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Ask the Kabbalist (September 18, 2008)

TV Program, Israel

Question: How can a person discover his self according to Kabbalah? In what ways does he discover his self?

Michael Laitman: He discovers that from within the point in the heart, as we call it in Kabbalah. The point in the heart is the same point, the same desire that one feels attracting him upwards, to some place other than this world.

Today, we’re in a period when people start falling into despair in this world, from this life, they start falling into depression or drug abuse; they want to be separated from this life. Yet, at the same time, a new point arises within us telling us that there is some hope and fulfillment, there is life, but in a different way and form and that point attracts us higher to something.

If we follow that point, if we don’t suppress it, but start getting interested in how do we exit our present state, how do we advance, how can we move upwards, how do we find the source of life; what am I living for, what is happening with me, what do we need these whole things for, what is the meaning of life, then that point brings me to the revelation of my ‘I.’

That’s the innermost point in the heart and we have to follow the heart, because that point leads us to our ‘I,’ to our source which is the Creator, the Upper Force. That is, our ‘I’ and the Creator are the same thing, because that is where, by way of descent, we got here, and by the way of ascent we have to go back there. That point attracts me to that spiritual state, the exalted state.

All of us were born in the world of Ein Sof (Infinity). We came down from there by descending through levels, from up moving down to the lowest state from there, to an opposite state called this world.

The world of Infinity is where we are in our perfect state, with our soul. This is where we were born. And from there our soul, each and everyone’s soul, started to shrink, minimizing gradually until we reached this world where we only have a point of that great big soul that each of us had.

There was an intentional descent. We didn’t feel bad there, but we have to rediscover that state in its true form and come to that state again as if we created it by ourselves, not by just receiving it from the Creator. And then we feel, we sense that state, and then we have a full sense of life in it.

When we were there before, we didn’t really have a sense of it, a sense of life, because we didn’t feel all the complexity, the reasons and the development that’s there. The soul shrank to the point, now we feel only that point and we start developing it to the same extent again, but we develop it on our own accord. We develop it, we sense it, we examine it, we know it, and then we’re fulfilled by it. When we return to the world of Infinity, then we live to our full and eternal extent.

And that is our true ‘I;’ this is what we have to get to. The Creator is revealed within me, in that state.The Upper Light that fulfills the soul is called the Creator, “come and see” that you then receive.

Question: How does Kabbalah refer to the Hebrew month of Elul which is the month of forgiveness, the month of scrutiny, where the Light coming from the Creator is more powerful than at other times.

M. Laitman: First of all, in Kabbalah we’re not under the influence of times in our world. Kabbalah talks about spirituality and in spirituality there is no time. There’s no sooner or later in the Torah, there’s no time; spirituality doesn’t go according to time. The time that we’re talking about in the month of Elul, the same states can happen in the time of the month of Av or the month of Shevout, it doesn’t matter; at any time of the year.

Therefore, we shouldn’t necessarily relate to this, but the term called ‘forgiveness’ has a meaning. The meaning of it is that a person opens up, reveals his desires; it can happen any time, now, tomorrow or two months from now but it happens that he opens up his desires within and sees how evil they are. Then he says, “I sinned;” he discovers the evils within him and this is expressed by what we say “I sinned, I have transgressed and so on.”

And by discovering them, he starts seeing how opposite he is with respect to the Upper Light, to bestowal, to love of others, to love of the Creator and by that he starts correcting himself. First of all, he reaches the Yom ha Kippurim (the Day of Atonement), when he discovers all of his evil vessels and he doesn’t want to use them. And later, he reaches correction, which are the days of Sukkoth.

Moderator: I have a question about the thing you’ve said before, when a person said, “I’ve sinned, I’ve transgressed and so on. The words there are in sequence according to the Hebrew alphabet.” There’re many points that I know from these verses that are quite serious.

M. Laitman: In each and every one of us there’s a process of discovering that within all their depth.

Moderator: But I didn’t do these bad things!

