Consciously Objecting To The Concept of Happiness

22 Jun

Summer is here. I hear the sounds of the children playing at the day care center across the way. Their giggles, their cries, their screams, their sighs. I hear it all when I’m out tending to my plants. They play in the sprinklers, shriek as they slide down the slip n slide. They fight over toys and dump buckets of water on each other. It’s idyllic, peaceful, a nice piece of suburbia where all the kids are lily white and all the lawns are kept real nice.

That’s one side of life, the good life that some of us strive to live. We want to be good examples, good neighbors, happy people. Sometimes we smile and fake it. Other times we’re legit because we’ve made it. Here lately I have been questioning it all. What does it take to be happy? What is happiness anyway?

There aren’t any cut and dry answers for those questions. Happiness is different for every person. Some people are satisfactorily living simple lives without much of anything to call their own. Others are miserable whilst living in million dollar homes. Material goods don’t see to play much of a role in happiness. Sure, most of us think that if we won the lottery or got out of debt that we’d be happy as larks (however happy they are). Truth is, we’d buy a bunch of crap we don’t need once we paid off our bills. Then we’d have new debt for those new things. And some years later, we’d be sitting with our about-to-be-repo’ed junk wondering what the hell happened.

Some people are satisfied living the single life. Others are driven to be in relationships. Some people get married when they’re in college; some of us will end up waiting til we’re 40 or 50 to walk down the aisle, if we ever get married at all. Once again, it’s a mixed bag. Relationships don’t guarantee happiness any more than winning the lottery does in my opinion. Relationships can be a real pain in the ass, a test of faith and perseverance and patience. If you aren’t happy with yourself, your life and your achievements, you probably aren’t going to find a great deal of happiness in someone else. Just saying.

So what makes us happy? Honesty. I think honesty is the best way to find happiness. You need to be honest with yourself. Quit setting unrealistic goals. Quit trying to make yourself happy. Quit looking for someone else to make you happy. Only God can make a person happy. It’s only in Him that we find our ultimate satisfaction, contentedness, happiness.

As for me, I’ve learned that any time I search for what makes me happy, I always end up getting depressed. Fine irony, don’t you think? I set my sights on unrealistic things, intangible things, on pleasing other people, or temporarily satisfying my earthly desires. I dig my holes deeper, going deeper and deeper within myself to find the ever elusive “happiness”….but I never do. Why? Because happiness is not within me.

That’s the problem with all of this conscious living/conscious parenting stuff. They say that searching within one’s self leads to happiness, to fulfillment. That it makes you a brighter, more uplifted, more enlightened person. In my opinion, there is no enlightenment apart from God. There is no such thing as fulfillment, satisfaction or happiness apart from God. Sure, you may have moments of clarity. You may feel or think that you are somehow transcending humanity or raising the next Ghandi Enstein hybrid…but in the end, you are human just as I am. Created by a grand creator God, transcending nothing apart from Him. Only He can grant you revelation and the only way you can transcend your humanity is through death.

Death to one’s self, one’s desires, one’s dreams. By lying it all down at the foot of the cross and walking away from it. That’s true consciousness, folks. Not this wishy-washy, hyper-happy, self love that passes for consciousness in the Western world.

So that’s where I’m at today.

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3 Responses to “Consciously Objecting To The Concept of Happiness”

  1. halsmith 06/22/2012 at 9:23 pm #

    I beg to differ. For me, conscious awareness is where its at. I’ve done the religious thing, and it didn’t do it for me.

    • alogica 06/23/2012 at 8:15 am #

      What is conscious awareness? Some consider it to be a sort of plugging into the universe. I call that universe God. You may call it something else. To each their own, I suppose.

    • applecore 06/23/2012 at 7:55 pm #

      I think conscious awareness is increased through a relationship with G-d – they aren’t mutually exclusive. I find conscious awareness without G-d to be the opposite of happiness, because at the depths of self there is only more… self.

      Because C.S. Lewis said it best:
      “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

      Conscious awareness is deepened through a realization that we are a part of something greater, accomplished only by knowing Someone greater. I’m not interested in religion (“a set of beliefs”) so much as a relationship with this Being who has the ability to turn my selfishness into selflessness.

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