Pleasure or happiness that is the question

Pleasure or happiness that is the question

Rabbi Dr. Twerski was interviewed in Hamodai (a Jewish publication in London) and was asked to comment about the times we live in – now he is not only a well know Jewish Rabbi but also a highly experienced psychiatrist and one of the founders of the twelve step program.

His reply is really an eye opener:

People pursue pleasure because they think it will make them happy but pleasure is like a drug – all it does is create the desire for higher doses which the drug is incapable of giving.

In other words, pleasure becomes a trap – imagine for a moment sinking into quick-sand G-d forbid, which I personally experienced, and so as you begin to sink it actually feels quite enjoyable, a sort of pleasurable gooish feeling, but if you don’t pull your foot out G-d forbid, you will never ever be able to escape it, for it surrounds you and precisely because it is a pleasure gooish feeling, there are no handles from which you can extricate yourself, so once in its embrace you are pretty much enslaved in it, which is obvious to the tens of millions of drug addicts.

Now every pleasure – depending on how pleasurable i.e. how high was the high – is the level of gooishness pleasure, its depth, and ability to trap you.

So Rabbi Twersky recommends spirituality as the antidote; in other words, by reshuffling our priorities (for naturally we are pleasure seekers,) and focusing instead on the purpose for which our souls were sent into this world and the benefit we can make and hence legacy we shall ensure; we can reprioritize our lives, get the .. out of the pleasurable goo, and do what it takes to give one the only true lasting pleasure, namely good deeds that make us proud of ourselves.

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