Dr. Laitman received his PhD In philosophy and Kabbalah from the Moscow Institute of Philosophy at the Russian Academy of Sciences, and his MSc in Medical Cybernetics from the St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University, in the faculty of Biological Medical Cybernetics. In addition to being a scientist and a researcher, Dr. Laitman has been extensively engaged in Kabbalah for the past thirty years. He has published thirty books on Kabbalah and numerous publications on Kabbalah and Science.
Dr. Laitman was the disciple and personal assistant to Rabbi Baruch Ashlag, son of Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, author of the authoritative Sulam (Ladder) Commentary on The ZOHAR. Dr. Laitman follows in the footsteps of his mentor's mission in life - promoting the dissemination of the wisdom of Kabbalah throughout the world. Laitman's scientific method provides individuals of all faiths, religions and cultures the precise tools necessary for embarking on an inspiring path of self-discovery and spiritual elevation focusing primarily on inner processes that individuals experience at their own pace.
In 1991, after his mentor's demise, he founded the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute. Bnei Baruch is a non-profit organization that welcomes people of all ages and lifestyles to engage in the rewarding process of studying Kabbalah. The organization charges no fee for any of its diverse activities.
Bnei Baruch produces daily live TV broadcasts of Kabbalah lessons and programs for various channels throughout the world. Bnei Baruch also broadcasts live daily video and audio Kabbalah lessons over the Internet with simultaneous translations from Hebrew to English, Russian, and Spanish.
The organization established and sustains the largest, most extensive content site on Kabbalah, hosting more than half a million unique visitors, with more than 2.5 million page views a month, as well as a Newsletter in five languages with 28,000 subscribers. Available on the site are authentic Kabbalah texts in twenty-two languages, and a comprehensive web-based media and text archive, all of which is provided gratis.
Today, Dr. Laitman's thirty years of research into the science of Kabbalah is recognized among renowned scientists and researchers in hard science that adhere to the classical scientific paradigms. In the framework of his scientific and educational program, Laitman participates in international conferences alongside scientists from the world over. He is the founder and the president of the Ashlag Research Institute (ARI), established to research interconnections between the sciences of our world and the science of Kabbalah.
Dr Laitman is a member of the World Wisdom Council, a think tank organization headed by Prof. Ervin Laszlo in conjunction of the Club of Budapest. Prof. Laszlo was one of the first representatives in the area of systems philosophy and general theory of evolution, and published nearly 70 books translated into as many as 18 languages.
*Note: The title "Rav" was given to Dr. Laitman by his students in respect for his teachings and his dedication to spreading the wisdom of Kabbalah throughout the world. Rav Laitman was not ordained as a rabbi by a rabbinical school and does not serve as an orthodox rabbi.
Question: Does Kabbalah involve meditation?
Michael Laitman: No, it’s not quite that.
With meditation, a person doesn’t really know what he’s looking for. He tries to kind of defocuses [sic] concentration and, basically, will kind of float in whatever state he’s in.
Here, it is the opposite. Kabbalah has very specific, accurate definitions of how you should focus your mind so you penetrate matter. So you begin to feel the forces that stand behind our matter. Those are forces of love and bonding and unity.
So before a person bonds with these forces, he should work on himself, elevate himself above his ego. And our special exercises to do; those relates to the environment; that you have to build or an environment that increases your importance of rising above one’s ego, that you have to start considering and appreciating being considerate to others. So you reach or achieve this rule that is in every faith, which is love thy friend; thy neighbor as thyself.
Recorded on: May 7, 2009.