Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So Have I Heard....Nine Parts

"1. The genuinely happy person is a rare cat indeed. Whether you choose to call it "quiet desperation" or to describe it in other terms, the typical state for most people is, at minimum, a murmuring dissatisfaction with the human condition. Except for rare interludes, we typically want things to be different from what they are. How could happiness be remotely possible in this case?

"2. This quiet unhappiness and rejection of actual conditions—it's born out of mistaken assumptions about the nature of things, and especially mistakes about the nature of who we are. Unhappiness is wrong understanding. There are no other causes.

"3. Our dissatisfaction arises because we are separated and distant from our own experience. In our self-imposed exile, in our detached watchfulness, we are starved for absorbed connection to things as they really are. Rarely are we genuinely "in the flow." Instead, we watch and study and pass judgment.

"4. Our unhappiness is always self imposed. It comes from no other source. There is no "other" that causes our unhappiness.

"5. Evidence of the antidote is available to us. No man or woman is so morose that he or she hasn't glimpsed genuine contentment and happiness. Alas, it scares us and we'd rather not look closely at it.

"6. Happiness occurs when we are absorbed and fully invested in our own experience, without detachment and separation. Even bare examination of our moments of happiness tells us this.

"7. A leap of faith and trust is necessary for happiness, in which our self-imposed exile is surrendered. Fear must be risked. You must leap before you learn that you're already floating.

"8. There is no "self" standing behind and creating our experience of the world. Instead, "self" arises out of that experience, out of the phenomena of the world. Self does not create your experience. Self IS your experience.

"9. The "self" that is commonly described is a false self, and is the principle cause of unhappiness. True self is the full, fearless merging with our own experience. True self is realized when we "fully embrace all the joys and sorrow that life offers" (Joseph Campbell), and no longer watch from a distance."

(I said to myself, walking away, "Physician, heal thyself.")

1 comment:

Jerri said...

Fully embracing all the joys and sorrows is a tall order. A good goal, to be sure, but a tall order.