One thing is for certain. Pleasure is not happiness. Pleasure comes from outside whereas happiness comes from inside. Pleasure is ephemeral and happiness is enduring. Just look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars….and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole of existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank accounts! Look at flowers – for no reason. It’s simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.[googmonify]4494413162:right:250:250[/googmonify]
Here is the dichotomy of life. Buddha said life is suffering and he is right. Rumi said life is joy and he is right too. There is a Zen proverb about enlightenment. “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” What does that mean? I used to ponder. Until one day I had an epiphany. It’s not that the enlightened people are not going to have disappointments, “failures”, grief, etc. The only difference is that enlightened people recuperate quickly and put themselves back in the middle of the stream of life. Life is uncertain and therein lies our freedom. Life is full of surprises and therein lies our hopes and dreams. Our job is not to question the universe, but rather embrace what comes our way and say yes to everything it offers us. The universe is perfect as it is and if we insist it shouldn’t be, then get ready for neurosis and psychosis! Get ready for Paxil, Prozac and the gamut of anti depressant drugs that will drag you further into oblivion. If you address and handle the cause, you don’t need to worry about the symptoms. The cause is almost always related to our insistence that the world should go our way. We simply refuse to accept that we are a part of a much larger picture. When Carl Jung was asked to comment about the duality of life; are we or are we not in control? He had a brilliant answer. “In the same moment that you are a protagonist in your life making choices, you’re also a spear carrier or extra in a much larger drama. You are doomed to make choices.” We must accept this premise of life and save ourselves from unnecessary suffering.
Here is a suggestion for you. Start your day by saying thank you to the universe. Your attitude of gratitude will soften the blows and the universe will ultimately reward you with its providence. Resistance is futile when you’re dealing with the divine. Remember God’s plan works, yours doesn’t! So, accept what comes your way and keep following your heart. Live with passion and have joy in your heart. Let’s make our short journey on earth a memorable one and leave a legacy that will last for generations to come.