Abraham Lincoln once said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.” Looking around at most people today it’s obvious they have yet to make up their minds. Happiness is a result of choice ? choosing how to effectively use the thoughts that flow in and out of your mind. The thoughts you allow into your mind influences the perception of the world you see around you. If you perceive a sullen, hostile and unhappy world, your mind is full of sullen, hostile and unhappy thoughts. Change your thoughts and you change your world!
The prime purpose of this course is to help you understand that outside events do not cause unhappiness in your life. What other people say or do cannot make you unhappy. It’s your reaction to what they say or do that decides whether you choose to feel happy or unhappy. Unhappiness is not something created outside of you. Unhappiness comes from within. Unhappiness is a state of mind ? a dysfunctional way of thinking. Rotten thoughts produce rotten results. This course is aimed at helping you overcome those habitual rotten thoughts. Just as natural therapies provide alternative methods of healing the body, the mind can undergo healing by adopting alternative methods of thinking.
A philosophy to live by
This course presents a philosophy based on awareness, understanding and acceptance ? not only of yourself, but of your fellow man and the world around you. Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher (circa 550 BC), was a scientist, a sage, and teacher who coined the word “philosopher,” which he defined as “gone who is attempting to find out.” In relation to this course, we are attempting to find out what type of thinking is causing more unhappiness than happiness in your life. Once this cause is discovered, steps can be taken to modify its effects.
What is happiness?
Happiness could be described as a state of mind induced by a higher state of awareness ? a natural state of mind arising from an understanding and acceptance of life exactly as it is. The only reason happiness is not a natural way of life for ninety-nine percent of the world’s population is that we have allowed our ego to control and dominate our consciousness with attitudes that demand the world should do exactly what we want and give us exactly what we want.
Our egos continuously distract us by demanding we satisfy the wants and needs of its “gouter” reality, rather than be satisfied with the abundance to be found within our “ginner” reality.
We always have enough to make us happy if we just focus on enjoying what we do have ? and not habitually worry about what we don’t have.
Why so much unhappiness?
Unhappiness arises from the more or less continual disappointment, frustration and emotional tension we experience when life repeatedly serves up to us the very things we do not want to accept.
Giving up the struggle
Unhappiness is struggle, a continual pushing away of the things you don’t want to accept in your life. Happiness, on the other hand, is simple acceptance! When you arrive at that point in life where you can calmly accept the world and its workings exactly as it is, you will have found that elusive peace of mind we call happiness. The awakened person lives a life of simple acceptance ? a state of being in which the mind is totally unconcerned with judging people or conditions. Once this higher state of awareness is able to be reached and maintained, the desired level of happiness will follow.
Awareness, understanding and acceptance
The central theme of this course is mind renewal ? helping you open your mind to a greater reality than that currently accepted and understood by society at large. Once upon a time the surface of the earth was considered to be flat ? a strongly held belief of those who professed to be in the know ? the scholars and leaders of the time. Exploration of the seas led to a change in those beliefs, and a higher awareness as to the shape of our planet resulted in a paradigm shift in attitudes and beliefs. Times change, and with them, the beliefs of those times.
The nature of reality
Reality ? as perceived by the ego, is completely relative to one’s own personally held attitudes and beliefs. We are limited in our understanding of life by our ego’s individual perception and interpretation of the world around us. The collective consciousness of those in the not too distant past, held that ships would fall off the edge of the world if they sailed too far in one direction. An illusionary perception that for a long time restricted man’s quest for greater knowledge and understanding. Fearful attitudes and beliefs hindered and limited man back then, just as they do today.
Overcoming the limitations of perceived boundaries
Columbus, Magellan and other explorers and visionaries, stretched and finally broke through the illusionary boundaries of mankind’s limitations, in particular its limiting system of beliefs. The citizens of those times learnt to accept that there were no ship-devouring dragons lurking at sea, just as they learnt to accept that the earth was round, not flat. Higher awareness led to greater understanding, which in turn led to an acceptance that attitudes and beliefs must be flexible and subject to change if man is to progress and prosper.
Choose to change your reality
Change your attitudes and beliefs and you change your reality. If your world around you, your current reality ? is not conducive to inner feelings of happiness and contentment, then the solution is obvious. Make the choice for change. A conscious shift in your attitudes and beliefs will take you into higher levels of awareness where you can see what is, rather than what is not.
Happiness isn’t a reward, it’s a way of life
A veil of illusion, a mind-set created by your ego, prevents you from seeing true reality. If your ego prompts you to doubt this, why do you seem destined to have only occasional and elusive flashes of happiness and not constant long lasting happiness? It’s largely because your past programming has you believing happiness is something that has to be earned ? a reward for struggling ? something that occasionally relieves the constant feeling of unhappiness that clouds your perception of life.
It is hoped this course will awaken something inside you ? a "knowingness" that helps you realize happiness in this life really is all about choice. Choose the type of thoughts you regularly place in your mind, and you can find the happiness and joy that always has been, and always will be, yours to enjoy forever more.