THE SECRET OF ABOUNDING HAPPINESS
Great is the thirst for happiness, and equality great is the lack of happiness.
The major the poor long for riches, believing that their possession would bring them supreme and happiness. Many who are rich, having graft every desire and whim, suffer from ennui repletion, and are farther from the possession of happiness even than the very poor.
If we fleet upon this state of things, it will ultimately lead us to a knowledge of the all-important truth that happiness is not derived from mere outward possessions, nor misery from the lack them; of the for if this were so, we should find the poor always miserable, and the rich always happy whereas the reverse is frequently the case.
Some of the most wretched people whom I have known were those who were surrounded with riches luxury, whilst some of the brightest and happiest people I have met were possessed of only barest necessities of life.
Many men who have accumulated riches have confessed that the se gratification which followed the acquisition of riches has robbed life of its sweetest and that they were never so happy as when they were poor.
What then is happiness and how is it to be secured ? Is it a figment, a delusion, and is suffering alone perennial ?
We shall find after earnest observation and refection that all, except those who have entered the way of wisdom believe that happiness is only to be; obtained by the gratification of desire. It his belief, rooted in the soil of ignorance, and continually watered by selfish cravings, that is cause of all the misery in the world.
And do not limit the word desire to the grosser animal cravings ; it extends to the higher psychic realm,where far more powerful, subtle, and insidious cravings hold in bondage the intellectual refined, depriving them of all that beauty,harmony, and purity of soul whose expression is happiness.
Most people will admit that selfishness is the cause of all the unhappiness in the world, but they fall under the soul-destroying delusion that it is somebody else’s selfishness, and not their own. When you are willing to admit that all our unhappiness is the result of your own selfishness you will not be far from the gates of Paradise; but so long as you are convinced that it is the selfishness of others that is robbing you of joy, so long will you remain a prisoner in your self-created purgatory.
Happiness is that inward state of perfect satisfaction which is joy and peace, and from which all desire is eliminated The satisfaction which results from gratified desire is brief and illusionary, and is always followed by an increase demand for gratification.
Desire is as insatiable as the ocean, and clamors louder and louder demands are attended to. It claims ever-increasing service from its deluded devotees, until last they are struck down with physical or mental anguish, and are hurled into the purifying, of suffering. Desire is the region of hell and all torments are centered there. The giving up of desire is the realization of heaven, and all lights await the pilgrim there.
” I sent my soul through the invisible,
Some letter of that after life to spell,
And by and by my soul returned to me,
And whispered, «I myself am heaven and hell”
Heaven and hell are inward states. Sink into self and all its gratifications, and you sink into hell; rise above self into that state of consciousness which is the utter denial and forgetfulness of self, and you enter heaven.
Self is blind without judgment l not possessed of true knowledge, and always leads to suffering. Correct perceptron, unbiassed judgment, and true knowledge belong only the divine state,and only in far as you realize this divine consciousness you know what real happiness is.
So long you persist in selfishly seeking for your own personal happiness so long will happiness elude you will be sowing the seeds of wretchedness. In so far as you succeed in losing yourself in the service of others, in that measure happiness come to you, and you will reap a harvest of bliss.
” It is in loving, not in being loved,
The heart is blessed is in giving, not in seeking gifts,
We find our quest.
Whatever be thy longing or thy need,
That do thou give;
So shall thy soul be fed, and thou indeed
Shalt truly live.
Cling to self, and you cling to sorrow; relinquish self, and you enter into peace. To seek is not only to lose happiness, but even that we believe to be the source of happiness how the glutton is continually looking about for a new delicacy wherewith to stimulate lis deadened appetite; and how, bloated, burdened, and diseased, scarcely any food at last is eaten with pleasure.
Whereas, he who has mastered his appetite, and not only does not seek, but never thinks of gustatory pleasure, finds delight in the most frugal meal. The angel-form of happiness, which men, looking through the eyes of self, imagine they see in gratified desire, when clasped is always found to be the skeleton of misery. Truly,” He that seeketh his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life shall find it.”
