PETACH TIKVAH, Israel — When society is falling apart, it’s not because one side is wrong and the other side is right; it’s because neither wants to unite. By nature, we want anything that doesn’t please us to disappear. If you think differently from me, I want you out of my life, and preferably out of existence. This is the natural thinking of every person, to various extents. But nature didn’t endow us only with this nature; it also gave us the ability to think and choose.
Nature endowed us with the ability to observe and to learn that nothing exists unless its opposite supports its existence. Planet Earth, for example, is kept in orbit thanks to the balance between the Sun’s gravitational pull toward it, and the centrifugal force that pushes it away from it. Likewise, our lives revolve around the hours of darkness and light, and our vision relies on the range between seeing all the colors together, creating the color white, and no colors at all, creating the color black. Heat and cold, hunger and fullness, attraction and rejection, love and hate, all those are opposites that make our lives what they are.
The opposite of our lives don’t deny or refute one another; they enable and complement one another! If we could only realize that as it is in all of reality and as it is with us, so it is with our fellow people, imagine what an inclusive, welcoming world we would have. Imagine what richness we could experience if we could embrace the diversity of people’s colors, races, beliefs, penchants, perspectives, and everything else that makes us different, yet complementary.
Imagine also what a dull and stagnant world we would have if everyone were the same. We wouldn’t develop thinking since we would have no need to articulate a point of view. We wouldn’t develop imagination since nothing would stimulate or intrigue us. We would lose our creativity, vitality, and the zest for life. In fact, we owe even our fierce hatred and the delight of indulging in self-righteousness to the fact that there are people who are different from us. What would we do if they did not exist?
The bottom line is that we need to look beyond the differences and see the wholeness that engenders them, and that the differences maintain the wholeness. When we learn that our lives, their meaning, and their continuity depend on the persistence of the ones we hate, we will value the reality that created everything, and we will be able to build love for the wholeness above the hatred for the part. Only then will there be peace and happiness.
Michael Laitman, Ph.D., studied philosophy and Kabbalah at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, and now resides in Petach Tikvah, Israel. He has published more than 40 books on a variety of topics.
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