Happiness, Spirituality, and the Grit to Make a Pearl

A terrorist attack occurred at a Tunisian beach resort in front of a hotel with many tourists. As the firing begins a man tells his girlfriend to run to the hotel. He stands between his girlfriend and the terrorists preventing them from shooting her and as he blocks her he is shot. He survives and is taken to hospital where he recovers. His girlfriend is safe.

When the terrorists appear and the shooting started he is unlikely to have been thinking happy thoughts. What feelings he had I wouldn’t want to guess as I’m not him. What he did though was to spontaneously save his girlfriend even if it meant he could have been injured or killed. Silly question this, but as he was shot would he have been likely to have been thinking and feeling happiness? How about pain? At that moment he hadn’t been thinking about his happiness or that it was important to be happy. He was prepared to sacrifice himself.

He was prepared to do what he felt to be right. Likely if he hadn’t and if his girlfriend had been shot he may have regretted not saving her for the rest of his life, But that is just a guess, as I’m not that man.

Sometimes, there are more important things in life than being happy. At least in the moment, in the short-term. If someone sacrifices themselves and lives, then for the rest of their life, in the background, there is a sense of peace within themselves that they did the right thing.

What makes people happy is doing the right thing at the right time.

That is one aspect of happiness, anyway, and actually happiness is a complex issue. 

It is a spiritual truth that God is in all of us. That means that love, peace and happiness are within us all. In all lives. But then, why aren’t people always happy, and instead can be terribly depressed, or angry, or addicted, or the victim of abuse or crime, or they can be in pain, or filled with unsatisfied desires.

There are some so-called spiritual teachers who would claim that someone who isn’t happy is doing something wrong, and they are making the wrong choices with their thoughts. But then, what they say is merely their opinion based on what they know. (Also this piece of writing is merely my opinion based on what I know.)

We have many, many lives and in all these lives the soul gets to learn through a vast amount of different experiences. The soul grows in consciousness of itself in this epic spiritual journey. As it does this, the soul realises what it isn’t, until the wonderful point where it realises what it is (usually with the helpful input of someone who has already reached and gone past that point).

The soul builds and balances karma as it goes through these lives. The karma generates the experiences that the soul goes through and learns through. The soul extends part of itself into Life and as its spirit grows and is refined, in each of the human lifetimes, it also has a personality to do the experiencing. The soul can wear a different personality for each different lifetime. During that lifetime the personality evolves and changes over time as it learns from Life.

The experiences, at least from the personality point of view, can be good or what we often think of as bad (painful, upsetting, disappointing and so on). To the soul, which has part of itself in time and most of itself outside time, it is just experience.

So in some lives, there will be a lot of happiness. In other lives, due to the karma and also how the personality reacts to the experiences, there won’t be much happiness experienced, and the emotions experienced will be what the soul needs for its learning and development, like the grit in the pearl. For the soul, being happy all the time isn’t the goal. The goal is to have a vast range of experiences and emotions, and grow through that, and arrive at the Goal, in which there is happiness, though it really is a Divine state of Love.

So if you are experiencing the grit, that is OK, though I appreciate you would rather be experiencing happiness, and it might not be much consolation that your soul is doing OK.

Now, having read all of that you know more than many so-called spiritual teachers!

If you aren’t experiencing happiness, your soul might be OK with this, though it will also be quite fine with becoming happy.

It isn’t wrong to experience all kinds of emotions other than happiness. It is natural and normal for humans to experience emotions. It is part of being human.
What is unnatural is to try to block emotions and try to force a state of calm because of the deluded idea that being calm and continually happy is a spiritual goal. It isn’t. Even when you are experiencing intense emotions the very core of you, where God is, is experiencing Love and peace. It can never leave you.

Emotions are energy that is supposed to flow. Suppressing emotions because someone tells you inner peace and happiness is what you have if you are “spiritual” (or their version of spiritual at any rate), is an unhealthy thing to do. Emotions can be like fuel to actually help along the spiritual journey if allowed to move and be expressed in the right way. Mind you, emotions can also be destructive to others and self if expressed in a negative or inappropriate way, and slow down the spiritual journey. But suppressing and stifling them is also unhelpful.

I came across a story about a woman in India whose husband had died. She was trying to put a brave face on matters. She was known to a spiritual person called Meher Baba (means compassionate Father) and she visited him. She was smiling, holding it all in, trying to be happy in front of her Master, as being happy is generally the thing to do to keeps ones’ energy up. Generally, but not always. Meher Baba knew her husband had died, and he spoke to her about her husband and his death in a way that got her to feel what she was holding inside. The tears flowed, the emotions flowed. Meher Baba wanted her to know that it was important to allow her feelings to flow, as this would lead over time to a new equilibrium and a sense of a new happiness.  

