Last week I decided to shift the stagnant energy I was feeling by taking in a dose of humor, so I visited one of my favorite sources, The Onion. While reading their excellent satirical “news” articles, I came across one entitled, Grown Adult Actually Expects To Be Happy. Little did I know that my quest for humor, of all things, would send me into an existential tailspin that would have me sobbing for hours.
What really stuck in me like a barb was that the fictitious subject of the article, “Rob Peterson”, is just like me. I too, am still expecting to achieve lasting peace within myself and contentment with life. I too, keep thinking, someday, things will get better. Someday, I will be happy and satisfied with my life. But this “someday” has yet to arrive, and given that I have one foot firmly planted across the threshold of “middle age”, I have my doubts that it ever will. I had to ask myself, when will I ever attain this mythical “long lasting happiness”? Am I doomed to be discontent, frustrated and miserable for the rest of my life? Worse yet, will I ultimately drown in this cesspool of bitterness and cynicism? Beneath these questions, there was something much deeper at the core of my anguish, something fundamental that my mind could not grasp in that moment. In the catharsis of tears, an understanding began to emerge.
Aren’t we all “Rob Petersons” to some extent? I would say yes, which is why most of us can relate to that article, and as is all too often the case, the satire cuts a little deep. Reading it was not unlike laughing while being stabbed in the ribs. I began to see that the reason we get so crushed when things don’t go our way or when “enduring happiness” eludes us, is partly because we have all these expectations about the future, and believe that once we have achieved xyz list of goals, then we will finally be happy. But even when we achieve those goals, the happiness is only temporary. This is because it isn’t “happiness” we actually yearn for, it’s wholeness, and that is something the world can never provide. In fact, it is this very broken-ness that keeps us in this dysfunctional, parasitic matrix to begin with.
I am going to take a moment to provide some background on the energetic dynamics of this particular experiential matrix (or universe) we find ourselves in, based on my own insights and internal gnosis, along with some insights from my husband who experiences gnosis as well. My hope is that this will help clarify why regardless of what we do in this world, we just “can’t get no satisfaction.” First, understand that when I speak of “matrix” or “universe”, I am referring to a created space that, simply put, functions as a platform for experience. There are a boundless number of these matrices or universes throughout the All of Creation and they provide an endless variety of experiential possibilities. Understand too, that this particular matrix we are in, is a matrix within a matrix within a matrix. It has been described as something like those Russian nesting dolls with one hidden inside the other. Not all of these matrices experience the kind distortion and dysfunction that characterize this matrix; you know what I refer to—genocide, rape, mass starvation, disease, the whole lot. On a spiritual level, before we project into this distorted matrix, we are whole, Self-Realized, Self-contained beings. We have no needs of any kind, and all our energy is generated within our Selves because of our direct link to what is often referred to as Creator of All, or more simply, Source. We are completely aware of our Selves as Creator/Explorers, which is why we projected into the larger experiential matrix to begin with—to explore.
Upon entering this distorted matrix, we are split in half in a process that is very similar to splitting an atom. This process of being split in two is the most traumatic experience imaginable for a spiritual being—or even an atom, as atoms too, are manifestations of the very intelligence of Creator. By being split, we are no longer whole and thus are unable to generate our own energy. Likewise, it makes our energy available to the demiurge of this matrix that cannot produce its own and must parasite off other beings to acquire it. Through this process of trauma and fragmentation, we not only become parasitic, but because it puts us in the position of constantly needing something, it also makes us very, very easy to control.
Thus, on some deep level we always know that something is missing, but because of the memory wipe we are subjected to upon entering this matrix as well, we just can’t pin-point what that “something” is. Hence we are constantly running on a hamster wheel, chasing a piece of cheese held out to us, but can never reach, constantly looking outside of ourselves for what will make us feel complete. Look! Happiness awaits you in a new leisure suit! Happiness in a silicone boob job! Happiness in the ideal mate! These notions of “happiness” and our relentless pursuit of them only serve to keep us feeling unfulfilled. Even when we attain the objects of our desire, the happiness is fleeting, and eventually we are left feeling unsatisfied yet again, and back on the hamster wheel we go. Furthermore, even if we were to find the other half that was split from us, because of the nature of the polarity and the energetic dynamics of that split, we can never physically come in contact with that other half in this world, because to do so would cause a cataclysm of such magnitude it would destroy the universe as we know it. This is something akin to bringing matter and anti-matter together–KABOOM! The only way that we can achieve our true state of wholeness is to exit this parasitic matrix and return to the Eternal Self that continues to exist beyond it—the Self that has never been split in two.
The hours of paralyzing crisis I experienced last week after reading the Onion article proved to be fruitful, thankfully. I realized that while I am still in this distorted matrix, I can attain a modicum of contentment and mental peace by dismissing the notion of “enduring happiness” and accept that happiness, like sadness, anger, or any other feeling, is a transient experience. I can also choose not to build up expectations about what will happen in the future, and instead anchor my attention on what I am feeling and experiencing right now. If I am feeling pain or distress, I can accept that this is what I am feeling now, and know that it, like all experiences, will pass.
Likewise, instead of setting myself up for the inevitable disappointment that stems from seeking to attain happiness, I can choose to foster joy. Joy, unlike happiness, is not contingent upon certain events happening; it is what we are and available to us any moment we choose to connect with it. For me, it arises into my awareness by being fully present in the moment and not attempting to run away from what I’m experiencing. I can be feeling pain, grief, rage, loneliness, etc. and still experience joy. I find joy in connecting in my relationships (both human and non-human), in meaningful creativity, and in very simple pleasures such as feeling the warmth of sunshine on my back, admiring the beauty of nature, or enjoying a hot cup of tea.
The emotional tribulation I endured last week triggered by The Onion article became an intensely cathartic and enlightening experience; it also proved to be nothing less than ironic. Who would have thought that deep emotional catharsis and greater spiritual clarity could be found in the pages of “America’s Finest News Source”? Happiness may be fleeting, but indeed, humor abounds.
Note: Image above courtesy Eric on Flickr. If anyone has a link to his site, please contact me so I can include it. Thank you!