Beyond the Pleasure Principle - Official Kabbalah Publication of the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute
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Beyond the Pleasure Principle

Discovering the Reality of Pleasure

How do we receive pleasure without it fading? Learn how...

The Wisdom of How to Receive

There are those rare moments in life when we feel that everything around us is permeated by a special force, enveloping us with kindness and suffusing the whole world with love. This sensation gives us the most intense feeling of pleasure we have ever experienced. When you feel it, you know that everyone in the world would give anything to experience it.

But as it turns out, our ability to feel pleasure is much greater even than this. The wisdom of Kabbalah, which is the wisdom of how to receive the ultimate pleasure, says that even though that sensation seems like the peak of enjoyment, it is but a microscopic dose of what one feels upon discovering the spiritual realm of reality.

Indeed, the spiritual sensation is so intensely delightful that none of us would be able to bear it within our current abilities to feel. It would be like winning a jackpot of a trillion dollars: your heart would just burst from the intensity of the experience.

However, this is only so as long as our abilities to feel are limited. Kabbalah teaches us how to develop and expand them, reaching a level of perception where we experience eternity, perfection, boundlessness, and infinity.

In order to expand our sensitivity, our ability to feel and experience pleasure, we have to learn how to receive pleasure in a novel way, where the pleasure we feel will always expand instead of diminish.

Why Can’t We Feel Lasting Pleasure Right Here and Now?

Without even noticing it, we all receive pleasure egoistically, which is why the pleasure we feel is so short-lived. Any time we enjoy something, the pleasure only lasts for a moment and then disappears. Sometimes it lasts for several minutes, hours, or even weeks, if the thing we receive is really big, such as a new home or an exciting trip. But eventually, all the enjoyment we felt ends and disappears.

Our problem is that we try to fulfill ourselves directly, and the fulfillment immediately neutralizes our desire for it. No matter how passionately we wish to attain something, whether it be food, drink, sex, fame or anything else, as soon as we achieve it, the pleasure immediately fades. We wish for something so much and we spend years chasing it, but as soon as we receive it, the pleasure is gone.

Why is that!? You save money for a new home for several years, then you finally buy it, and just a few weeks or months later, you no longer have that feeling of novelty and pleasure. That is because by buying the home, your desire for it becomes fulfilled and it ends.

Kabbalah teaches us how to get around this predicament by building a desire that is eternal. We are then able to feel pleasure from everything, and moreover, our pleasure continuously grows and expands.

In the meantime, we are like children dreaming of a carton of ice cream, but in reality we wouldn’t be able to eat more than three servings…

The Secret to Lasting Pleasure is Knowing How to “Flirt” with it

Kabbalah reveals a very unexpected method of receiving lasting pleasure: all we have to do is “conceal” our desire in a process that is very much like flirting. For example, think of how a woman covers herself up and then gradually reveals herself. It’s a game where beauty and enjoyment are revealed from concealment. The concealment attracts, causing the pleasure to be revealed.

Similarly, while the lasting pleasure we long for is concealed from us, we have to acquire a desire for its revelation. Once we reveal the pleasure, the trick to keeping it going is to conceal that revelation from our own egoistic desire. If we veil or conceal pleasure from our egoism, we rise above our egoistic desire and reveal a vast spiritual pleasure. And that is the way to achieving lasting fulfillment.

Kabbalah is the method of how to guard the pleasure we attain, ensuring that it will fulfill us without ever fading away. As a result, we achieve a feeling of eternal and perfect life.

The only reason we ever feel worthless, defective, and mortal is because we reject the partition that should exist between the pleasure and the desire. Incidentally, people who work in technology know how to implement this principle. They don’t just connect two wires directly, because that would cause a short circuit. Instead, they place a resistor between them, which produces a beneficial result. However, when it comes to our lives, we disregard this principle, and that is why our devices work, while we remain unfulfilled.

The greatest wisdom in the world lies in knowing how to keep the covering that guards or conceals the greatest pleasure in the world, spirituality. Then, the concealment will always attract us. That is how we will reveal the eternal, perfect spiritual world and all of its pleasures.

The Point in the Heart is a desire for spirituality that awakens from egoistic desires, which an individual cannot fulfill. When the last degree in the evolution of human desire, the desire for spirituality, is evoked, it is called a point in the heart. Beyond worldly pleasures – food, sex, family, wealth, power, and knowledge – a desire for something higher develops, it is the point in the heart.

The point in one’s heart is like a drop of desire, a yearning for supreme attainment. This point is sensed as Light, or the sensation of our Source. From that point, a person’s spiritual evolution begins.