|Posted by bbedcenter on March 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM|
The following is an article from Michael Laitman's blog, entitled "How To Let The Light Enter You" (December, 2008 )
"An e-mail I received on December 18, 2008: 'I am writing to you because I am desperate, even though I feel extremely guilty for taking up your time. I have been deeply depressed for a long time, and the only other thing I ever feel is a lack of desire to live and emptiness. I don’t feel anything else.
I listen to the lessons every day, but even when I suddenly hear and understand something, it instantly disappears before I can even remember or feel it. I participate in the Bnei Baruch dissemination projects, but it doesn’t give me strength. I am rapidly falling. Everyone is thinking about the crisis and how to come out of it, but I can’t even come out of myself. All I can feel is unbearable pain and resentment. I don’t know what to do. Please reply to me on your blog!'
My Answer: The two forces acting in creation are the Light and the desire; everything that exists is comprised only out of these two. They interact in such a way that sometimes the Light dominates, and sometimes the desire. We sense this alternation between them as the contrast of joy / fulfillment and bitterness / emptiness.
Since you cannot come out of your depression, my advice to you is to delve into it even more than it really is: artificially push yourself into even greater self-denigration, feelings of anger, resentment and guilt. This way, by pushing yourself down with all your might, you will take control over the depression, and you will then discover just how artificial all your sensations are, how much they depend on your subjective outlook. And then, from the bottom of your descent, you will feel joy and Light!"
Let's now compare Laitman's advice of self-denigration to the self-mortification style of the Opus Dei, in the words of Fr. Mike Barrett, director of the Holy Cross Chapel and Catholic Resource Center, Houston, Texas:
"Why do they do these mortifications?
Penance and mortification are a small but essential part of the Christian life. Jesus Christ himself fasted for forty days to prepare for his public ministry. Mortification helps us resist our natural drive toward personal comfort which so often prevents us from answering the Christian call to love God and serve others for love of God. Also, this voluntarily accepted discomfort is a way of joining oneself to Jesus Christ and the sufferings he voluntarily accepted in order to redeem us from sin. The Da Vinci Code's masochist monk, who loves pain for its own sake, has nothing to do with real Christian mortification.
How important is mortification for members of Opus Dei?
Despite The Da Vinci Code's morbid attention to mortification, for real members of Opus Dei it plays a secondary role. The primary thing for any Catholic is love of God and neighbor. Penance and mortification aim to reduce our self-centeredness and so to help us to grow in love for God and neighbor. In keeping with its spirit of integrating faith with secular life, Opus Dei emphasizes small rather than great sacrifices, like sticking at your work when tired, being punctual, passing up a small pleasure in food or drink, or not complaining." http://www.opusdei.us/art.php?p=16367
- What seems to be the essence of the Opus Dei? Dvekut (Adhesion) through love of neighbor and self-denial
- What seems to be the essence of Bnei Baruch? Dvekut (Adhesion) through love of neighbor and self-annulment
- What's the advice in order to "come out" of self centeredness? Self-degradation (BB), and self-mortification (Opus Dei).
Does this look like two different outfits for the same beast, or is it just me? So I'm thinking... It does not look like if I hate pain I'm going to reach love of others through the degrading paths of mortification and self-denial, in fact, in my own case I'm quite sure that I would hate them even the more. What kind of value can I hold for life when I do not find my own existence valuable? Apparently, Mr. Laitman and Mr. Barrett's impressions show a strong connection (equivalence of form, as expressed in kabbalistic understanding) when it comes down to advicing their followers on how to reach a loving and giving path, through psychological self-hatred and self-imposed torture which will bring their afflicted flocks out of depression and selfishness.Well, I don't mind admitting that in my self-centered rationality I see it quite the contrary. I would even make an educated guess that these self-loathing ideologies are likely to bring some quite close to suicide.