by G. I. Libman
What is happiness and how do we ‘get’ it? Is happiness more than just positive thinking? Does happiness come from getting what we want? Why does it seem that when we don’t get what we want, it causes us to be unhappy? Could happiness be based on what we think, and believe? If so, are we being controlled by a belief system that may be giving us faulty input? Is it possible to be happy and if yes, is it possible to stay happy no matter what? Will happiness always seem to come and go?
Just what is the source of unhappiness? Eastern philosophy says that our wanting, of anything is the cause of unhappiness (so, if you are unhappy and want to be happy, then, you may be even more unhappy). Yet, we do want, it is a condition of life we constantly find ourselves in. In order to be happy, we want situations to be different, people to be different, our experience to be different, and so it goes, on and on, some would say for lifetimes. For me, this one’s more than long enough to endure this condition of fleeting happiness. If happiness is based on what we believe, and we are believing something faulty, can we still find happiness beyond these beliefs? And if we can, how do we keep it once we’ve got it?
Pondering these sorts of questions is how I spend most of my time. In the course of my life, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a few remarkable people. I had the opportunity to interview one of them here in Brisbane. I was fortunate enough to be able to ask any questions I wanted, about the predicament we seem to find ourselves in. The answers were presented in a down to earth, practical and matter of fact way, with a combination of Western and Eastern approaches. It was like having a personal trainer showing me how to live being the self-actualized person we want to be and think we aren’t. The interview sessions were enjoyable, invigorating and insightful. We talked about the mind and how our beliefs affect our lives and how to override negative beliefs. The following is an excerpt from our discussion on happiness, and seeing beyond our beliefs.
The source of happiness is within us. Happiness is our natural condition. We don’t ‘get’ happiness out of life, we are the source of it. We get to put happiness into life. Unhappiness is a learnt thing, it’s a schema (belief structure). It’s stored in our memory and presents as a convincing reality when triggered. It isn’t inherent. The happiness we think we get from the change of outside circumstances is a learnt schema. It is just a substitute for innate happiness. Any sense of lack is a creation in your mind. It is real in the sense that we’ve created it. It’s a reality with images and emotions that our mind’s produced. It has an effect on you emotionally, physically, and biochemically. Unhappiness is belief based, happiness isn’t. We can be happy even though we have beliefs that make us unhappy.
The source of happiness is in our core sense of self. Connecting to that part of ourself is to have happiness always available. Even if we feel unhappy for any reason, that happiness is still there. Our core sense of self contains all the things that we want in life such as peace of mind, contentedness, and the simple joy of living. These are all characteristics we were born with, which give us true happiness, which is independent of beliefs. Our personality (beliefs and behavour) in many cases, over-rides our natural way of being. It’s all based on what we have learnt, of what’s acceptable, starting from childhood. We are all playing out a role, to enable us to survive and get what we want. As we grow up, we learn a lot of different views about how the world is, and our place in it. These become our belief structures. The source of disharmony and discontent is in those belief structures. We can know our true self even when negative and faulty belief structures are activated.
Our core sense of self is goodwill, felt first as harmony, contentedness and enjoyment. Choose to get in touch with this will and want to feel and live from this. Then look at what it means to stay in touch with this sense when you think and act. So that whatever you do, whether it’s thinking or behaving or feeling, you ensure that it is consistent with that part of you that genuinely feels good. Bringing your attention to your core sense of self feels right and good. Let that ‘will’ affect you, and it gives you happiness (love). Your core self is this harmonic experience, a beautiful grounded euphoric sense of life.
This experience of harmony and enjoyment also enables healing. Facing the unhappiness that comes from the belief structures while keeping in touch with the innate sense of self, describes the process of healing. Don’t identify with the belief structures, or unhappiness as being the real you. Experiencing life fully in goodwill without believing the feelings and thoughts, allows the unhappiness to resolve (sooner or later depending on your …. willingness). In this sense the source of happiness is within. Happiness will seem to come and go, as long as we think it comes from outside situations changing to what we like or want. Being willing to express our good will, brings happiness from within.
Everyone wants to know themselves, the essence of which is goodwill. This is the true wanting. That’s what life is about and for. Everything else is misleading or a substitute. Knowing yourself becomes your reference point to re-structure your beliefs. That gives meaning to your life. But don’t get lost in the perceptions as you examine them. A major indicator when you are following a belief that is not an expression of your goodwill – it doesn’t feel genuinely good. Your existence without your beliefs about it, is the source of everything that is good, free, authentic, giving a sense of belonging, certainty, caring, and joy. Everything else is a concept or construct, a creation of your conscious mind which can be made consistent with your true sense of self.
By the choices you make you can be sure to create a personal reality that is consistent with your true nature. If you believe a negative concept, it doesn’t feel good. You’ll come to tell the difference so clearly. When you create from your true nature it’s life enhancing. If your concepts don’t match your nature, a part of you will naturally want to let go of it. When a concept has a negative effect on us, it’s a construct of the human mind. We then feel this negative affect (like unhappiness) and mistakenly think that there’s something wrong with us that we have to fix, in order to be happy.
We as humans are here to know who and what we are, and through our mind and actions to manifest this in form. We don’t have to live by our beliefs and be subjected to them. We can experience life differently, through our well being and good intent. This will then flow out to interactions with others. When you change yourself, you change the world. If you feel good, the world is ok, that’s how it is for you. There’s your world. We can then take that sense of feeling great and happy with us wherever we go, affecting other people as well. The source of happiness is in our core self, not outside it. Expressing happiness (simple joy) reinforces this way of being in the world.
We are here to celebrate life, to live from our true self, and express it into reality. To know that your innate good will IS YOU and live from that, is to live fully and happily. Our conscious mind is there for us to express our true nature, that’s how we come into full consciousness
From our discussion, it all sounded so EASY. I could see that this is a workable way of living in the world, from our authentic self, without fanfare, without frills. It’s just the way we really are, and it’s innate in all of us. We don’t have to chase it, find it, do any ‘practices’ to get it. It’s a possibility, and doesn’t take years of meditation to acquire it. This isn’t a technique, it’s practical, concrete, down to earth, not a group of people set apart, following a leader. This is living in an extra-ordinary, normal and undistorted way.
This is true happiness that lasts forever!
Gail I. Libman is a navel gazer, writer, and Oneness Blessing Giver in Brisbane
Dr. Warren R. Stanton runs a Well Being Process in Brisbane. This involves using Willing Meditation to explore our true self.