Happiness, Meaning and the Band 8th Day


Secrets?  Nothing is hidden or withheld from the good heart.  You either get it or you don’t.  And if you don’t get it you keep at it and let it change you until you do get it.  Just keep dancing and it will sneak in.

I am trying to find meaning and happiness and I think I am finding it sometimes.  Slowly it comes, and sometimes fills my heart, and sometimes I will not know what the point is.  But that doesn’t mean the good feelings were wrong.  My soul is just preparing itself to receive more later.  Music helps.  I don’t know why, but music brought both King Saul and King David closer to G-d.  I hope I am making sense.

We are constantly seeking value and meaning.  However, many people are looking to fill their hearts through the pursuit for material gain.  But Purpose, Happiness, Joy, these are not things of the material.  These values are things of the heart.

An 8th Day song Just Like You suggests being poor can be a blessing.  Sure, if you had leather couches and golden chandeliers you might put value in those things, unless you were an enlightened sage.  It’s a math equation based on the stuff you own.  And people might think that the person with more stuff knows more about heart and spirit.  But people who have very little materially try to find value in other things.  Sometimes people who have very little materially are blessed by circumstances to find their value elsewhere.  This is a good thing. They may look for “treasures of another kind”.

If I learn kindness and compassion, this returns to me the treasure of a kind and compassionate heart.  I help another and I help myself.  That is the “golden palace” they talk about in the song Just Like You.

The band 8th Day also have a song called The Beggar Woman.  The lyrics are “G-d loves the widow and the orphan and the blind /The old and the needy who haven’t got a dime /G-d loves the sickly in his eyes we’re all the same”. The song says “in his eyes we’re all the same” and recognizing a common humanity, seeing the same spark in the needy as in you is in line with Hasidic philosophy of Chesed. The Baal Shem Tov saw Elijah in a beggar. Hillel said “stand in another’s shoes”.  Although, I understand some people hear “Thank G-d the beggar isn’t you” that makes no sense to me.  That increases division and destroys the heart giving charity.  The prayer says “Hear Israel the Lord Our G-d, The Lord is One”.  There is only One G-d, One Creation, One Community. At the end of the song I hear the words “Thank G-d in Heaven the beggar is in you.”

Finally there is the song Gam Zu.  “Gam zu l’tovah” means “This too is for the good”.  All is for the best.  Heaven is looking out for you.  It is a saying of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.  We make the best of the situation we are in.  Joy comes from us, wherever we are.  We bring love to our environment.  I see the video and the images are about compassion.  The images are about seeing the Divine Spark in others and so in yourself.  Until you can see the Divine Spark in the beggar woman or in the bum playing drums on the side walk you are not going to see the divine spark in yourself.  But once you do, then you can raise the world, by giving charity or inviting the old guy to play in the band.

And people say, as I have said, I am not a great person.  I cannot change anything.  In the movie Total Recall Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t know who he is.  He goes to the wise man on Mars and says to him “I don’t want to be an evil person.  I want to be a good person.  Who am I?”  The wise man says “You are what you do.”

But if you feel no Joy you can do little though.  All your attempts will turn to darkness  So, whatever your situation, wherever you are, whether there is reason or not, and especially if there is no reason, Celebrate!  Dance!  It’s the easiest thing in the world.  The joy is not in having.  It is in being.  Dance and you will soon become what you do.




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