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by David Truman

Everybody wants to be happy. But we can't sleep our way to the top -- we've got to wake up.
Happiness is spiritual
The pursuit of happiness -- in all the ways we do that -- is the pursuit of spirit realization. Even if your entire search for happiness has come down to a search for the ultimate ice cream cone. Maybe you finally get a triple-decker one with lots of sprinkles. You take your first bite, and it's SO good, you feel a thrill, a surge of ecstasy. If eating an ice cream cone makes you feel ecstatic, it's the feeling, not the confection, that makes you happy -- and a feeling is a SPIRITUAL phenomenon.
Happiness is living, because we live for the spirit. We live to feel the ecstasy of spiritual upliftment in our veins. It don't get no better than THAT! It doesn't matter what forms of happiness we pursue. It only matters whether we do indeed find LASTING HAPPINESS.
Perversity is ego's reaction against happiness
But God help us when we abandon our search for true, lasting happiness, or we reject happiness when it arrives. Sure, we have free will, but we are expressing egotistical perversity, not sacred freedom, when we react directly against our own happiness. TOP
Perversity is that lying voice in our head that says, "I do not want lasting happiness." Or, "There is no such thing as lasting happiness." Perversity is the false belief that reality doesn't matter. Perversity is settling for forms of fleeting happiness, as if we don't deserve lasting happiness, or can't attain it. Perversity is the tendency to search for happiness, and when we find it, to ditch it and ruin it, and then to do it all over again. In these instances, whatever we just threw away is what we're about to be pursuing tomorrow, maybe in some other way, because WE MISS IT.
Now, how intelligent is it to search for happiness, and then react against the happiness we find by throwing it away? How smart is it to sabotage our hope for lasting happiness by pursuing only fleeting forms of pleasure? When you see how perverse the ordinary egocentric attitude toward happiness is, you see why God SEEMS so cruel, and why people blame Him for creating a world in which happiness SEEMS so hard to find. Happiness isn't hard to find at all. The reality is, people experience great spiritual things frequently -- sometimes when they're not even in a good mood.
There ought to be a bumper sticker that says, "Good happens." It's true! Into every life, a little light must fall. We're going to have to deal with that fact, and the WAY we deal with it determines how hard it is for us to have and keep happiness in our life. The spirit wants us to feed our joy, fan it, and hold it close to our breast. But if we push it away, not pursue it, not enjoy it, not fan it, then God is going to seem real cruel. And happiness is going to be real hard to find again, and even harder to keep.
God can't even GIVE it away
In one episode of the Candid Camera show, they set up this basket full of money, with a little sign reading "Free dollars" -- right there in a store along with all the other merchandise, the jogging suits and everything else. Amazingly, person after person approached that basket, looked at it, and then walked by. No one took any! TOP
Taking free money is one thing, but God's gifts are for us to keep. Ego-directed life is all about walking away from God's gift of happiness. When we pass happiness by, we have long faces, we doubt God, we're isolated from each other. All because we don't do the right thing, the honest thing, about being happy.
Relationships can't survive where happiness isn't embraced. A relationship is a series of events, like little spikes on an oscilloscope. People do something, one way or another, about each one of those events. When we experience joy in a relationship, we either feed it or we bleed it; we run toward it or away from it. The fate of any relationship hangs on those decisions, because if we kill the joy, we destroy the glue that holds the relationship together.
Unhappiness is a spiritual problem
It's a spiritual problem to work against happiness. It's a spiritual problem when people don't do the right thing as the spirit moves, when joy is at hand. It's a spiritual problem when people starve their happiness to death, and then go off on another fruitless search for happiness. TOP
Whose problem is that? Every spirit loves happiness. Every spirit craves happiness in its absence. It's the EGO'S problem to be against happiness. And it's our problem to vote for the ego and thereby align ourselves against happiness. If it wasn't for that choice, we wouldn't have the problem called not being happy. All we would have is happy, and then fan the fire, and then kerosene and gasoline, and then a big merry blaze, and then super happy.
When we have the spiritual problem of being anti-happy, life becomes an ordeal of trying to pass time while being unhappy, and trying to figure out ways to dilute or refute the shame of being anti-happy. That's a hard job; it takes all the rationalization and justification we can create -- and it always fails, because, spiritually, nobody feels great about any of that. We don't make being anti-happy any better just because we indulge in a strategy of trying to justify it.
The only thing that works is to turn around and start living our life in a way that supports being happy. We will do that when we realize that, in the end, our life is a search for happiness, because our spirit will NEVER give up on it. The heart and soul never stop wanting to be happy.

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And where's the limit? As far as we can tell, there is no limit. The limit is how much happy can you stand! You get to decide what the limit is on that. And all I'm saying about that is, that's your decision, and that's an important decision. If the limit is a smirk and then I'm over, why then that's it. If it's a crooked smile, why then that's what it is. If it's a toothy grin, hey life could be worse. If it's ecstasy, well great, then you've got that. What's enough for you?
The importance of mind control
You see, it really is up to you, because your relationship to life is all in the mind. Here's an example: You're at a family reunion. You haven't seen your brothers and sisters in years, and you're really happy you came -- right up until there's a lull in the activities. Then you sit down by yourself, just minding your business and letting your mind wander, and all at once you notice one of your relatives staring your direction. That's when the paranoia sets in. You know how it goes. "What is he staring at? Who does he think he is, judging me like that?" TOP
Everything was going swimmingly, and suddenly: "This is hell! I've got to get out of here!" Okay, but where's HERE? The hell you're in is being created by your mind. If you leave the room and your mind goes with you, you're not out of "here."
When you understand what happened at that family reunion, and you see how easy it is to react to things, you can really appreciate why yogis spend years just trying to control the mind. They recognize that an undisciplined mind is just out there taking your first born, your second born, and everything else. In order to have lasting happiness, you need to get your mind under control, because your thoughts become your subjective reality. If your thoughts are negative, your reality turns negative awfully fast.
Reconnect to happiness

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Solve the essential problem of being anti-happy. You need to be hooked up with the sources of beauty in your life. You realize the power of that. Make that connection, and suddenly everything's different. You could lie low for as long as you want. But then when you make that connection again, all of a sudden, it feels like you've got a big wind, because you've got a big wind in your sails -- you DO. TOP
Happiness is sailing the winds from heaven.

by David Truman

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