The Pursuit of Happiness
So many people I speak to are in pursuit of happiness. This implies happiness lies outside of us. I always get a picture of a little nymph-like ray of sunshine high tailing it down a road as fast as it can with some poor, unhappy person racing behind it. As they run they call,
“ Come Back to me. Please come back to me.”
We are looking for our happiness in the outside world. We begin this pursuit with our thinking minds and our emotions because we do not know how to handle them. We try to do this from our ego mind and so we are doomed to fail because one of the main ways the ego structures work is from the place of superstitious magic. The thinking that if I am very good then I will be rewarded and if I am bad I will be punished is superstitious magic. It is a tough way for most Westerners who work from the religious premise that we are born sinners. So we set out on a redemptive survival path usually with a low self esteem and with very little knowledge of who we truly are. There is not a lot of happiness in not good enough!
Perhaps our happiness is in the hands of someone else? Not at all. Often the exact opposite is true. Adults have the uncanny ability to make each other unhappy. The basic problem here is thinking that life is not happening as it should. I am not being liked, loved and treated as I should be. Life is unfair.
We have relegated the power to create our happiness into the shadow of our limited thinking. There are a million, at least, different ways we could think but we tend to stay with dichotomies of good and bad, happy or unhappy, negative or positive, have or have not, winning and losing etc ad infinitum. The volume of suffering on this planet is unbelievable. Humans can suffer about just about anything.
Remember when you were four or five. You were happy most of the time while playing, eating, being curious about the world. You didn’t think about life you were life. You were absorbed in your beingness . Pain or someone else had to come to make you unhappy.
My earliest memories are of a time before I was three. My parents then lived in a two roomed flat built on the back of a garage. We were relatively poor but we did have shelter, food and warmth. My father was in his first year of teaching. This was just a few years after the Second World War and the baby boomers were arriving. My mother had sent me outside with a friend of my age called Judy. It was Summer. Judy and I picked some bright orange marigold flowers and sat on the ground either side of basin of water. We picked petals off the flowers and dropped them in the water. I remember clearly the slightly acrid and powerful smell of the flowers. We stirred the water, around and around with sticks we had found to use as spoons. We looked and laughed as the petals spun and momentarily became a blur of orange in the clear water. I think we may have put our hands in the water and scooped out the petals throwing them over our own and each others heads. No thinking was involved here. This is pure beingness and it brings us happiness and joy.
I was eleven and I had a friend called Janice who lived on a sheep farm not far from the country school house where we lived. Often I stayed at Janice’s place for the weekend or in the school holidays. These were happy times for both of us. In the early spring Janice had the job of “going around the sheep” twice a day. We would set out on horse back to ride around the farm to check that the ewes were doing well at lambing time. We were such close friends and took our responsibilities very seriously. Sometimes it would rain and we would let the horses take us home while we lay down in the saddles or sometimes bare backed with our oilskins over our heads.
What a happy, secure feeling this was for me being in a little hot cave of darkness with the heat and smell of the horse feeling the strong muscle movement on my cheek. The air was steamy and I could hear the breathing of the horse and the sound of its feet moving through the wet grass. Rain pattered on the oilskin and ran down my trousers into my gum boots.
Now look at what has happened in the world. There is an explosion of greed . We think we need more material things or someone else to make us happy! We can create heaven all around us and we will still suffer because we are suffering our own thinking mind. Enter into your heart mind and you will be happy. This is because the heart mind does not think. In our society thinking is highly over rated. It is all last years news.
True happiness comes from within and radiates out of our being into the outer world. What life brings to us , no matter how beautiful, oft times feels too fleeting or not enough and we can fall into the abyss of the gap and yearning for more. How sweet is that first brief taste of a drop of honey on the tongue, much sweeter than the rest of the spoonful. The sense of awe at the colour in a sunset that fades so quickly as we watch attentively. It is as though the sense of completion and satiation is ever just out of reach. This is your thinking mind remembering the experience of being, of oneness, happiness and yearning to return. So do it! Return to your heart and to your beginners mind.
Remember then how, as a young child, you didn’t think or worry about how to be or what you had to do? This was you as a “Seedling Being” in a natural flow state. Then the civilized world began to shape you into a being of dichotomies: right and wrong, good and bad, successful and unsuccessful, worthy and unworthy, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, talented or ordinary, normal or abnormal, ad infinitum.
Being in the flow state is Oneness and your natural birthright. Enter the heart mind and be in your flow state. Stay there and you will meet the quantum, authentic human being you always were. Becoming who you already are is our Soul Journey. We live in enlightening and wonderful times.
When I enter the heart mind and am in my essential self I am in the flow state. I practise staying there and sit in a meeting with the quantum, cosmic and authentic human being I have always been. Becoming who I already am is my Soul Journey. Looking over my art work especially in my art journals I see how understanding which is becoming truth in my thinking mind had already been expressed from the heart mind and right brain coherence. How strange this time delay can be. The arising into the local me and my local world is already manifesting before I am fully cognisant of it. Yes it does seem we are overwhelmed by a grey world but this does not have to be so.
Your ego thought structures may well be unkind… to you and others…because ego is based on suffering, competition, envy and jealousy. I have never met a truly compassionate and heartful ego and I have met a great many people in my work. Fortunately you are not your ego. Perhaps you are only experiencing yourself at the ego level and that possibly is because you are staying in your thinking mind.
It is absolutely never too late to live from your cosmic, essential self, to become the woman or man you have always been in the depth of your heart mind. There, on the inside, is a timeless place, where when you experience your soul self, the very essence of this amazing and unique you. It is a lifetime in each minute. It is as if you have always been this outstandingly brilliant and amazing being for indeed you have. The process of “Becoming” is one of lifting the veils. All will be revealed.
From my heartinn me to your heart in you,