An Unhappy Sage

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Knowledge is the highest degree that allows us to comprehend the whole of reality. This is what is expressed in Ecclesiastes by King Solomon. However, as a result, he came to the conclusion that “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow” and “the wise man shall die the same as the fool.” Why didn’t acquisition of wisdom and knowledge bring him the desired happiness?

Answer: Because wisdom and knowledge are just a way to achieve happiness. To be happy is our whole life. We do not need anything except to feel what to enjoy. Ultimately, the only thing we want is to enjoy life.

We can clothe this into various things, events, phenomena, but we want to enjoy, to fulfill ourselves. By pleasure, I mean filling ourselves with life because we have nothing except life. So, we want to feel it as fulfilling and pleasant.

What does it mean that a person lives? He has a spirit that either oppresses him or makes him happy. I want this spirit to be filled with vitality. As we have said, I always need to renew myself in order to do this. Thus, when I want wealth, power, knowledge, or even lesser things, such as a family, sex, or food, it is only in order to receive pleasure.

If you remove the enjoyment of food, a person eats because he has to only to support the body, much like a person who is sick. If he does not receive pleasure from sex, he gets treatment, since otherwise he does not feel any pleasure from life. If there is no joy in the family, he gets divorced.

The same applies to wealth, where we look at our environment and hope to gain independence and security. And now we see that at any moment, everything can be lost. Power today is too transient and not the way it was in the past when there were kings.

Finally, you reach wisdom and see everything what happens. What did you discover? Looking at all the sources of enjoyment, you see that they contain nothing, just as wisdom itself. What have you achieved by comprehending all of creation, which you can see from edge to edge? Everything functions and everything is empty.

And then you find yourself at a dead end and you literally hit the wall, because there is no place further to go. If you are a wise man, if you see the consequences of your every action and every task, you do not start it. You have nothing to do. What remains is only to commit suicide.

Today, we talk about science as of the revelation of the entire world. It implies that you are not just a scholar who studies bugs, either live or electronic, but a great philosopher, a sage. And that is completely different wisdom.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 5/23/14

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