Making Your Happiness Happen
To feel great you must integrate
The secret to true happiness is integration. It takes making sure that your daily activities are coordinated with your values and principles. If you innately feel that one of the fundamental principles of life is kindness and yet you do something cruel, then you are betraying yourself and you are fragmenting yourself. You will not be happy — that’s guaranteed.
If, in fact, what is going on in a given situation is that the principle that should be guiding your action is justice but you go ahead and behave unjustly, then you are fragmenting yourself. Again, you will not be happy.
So therefore, your values and moral principles should be guiding and directing all your activity and your deeds should be synchronized to your principles. But that’s not enough. Your values and moral principles must also be aligned with your plans and life purpose. If your principles are inappropriate to what you’re really trying to accomplish, it won’t work either. For example, you might be dedicated to justice, but if you’re trying to have a warm relationship with your son, then dispensing justice, or being judgmental, may not be helping you to achieve that. It’s the wrong principle to apply for this situation.
If you can get it together — if your particular activity is coordinated and synchronized with your principles and your principles are in synch with your plan and desired goals — you win the game of life.
But it’s not that easy. Why?
Because maybe within yourself you are integrated but what if your individual life is not in coordination with the community?
In other words, maybe this is working for you as an individual — and your behavior is, in fact, completely coordinated with your principles. Your principle is “Thou shalt murder” and you do murder, and you feel real good about that, because you are being true to yourself, and your goal is to control the world and so you are moving right along. But in the communal sense, your particular system is not in harmony with the communal principles of life, the communal plan, the communal goal, the communal will.
But let’s say you live in Nazi German in 1939 and you are in synch with your community and your community is really happy, because its principle is “Thou Shalt Murder and Take Over the World” and it is, in fact, doing its best to make that happen. But your community might be out of synch with the world, and if the world were to be happy with that, it might be out of synch with the universal context for all life — G-d. Our principles must be coordinated with the divine principles, with the ultimate principles and G-d’s purpose for the world. Only then can we be truly happy and fulfilled because we are synchronized with the ultimate values and purpose of our lives as so determined by G-d.
THE COLOSSAL MISTAKE
In this week’s Torah portion we read:
The whole earth was of one language and of common purpose. And it came to pass, when they migrated from the east they found a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another…….. “Come let us build a city, and a tower with its top in heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed across the whole earth.”…And G-d said, “Behold they are one people with one language for all, and this they begin to do! And now should it not be withheld from them all that they propose to do? Come let us descend and confuse their language, that they should not understand one another’s language.” And G-d dispersed them from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city.
What is really behind this bizarre story? What is so terrible about unity and the desire to build a tower and a city?
The Kabbalah explains that what was really going on was a plot to undermine the moral principles that G-d established for the world. These people reasoned that if they could completely stay together and solidify a uniform moral consensus they could then do whatever they want. For instance, they wanted to make adultery good and moral, as well as other sexual perversions.
The Kabbalah tells us that tower and city are euphemisms for sex. They figured that morality is merely a social contract that can be determined by their own unified opinion. They believed that the whole is just the sum of the parts and therefore defined by the parts. G-d is the whole but we are the parts. And since the whole — G-d — is merely the sum of the parts we can create a unified moral consensus and determine G-d and the moral principles and goals of life. And they seem to have a good point. The only problem is G-d is the whole and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, determines the parts and establishes the goal of life and the principles that govern the life of the parts. G-d dispersed them so that they would never elude themselves again and think they could rewrite the divine laws of life.
We make happiness happen when we are in harmony with ourselves, each other and G-d. We feel great when we integrate.