Monday, July 18, 2016

Some thoughts on happiness, part II

Reclining Buddha,  Wat Pho, Bangkok
Photograph by the author

Today I'll speak  directly from my own experience on the subject of happiness in some detail.

The sorrow of God is the sweetest and most beautiful substance in the universe. It is not unrelated to Rumi’s “musk,” which can actually manifest as an extraordinary sweet smell (...something like opium, for those of you who know what that smells like) but of an even higher nature and quality, since the sweetness manifests in the organic nature of sensation, not just through the nostrils. 

The sorrow of God is a direct emanation of the love of God. We might roughly formulate it by saying God’s Sorrow + God’s Love = God’s Mercy. The point is that one cannot know real "happiness" until one encounters the organic and emotive experience of this substance, which flows into our Being. While it isn't different, fundamentally, from the "higher energy" that Madame de Salzmann asks us to work to receive, it is of an unusually high order and only long preparation with the initial stages of the energy can prepare us to receive God's sorrow on a more regular basis. 

Even then, it is such a privilege to receive it that it only comes through Grace as God chooses to dispense it. Too much would harm us. That is sure.

 God’s sorrow engenders true happiness within Being

Just how, you might ask, does it do that?

The sorrow offers us material support in our effort to develop and purify our souls so that they're worthy of heaven. Because we should only and forever want strictly and exclusively to develop and purify our souls in this way, if we become rightly aligned (which does not mean we are “developed” or even “good”) we unerringly and organically sense the need to develop in just such a manner. 

Mankind ought to permanently have an organic sensation of wish in this direction—but we don’t. If we did, we would perhaps know true happiness.

True happiness consists of real humility; of an actual sense of who we are and our deficiencies — as opposed to the ridiculous fantasies we all live through for most of our lives. True happiness brings a certain knowledge that heaven exists, and that we are candidates to enter it — but only if we participate in God's true work. 

So true happiness always consists of a striving to reunite with God. 

We can have an untold number of emotional sensations such as love for foods, activities, people, and so on, all of which make us “happy" — or, at least, they do something to us which we "like." (What it likes.) There's nothing wrong with this; and indeed, a life without all of those sensations would be grim indeed. There is nothing wrong with being joyful. That, too, ought to be shared when the energy for it is correct — and even that is a very specific thing when it comes to inner work. 

But all of these emotional sensations are connected to life rather than connected to our work for, and on behalf of, God; and only a real taste of God will awaken us to the nature of God and the true happiness that can only come from an internal, and eternal, effort to reach for heaven.

Real happiness only comes from within the soul and is a gift from God; and real happiness does not resemble what we generally understand as happiness. 

It's quite different.

More on this tomorrow.


Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.

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