Michael Laitman
Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute

What Are Your Thoughts and Needs to Be Happy?

There is a parable about three brothers who saw Happiness sitting in a pit. One came and asked Happiness for money, and he received it. Another asked for a beautiful wife and received one too.

The third bent over the pit. “What do you need?”, Happiness asked.

The man asked, “What do you need?”

“Brother, get me out of here,” Happiness requested.

The brother extended his hand, pulled Happiness out of the pit, turned around, and walked away. And Happiness followed him.

The parable shows us that happiness followed the brother who demanded nothing, and who did a good deed, providing a service to happiness. I do not think that this should be interpreted as a condition for happiness to follow us though, nor that we should have no demands.

I think that happiness depends on each person’s fate. We each behave according to what we are served, and we either give away happiness or demand it for ourselves. Most importantly, we should agree with it.

In practice, we cannot change. Maybe the upper force can sometimes enact a change according to our earnest request, but we ourselves cannot personally change anything.

It is not easy, but we can reach a state where we do not like demanding happiness solely for ourselves and not wishing it upon others. Also, if we wish happiness upon others, why? It is usually because we calculate that we also gain happiness as a result. If we were not to gain from our seemingly positive wish upon others, then we would have no such wish. There is no way out of this self-centered loop, since the egoistic desire for self-benefit is human nature.

I do not think that we can find happiness. Rather, we need to create happiness. That is, we need to place ourselves in a state where we know exactly how to make happiness reveal itself, and we will then feel it.

What is happiness? Happiness is the feeling that our life was successful, and I think that this feeling comes to us closer toward the end of our lives.

Life itself is constant work, i.e., when we seek ways to rebuild our lives again and again so that it brings the happiness that we imagine. Gradually, we shift from imagining happiness for ourselves and instead wish it upon others. Moreover, we find the meaning of our lives in such a vector: “from me to others.” Through this vector, we can reach a conclusion of happiness. It is constant and incessant work, and we would be wise to seek the understanding of how to do it.

We likely encounter myriad disturbances on such a path, but the key to enduring it is that we imagine that path, and then, as it is said, “the road surrenders to the one who walks it.” So if happiness is following us, it does not mean that we are happy. We rather need to constantly work to make others happy, which is no easy task. However, it does not matter whether or not it is easy. Nothing is easy in life, but that is the way to a meaningful and happy life.

In the wisdom of Kabbalah, we discuss two paths of development: the path of light and the path of darkness. The path of light is when we bring light to other people, and the path of darkness is when we cannot and do not want to. “Cannot” and “do not want” are one and the same in this case.

About the Author
Michael Laitman is a PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah. MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics. Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute. Author of over 40 books on spiritual, social and global transformation. His new book, The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, is available on Amazon:
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