Nicolae Tanase: Dr. Teitelbaum, what is the meaning of life?
Jacob Teitelbaum: As Eleanor Roosevelt put it so simply “The purpose of life – is to live it!”
Imho, the purpose of life is to explore, experience and become who we are. We do not do this by following other people’s instructions. That is for them to do. As others have said, there is no need to lead somebody else’s life – something else is already doing that. Meanwhile, the only meaning that life really has is the one we choose to give it.
So we really do get to write the script for and produce the movie of our own lives. In fact, I never met anybody who wasn’t the star of their own life’s movie.
So how do we decide on what to do and how to interpret life’s experiences? I find that the road to authenticity is guided best by my feelings. My thoughts are simply the product of my beliefs and what I have been taught. Most of this is based on information given in the mass media and my schooling. And much of this, sadly, has turned out to be nonsense.
Asking your brain what you should be doing is like asking the GPS in your car where you want to go. It really doesn’t know. Our feelings, however, do know what is authentic to us. Once our feelings have guided us, our mind then becomes an excellent tool to help us get there.
I find that ideas, thoughts, actions, and choices that feel good tend to be authentic, and simply doing what feels good has worked out very well for me. It has, not surprisingly, happily taken me down the road less traveled by.
Two caveats, however. Don’t hurt anybody else, and ask how the choices are working out for you. For example, heroin may feel good. For a little while. But then it doesn’t work very well, and soon leave you feeling badly. But these are rare exceptions.
So what if it truly is okay to do what feels good? As a physician, most of our puritanical advice to avoid pleasure, including things such as eggs, salt, sunshine, chocolate, and butter, have turned out to be nonsense. These things have turned out to be healthy. Running my own foundation, I have found that helping others feels especially good.
So at the end of the day, it truly is okay to be selfish. Perhaps a better term for this would be called being “personally responsible.” I find it ironic that people who use the term selfish are simply selfishly trying to get others to do what it is that they want.
So the bottom line? As the cultural anthropologist Joseph Campbell eloquently said when asked to summarize everything he learned in sentence, “Follow your bliss!”
~Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., Director of the Practitioners Alliance Network, is one of the most frequently quoted integrative medical authorities in the world. He is the author of the best-selling From Fatigued to Fantastic!, Pain Free, 1,2,3!, the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! series, Three Steps to Happiness, The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution, and the popular free Smart Phone app Cures A-Z. He is the lead author of 4 studies on effective treatment for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, and a study on effective treatment of autism using NAET. Dr. Teitelbaum appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and FoxNewsHealth.
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