On the Pursuit of Happiness

Pure Happiness Source: HD wallpapers.cat

Pure Happiness
Source: HD wallpapers.cat

The pursuit of happiness leads far too many people down countless blind alleys and confusing twists and turns. Just when we think we have found the key, it vanishes leaving us once again feeling empty and unfulfilled.

Placing a high value on material things and living a material lifestyle naturally leads one to seek happiness from material things. A common misconception is that if I had a new car, or could buy a house, or had more money, or could find the love of my life, or get my dream job, etc. then I would finally be happy.

But each of us has proven this approach and vision of happiness to be false. For many of us, it is easier to identify worldly things and circumstances that might make us happy, rather than doing the soul-searching needed to understand how personal happiness can be nurtured.

None of these worldly things bring genuine, lasting happiness. One reason for this is that such things are transitory, and subject to changes in circumstances that are out of our control. Each of us is responsible for our own happiness. It cannot be given to us by some thing or someone else.

That said, then how does one find true happiness? What exactly does it mean to be truly happy? I believe that true happiness can only be found within ourselves and exists independent of the world around us. Happiness is a reflection of the state of our spirit-selves. Those who have achieved harmony between spirit, mind, and body have found the key to happiness.

I believe that happiness is a natural result of spiritual fulfillment. Nothing brings a greater sense of fulfillment, satisfaction, and purpose than expression of our spirit through love and compassion, and helping others. Reflecting on this, we all know it is true. Loving and helping others brings jubilation like nothing else can. Therefore, we all know that this is the key to deep and meaningful happiness.

The challenge we all face is keeping the spiritual perspective of happiness always foremost in our minds. We must constantly strive to reorder our lives, values, and priorities to pursue spiritual fulfillment and progression, rather than worldly pleasures, satisfaction, and status.

Deep inside we all know the right path for the pursuit of happiness. How many of us can muster the conviction and determination needed to take and stay on that path?

You might like to see the following related articles:

The Law of Service
Wherefrom Comes Happiness
The Quintessence of Life

Advertisements

The Law of Retribution and Compensation

From WallpaperUp.com

From WallpaperUp.com

If we do not comply with God’s laws and neglect or hurt others, then there will be a price to pay. Punishment may be in the form of pain and suffering, through karmic experience, and/or other forms of which we are unaware. There must be consequences for our thoughts and actions or we would not learn and grow spiritually.

While the foregoing is easily understood, what is not clear is the extent to which we may be able to compensate or offset our wrongdoing with good deeds or by setting things right once again. There may be transgressions that are just too serious to be offset in some way. Further, compensation may only reduce the punishment, rather than totally avoid it.

Nevertheless, it is good to know that the opportunity for compensation exists, and we should always strive to do so. Based on the Law of Cause and Effect, good deeds done with purity of intent will always have a positive effect whether or not they provide compensation for our transgressions.

I hope that all readers will take seriously all of the natural and spiritual laws discussed in this series of short articles. Do not allow their simplicity or familiarity lead you to think them trivial or prevent you from using them as a guide for how you live your life. They have and will continue to govern what your life will be like now and in the future.

Try very hard to love your neighbor as yourself. Be honest and kind, and have compassion for others. Help those in need whenever you can. The extent to which you are able to do so will determine the degree to which you will progress spiritually and whether you will find true happiness in this life.

Author’s Note

Another spiritual law, the Law of Service, was discussed in a previous article (see below).

You might like the following related articles:

What is Salvation?

The Law of Service

The Law of Cause and Effect

Grand Canyon National Park From WallpaperUP

Grand Canyon National Park
From WallpaperUp.com

The notion of cause and effect in a spiritual context is easily understood. For every action there is an effect of the same tenor as the original action. The effect may be immediate or delayed; obvious or subtle.

Simply put, if you do bad things, then you will attract badness (the Law of Attraction), and bad things will happen to you. If you do good things, then you will attract goodness, and good things will happen to you.

Said another way, kindness brings kindness, love brings love, and hate brings hate. We are affected spiritually by the good or wrong that we do. Perhaps if you reflect upon your life, you may begin to see chains of cause and effect that have already operated.

This law embodies the biblical saying “You reap what you sow.” It is also related to the popular concept of karma which says that we create our own futures (in this life or the next) by our actions and how we treat others. For example, if one refuses to acknowledge or help the poor or disenfranchised, then they likely will find themselves poor and disenfranchised in the next life. If someone tortures and kills people, then they can expect to suffer the same fate in this or a future life.

