The Happiness Trap
By Jon Shore
Most people spend a great deal of their time and energy in life seeking happiness and doing their best to avoid sadness. It seems to be a never-ending quest and, often times, a ceaseless battle. Much of our commerce and marketing systems are based on this desire for happiness and avoidance of pain and suffering. Many of our relationships are also based on this dichotomy.
“If I have this thing I will be happy”. “If I am with this person I will be happy”. “If I have this much money I will be happy”. “Without this I am sad”. It is a never-ending cycle of fulfilling desires to achieve happiness and to avoid sadness. For most people, this is what life is all about. But this constant quest becomes exhausting and stressful and never leads to any permanent state of fulfillment or happiness. I call this the Happiness Trap.
So, the questions arise; is life about being happy? Is happiness a worthy goal in one’s life? How do I find happiness? Is happiness even achievable?
The problem with seeking happiness is that, even if we find it, our experience will eventually swing back to its opposite at some point. Like a clock pendulum swinging back and forth, the pendulum of life swings between dark and light, positive and negative, happiness and sadness, life and death. This is just the way it is and has always been. This is the trap. But there is a transcendent alternative. There is a way to experience the reality above these extremes, beyond this duality. There is a way to experience life on a deeper, more profound level without the pendulum’s swings.
Beneath and beyond the distracting dualisms of happiness and sadness, love and hate, fear and courage, joy and pain is a profound experience of transcendent Peace, Fulfillment, Love, Wisdom and Strength. This transcendent experience is always there. It is the Reality that underlies all appearances. It is the quantum ‘soup’ from which all physical reality springs.
I call this transcendent state, The Self, Being, Infinite Consciousness or Awareness. It is our true nature and identity. In some cultures it is called Spirit, Nirvana or Chi. It exists beyond time, space and form. It is beyond all emotion, beliefs, history and reactions. In Infinite Consciousness there are no separations, no personalities, no possessions. In Self there are no dualisms – light or dark, positive or negative, good or evil, life or death, physical or non-physical. There are no unique identities or personalities. There is only One Consciousness, One Awareness, One Being. It is like an infinite sea of awareness, without beginning and without end.
What does this Infinite Consciousness ‘feel’ like?
It is impossible to put into words since words only limit the experience. So the best I can do is to describe it as Bliss beyond any human experience of bliss. Peace beyond the most peaceful experience you have ever had or can imagine. Love that is so far beyond any human concept of love that human love appears trivial. Power and Strength beyond the power and strength of the sun or a black hole. Infinite Consciousness is the Source of all power, strength, love, bliss or peace. It is the source of all life, form and dualism. It includes all that is but is limited by none of it.
This transcendent experience is what awaits you if you are willing to give up the desire for happiness and the inevitable struggle that accompanies that desire. This is also the experience that you have access to when you are willing to let go the quest and need for power, strength, love, understanding, bliss or peace. This is your birthright and your true identity. This Infinite Awareness underlies everything right where you are at this very moment no matter what appears to be going on. All that is required to experience It is absolute, complete surrender of everything you identify with as a human being including your desire for happiness.
If you do this you will see the ‘happiness trap’ for what it is. You will be free.
© 2019 Jon Shore
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