HAPPINESS: THAT ELUSIVE WILL-O-THE-WISP
There are three kinds of happiness: the kind you wish you had, the kind you think you have, and the kind that’s unmistakable. Problem is, those who don’t have happiness are looking for it in all the wrong places, and many who think they are happy are actually pleased—a paltry consolation prize. A feather on the sole of the foot may provoke laughter but it hardly brings joy.
Up until recently it appeared that the advertisers had won. People were looking to establish successful lives through goods and services, or as one writer put it, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Is that to be our legacy, a tombstone surrounded with the gadgets that failed to add any years to our life or—more to the point—life to our years?
In the early l960’s a brilliant and my late partner, John Williamson ran computer models to determine what was wrong to cause everyone so much unhappiness and discontent? Ultimately his model findings would be the foundation to the creative design of Sandstone Retreat/Foundation, where the focus was belief that our minds, spirits, body and soul were loved and respected.
John determined that we were guided by the chatter inside our heads, a false sense of self that deludes us and which handles our problems by giving them names, namely the ego. We built a society on these false assumptions, either naively or cunningly steered by parents, school, books, film, television, advertising and other people’s feedback. And since most of the people on whom we model our behavior also conduct their lives based on false assumptions, we never learn to know anything different. We went about our lives based upon assumptions rather than real experience.
Upon examination, these assumptions turn out to be out of touch with reality. We say with the authority of tradition, ”Everybody knows that it is so,” or, “It has always been that way.” But if we try to analyze an assumption of this kind it falls apart as soon as we touch it. And that is why we prefer not to touch them and sometimes even fiercely defend them. We poor lemmings continue to leap into the sea, confident that there is land within our reach because, “everyone knows that.”
As a result, we end up living under the pressure of countless false fears. We live in a cage that is of our own making, but one that seems real enough so that we do not venture outside of it. We end up restricting, our actions and our choices, and thus strangle our precious potential. All this because of false fears based upon false assumptions.
The activity of ceremonial drumming is a pathway to the heart, leading us to know our true self. The heart reaches a magnetic field 500 times more powerful than our brain. One hour of drumming registers a huge boost to the immune system, and generates emotions of joy and bliss. It works across all cultural conflicts. Recently Cindy Stevens was in Iraq to revive their spirit. It is touching and you can view her drumming at; http://www.ubdrumcircles.com/video.php and join in to be a part of saving the world.
Meditation is another huge threat to the craziness in our lives. We are blessed with great support while heading into the New Year. May you have an exciting new year!