Minimum Suffering, Maximum Pleasure

Dr. Michael LaitmanI would like to talk about the condition Nature sets before us: We have to reach absolute love between all seven billion people in the world. Is this condition really indisputable? Are we capable of fulfilling it? Is it really so that if we achieve at least partial success, if we advance in this direction, we will see, time after time, that it’s all for our benefit, that it changes us, our environment, and all of life for the better?

The essence of every person’s nature is concern for themselves. A person is incapable of thinking about something else. If we examine and study all of our actions, we’ll see that we need energy in order to carry them out. Even for the simplest motion, like when I shift my hand from place to place, I need to expend energy. However, this energy can appear and be at my service only on condition that by using it, I will achieve some benefit for myself.

Accordingly, we have the following condition: Any internal shifts within atoms or molecules, any bodily motion, any movement in my feelings and reason, all require that I see the beneficial state that will be result from this process. This is how I relate to everything in my life.

Certain actions, I perform instinctively. For example, whenever I’m sitting in a chair, I don’t think about what position to sit in. During a conversation, I don’t ponder my vocal inflections. In the majority of cases and actions, everything is carried out according to an internal calculation. Within me there nestles an egoistic desire to feel well and experience a pleasant sense of well-being. This I see as the desired outcome of all of my actions.

The hope for a good feeling operates constantly and secures me in a given state. Wherever I may be going, whatever I’m doing or saying, no matter how I carry myself, all of this is merely in order to obtain the best possible means for a good state.

I want to eat, sleep, or party. I am required to work in order to provide for myself. All that I do is only to bring me benefit. In essence, my entire life is about how to reach the greatest profit with the minimum suffering and maximum pleasure in order to fill myself with whatever I can.

With what should I fill myself? This depends on my upbringing, the influence of my environment, the scale of values that I received, and from habit that becomes second nature. What I was taught is what I learn to live with, even if it’s unnatural. This is how I live, doing many things in my life not because I wanted this initially, but because society, parents, and educators taught me and accustomed me to it. As a result, I act mechanically, not needing the power of thought.

There are other things in life, too. These things I am forced to do, and they require internal effort, the kind where I convince myself that it’s worth it. Let’s say an alarm rings, and I get up even though I want to sleep. Perhaps I have a difficult and uninteresting job, but still I know that after an exhausting day of work, I will come back to my family and into the warm, homey atmosphere where I can rest and experience good feelings. However, I have to pay for these feelings, and this is why I’m slaving away.

All of my actions, all contacts with some people and distancing from others ultimately are designed to create a more pleasant atmosphere for me. So, I’m always concerned about how I can feel better.

This is the nature of each of us, and it pertains to the “animate” degree. Essentially, the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature always aspire toward feeling better, toward an ever better state. It seems to all creatures that this state will be balanced, that in it they won’t feel pressure or be pulled in some different direction, but will be in harmony with what they imagine to be a better life.

So, it turns out that all my life I observe the “law of feeling better.” This is the condition on which we exist, and our egoistic nature constantly directs us toward it.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” Episode 13, 01/11/12 

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