If you’re steeped in the prevailing materialistic mainstream paradigm — as we all are — you’re told that the purpose to life is to get a job so you can buy stuff. Add to that procreation for the purpose of reproduction.
After that, we’re told it’s about the pursuit of pleasure. Whatever pleasure means to you. Sex, food, drugs, alcohol, fame (approval), fortune, chocolate, love, status, a degree, an accomplishment, etc.
We need these things so that we can be happy and fulfilled.
But these things don’t last. Pleasure comes and goes. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying chocolate, but the pleasure is short lived.
Goals are great — but they can’t give you what you’re looking for. You already have within you what you're looking for in the world.
You already have within you what you're looking for in the world.
Even when we achieve a goal, the happiness doesn’t last long. Somewhere in the back of our mind we’re waiting for a problem to rear it’s head. Or the new car smell wears off and we want something else in order to fill the hole in our soul.
Note: Please understand this is not saying you shouldn’t have goals or aspirations. We still want to engage in the world! Otherwise, we may be experiencing an aversion to the world. If so, you can let the aversion go too. It’s just the flip side of attachment. Please set goals that inspire you! Of course, that's material for another article as many of us don't really know what we want. We may even set goals to please others, gain status, etc.
Is There Any True Happiness To Be Found?
Is there any true happiness to be found? Is there a deeper purpose to life?
Even when people think a little more deeply about this purpose, they narrow it down to love and happiness. But there’s one catch…
What’s The Catch?
They’re still looking for it in the world. “Well sir,” you say, “where else would they look? Isn’t the world the only place things can be found?”
Yes. Apparent objects (things) only exist in the world. Whether they are cars, people, experiences, thoughts, feelings, images…they only exist in the world. You are relatively correct. If you really examine it, the world only exists in Awareness. But that’s another article 🙂
But…are happiness and love objects? Check. You might think they are experiences. But something all experiences have in common is that they come and go.
“Yes, but love and happiness come and go. That’s why we’re looking for them!”
Do Love and Happiness Actually Come and Go? Or Are They Always Present?
Is it possible that love and happiness are always present? Like the sky? But that they get covered over by feelings that come and go? Feelings such as sadness, loneliness, angst, hopelessness, anger, lust, etc.
If this is true, how do we find out?
Remember a time when you felt happy because you got something you wanted. Can you notice that it’s not the thing you got that GAVE you the happiness? How could that thing or experience have any power to give you anything?
When you got what you wanted, you gave yourself permission to drop your mind a bit (it wasn’t as busy or noisy for a brief time) and the happiness that is at the core of you was able to shine through.
An analogy that is often used for this is a mirror. If the surface is uneven and bumpy (like a noisy mind in a state of wanting), it’s difficult to see a clear reflection. But if it’s calm and serene, the reflection is much better.
In other words, happiness and love are always present. But our noisy minds that were programmed with words and concepts, cover this love and happiness.
Some have said that the root cause of all suffering is desire. This pointer was often misunderstood and has led to a lot of distortion in traditional religion. This is perhaps one of the reasons many contemporary people are looking elsewhere for spiritual guidance — if they’re looking at all. This does not mean we shouldn’t have desires. Wanting to stop desire is just another desire.
What this really means is that when we want something we are in a state of lack. We want because we don’t have. We feel incomplete. This wanting cuts us off from our natural state of wholeness and that disconnection is what creates the suffering.
How To Have Abundance Instead Of Wishing For It
When we are able to let go of the wanting, we give ourselves permission to have. And if any actions are necessary to create what we want, we’ll have more courage and energy to take them. We naturally feel fulfilled and inspired. This is abundance.
Notice when you think of something you want. If you relax into for a minute or so, you’ll begin to notice conflicting feelings and thoughts coming up such as “I can’t have it” or “I’m not worthy” etc.
These conflicting thoughts and feelings create inner resistance. I like to say it’s like driving with one foot on the brake.
These conflicting feelings live in our “subconscious.” When I say subconscioius, I don’t mean anything mystical or far out. I mean just below the threshold of awareness.
When we think of taking an action toward a goal for example, we bring up feelings from the subconscious. They were always there. But we didn’t notice them until we thought about our goal. Even though these feelings may feel uncomfortable, this is great!
Why? Because it’s an opportunity to look at them and stop believing in them. In other words, to let them go.
You Are Already Whole and Complete
When we let go of these uncomfortable and constricting feelings, we naturally feel our true unlimited Beingness. Our true nature that was there prior to conditioning.
This is a deep sense of peace and stillness that could also be called happiness. Everything is perfect the way it is. It feels vast and unshakeable.
Usually thoughts and feelings and busy mind come back in to cover up this essential nature that is always there. That’s simply habit. Like grooves in the vinyl of a record.
As I write this article, I realize this topic could actually be a series of articles or even a book. There are so many angles I can approach it from — and they all interconnect and support each other.
But for now, I would say that when we let go of resistance to what is, and embrace our courage (not out of stoicism or “ought to”) there is a deep sense of peace and happiness that seems to have no beginning or end.
Once you touch this happiness you are never the same. You are beginning to awaken. This awakening gets stronger and more stabilized as you bring Awareness into your daily life. This happiness and peace that is your true nature is what you have been looking for all along in the world.
Of course, it’s wise to also do the activities that make us happy. But when we can remember that the source of our peace and happiness is within, it makes life so much sweeter and always fresh.
The purpose of Life is to recognize the truth of what you are. Not as a concept or idea, but actually. From this foundation, you are able to consistently enjoy and appreciate your life in the world regardless of what is going on. This is Love in action.