The Key to True Happiness

Michael_Whitty

 

 

 

 

Michael Whitty (1920)

In its last analysis the desire for happiness is an expression of the force of the Divine Spirit urging man on his evolutionary course. It is the cause of growth, the root of desire.

Happiness may be defined as that which gives pleasure and the ideal desired may therefore be of the senses, the emotional nature, the mind or the spirit, according to the development of the individual from the mere animal to the highly spiritual man. Such ideals of happiness are simple at first but become ever more complex. From the gratification of passion, appetite, or the acquisition of wealth, which are purely selfish ideals, to love and possession of others, to achievement of honor and fame, and even to a comparatively unselfish devotion to others, the pur­ suit of happiness goes ever on, a universal search for greater expression in which practically the whole of humanity is en­ gaged. Yet, the only way to true happiness is not to seek it.

This is the Great Secret which should be no secret as every great Teacher and every great religious system has proclaimed it to the multitude. It is the one and only key which will unlock the door to bliss, which is the apotheosis of happiness. “He who loses his life shall find it.” He who desires nothing for himself, who seeks only to do the Will of the Father is the one who will know true happiness.

Let anyone look back over his life; if he is honest with him­ self he will find that all his desires hare been for self, that when they have been attained the pleasure has been but fleeting, with no permanent happiness therein. He will have had periods of happiness, some more, some less, but never unmixed, un­ alloyed with some disturbing element. Happiness is but com The Key to True Happiness

In its last analysis the desire for happiness is an expression of the force of the Divine Spirit urging man on his evolutionary course. It is the cause of growth, the root of desire.

Happiness may be defined as that which gives pleasure and the ideal desired may therefore be of the senses, the emotional nature, the mind or the spirit, according to the development of the individual from the mere animal to the highly spiritual man. Such ideals of happiness are simple at first but become ever more complex. From the gratification of passion, appetite, or the acquisition of wealth, which arejpurely selfish ideals, to love and possession of others, to achievement of honor and fame, and even to a comparatively unselfish devotion to others, the pur­ suit of happiness goes ever on, a universal search for greater expression in which practically the whole of humanity is en­ gaged. Yet, the only way to true happiness is not to seek it.

This is the Great Secret which should be no secret as every great Teacher and every great religious system has proclaimed it to the multitude. It is the one and only key which will unlock the door to bliss, which is the apotheosis of happiness. “He who loses his life shall find it.” He who desires nothing for himself, who seeks only to do the Will of the Father is the one who will know true happiness.

Let anyone look back over his life; if he is honest with himself he will find that all his desires hare been for self, that when they have been attained the pleasure has been but fleeting, with no permanent happiness therein. He will have had peri­ ods of happiness, some more, some less, but never unmixed, unalloyed with some disturbing element. Happiness is but com­ parative and is but one pole of a pair of opposites between which man is ever oscillating, the other being unhappiness.. In seeking happiness for ourselves we are trying to find something which has no real existence. We may be comparatively happy or unhappy, but real unmirfed happiness for us is impossible. It can only be achieved hy forgetting ourselves, by desiring nothing for ourselves. In ‘personal desire there is only disappointment In impersonal desire is the only happiness.

It is only when this tnith is realized that we shall ever approach true happiness, a”nd before it can be realized it is necessary to acquire knowledge of what we are, our relations to th§ Source of all life, and an understanding of spiritual law. Man is man because he has achieved self cohsciousness, the reali­ zation of himself as soul, not body, and later still another and final realization that he is neither body nor soul but a facet of the All Conscious. Then and then only can he enter the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
Those who cannot grasp such an ideal as this must continue to pursue the Will o’ the Wisp of happiness, they must go on through trials, disappointments, remorse, until they do; until, purified by the fire of desire and the water of suffering, they find the point of reconciliation between Animal and God, Spirit and Matter, Good and Evil, which is detachment, dispassion, desirelessness.

This is the great lesson which the world’s scriptures all teach us: ‘’Sell all that thou hast and distribute unto the poor and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come follow me” said the Nazarene to ‘a certain ruler.’

This also was the great message of the Buddha for the cessa­ tion’of all sorrow; and in “The voice of the Silence,” which gives gems of His teaching, it is written: “Be like the ocean which receives all streams and rivers. The ocean’s mighty calm remains unmoved, it feels them not. Restrain by thy divine thy lower self, restrain by the eternal the divine. For it is written

„Teach to eschew all causes, the ripple of effect, as the great tidal wave, thou shalt let run its course.”

And one of the qualifications necessary to be acquired by him who would reach Nirvanic bliss, is stated to be “Vairagya Indifference to pleasure and to pain, illusion conquered, trutn alone perceived.”

Again, in “Light on the Path” this attitude of dispassion is practically the theme of the whole’book.

“Before the eyes can see they must be incapable of tears. Before the ear can hear it must have lost its sensitiveness. Be­ fore the voice can speak it must have lost the power to wound,” etc., and again,

“Kill out ambition
Kill out desire of life Kill out desire of comfort“

Work as those work who are ambitious. Respect life as those do who desire it. Be happy as those are who live for happi­ ness.” Paradoxes which are easily understood if the words for oneself be added. Then, in the Bhagavad Gita, the great Hindoo scripture, the teaching is strongly emphasized.

“Perform action, dwelling in union with the Divine, re­ nouncing attachments, and balanced evenly in success and failure; equilibrium is called Yoga.”

“He who on every side is without attachment whatever hap of fair or foul, who neither likes nor dislikes, of such an one the understanding is well poised.”

“But the disciplined self moving among sense objects with senses free from attraction or repulsion, mastered by the Self, goeth to Peace.”

“Therefore without attachment, constantly perform action which is duty, for performing action without attachment man verily reacheth the Supreme.”

And is not this also the great lesson of Christianity taught in the story of the Crucifixion and Resurrection? Does not the Christ within all of us have to suffer on the cross of matter and die to the world so that we can rise again and sit at the right hand of the Father?

Selfish desires and emotions are the root of suffering and . unhappiness. Some call it love, but it is a love which engenders the jealousy of possession, anger and hatred. The less selfish love becomes the greater the happiness. Unselfish love, plus understanding, will make for true happiness which is neither happiness nor unhappiness, but tranquility, serenity, wisdom.

This is the keynote-Wisdom. In its application to our daily lives we will be inspired by great ideals, we will be always optimistic because we shall know that no matter what the condi­ tions may be everything is really working out for good. Dis­ regarding the results of actions done with unselfish motive we shall have no anxiety. We shall have courage to face trouble calmly knowing it to be but evanescent. We shall have patience in suffering and pain knowing that we have earned it. Living in the spirit, we realize the personality to be but a little thing and so, understanding, we shall bear no resentment, feel no hatred, but accept what comes to us with indifference. Fear will be destroyed. We can face all things bravely, the same in cold or heat, poverty or wealth, health or sickness. Helpful, cheerful, strong, wise, serene, unselfish.

So, not seeking, we shall find—Peace.

(AZOTH-Magazine 1920)