Happiness and health, part 5: Using happiness as your criterion

by William R. Yoder on July 10, 2010

What is your criterion for choosing a belief?

How can we possibly commit ourselves fully to any definite position—for instance, to the principle of one power, to the idea that love is the only source and cause of all that truly is? That position cannot be irrefutably proven. It is not beyond question. There is no end to possible arguments and counterarguments.

If your ultimate criterion for taking any definite position is that it is can be irrefutably proven and is beyond all possible question, then you will never take a position at all. Because every position can be questioned from some vantage point or another. But your failure to take a position might be as dangerous to your health as taking a negative position.

Using happiness as your criterion

My criterion for taking a position is happiness—whether that position can open me to experiences of greater happiness and well-being. The more joy and peace I experience, the more love and healing I can offer others. It doesn’t matter if I can irrefutably prove the position or not.  And I’ve studied the history of philosophy long enough to realize that you can’t irrefutably prove any particular position.

But you can determine whether a position improves the quality of your own life experience and allows you to contribute to others. And for me, what I call the principle of one power is the very foundation for a way of thinking that opens me to possibilities of happiness and well-being. To either believe in more than one power, or to simply refuse to believe in one power—both of those approaches can close off our minds to possibilities of happiness and well-being.

Choosing happiness is choosing healing and well-being and love.

Helpful quotes

(Quotes are from Lighted Clearings for the Soul)

Healing is the movement toward health — the movement toward a greater awareness and fuller expression of wholeness and spirituality in my life.  Note that healing is not a movement toward actually becoming more whole and spiritual.  From a spiritual perspective, I am already perfectly whole and spiritual in my very being — the truth of my life is already perfect well-being.  Healing is always the healing of my experience.  It is the movement toward a fuller awareness and a fuller enjoyment of my wholeness and spirituality.  Understood in this way, healing is not just for overtly “sick” or “injured” people — rather, as the on-going process of spiritual Self-realization, healing is for everyone.  From this perspective, we are always in the process of healing, always under way toward a fuller awareness and appreciation of wholeness and spirituality in our lives.

Healing, defined as the on-going process of Self-becoming, is for everyone.  … an essential part of spiritual Self-becoming and Self-healing is your intentional involvement in the healing of others.  In that sense, everyone is a healer — not just doctors and other health care professionals, but everyone.  … everyone has healer-possibilities, … (and) it is only in realizing your healer-possibilities that your own life becomes fully healed, that Spirit and wholeness can be fully expressed in every aspect and at every level of your being.

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