Since a young age, I have felt an indescribable desire to know the meaning of life. At that time, there was a sense of unease at the back of my mind that made me feel restless. In simple words I wanted to know: “What the hell is this life about? What’s going on? And why do we have to go through all that we go through in life?”
OK. You go through kindergarten, school, high school then college, through marriage, having children, a career, buying a house…and the awareness of the inevitability of death, is like a black cloud that wakes you up to reality and makes you wonder – “What is it all about?”
No one, myself included, could stop me from pondering about life. I was desperately looking for the meaning of it all. Of course, at the time, I could not tell where such a search would take me, what innumerable hardships I would have to undergo – today, all of that I now know.
Later I learned that if I knew what was going on with me or what was happening to me, it was much easier; but then there was no one available or I didn’t think there was.
In retrospect, this longing brought me into “spectator mode” – observation of the theatre of life. A situation in which I was looking at life as a play but still where I was participating, meaning that I identified with the characters on stage.
Around the age of 30 I experienced a critical and dominant turning point. After going through a confusing period, one morning I woke up with a dreadful emptiness, it felt like a big black gaping hole in my chest. It could be described as, and the words that jump to mind are “all dead”. A very acute sense of loss of everything that I was until that moment. All I knew and thought and felt about myself and life in general, had died that morning and so I found myself living in a bubble.
There was no connection between me and reality and life as I knew them, the connection was gone. It could be compared to eating food without the sense of taste and smell; with no sense of taste, one loses the desire to eat. And so, I lost the desire to live. It was followed by the collapse of mind and body.
I experienced panic attacks, simply standing was a struggle. What I remember most is that yet, I held on despite the strong desire to completely collapse, let go and never get up, because I did not want to worry my family.
I was not able to understand what was happening to me and I did not want to get into a situation where I had to explain myself. Deep down, I felt insulated and lonely. All I wanted was to be left alone.
Exact words fail me, all I can describe was a state of terrible fear, loss of control and restless hell, and an inability to understand any of it. And so I lived in a kind of furnace that burned me alive. I was completely detached from reality, and my sense of identity was utterly gone like it had never even existed.
After a period of a few months, I began to see the beauty in my surroundings, whether a spring flower, the shining sun, or a simple good morning I received. I welcomed every one of those little gifts that came my way and I began to see the simple yet wondrous beauty in everything. And so, I learned to enjoy every little thing in all its greatness.
Despite those newly found comforts, I was still troubled because my fundamental questions about the meaning of life remained unanswered; my inability to find the answers within myself, meant that true peace still eluded me.
Over the course of a period that was relatively calm, words began visiting me as I was on the verge of sleep; I felt a compelling need to write them down and so I wrote all the words that came to me. At first words would come only at night; soon they began to surprise me at any hour. I would hear a word from someone and all of a sudden, an entire scenario would unfold before me. I would then write it down. At that time, I used to go everywhere with small notebooks, and I was ready to write whatever came whenever it came.
The material was poured into me like to an empty glass and I finally realized the answers to my deepest questions.
In this manner, short and concise chapters took shape. After a few months, I had enough written words that the idea of a book came to life. Some of the things that I had written took me a while to understand. It took a while for them to crystalize into a book.
The book is divided into two main parts:
The first part is designed to introduce you to a different perspective than you are accustomed to. The second part is designed to enable you to see who and what you are in terms of how you think and behave and how can you think and behave in endless different ways.
The journey from writing my initial rough thoughts into my notebooks, crystalizing them into a book, publishing the Hebrew version and then producing the English version, took 14 years.
The book “The Beauty of Simplicity” holds the answers to all the questions that took me on a life changing journey towards truth.
This book just sort of happened. And I learned, as the sages say:
“Everything that is done for the sake of truth will lead to truth”