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A Kabbalist, a Scientist and a Religious Person

Description

Rav Michael Laitman, PhD clarifies how he came to study Kabbalah as a continuation of his scientific research in biological cybernetics, and not as a religious endeavor. Kabbalah, science and religion are defined and used to show how Kabbalah is not a religion, but a science.

 

 

 

Transcript

A Kabbalist, a Scientist and a Religious Person


Question: This is a question for Rav Laitman. I’m just curious: how does being religious and keeping commandments combine with being a scientist? Actually, what I’m trying to ask is: how does being a Kabbalist, or one studying Kabbalah, combine with being a scientist?”

Rav Michael Laitman. PhD: First of all, it is also written in the wisdom of Kabbalah, that in order to really be a researcher in the wisdom of Kabbalah, you have to know all of our world’s seven wisdoms. Our wisdoms, our ability to research this world, stem from the wisdom of Kabbalah, actually from the Upper Roots, where we have the Bina—understanding.

It must also be emphasized that in order to research and thus to be in this world, we actually only utilize at maximum 2% of our brain’s capabilities. We don’t use the rest of our ability in order to continue our research, and we have a great reservoir with many tools within us.

Now, I came to the wisdom of Kabbalah in a very ordinary way. I was an ordinary person. I was dealing with biological cybernetics, which is the functioning of the human body, or functioning of the living organism, and how its systems function. From that arose a very simple question. While we are learning about a living organism, we see how each part, each cell, is built so wisely, and how it serves all the other parts. It’s just astounding how much we don’t understand. But what you discover is just how interconnected and how complex this thing is, how wisely it is all structured.

And if I ask, “What does the body itself exist for? If every detail in it, if every element in it, is so wisely connected to others and cares for the existence of all other elements, but why does the whole living body exist?” There’s no answer to this. And this is what prompted me. This made my engagement in this science bitter.

Well, I engaged in it. I worked in Russia before I came to Israel. I worked in a research institute for a medical academy, but I felt that I don’t have that urge to research because it is unknown, and nobody knows it. And that’s how I came to Kabbalah, where I found answers to it after many years of searching.

So what am I trying to say? Science brought me to Kabbalah, and I regard it as a continuation of my research. That’s one thing. The other thing is: what has this got to do with religion? It has nothing at all to do with religion.

Religion, at its source, is actually our culture. The actions that religious people perform do not influence the spiritual world. And these actions also don’t bring them any future excellence, reward or value. Only if we can perform these actions in the sixth sense, since the Commandments are corrections of the 613, or more correctly 620, parts of the soul.

And the correction of the soul, the correction of that vessel, that sixth sense, is in fact called “performing Commandments.” You do it with the special Upper Force, which is called “the Light of the Torah.” And that is what Kabbalists engage in. And those who do it superficially, maybe they don’t know why they do it, but we do it, as Kabbalists, because it is a culture, because it belongs to 'the people', it only belongs to the Upper Roots.

Certainly if you read articles of Kabbalists such as the famous article of Baal HaSulam, “The Last Generation,” which is about the next phase of humanity, where it enters a situation in which it discovers the Upper World and feels it and exists in recognition between these two worlds. He says that people will be able to remain in their own religion. It has nothing to do with anything. Religion is a "club." It’s something humanity kind of invented for itself to compensate for not understanding the reasons for its existence.

 

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