February 16, 2018

The Secret for Happiness & Kabbalah

Sometimes we ask ourselves, “why did we come to this world?” or “what is the purpose of our creation?” The answers are not always clear to us. However, the Kabbalists can give us a certain and immediate answer. According to Kabbalah, the only purpose we have in life is total happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment and enjoying a never ending “spiritual high”.

Many will recoil from this kind of statement, since the moral, religious or dogmatic conditioning in many religious teachings and cultures around the world; preach to a life of modesty, asceticism, humility and detachment, in order to be awarded entry into heaven, when the time comes.

Many spiritual mentors and religious leaders have justified and even glorified suffering in this lifetime, as a corridor to the afterlife. However, according to Kabbalah, suffering, agony, pain and anguish in this world, means failure in achieving the purpose of Creation. The common understanding among the Kabbalistic Sages about our purpose on earth is based on the fundamental statement that the sole purpose of Creation, is for us to enjoy the endless goodness, happiness and bliss that The Creator shares with us every given moment, eternally. That is why we were created as a vessel, a being that is mainly comprised of desires to receive (happiness, fulfillment, love, bliss, pleasure). As a vessel, our job is to contain the endless bliss that flows to us from The Creator, unconditionally and constantly.

It is clearly evident that we were created in order to be happy, not suffer, to love and not to hate, to experience peace of mind, bliss, satisfaction and not stress and anger, as the human body functions badly when we are in anguish. When we are in a lingering negative emotional state our immune system collapses, then our nervous system gets worn down and our muscles wither. However, when we experience happiness, tranquility and satisfaction, our body functions at its best. Then it is easy for our body to fight illnesses and to heal itself from physical traumas such as surgery or injury. The Kabbalists will argue that all of the above are points to prove that we were created and designed to feel good.

Depression – The Biggest Plague

In this modern age, when we are surrounded with material comforts, unheard of in earlier generations; when we consume much more than is needed for our existence (accommodations, food, education, clothing, entertainment, fulfilling our curiosity etc.), we find ourselves spending more and more time pursuing the elusive and unattainable happiness. Happiness as we know is mostly marketed in misleading packages and that is what motivates the modern economy – an intense, ceaseless, race after the consumption of luxury products that are supposed to give us a feeling of success, happiness and fulfillment. This ongoing chase for happiness takes the form of depression; it has become a plague in every modern day, consumer driven, developed society.

Pursuing the Illusion of Satisfaction and Excitement

People are willing to pay a very high price in order to get the awaited “high”. The most familiar and common ways to experience this false and damaging “high” is by lavish spending on luxury items, all forms of entertainment, alcohol and drugs.

The wisdom of Kabbalah explains that alcohol and drugs help us to get “high” in two ways: chemical and metaphysical (apparently there is a spiritual energy in alcohol and drugs). However, a known fact is that like other addictions, being addicted to alcohol and drugs is accompanied with a lot of severe side effects; usually a deep depression, accelerated aging, systems shutting down and an abundance of agony and pain.

Anyway, getting “high” by drugs, alcohol or other known addictive substances, does not last for a long time; The “High” turns shortly into a “Bye”. Everyone knows how the artificial sense of fulfillment quickly turns into emptiness, loss and pain. Given this incredible “high” and false sense of fulfillment, it seems obvious that most addicts would try and rehabilitate. Those who try, do so due to an inner sense of impending danger or doom. However, statistics are not very encouraging; unfortunately recovering addicts have a very low success rate. Why?

The Rules of a Market Economy are Much More Powerful than the State

Many States identify alcohol and drugs as public enemy No.1. Accidents, sicknesses, loss of days of work or losing the ability to work are just part of the social and financial price of addiction. Billions are spent in the efforts to prevent the drug trade. However, even after decades of an ongoing war, the drug industry grows rapidly and the drug and alcohol consumption rate among different populations in the world is increasing as well.

The unavoidable question is why does the war against drugs and alcohol fail?

Well, the foundation of the modern economy is based on the capitalistic rule of “supply and demand”. This principle works in every field and also pertains to drugs and alcohol. The human need to get “high” is so powerful that no matter how many efforts will be put into trying to prevent and stop the trading of drugs; people will always find a way to get them. In fact, beyond the limitations and punishments that modern societies create and legislate, in the war on drugs/alcohol, nothing else is being done. Even the rehab institutions are not effective enough, and many of those who use their services will find themselves going back. This situation will repeat itself over and over, because no one has taught us to feel and to get that “high” on our own without any external accessories.

Happiness and Satisfaction are Acquired Skills

The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us that happiness, fulfillment and satisfaction are a result of awareness, a way of thinking and a way of life. Surely, we can get satisfaction in many artificial ways like, drugs, alcohol, food, sex, shopping etc; however, these ways work only in the short term. Since the need to get “high” is a legitimate human drive, it appears that we have to get our satisfaction/fulfillment from the source, that will serve to empower and enlighten us with a never ending source of joy, rather than filling our tanks with poisons that have no hope of fitting the bill.

The human mind is very powerful but it needs some guidance and practice. Mainly, we have to understand that if we will keep on looking for happiness where we cannot find it, we will continue getting the miserable results we are used to. If so, what shall we do?

The wisdom of Kabbalah guides each and every one of us how to be in a constant state of “high”, how to feel happiness and satisfaction in our daily life, and explains how to do so by connecting to the endless spiritual light.

How to Get “High”?

First, we have to understand that every human being was born to live a satisfying and happy life, and this is the most important purpose of his life. We have to remember this in every moment of our life, and to always act with that recognition, otherwise, we are doomed to a life of misery (since we do not believe that we deserve to be happy).

Second, since everyone was born to live fulfilling, satisfaction filled and happy lives, we cannot reach happiness while hurting or inflicting pain on other people. More than that, our chances to be happy become much bigger the moment we make other people happy. Remember that our best moments of happiness relate to situations of giving rather than getting.

Third, “like attracts like”. Meaning, if we behave like happy people do, that will draw happiness to us. Happy people think positively about themselves, about their friends and see the future with happy eyes (also, the past, since, eventually everything was for the best). They are busy sharing their happiness with others. They do no hate other people and they do not get mad at them, nor blame others for anything. Happy people do not waste time focusing on grudges or complaints, no matter how grave their position is. Happy people know (consciously or intuitively) that negative thoughts and emotions repel the energy of happiness from us even when we have all the logical excuses to be upset. Please remember that most people who are busy being right all the time are not happy and they do not enjoy any Light.

Fourth, anyone who waits for happiness will keep on waiting. Happy people do not wait for happiness to happen; they initiate situations that will make them happy. Waiting for others to make us happy invites misery. The lives, emotions and success of really happy people do not depend on others.

There’s an old story about a new student who came to Rabbi Akiva and asked him for a brief explanation of the whole Torah. Rabbi Akiva answered: “Love others as you love yourself (“Ve Ahavta Le’Re’akha Kamokha”) (Leviticus, 19:18), “this is the major rule of the Torah, said Rabbi Akiva” and added “and now you can go and start learning.”

Training in the skill of happiness is a long and mostly enjoyable process. The other rules of living Kabbalah, living happiness, are being taught in “Kabbalah Beginners’ Course” on this site.