M. Laitman: But your soul that came down from the world of Infinity to this world, deteriorated through the levels that these verses are talking about, one hundred percent for everybody. It’s not like, “I didn’t ever steal or kill.” “Maybe a little here and there but to kill someone I surely didn’t do. Adultery, well, don’t I know what I am doing?” In spirituality we went through all the transgressions and we have to discover them, each and every one of us, all of the transgressions that exist. The Torah doesn’t talk about the exaggeration or faults.

And when we discover that, in that state called forgiveness, forgiveness means that I, actually, discover it. And later, there is Rosh ha Shana, the beginning of the New Year, when I decide that I’m starting to correct it.

After Rosh Ha Shana there are still what are called Ten Days of Repentance, when I decide that I’m going to repent all of these desires, that I’m going to correct them and to reform them. So the first correction which unfolds within me is that I discover that I don’t want to use any of these desires that were received by me with the intention of reception, of self benefit.

And in the Day of Atonement I decide, after the ten days of repentance, that I don’t want to use these desires in that way. I actually, want to return to the world of Infinity by correcting them, to return to that state. When I decide that in the Day of Atonement, then I have nothing to do. Not to drink, not to eat, meaning not to use these desires, any of them.

Then after the Yom Kippurim, the Day of Atonement, I start correcting them by something called Schach (screen), Masachim (screens)—that is where the word Sukkoth comes from—by attracting the Lights by which I correct the desires. Then eventually, I reach Purim holiday, which is the state where I correct all my desires in order to bestow.

Moderator: Can you clarify something you said? What does it mean that my soul, killed, raped and did so many transgressions when it descended from the spirituality to our world? Whom did I kill?

M. Laitman: What does it mean that you have descended? If I descended, it means that all the 613 desires in my soul received with the intention in order to receive and that means that I did fault, that I transgressed.

I killed my desires; I killed the use of the desires in order to bestow. ‘To kill’ means that I didn’t love, that I didn’t give, that means that I killed. When I kill something, it means I stop using it in the right way; I’m killing my spiritual life and that of others. Because if I don’t fulfill myself with the Light of bestowal upon others, like a mother toward her children, so that all the Lights will flow through me towards the other souls, through my soul and if I don’t do that, then I kill them. I prevent the Light from coming to them. That means that I kill them.

Through each and every soul come Lights to all the souls; we’re like cog-wheels, interconnected at all times. And if I don’t allow all the Lights to pass through me, in the way an organ of the body does: the liver, the lungs, the kidneys. If I don’t pass on to the body everything I can give to it, it means that I kill some organ of my body.

This is what you have to discover. When you reach a state of revealing who you are and what you are. That is called the state of forgiveness, the true Ten Days of Repentance, and the true Day of Atonement. Then you will really identify with these things, you will have a true awareness that you are a rapist and a thief, a robber; me and anyone else, because in this world we are in that state. First we have to discover it and then correct it.

“There’s no righteous in the land that did good who didn’t sin before.” First you have to discover the sin, then correct it and then it means that you are reformed. This is called making the repentance. Not as people think, that they only have to wear all kinds of symbols or clothes, then it makes them reformed. You have to clothe yourself with a lot of corrections. Did you reach love of man? Did you reach “love your neighbor as thyself?” If not, then you haven’t corrected yourself.

Question: In one of your lessons you talked about people connecting through computers. Isn’t that a tool that can make you detached from your nature, from your environment if you use it too much?

M. Laitman: I know only one thing: we have to move forward along with the world. The world as it is, is how the Creator appears to us and this is how He wants us to advance towards correction, with these paths, with these tools. Therefore, I have to follow nature, to follow development: technological development, everything that was created in man, everything that appears around him, here and in the world, we have to use it correctly, that’s all, for the sake of correction.

If I see today that people are attracted to social networks, through computers, and virtual networks, then I have to look at that and think how I can help the general correction of the world by using this tool, where everyone is attracted to it. If there’s no choice, I have to have a presence there, as well.

Only, I have to give it the right form, as much as I can and as much as it is possible to give that tool, the right form of connection for people. To connect between them and realize what the role, the goal and the structure of the world is and the corrections we have to go through and the state we have to reach.

