Sadness – The Root of Evil
A categorically erroneous misunderstanding crept into Judaism as some point in our history and that categorically erroneous misunderstanding served as the basis of the errors even further afield in both Christianity and Islam.
That fateful mistake was the idea that sin and evil are original and that in order to be Godly and attain God-consciousness, one my battle sin and evil directly.
While sin and evil need to be eradicated and will certainly compound not only one’s culpability, but also one’s misery; sin and evil are not the crux of the problem and the Cosmic War is not good vs. evil.
Sin and evil are not original. They are derivative – and what they are derivative of is unhappiness. Sadness is the root of all evil.
We have been told that one can be a good and yet unhappy person. That is a lie and a dangerous one at that. There is no unhappy person who will not, sooner rather than later, come to sin and to hurting others. Unhappy people do not sin and hurt because they are wicked, but because the pain of their unhappiness drives them to distraction. Their judgment is impaired, their vision is clouded and they are desperate to alleviate their pain. Unhappy people cannot love properly and this lack of love and its accompanying agony will cause them to take many drastic measures to escape their pain. Unhappy people will, invariably, hurt those they love and who love them.
Unhappy people who inevitably drawn to sad, macabre and even shocking things because being unhappy dulls their senses. They need “peak experiences” and “shockers” to feel. Such experiences give their half-dead hearts a jolt and, for an instant, they feel alive. Witness how many good, but sad, people on the internet ruminate about corruption, war and all sorts of real and imagined horrors. They think they are fighting corruption with their “awareness” and making others “aware”. In truth, they are watering the root of evil with their sad tears, feeding it with their sad emotions and artificially enlivening it with their anger. They also invite others to do so along with them – thus providing ample food and mead and negative energy for evil.
We cannot attack sin and evil directly, then. We must cut them off at their root – that root being unhappiness.
Unhappiness is our natural tendency and melancholy our natural state. To attain and be able to sustain unconditional JOY in the heart, i.e., JOY that is not contingent on anything and JOY which we do not crave because if feels good, but want to achieve because *the World needs the high energy levels of JOY to be beautiful*, an the ultimate moral-spiritual achievement.
The Hebrew word Mashiach (Messiah) is naught but Simcha – meaning Happiness. Mashiach has never been anything but sheer JOY. To those who are unhappy, the idea of ecstatic JOY seems so far off that they come to all sorts of imagining about what (or who) it is. Mashiach is always at our doorstep. We have only to open our hearts to JOY, the high levels of JOY whence high “energy” emanates and creates beautiful worlds and we are in the Messianic Days.
One might ask: Why did this error occur and how?
The level of unconditional JOY we are capable of determines the nature and intensity of the Light that we create. When unhappy Jews read the Torah, which is the Book of Life and the template from which all the worlds proceed; they created a dim, weak slow and unhappy light.
That light flows in one direction only. So, when the Torah is read in the dim light of unhappiness, the Text is dark, the letters seem to occur one after the other in only one direction and one’s ability to interpret what one is seeing is radically reduced and hindered.
On the basis of their semi-blindness, they came to all kinds of dim and grim ideas of what the Torah says and what is written in it.
When one’s Heart is in a state of ecstatic JOY, the Light that one creates in that state of JOY is alive, allows for far deeper viewing, it dances, it does cartwheels, it jumps to and fro and it frolics. In such light, the Text of Torah appears very differently. The letters dance, jump and rearrange. The Text can be read in many orders of sequence, one’s view is far deeper because the Joyous Light is so penetrating that it allows us to see within.
The truth is, Jewish Law forbids anyone who is in a state of mourning and/or pathological melancholy to learn Torah precisely because they are incapable of seeing anything but the dimmest, grimmest interpretation of Torah – but that prohibition is routinely ignored.
Unfortunately, it is those dim, grim and highly contracted views that have made their way into translation.
Joy, like its opposite, misery, loves company. Those in a state of sustained, unconditional JOY want others to feel the same and contribute to creating a high-energy, vibrant, colorful and Just world. People in a state of JOY are not driven by selfish or unwholesome desires and want everyone else to be the very best they can be as well.
JOY is a decision we make over and over again. It is a Supreme Act of Divine Will and the ultimate Victory.
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel