Of course, I have heard that the relative world is made of opposites, as if we can't have happiness without sadness. The word relative itself refers to an up and down scale. We are happier or less happy or most happy or seldom. Something goes fast or slow. We have tall and short, little and big.

I personally don't mind tall and short, though I wouldn't mind being a little taller, but I would have no objection to a world where everyone was happy, not more or less, but just happy. I really don't think it would be boring. We would still have all the other differences. We wouldn't always know ahead of time what kind of happiness would show up.  Life could still be full of surprises, only they would all be nice ones.

There's an author I used to read a lot years ago. Rumer Godden. She was an English writer who had grown up in India. I liked her writing and her characters and her stories a lot. Some of her novels were made into Masterpiece Theatre productions.

I remember the title of only one book of hers, and that was An Episode of Sparrows.  There is one line I remember -- it could have been from An Episode of Sparrows, but it may have been from another book by Rumer Godden.

What I remember is an older woman talking to a younger woman. The younger woman says to the older woman, "Is it true then that no one is happy?"

The older woman answers, "Yes, it's true."

And then she adds, "But they're happy in spite of it."

Obviously, I never forgot that line.

I suppose, as we leave ego more and more behind us, there is no longer the question, "Am I happy?" Life wouldn't be a question of personal happiness any longer. Our minds would be on other things.

Would the Great Ones, as God refers to Christ and Buddha and Mohammed and so on, even ask themselves the question, "Am I happy?"

I wonder, was Gandhi happy?

Was Lincoln? In his personal life, we know he wasn't. His home life was miserable. His partner in his law office often saw him come into work crying. Certainly, there had to be something great in Lincoln's heart that surpassed personal happiness.

What do you make of it all?


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Happiness is more a way of being or a state of mind (like Joy and Bliss) rather than a "feeling." I find that in the line you quote as well ... this is why the old woman could say truthfully that "Yes, it's true" when asked is no one happy then add “But they’re happy in spite of it.” We all allow circumstances make us FEEL things other than happiness or joy (usually fear). Since our essence, though, is one of happiness and joy, it bubbles through even in the most dire of circumstances. As Heavenletters reminds us often, no matter where we let ourselves go in fear, birds still sing, the sun still rises, life goes on.

This is what I have learned and why I have faith. I KNOW that no matter what I am not alone. Even in the depths of despair and through my tears, I KNOW somewhere inside that this too shall pass. I KNOW I will find my center and allow Godde and my higher self to again come to the front of my oonsiousness -- that I will not be ruled by fear, though sometimes I need to shed a few tears and breathe.

I read a Heavenletter, I Russ Michael's newsletter, I read A Course in Miracles, I read from "The Art of Life" (a wonderful little book), I read from the Bible, I write an email to a friend, or read one of the funny ones sent to me. I learned I don't have to hold on so tight to the fear. I can let it go and be happy, even when circumstances say I should be feeling otherwise.

Pam, dear, there is an unexpected (and unlooked-for) gift for me in your comment. It's hard for me to speak about it. First, this is a thread on happiness. Second, it's a little embarrassing.

This gift lies in your expression "even in the most dire of circumstances". I found myself wondering, Now, what are the most dire of circumstances for you, dear Jochen? War? Earthquake? House burning down? Accidents? Sickness? Dying? Loved ones leaving? No. It's in (the thought of) not being able to pay my bills. Being able to pay them proves your worth at least to that extent. Not being able to pay them amounts to being found out to be as worthless as they said you were right from the beginning.

Please understand that this is not complaining. I know God is getting me out of there in (ever so) small steps, otherwise there would be no way for me to address this. But the point I want to make is that if you were taught unworthines early enough, and you bought into it because you didn't know better, then there will be situations for you where you are not going to be "happy in spite of it" and where not even the thought that "this too shall pass" will hold anything for you. You simply don't know about a reliable substratum of joy and happiness to which you can resort when things get dire. You know it HAS to be there somewhere, but you lack the firsthand experience and find yourself unable to remember where it is. You may even enjoy circumstances that commonly are considered dire because they are in no way connected to your (lack of) self-worth. Pain and cold and blood and loss are nothing in comparison.

Oh, now I suddenly remember having read about self-wort in a "randomly generated" old Heavenletter this morning (somewhere around #1000). Then WAS I looking for your gift after all?

