‘Russia will become the capital of Kabbalah…Marxism-Leninism prepared us for Kabbalah’: rabbi Michael Laitman

Rabbi Michael Laitman at the United Nations. Laitman sits on the openly Kabbalist World Wisdom Council, which was once chaired by the late Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. “Only the Kabbalah can save the world,” says Laitman.

By Iz.ru
February 24, 2003 Anno Domini

Kabbalah is one of the most mysterious magical teachings. There are many legends about ancient Kabbalah. The head of the world school of Kabbalists, Michael Laitman, arrived in Moscow, who is a student of Baruch Ashlag, the son of the most famous Kabbalist of the twentieth century, Judah Ashlag, known as Baal HaSulam. Kabbalists believe that it was Baal HaSulam who was inhabited by the soul that lived first in Moses and then in Abraham. You can guess who the soul of the Old Testament prophets resides in now. Rabbi Laitman is the heir to a chain of famous Kabbalists of the past, and now he is the only one who is allowed to teach publicly

A person wants to live happily. This is perhaps the first law of life. And the second – a person is afraid of loneliness. But how to fulfill these aspirations? The first way is to change the environment for the better and find a creature close in spirit and mind. The second is to change yourself for the better and again get away from loneliness. As in economics – an extensive path and an intensive one. Civilization has come up with countless routes to follow these paths. Like a vinaigrette, a person, in pursuit of the blue bird of happiness, mixes all possible methods – rational and irrational, earthly and astral, majestic and funny. You can, for example, organize an interplanetary dating club and directly contact your brothers in mind, who, you believe, will relieve you of oppressive loneliness. This is what Ukrainian astronomers did, calling on colleagues from other countries as companions. You can do otherwise – try to improve yourself to such an extent that your spiritual virtues will allow you to become equal to His Majesty the Creator. This recipe is professed by Kabbalists who study the ancient and secret Kabbalah. Has a person come even one iota closer to happiness, has he escaped loneliness? As the great sage Kant said, there are two things inaccessible to understanding: the starry sky above us and the moral law within us. Our today’s page is about these eternal mysteries.

Kabbalah is one of the most mysterious magical teachings. There are many legends about ancient Kabbalah. Where is the truth and where is the speculation? The head of the world school of Kabbalists, Michael Laitman, arrived in Moscow, who is a student of Baruch Ashlag, the son of the most famous Kabbalist of the twentieth century, Judah Ashlag, known as Baal HaSulam. Kabbalists believe that it was Baal HaSulam who was inhabited by the soul that lived first in Moses and then in Abraham. You can guess who the soul of the Old Testament prophets resides in now. Rabbi Laitman is the heir to a chain of famous Kabbalists of the past, and now he is the only one who is allowed to teach publicly. In Moscow, he gave a lecture at the Russian State Library. The night before the lecture, Rabbi Michael LIGHTMAN spoke with Izvestia columnist Sergei LESKOV. – If you, Rav Laitman, had to give a brief definition of Kabbalah, how would you formulate it? – Was this definition in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia? – Was. There was no chapter about love, but there was one about Kabbalah. – Some kind of stupidity.

Kabbalah is a method of revealing the complete universe to man. Man has five senses, but there is a volume of the universe that is hidden from him. And Kabbalah reveals this volume. This is a purely practical method, accessible to everyone. Although it is very difficult – you have to go through 125 steps. When a Kabbalist enters into a sense of the higher world, ordinary ideas about time and space disappear. The world appears in its entirety of cause-and-effect relationships. A person at another level of existence acquires qualities that allow him to see what is beneficial and what is harmful. The border between life and death disappears, and a person begins to identify himself with eternity. – Do such abilities imply special morality? – We are not talking about this category. Can a technique have morality? It’s just that a person has a new sense organ, which takes him to a different level of perception of the universe. – What about all sorts of Tarot cards, cryptograms, manipulations with numbers? – Nonsense and fairy tales! Kabbalah is the science of the sixth sense organ.

I could say that this is the science of the soul, if everyone did not put their own meaning into the concept of “soul”. – Such outstanding personalities as Jan Potocki, Borges, Thornton Wilder wrote about Kabbalah. Is there truth in their writings? – I haven’t read any of this, although I’ve heard it. I only read books by Kabbalists. – If Kabbalah is a science, then it must have strict signs of science – repeatability of the result, its predictability, changes in methodology when new knowledge is accumulated. – The Kabbalist records his condition in strict quantitative parameters. Kabbalah textbooks contain diagrams, tables, formulas. Following the calculated path, the Kabbalist comes to the desired point, where another Kabbalist will come in the same way. It’s like a city guide. – Last year, at the Russian Philosophical Society, which operates within the Academy of Sciences, a section on the theory and history of Kabbalah was created, and the first dissertation in Russia on this issue was defended. But for well-known reasons, scientists have a cautious, distrustful attitude towards philosophy. – The fundamental achievements of natural science coincide with what was written many centuries ago in books on Kabbalah. Physicists repeat what the Kabbalists have revealed in the spiritual world. This applies, for example, to the origin of the Universe due to the Big Bang. In Kabbalah there was never any doubt about the heliocentric system of the world.

