Posted by: 12stepgolf | June 2, 2011

June 1, 2011-Week 2 Devotional

Week Two:

“You are here to enable the divine purpose of the Universal to unfold. That is how important you are.”…..Eckhart Tolle.

Does happiness really and truly come from within and is happiness just an illusion?

How many times have we heard that happiness comes from within? We are asked to find this “happiness” deep in our soul, generating it from nothingness. Happiness is an emotion based on our likes and dislikes, generating from an experience. If I have ordered steak because that will bring me happiness, am I still supposed to be happy when they bring me chicken? Yes I am grateful for the food but am I really happy?

The etymology of happiness is “hap” which is middle English for chance or luck, an unforeseen happening. To occur by chance is an event in which we find gladness.

Something does need to “happen” to arouse the emotion of happiness. We may become happy from seeing the smile of a child, the beauty of a sunset can bring tears to one’s eyes. What “makes” me happy? Happiness is contingent on our spiritual condition-contingencies.

Happiness is relevant to the circumstances around me. This is contrary to all the self professed self help gurus and mentors. We have preached the “happiness from within” sermon for our patients for too many years, not really knowing what we meant-but it sure sounded good.

We have confused happiness with a capacity to experience happiness. Happiness is a momentary feeling of gladness. It is not the essence of being. It is fleeting and the capacity to experience happiness is what we need to explain. Throwing guilt trips on those who can’t muster up “being happy from within” 24/7 is not good work but a superiority of those who are trying to “help” others. How do we respond to the circumstances, we find ourselves in? What is the reaction for the actions around us?

We must first cast off the misconception that happiness is a state of being. I can be happy or I can be sad, but what is it inside me that generates the resilience to continue my pursuit of happiness, why do I look for those experiences that I enjoy? Why should my hitting a golf ball 200 yards straight down the fairway make me feel happy? Shouldn’t I be happy regardless of how far I hit it, if happiness comes from within?

So what are we trying to help our fellow travelers understand? Those who have had the pleasure of hearing and reading Joseph Campbell are aware of his discussions about “following our bliss”. Bliss is an innate desire to follow our purpose, or as I like to call it “living on purpose”. Bliss is not an emotion it is a “thing” that lives inside each and everyone of us.

“to identify that pursuit which you are truly passionate about and attempting to give yourself absolutely to it and in doing so, you will find your fullest potential and serve your community to the greatest possible extent”…..Joseph Campbell

“happiness is that state of consciousness, which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values”…..Ayn Rand

Dr. Scott Peck’s first line in The Road Less Traveled, tells us “life is difficult”, and so it is. Anyone making light of this fact is being disingenuous. “Oh but remember wherever you go there you will be”. Yes we do have to learn to live with ourselves, but if it were to “make” you happy, if for only a short time-why not-you may also find what it is you are supposed to be doing to fulfill your bliss. “We may never pass this way again”.



We have complicated and confused ourselves with our options and inability to define our purpose, to know what our bliss is and to follow it. We have decided to do those things that are contrary to our nature for the sake of fulfilling societal definitions of worth. This week I want to seriously set before me those goals and aspirations that would put me in control of following my bliss. I want to pursue the reason I am here the cause of my existence.

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