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June 23, 2024

Archive for Depression

What Happens to the Soul After Suicide? | Ask the Kabbalist

What Happens to the Soul After Suicide? | Ask the Kabbalist

What Happens to the Soul After Suicide? | Ask the Kabbalist [Painting: Edouard Manet – Le Suicidé]

Ask the Kabbalist, Episode 15, with Dr. Michael Laitman

In this episode, Dr. Michael Laitman replies to following questions from the public:

  • What happens to the soul after suicide?
  • Does humility help a person attain spirituality?
  • What role and goal should society have, specifically in America, now that it’s facing major changes?

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The Ultimate Remedy to Depression, Disillusion and Dissatisfaction In the 21st Century

The Ultimate Remedy to Depression, Disillusion and Dissatisfaction In the 21st Century

Did You Know that Everything You Do Is in Order to Receive Pleasure?

Our happiness or unhappiness is contingent upon the satisfaction of our desires. Satisfaction of desire is defined as pleasure and may appear in various forms. Fulfilling our desires requires effort. In that regard, Rabbi Ashlag states the following: “It is well known to researchers of nature that one cannot perform even the slightest movement without motivation, meaning without somehow benefiting oneself. When, for example, one moves one’s hand from the chair to the table it is because one thinks that by putting one’s hand on the table one will thus receive greater pleasure. If one would not think so, one would leave one’s hand on the chair for the rest of one’s life.”


Why Sensation of Pleasure Depends on Desire

The intensity of the pleasure depends on the intensity of the desire, but as satisfaction increases, the desire decreases respectively, and in consequence, the pleasure too. If we look into our pleasures, any kind of pleasure, we will see that they all diminish as soon as fulfillment begins. The maximum pleasure is experienced with the first encounter between the desire and its fulfillment. For example, the greater the hunger, the greater the pleasure derived from its satisfaction. However, if we are given food when we are no longer hungry, we will be unable to feel any pleasure and will probably even feel repelled.

Thus, pleasure from something depends on the desire for that something; there is no pleasure in the desired thing itself. As the sensations of fulfillment and pleasure fade, we are prompted to pursue new pleasures.


2 Approaches towards Dissatisfaction in Life

Humanity normally deals with the problem of the dissatissfied will to receive in one of two ways: the first is acquiring habits, and the second is diminishing the will to receive. The first way relies on “taming” desires through conditioning. First, one is taught that every action yields a certain reward. After performing the required task, one is rewarded with the appreci- ation of teachers and the environment. Gradually, the rewards are withdrawn, but the person labels the act as rewarding. The performing itself yields pleasure, since “habit turns to second nature.” We feel satisfied when our execution of the act improves. The second way is primarily used by Eastern teachings and relies on diminishing the will to receive, since it is easier to not want than to want and not have.

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The Real Reason Behind the Increase of Suffering In Our World Today

The Real Reason Behind Suffering in Our World

If the Creator Is Good, then Why Is There Suffering?

The wisdom of Kabbalah is like a “users guide to reality.”It gives people the tools to learn, understand and use what is around them, whatever happens to them.

One of the topics that people find most difficult to accept is human suffering. On the one hand, suffering motivates people to search for spirituality. On the other hand, it is very hard to accept suffering.

This is indeed a question that troubles everyone. On the one hand, we are speaking of a benevolent Upper Force, but if it is “Upper,” it means it is better than us. Yet our world is filled with anguish and torment. Do anguish and torment also come from this Force? Is there more than one Force, and if so, are they at war with each other?

Reality is made of our desire to enjoy and the pleasure that motivates this desire to operate. These are the only two components on all levels of reality—the pleasure and the desire to receive pleasure. In Kabbalistic terms we call them “the Light and the Kli (vessel).”

When pleasure is absent, it creates a sensation of a desire to enjoy. But sometimes the deficiency of pleasure is so intense that it creates a sensation of suffering. Because everything is made of a certain measure and quality of a desire to receive pleasure, everything also suffers when it is absent—minerals, plants, animals, and people.

In fact, suffering is a necessary sensation that impels a creature to leave its present state and move on to the next. Without suffering, there is no motion. In fact, motion means that my present state is unsatisfactory, so I decide that I will be better off in a different state. Suffering enables us to make the necessary effort to move toward a situation that seems better. Hence, without suffering, progress is impossible.

The Upper Force has no other way of promoting us to better states except through suffering. If it created us as egoists with a desire to indulge in pleasure, then the only way it can move us from one state to the next is through a sensation of suffering.


Why Human Suffering Is Increasing

However, we still need to explain why there is so much more suffering today than before. The purpose of Creation is for humankind to reach the highest degree in reality.

The only way to approach that goal is with an immense drive to reach it, or phrased differently—from the greatest suffering. This does not necessarily relate to physical suffering. We seemingly have everything today, yet we feel that something is missing, and that sensation of absence is the greatest degree of suffering.

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The Surefire Way for You to Achieve Balance in Life

Returning to Balance With the Help of Others

Ever Wonder Why Other Species In Nature Are in Balance but Humans Aren’t?

Our reality is built by the interaction of two forces, the desire to receive and the desire to give. When there is an imbalance in between those that forces problems arise.

Our imperiled world is indeed a sad result of man’s lack of recognition of the desire to give. In contrast, the rest of nature is a magnificent display of balance between the two desires. In the diverse ecosystem that is Planet Earth, each creature has its unique role. The system is incomplete if even a single element in it is missing or deficient, be it a mineral, a plant, or an animal.

An eye-opening report submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in October, 2003 by Irene Sanders and Judith McCabe, PhD, clearly demonstrates what happens when we breach nature’s balance. “In 1991, an orca—a killer whale—was seen eating a sea otter. Orcas and otters usually coexist peacefully. So, what happened? Ecologists found that ocean perch and herring were also declining. Orcas don’t eat those fish, but seals and sea lions do. And seals and sea lions are what orcas usually eat, and their population had also declined. So deprived of their seals and sea lions, orcas started turning to the playful sea otters for dinner.

So otters have vanished because the fish, which they never ate in the first place, have vanished. Now, the ripple spreads, otters are no longer there to eat sea urchins, so the sea urchin population has exploded. But sea urchins live off seafloor kelp forests, so they’re killing off the kelp. Kelp has been home to fish that feed seagulls and eagles. Like orcas, seagulls can find other food, but bald eagles can’t and they’re in trouble.

All this began with the decline of ocean perch and herring. Why? Well, Japanese whalers have been killing off the variety of whales that eat the same microscopic organisms that feed pollock [a type of carnivorous fish]. With more fish to eat, pollock flourish. They in turn attack the perch and herring that were food for the seals and sea lions. With the decline in the population of sea lions and seals, the orcas must turn to otters.”

Thus, true health and well being are achieved only when there is harmony and balance among all the parts that make up an organism or a system. Yet, we are so unaware of the other force in life, the giving force, that we cannot achieve this balance, or even positively define what being “healthy” means.


What Everybody Ought to Know About Depression & How to Overcome It

The definition of health in the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia truly captures our sense of bafflement: “Good health is harder to define than bad health (which can be equated with presence of disease) because it must convey a more positive concept than mere absence of disease.” But because we have no perception of the positive force in life, we cannot define a positive state of existence.

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What is the One Thing Bnei Baruch Wants from Its Dissemination of Kabbalah?

Rav Michael Laitman, PhD discusses the purpose for the dissemination of Kabbalah in the world today.

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