Can We Find Happiness?
Is there anything more important in life than happiness? You might say that truth or compassion is more important than happiness, but if truth or compassion does not make anyone happy, then what good is it? If I act with compassion or love towards someone, and our happiness is not increased by this compassion, then my compassion has no value. If I seek the truth, but the truth does not make me happy, then maybe the “truth” that I have found has no value. Therefore, I assert that happiness is the most important thing in life. Further, I assert that we should seek for what makes us completely happy, and that we should not be content with limited happiness or limited pleasure.
What could make us completely happy? Some traditions say that heaven (or paradise or nirvana) is where we will be completely happy. But what is heaven, and how can we get there? According to the book A Course in Miracles, heaven is “an awareness of perfect Oneness”:
Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect Oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness, and nothing else within.
What could God [the love that created us] give but knowledge of Himself? What else is there to give? The belief that you could give and get something else, something outside yourself, has cost you the awareness of Heaven and of your Identity.
In other words, when we become aware of perfect Oneness, we will have knowledge of the whole and we will be omniscient (we will know everything). This knowledge of the whole is our true identity, and it is the place where we will find heaven and complete happiness.
In our present condition, we are aware of separation from the whole, and separation from other parts of the whole. Because we perceive separation, the feelings of meaninglessness, loneliness, guilt, and fear take the place of happiness. We feel a lack of meaning because we don’t see how all the parts fit together to form a meaningful whole. We feel lonely because we feel separated from the other parts. We feel guilt because we believe that our perception of separateness has destroyed the reality of oneness. And we feel fear because we think that we will be attacked by the other parts of the whole.
All of these problems, all of these blocks to happiness, come from our belief in separateness. The part of us that wants to be separate, the ego, is afraid of oneness. That is why we continue to attack each other and believe in separate bodies and minds. We believe that to unite with other minds means to lose our existence, to become nothing. However, the very opposite is what will happen when we awaken to oneness. We will find our true identity by joining the knowledge of everything. Do we have to leave our bodies in order to know oneness? Not necessarily, but when we no longer fear oneness, we will see that we have no need of a body, except to encourage other beings in bodies to join oneness.
A Course in Miracles, when discussing psychic powers, says that
…each individual has many abilities of which he is unaware. As his awareness increases, he may well develop abilities that seem quite startling to him. Yet nothing he can do can compare even in the slightest with the glorious surprise of remembering Who he is. Let all his learning and all his efforts be directed toward this one great final surprise, and he will not be content to be delayed by the little ones that may come to him on the way.
In other words, learning who we really are will be a “glorious surprise,” a surprise that we cannot begin to imagine. It will be glorious because we will find that, in heaven, our happiness is pure, unlimited, and always increasing.
The fear of oneness is a fear that we will all someday overcome. When that day comes, we will enter the heaven of oneness. Does heaven seem too good to be true? That is only because we are still afraid of oneness and have not yet given up the ego. Be glad that there is an appointed time in which time will end and the heaven of complete happiness will come to all minds.