Just what is happiness, anyway? I’m sitting here in the computer room of my resplendent seaside home on the Big Island’s east side, in my front row seat to the sunrise, with my loyal doberman friend Malu. Dynamic winds mellifluously caress my welcoming skin, the swaying coconut fronds, and enchanted chimes; majestic waves rhythmically break dance upon the ocean floor, before ardently crashing into the lava-crusted cliffside; intoxicating fragrances of exora, gardenia, and jasmine cast alluring spells upon the warm, moistened air; and my heart and spirit stream with supernal choruses of conscious infinite light. Is this happiness? Could any one of these quantum glimmers, while being experienced, be considered happiness? If I was unaware of them all, while anxiously preoccupied with paying bills, completing future tasks, or worrying about what my readers will think of this post; would they still represent happiness? So is happiness based on positive emotions experienced in response to our awareness of something? Or could it be the inner awareness itself? What do you think?
If we accept that happiness as “a state of well being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy,” or “emotions experienced when in a state of well being;” then would this state or these emotions be based on something occurring, or our awareness of something? Is well being safety, security, health, self awareness, self acceptance, self realization, living in alignment with our true nature, or something else? How long does a state last? Is it very brief, brief, somewaht enduring, enduring, or continuous? Do you really know when you are happy, or do you associate it with temporal or sensual pleasures like food, video games, being liked, surfing the net, steamy sex, dancing, financial abundance, or worldly success? Does everyone have a different definition and measure of happiness? What is yours? How will you know if you have attained it if you do not know what it is? For me, happiness is the natural sensation of love, joy, and peace experienced when directly connected with universal consciousness; and when my outer human being is in alignment with my inner true nature; when my earth song harmonizes my spirit. I think of happiness more as a continuous state of being than a temporary emotional response to situations bringing gratification, pleasure, or satisfaction.
I believe that, once attained, happiness is a way of life, regardless of what happens within it (the life). I believe that trauma, loss, and suffering are part of happiness. I believe this because I have experienced it. For example, I have died twice already; once at the hands and feet of eight drunk, tweeking rednecks, and once from the impotence of a drunk driver. I flatlined and was revived both times. Although painful, I felt even happier to be alive than ever before, learned compassion and forgiveness at deeper levels, learned that I was really the person I believed myself to be, and learned how completely we create our own realities, and how completely we can re-create them.
So does this suggest that happiness exists at different levels, paralleling our levels of self awareness, self acceptance, and spiritual development? If so, are there different things that bring happiness depending upon our attained view (how awakened we are to universal consciousness)? Are there things that would help no matter which level we were at, and others that would be level-specific, or prerequisites to higher forms of happiness? There are some hurdles that must be successfully overcome to attain higher forms of happiness. These include negative emotions, ego identification, and sensory gratification. I will address these in upcoming posts.
What are your thoughts on this matter? What brings you happiness? Has your understanding of happiness changed as you have grown and developed?