by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
An American man walked up to me at the tefillin stand and said, “I want to tell you a story. A few years ago, I was very sick. I was really depressed. I was going to kill myself. Then the rabbi’s son gave me a copy of your book, There Is One.[i] I put it on my desk, and every day I read one of the short sections. I don’t know exactly which number it was, but when I got up to section 63 or 64 my depression went away. I want to thank you. You saved my life.” He hugged me and kissed me.
As soon as I got home I opened the book to see which section could have done such a thing. Then I saw it. It is called, “What is the purpose of life.” Surely, it would be a lot better to read the pieces that come before this one, too, but maybe even reading this section by itself will help someone you know.
CONSIDER: Why are we here? To argue, if we are here, is fruitless. There are those who claim that this life is but a dream without meaning, and at any moment we might awaken only to find that our life experiences have been for naught. But, existence proves its purpose by merely being. The fact is, something is going on, how else could we even be discussing it? Existence is apparent. Whether it is a dream or not does not detract from its reality. Dreams also exist. In fact, the Torah says that this life is but a dream when we compare it to the redeemed life awaiting us upon the arrival of the Moshiach.[ii]
Now we see life through distracted and clouded minds. Everything is interpreted according to our present needs and past experiences. We cling to things today that, in the age of the redemption, will be tinsel and trash. Today, such things as prestige and fame are thought to be reason enough to justify lifetimes of building or destroying. Wars have been fought for less. However, when the final peace comes to this world, every man will know G-d.[iii] Will one who knows the Eternal Truth be concerned with prestige or fame? These will be seen to be what they actually are, obstacles to peace.
Whether this is an awakened life, or a dream life (or any other type of existence) is not the question. Whatever we choose to call existence, we find ourselves wrapped up in it. And now we are asking,” why?”
Although “why” questions can always lead to additional “why” questions, answering the primordial “why,” (why God creates the universe) should satisfy all of our other “whys.”
God creates the universe, with its almost infinite variety, to create joy. Joy is the goal and joy is the means. Life, although it begins with pain,[iv] is to give joy. Death, although painful for those left behind, is for joy. Health is for joy, and even its opposite is for joy. The right and the left, the up and the down, the hard and the soft, all of the choices are here so that we will choose the best alternative--for a joyous result. This is the reason, and this can be the moment. By choosing the path that brings a lasting joy, we see G-d's holy plan while we are right here on earth. Joy
[i] There Is One, 1989, available from thereisone.com
[ii] Psalms 126
[iii] Jeremiah 31:33
[iv] Genesis 3:16
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא