The magic word with a thousand forms
What is it that makes each win in a game, be it sports or virtual, so ecstatic? What is it that makes the rush of extreme sports, partying, and sex so thrilling? What is it that underlies religious, spiritual, and materialistic pursuits in this life that would attract many to devote their lives towards? What is it that I find in every cup of tea and bowl of ramen that makes me enjoy it, crave it, and want more of it?
Happiness is the one thing that all living things strive for, no matter form in which the external pursuit takes, but yet many people lose themselves in the detail and become so fixated on the outcome/ object that they cause untold suffering in their journey. It is one of the great secrets underlying the Law of Attraction; that the true goal is ultimately happiness and not some arbitrary object that one is fixated upon.
When the misperception between happiness itself and the object of desire arises, it creates dissatisfaction because of a mis-match between what one perceives in the current reality and what one expects in some distant ‘not-now’. Therein is the true goal of all spiritual teachings; a gentle reminder that the happiness we seek is quite literally ourselves, thus the removal of all time, space, and effort between the now and happiness.
In LOA terms
With some self-awareness and self-inquiry, one will quickly realize that happiness is the only thing that all beings seek, though the forms and outcomes vary. The great thing about this realization is that it imbues one’s actions with great clarity, as it lays bare all limiting beliefs and nonsensical rhetoric. Through being at one with the present moment, one unveils inherent peace and allows the negativity to walk out, “creating” happiness (a concession because of the way language works). It is an allowing of what is, and in the process aligns one with the universe for manifestation to take place. Unconditional, sustained peace and happiness in one’s being is what allows for new manifestations to come in and transform lives.
In Christian terms
Referencing Luke 17:21; is one of my go-to-quotes in the bible because it references the truth of what is using metaphors. The ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ is used as a metaphor for the peace and happiness that we seek, the ‘observable signs/ signs to behold’ are a metaphor for objects of desire, tokens of significance, concepts that we value, etc. Jesus clearly understood that happiness itself had no definite forms, hence the denial of ‘Look here it is,’ or ‘there it is’.
After all, if the kingdom of Heaven was the happiness and peace being sought, then wouldn’t God be (metaphorically speaking) the holy word for happiness?
In Buddhist terms
The root of suffering is attachment. Purity or impurity depends on oneself. No one can purify another. No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. Happiness is the path.
If anything, the Buddha was a person who understood the human mind more than anything, along with the meanings, concepts, heuristics, and associations that we create for ourselves. The way out of suffering lies not in trying to dispel the darkness, but rather by bringing in the light of understanding.
Unfortunately , I am not as familiar with teachings of the Sufi tradition, but in the spirit of that which has a thousand forms yet goes by the name of happiness, this one expresses it poetically:
“I once had a thousand desires, but in my one desire to know you, all else melted away.”-Rumi