As long as our
self-identification centers around what we call the real
world, no profound happiness is possible. Happiness requires
give up a worldly orientation--not worldly things but a worldly
attachment to things. We have to surrender all
outcomes. We have
to live here but appreciate the joke.
In order to become happy, we must become bigger than the
self. . . . Just as children play games in which they pretend to be
and thus pave the way for adulthood, so you and I must pretend to be
angelic, noble, enlightened spirits just visiting here,
in order to actually become them.
on happiness run the gamut of topics, from family to work to
nature to success to relationships to food, and on and on
and on. "In order to be happy, we must
__________." Marianne puts a different spin on
the idea here, and focuses on something that's very
important to our lives--the idea of identity and its
connection to the world as opposed to the spirit. We
identify with sports teams that we like, with clothing
brands that we like, with universities that we attended,
with music groups that we enjoy listening to, with groups of
people (religion, politics) who believe in things that are
similar to the things that we believe.
these are all things of this world--they're not necessarily
the things that are the most important to us. And I
think that Marianne has hit a very important nail on the
head--we allow ourselves to get caught up in the things of
the world rather than things of the spirit.
We worry about the clothes that we're wearing (and that
other people see us in) rather than the compassion that
We worry about the car we drive rather than the love we
focus on what other people think of us rather than how we
treat other people.
And doing these things keeps us from being as happy as we
world is fleeting. We're here for only a few
years. Identifying with the world that we'll be
leaving anyway rather than our eternal selves keeps us
tethered to the material rather than the spiritual, to the
fleeting rather than the eternal. Our happiness
depends upon us realizing that we are truly more than just
materialistic creatures, and then acting upon that
It's for our own good, and the good of the world.
Why is it so easy to identify with the materialistic world
in which we live?
How do we forget about our spiritual natures? What
keeps us from focusing on them?
How might focusing on our own spirits help us to become
We may think that
happiness is a result of happy circumstances. A more mature view of happiness is that it is a by-product of
sharing our good and serving others. It is a sense of doing a
job well, honest communication with another, visiting someone
who may be ill, or sharing a sense of humor. Happiness is a
spiritual principle that we can lay hold of and use, regardless
of outer conditions or circumstances.
It isn't necessary to wait for circumstances to bring happiness.
When we try to give it to others, it returns to us multiplied.
can make our own joy, and let it act upon circumstances! One
of the great paradoxes of truth is that a happy heart draws to
itself what it needs for happiness.
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