WHAT IS HAPPINESS
By Roza Riaikkenen,
Published in Australian Theosophical Society Newsletter N59 September 1997
The common image of happiness is calm and abundance in life. Sometimes people mention comfort and success. There also exists another image of happiness associated with more pure and spiritual experiences. My mother at the age of 85 has written her memories about her life during World War II. She is Holocaust survivor. Her memoirs often speak of horrifying experiences in the death camps. She describes great danger, fear and cruelty. It sounds incredible, but amongst all the horrors, my mother also mentions moments of supreme happiness. She held to these moments steadfastly, and the inspiration of her Higher Self sustained her through the madness and this saved her life as if by a miracle. She describes her experiences in the camps as a catalog of moments where her focus was on survival and escaping the constant dangers of camp life. She also describes such experiences positively as the opportunity to develop strength of character by excluding fear of outward conditions from one’s mind and single mindedly controlling one’s thoughts on the important things of life. I have also seen descriptions of similar peak experiences in books about the lives of famous athletes and artists.
Such people seem to achieve a particular height of happiness when they are able to work wonders striving out and beyond their regular physical abilities. Ordinary people also recognize a similar feeling and may find it in such common experiences as falling in love, achieving a personal best artistic achievement or lending a hand to another person in trouble. They remember and thoroughly miss such high points of happiness after they have passed. I could only fully come to grips with the nature of this sensation when I entered my spiritual Path and stopped trying to explain everything in purely materialistic terms. Then I discovered the immense world of Spirit and Energy. This world has been described in ancient books and in the writings of H.P.Blavatsky and other theosophical authors. There is a Higher Self inside every man and woman and it is connected to the ABSOLUTE (call it God if you will). Therefore, a human being is able to work wonders by concentrating on the Higher Self. He or she can sense time as a wave, control its density, and appear in unusual conditions of time and space. In our search for meaning, we all can strive to identify with the God within for a while. This is a moment of holy wonder and remembered as a state of infinite happiness. No-one can achieve such peak of happiness for material gain, such as money or simply for fun, but only whilst seeking for the spiritual goal. Usually people prefer to choose common and familiar ways to achieve what they define as happiness but, in truth, only unusual ways will lead them to the state of greatest happiness.
As one of the Masters of Wisdom (H.P.Blavatsky’s teacher) said: “…When people say they are seeking happiness, they mean they are aiming at the stage in their evolution where their present problems will be solved. To reach it, one must withdraw from the allurements of life and all its outward and discouraging aspects, and find himself in the solitude of his own being, in a silence unbreakable within his own heart and mind. The outer life is transient: he must gain the inner power, and live in the Spirit which is eternal…” (from Katherine Tingley’s The Gods Await pages 158-9).