On the “meaning of life”
Monday, 9 May 2016 5:35 pm
“Over the years, I’ve watched her from a distance, seeing her graduate college, apply for an MBA, move to the Bay Area, get a dog, and a job in Tech.
“Things here are good,” she writes in the e-mail. “The same, really. Still living in SF, still working in Tech, still pretty much hating Tech. Have been thinking a LOT a LOT about what the heck it is I was meant to do, and man is that a tough conversation to have with yourself.”
It’s this line that makes me stumble. I want to reassure her. I want to show her how she can live a good life. Except I can’t.
I don’t have any answers, not for her, not for anyone.
Not even for myself.
The question about the meaning of life that is manifested in humanity at a certain point is revealed only to certain individuals. Throughout human history there were special people in whom the question about the meaning of life arose that led people to compose music, literature, poetry, and to paint pictures. All this pushed us forward, developing science, technology, and machinery. A person not only aspired egoistically to a better material life, but also searched for the meaning of life.
As a result of our development, more and more people are beginning to ask about the meaning of life, about its purpose, and about the nature of suffering.
“Indeed, if we set our hearts to answer but one very famous question, I am certain that all these questions and doubts as to whether we should study the wisdom of Kabbalah will vanish from the horizon, and you will look unto their place to find them gone. This indignant question is a question that the whole world asks, namely, “What is the meaning of my life?” So this question remains unanswered.”
-Baal HaSulam, the Great Kabbalist of the 19th century
This is the reason that Baal HaSulam specifically chose this topic as the introduction to his book Talmud Eser Sefirot. In this introduction he wants to show that a person doesn’t need any special thoughts or high goals in order to study the wisdom of Kabbalah.
If he feels bad, doesn’t know what he is living for, and this question keeps bothering him—because he cannot live for no reason and has to justify his life—then he has to discover the wisdom of Kabbalah because it actually provides the answer to the meaning of his personal life.
Thus Kabbalists must give everyone, even the common man who is far from attaining the meaning of life and the nature of the suffering, the possibility of knowing about this. This is because the depression, sadness, and lack of understanding of the purpose of existence appearing in our time brings aggression, violence, hatred, and wars. We see how peoples and nations clash in a mad, wild “sword dance,” and all of this is because they don’t understand the meaning of life.
Looking at what is happening in politics, in the economy, and all other parts of our lives… Egos and Ignorance make humans harm others and annihilate each other.
Today, many internally ask this question, but don’t express it out loud. Subconsciously, it presses down on them. They would like to find the answer to it, but they cannot, and so it depresses them even more.
So, we must invest maximum effort so that people will understand how and what is truly carried within the question about the meaning of life, the meaning of the universe, the meaning of our existence through the Wisdom of Kabbalah.