Humans are amazing in that they have emotional energy which they can experience, and this energy can inspire great things, and be the fuel to create great things.

Emotions that are suppressed can literally get stuck in the body, and the body is like a recording device. Emotions can be held in the body for many decades, and bubble up to the surface after years, along with the memory of the events they are associated with.

It is understanding emotions and knowing how to deal with them which can be one way of becoming happy.

Emotions can be self-generated. If we have a positive personality in this life to learn from, we can have a positive perspective on life and think positive thoughts, leading to happy emotions and a glowing aura as well. If we have a “negative” personality to learn from in this lifetime, well we get to learn to overcome that if we can, and learn to appreciate, to praise, to be grateful, and to forgive.

Some lives we have, it can be very hard to experience happiness. For instance, if there is depression, painful physical illness, or mental illness. Dealing with the emotions and physical and mental pain can take a lot of effort. But humans have the capacity to do what they need to do and persevere. Spiritual sound bites about happiness don’t work in these cases, and if there is going to be some kind of helpful intervention, it needs to be compassionate, long-term, and given with an understanding of the person and what they are going through.

Say if someone has been through a terrible experience and has PTSD, the negative energy of the experience is in their aura, and the emotional energy is in their system as well, perhaps on continual loop, so its effects are constantly being experienced. It can take time and help to remove this energy and the emotions to allow in more happiness.

If someone has experienced a breakdown of some sort or an intense mental illness, their aura can be shattered. They can be very tired and happiness comes in small moments. It can take time, rest, love and support for healing to happen.

Then there are other issues where life can be a constant battle to stay positive and for life to go on. For instance, with addictions. Survival, and happiness has to be literally fought for, for an addiction to be overcome.

It is not unusual to hear that to be spiritual and therefore happy we have to be desireless. People can react to this kind of comment in different ways, and it can be an ego thing eg “I have less desires than you therefore I’m more spiritual”. Or, “Oh no, I have desires, so I’m not spiritual. Quick get rid of them.” Fun and games.

But remember in different lives we have different karma. We do have lives where we desire to have lots of things such as money, power and possessions. It’s just experience. Then we get lives where we desire little. At some point we have lives where desires mean nothing to us, we are just not interested in them and put no energy into them. So if you have a big multi-million dollar yacht right now, enjoy it while you can.

There are some humans who have intense desires. They have an intensely fierce desire God. Their love and desire for God are extreme and they constantly have their inner eye fixed on God. These people are called masts (pronounced “musts”). Their desire draws God’s energy to them so that they have a huge energy field, and are like spiritual generators. They often are unaware of their external circumstances because the only important thing to them is God. They are God intoxicated. They live totally for God. Of course, they get looked after and aided on the inner planes along their spiritual journey.

There are different routes to God, and like the masts, some of those routes involve having desires, though not so intoxicating or intense. As previously mentioned, in some lives, having desires is what needs to be experienced. If you want to think about desires of a spiritual orientation, you can have the desire to love and support others. These others could be a partner, or a relative, or children, or friends or strangers who you don’t know yet, or animals or the environment. If the desire has love in it like this, then it has a spiritual basis, and as mentioned before, life is about doing the right thing at the right time, so being true to yourself and doing that is better than listening to other people’s opinions about what they think you have to do to be spiritual.

In what other ways can happiness come about?

This list is just contains a number of suggestions:

Do what feels to be the right thing at the right time.

Say the right thing at the right time. 

Be true to yourself and think about things. Don’t take other people’s opinions as gospel (not even this; think about it!)

Learn to trust your heart, and trust your feelings.

Develop your third eye and intuition (helpful for looking at people’s heart centres so you then know who to trust).

Be around people who encourage you, and who will also tell you if they think you aren’t on the right track. 

Look after your health. Do what you need to do to be healthy.

Do loving things for yourself; love yourself.

Be kind to yourself; eg. hot chocolate, nights off, and relaxing.

Do loving things for others; love others.

Let yourself receive; learn to receive.

Appreciate yourself! And others.

Forgive yourself. And others.

Spend time with people you love.

Know that you have talents and interests. Find these and use then and do them.

Be in places you enjoy. See sights you enjoy. Listen to sounds you enjoy.

Be out in Nature.

