Step One Hundred and Eight

Step 108. Happiness Is Something I Must Learn Again.
All things must now be re-evaluated. All things must now be seen anew, for there is looking with Knowledge and there is looking without Knowledge. They yield different results. They encourage different evaluations and different responses. We have said that happiness is not a form of behavior, for it is much deeper than this. Therefore, do not attempt to use this idea to win favor with others or to demonstrate to yourself that you are happier than you actually are. We do not want to put a veneer of behavior upon your current experience. We want to guide you to that experience which is genuine to your nature, which expresses your nature and which contributes your nature to life.

Learn, then, again about happiness. In your two practice periods, engage your mind in investigation. Consider your ideas about happiness and the forms of behavior you think they must represent. Think of all the ways you have attempted to be happier than you are. Think of all the expectations and requirements you have placed upon yourself to be happy and to prove to yourself and to others your worth. As you recognize these things, realize that without this attempt happiness will arise upon its own, for you are naturally happy. Without restraint, your happiness will arise upon its own, without your imposing it upon your mind and upon your body. Without your imposition, happiness will arise on its own. Think upon this today, but do not be content with simple conclusions, for you are a beginning student of Knowledge and great conclusions come later.

Practice 108:
Two 30-minute practice periods.

Here you will find the entire book free for download 

Here you will find pointers for getting started if this is your first encounter with this practice: Taking the Steps to Knowledge.

April 4, 2013 Round One: Looking with Knowledge does indeed yield different results from looking without Knowledge. This is my experience. Looking with Knowledge provides a whole other quality of life. Happiness is a state of being, this is something I have long been aware of. It has nothing to do with the smile on my face and everything to do with the quiet joy I feel inside, no matter what the outer circumstances may be. It is all about the certainty with which I know that everything is in harmony, no matter what. I don’t have to do anything, I just have to be.

November 7, 2014 Round Two: This time I have been looking at my life and circumstances in the world from the viewpoint of separation. This means separation from Creation, separation from my Source, and separation from my deeper nature. The reality of living in the physical universe implies that I am separate, I have chosen this state and have to deal with its limitations and suffering.

There is a very profound and mysterious teaching called The Separation. It is very hard to understand. I was reading it today as I travelled on the Moscow metro to the British Visa Center to get my passport renewed. The following passage struck me in the context of today’s Step.
"While God allowed the universe to be created, the physical universe you live in, God also gave the antidote to suffering and to separation at the very beginning because you cannot really be separate from your Creator and from Creation. Even being obsessed in the physical reality, you still cannot escape your origin and your greater destiny. 
"It is hard for people to be honest about this. They are so adapted to their own misery that they call things “good” that are not good. They accept things that are unacceptable. They adapt to situations that are harmful or unfulfilling for them. 
"It is then all a matter of time, and time here can be equated with suffering, the suffering you experience to various degrees every day of your life. You do not even know how much you are suffering because you do not know what it is like to be free of it, except perhaps for brief moments here and there. Even your state you call “normal” is a state of suffering—a state of apprehension, concern and anxiety; a state overshadowed by the difficulties of life and the great change that is happening in the world at this time."
I applied this to myself and realized that the state I call happy is probably not happy at all. I must learn again what happiness is by following the Knowledge that God has placed within me, redeeming my relationship with my deeper nature, my True Self, and bringing my Ancient Home into my physical reality. I can only do this by continuing to practice the Steps to Knowledge and learning how I can contribute to life so that my real unique gifts can be given where they are needed. When that happens I will know true happiness. 

During the practices, I understood that I am happy when I accept reality as it is, when I do not try to create castles in the air. This does not mean I am satisfied with less or satisfied with a bad situation. It means I am looking soberly at myself and my life, accepting the limits, but knowing that there is something greater, there is a deeper consciousness, there is mystery to be explored, there is more than the eye can behold. I am here to discover it and reclaim what is inherently mine. I am more than my limited self. I am happy merely because I am.

Happiness is letting go and allowing Knowledge to run the show. Easier said than done! But in allowing it to happen I am learning true happiness.


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