You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Michael Laitman / Books / Kabbalah for Beginners / Part IV: Crisis and Correction. Chapter 6: A New Method for a New Desire / The Reins of Life

The Reins of Life

The whole of Nature obeys only one law: “The Law of Pleasure and Pain.” If the only substance in Creation is the will to receive pleasure, then only one rule of behavior is required: attraction to pleasure and rejection from pain.

Human beings are no exception to the rule. We follow a preinstalled design that entirely dictates our every move: we want to receive the most, for the least amount of work. And if possible, we want it all for free! Therefore, in everything we do, even when we are not aware of it, we try to choose the pleasurable and avoid the painful.

Even when it seems we are sacrificing ourselves, we are actually receiving more pleasure from the “sacrifice” than from any other option we can conceive at that moment. And the reason we deceive ourselves into thinking we have altruistic motives is because deceiving ourselves is more fun than telling ourselves the truth. As writer Agnes Repplier once put it, “There are few nudities so objectionable as the naked truth.”

Earlier, we said that Phase Two gives, even though it is actually motivated by the same will to receive as Phase One. This is the root of every “altruistic” action we “bestow” upon each other.

We see how everything we do follows a “calculation of profitability.” For example, I calculate the price of an item compared to the prospective benefit from getting it. If I think that the pleasure (or lack of pain) from having the commodity will be greater than the price I must pay, I will tell my “inner broker, “Buy! Buy! Buy!” turning the lights green across my mental Wall Street board.

We can change our priorities, adopt different values of good and bad, and even “train” ourselves to become fearless. Moreover, we can make a goal so important in our eyes that any hardship involved in achieving it would become insignificant.

If, for example, I want the social status and good wages associated with being a famous physician, I will strain, sweat, and toil for years in medical school and live through several more years of sleep deprivation during internship, hoping it will eventually pay off in fame or fortune, or (preferably) both.

Sometimes the calculation of immediate pain for future gain is so natural, we don’t even notice we are doing it. For example, if I became terribly ill and discovered that only a specific surgery could save my life, I would gladly have the operation. Although the operation itself might be very unpleasant and could pose risks of its own, it would be less threatening than my illness. I might even pay considerable sums to put myself through the ordeal.

Back to top
Site location tree