If we do not stop our wrongdoing and change how we live our lives for the better, then we can expect an ongoing chain of negative effects on us and those around us. However, cause and effect provides the opportunity to break free from past bad behaviors and attitudes, and change our future.

Even as our karma plays out, we can decide what direction our life will take. Will we choose a fulfilling and happy life of goodness, love, and compassion, or a life of bitterness, jealousy, selfishness, greed, and hate devoid of any redeeming factors? Will we surrender to the darkness we have brought upon ourselves, or will we refuse to give up and instead emerge from the muck and blaze a new path toward spiritual awareness?

The operation of these laws is automatic and assures accountability and justice concerning all of our thoughts and actions. I hope that you can appreciate what a simple and perfect plan this is. We get exactly what we deserve in terms of punishment or reward. It is the ultimate learning tool.

Author’s Note

The natural or spiritual laws we are discussing can be found in various books in the Silver Birch series (e.g., The Teachings of Silver Birch).

You might like the following related articles:

Wherefrom Comes Happiness?

What is Spiritual Awareness?

What Natural or Spiritual Laws Govern Our Lives?

Matte Painting Appearing as Background in the Hollywood Movie The Ten Commandments Source: http://nzpetesmatteshot.blogspot.com

Matte Painting Appearing as Background in the Hollywood Movie The Ten Commandments
Source: http://nzpetesmatteshot.blogspot.com

This question will be covered in a short series of articles over the next few weeks. In my view, there are two types or classes of God’s laws. There are laws like the Ten Commandments and some of the teachings of Jesus that make clear what we should not do and others that direct how we should live our lives.

In addition, there are spiritual laws that determine how our lives will proceed in this world and the next based on how we live and behave now. Upcoming articles will focus on this group. The beauty and elegance of these laws is in their simplicity. There is no escape from their application as they operate automatically. Both sets of laws determine the degree to which we progress and evolve spiritually.

Below I have listed a summary of the Ten Commandments. How many of them can you recall before looking at the list? While perhaps the majority would say they know them, when was the last time they called them to mind and reflected upon them? How many people hold the commandments in constant memory to guide their actions on a daily basis?

The Ten Commandments

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

2. Thou shalt not worship, bow down to, or serve idols.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

5. Honor thy father and thy mother.

6. Thou shalt not kill.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

8. Thou shalt not steal.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

10. Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbor’s.

There are two additional commandments put forth by Jesus that are said to be the greatest of all commandments and encompass the Ten.

• “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”

• “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

I think many of us would agree that violations of many of these commandments run rampant in today’s society. With increasing numbers of people turning away from religion, perhaps they have forgotten them or chosen to ignore them.

To me, the Ten Commandments along with love thy neighbor represent, in large part, a set of fundamental principles to govern and assure the integrity of human relationships. In this regard, I believe love thy neighbor stands above and drives compliance with Commandments 5-10. If we strive to treat all people with whom we come in contact the way we would like to be treated, then we would not do any of the things listed in 5-10.

Sadly, it seems that honesty and integrity are attributes that too many members of society have put aside in order to satisfy their physical and material desires. Little do they know what they have lost in doing so.

The Bible says love is fulfillment of the law. To love is our divine nature. If we let love guide everything we do in all of our interactions with others, then we will have fulfilled our spiritual imperative.

The Privilege of Special Abilities

Christ Healing the Sick  Painting by Washington Allston, 1813 Source: Wikimedia Commons

Christ Healing the Sick
Painting by Washington Allston, 1813
Source: Wikimedia Commons

I recently saw the movie Lucy which is about a woman who is exposed to a drug that enables her to use 100 percent of her brain. In the movie, it is said that we use only approximately 10 percent of our brain. However, I am not aware of any evidence that substantiates this claim or hypothesis. Brain scans show neuronal activity throughout the brain.

But I do not wish to debate whether we use all or a part of our brain. What interests me is the idea that the human race has not accessed or expressed its full potential regarding powers of the mind and body. No wonder considering that so few appear to have expressed the third aspect of being—the spirit-self.

I believe that humanity has indeed tapped into only a tiny fraction of its physical and mental abilities. Any uncommon, extraordinary, or special abilities or powers that we observe in a small percentage of the population provide a glimpse into some of the amazing human potential that lays dormant in all of us.

