Lasting success is largely based awareness of reality and love. Most successful people know that it is not simply about talent, luck and ruthlessness that anchors their fortune, but loving support and being conscious about what is truly happening around them. In great art – from cave drawings to some comforting glimpses in the emotional contemporary imagery – the hard work that is grounded in love inspires us and motivates the creators to live in peace with their unsteady minds.
ALL TRUE WISDOM SHARES LOVE
Mindfully reflecting upon one’s life experiences or meeting an enlightened thinker spark the potential for harmony and happiness in the world. Christians, Confucianists and Buddhists believe that love breeds kindness and compassion. Love is what we must ultimately seek for peace and happiness.
Yet, there many kinds of love. Ruling high above all of these loves with somebody or something – the other – is the only independent and unconditional love – the love of yourself. Why? “The only thing that never changes is awareness. We change, our personality changes, as do other people and things”, said one wise, well-travelled man whom I met recently. Awareness of your love is the only thing we can control. As I dove into references, I realised that such wisdom has been shared across cultures for millennia. Respected sages tapped the secret for contentment. Confucianists accept that some things are beyond our control.
And it all makes sense.
Building on the learned discourses of Greek Stoics, Cicero, the history’s most celebrated Roman orator pondered happiness in his book On the Good Life. Paying respect to Plato’s wisdom, Cicero’s elemental message piercing through his inspiring work was that “all wise men are happy”. In the process of reading this work my awareness was set to accept this existential essence. The Stoic dogma of love not being able to deliver eternal happiness is about dependence on the other. They can change, get sick or die, but all you have all your life is independence of your own love for yourself. It is a choice.
From our contemporaries, the author Alain de Botton calls it immature love in his best-seller On Love. Mature love, accepting and genuine love of oneself is the road to happy life.
We all want to be happy. Contentment with one’s purpose is a primordial force that is desired by every savvy human being. I wrote about the art of happiness recently, yet I felt that there was much more to be learned. Despite the nagging gut feeling that more has to be said about the theme, I did not know what. Shortly, as if some divine force directed the encounter, I was to learn yet more truth about happiness. Only partially some things are beyond our control. By allowing awareness in, by purely being, we do not control the activity per se but we take control over our sense of contentment.
There are some gifted people that inspire an in-depth talk, an outpour of our true self, and put us at such an ease that we let go our defences and accept pure reality. Eloquence is useful only when we enrich our knowledge, and so is the inner voice inside our heads. If overused, then fatigue overwhelms us and depletes the life’s vital energy to be happy, love and create contentment.
I am hinting on the one apparently omnipresent foe, a perilous companion that or whom(?) distinguishes us from the other living creatures on the Planet Earth. It is the human, evolved mind. The mind sets hurdles to our attainment of happiness. Even if the desire was as strong as the roots of the perennial grass, we are constantly teased to fail ourselves. Unless, you open your mind to reality through a direct experience, an awakening, then you may scavenge on the debris of human thoughts. But you won’t find the answer in these messengers of intelligence, competitiveness, doubt, worry and in other emotions. The truth again is that the only aspect of your life that never changes is the awareness of being.
Due to the perceived cycle of existence nobody will probably ever know for sure or proof if this element ceases to exist, for its nature is ethereal. Perhaps, like the more commonly discussed soul, the awareness continues its journey beyond the deceased human body, but who knows? There is no point in discussing this, although religions, and the mind’s ceaseless hunt for reasoning cash on this ego-borne vanity.
The ego is the adversary to our happiness. Trust is the friend of love. It can be difficult to plant in one’s life, but since love is one of the essential human needs, we must cultivate trust in others and ourselves.
CREATION: POURING OUT OUR EMOTIONS VIA ART
An example of the workings that our happiness defeating mind employs can be the tendency to selfishness. Where unconditional love is is not present, selfishness rules. When we dive deep into our mind, we feel lonely. Of course, if we are so hedonistically concerned with our self, it is a lonely place. Selfishness might had been created for us to feel better in this solitary misery. Unconditional love is naturally present in us and in our relationship with our own children. Nature made it so for the sake of survival.
Further, our mind dives into positive or negative periods. During the positive times we are elevated, intoxicated and attracting others with the fragrance of our happiness. We make friends, lovers, and just enjoy the pure being.
Whereas in the negative captivity of our mind, we estrange ourselves from others and contemplate the dark sides of thinking. Often, this is the emotional, creatively charged period for captivating art to be created. Whether it is a way to self-healing, an urge to remedy the sorrow and loneliness through the medium of a painting, sculpture, music or a script, is disputable, but for some it works. Turning to pen and paper, a computer, a canvas or a matter to mould with one’s hands can feel therapeutical. It is their tool to awareness, the medium to opening their sorrows to the space out there.
Perhaps this is what fascinates us about art. Yet, today there is so much negativity in it. We live in the age of darkness in art perhaps because more than the admiration of and the love of beauty, proportion and reflection of the physical and ethereal world, the artists put their negatively charged emotions into their creations, and it hurts as some connect with them.
Whether you consider yourself as a creative humanist or not, try it. Express yourself through whatever medium appeals to you. It brings about the awareness of being that we need to cultivate for happiness. Plus, it clarifies your current position and brings you closer to feeling fulfilled. Penetrate into what you really have, not what you think that you should have.
