As always, I’m going to state right up front that my posts are not meant to sway, convince, persuade or teach anyone but myself. They’re simply my own perspectives – my own thoughts expressed in the best way I can.
You’re free to take whatever may resonate with you and leave the rest. My only purpose in writing these posts is to find my own way back to my “true Self.” The “Self” that God created, and by doing so, let go of the one I made.
Marcus Aurelius lived back in the 2nd century, and was one of the so-called good Emperors of Rome. He was a practitioner of Stoicism. which is why, I think, his quote in the image above, about making a happy life, deserves to be given a lot of credence.
This post is about that which his quote talks about, that attribute we all wish for, and hope we’ll find someday, but which, usually keeps itself just out of our reach. I’m talking about that illusive state called, happiness – or Joy. I think these states are similar enough for me to use the two words interchangeably at times.
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.” …Buddha
The Buddha lived somewhere around six hundred years before Marcus Aurelius, but it seems they agreed on this. They both agreed that whether we’re happy or not is a result of how we think. The Buddha may not have been talking specifically about happiness when he uttered these words. But if we’re shaped by our thoughts, and if we want it to be, then happiness will be a part of that shaping.
Marcus Aurelius was specifically speaking of happiness when he said, it’s in our way of thinking. I think the implications from both of these great thinkers are plain; in order to be happy we absolutely must think about happiness. We can’t think about sadness or depression and be happy at the same time. Nor can we think about happiness and be depressed at the same time. It just can’t be for the two are mutually exclusive of each other.
“Happiness is an attribute of love”
I’m not going to get too involved in trying to define what happiness is. The header above is taken from A Course in Miracles, and is quite self-explanatory. Therefore, I will venture to say that no one can be happy without love. And no one can know love without being happy. The two go together, and they will never be separate. But, that being said, this world is based on perception, therefore, everything here seems to be different for everyone. Even so, you’ll know what happiness is when you experience it – no one will have to tell you.
And now my question is; Is it even possible to find happiness in this world? The answer to that question is sort of complicated. In other words, it’s not answerable with a simple yes, or no. I say this because I’ve learned that happiness is the one and only purposes of life itself. Therefore, it cannot be found in this world, but that being said, it is entirely possible to be happy while we’re here.
The Indian mystic, Ramakrishna, once said: “The fabled musk deer searches the world over for the source of the scent which comes from itself.”
It would probably be impossible for the deer to actually search the world over. Nevertheless, it’s a metaphor that portrays a very important truth. As Marcus Aurelius said in my opening quote, it is all within yourself. In the above quote Ramakrishna concurs, and with his metaphor points out a very serious error in the thinking of the world.
Love shines outward from its home within
Like the deer searching the world over for that which comes from itself, most of us are doing the same thing. If, as mentioned, happiness is an attribute of love, and love’s home is within, then the home of happiness must be within also. But we go on searching the world for it, not realizing it’s part of who we are.
We search in different geographical locations, in new cars, in new houses, bigger bank accounts, different partners – the list goes on. But after we obtain any of these things we learn quite quickly that they’re not what we’re searching for. None of them satisfy us, and so we continue searching.
But try not to let yourself be too discouraged by this searching because that’s why you’re here. And eventually your searching will take you in the right direction, and you will find what you’re looking for. As The Course tells us: “No one who comes here but must still have hope, some lingering illusion, or some dream that there is something outside of himself that will bring happiness and peace to him.”
“There is nothing outside you. That is what you must ultimately learn.”
The most difficult lesson for us humans to learn is that mentioned in the above quote from A Course in Miracles. Most of us cannot even understand that there’s nothing outside of us. That’s because we look at the physical body, which we think is us, and from that perspective everything seems to be outside. But when the truth dawns upon us we realize that we are Spiritual Beings, and everything is within our own minds. Whatever seems to be outside is an illusion based on the wrong thinking of this world.
If we’re ever to find happiness for ourselves it stands to reason that we must, eventually, reach the conclusion that it cannot be found where it’s not. It doesn’t matter how much searching we do, if we’re searching where it doesn’t exist we’re not going to find it. As The Course tells us: “Seek not outside yourself. For all your pain comes simply from a futile search for what you want, insisting where it must be found. What if it is not there? Do you prefer that you be right or happy?”
Constantly searching for something where it cannot ever be found must lead to frustration, disappointment, and even depression. In the quote on the left Masaru Emoto provides us with a great remedy for these emotions – return to yourself, to who you are.
The Two Most Powerful Words You’ll Ever Use
There are two words we should use every chance we get. But they should always be followed by a positive statement about yourself. The two words are, I AM. It’s nearly impossible to comprehend the power these two words contain to influence how you feel about yourself. Think about it. Whenever you feel sad or down, if you were to close your eyes and firmly tell yourself, I AM HAPPY! I don’t think it would be very long before you began to feel some happiness. But, as I said, you have to be firm and mean it. I AM HAPPY! Why not try it? There’s nothing to lose, but a whole lot to gain.
I’m going to end this post with another great truth. This one is from the American author and Shaman, Carlos Castaneda. He said, “The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.”
Thanks for visiting, and may God richly Bless you.
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