Friday, December 30, 2011
[Amy Winehouse - there is a better way]
Many people suffer from severe emotional pain of some sort. They feel disappointed, insulted, rejected, poor, lonely, hopeless, worried about the future, miserable about growing uglier and weaker with age and so forth.
To cope with this pain, people turn to painkillers of many types: alcohol, heroin, prescription pain killers, marijuana, etc. These substances unfortunately all become less effective with use, which encourages the use of higher dosages and as a result leads eventually to very serious and possibly fatal side effects. They may be good short term solutions, however in the long term they are horrifically damaging. (One biographer of Ernest Hemingway, the brilliant but atheistic and alcoholic writer, mentions that after age 45 he became more insane each year [ Hemingway by Kenneth S. Lynn page 532], until his suicide at age 61.)
What is the solution? Why can't doctors invent a powerful analgesic to which we will not develop a tolerance?
Fortunately, orthodox Judaism has solved this problem thousands of years ago. When one is suffering, he need merely remember that everything is from God and everything God does is good. The Talmud teaches us "one must receive the evil with gladness". It is all for our good. Everything is an atonement for our sins and prepares us for paradise. Furthermore, if one is unhappy with anything material, he may recall the words of the ancient rabbis who taught "This world is [merely] like an entrance chamber before the World to Come. Prepare yourself in the entrance chamber so that you may enter the banquet hall." Numerous inspirational works are available which expand on these and similar themes.
How precious is Thy lovingkindness, O God! and the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Thy wings. Psalms (36:8)
This is the real analgesic.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 6:03 AM