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July 17, 2024

Finally, an Unlimited Form of Pleasure

Finally_an Unlimited Form of Pleasure

More Happiness from Not Wanting Pleasure?

An “effort” is defined as anything that the individual does against the desires of the body, irrespective of what action it is. For example, if an individual sleeps in spite of the desires of the body, this is an effort. But the main problem lies in the fact that an individual always anticipates a reward for efforts made. To overcome egoism, one must strive to make an effort without being compensated for it.

One should, therefore, ask the Creator for strength to do so, because the body cannot work without a reward. But just as a master who loves his craft thinks only of his craft while working, and not the reward, so one who loves the Creator desires strength to suppress egoism. In this way, one would be closer to the Creator because the Creator wishes it, and not because, as a result of the closeness, the person will receive unbounded pleasure.

Should an individual not strive for reward, that person is constantly happy, because the greater the efforts one can exert with the help of the Creator, the more happiness there is both for himself and for the Creator. In a way then, it is as if such an individual is constantly rewarded.

Shifting from Needing a Reward to Not Needing One

For this reason, if an individual feels that self-improvement is still very difficult and that no pleasure is derived from it, this is a sign that egoism is still present. The individual has not yet made the transition from the masses of society to those few in this world who work for the Creator and not for themselves.

But the one who feels how difficult it is to make the smallest effort not for one’s own sake, but for the sake of the Creator, is already midway between the masses and the Kabbalists.

The masses, however, cannot be educated properly, because they are incapable of accepting the concept of working without reward. The education of the masses is built on the foundation of rewarding egoism. For this reason it is not difficult for these people to observe the commandments in the strictest sense, and even to seek additional difficulties.

However, a preliminary stage, to be simply a believer, is necessary for everyone. Accordingly, the great Kabbalist Rambam (12th century) wrote that at first everyone is taught as little children are taught. They are shown that observance should be kept for egoistic benefits, for the reward in the world to come. Later, when a few of them grow up, become wiser, and learn the truth from a teacher, they can gradually be taught how to depart from egoism.


The Simple Secret of Absolute Pleasure

Generally, that which one wishes to see as a result of one’s actions is called a reward, even as the actions themselves may be in many different areas. One cannot work without a reward, but one can alter the reward itself by replacing egoistic pleasure for altruistic pleasures.

For example, there is no difference in the pleasure extracted by a child from a toy, and the pleasure the adult receives from the spiritual. The difference is only in the outer form of pleasure, in its garb. But in order to change the form, just as in our world, one has to grow up.

Then, instead of the desire for a toy, one will have a desire for the spiritual, thus, the egoistic form of desire will be replaced by an altruistic one. It is, therefore, completely incorrect to maintain that Kabbalah teaches one to abstain from pleasure. It is just the opposite: according to the laws of Kabbalah, a person who denies himself several kinds of pleasure must bring a sacrifice as a kind of a fine to atone the sin of not using everything that the Creator awarded to human beings.

The goal of creation is precisely to delight the souls with absolute pleasure, and such pleasure may be found only in an altruistic form. Kabbalah is given to us so that with its help we can be convinced that it is necessary to change the external form of our pleasure, so that the truth will seem sweet to us, rather than bitter, as it appears at the moment.

Attaining the Worlds BeyondFinally, an Unlimited Form of Pleasure ” is based on the book, Attaining the Worlds Beyond by Dr. Michael Laitman.

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