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The Secret Solution to Every Problem in Your Life
Who Else Knows How
Widespread the Current
Crisis Is?
The world is feeling the effects of a
seemingly unsolvable global crisis,
affecting all levels of human activity.
Since 2008 tens of millions of people
throughout the world have lost their jobs,
their savings, their homes, but most
importantly—their hopes for the future.
Our health, it seems, is not more
wholesome than our wealth. Modern
medicine, the pride and joy of Western
civilization, is grappling with resurfacing
diseases previously believed to be
extinct. According to a report published
by the Global Health Council,
“Diseases once believed to be under control have re-emerged as major global threats. The emergence of drug-
resistant strains of bacteria, viruses and other parasites poses new challenges in controlling infectious diseases. Co-
infection with multiple diseases creates obstacles to preventing and treating infections.”
Earth, too, is not as hospitable as before. Books such as James Lovelock’s The Revenge of Gaia, Ervin Laszlo’s The
Chaos Point, and films such as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth are just three examples of a cavalcade of alarming
reports on Earth’s deteriorating climate.
As global warming melts the ice caps in the poles, sea levels rise. This has already caused dramatic shifts and tragic
events. A report by Stephan Faris in Scientific American lists some of the places already affected by climate change.
In March, 2009, Peter Popham, a writer for The Independent, provided another angle to the climate predicament:
“Global warming is dissolving the Alpine glaciers so rapidly that Italy and Switzerland have decided they must re-draw
their national borders to take account of the new realities.”
A more tragic result of climate change is hunger, caused by extended droughts in some areas and constant flooding in
others. According to the World Food Program, nearly a billion (1,000,000,000) people worldwide are constantly
hungry. Worse yet, in excess of nine million (9,000,000) people die every year from hunger and related causes, more
than half of whom are children. This means that today, in the most technologically advanced era in the history of
humankind, a child dies every six seconds due to lack of food and water.
In our homes, problems abound, as well. The New York Times announced that according to a census released by the
American Community Survey, divorce rates have risen to the point that today there are more unmarried couples in
America than married ones. It is the first time in history that single-parent families are the norm, and double-parent
ones are the exception.
Many scientists, politicians, NGOs, and UN related organizations warn that humanity is facing a risk of unprecedented
catastrophes on a global scale. Anything from mutated avian flu through nuclear war, to a massive earthquake could
wipe out millions and drive billions into destitution.

What Everybody Ought to Know about Interdependence
Yet, crises have been occurring throughout history. Our era is not the first in which humanity has been at risk. The
Black Death pandemic of the 14th century and the two World Wars easily outweigh the peril that our current plight
presents. Nevertheless, what distinguishes the current crisis from those previous is the tension characterizing the
current state of humanity. Our society has gone to the extreme in two directions that seem to conflict with one another
—globalization and the interdependence it entails on the one hand, and increasing alienation and personal, social,
and political narcissism on the other. And that is a recipe for a disaster such as the world has never seen, whether in
the financial sector or beyond.
Today, globalization concerns far more than financial interdependence. We have become globally interconnected in
every realm of life: the computers and TVs we use to entertain ourselves come (primarily but not exclusively) from
China, Taiwan, and Korea. The cars we drive are assembled (again, primarily) in Japan, Europe, and the U.S., but
their parts are made in numerous other countries. The clothes we wear often arrive from India and China, while the
food in our refrigerators comes from all over the world.
On March 8, 2009, Wachovia Corp. economist, Mark Vitner, gave a rather palpable description of the world’s
globalized situation when he described the interconnectedness of the credit markets on MSNBC: “It’s like trying to
unscramble scrambled eggs. It just can’t be done that easily. I don’t know if it can be done at all.”
But the problem with globalization is not only that it makes us interconnected; it also makes us interdependent, and
instead of using these interconnections to thrive, we become engaged in a constant tug of war. What would happen to
the oil-rich countries if the world suddenly shifted to wind and solar energy? What would happen to America if China
stopped buying dollars? What would happen to China, Japan, India, and Korea if Americans had no dollars with which
to buy Asian-produced goods? And if Western tourists ceased to travel, what would become of the hundreds of
millions of people all over the world who provide for their families, thanks to Westerners’ hedonism?

Learn about Egoism Like a Psychologist
Yet, interdependence is only a part of today’s complicated picture. While we have been growing increasingly global,
we have also become increasingly self-centered, or as psychologists Jean M. Twenge and Keith Campbell describe it,
“increasingly narcissistic.” In their insightful book, The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement , Twenge
and Campbell talk about what they refer to as “The relentless rise of narcissism in our culture,” and the problems it
causes. They explain that “The United States is currently suffering from an epidemic of narcissism. …narcissistic
personality traits rose just as fast as obesity.” Worse yet, they continue, “The rise in narcissism is accelerating, with
scores rising faster in the 2000s than in previous decades. By 2006, 1 out of 4 college students agreed with the
majority of the items on a standard measure of narcissistic traits. Today, as singer Little Jackie put it, many people feel
that ‘Yes siree, the whole world should revolve around me.’” In Webster’s Dictionary, narcissism is defined as
“egoism,” and this, blatantly speaking, means that we have become unbearably selfish.
Thus, our problem is twofold: on the one hand, we are interdependent; on the other hand, we are becoming
increasingly narcissistic and alienated. We are trying to lead two ways of life that simply do not meet: interdependence
and alienation. Perhaps this is why we spend countless hours chatting with “virtual friends” in online social networks,
but are often cold and heartless toward our kin at home. If we were simply interdependent, we would unite, support
each other, and be happy. Alternatively, if we were simply selfish, we would part and live by ourselves. But if we are
both interdependent and selfish, neither way works!
And this, in essence, is the root of the crisis: our interdependence requires us to work together, but our selfishness
causes us to deceive and to exploit one another. As a result, the systems of cooperation that we work so hard to build
break down, leading to continuing crises.

Here Is a Method that Is Helping People Solve Every Problem in Their Lives
Hence, the task facing humanity is twofold:
1) to shed light on the cause of our interdependence, on one hand, and our self-centeredness, on the other hand; and
2) to briefly outline a feasible modus operandi for combining these seemingly conflicting traits to our advantage.
To address the first goal, we will look into what the science of Kabbalah teaches about the structure of Nature, and
particularly, of human nature. To address the second goal, we will combine the ideas of the great 20th century
Kabbalist, Yehuda Ashlag, as well as other great Kabbalists, with suggestions from contemporary scientists and
scholars from other disciplines.
The wisdom of Kabbalah offers a viable solution to the current global problems, and through the concepts that
Kabbalah offers we can save ourselves, as well as the Big Blue Marble that we live in.
“The Secret Solution to Every Problem in Your Life” is based on the book, Self
Interest vs. Altruism in the Global Era: How Society Can Turn Self Interests into Mutual
Benefit by Dr. Michael Laitman.
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