Because they already like being together in some virtual space, why shouldn’t I? I have to use their strong desire to be connected with one another and give them a direction; direct them to the type of connection between them that they have to reach. Then we’ll actually see a more corrected world and by that we’ll do good to ourselves, to the Upper Force, and we will unite and advance together. The world will come to the desired correction.

Therefore, I’m very happy to see that such tools develop and we have to say that everything created by the Creator that appears in the world, was not created by chance. If we use it correctly, we use it for correction.

So I’m happy that the Internet today is able to give connection to people that we didn’t have even ten or twenty years ago. It’s a sign that we, actually, need this kind of connection today, through which we will come to love among people within the whole of humanity and that’s the correction, this is what we need.

Moderator: How do you see the influence of the Internet on human society, let’s say, five years from now?

M. Laitman: Very positively. I think that people, who become integrated with one another through the Internet, without seeing each others faces or characters, are more open. They want to stay anonymous; they don’t want to disclose those things they are ashamed of. We see that the connection through the Internet is more to the point and more internal.

Moderator: What does that mean?

M. Laitman: It means that people still chatter about all kinds of nonsense and they do not really do important things with this tool. But still, this is like a one big stew that is starting to cook and eventually, the dirt will sink gradually and what you have left is the cleansed outcome and this is what’s happening on the Internet. It is gradually clearing up. Instead of people being attracted to sex, sports and food, they will suddenly start to leave it alone, leave it aside and have a bigger desire to just connect through the social networks. This is what the researches say: the desire to connect in social networks is the greatest desire today; greater than desires for the basic things, such as family, sex and many other things.

Moderator: What meaning it has?

M. Laitman: I see that people already lack [connection]; they have an inner urge, they have a deficit for social connection. To feel that we, somehow, are interconnected as one to something that is one whole and that is a great sign from Above. If we give it the right direction, I see the straight path here towards correction.

Therefore, we have to get into the Internet and build there, as Baal HaSulam said in the articles of The Last Generation, “We have to build the state of Kabbalah.” Meaning such a society that will start absorbing into itself all the systems of human society; there will be the cultural department, the justice department and everything else.

Wherever man’s desires are, wherever man’s plans are, his interests and goals, that is where humanity is. What do governments and what they seemingly want to do, matter to us if all of humanity is now centralized in the Internet? Then we’ll suddenly see that we’ve created a true virtual humanity, where everyone is, and everything outside will just disappear, all the public offices, all those systems of government, of the public, they will just disappear.

We will instead build there the true things, the way we really want to live, and we will not depend on those who try to manage us forcefully. The Internet is free, is open and unbounded. This means we can create a social humanity around the whole globe and go back to a corrected Babylon, so to speak.

Moderator: Can you state in one sentence what will be special about that virtual land?

M. Laitman: Because that will bring us to the spiritual elevation. Virtual, is in the meantime; by being there, slowly searching for a way to connect with each other and people will gradually discover that the true connection between them is not the virtual one, through the computer, but through the souls. That’s the next step for us now.

Question: I read in the newspaper that US nationalized the biggest US mortgage companies and some companies in Israel. In addition, it is said that we are now witnessing the biggest economic crisis and no one has any idea what is going to happen or when it is going to end. Almost everyone loses from it and it’s no laughing matter.

M. Laitman: Besides me.

Question (cont'd): It seems as if all the economics in the world are deteriorating in a downwards spiral and it’s starting to be frightening. What can we do? It appears that soon we won’t have a roof over our heads or food. Why is it that our suffering is materializing in the form of an economic disaster?

M. Laitman: These are really disasters; I saw in America closed homes, people had to leave their homes, without a place to go. I'm not talking about people running from New Orleans because of the hurricane. I’m talking about people who can’t pay their mortgage, who can’t deal with daily life. People are renting rooms instead of their big houses that they can no longer afford. Their houses are just closed under the banks control.

When I was there in America, they told me that there are approximately three hundred thousand such incidents, such homes. Think about it, that’s a lot of families and today there are even more. So in truth there’s nothing to be happy about. We’re talking about disasters for man. What can we do?

Moderator: What can we do and why does it happen, specifically, economically?

