To continue from the last few posts, my friend and I had learned that happiness is a function of bonding or connecting between things that are in opposition. Next we learned that making connections and creating harmony takes work. What empowers us to do the work?
We need to have something called da’at (knowledge). Da’at is a power of the mind by which we do two things: a) We distinguish between situations and discern what is unique about a particular reality. b) At the same time da’at refers to intimate knowledge, as in “Adam knew Hava his wife” in the Genesis story.
Having said this, why do we require da’at in order to be able to harmonize opposites and thereby create a state of happiness?
Two different verses in the book of Proverbs present this concept in two different ways. One verse says “On account of da’at the chambers are filled with precious and pleasant treasures.” (Ch. 24:4) The other verse says “With his da’at the waters of the deep split open and the clouds drip with dew.” (Ch. 3:20)
When we say that we intuitively “know” something we know it with the aspect of mind that allows us to know without needing anyone to tell us. The chambers of our hearts are filled with this knowledge. We have common sense and common decency. We have natural morality. We know what’s best for us.
If we know it, why do we need to exert effort to attain this knowledge? The answer to this question can be found in the second verse. First of all, we need to plumb the depths of our consciousness to access the knowledge that’s already in there. We need to quiet down all of the voices in our head that claim very loudly to be holding the exclusive truth and try to outshout one another to tell us what to do. We need to give that small voice within a platform from which to speak.
Secondly, integration of knowledge requires work. It is one thing to know what we must do in a given situation. It’s quite another to synthesize our thoughts, behaviors and emotions and get them all to work harmoniously together.
Da’at is a kind of “meta-trait” that shows we are well harmonized within our self. Now we can understand why we need da’at in order to create harmony. It takes harmony and integration within the self to be capable of integrating and harmonizing between relationships.