Happiness is Not A Constant State Despite “Spiritual” Guru’s Claims

by Melody Jean

happinessnotconstantcontemporaryseekersmaller“Show me someone whose life has been easy and I will show you half a person.”
– Dr. Stewart Bitkoff

You’ve likely heard me speak to this before; happiness is a transitory state, not a constant.

It can’t be.

It’s Around the Next Corner

I often find that those who are most despondent in life have a surreal expectation of finding everlasting happiness.

It’s almost if these individuals believe they’ll discover “it” around the next corner, through the next experience, or after the next milestone.

I’ve Been That Person

I don’t fault people for moving about in this vein; even though by merely writing these words I might appear as if I do.

You see, I have been that person. The one who thought that sheer, utter, delight was achievable in a perpetual sense.

As is such, I know that feeling of chasing some form of eternal bliss that I have found just does not exist in our current material plane of being.

We Were Brought Up to Believe

I think part of this conundrum is from conditioning as children.

That is, if we were fortunate enough to have parents, or other caregivers, shelter us much of the time from the harsh realities of the world.

Those who have more challenging upbringings, where they witness and/or experience destruction, suffering, and demise early; I see tend to not chase this mega fairytale existence so direly.

The “Spiritual” Gurus – Step Back Puhlease!

Unfortunately, too, we are now exposed to so many “gurus,” who claim their spiritual prowess.

They’re arising left and right and imposing ideas such as:

“If you always think positive, positive will come.”

“Show gratitude in everything and you will be rewarded in kind.”

They tout that all is always right in the world, even when as I say, “shit hits the fan.”

With that, we should maintain a Zen state even under the most formidable of circumstances. To do anything less, will be, well, not Zen.

Oh my! The pressure to be Zen-ly perfect in an imperfect world!

My Experiential Experience

Through experience I’ve gleaned that I’m offered much beauty in this world – from life successes, to delicious food on my table, to being part of a family, to loving others. Truly, the list is endless.

Yet, life has twists and turns, as each of us will come to learn, at some point. Sometimes the turns can flip you upside down, too.

With that there is no “eternal happiness.” There can’t be.

Yet, I do have extended states of contentment while accepting that nothing, or anyone, can provide it for me or extend its duration.

–> Que Sera, Sera

My mom used to sing a Doris Day song to me as a child, which her mother sang to her. I’ll always remember these words:

“Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, the future’s not ours to see …”

In a sense I live this way. With contentment for “what will be, will be.”

–> Externals Are the Answer … Not

I recognize that externals and circumstances cannot be the primary source of my “happiness.” At least not in the continual sense.

Because as often happens in life elements will change, or go astray.

If these factors are what makes one “happy,” what does he or she have left if they disappear?

For many, a feeling of demise, or being cheated by life. A lot of why me’s ensue. They feel depleted of happiness.

Further, since they believed on some level that constant happiness was a birthright I often witness their disappointment to be so much greater than that of others who recognize that crappy things happen to good people, too. That’s just life.

So essentially, unknowingly, they’re hindering their own capacity to find a more consistent state. Something in the shade of gray — contentment, acceptance, or another feeling between happiness and sadness.

It’s cyclic in a sense.

–> My High and Low Theory

I expect life to have ups and downs. Yet, the downs have only helped me to view the highs just that much higher.

The downs, well, they don’t seem so low anymore.

But I can’t negate, they are not “highs.” And no, they don’t make me “happy.”

I will admit, even though I strive for peace and contentment, I don’t sit in gratitude when bad elements befall me.

When I get word that a family member passes away, I might in time be grateful that they were a part of my life. But, no, in that moment, I’m not grateful.

I’d be a liar if I said I was. Yet, many do pretend to be. Why? I think.

–> A Monk’s Tale

I met a Buddhist Monk once who was genuinely genuine.

He did not maintain that all is wonderful, and life is always grand.

I’ll paraphrase here what he shared … “American’s always say, “life sucks,” and want to know how I am happy all of the time. Do you know how horrible it was to be trained as a Buddhist Monk? I was not happy.”

I believed him. So much more so than the ‘spiritual’ gurus who maintain admitting unhappiness is to be “un-spiritual.”

I want to challenge, how can it be? We’re human, and this world can be a scary place. Yin and Yang is purposeful for we wouldn’t know any happiness without its yang.

Yet, I let the pundits continue in that vein, for each is meant to solve his or her own mystery.

I’m working to solve mine, how about you?


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