Learn new things, take steps outside your boundaries. Keep growing.

Do the things that make you happy, now and in the long term.

Remember God.

© 2022 Jonathan Barber

Asking God or the Universe can make you happier

Spirituality can be very practical and it can encompass all aspects of life. It doesn’t need to be compartmentalized away from everyday life, and many people know this, and work with their spirituality in life all the time.

There is a lot of information and knowledge that people consider is spiritual in nature, though it might not apply to everyday life. For instance, how does knowing that energy is all around us help or influence how we live and what we do? Some people talk about portals, gateways and vortices, and consider information about them as important, or regard themselves as being “awakened” or “enlightened” (and others not). There are a whole bunch of other ideas to be found under the umbrella of spirituality, and people take on board those ideas they want to and reject those they don’t agree with.

What I’m interested in right now is how spirituality is linked with everyday life and how it helps people live and be happy and fulfilled. If you go on social media, it is easy to come across people on spiritual groups who are depressed or feeling miserable, or who are angry and some who are aggressive and attacking others.

The way I see it, if following some spiritual ideas make your aura grow and glow and look vibrantly healthy, then they are great ideas. If they help you to approach life in a way that your life works and you are happy and fulfilled then they are great spiritual ideas. We are here in physical reality for a reason, and when we have great spiritual concepts to live by, then we look energetically great, and life works. Life is a great place to test ideas out to see if they actually work. Caveat: if we have some negative karma to go through and so balance out from previous lives, we might not feel good and life might be bumpy, but at least we are going through the process of balancing, which is healthy in the end.

Even in cases of going through the negative karma, useful spiritual concepts can help us get it that it’s not all God’s fault, and we avoid just basically showing we don’t understand about karma. Useful spiritual concepts can instead help us to have inner strength and recognise and bring in the support that is actually available.

This isn’t new stuff, and it isn’t a secret (although if anyone wants me to wrap it up in mystique and say it’s exclusive and charge them a lot for it I can).

Basically there is God, and in fact our souls are all bits of God (which is why after a while, a long while of being through many lifetimes on the spiritual journey, the soul actually really gets it and thinks “I AM God”, but the focus right now is on everyday life).

Gods loves us totally though it might not feel like that because of karma and how rough it feels sometimes as we go through the negative karma, although unpleasant and painful situations can focus us on God. If life was pleasant all the time, the usual result so far has been for souls, for people, to forget about God. Perhaps this might change.

With God loving us, we can ask God for things. We can ask for advice. God knows us better than we know ourselves. God also knows what it is we actually need in order to be happy. God knows what physical things we need, and why. God knows the best ways to be to be as happy and as healthy as we can be. God knows the job or jobs we need to do in order to be happy and “successful” whatever that is going to mean for us. If you run your own business, well, there are people who consider God as their go-to business partner for ideas and solutions. People ask for things in meditation, and notice any responses which may be visual, or something spoken, or an image mixed with a feeling. They don’t force a response, they just open, relax and wait, or let the response pop in as they go through their lives. It helps to have the space and time to be receptive, so being on the smartphone all the time is the opposite of smart.

Some people find it difficult to relate to God, so they put out their request to that nebulous idea of “the Universe”, and let “the Universe” give them feedback. Makes you wonder if “the Universe” is something to do with God, perhaps.

The above is deliberate and conscious asking. Putting the thought out deliberately. But there is something else happening at the same time. There is a lot of thinking going on that isn’t deliberate. There might be habitual patterns of thinking happening as well, all…the…time. There might (will) be thinking going on subconsciously. These thoughts might be at odds to the deliberate thinking and requests going out.

Now energy follows thought. So when you think something strongly, and particularly if you think something habitually and repeatedly, a lot of energy goes out with that thought to God, or if you prefer, to the Universe. God, or the Universe if you like, gives you back what you think. So if you give out mixed messages, then the results coming back are not going to be clear.

Unhelpful habitual and subconscious thinking is like a long train travelling at speed. It keeps on going. As do your thoughts. You can change your thinking by deliberately thinking more helpful thoughts, repeatedly and over a long period of time. It’s a bit like putting the brakes on that long train. It takes a while for it to slow and stop, then go in the direction you want. It’s not impossible, and other people have done it, by being persistent and never giving up.

