Is Sobriety the Tachlis?
Someone asks Dov to explain a seeming contradiction in his words. In one place Dov wrote:
“So I ask you: why look forward to getting anything more than just being sober? If that is not precious enough to motivate someone, then I just have a hard time relating.”
In another place Dov wrote:
“Parnasa is exactly like sobriety in many ways. Neither are the tachlis, neither are essentially good or bad - but lack of parnossah or sobriety leads to starvation / insanity and a ruined and useless life...and having sobriety or parnossah are the ticket into life, yet not life itself. Sadly, there are many who see sobriety or parnossah as the tachlis of life. A mishega'as, no? It's like saying the purpose of life is 'not dying'. Gevalt.”
Dov explains why it’s not a contradiction:
It's all about timing.
1- For someone who is NOT sober yet, being sober absolutely NEEDS to be good enough even if they never get anything else till they die. It is the guys who demand more than that FIRST, who never get better. For all they are all about is feeling good themselves. Getting the 'understanding', 'tikkun hamidos', 'winning' and being 'a tzaddik' is a big game. It's not about survival as a sane useful person yet, till they really are not the star of the show any more.
2- For the same guy - once he IS sober and taking the actions to stay that way be"H - being OK with just being sober is a guarantee for failure and a messed up life. It really means that he does not consider his sobriety precious, because he is hiding from the fact that there is real life out there. He must grow, or fail. He must put his focus on living the life Hashem is giving him to live, rather than on just not throwing it away.