Rabbie Mannis – Wisdom for a More Satisfying Life
By Mary Maxey
October 24, 2019
In this episode, our guest is Rabbie Mannis. He is an author, rabbi, philanthropist, public speaker, and philosopher. Philosophy helps us gain clarity in life, and he has gotten vast knowledge not from the schools he attended or what he has done to become a rabbi but from thinking from a great process that allows us to extract great lessons that we apply to the world.
[2:12] Why should I listen to you?
There is no way you should listen to me unless you’ve heard something you are interested in. If I say something that has meaning for you, then OK.
[3:11] What is your life, and why are you the one who wrote the book?
I happened to be very fortunate. The book for my education wasn’t acidic philosophy. Among observing orthodox and practicing Jews, there are different philosophies. The philosophy I was given and raised with is so unique that I couldn’t wait to share what I learned as a teenager. I can stay more before sharing, but this information is dynamic. I‘ve got to get out there and share. I couldn’t wait to start teaching, talking, and sharing. Before the internet, I never thought it would go worldwide, but the internet is a blessing. For this purpose, it is the greatest. So, philosophy is the major shift.
[5:00] What is unique about your philosophy?
Earthquakes shift both religion and psychology. Let’s start with psychology. For all of history, what made people do something is needed. You’ve got to plant, or else you will starve. You have got to make a place safe for you, which makes us do the necessary work. In recent years, needs have increased dramatically, and in austere times, there was only one need: don’t die. You need to survive, but today’s requirements are so countless. We need it so many times. You have to have a lot of things that cause depression. But psychology comes in and offers a solution to your depression. But what psychology says is pretty simple. You don’t know some of your needs. You have subconscious needs and suppress conditions, which are much more severe than the needs you are depressed about. So out of desperation, I turned to Religion for help but found out that you will still have requirements even after death. So, here is what I think is the future of psychology, and this is the major shift in the philosophy I was raising. If you search deeper within yourself, you will discover that you don’t need anything. You have no needs.
[9:54] How do you reach that phase of getting deep?
Reaching isn’t easy, but it is there, and I think that is what we mean when we say, why can’t you just accept me for who I am. But figuring out who we are isn’t an easy task too. You don’t know who you are because it’s not a bunch of needs but a need free of conditions. We are free of markets. We didn’t ask to be born because we don’t need to be in the world. People who are not born do not complain, so all the needs that drove us up to this point are the need to survive. But today, there is more. People want to live. So all of a sudden, death is not the significant threat it used to be. The solution for people who get easily depressed is to help somebody else.
[18:20] How do you live with the mentality that you don’t need a thing if you’ve chosen to stay alive?
The other thing we are learning from is a challenging experience. People worried about life and living high would tell you they are still disappointed. The suicide rate among this set of people is very high. So the pleasure that we do get from these things in life. Suppose I’m not here to survive, then why I am here. This question is no more extended philosophy but a desperate question. For thousands of years, every religion has told you that you are in trouble and need God to give you what you need. So you have to beg him, offer sprayers before he gives you what you need, but the truth is he needs nothing. He is God. You don’t need to beg. Don’t threaten people. Just tell them why they should be here.
[21:30] If it is a faith-based thing, then you believe that you need eternity?
The only logical answer is if I don’t need to be here and didn’t ask to be born, then why am I here, and why was I born? I can’t tell my parents because they also reproduce without their consent. I now know it’s not out of my needs, and I have to figure out whose needs. So, here is the second shift, and it is that we get the whole thing backward. Humans are needy, and God needs nothing makes no sense. Only God needs because he is the creator, and how can someone who created the entire universe not need anything. The person who says he needs something acts like God, and only God lives. God is your creator. You are just a guest who can come and go anytime. But the positive side believes that you are not needy but needed. The logical conclusion of why I am here is that someone needs me. I am here for someone else needs. That is the motivation. I can live a meaningful life without satisfying my needs, which is incredible. But religion saying that we’ve got to live a life of service before we can go to heaven is wrong.
[32:30] How do you frame this so that people accept this mentality of not needing anything?
It is much better to be needed than to be needy. When I pile up needs that are not true, I become choked, which is wrong. Let me give you an example of when things are bad. We realize something that we’ve known all along. For example, a surgeon who loses a patient. He tried, but the patient died on the table. How does he handle that? The doctor will continue to be a doctor because he will attribute it to forces beyond himself, and if he believes in God, God decides, not him. So when you fail, you will realize that it isn’t your plan, but when you succeed, it’s all your credit. The bottom line is I didn’t create the world, and that is why we always ask the same question over and over again what the purpose of my being is? You say you need a goal, but there is something in humans that can’t be exempted. If I don’t feel needed, I won’t stay here.
[38:08] How do we find purpose, or do we live in pursuit of it?
That is what the bible is. Here is the third shift. Everybody thinks the bible is a set of laws to govern lousy behavior and get you to heaven, but it is wrong. God is the name, and he told us what he needs in the bible. It’s all a description of him. What he hates and loves, and the Bible tells us what we can do for him. I don’t need to have needs anymore because I am required. So that is a massive shift in religion and psychology. Psychologically, I don’t have a necessity, but religiously God has needs as a supreme being, and no one else has the right to needs. It’s a divine thing to have a need.
[42:48] How do you operate in this world without being frustrated?
It is unfortunate when people I see people cry because they do not have what they need. It is unnecessary suffering, but the fact that I have something to offer to them so that they can light up is much better. That’s why you’ve got to be confident. If God created you, he would provide and give you what to eat. God needs you to eat.
[44:58] How do I differentiate needs from wants?
Want comes under the category of freedom of choice. You choose to enjoy, but you decide what to want. Needs imply that you have no choice. Everything in your life is significant. It’s all about God. He needs you to eat, sleep, and so on.
[48:50] What promise did God make to the world when he created you?
He made many promises, but the significant one is that if you be with me, you will be mine and make me complete.
[8:35-8:40]If you look inside, you will discover inside needs.
[12:15-12:20]It’s not that I am needy, but what makes my life meaningful is that I am needed.
[27:20-27:25]When you are serving, and nobody gets the benefits, you are not doing.
[47:57-42:00]Anything that is needed of you is divine.
How to connect with Rabbie Mannis