News Report (from Time Magazine): Harvard social scientist Dr. Nicholas Christakis and his political-science colleague James Fowler at the University of California at San Diego created a sensation with their announcement earlier this month of a 20-year study showing that emotions can pass among a network of people up to three degrees of separation away, so your joy may, to a larger extent than you realize, be determined by how cheerful your friends’ friends’ friends are, even if some of the people in this chain are total strangers to you.
In their most recent paper, published in the British Medical Journal, Christakis and Fowler explored the emotional state of nearly 5,000 people and the more than 50,000 social ties they shared. That led to their intriguing finding of just how contagious happiness can be: if a subject’s friend was happy, that subject was 15% more likely to be happy too; if that friend’s friend was happy, the original subject was 10% more likely to be so. Even if the subject’s friend’s friend’s friend–entirely unknown to the subject–was happy, the subject still got a 5.6% boost. The happiness chain also worked in the other direction, radiating from the subject out to her friends.
My Comment: And if we would mutually “infect” (energize) each other with happiness, everyone would be 100% happy. You may object, “But I don’t feel any happiness!” This is no excuse because even if you smile artificially, another person will perceive it as real, and will become happier, more joyful – and it will come back to you through someone else.
This is how beginner Kabbalists, who haven’t yet attained the greatness of the Creator, infect each other with the feeling of His greatness in order to artificially rise above egoism. While they still don’t have the quality of love for each other, they artificially cultivate love, they “play love,” and then it really emerges because their desire evokes the Light of Correction (Ohr Makif) from above.
Something similar happens in our world: a child who wants to be a grown-up, grows by imitating the grown-up. Unknowingly, the child attracts a higher energy upon himself. It is called “higher” because it comes from the child’s next degree of development, and it comes to the child because of his desire to reach it.
This is the only method to ascend from one degree to the next, both in our world and in the spiritual world. Even when we observe the dynamics of growth in vegetative and animate organisms, we witness the same principle: the negation of one’s current state and the desire for the next state become the driving force of change and growth. Hence, Kabbalah uses real forces of nature!
News Report (from Reuters): The online survey of 28,153 people in more than 51 countries by the global marketing and information firm Nielsen, found that as the world grapples with a recession and financial markets remain volatile, many people are reminding themselves that money can’t buy happiness.
The Nielsen Happiness Study found that globally, women are happier than men in 48 of the 51 countries surveyed in April 2008. “Because they are happier with non-economic factors, women’s happiness is more recession-proof,” Nielsen Vice President of Consumer Research Bruce Paul said in a statement. … Men are happier with money, while women find greater joy in friendships and relationships with their children, co-workers and bosses … Women are also more optimistic about the future … more content with their sex lives…
As well as gauging levels of happiness, the Nielsen survey examined what specific factors contributed to happiness around the world. “Many of the world’s poorer and emerging markets outranked developed countries for happiness and satisfaction levels in nearly all aspects of their lives,” said Paul.
My Comment: It’s ok to feel jealous…
Laitman.com Post: Learning to Understand the Creator Is the Key to Happiness
Laitman.com Post: By Changing Our Intentions, We Change the Whole of Reality
Laitman.com Post: The Method of Attaining Happiness
Kabbalah Today Article: Cracking the Happiness Code