Think about what it would be like to be completely connected to other people, like cogwheels, spinning with everyone in total coordination.
Imagine that your thoughts, desires, actions and decisions depend entirely on your surrounding society and circumstances.
It would be intolerable feeling, worse than prison—total enslavement.
You would feel like a caged animal, frantically seeking every possible way to break free.
You would prefer to die than feel that kind of inescapable pressure.
Yet, whether we like it or not, humanity is heading in that direction.
Today, the coronavirus has already illuminated how we have entered a whole new era of global interdependence and interconnectedness, and we can only expect our connections to become tighter.
What, then, is the key to feel our increasing connection not as a prison cell that closes in on us more and more, but as an amazing new phenomenon that opens up all kinds of new opportunities?
That key is a new kind of education.
Until today, our education has mostly raised us to enter the job market, which has already started shaking under the pressure of today’s increasingly interdependent and interconnected reality. Moreover, as we mainly learn how to fill jobs and make careers for ourselves, and fail to learn about how we can manage our relationships successfully in a reality where we become more closely intertwined, then we experience myriad negative outcomes—from increasing depression, stress, anxiety and loneliness on personal scales, through to more social division and polarization in society at large.
At the base of it, the more we develop, the more we connect. However, our connections are superficial: we connect more technologically, economically and through all kinds of phenomena like the coronavirus that place us all into common circumstances around the world. The paradox is that the more we connect in such a way, the more detached we become in our attitudes to each other.
Therefore, today we need a new kind of education that guides our inner psychological adaptation to our increasing external connections, i.e., that we learn how to adapt our attitudes to each other in order to realize our increasing connections positively.
The problem is that our egoistic nature—the desire to enjoy at the expense of others—conflicts with our increasing connection, which demands us to be considerate, conceding, giving and responsible for one another.
What scares me, then, is the thought about how humanity will further connect: Will humanity become flattened under the evolutionary steamroller than connects people more and more with no conscious participation, and thus experience further development as pains and suffering; or will humanity start becoming organized to learn about its nature and the nature of the surrounding integral reality, and start making moves to match its currently divisive and egoistic attitudes with the perfect altruistic connectedness of the surrounding reality?
However, the fear I have is coupled with hope and an unending drive to pass on the method of connection that Kabbalists devised thousands of years ago precisely to be used in our era. I teach the method to my students in daily lessons, just as my teacher did for his students, and also participate in many different TV and Internet programs during the day, viewed by millions around the world in multiple languages—people who have no direct interest in Kabbalah itself, but who can use the principles of the method in order to better understand how nature works, and how it leads us to a need for connection. Even just this basic understanding of the method of connection trickling through serves to point the way to positive connection. However, as we can see, it is insufficient to spare humanity from crisis and suffering.
If we truly wanted to spare ourselves from unnecessary suffering as we further develop, we would need to integrate the method of connection into our educational systems and media influences, so that to the same extent in which we learn about how to fill job positions and encounter all kinds of media that influences us with mostly divisive messaging, we would learn about how to positively connect and become happy, confident and safe human beings, as well as engaging with media that influences us with positive examples, such as people overcoming their base egoistic drives by showing love and care for each other.
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