Everyone wants to be happy. If you ask them, they say, “Oh sure, I want to be happy. Pass the potatoes please.” So despite the fact that the desire for happiness is part of the standard software that comes with being a human, this desire is differently activated in us.
Now it takes a bit of doing to become happy, or to become free, or to become enlightened. It takes a bit of doing because in this human world we have been deeply pattered to suffer.
Not only do we have our own past impressions of pain we must overcome, there is our family history, our racial, gender, national and global history of thousands of years of unskillful living that we must shed in order to experience our freedom in an ongoing way.
Yes, it is work, but it is worth doing. Oh, is it ever worth doing this work of finding your freedom! At any turn of the road, when you cross the doorway into the next dimension of consciousness, you can’t believe how much more wonderful reality is when compared with the last version you have lived in.
When the heart and the mind expand and you are breathlessly becoming aware of the profound grace you are receiving, you instinctively say: “Of course, of course, it was worth all the effort, all the sorrow and agony I worked through to free myself. Oh please, let me do it again and again so I may free myself more, and so I may share this unbelievable gift with all.”
And the most exquisite gratitude washes through you.
That is the moment when you know, when you have a clear grasp on what is really happening on the path of spiritual emancipation.
Often of course we are caught in the confused and fear-dominated mind. Then it’s a different story, and we can stay caught in these places of pain for a very, very long time. That’s why it is imperative to know and to use the single most potent factor that can set us free.
This factor is our deeply felt heart-desire for freedom. “Yeah, I want to be happy, pass the potatoes please,” won’t cut it there. A weak determination and resolve will have little effect when you need to cut the ancient bonds that keep you a prisoner.
The good news is that everyone, sooner or later, does get a stronger determination for freedom. It comes in two ways:
- by the force of sheer suffering, or
- by being able to understand the need to get free and therefore making a decision of will to devote yourself to this noble goal.
This, of course, is pure grace. It is a lifting of the veil of delusion that makes us unthinkingly assume that we have to suffer, only because that’s how it’s always been. And even more grace that, when the veil lifts, we can recognize the urgent truth and grasp it and throw our will and determination behind the decision to do whatever it takes to unburden our hearts and be free.
Once we are firm in this decision, we can take the steps to become free without the need for suffering to urge us on. Yes, this is the single most important decisions we have: we can either suffer in our habitual patterns of blindness or become ever more keenly determined to lift the veils of delusion.
If we make the decision – and we must make it again and again for a long time – then the magical and ever so real doors to our freedom appear. We can approach them and when they open pass from one dimension of awareness and love to the next. And we will see that there is an unending succession of rooms, unending dimensions of love in our hearts, and unending bliss we can share.
This is true happiness. It is not the mix of distractions and pleasures we usually describe with that word. True happiness is what you are. It is being at peace with reality as it is. It is unconditional acceptance of Self. And it is a lot more…
So will you sharpen your mind and your will, for only you alone can take you from door to door to taste the love of God that has waited in you forever to be explored?