Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Happiness - The Medicine of The Future
"It is a great mitzvah to always be happy," but have you ever wondered some of the reasons why? In Likkutei Moharan II:24, Rebbe Nachman teaches us that all the sicknesses that come upon a person, only come because of a lack of happiness. The lesson goes on to explain that there are ten different types of melody which are all an aspect of happiness. All these ten melodies are found within the ten different pulses in the body, which give life to the melodies through their pulsating. Now when there is a breakdown of happiness which is the life force behind these ten pulses, then the sickness comes as a result of the weakening of the pulses. For all the different illnesses are included within these ten pulses; and similarly, all the different melodies are included in these ten melodies. Therefore, according to the breakdown of the happiness and the melody, so will be the sickness that comes. All the medical experts have explained this subject at length; that all illnesses come as a result of sadness and depression, and that happiness is a great healing and cure. The Rebbe adds that in the future, happiness will increase very much, and through happiness, all the sicknesses will be cured.
We see from this lesson some of the great benefits of happiness, now we just have to learn how to always be happy. It appears to me with Hashems help, that the Rebbe is hinting to us a secret to being happy when he says that 'in the future' happiness will increase very much. What is it about the future which will allow happiness to increase very much?
Two things come to mind when the future is mentioned; one, is what we say in the Aleinu prayer to end each of our three daily prayers which comes from the prophet Zecharia 14:9, "Hashem will be the king over all the land; on that day Hashem will be One and His Name will be One." The commentators explain that this is referring to the Day of Judgment that will take place in Messianic times, when there will be no more idolatry and falsehood in the world. On a deeper level it is also referring to the new level of consciousness that we will attain at that time in which both Hashem (G-d's aspect of mercy) and His Name – Elokim (G-d's aspect of judgment) will be one. That is, we will gain a clear understanding in future times that everything is from Hashem and all that happens to us is really His loving kindness (this is also hinted to in the numerical value of the word echad (one) which is 13 and ahava (love) which is also 13). With this explanation of what will be in 'the future', we now have a tool to help us maintain a state of constant and increased happiness. If we know that everything we encounter in life, whether good or seemingly bad is really all Hashems' loving kindness, then we can certainly be happy all the time.
The second thing that comes to mind when one mentions the future is Olam Haba, The World to Come. Now what exactly is true about The World to Come which can help us achieve this state of happiness. For this we can look in the Likkutei Moharan, at the beginning of lesson 4, "When a person knows that all that happens to him is for his good, this is an aspect of The World to Come." Well there you have it; the Rebbe describes The World to Come with knowing that all that happens to a person is for his good.
So now if we put these two 'future' examples together, we can say that the real secret to happiness which is also the cure for all illnesses is the knowledge that everything is from Hashem and everything is for our good. The best way to express this is by thanking Hashem for everything in life, both good and bad with the knowledge that even if you can't understand why this is happening, it is still from Hashem and it is therefore good for you. Eventually the words will penetrate into your heart, and G-d willing you will merit seeing the true hidden good which is in everything that is happening to you.
This also goes well with what the prophet Yeshayahu (Isaiah) says, that in the future when Moshiach comes, there will be no death or sickness anymore. It makes sense that when we all gain the knowledge of the future, then we will all be happy, as it says in Tehillim, "Then our mouths will be filled with laughter", and this will be the end to all sickness and death in the world.
May we merit to make 'the future' now; and may Hashem bless us all with true happiness and a complete healing both physically and mentally for all of Am Yisrael, amen.