GOOD MORNING! If you had the chance, would you like to talk with G-d? Maybe ask God a few questions: Why was humankind created? What is the purpose of my life? Why do people get sick? How do I get the most pleasure out of life? Are there absolute truths? What is love? How do I get my prayers answered? I would.
Second best to talking to G-d is that we have the bible. it is comprehensive and deep, yet understandable wisdom about life. The book presents Seven Keys to Life Fulfillment: (1) The Five Levels of Pleasure, (2) Prayer, (3) Knowledge, (4) Happiness, (5) Free Will, (6) Intellectualism, (7) Love.
According to the Talmud, the written form of the explanations of the bible, before we were born, when we were safely ensconced in the comfort of the womb, each of us had a personal angel to teach us all the wisdom we will ever need to know on this planet. Everything.
And then ... just before we are born ... the angel gives us a little "tap" between the nose and upper lip and everything he taught us is immediately forgotten. That is how all human beings receive that small indentation in the skin beneath the nose, anatomically known as the 'philtrum.'
Why would God send an angel to teach us everything we need to know, only to instruct him to then make us forget everything he just taught us? The answer: learning something once makes it so much easier for us to learn it for the second time. When we hear truth it has a harmonic ring that we recognize. (There is also another lesson to learn from the philtrum - every human being was touched by an angel sent to learn with him. We must respect every human being for he was lovingly created by the Almighty.)
I will share with you an insight regarding attaining pleasure in life. One of the greatest obstacles to achieving pleasure is the confusion between "comfort" and "pleasure." Writes Rabbi Weinberg, "What is the opposite experience of 'pain'? When asked this question, about nine out of ten people will answer, 'Pleasure.' Not only is this the wrong answer, but the belief that pleasure is the opposite of pain is, by far, the most destructive counterfeit concept that faces Western civilization! In truth, the opposite of pain is simply no pain, or comfort. And comfort is NOT at all synonymous with pleasure. Comfort is nice - it is a painless experience - but it is not pleasure, by any stretch.
"In fact, pain and pleasure actually go hand in hand! Pain, or effort, is the price we pay to get pleasure. Think about it. To achieve anything in life that's really worthwhile - good relationships, successful careers, the pursuit of meaning, all of life's lasting pleasures - requires a lot of pain and effort...
"If you ask parents what is their greatest pleasure, they are most likely to answer, 'My children.' If you then ask what their greatest pain is, they will probably give the very same response, 'My children.' It is not simply coincidental that the object of our greatest pleasure, our children, also happens to be the source of our greatest potential anguish. Pleasure and effort are far from being opposite constructs - they actually work together...
"If all you seek is comfort, it is true you'll be rid of pain, but you will also be robbed of almost any type of achievement. If you try to get pleasure by spending your life avoiding pain, you will only end up with the world's most prominent counterfeit - comfort. Without effort, you will never get real pleasure."