M. Laitman: Because our will to receive has to give us signs that we’re no longer are able to advance egoistically, not to sustain our countries or even our families in the egoistic way; we have to change our desire.

The bank in the US belongs to eighty one countries, and it belongs to millions of clients all over the world, that was the case with that investment or insurance company AIG and they can’t do anything about it; that’s a huge disaster. It’s not just that something fell there in the US; you don’t understand that it affects your account in your own bank.

And after listening to me it won’t help you to run to your bank and withdraw money from your account, because tomorrow, the value of it will be so low that you won’t even allow yourself to buy a breakfast. How can you keep the value? You earned a lot of money throughout your life, you collected it for yourself, for your pension, for your children, and all of a sudden, you have nothing, just like a person who lives on the street.

What can you do about it? What can you do with it? What, you’ll buy gold? No one needs gold. You’ll buy oil? It will fall as well. What will I do? Will I keep barrels of oil in my home?

Moderator: What do we do?

M. Laitman: Nothing; the Creator arranges our life this way, intentionally in order to feel that we are interconnected absolutely, just like the cogwheels. That’s one. Secondly, inside our interconnection you have to change your attitude, your behavior. When we were not so integrated around the globe, we could somehow manage. Today everyone is so interconnected, interdependent that it’s like a one big family. What can you do about it?

If your children don’t want to listen to you, because maybe you have some feud in your family and there’s no peace at home. What can you do? You’ll kill them? You have no choice. It's hopelessness. That’s exactly what humanity is facing today, because we’re one big family, and whether we like it or not this is how it is. We don’t want to realize this, we don’t want to recognize this, but this is how it is, this is our connection on behalf of nature. It’s not something that we have developed towards; in our development we’ve just revealed that we are interconnected within one system, one big inclusive soul.

Moderator: What practical things can I or the viewers do about this?

M. Laitman: To make peace between all of us, but we won’t be able to do that.

Look, people are trying to connect today; there was the Forum of G8 or that of G7, all those different conferences and it just doesn’t work, they can’t even talk to each other. America with Europe, Europe with Russia, Russia with China, all kinds of discussions that don’t work; even two countries can’t make an alliance.

Moderator: What do I do? I need something to do. If tomorrow my money will loose its value…

M. Laitman: There is nothing you can do, just keep some bread for tomorrow. There’s nothing to do until humanity, each and everyone together as a whole, will discover that we, who live together, globally, we have to work together. Then people will have to grasp their head and say, “How do we work together? There’s nowhere else to run.”

The Earth is one, the planet is round and the connection is tight between us, whether we want it or not. On the one hand, we’re hateful to each other, on the other, there’s a connection, as in a family that doesn’t work properly. It is terrible and you can’t do anything about it.

Then we will gradually discover that without the Upper Force. It doesn’t matter how fantastic or unrealistic you think it is, people will start discovering that it’s rooted in our nature. Out of this despair, an individual starts thinking that only some Upper Force can help me. Because what I discover now is beyond my strength, beyond my forces, it’s a Godly Force.

Then people will need that Upper Force to “make peace Above and peace between us.” Then they will come to the study of Kabbalah in order to draw this force, and make the right connection between everyone, with love towards one another.

The right connection is “love thy friend as thyself” as in a corrected family where everyone worries about each other, because they know they’re interdependent, they feel it. I hope we’ll reach it soon.

I want to say that nothing will help us. As in ecology where the experts say that we have passed the peak and now we’re getting into trouble. Consequently we will soon witness enormous natural disasters in the form of global warming, icebergs melting and so on. Same thing here, we’ve already crossed that point, the deterioration will only continue. We have to disseminate the wisdom of Kabbalah in order to give man the knowledge of what the reason is, of what the path is, and what the goal is, before we feel the blows.

Then we will, actually, enjoy the blows because we’ll precede them and we will correct them to bestowal before they materialize. It’s similar to a family: you attend some consulting and everything is fixed. So we have someone who can advise us.

Moderator: Still, I would like you to define one thought that a person can leave the show with, so that he can immediately do something good.

