Sunday, May 31, 2015

How to Achieve Permanent Happiness

Sometimes I feel like a marathon runner who forgot where the finish line is. It's like blackberries growing on the side of the course distracted me and I decided to veer off to pick them. But then my hands got sticky so I had to find some water to wash them off with. And then while looking for water, I found a lake and decided to take a swim, and by that point the finish line is a distant memory.

Doesn't life seem like that sometimes? To paraphrase Elbert Hubbard, one damn thing after another? I keep chasing after one thing or another thinking it will make me happy, but it never does. Or I'm happy for about five seconds and then it's on to the next thing. I am on a search for infinite happiness. I've been sampling the goodies Earth has to offer and infinite, unlimited happiness ain't here because by definition everything on Earth is limited and finite. This is why people turn to spirituality in the first place, we are craving mind-blowing bliss of a permanent nature. How do I find that? Especially when there are so many cool things to savor? It's easy to get distracted, I mean, just look at those blackberry bushes.

I don't know why this pictures says, "permanent happiness" to me, but it does.

Some people say the way to no longer get distracted by the world is to withdraw from it. Go to a cave or a cabin in the woods with no wifi or cellphone service. Meditate all day long and immerse yourself in thinking about God. I don't know about you, but after a week of that, I start to go stir crazy. In the words of my father, I become “bored out of my gourd.” There are so many cool things in the world! I don't want to shut myself off from everything and everyone. Doesn't sound very fun to me.

This dovetails into the post I wrote last week about the the reincarnation merry-go-round. I said the only way to get off the ride is by making everything the divine, because that way we're like Teflon – nothing sticks to us. We don't incur the consequences of any actions negative or positive. For instance, when I eat an apple think, “I am eating God in the form of this apple.” That way I'm savoring all that the world has to offer, but I'm not getting caught up in it. I'm not getting distracted or swerving off course from my ultimate goal of merger with the divine.

This concept is what I believe the Bible verse means in 1 John 2:15: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.” What we're striving for is remembering what the true form and the true source of everything is.

I can count the times I've been able to accomplish this task on one hand. It's hard, yo, but when I've been able to feel into it, to really know the apple I'm eating is God in the form of this apple, wow. Incredible. Amazing. What I love about this practice is instead of making bliss and enlightenment a future goal, something that happens to me down the road, I'm doing it now. I'm immersing myself in the cosmic ocean and swimming in it this very moment.

To recap, making everything the divine, or the divine in the form of an object, not only stops the reincarnation cycle, but also ensures I'm still on the path toward my goal AND experiencing bliss along the way. I'd call that a win.

I dream of a world where we're all able to experience bliss. A world where we're able to feel everything comes from the divine and is the divine. A world where we make enlightenment a current goal. A world where we chase after what will make us happy permanently.

Another world is not only possible, it's probable.

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