Abiding happiness will come to you when, ceasing to selfishly cling, you are willing to give up. When you are willing to lose, unreservedly, that impermanent thing which is so dear to you, and which, whether you cling to it or not will one day be snatched from you, then you will find that that which seemed to you like a painful loss, turns out to be a supreme gain. To give up in order to gain, than this there is no greater delusion, nor no more prolific source of miser but to be willing to yield up and to suffer loss this is indeed the Way of Life.
How is it possible to find real happiness by centering ourselves in those things which, by their very nature, must pass away? Abiding and real happiness can only be found by centering ourselves in that which is permanent. Rise, therefore, above the clinging and the craving for impermanent things, and you will then enter into a consciousness of the Eternal, and as, rising above self, and by growing more
and more into the spirit of purity, self-sacrifice and universal Love, you become centered in that consciousness, you will realize that happiness which has no reaction, and which can never be taken from you.
The heart that has reached utter self-forget-fulness in its love for others has not only become possessed of the highest happiness, but has entered into immortality, for it has realized the divine. Look back upon your life, and you find that the moments of supremest happiness were those in which you uttered some word, or performed some act, of compassion or self-denying love.
Spirituality, happiness and harmony are synonymous. Harmony is one phase of the Great Law whose spiritual expression is love. All selfishness is discord, and to be selfish is to be out of harmony with the Divine order.
As we realize that all-embracing love which is the negation of self, we put ourselves in harmony with the divine music, the universal song, and that ineffable melody which is true happiness becomes our own.
Men and women are rushing hither and thither in the blind search for happiness, and cannot find it; nor ever will until they recognize that happiness is already within them and round about them, filling the universe, and that they, in their selfish searching, are shutting themselves out from it.
” I followed happiness to make her mine,
Past towering oak and swinging ivy vine.
She fled, I chased, o’er slanting hill and dale
O’er fields and meadows, in the purpling vale
Pursuing rapidly o’er dashing stream,
I scaled the dizzy cliffs where eagles scream
I traversed swiftly every land and sea,
But always happiness eluded me.
Exhausted, fainting, I pursued no more
But sank to rest upon a barren shore.
One came and asked for food, and one for alms;
I placed the bread and gold in bony palms
One came for sympathy, and one for rest;
I shared with every needy one my best;
When, lo! sweet Happiness, with form divine
Stood by me, whispering softly, I am thine.”
These beautiful lines of Burleigh’s express the secret of all-abounding happiness. Sacrifice the personal and transient, and you rise at once into the impersonal and permanent. Give up that narrow cramped self that seeks to render all things subservient to its own petty interests, and you will enter into the company of the angels, into the very heart and essence of universal Love. Forget yourself entirely in the sorrows of others and in ministering to others, and divine happiness will emancipate you from all sorrow and suffering.
” Taking the first step with a good thought, the second with a good word, and the third with a good deed, I entered Paradise.”
And you also may enter into Paradise by pursuing the same course.
It is not beyond, it is here, realized only by the unselfish. It is known in its fulness only to the pure in heart.
If you have not realized this unbounded happiness you may begin to actualize it by ever hold-before you the lofty ideal of unselfish love, aspiring towards it. Aspiration or prayer is desire turned upward.
It is the soul turning towards its Divine source, where alone permanent satisfaction can be found. By aspiration the destructive forces of desire are transmuted into divine and all-preserving energy. To aspire is to make an effort to shake off the trammels of desire; it is the prodigal made wise by loneliness and suffering, returning to his Father’s Mansion.
As you rise above the sordid self; as you break , one after another, the chains that bind you , will you realize the joy of giving, as distinguished from the misery of grasping—giving your substance; giving of your intellect; giving of the love and light that are growing within you.
You will then understand that it is indeed
” more blessed to give than to receive.”
But the giving must be of the heart without any taint of self, without desire for reward. The gift of pure love is always attended with bliss. If after you have given, you are wounded because you are not thanked or flattered , or your name put in the paper, know then that your gift was prompted by vanity and not by love and you were merely giving, but grasping.
Lose yourself in the welfare of others; forget yourself in all that you do this is the secret of abounding happiness. Ever be on the watch guard against selfishness, and learn faithfully the divine lessons of inward sacrifice; so shall you climb the highest heights of happiness, and shall remain in the never-clouded sunshine of universal joy, clothed in the shining garment of immortality.