The books of Ari, written in the 16th century, give a detailed description of human anatomy, the cardiovascular system, and talk about the importance of bone marrow. The number 137 itself, one of the fundamental constants of the Universe (Planck’s constant multiplied by the speed of light divided by the square of the electron charge), is the encrypted meaning of the word “Kabbalah.” – But if Kabbalah knows everything, then can’t it help science? – For what? – So that scientists don’t suffer. And so that a person can quickly take advantage of the fruits of the teaching. – It’s not clear that progress will add happiness. The Kabbalist Baal HaSulam burned most of his books so that his students themselves would reach the truths they needed. – Where the soul is, there is God. I don’t want to have conversations on the bench about breakfasts with Kant and proofs of the existence of God, but… – I prefer not to talk about the Creator for the same reason that I avoid mentioning the soul. The Creator is nothing more than the general law of the entire universe. – How are your relations with world religions? – Jewish Orthodox are persecuting us. Kabbalah is hostile to any religion because it deprives it of a piece of bread.

In Kabbalah you don’t have to believe in anything. You just need to ask one childish question – what is the meaning of life? – Kabbalah has always been a closed area. But you, Rav Laitman, give lectures and have a website on the Internet. Has something changed in the world? How many Kabbalists are there now? – Many books say that at the end of the twentieth century, the development of the world will reach such a height that people will strive to understand the meaning of life. Not all people, of course, but a critical mass will arise. And we see how people’s aspirations are changing. There are several levels for a person. The first is food, sex, family. The second is wealth and money. The third is honor and glory. The fourth is knowledge. It was only in the twentieth century that a massive desire to understand the meaning of life appeared. The time has come to reveal Kabbalah to the world, which is the search for the meaning of life. Previously, people were not ready for this, and Kabbalah was the lot of the chosen few. And now in the USA about 12 thousand people practice Kabbalah, in Israel – 3 thousand. The East is completely immune to Kabbalah. – What is the social status of Kabbalists? Are they rich or poor? – Among my students there are both billionaires and unemployed people. What does the contents of a wallet matter if the soul equally feels empty?- What about Russia’s place? Russia always has a special place. Moreover, we are talking about the soul. – Russia has been assigned a central role. In this country, unlike the frozen West, spirituality has always played a special role. The sensual fullness of the Russian person makes him inclined to comprehend Kabbalah. The structure of the Russian soul is such that here it is easy for teaching to find the right response. I think it may be that Russia will attract high society and abundance will arise here, excellent relations will develop between people. – It’s nice, but still Kabbalah is a Jewish teaching. – Who are the Jews? There is no such nation. Genetically they are no different from other peoples. The Jews are the group that was chosen to preserve knowledge until the time came to reveal it to the world. The ancient books precisely indicate 1975, when you can start studying, as the Kabbalist Gaon from Vilna wrote, for example, in the 16th century.

Since we are about to become Kabbalists, it is interesting to know whether this teaching imposes any restrictions? – None. Not in food, not in clothes, not in lifestyle. The main thing is to have fun. Pleasure – the central category of Kabbalah is achieved in merging with nature and the universe. But if pleasure is associated with the satisfaction of only one’s own desires, then it is quickly exhausted. Egoism is hostile to itself and meaningless. It is necessary to divide pleasure and the desire for it in time and space. That is, we must strive for the pleasure of another person. This is the state of the Creator, his highest pleasure is not in receiving, but in bestowing. – Why are we born egoists? The creator could have immediately made something better. – That is, create yourself? Man must independently come to the highest law. This is the purpose of the Creator. – Apparently, he also suffers from loneliness.

At what age can you learn Kabbalah? – You can start learning as soon as a person begins to ask himself the question: “Why am I living?” That is, at any age. – Do men and women perceive Kabbalah differently? – Men are more inclined to give, women – to receive. Therefore, the teaching methods are different. The most enlightened Kabbalists are necessarily men. – A Kabbalist, like a monk, should not think about women? – Why? On the contrary, the Kabbalist radiates so much energy that he begins to attract people. The Kabbalist, like an eternal boy, stops aging; he longs to know everything in this world in order to better understand the Upper World. The Kabbalist becomes a more active person. – Does this activity also concern women Kabbalists? – Don’t know. In this regard, a woman does not have physical needs, but more spiritual ones.

