It is possible that life was conceived in Africa, but our civilization began developing only with the emergence of human egoism, which is the force positioned behind our progress. This happened in Mesopotamia, ancient Babylon, around 4,800 years ago. The story of the Tower of Babel in the Torah narrates is about the outburst of human egoism at that time. In their pride, people wanted to achieve the heavens, expressed allegorically, to build “a tower up to the sky.” As a result of the ego that developed, they started hating each other and thus stopped understanding each other. This is called “the intermixing of the languages.” Then, they wandered away from each other because they did not want to and could no longer be together as a unified human society.
They stopped understanding each other, and then humanity began developing by means of its ego. This is how we have developed throughout history—by means of the ego that is inherent to us, from one generation to the next.
It is only in the person, in this special creature of nature, where the ego develops even over the course of a single lifespan. A one-day old calf is like a grown bull, i.e. it is already an animal that is ready for everything it needs to do in life. In us, however, the ego grows over the course of our lives, and we thus do not know what we need to do. As such, we need education and support from society.
Therefore, we are very far away from our early days in Africa and even from Babylon. Today, we are immersed in the developing egoism, which demands to be quickly tamed. If we tame our ego, then we will achieve a new positively connected society, and if not, then we will approach the level of the end of our civilization.
Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
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