In the News (Feeling Financial): “Does Money Buy Happiness?
“It depends. You’ve probably heard that money does not buy happiness above a certain level. The number Kahneman mentions in the TED talk is $60,000 per year of income in the United States of America, which is about what other studies find.
“Above that income level your happiness level may increase, but at a decreasing rate. In other words, earning $120,000 per year does not make you twice as happy as if you earned $60,000; it’s nothing to sneeze at but it just makes things a little better.
“Kahneman emphasizes that the increase in happiness is surprisingly flat above $60,000. Also, while money does not buy happiness for your experienced self, a lack of money can make things unpleasant.”
My Comment: Money enables a person to fill himself. Then he begins to spend millions in casinos or in other places in order to feel a bit of spice in life, but he doesn’t feel it. He ceases to feel it even in small things. Such people feel no taste in food, football, or vacation.
I have met many rich people who apparently live freely and their bank account keeps growing, but basically are miserable people. They can travel wherever they want to, order whatever they like, but they feel no satisfaction.
After all, there can be no pleasure in this world without feeling a deficiency for something, because everything is attained in the contrast between Light and darkness. If there is no darkness, people tend to try different things and put themselves in situations that arouse strong, acute, sharp feelings, but it does not work.
Question: At the same time, young people are eager to prosper and spend their whole lives trying to achieve that, and even to harm themselves as long as they can break through the barrier of an annual income over $60,000. Don’t they understand that there is no happiness there?
Answer: It is an illusion, and there is nothing we can do about that. I also used to believe that if I travelled from one country to another and saw new places, new people, I would be happy. I remember how appealing I found this idea. When we were kids, we all dreamed of exploring the world, because it was closed to us. And when everything was opened, nothing was seen except emptiness.
Question: It seems that a person needs another desire, an alternative desire.
Answer: Of course. Don’t misunderstand me.
There was a time in my life in which I travelled the world and visited different museums and exhibitions, etc., but it was all gone in a moment. Every person has a threshold beyond which he ceases to feel anything new because there is nothing new about it. Our ego is beginning to develop toward a new threshold of sensitivity and perception.
This is the reason that people who do not attain the upper levels, who do not attain the Light that enters the desire, which fills it and depicts totally different areas of attainment, the upper world, are very miserable.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 6/9/16