Whether it is science that brings us to this conclusion, as Satinover discussed, or whether it is just one's own life; we for the most part feel that there is something more that is hidden, and whatever it is, its appeal is growing in our time. Laitman cited the renowned Kabbalistic text The Zohar as stating that, from the end of the twentieth century onward, the desire to know the forces imperceptible to our five senses will evolve and "the world will begin to feel that the knowledge in the wisdom of Kabbalah is necessary for its very existence.
The main difference, Laitman stated, is that while all of our teachings evolve naturally, through our five senses, Kabbalah nurtures a sixth sense. The desire to know what is hidden from the five senses is like the nucleus of the sixth sense, what Laitman defines as "a point in the heart.
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Laitman made the point that this is why Kabbalah is called "the wisdom of the hidden": it discloses the part of reality that is hidden from our five senses. In such a state, one engages in a new reality, experiencing existence outside one's own body, beyond the range of our five senses, and ascends in levels of perception that Laitman called "spiritual worlds. One who attains the sixth sense, according to Laitman, perceives and researches different worlds - upper, spiritual worlds which complement one another.
They become a reality for that person.
One is said to lose sensation of time, space, and motion as he or she feels an endless stream of life, independent of the five senses. Since a Kabbalist acquires a different sensation outside the five senses, he or she lives with a different approach to life and to reality.
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This view of spirituality that Laitman discussed blended two age-old disparate approaches to reality: the scientific, which relies on research to bring observable, veritable results; and the religious, which relies on the revelation of one or many individuals, and following interpretations of those revelations. The Kabbalistic method of attaining a sixth sense promises revelation through research where the subject of research is one's own perception.
Satinover's and Laitman's discussions came into contact on the point of everything boiling down to our perception. They also agreed on a spiritual reality existing beyond a certain boundary.
Whilst Satinover described quantum theory's inability to analyze beyond this boundary, Laitman first described the boundary - the five senses - then introduced Kabbalah as the area of research which delves into this hidden arena. Quantum theory expresses something of a limit of enquiry in the five senses, while Kabbalah doesn't deal with the five senses at all, offering instead a method to develop the sixth sense. So at the end of the discussions, Satinover and Laitman left us with two choices regarding spirituality: either make up your own mind about what it is, or develop another sense and research it.
In the December World Peace Lectures, one of the principal discussions was about interconnectedness. How should we relate to each other and to the world in our ever-integrating global-technological framework? Laitman mentioned one of humanity's major problems as being that we have connected the world through global technologies, economies, and all kinds of common systems, but our inner, mental development has not yet reached this level of technological integration.
Primarily, Laitman was saying that technological development in and of itself is not the problem, but that the problem lies only in its applications; in the intention with which we use the world. In other words, the technological systems we've built are interconnected, but its operators, us, are not connected, and we therefore use these systems contrary to their setup.
The solution to this problem looks very simple in theory: to connect in one common intention toward the world and begin to cooperate. But when we look at the continual subdivision of ideas and worldviews, connecting in a common intention seems like some unrealistic concept beyond our reach. Laitman has two things to say about this: One, that the only aspect of the world needing correction is the person's intention toward it; and two, if we don't correct our attitude to the world, we will experience more and more suffering until we realize that we have to correct it.
This means that while our attitude to the world remains corrupted, as Laitman puts it, globalization will continue working against us, and we, and our future generations, will therefore experience increasing suffering. We are faced with opposite extremes: On the one hand, we build globally integrated systems, discovering how we are all connected on a technological, superficial level; and on the other hand, we find how the whole world except us is connected. In Laitman's words, there is an inbuilt "corruption in our senses" that we are gradually growing aware of, and which we will have to correct.
This "corruption in our senses" is an innate quality designed to limit our perception, hiding nature's complete picture from us.
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The concealment prevents us from seeing that "all of nature besides the human being is altruistic. Consequently, we cannot see nature's ultimate aim with respect to us.
Behind our five senses there are what Laitman terms "egoistic systems. Laitman describes it as "the general law of nature. To correct our intention toward the world, Laitman puts forth that we will have to change our inner structure - the egoistic system - so that it is merged with nature, the altruistic system.
Until now, humanity has been trying to change external structures, systems outside of the person, to attain peace and comfort. Now, says Laitman, it is time to start changing the inner system - our attitude to the world, to nature - and use these external systems correctly.
If the inner system remains as it is, we will be faced with a growing imbalance between two systems - technological and mental - one atop the other. Neither system can sustain itself in such a state. In our egoistic state, lacking perception of nature's altruistic mode of operation, our main problem is that we are unaware of our inequality with nature and the harm it causes. Laitman supports this statement by saying that, if it had already been revealed to us that we are egoists and that everything outside our sensation is altruistic, we would then be no different to animals; merged with nature, keeping nature's laws without any freedom of will.
The difference between human beings and animals, according to Laitman, is that we are given a will to transcend nature, which we come to recognize by seeing our opposition to it.
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In other words, the more we evolve, the more our egoism increases; when we want more, we suffer more. By realizing our opposition to nature's laws, and working toward them, Laitman concluded that this will bring unprecedented collective spiritual consciousness in our earthly existence:. But since these laws are hidden, it enables us to reach the spiritual degrees. For the time being, we are neither one nor the other.
We are more afflicted than animals, we suffer more than animals can ever suffer, and it is because we haven't reached the spiritual level.
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He did all of this to fulfill His purposes. Now that I realize God is the one responsible for my life, I am accountable to God to make Him the focus of my life so that through Him and in Him I can discover its meaning and purpose. Warren goes on to teach that all that God has done He has done out of love. God, Warren says, being the perfect example of love, and indeed the very essence of love, created me to love me.
I find myself quite uncomfortable with this teaching. I believe it is more Scriptural to say that God created me so I could love Him!
Yesterday I quoted question and answer one of the Shorter Catechism and would like to turn to that again. I use this because it nicely summarizes several passages of the Bible Psalm 86, Isaiah , Romans , I Corinthians , 31, etc. It is true that He created us out of love and with the intention of loving us, but that was not His primary purpose. His prime purpose was His own glorification. In this chapter Warren quotes the Bible 9 times. He uses 5 different translations and paraphrases.
I am concerned by a couple of the passages. I see now that God created and foreordained me not only in an abstract sense of giving me life, but also in an intimate way of providing me with a certain type of character as well as a specific personality and specific physical traits.