Thursday, January 28, 2010
What does happiness mean to you?
Is it enough to get up and go to work every day for the rest of our lives? To make more money and buy more stuff? Does that give enough meaning in our lives so that we can be fully satisfied?
We Americans have so much weath outside and it has cost us so much. A top 10 issue that couples across America fight about is money. People are so concerned with money. Don't get me wrong, I am as concerned as the next person about making the bills. But do we think about the importance of other types of value? Of higher values like inner satisfaction, peace, wisdom and forgiveness? And are we concerned with developing and achieving those values on a daily basis? I don't know. But, from the way I see Americans living it doesn't look like it.
So I ask, what is the point? We go to school for years and years with the idea of getting a good job and having a good career. What use is a life that exists on the basis of achieving a means to an end? You go to school, you get a good job, you buy a car and a house, you get married, you have kids . . . then what? Is that it? Is that enough to make you happy with this life? Or is there something more? Is there a desire within us that we can achieve something greater than just material weath? For the sake of our future generations (and the current ones) I certainly hope so. No amount of stuff is going to create lasting happiness in the American People.
Are we achieving happiness as a nation?
According to the National Institue of Mental Health "about 1 in 4 [American] adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year." I am not convinced that the American people actually know what happiness is or how to achieve it. Sure, one could argue that happiness is different for every person, but I don't buy it.
In order to achieve lasting happiness one has to have a state of inner balance. The world outside is ever changing and if your happiness is tied to the outside (material) world, your happiness will surely be short lived. However, with some effort, the world within each of us can be steadied; and a lasting happiness can be built on that framework. Imagine having the power to face the challenges of life without being robbed of your happiness. No need for anger, frustration, sorrow . . . just peace and the enjoyment of each moment. It is possible.
We are blessed in America that we can exercise freedom of choice without ridicule. But freedom is a mixed blessing. We can easily make choices that encourage happiness or self-destruction. America is just over 230 years old; in relative terms, our country is a baby. And thus we lack the moral traditions that prevent us from regularly making stupid decisions. In saying moral traditions I mean wisdom, innocence, humility, and discretion. I long for a day when the American people are empowered with the strength to know themselves and to experience the complete liberty of the Spirit.
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in Harmony."
-Mohandas K. Gandhi
Anybody can think the thought, talk the talk, but can they walk the walk?
Meditation is the answer . . . happiness is the question.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Writing is a fickle thing. You long to get a certain point across, but in the end you are a bit stuck because everyone is reading from a different perspective. It is as if we all wear a different shaped boxes on our heads, with lenses that speak to our minds in different magnifications and color schemes.
So what is it that makes a writer or the writings great? It is the ability to covey a point, to invoke an emotion, to entertain the reader? Maybe. I am convinced that writing is intended to inspire understanding. To give meaning to the author's words is to create a connection between the reader and the written. For, words do not have meaning until they are interpreted by an observer. One could write for therapy I suppose, but that writing is not really intended for anyone but the author is it? In that case the purpose of the writing is to create a connection between the author and his experiences, emotions, ideas, evolution, etc. through the words. To create understanding.
Language is a powerful vessel. Nations have been moved and people have experienced inner transformation though words both spoken and written.
When a word becomes written or spoken I believe that the author's inner state of balance or imbalance continues to affect the power of that word. Take the phrase "I love you." Three little words that can alter the course of lives forever; or not. The state of the author or speaker gives the words meaning or the lack there of. It is the integrity of the source that gives the message its value.
Does the spoken work obtain more power than the written? I don't know. Both mediums have value and the potential to influence and express. But the power of the words again is dependent on the quality of the instrument (human).
So how does somone judge whether or not they or others have a good instrument? It is not enough just to observe and say, "Well, he is a good speaker or she is a good writer or she's better and blah, blah, blah?" With this kind of thinking our judgements are subjective. Thus we get back into the perspective game where everbody has a different shaped box (ego) on their heads.
There must be a way to discern the absolute truth about the quality of one's instrument and about any and everything else. Well, there is.
I have heard the argument before about how there are many truths and "that may be true for you, but for me it is not." Especially in this day an age that argument is meaningless. It only serves the purpose of creating division amongst human beings. Honestly what is the use of pretending that there are many different truths? So that we can fight about it?
We are one human race and all true knowledge originates from one source. Call it by which ever name suits you, truth is what it is.
The answer to the query about knowing the absolute truth cannot be found by reading, listening, or speaking; it must be experienced. Truth can be discovered in one place and one place only . . . in silence. The silence that I am writing about is not the absence of sound. Rather I am referring to the silence that is achieved when the mind is free from thoughts. When we are in meditation.
"Free from thoughts?" Does that mean mindlessness? No. It means mental silence and acute awareness. Because it is in the complete stillness of mental silence that our awareness expands and grows.
To Be Continued . . .