M. Laitman: Open Baal HaSulam’s books or our lessons and you’ll understand how to manage.

Question: I have a friend who is really an obsessive gambler; sometimes he reaches states when he has nothing to eat. I feel that he can bet over everything he has. Does Kabbalah have an explanation for that addiction, and in general, what does this kind of excitement for the risk stem from?

M. Laitman: The truth is that it’s a game; it’s a game that a person is attracted to. That game results from a very high level of the lack of connection with fate, that is. lack of connection with Godliness. I can’t explain it, it’s an emotional thing, but just try to listen to what is underlying here. I want to connect with the Creator; I want to know Him, I want to know my destiny, my fate, my future, my life, the process I’m going through. I want to know what is rooted in nature, what plan nature is working by.

Therefore, by playing all these games, gambling, for instance, I’m feeling like a scientist in a lab. I express my desire to reveal the formula by which nature, man and the whole process works and how it’s guided.

I understand these people, I feel them. Even though I’m not a gambler myself, I was never attracted to this, but my wife, for instance. It’s interesting that an adult lady is attracted to these games, to these things. I’m telling you what it stems from; it stems from searching for the force of fate that works on me and if we will bring to one an opportunity to meet that force, then he will feel it.

I would say that all types of gambling and drugs, despair and terrorism, all kinds of such eruptions, they all come from the lack of connection with that force of fate that people look for and don’t find and then they feel these states.

Moderator: I don’t know; if I’m simply looking at some obsessive gambler, it looks to me as if he just wants a million dollars.

M. Laitman: No, he doesn’t care about the money, as it seems to you. He happily loses and happily wins, but not because of the loss or the gain. He tries to find some point, internally, of connection with that Upper Fate that works on him. It’s very spiritual, because games in general are something spiritual.

How do we learn about games in the wisdom of Kabbalah; what do we learn about games? A game is some kind of an action by which one rises from one degree to another. Just as children play games, how do they know what the result is? In everything it’s like that. Tell me, isn’t a scientist who is doing some experiments or taking other types of scientific actions, a kind of a gambler?

We behave likewise in many things in the world. If we don’t want to advance on safe grounds in some incidents, then we detach ourselves from the Upper Force, from fate, from everything. If we want to advance, we must gamble. The same thing happens in the stock exchanges.

Moderator: Let’s move toward some practical tip, for a person who asks about his friend who has a problem with obsessive gambling, something that paralyses his life. From your understanding of what operates man, of that inner inclination that operates him, what do you recommend for him? How can he get rid of this?

M. Laitman: As it says about the Torah, that it heals everyone. Let him open the books of Kabbalah, it will give you the same process of gambling, risk and search and finding that spark, feeling that spark when you feel that you’re about to lose or gain but in a much greater intensity. He’ll get a fulfillment from that, precisely, as when he is trying to play these games.

Question: My question to the Kabbalist is about the experiment that they did in Switzerland about the Big Bang. I’m curious to know what Rav Laitman thinks about it.

M. Laitman: You know, from housemaids to experts, I have heard that question, dozens of times in the last few weeks. Look what the media did with something that is actually so internal and small that scientists deal with the little particles!

This is something that has developed from their need to make a profit. Scientists have to show that they have something in their hands and that they’re going to discover big things so that they will get the financing they want. Do you know how much finance that requires? It’s something like eight billion. So they have to get extra finance. There are some lobbyists with them.

Moderator: Yes, this is obvious, but what do you think about it?

M. Laitman: I think, first of all, the fact that they’re going to research is good. That’s good because it shows us the end of creation, corporeally, meaning that we are now reaching a wall, where we have nowhere else to continue, and that will advance us more quickly to a crisis in science. It means that we will understand we have nothing else to look for in our world by science. Then as much as we research we will not find truth by that. All the truth exists beyond matter which science can not touch and research.

Moderator: What is the truth you’re talking about? Science can explain many things.

M. Laitman: Yes, within matter that is. But what they discover now is that they can’t control the forces that work behind matter, behind the scenes. They are bumping into such incidents, phenomenon that they can not control, like a particle that can exist in two places simultaneously, like a particle that is connected to another particle in infinite speed. Meaning it’s here and it’s in any other place in the world at the same time; the connection between the particles can be instantaneous and there’s no place, there’s no time, there’s no movement.

