In battle, a soldier who is severely wounded is given morphine for the sedation of pain. One would hardly think this to be a remedy to his affliction as negating essential medical care would most likely be fatal. However, we can say the administering of an opium is a temporary means to provide a relief of suffering. In the same sense I wonder, have we become a nation of “wounded soldiers” begging for the quick relief of “morphine”and opting out of the critical internal process that ultimately preserves us? Our own experience can attest that using pleasure as an ends in itself is destructive. While using pleasure as a means to bring us closer to spiritual matters is not only beneficial but necessary to sustaining the spiritual life within a person. For example someone may involve themselves in a relationship in order to fill a spiritual void or that person may choose to involve themselves with someone as an opportunity to commit to selflessness and authentic love- acts that bring him or her closer to knowing G_d. One thing to always keep in mind when dealing with pleasure and pain is that we can never remedy our inner pain with external “things.” This illusion, the “once I have all my ducks in a row then I can be happy” approach, seems to be the cause of many compulsive pleasure seeking behaviors. Sadly, many times than not, it also becomes a barrier to the ultimate reality that happiness is sought, obtained, and preserved on the spiritual plane.
We spend too much time attempting to create more light amidst darkness. Instead, we should work to dispel the darkness to give way to the abundant light that is already there.
The best medicine for grumbling is gratitude. It’s free and it never ends, yet sometimes it’s hard to find. Visit your nearest prison, orphanage, hospital, or graveyard. There’s so much to be grateful for.
The key to maximizing happiness in a state of achievement is through maintaining a proper mind set. Our minds and hearts should always remember where our resources truly come from. When a man mistakes his achievements to solely come from his own efforts, he loses his sense of humility and drifts into discontentedness and selfishness. Everything we possess should bear the recognition that it was given to us through the mercy of our Creator. Our loved ones, our money, our health, our knowledge, and the little daily extras- in whichever measure- are all unmerited gifts from G_d.