Living Happiness From The Inside Out, Part 8

by William R. Yoder on June 18, 2013

Peace comes from within

Just stop blocking your own self-awareness

How to shift back to happiness

(Click here to start this series from the beginning.)
We saw last time how unhappiness is always accompanied by blame. You think that the upsetting world is what caused you to feel upset. But it was your own small idea of yourself that caused you to both feel upset, and to interpretively perceive an upsetting world.

Chasing after solutions that cannot work

When you believe that the reason you are upset is because something is wrong with others or the world, or with your past or your future, then you will focus all of your attention and energy to trying to change or fix what is wrong. Many people (including, I admit, myself) spend years going to seminars that promise to teach you “How to take charge of your life! How to use mental affirmations and practical tools to change your world to your liking. How to use special mental tools and techniques to make more money and better health and better relationships magically manifest in your life.”

But sooner or later, you discover that no amount of trying to control the world brings you lasting and consistent peace and joy. Because regardless of your occasional successes in making the world bend to your liking, you eventually discover that that whole focus of attention simply reinforces your belief that your happiness depends on the world.  The belief that your happiness depends on the world is the cause of your unhappiness. Even when things seem to be going well in your world, there is always be an element of fear as long as you believe that your happiness depends on what other people happen to say or do, or on what events happen to occur in the world.

(A footnote: All of your experiences reflect and seem to validate your most fundamental beliefs about life. Those beliefs form the interpretive framework that defines which experiences are even possible for you. Your experience of a world acting “against” your interests “proves” that the your happiness is indeed “outside” of yourself. Because otherwise you would just be happy all of the time.  But to really explore this fully now would be too much of a detour.  Later, in another series of posts ….)

Stop blocking your own self-awareness

If unhappiness is ALWAYS your feedback signal that you are blocking your own deeper self-awareness, then the solution is ALWAYS to stop blocking your self-awareness. In other words, even though it seems that you may have lots and lots of “problems” (i.e., all of the many outside things and factors that your deluded self blames its unhappiness on), there is always only one solution: stop blocking your self-awareness.

But this seems difficult to do, since your blockage is subconscious and unintentional. We don’t know that we’re doing it, or how we are doing it, or what it is that we are hiding from ourselves.  So how can we stop doing it? And how do we look for what we have hidden from our awareness? And how do we know when we have found it?

Actually, the last question is the easiest to answer. We know we are becoming more self-aware when we feel more peaceful and joyful and loving. We begin to feel a deeper sense of happiness that is not dependent on, or vulnerable to, anything that happens in the world.

True self-awareness IS the experience of perfect peace and joy and love. This is what the Buddha called absolute bliss.

How do we get from unhappiness to happiness? How do we get from “here” to “there.” Or it would be better to say, from our illusory idea of here to the truth of here? Next time we’ll start looking at what I call a “three-step recovery program.”  (To be continued …..)


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