Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Happiness now??? Yes!


Are you happy now?

If not, why not?
Are you waiting for God
to give you permission?

She doesn't work that way.
The Nile flooded
The Rio Grande didn't
both same length
one stimulated mathematics, astronomy, pyramids
the other: getting by

If you think She wants you
to be happy by always getting
what you want, when you want it,
think again

That's the way to create
monsters and incompetents

If you want to be happy now
be happy now

The wait is over
the choice is yours

If you aren't getting exactly what
you want, right now,
Thank God

She is helping your happiness muscle
to get stronger
and stronger
'till it bursts out into
all of Creation

now for the prose:

HAPPINESS NOW. This seems almost heretical, doesn’t it, the phrase “happiness now?” As if that was too soon, as if we didn’t deserve it quite yet, as if it was much more civilized and even “fair” to wait a bit more for our happiness, or to be engaging in the famous “pursuit of happiness.”

The idea of fair is interesting to me. Clearly, we can see a lot of unhappy people around us. Does that mean, by some weird logic, we shouldn’t be happy? That our happiness would make them even less happy? ( And if it did make certain people unhappy to see us happy, is it our business to prop them up by denying ourselves?)

Another way of seeing this, of course, is that by learning to be happy, now, we can be an example and an inspiration for others to be happy. Now. One of the first steps they, and we, need to learn to become happy now, is to stop the comparing game. If another person wants to be happy or unhappy, that is their business. If I want to be happy, that is my business. (Check out the Work of Byron Katie at, for some fine clarity on this).If I have to have more potatoes, or money, or good looks,or good luck, or admiration, or body buffness, or creamy skin than the next person to be happy, then I’m always going to run up against someone with more potatoes, money, looks, etc, so I’m in the wrong place with my attention.

So, if we drop the guilt and the comparing, what about the waiting around pattern, as if happiness were going to come, but later, after we have… found the Right Mate, or paid all our bills, or moved to the perfect house, or finally gotten a wise and kind politician in charge of the country, or seen world peace.

That’s a hard one, since some of these things may not happen in our lifetime, if ever. Does that mean we should keep waiting, keep up the “pursuit of happiness?”

Well, I guess it’s better to pursue happiness than to give up on it, but once you taste happiness, you realize that it comes in one main flavor, and that flavor is Now. It isn’t a question of greed, this idea of happiness now, it is a realization that in the moment is the only time we can experience anything in our life, and happiness arises from coming back from the future and out of the past and actually enjoying what it is we are doing and feeling and thinking and sensing, Right Now.

The trick is to be present already, to skip the middle man (perfect mate, perfect job, etc.) and be happy now, and in that happy and present state to pursue not happiness, but a beautiful garden, or helping people we want to help, or fixing the political/ecological mess, or learning a new skill, or creating something wonderful or beautiful or amazing. This is fun, to be already happy, and to be pursuing an even more full, complete and wonderful life.

Here's the poet Hafiz, putting it all down short, sweet and easy: