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Michael Laitman
Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute

The Ultimate Pleasure

Scientists discovered that an ant exposed to heat during an activity with other ants behaves as if it does not feel it. It continues with all the other ants as if it feels nothing, and changes course only when all the ants do so. The same is true of many flocks of birds, such as starlings, and of many schools of fish. They do not follow each other, but move as if they were all one organism consisting of innumerable specimens. I do not know if they do this by releasing hormones or by something else, but the result is that they are completely in sync with one another.‎

Humans cannot feel this way. We are denied the ability to merge completely into society; we always feel our individuality. Moreover, we give priority to our individuality over society, so we cannot connect with the collective mind that starlings and schools of fish work with.

Since we are unable to sense the collective mind, we are denied the understanding and perception of the collective reality. It is as if we live in a world where we cannot see beyond our own noses. At the same time, precisely because we are not born with a collective perception, we will gain infinitely more by developing it than by being born with it. We will gain not only the collective mind, but also the thought behind its development, the difference between having ‎it and not having it, and the way to help others gain that consciousness, as well.

When we see that such a state of collective consciousness exists, we want to attain it. It motivates us to value it more than our innate self-centeredness. As our motivation grows, we understand that we can reach that state only if we prefer it to our selfishness.

Once we are in that state, we discover a completely new kind of pleasure, the ultimate pleasure. In this kind of pleasure, we strive to feel not ourselves, but our collective existence, our oneness. It is not suspension of the self, but an addition of a new self that consists of and belongs to every being in reality. Our original self continues to exist, and a new one is added.

Once we acquire that collective consciousness, we understand the true meaning of love and why everyone longs for it. In this love, we feel our separate selves, and at the same time feel everyone’s efforts to rise above their selves and unite with others in love.

In fact, in that state, the purpose of the ego changes and its new role is to distinguish between a state of hatred and separation and a state of love and connection. The greater one’s ego, the greater the joy of love because a greater ego requires a greater love to overcome it.

At the end of the process, a person feels the absolute selfishness of the ego, and at the same time feels the absolute love that exists in the collective consciousness. What fish and birds feel instinctively, we can feel only once we develop love for every iota of Creation. This ultimate love brings with it the ultimate pleasure. The ultimate love that we all long to feel is not to be loved absolutely, but to feel absolute love for others. When we experience it, we find that everything is absolute love.

About the Author
Michael Laitman is a PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah. MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics. Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute. Author of over 40 books on spiritual, social and global transformation. His new book, The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jewish-Choice-Anti-Semitism-Historical-anti-Semitism/dp/1671872207/