Everyone wants happiness, do they not? Happiness takes many forms. If you think in your life when have you been most happy? Imagine those times in your life that you have been happy. They may be times when you are in close community with others. They may be times when you are with a loved one, times when you are alone in nature. If you look at those times in your life when you are most happy, you will find those are times when there is a deep sense of connection, a sense of fulfillment.
The road to happiness sometimes lies in actions that we do in the world but, ultimately, it lies within us, in our own ability to find contentment and well-being. Spiritual life is that which uplifts the human spirit, that makes it bright and free. You feel that upliftment, that joy inside yourself. When there is connection, a sense of safety and well-being, a sense of wholeness that joy comes. It can be fulfillment in your work. It can be fulfillment in your relationships. It can simply be the joy of being.
In so many ways in our life, we find little ways and big ways to connect with divine essence, to connect inside, to find our Source, our wholeness. When we are struggling to get things done, fighting with life, trying to push ahead, usually that sense of connectedness and happiness is not there. That connected happiness is not a struggle. It is an appreciation of what is.
Each and every one of you has your own path, your own you’re your own journey to take. Your journey is like the journey of no other; it is your journey, your personal journey where the boundaries, struggles and difficulties come and where the breakthroughs and joys are unique to you. It is your own special journey and it is about relationship, your relationship to divinity, your relationship to the God-Self of all beings.
Some people have a hostile relationship that they have to work out. Others have a relationship of denial; they forget there is this Source of being. They try to imagine they are in charge of their lives alone and that what is now is all that is. It is a good philosophy as long as life doesn’t go too badly. However, when you have a lot of pain, losses, illness, then that philosophy, the self-made-man philosophy, begins to break down. Then you realize there are forces in this universe greater than yourself. Your welfare must be surrendered in this vast complexity of cosmological flow to the Source of that cosmological flow.
No one is an island; no one is alone and separate; all are a part of integrated whole, a part of an interwoven, interconnected network of life. You do not stand alone. You have your uniqueness, your journey, your path but you are not alone. You are part of the web of life, part of an integrated wholeness. Even the cells in your body are part of a web of life. There is nothing about you that you can claim as separate from the whole of life. To do so is an imagination of the ego. Being part of a network of life, being part of an integrated web of life, you move in the flow of cosmic existence in the ebbs and flows of this universe. Your existence waxes and wanes.
You come into this body a small and helpless being dependent on your mother. You can do nothing for yourself. You grow; you develop; you become a man or a woman. You fulfill your dharma in this life; you work; you struggle; you search and then old age comes; illness comes and you fade from this world in this body you leave. But do you pass away at that time? No. You are part of this web of life and your Soul, your spirit goes on across the veil. You awaken in a spirit body and there you abide until such a time as the circumstances draw you to physical existence again.
Again, you move into a physical body, a babe helpless in the mother’s arms. You grow again and learn. You learn and you learn, taking on different bodies, different circumstances, meeting the ones you love in each life, working on understanding yourself, a child of cosmic proportion, learning, growing, through body after body until knowledge and wisdom grow to the extent that awakening occurs. You realize, “I am not this body. I am not this small identity that has gone from life to life. That which has appeared small to me is part of a vast greatness of life.”
When the aware, awakened being ceases to identify with individuality and takes identity with the whole of cosmic being, then the need to take a physical form again dissolves. Then you realize you are in all beings and all beings are in you. So lead this life as best you can. Continue in your journey of awakening.