The other way people have quick results regardless of what they think about the situation or themselves is by believing. They believe that for God, anything is possible (so long as they ask for what God knows is right for them). They have faith. They know that God can deliver. Without necessarily knowing about it, the use or invoke the Law of Faith, which overrides any negative thinking and, it is done. So people who have faith in some kind of Higher Power are likely to have a life where things just happen for them. They ask for something, let go of the situation, and let God get to work, knowing God does it in the right time and right way.

Having this knowledge and this ability to Trust, to have faith, makes life a whole lot more fun, and relaxing. The key to this is just discussing things with God or the Higher Power or the Universe, and then asking, then letting go of the how and the when, and being happy and trusting. Is that so hard?

Now there are other things that make a person’s aura grow and glow. I’ll mention them here but maybe discuss them later. One, no gossiping, which discolours your aura and gives you unpleasant cordings and a bad case of low vibrational aura. Two, thinking positively of people and yourself brightens things up. Three, forgiveness. Four, gratitude; count your blessings. Five, giving, which might be money, gifts, a smile, positive words, or some help. Six, give yourself time to recharge. Seven, do the things that you enjoy and make you feel happy and excited.

Time for a New Prosperity

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Spiritual, single, love wanted

I have seen many posts in spiritual groups on facebook that when someone becomes spiritual and sees themselves and the world differently than before, they find themselves isolated, alone and different to other people. Having been in a similar position quite a few years ago got me thinking what it was like for me.

Some people are OK being on their own (as one person told me: there is a difference to being alone, and being lonely). Some people want a companion to see the world at least partially as they themselves do and share the journey and have mutual support Some want the physical love and affection.

What is striking is the sense of isolation and of being different to others that waking up to a new way of being  incurs. It can feel disheartening and depressing.

What to do?

Some people might try to visualise and affirm they are going to meet the perfect person for them, and try to use laws of attraction and other energy techniques and ceremonies.

If meeting someone is in their karma then it will happen. If there is opportunistic karma it is going to happen, provided the person concerned does something. That something is highly unlikely to be staying in their room, flat or house. They have to get out into the world.

There is online dating, but dating services for spiritually inclined people are not massive, and it is worth remembering that your guide and your Higher Self wants you to get it right.

Most often people come across that wonderful special future partner when they aren’t making a special effort, they are instead being themselves, being content and happy, living a life that feels meaningful. They are not looking, searching or yearning for the person of their desires to plug a hole in their life. Neediness is a turn-off, and is not magnetic to attracting in a lovely person.

If  a person has a sense of wholeness (rather than holeness) they have a better energy that people pick up on. That other person senses the vibes in a couple of seconds and they do a quick, albeit usually subconscious scan with their third eye.

A relationship isn’t 0 + 1 = 1/2, where the person searching feels empty and is zero, and the other person of their dreams is the whole one. It is synergystic, where 1 + 1 = at least two.

Generalising, creating a life that you love is the first step to having something to offer.

Next step, step out into the world. Be yourself. For some people that can mean wear and look like whatever. Other folk might be more deliberate about this. Part of human nature is about highlighting your good points that you think others will appreciate that are a statement about yourself.

If you feel confident about going up to a stranger or aquaintance and striking up a conversation or asking them out for a date then great. (I only did this when exceptionally motivated though I reckon I was given a push by that lot Upstairs when they saw fit. Mostly I was far too shy.)

I lived in London, and there was / is a thriving spiritual and therapeutic culture, so it was easy to meet people. I used to go to workshops either to learn about an aspect of spirituality, or get some healing. I would also go on training courses to develop therapeutic skills. In those kind of settings I realised I got to know people. I would work with them, and at the breaks and mealtimes we would eat and chat, and if it was a long course, we would perhaps socialize as a group or perhaps I would socialize with one other person. It wasn’t a case of thinking about getting a girlfriend, it was about being in the moment and having a great time with some wonderful people. Some good friendships grew out of this, and also a couple of deeper relationships flourished over the years.

Thinking about today, not everyone will be living in a city or town with a lively spiritual scene. Then there is the internet. Great for contacting people all over the world, but not as great as being able to be physically with other people, or as great as having a lot of spiritually-minded people all together in a way they get to interact with each other.

For that to happen someone has to get the ball rolling to arrange physical meet-ups and events. Card reading evenings, sharing and meditation, group walks to spiritual sites, a meditation first and then a barbeque… There has to plenty of ways to get people together talking.

If you are out of your home, going someplace new, say being a visitor to a new place or being a tourist, you can meet new people. You could meet someone just right. It isn’t something that can be forced. If you are relaxed and going with the flow, and letting yourself be nudged by your intuition, then if it it is going to happen that you meet someone, you will.