred. What does sacred mean? It means that it belongs to the Creator, to the spiritual world. Sanctity is a degree of Bina (intelligence), it’s above our world, and it’s the quality of bestowal and complete love that doesn’t exist in our world. So, when we talk about the Torah, that’s how we talk about it.

What Kabbalists are saying is always a description of the spiritual world. Demons, ghosts, angels, holy animals—there are all kinds; Kabbalah and The Book of Zohar are filled with them. These are all descriptions of spiritual forces, just like forces in our world such as electromagnetic, electrostatic, gravity, wind and others.

Moderator: So, what are these evil forces?

M. Laitman: Evil opposite good, yes, because God created both; you have good angels, bad angels and the evil inclination, which is also an angel. Opposite that is the good inclination because the Creator manages us through these two forces.

Moderator: As a result, there’s a war?

M. Laitman: It looks as if there is a war; a person is between good and bad forces. It only seems that way to you. There’s no evil in the world, but that’s how it seems to you. So, then you have to find your way in life towards the purpose of creation in between these forces.

Moderator: Between the demons, ghosts, and good angels?

M. Laitman: Yes, but both are forces of your own soul and don’t exist outside of you, out there, around the corner where you have the negative ones and here are the good ones, God forbid; it’s all inside the person. The whole Torah speaks of man’s heart, all the forces, powers, qualities and everything that is written there is only within you. You have to relate to everything here—buildings, cities, powers, demons, ghosts, angels—good ones, bad ones are all in you heart. You then go into your heart and begin to correct it so out of all these forces that you collect correctly, you achieve the goal. They are opposite each other deliberately.

Moderator: What does it mean in corporeality that there are demons and ghosts in spirituality? Are there demons and ghosts in corporeality?

M. Laitman: I don’t know; I know that in our world, I’m a scientist. I believe in what we can measure and see. I don’t believe in aliens, life on other planets, in demons and ghosts or anything. Everything runs by laws; there are laws we know, there are those that we still don’t know, but these are laws. There are no miracles, so don’t wait for them; there never were and there never will be miracles. Some things are hidden from us right now, and we don’t know them. But, that is all there is. So, relax about the demons and ghosts and all that. We have our truth, let’s stick to that.

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