"So, remember that in your process of walking out of the mind into the physical, you are not only living for you - but for all of existence, equal and one - from the water molecules, to the plants to the planets and stars in walking an opportunity where we can create and manifest a world, where, - when one IS born, the certainty of a life living to grow, and expand and develop is ABSOLUTE" - Sunette Spies
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Day 21: Pursuing my own happiness
If the whole point of life is to just feel good - then why aren't we already just doing that. It doesn't make sense. But if I look at my life self-honestly I can say that I already believe that the answer to life is to just feel good. That is why I have made probably 99-100% of the decisions in my life - because I believed that they would make me feel good. It is the reason I ate candy - why I pursued relationships with girls - why I played sports - why I bullied people in school - why I chose to go to a particular college - why I looked at porn as a teenager - why I smoked pot and drank alcohol in college - etc. And if I look at the world and observe the behavior of those in my environment - it sure seems like they are all pursuing this same goal - all constantly trying to find something that will make them feel good - eating out at restaurants, shopping, dating, driving fast, going to the club, going to church, visiting family, relaxing on the weekends, watching tv - is there even one human activity that doesn't have as the goal to make someone feel good in some way? Sure different people have different definitions of what 'good' is - and that is shaped by your particular experiences, but we all have this similar drive to want to do things that make us feel good. And I constantly see this idea promoted - in tv and the movies and when talking to others - that it is ok to want to feel good and that this is human nature. So its obviously recognized by most people that most everyone wants to feel good all the time and that this is perfectly normal.
But this is so obviously not practical for everyone to feel good all the time - not with the way our system functions. All those things that make us feel good come at a price. Someone has to work in the kitchen at the restaurant. Someone has to clean the toilets at the beach resort. Someone has to work in a factory to make the couch that you and your relatives sit on when they come to visit. And if you really examine the economic system and the standards of living in most countries - the vast majority of the world's population don't have even the mere basics to live - like running toilets, or clean drinking water, or proper health care. And yet the minority of us live in relative luxury, running around trying to find the next thing to 'make us feel good' - things which are only made possible by the labor of those who will never experience, except for a few fleeting moments perhaps, any good feelings or 'happiness'.
And so when I look at, for example, my resistances to feeding and caring for the rats, which I mentioned previously, this is simply a product of my acceptance that I should look for and care about only things which will make me feel good. And yet why doesn't taking care of the rats make me feel good? Obviously I have accepted through various experiences a certain particular definition of things that make me feel good and feeding and caring for rats just never entered into the equation. I mean, that sounds really fucking terrible, am I some kind of monster that I could not even feel anything about these tiny, helpless little animals that depend on me to feed them and take care of them? Well, the point is not to judge myself - it is simply a matter of seeing that I have accepted and allowed myself to limit my definition of what is good to a very narrow and specific range of things. And these things are not something that I mapped out, like a mathematical equation, to ensure that by pursuing them I am guaranteed to experience the utmost good feelings and highest happiness, no, I just blindly accepted the first things that came along and presented me with a 'good feeling'.
Now if I extend this logic out to every person in the world and consider that everyone has done the same - then it is no wonder why we are all constantly trying to chase but never quite find the thing we are looking for - happiness cannot exist when we all have separate versions. That is obvious. Especially when we fool ourselves into believing that happiness is just a feeling that you get in your body that is warm and fuzzy - I mean drugs can do that - and in fact if you look at the bio-chemistry - it is in fact a drug that is released in your body when you experience 'happiness' - it is not anything else. And really that cannot be the whole point of life - to just continuously find things to trigger the release of certain chemicals in your body to feel something. Can we not define happiness better than that? Can we not define it in a way that is actually achievable?
The obvious solution is for me to define as my happiness that happiness of everyone else. For example, if I were a little rat in a cage, I would probably like if a human would every few days clean out the poop, because I can't do it myself. And I would like that they would feed me everyday because I am not equipped to get food for myself in the current system that is dominated by humans. And I would like that my wounds are tended to and that I might get a nice treat every now and then. That is probably what I would like if I were a little rat in the context of how rats exist right here in this moment. And I can obviously place myself in the shoes of every being on this planet and do the same thing. If I were a prostitute, I would probably like it if the system we lived in were not such that if you don't have money you die or suffer in extreme ways. I would probably not want to have sex with every many who wants it just to get a few bucks and then have to give most of that money to another man who sells me to the others. I would probably not want to have prostitution as my only resort because through various circumstances I did not have an effective education and opportunities to be able to have another profession. I would probably not want to be judge by others as a criminal for just trying to survive like everyone else. I would probably like for those who are not in such a dire position as myself - to do what they can to change the system that I and anyone else do not have to continue to live in a way that really no one would enjoy.
And really I am one of those people. I am able to step back and look at the world we have created. I am able to sit here and type and share myself with the world. And yet I have defined my happiness as just what makes me feel good - and therefore I have let down all those who are not able to do anything about their situation. And I can't say that I am actually any happier for it. No, I can't and won't spend the rest of my life just looking for something as irrelevant and intangible as a 'good feeling' or 'happiness'. Even if I were able to clearly define my own personal happiness, how could it be complete if it did not include the happiness of everyone else. And how can we even begin to look at that until at least everyone has the basics, like food, water, shelter, freedom from fear of survival. I accepted my current definition of happiness - which means that I have the power to change it and accept a new definition.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that happiness for me is when I feel good.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that feeling good is the ultimate experience and that this experience is the most valuable thing and that nothing else I can do will ever be as valuable to me as feeling good.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself throughout various experiences in my life to choose to participate in events based on the promise that I will feel good as a result of my participation.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to participate in relationships with other people from the starting point of wanting to feel good and in fact not even considering the other person at all and only seeing them as a means to an end.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to see my life as means to an end - where I have become so mean in my pursuit of happiness and feeling good and disregarded all others even though I know that this will surely end some day and that I will end and that my pursuit of happiness will end and that my life will have had no real meaning other than that I was just a system of ups and downs that perpetuated the global system of abuse and systematic meanness that will never end unless I change my definition of what it means to live and end my desire for and pursuit of my own personal happiness and work towards creating a world where all can be happy for real - where the real physical needs of all are met.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create through time an automated system that assesses each decision I make as to whether it will generate a good feeling and thus I have abdicated my responsibility to myself and others to act in a way that supports everyone and instead only act as a robot programmed to pursue one specific goal regardless of the consequences to myself, others and the earth.
I redefine happiness as doing that which supports the creation of a world that is Best for All - I admit that I do not know all of the steps and thus I commit myself to investigating what steps are necessary through common sense.
When I am in the process of deciding on a course of action and the thought comes up that 'its boring' or I feel a resistance - and yet I have looked at the point in common sense and assessed that it is practically necessary - I stop and I breathe - I realize that the resistance, the feelings and the thought are consequences of the choices and decisions that I have made in the past and thus programmed into my physical body over time - and thus I do not expect that the feelings will not come up from time to time and yet I commit myself to making decisions on what is common sense, and not on how I feel - even if that means I have to experience negative feelings - as I recognize that feelings are not an indicator of whether an action makes sense or not - they are only the feedback from my mind that I am not following the path that I laid for myself through my past decisions based in self-interest and the pursuit of good feelings and a narrowly defined idea of happiness.