The Principle of Happiness
The Fourfold Path to Achieving True Happiness
There are numerous ways to become happy, but the kind of happiness I am talking about is not the sort you can enjoy only in this world. It is a joy that carries over from this world to the next. We’re exploring principles of happiness that apply to the past, the present, and the future. The starting point of these principles is willingness to explore Right Mind.
Every individual has a diamond within, and this pure diamond represents Right Mind. The diamond within everyone is essentially the same, the only difference being the level of refinement and the brilliance of the diamond, which is the result of numerous incarnations. Those who make the effort to polish the diamond within become angels of light. So if you continue to refine your inner diamond, it will surely shine.
To make your diamond shine brightly, you must put forth constant and tireless efforts. Through daily effort to explore Right Mind, you will develop the spiritual discipline that allows you to discover your true nature and enter the next stage, in which you seek true happiness.
The first principle of happiness is love. This love is not the kind of love that you expect to receive from others. The love that I teach at Happy Science is love that gives. The true nature of love that gives is based on awakening to the fact that all human beings are essentially one with others. Even if you seem to have a personality completely different from anyone around you, your true nature is essentially the same as the true nature of everyone else. This is the basis of true love. It is only because you think you are separate from other people that friction and discord arise. Once we have awakened to the fact that essentially we are all one, we naturally come to love one another. We may have different personalities, but each of us is expected to realize our common spiritual essence while valuing our individuality.
What exactly does it mean to love others? It means wishing for the good of others, and wishing to nurture others without expecting anything in return. It is a selfless love, detached from personal desire. Because your essence and the essence of others is the same, you are required to love others just as you love yourself. It is easy to love ourselves; it’s not something we need to be taught. But unfortunately, once we have been born into a physical body and experience ourselves as separate and distinct, we forget to love others. This is why we need to learn to practice love that gives.
The second principle of happiness is wisdom. It is important to have a correct knowledge of spiritual Truth. Without this knowledge of Truth, human beings cannot be free in the truest sense. Some religions don’t understand this concept. Many dedicated religious people believe that only their particular brand of religion can save people, because they don’t know that Truth can also be found in other religions. Such confusion is very sad. To avoid this, you need to have correct knowledge of the Truth. This is the real meaning of the phrase “The Truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
The third principle of happiness is reflection, which is closely related to the cultivation of Right Mind. We are essentially all children of God with brilliantly shining souls. However, just as a diamond accumulates dirt if it is neglected, our souls inevitably collect dust and grime as we live in this world. Our life mission is to refine the soul.
Of course, there may be help from an outside power; it’s like getting help from a specialist, and sometimes we need that help. But instead of doing nothing while waiting for help, we need to get busy polishing our own diamond. If we do not refine ourselves, what is the meaning of practicing spirituality?
During the process of refinement, mistakes sometimes occur. If you realize you’ve made a mistake, who can correct it except you? Although someone else could wash your body, only you can cleanse your soul. Reflection is based on the power of the self to actively accept the challenge of spiritual refinement and improving oneself through one’s own efforts. Reflection helps us to see what needs to be polished. Start by reflecting on your past thoughts and deeds. There’s no point in gold plating rusty metal. If there is rust beneath, the shiny surface will soon peel away.
Reflection precedes the fourth principle of happiness: progress. Progress is the development of the self, of others, and of society. The ultimate goal is to create a utopia, an ideal world on earth. If people seek progress without the practice of reflection, they will most likely face difficulties before they attain success. Only when you have attained a certain level of enlightenment through the practice of loving and saving others can you advance to the spiritual dimension where there is no darkness, no evil or shadow, only light.
Most people first need to practice reflection in the world of duality, and once they have finished cleansing their souls, they can enter the world where only light exists. It is an undeniable fact that there are distinct levels in the spirit world that correspond to one’s spiritual vibrations and state of mind, and one must progress from one stage to the next. The spirits in the fourth dimension cannot leap straight to the eighth dimension; they first need to attain mastery of the fifth dimension. The spirits in the fifth dimension must first aim to go to the sixth dimension, then to the Bodhisattva Realm of the seventh, then to the Tathagata Realm of the eighth dimension. This is how progress can be achieved on the path of reflection, for without the feeling of making progress, you cannot feel truly happy.