One of the reason for speaking about this is that people from all kinds of backgrounds are visiting Heaven, some of them feeling desperate and lost. Perhaps I simply want to make sure we all know that unhappiness can go very deep in some, making them frantic at times. Perhaps they come here with a vague awareness that exposing themselves to God is the only thing that can help.

Thank you, dear friends, for listening

So naked Jochen. Thats the heart. The heart writes nakedly like that.

Today I was thinking of a recent interaction with someone and of that someone. In our interaction I sensed that ego stamped on love a few times. I also observed that my thoughts lingered on ego and all it's flaws for a few moments on different occasions. Because I am aware of the mind and it's thoughts (most of the time), I turned the mind back to the vision of love, the highest good I see in that person and in all people.

I have the choice of focusing on the thief or the princess. Who will I serve by thinking of the thief? Probably the very same thief I carry within.

Breaking out of that enclosure of self worthlessness that we allow to be built around ourselves is an enlightenment. In one way another many of us have had that enclosure piled onto ourselves by other ones who focused their awareness on what was untrue. For me a large part of that healing came from forgiving and letting go.

About happiness: It's much better to have happy people instead of fearful, angry, envious and malicious people. When people are happy they have less possibility of hurting themselves and others. I think happiness and ignorance go hand in hand.

Lincoln through all his tears, Christ through all his sacrifices and Gandhi in his detachment, were pretty much content.

Maybe contentment and joy is the state we really seek. Happiness is more like for when one is tired of thinking or searching. We put them on the happiness pill. Eventually though, medication starts to have less of an effect.

Joy, contentment and equanimity comes from focusing on what is true.

One, your answer to Jochen is perfect. Jochen, what you don't know is that your worst case IS my worst case right now and has been for some time. Guess what? I have not died from embarrassment, though I thought I would a few times. I did not drive off the edge of a cliff, although at times that was actually very tempting. NO. I did not. At my very lowest moments, something in me allowed me to reach out for the first time ever. You see, before I started a spiritual search, I assumed no one would be there for me. Why would they? I did not think too much of myself, so why would anyone else. But I did reach out. It was that or completely lose whatever sense of myself that I had. Godde always makes a way, and this was no different. The person I reached out to was THERE. I had a lifeline. I can't tell you how much just knowing that someone was willing to help me then, in that state, did for me. It was then that I really started to work on myself. That I realized I couldn't just read books, attend seminars, join groups ... I had to actually go within. I had to dive deep and go below all the scary dark places until I could see my own light, the real me buried beneath all the stuff I had built up or that I had allowed others to build up around and in me.

The amazing thing to me was that I liked me! I really did! I wasn't simply all the things that I had done in the past, the hurtful things I had said to people, the facade of toughness I put on. I realized those were the defenses I had put up way long ago. Defenses that might have served me well as a young child, but that certainly were not serving me well now as an adult.

I found out that I could be the loving person I wanted to be without fearing that others would reject me. At the same time as I accepted and forgave myself, I was able to disconnect from what others thought of me. Not that I don't want people to think well of me, but to not let their misperceptions of me or my motives tell me who I am. I know who I am, what I am and I am learning every day what my purpose is.

Of course, ego still rises up. Work is still to be done. I try to be conscious of my thoughts -- I use One as an example of how to be conscious, I use Jack as an example of how to be happy with where I am, I use Gloria as an example of how to just be myself and to speak my truth. I see you, Jochen, as a kindred soul facing the same kinds of issues I faced and am facing.

Everyone, in fact, who contributes to the blogs and forums provide so many thought-provoking, touching, illuminating and sometimes just funny responses that this site never gets old, never gets stale. It's always a lesson.

I'm hoping that anyone who read my initial response reads yours and One's as well ... and this one too.

This is one of the sites I found (well, not me, it was put in front of me by Godde) that became a ROCK. Gloria helped me more than she will ever know. A thank you simply doesn't suffice. All I can do is pay it forward whenever and however I can. I pass on HeavenLetters, I read and reread them and always get something new and deeper.

If anyone is led to Heavenletters, than I KNOW they were led here for a reason. I pray that they find the same solace, peace and KNOWING I have found here.

As for me, I know that Godde has a plan and that all is as it should be. All I can pray for is that I have the "eyes to see" and "the ears to hear" so that I can move in the direction Godde wants me to move.

Personally, I don't care much if I am happy. I care that people( myself included ) are real.

This is such an insightful comment, Jacqueline.

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