Are you searching for the happiness that does not fade away ? Are you looking for the joy that lives, and leaves no grievous day? Are you panting for the waterbrooks of Love, and Life, and Peace ? Then let all dark desires depart, and selfish seeking cease. Are you ling'ring in the paths of pain, grief-haunted, stricken sore ? Are you wand’ring in the ways that wound your weary feet the weary more? Are you sighing for the Resting-Place where tears and sorrows cease ? Then sacrifice your selfish heart, and find the Heart of Peace.
THE REALIZATION OF PROSPERITY
It is granted only to the heart that abounds with integrity, trust, generosity and love to realize true prosperity. The heart that is not possessed of these qualities cannot know prosperity, for prosperity, like happiness, is not an outward possession, but an inward realization.
The greedy man may become a millionaire, but will always be wretched, and mean, and poor, and will even consider himself outwardly poor so long as there is a man in the world who is richer than himself, whilst the upright, the open-hand and loving will realize a full and rich prosperity, even though their outward possessions may be small.
He is poor who is dissatisfied; he is rich who is contented with what he has,” and he is richer who is generous with what he has.
When we contemplate the fact that the universe is abounding in all good things, material as well as spiritual, and compare it with man’s blind eagerness to secure a few gold coins, or a few acres of dirt, it is then that we realize how dark and ignorant selfishness is; it is then that we know that self-seeking is self-destruction.
Nature gives all, without reservation, and loses nothing; man, grasping all, loses everything. If you would realize true prosperity do not down, as many have done, into the belief you do right everything will go wrong.
Do not allow the word ” competition ” to shake your faith in the supremacy of righteousness. I care not what men may say about the ” laws of competition,” for do I not know the Unchangeable Law, which shall one day put them all to rout, and which puts them to rout even now in the heart and life of the righteous man ? And knowing this Law I can contemplate all dishonesty with undisturbed repose, for I know where certain destruction awaits it.
Under all circumstances do that which you believe to be right
and trust the Law; trust the Divine Power that is immanent in the universe, and it will never desert you, and you will always be protected.
By such a trust all your losses will be converted into gains, and all curses which threaten will be transmuted into blessings. Never let go of integrity, generosity, and love, for these, coupled with energy, will lift you into the truly prosperous state.
Do not believe the world when it tells you that you must always attend to ” number one ” first, and to others afterwards. To do this is not to think of others at all, but only of one’s own comforts.
To those who practice this the day will come when they will be deserted by all, and when they cry out in their loneliness and anguish there will be no one to hear and help them.
To consider oneself he fore all others is to cramp and warp and hinder every noble and divine impulse. Let your soul expand, let your heart reach out to others in loving and generous warmth, and great and lasting will be your joy, and all prosperity will come to you.
Those who have wandered from the highway of righteousness guard themselves against competition; those who always pursue the right need not to trouble about such defense.
This no empty statement. There are men today who, by the power of integrity and faith have defied all competition, and who, without swerving in the least from their methods, when competed with, have risen steadily into prosperity, whilst those who tried to undermine them have fallen back defeated.
To possess those inward qualities which constitute goodness is to be armored against all the powers of evil, and to be doubly protected in every time of trial; and to build oneself up in those qualities is to build up a success which cannot be shaken, and to enter into a prosperity which will endure forever.
The White Robe of the Heart Invisible
Is stained with sin and sorrow, grief and pain,
And all repentant pools and springs of prayer
Shall not avail to wash it white again.
While in the path of ignorance I walk,
The stains of error will not cease to cling;
Defilements mark the crooked path of self,
Where anguish lurks and disappointments sting.
Knowledge and wisdom only can avail
o purify and make my garment clean,
For therein lie love’s waters; therein rests
Peace undisturbed, eternal, and serene.
Sin and repentance is the path of pain,
Knowledge and wisdom is the path of Peace;
By the near way of practice I will find
Where bliss begins, how pains and sorrows cease.
Self shall depart, and Truth shall take its place;
The Changeless One, the Indivisible
Shall take up his abode in me, and cleanse
White Robe of the Heart Invisible.
Published in 1907 by: James Allen