Each of us wants happiness in our life. But a vast majority of people in the world live on lower consciousness levels characterized by trying to find enough security, pleasing sensations, ego rushes, prestige, money, power, and status. This endless struggle yields lives of constant resentment, worry, suspicion, anger, jealously, shyness, and fear. Everything people tell themselves they must do to be happy ends up yielding more frustration than joy. Addictions (or emotion-backed demand) bring fear of non-fulfillment; jealously that someone may steal our source of fulfillment; anger when someone frustrates us; boredom if we’re making no progress toward satisfying our addictions; worry if we can’t see a steady supply; and unhappiness when the outside world does not supply us with whatever it is we are addicted to.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”– Mahatma Gandhi
Nature of Life
Since the nature of life is such that we win some and lose some, an addicted person has no chance of living a happy, loving, peaceful, conscious, wise, and effective life. Addictive programming is not necessary to find and enjoy the life which we prefer. The ways we were taught to be happy can’t possibly work. Unless we see this point clearly, we cannot progress to higher consciousness. Here’s why.
Most of us assume that our desires (backed up by our emotional feelings) are the true guides to doing the things that will make us happy. But no one has yet found happiness by using emotion-backed desire as guides. Our wants and desires are so seductive…. They imitate as “needs” that must be satisfied so we can be happy at last. They lead us from one illusion of happiness to another.
I will be Happy If…
Some of us tell ourselves, “If I can just get to be president of this corporation, I will be happy.” But have you ever seen a really happy president? We constantly tell ourselves such things as “If I could just go back to school and acquire more knowledge—perhaps get a Master’s degree—then I will be more happy.” But are people with Master’s degrees or Ph.D.’s any happier than the rest of us?
It is beautiful to acquire knowledge but it is misleading to expect it to bring us peace, love, and happiness. We tell ourselves, “If I could only find the right person to love, then I would be happy.” So we search for someone who our addictions tell us is the right person—and we experience some pleasurable moments. But since we don’t know how to love, the relationship gradually deteriorates. Then we decide that we didn’t have the right person after all! As we grow into higher consciousness, we discover that it is more important to be the right person than to find the right person.
We must deeply understand why all of our negative emotions are misleading to effective action in life situations. Our negative emotions are simply the result of an extensive pattern of scars and wounds that we have experienced. The present programming of our emotions makes us perceive other people and the conditions of the world around us as threats—potentially dangerous to our well-being. We then respond with adrenalin, faster heartbeat, increased blood sugar, and other jungle survival responses that prepare us for fight or flight. We are trapped in our ways of perceiving the world around us.
But no one or no situation needs to be felt like an emotional threat or danger when we see things with the clearer perception of higher consciousness. Think of the most threatening situation you have felt in the last day or two. Are you about to lose your job? Is the person for whom you feel the most love paying more attention to someone else than to you? Do you have unpaid bills that you cannot take care of? Do you have a pain that could be a serious disease?
Now, these problems either have solutions—or they don’t. If you can do something here and now about them, then do it—even if it’s just a first step. If you can’t do anything about a problem here and now, then why make yourself uncomfortable and drain your energy by worrying about it? Worry, anxiety or other unpleasant emotions are absolutely unnecessary—and simply lower your insight and the effectiveness of your actions.
If you do not hassle yourself emotionally when the outside world does not conform with your inside programming (your desire, expectations, demands, or models of how the world should treat you), you will have so much energy that you probably will sleep fifty percent less. You will be joyous and loving, and really appreciate each moment of your life—no matter what’s happening in the world of people and situations outside you.
Where and how we did get this emotional programming? Almost all of it was acquired in the first few years of life. For example, when we were very young, we had the experience of mother forcefully taking a perfume bottle from our tiny fingers and at the same time sending out bad vibrations based on her desire not to have her perfume bottle broken. We cried. Through being painfully pushed around, dominated, told what to do, and controlled when we were babies, we developed our emotionally intense security, sensation, and power programs. Many of our emotion-backed programs came from repeated moral directives or statements about how things ”should” be. We developed a “self” consciousness with robot-like emotional responses to protect the “survival” of this separate self.
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” -Thich Nhat Hanh
We become emotionally programmed to feel that we must have the power to control and manipulate people in order to be happy. As we reach physical maturity and our biocomputer (or brain) is able to function more perceptively, we have all the power we need. But our biocomputer is still programmed to compensate for the power deficiency we experienced when we were infants and young children. We now need to learn to flow with the people and things around us. Power addiction keeps us from loving people because we perceive them as objects that may threaten our power or prestige. If we want to love and be loved, we can’t be addicted to power.
Our power addiction is only one example of the happiness-destroying programming that we put into our biocomputers when we were too young to perceive the realities of the world in which we lived. Consciously the only thing we need to find happiness in life is to perceive clearly who we are and exactly what are the real conditions, here and now, of our lives. To achieve this clear perception of ourselves and the world around us takes constant inner work. And this means developing the habit of emotionally accepting whatever is here and now in our lives. Remember, only an emotionally calm biocomputer can see clearly and wisely, and come up with effective ways to interact with people and situations. (Inspired from ‘Handbook to Higher Consciousness’ by Ken Keyes Jr.)