THE JOURNEY TO REALISATION of AWARENESS
Some of us need another person to show us the truth. Our mind selfishly and unscrupulously guards it from our awareness. I am not talking about a religious guru, a well-read psychologist, but a sage, whose life’s experience can summon millennia of humane wisdom. A yogi might get so enveloped in his meditation that the life’s essence may swoosh like a rabbit crossing the road right in front of him. The wise person that I met very recently pointed me to the direction that I had deep down already knew. We connected. Yet, despite my psychology degree, prior to this encounter I was unable to decipher the nature of humanness.
The realisation did not lay in my intelligence, the brain, thoughts but in being able to simply realise myself as being. The fog that covered my life’s journey cleared out. My first website was titled winebeing, and in it I attempted to express the happy, yet indulgent existence. As years passed and I imbibed on the delirious beverage, I came to understand that it was not happiness but the provision of immediate intellectual pleasure and the temporary illusion fuelled by alcoholic intoxication. I savoured the occasional pleasure and joy in wine, but it was not there to last. Drinking wine daily is unsustainable to one’s true well-being.
I had to search for happiness elsewhere. Through marriage I learned that love for your other half is beautiful and can help guiding your loneliness, but it is not enough.
MEETING THE AWARENESS AND LOVE OF YOURSELF: read this!!!
What he was about to tell me would change my life, profoundly. I read about gurus, usually men in a ripe age, who learned from the other wise men. Still, I thought that they must be somehow just wise people, who focus their energies of life on bringing enlightenment to others. But, this is not the entire story. The wholeness of their being is much more profound and should not be pondered about, because one would engage the one enemy that constantly fight in our heads – the mind. And this is where he started. First you must love yourself, be aware of your being, and let go off distractions.
I came to see him because he physically helped my husband. I was not even for a minute thinking about meeting someone so spiritually powerful. My interest sparked from my natural curiosity and a pulled hamstring that was bothering me. He was a physical therapist and mastered craniosacral methods of fixing the inner misalignments.
We talked, and above all I experienced something almost magical. The extraordinary experience was that of the awareness of simply being. Not easy to do, but without the mind’s forcing ego, this is the most natural, comforting and contentment inducing experience any human can allow for one’s self. Ancient taoist teachings described and guided its followers to its essence, the tao. Letting go off the ego whisper of the mind, analysing, comparing, discrediting, approving, and in other ways intersecting life’s smooth operations, feels so blissful. Liberating.
“Just for a split of a second …” he said, and the surreal energy he transmitted suddenly took over my constantly streaming mind. Ah, I stared as if I was stricken by a numbing shot, feeling weightless, worry-free and strangely unfamiliar with myself. He smiled and softly spoke, asking me to describe what it felt like. What IT felt like? I had to figure out what I was just experiencing. It felt amazing! The worries in my mind were just gone. He explained that he uses a Tibetan technique orally transmitted for centuries of asking divergent questions so the respondent thinks “in different directions, the alternatives”.
It allows for your personal connection with the vast space of your presence. We usually just use our mind so much. You must know the common heavy feeling inside your head.
The shame is that we do not let the rest of ourselves to manifest – the spirit, perhaps? I had glimpses of this weightless, connected state while in nature. Alone, exposed to the raw elements, the natural cycle of an effortless being, I felt connected with the universe, that “awareness of pure being”.
This calming technique is stronger than just deep breathing from the yoga tradition, and different from meditation. The latter is the control of thoughts, the observation of them. The mind is engaged, but the awareness of pure being is different, it is letting go, completely. The stone drops, all problems, ego, disappear and we regain happiness. The moment of connection with one’s true nature. This state is the only aspect of life that never changes. IT gives us the much needed time or a moment of distancing oneself from a bad, transient situation. Just be and that will solve all your problems!
Psychology is obsessed with the self, ego, consciousness, subconsciousness, and all that is focal to the mind. It can illuminate some dark alleys of life and our behaviour, but it misses the point. The best way to help oneself, to feel better is to step aside of one’s emotional turbulence. It will pass, any emotion that is present now will not be here forever.
Love of oneself is not as common as it should be. I cried, when I realised that I did not love myself. Not because of some misfortune, but just because I was not connected to myself. Without connection, there is no binding to that loved object, no commitment, no relationship. We must nurture our relationship to ourselves, and only then we can allow ceaseless happiness to penetrate our every millisecond of life. The Dalai Lama knows and shares his happiness. But you must discover it yourself. One can point you out there, but you must experience your inner reality, the awareness of self love is liberating!
YOU will not find contentment in a specific location. IT is not about the place, but about your mindset. We are happier in some places than others, such as being in the nature on our own. Latitudes and longitudes do nothing much, we are not vines. The energy we feel in our mind is unique to humans. We create this energy, it is the awareness when we are comforted, we stop thinking and start purely enjoying. Like during an orgasm or looking at your newborn baby – in that moment you do not think, you are just being love.
So awareness of being, love of yourself, and wisdom are the three pillars for lasting happiness. Radiate love and wisdom, and others around you fill follow. Spreading such contagion is the best action one can contribute with to a better, peaceful and happier world. We are all heroes. Just overcome the hurdles of the mind and open yourself to being happy.