We’re moving on to a state after the atoms in the sub atoms to such terms and definitions! First of all, you cannot identify them by the naked eye. You recognize them only according to what the tools measure, and it’s all with respect to our senses. You identify that you reach a state that everything simply disappears, as if the world disappears and the matter disappears. There’s just force that exists everywhere and it has no definition, it has no speed, it has no time, it’s just everything. This is the end of the matter that we can research.

Beyond it science will just stay like this: we don’t know what to do with this. From that point onwards, starts the wisdom of Kabbalah. That's because it researches with different senses, not with the five bodily senses, not by this animal, my sight, hearing, touch, etc. or by my beastly mind of reception. The wisdom of Kabbalah develops my ability to perceive by bestowal, what’s outside of me, the perception of the world that’s outside of me, as we learn from the wisdom of Kabbalah. We exit ourselves to a state that is beyond time, movement and place.

I, as a researcher, as a feeler, myself, rise with my own inner qualities to a level where those particles do exist without time, without movement and they’re everywhere. This is what Kabbalah does to me, and then I’m able to research them and keep onwards, but now with new qualities, and those qualities are of bestowal, of exiting myself, which they can’t do. That is why this will be the end of science for them. Then those of them who will feel the end, will have no choice, they will come to us.

Moderator: From your words, the wisdom of Kabbalah is depicted as some new science that simply works differently; it’s also a situation of research, but in a different form.

M. Laitman: Yes, this is why it is called the wisdom of Kabbalah, it’s a science. Baal HaSulam writes about Kabbalah compared with modern science, about the essence of the wisdom of Kabbalah, he writes about it as a science. What do we learn? We learn the Creator, the Creator is nature. We learn nature, only not the corporeal minimized nature that I can perceive through my animal, but the nature that is outside of me called spiritual.

Spiritual means that I perceive these phenomena by the attribute of bestowal, of exiting my limitations, exiting myself; I exit on my own and this is what the Kabbalah allows me. I’m exiting the state of absorbing everything, receiving everything egoistically and I acquire the vessels of bestowal. I exit myself and then I feel the world not the way I perceive it, but how it exists outside of me. Then I see the forces and particles and whatever you want but the way they are, and that is what Kabbalah allows a person.

Moderator: So there’s a preliminary condition: the research doesn’t start before the researcher goes through this inner inversion.

M. Laitman: Yes, we were born with the right vessels, the right tools to research corporeality; therefore, we just research with what we have. Here you need to give birth to new vessels of your own, but in fact these are the same conditions. You’re researching with your own current tools and this is talking about researching with new tools you have to build, and the wisdom of Kabbalah installs these new vessels, these new tools exactly.

Therefore, I’m very happy about this experiment and I’m happy that they’ll run it. In a few months, perhaps, something like six months, we will start getting all the phenomena outcomes. This will advance us to a state, where we’ll be left like children, not knowing what to do; we will have no choice. In order to understand the world, we must, because otherwise we can’t advance in our research, in the eyes of science, we’ll have to get them to move to a research that doesn’t depend on our corporeal body.

Question: I saw on the television an interesting documentary film about reality shows. It says that people will do anything in order to be famous, to be known by TV reality shows. There’s a show in America called “American Cannibal,” something that is similar to survivor, only the people have do decide which one of the group of people they’re going to eat because it is “the hunger island.” People are asked whether they would be willing to eat someone’s finger and they didn’t care. How far will we go? People are willing to eat each other in order to be famous.

M. Laitman: First of all it’s not in order to be famous. A person who is in a distress, loses all of his human form, which is an unpleasant form, and he just turns into a beast and we’re not just beasts, we’re lions.

Moderator: Yes, but here a person is not in any distress, he’s just going to a reality TV show as a contestant.

M. Laitman: Yes, but it only indicates how great our egoism is. That even without a need to sustain ourselves, without a necessity, we’re willing to do it as well. This just indicates the great egoistic desire that appears in man. It’s not craziness. It also says about it in the Prophets about merciful women who cooked and ate their children (Masada revolt).