If a Kabbalist becomes wiser, does this help him achieve conventional success? He can, for example, become a consultant to the oligarchs… – That is, “let’s do something”? Hardly. Kabbalah takes you to the higher world, lifts you above the desires that lead to ordinary success in life. When you think about your soul, you inevitably begin to worry less about money. I always warn my billionaire students not to forget about business and surround themselves with dedicated helpers. Kabbalah, perhaps, can only have a utilitarian meaning in raising children and in art. For example, Madonna is actively involved in Kabbalah.

Kabbalists understand the upper world, but how do they relate to the real world? Are they trying to turn it over? – The Kabbalist is loyal to the authorities and leads an ordinary life. But to some extent, he cannot help but lose interest in the real world, which no longer has the same value. – Do you have children? – Three. The son lives in Canada. One daughter in Israel is writing a dissertation in biology. The youngest serves in the army. -Are you afraid of war? Wars in the real world… – Man is ready for self-destruction. I believe that only Kabbalah can save the world. Nothing else, this is already clear, can save the world. Marxism-Leninism prepared us for Kabbalah, Corresponding Member of the RAS Piama GAIDENKO: In the 16th century, during the Renaissance, interest in Kabbalah suddenly arose, many books were translated into European languages, and they were read in society. Are there any parallels with today?

Historians and sociologists should think about this. In principle, a person can become better through occult knowledge. Why not? It seems to me that today the rise of interest in secret teachings is natural: when the previous firm guidelines are lost and a person does not know who he is, where he comes from and where he is going, the search for support outside the rational field begins. In a traditional society with a solid, established way of life, occult knowledge usually does not spread. In the era of the triumph of Marxism-Leninism, occult knowledge was persecuted, people were brought up in the spirit of worship of rational knowledge. Although, you must agree, Marxism-Leninism itself is difficult to classify as rational knowledge. In short, in all areas in Russia the ground for Kabbalah is well prepared. Doctor of Philosophy Evgeny Balagushkin: Kabbalists should have come to Russia.Traditional religious movements are increasingly less consistent with the psychology of modern man. They are built on the fundamental gap between Heaven and Earth, on the assertion that Man is a fallen being and must subdue his desires. But modern man in real life sees his power, he believes in his own strength and does not understand why he must refuse what Nature has given him and deliberately put himself in a downtrodden, dependent position. He cannot understand why his body created by God is sinful and only his soul is capable of carrying the highest meaning. Hence many of the neuroses and complexes of our contemporary people.

In the sacred space, modern man is looking for a teaching that will allow him to feel like a collaborator, an ally of the Creator. The following construction is becoming more and more common: God cries alone, and only relying on the help of Man can they together, God and Man, save the world. The rapprochement of Earth and Heaven, Man and God – this line genetically leads to atheism. By the way, Bolshevism with its leader is one of the latest manifestations of secular religiosity. In Russia, the hunger for God is felt especially acutely. Look how many Western preachers have appeared in the Russian provinces! And Kabbalah, which hundreds of thousands of people practice in the United States, can certainly spread even more widely here. In the ideas of Kabbalah, with its sacralization of hedonistic happiness, one can find much in common with what Plato expressed, and he was, you see, not the last thinker. Kabbalah, among other things, is attractive to modern man because it does not burden him with the burden of sinfulness. This, it seems to me, makes Kabbalah similar to Buddhism and Krishnaism. Is this why Kabbalah cannot find its niche in the East? Kabbalah (in Hebrew – tradition) is part of Jewish theology, the doctrine of the knowledge of God.

It is believed that God imparted Kabbalah to Moses during the last 40 days of their meetings on Mount Sinai. Kabbalah means secret traditions, or unwritten law, and, according to the ancient rabbis, was transmitted to man so that he could understand the universe around him and the universe within him (as writes occult scholar Manly Hall). Those who have penetrated into Kabbalah are believed to discover a logical and comprehensive doctrine of the world order and master methods of influencing Nature. Kabbalah came to Europe in the 13th century thanks to Spanish Jews. It became especially widespread among Christians during the Renaissance. The influence of Kabbalah was felt by Agrippa, Paracelsus, Hegel, V. Solovyov, Berdyaev, Jung, Buber. Like any mystical teaching, it contains intellectual and ritual components. Kabbalah is considered the key to the later Masonic esotericism.

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