I must stress potential because, as noted, only a very few have extraordinary abilities, and usually only one special ability exists in an individual. Perhaps some day, special abilities will become more commonplace. However, it may require many millennia of spiritual evolution of the human species before this can happen.

Why is it that we cannot access and express the full range of special abilities that we know to exist, as well as a host of others of which we are not yet aware? I believe that the human race is not spiritually ready for the awesome power that lies latent within it. Humanity’s potential power will gradually unfold and express in accord with its level of spiritual progression and evolution. We must as a species demonstrate that we understand the responsibility that comes with knowledge and special abilities. That is, we are expected to use these only for good and to unselfishly help, heal, inspire, and uplift our fellow human beings.

We can begin to see the danger in jumping ahead too quickly. Man had progressed in his scientific knowledge and ability to learn how to split the atom. However, he was not ready spiritually to use its power only for good. Instead, one of the first applications of that knowledge was to make an atomic bomb.

Although extraordinary and special abilities are seen to manifest physically, I believe that they are actually powers of the spirit that are being expressed through the body. The privilege of such power must be earned. In order for uncommon abilities to be expressed, one must be at a level of spiritual awareness and evolution that is sufficient to assure that they will be used responsibly.

My Companion and Me

From WallpaperUp.com

From WallpaperUp.com

“Are you feeling lost and downhearted,” he asked? “Come, take my hand and follow me. We have been strangers for too long. Do not be afraid.”

“Where are we going,” I asked?

“We are going where you have always yearned to go. Come I will show you the way. The path we will walk together can be difficult, but the destination well worth it.”

“This is too hard. I don’t think I can do it.“

“Of course you can! Focus on the light up ahead. It will give you strength. Don’t you see how it gets brighter the farther we go?”

“I didn’t realize how we were emerging from such a dark mist. As I look back down the path from where we came, I see that it fades into total darkness. I did not know how lost and confused I was back there.”

“We still have a long way to go, but I will be with you every step of the way. Just don’t let go of my hand or lose sight of the expanding light ahead.”

“As we continue to progress, I feel closer and closer to you.”

“I have always been a part of you waiting for you to take notice. Now that you have acknowledged me, we can continue the journey truly as one—fearless—with great strength and conviction.”

                                                                             *************
Jesus taught us that the Kingdom of God is within each of us, and it is realized through love, compassion, and forgiveness. Become one with your own divinity and show it to the world!

The Spiritual Mind

The Spiritual Mind Copyright by  Blair Atherton 2014

The Spiritual Mind Copyright by Blair Atherton 2014

I believe that the mind has two aspects or qualities: spiritual and intellectual. We are all familiar with the intellectual mind. It is responsible for processes like reasoning, judgment, analysis, calculation, ego, desire, and other mundane faculties. I envision the spiritual mind engaging in activities such as creativity, intuition, and psychic abilities.

The two aspects of mind likely operate on different planes of consciousness. The intellectual mind (IM) focuses on the physical world, while the spiritual mind (SM) searches for meaning, and communion with God.

Worldly knowledge is acquired by the IM through study and investigation of measurable quantities. Spiritual knowledge can be obtained to some extent by study also. However, oftentimes, the most profound spiritual knowledge comes to us without active searching or any effort on our part except having an open mind and a desire to come closer to God.

Sometimes spiritual knowledge defies logic and ordinary understanding. It can come to us with an inexplicable certainty in its truth, while at the same time we do not how we know it or from where the knowledge came to us.

The two minds look at the world and existence quite differently. The IM primarily sees the here and now, while the SM senses there is much more to existence. Dominance by the IM may lead one to deny or overlook their spiritual nature. It may also lead one to question the existence of God or a Creator, as the IM favors (perhaps requires) measurement and proof over intuition and faith.

In contrast, the SM cares little about the material aspects of existence favoring instead expression of itself through inspiration, creativity, psychic connection, and emotions such as love and compassion.

How do the two aspects of mind reconcile with one another? The IM is essential in order for us to function in the material world. The SM brings meaning to the activities of the IM. The spiritual qualities of mentality moderate and guide the IM toward applications of its faculties that will be spiritually fulfilling and serve the greater good. I believe that a key element of our spiritual progression and evolution is for the SM to achieve dominance over the IM.