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By Grant Lawrence
You might consider this a short essay a crash course in spirituality.
There are a lot of books and a seemingly infinite number of words on the subject of happiness and the feeling of well being.
But you can read this article along with everything else and it likely won't be of much benefit. Unless you actually decide to practice that which works.
People want to believe that their happiness is going to be found in some sort of possession or some sort of event. Sure there is some happiness that can arise from these things but in reality you are going to be as happy as your beingness or consciousness will allow you to be.
Once I won a trip to Hawaii for 3 weeks for being a top salesman. Everything was paid for and I also won $5000 to go with it. I remember finding myself being a bit dissatisfied during my time on the trip. I couldn't figure out why I was a little unhappy. After all, the weather was nice, the island was beautiful, I was with my wife, and I had pretty much all of the comforts you can have. Plus I was honored with awards and accolades for my performance during the year. But I still felt somewhat unhappy. Later, it dawned on me that I was entertaining a lot of subconscious worries and that this inner focus on myself was effecting my experience on the Big Island.
That experience in Hawaii and others taught me that happiness as a state of mind, a state of being, or a state of consciousness.
People talk about a Secret to happiness or the "Secret" which basically tries to sell us on the idea that our desires is that which will make us happy. Pop psychology and the New Age Hype tells us that if you want to be happy then think happy thoughts and visualize your heart's desire. Then you will get what you want and be happy.
Unfortunately, this is a recipe for unhappiness. Creating more desire for something that you think will bring you happiness is not helpful. If you don't get it then you will be irritated and upset. If you do get your desires then you will find that it is empty of the ability to make you happy. This leads to a type of monkey mind where you are always chasing something but can never find satisfaction in it.
Really the secret to happiness is not a secret, not that complicated, and not that difficult to figure out. Really it is more of a science that I will explain. But, first we must realize that happiness is a relative word. There are going to be minutes, hours, and days in which life seems awfully difficult and unhappy. There are going to be minutes, hours, and days in which life seems not to be much of anything. Then there are going to be those minutes, hours, and days in which life seems quite good. We also must realize that there are difficult circumstances in life that make life very sad and depressing. We can't repress certain feelings or deny them or we will only make ourselves more unhappy. Suffering is a part of life.
But what I am talking about is not trying to stop or to create thoughts and feelings in an effort to control happiness. Instead, there is a basic consciousness or beingness that allows us to experience a better life and a fulfilling life which leads to greater happiness. A science of happiness.
So, how do we get to this better, more fulfilling, and happier life?
Well, it is found in a simple rule to help expand your being, or consciousness, and change your life. That is--What you want for yourself, do it to others.
Sounds familiar doesn't it. It has also been said by Jesus that you "should treat others the way you want to be treated." Well it has been been proclaimed by many wise people from nearly every religion and society.
Now as Christians, we have been taught it as a commandment in which there will be hell and damnation in the next life if we don't follow it and a lot of other rules. All of these "sins" were impossible to avoid and that only scared us and made us more unhappy.
But there is another way of understanding it. Life is so interconnected and the illusion of separateness is just an illusion. By living in that understanding, that what we do to others we are actually doing to ourselves because there is no separation in life. We realize separate objects are a fiction that we create in our mind.
So if we want to be happier than we ever thought possible and much happier then we are now, then we need to let go of the idea that life is separate and that life is an object or objects. Instead we simply need to practice the Truth of life and that is to do for others what you would like for yourself because you and others are One life.
Once we begin to think and act in this Truth then our emotions will also affirm the truth of it by creating feelings of love and happiness in us.
Simply living the "Golden Rule" is scientific and transformational. You can put it to the test and, like a good empiricist, you can see and experience the results and judge for yourself.
You won't have to wait until you die to get the rewards for living in Truth. Instead the reward for living in Truth will be an expanded being that will transform our lives and our world in the here and now. Doing for others what you would like for yourself will not only help others but it will make your life so much better because in reality there is no separation between anything.
As Jesus said, "And you shall know the Truth and the Truth will set you free." It will also make you happier.