The distress of control or honor can be the same thing; it all depends on the values of the society, the appreciation of society. If society appreciates honor more than anything else, then I’m willing to do everything for that. Society can inflate any desire within me, any desire it wants and I will grab on to this desire, I’ll think that I have to fulfill it, no matter what.

Moderator: Yes, this is exactly it, that for publicity I’m willing to do everything.

M. Laitman: Yes, this happens because of the environment’s influence, this is what it’s done and justly. Meaning, as Baal HaSulam says in the article The Freedom, that the society determines all of one’s actions and one is not in charge of that. I’m not blaming anyone of them; they just entered an environment that holds that goal so high, being successful in that game. It’s a competition, so they’re willing to do everything, because everyone from a side is driving them crazy, telling them that there’s nothing better in life. But you’re already influenced; you are no more responsible for your own actions.

Moderator: How will our world look like in three, five, ten years?

M. Laitman: Perfect; the Light will come from the darkness. We’ll just go through that period of darkness, and by disseminating the wisdom of Kabbalah throughout the people, first in Israel, and then from Israel this Light will be poured onto the entire world and the world will be perfect. Television will broadcast competitions of love.

Moderator: What do you mean competitions of love? It sounds boring.

M. Laitman: Why boring? It’s the same thing, only the opposite principle. For example, Bnei Baruch took part in a competition of sending each other Shana Tova (Happy New Year) greeting. Who is the best in giving the best Happy New Year greeting to the people of Israel, for instance. That’s a competition; try to win it. Only we have to raise the importance of being the first in this giving, bestowal, love towards others, to be great in this, to be successful in this and this makes you the man.

This is what society still lacks, this value, appreciating that. But if man would receive this influence from the environment, “Look he’s now on the tenth place! Now he is in the second position! Oh, he is in the first position in that!” Do you know what power that would give us? How all our society would rise with all of us to something that great? I hope that we will reach this kind of competition, as well, first, starting with our site and then…

Question: How is it that the Kabbalist always says to open your heart, your soul and behave towards people with love? How can this be, because if you do that, you either turn out as a sucker or people use it in some other bad way, just as it says that, “The righteous feel bad, the sinners feel good/” Why does it happen that way?

M. Laitman: That doesn’t mean that I go on the street and I open my love to everyone and let everyone use me. I have nothing to open up towards these egoists. Opening your heart and your soul towards the world means helping the world advance toward truth.

But as Baal HaSulam writes, besides the wisdom of Kabbalah, there’s no other means that we can give the world in order to feel good. Therefore, my expression of love towards others is to disseminate the method of correction of egoism, of human evil. By that method, the world will reach the desired correction and then everyone really will feel good.

If I just try to tell people, “I love you! I love you! What do you want from me? What can I give you?” Then I only develop their ego, and that is where everything ends. Of course, you don’t do that. Don’t let the world take advantage of you that way.

Moderator: Yes, Baal HaSulam writes about it in the Introduction to the Book Tree of Life, he explains about the whole process, I just choose one sentence. He says, “It says in The Book of Zohar that by that composition the people of Israel will go out of exile.” And the conclusion he says, “…only by the dissemination of the wisdom of Kabbalah we’ll be awarded complete redemption.” And he elaborates more on that and then he explains that if we have to give to the world something good, it’s this.

M. Laitman: This is the only good thing that we can do, each and every one of us. Therefore, Kabbalists commended us to first of all, study the wisdom of Kabbalah by which the Light that Reforms comes. Take part with those who study, my friends on the path, and disseminate to the world who don’t know about it, yet, in order to move them in that direction towards the Creator. Then by that we, certainly, reach the good state.

That is the only thing you can give to people from love, you have nothing else to give them, as everything else you try to give them will be adverse, because we will only inflate their egoistic desire.

Question: According to Kabbalah the change is internal, we have to love all of creation, because we’re one soul and this is pretty much understood. My question is how do you refer to enemies, for instance, the Arabs or terrorists who want to destroy us in corporeality? How do we defend ourselves if their intention is to kill us? And to think that we and them are one! And if it’s permitted to kill them so won’t they kill us? How do you do you differentiate between spirituality and what happens here?

M. Laitman: Again in this case, it's the same thing: I disseminate the wisdom of Kabbalah to the whole world, but corporeally I refer to each and everyone the way they refer to me. I stop them from hurting me and if it is needed and a necessity, then I attack them. If I can’t, then I avoid it, and I do what I can to disseminate among them the wisdom of Kabbalah. This is what we do; this is called the method of correction.

If you can’t stop evil, this is what is within me as well. With the will to receive within me, this is what I do, if I have a will to receive that I can change for the good, then I work on it and I change it. If I can’t change it yet, then I freeze it; if I can’t even freeze it, then it’s as if I kill it, I put it so deep inside that it is as if dead. That's all I do until I reach a state where I do have the strength, the force and then I take it out of hiding. This is what is called ‘the revival of the dead’ and this is how I revive the desire and correct it.

The same thing with man, we have to understand that if someone approaches me trying to kill me, then I kill him to defend myself. This is called the correction, because that was an egoistic desire that tried to kill somebody and then you have to kill it first. You have to do the correction at the root, but only on that condition; on any other condition, no. This brings laws on behalf of Kabbalah, when we can or can’t do these things and so on, but everything is for the sake of correction. Therefore, I do not relate to enemies or haters and so on; I first of all relate to my goal and how I can bring everyone to the goal.

Because man has to realize that the whole world depends on him, one has to say that the whole world was created for his sake, and I tilt the world to the scale of merit or demerit. I have to worry about the whole world and bring everyone to the method of correction, the wisdom of Kabbalah. In addition to that, worry about how to defend myself; if there’re cases that I have to do it, I’ll kill.

Moderator: Let’s go to the family level; a viewer asks, “My wife is always angry and she is depressed and feels she has failed with our conjugal life. How can we continue our relationship this way?”

M. Laitman: It doesn’t depend on where a person is, with whom, how successful he is or not. I see very successful people but they feel bad; I see people, who have practically nothing, but they feel good and everyone knows about this. Therefore, I don’t think he should look for how to benefit his wife, or try to recommend to her what to do with her life, because it won’t help; whatever she has won’t satisfy her. She has to rise to another greater level of fulfillment and there she will be fulfilled.

Why not let her hear a few words of Kabbalah, which talk about the fulfillment of the soul? She can be fulfilled by that; everyone can be fulfilled by that. In fact, it is impossible that you can’t be fulfilled by that because it is intended for every soul. Everyone has a soul and at the end of the day, he wants to fulfill it. So if she feels bad, in darkness, despair and apathy, it looks as if this is the only thing she has left; give her that present.

Question: Are you able to clarify the verse, “If I’m not for myself, then who is for me?”

M. Laitman: “If I’m not for myself, then who for me” is what a person should say before each and every action in his life, and not wait for mercy from Above, or for the mercy of the Creator, or anyone else. That all of our advancement depends on us, on me, on each and every one of us and it will never come from Above as some gift or some special connection with you. If a person doesn’t do it, he gets a blow, a strike and later he understands, “Oh, I should do it on my own, otherwise I’ll be beaten even harder.” Therefore, “If I’m not for myself, then who is for me?”

On the other hand, he also has to understand that the moment he starts “If I’m not for myself, then who for,” he has the great partner from Above, and then he has to reach the state called “There’s no one else besides Him.” On the one hand, “If I’m not for myself, then who?” and on the other, there’s no other force, but the Creator and we meet there together.

“If I’m not for myself, then who” and “There’s no one else besides Him,” are as if contradictions. When can I connect them so that there will be no dispute between them? Only on the condition that we—me and the Creator, man and the Creator—become as one. This happens at Gmar Tikkun (the End of Correction). This is what I have to be drawn to, and until I reach there, I will always have this contradiction.

And this contradiction is, “Does He work or do I work? Does it depend on me or on Him?” That contradiction stands before me at all times and it, actually, helps me, it pushes me to solve it; and its solution is in Gmar Tikkun and adhesion with the Creator.

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