Re: The Happiness Project
by Roland Stahl
I have studied philosophy all of my life, and I believe I have come to a clear understanding which I have tried to express as clearly as possible in my writings, (e.g., The Laughter of God).
Among the many insights which a clear understanding of the principles of philosophy will provide is that Happiness is one of the expressions for that convergent point at the Center. If you imagine metaphysics to be represented by a sphere, there will be the convergent point at the center, which is infinite love, infinite happiness, total compassion, bliss, and joy, perfect radiant health, infinite energy, infinite peace, and infinite wealth. As you move away from that point of perfection at the center, you move towards novelty, which becomes complexity, then confusion, and then chaos, at the periphery of the sphere, where the energy dissipates. This also means that as you drift further from that point at the center, you will have less energy, poorer health, increasing poverty, bewilderment, anger, and death. (I also want to mention that the search for Novelty is the spark of Life; the lesson here is that Novelty is only good up to a point; but Novelty is not the same as going bad. The Solve et Coagula of Hermetic Alchemy is the same movement away from the point, followed by a movement toward the point: a simple example is the action of a hammer.)
This very simple concept can be used as a model by which to understand any process of change. For example, “a very simple measure of a person’s level of spiritual growth is the degree to which they love everyone.” Another way of saying the same thing is that “a measure of a person’s level of spiritual growth is how happy they are.” I prefer the former way of putting it, because if anyone wants to play the game of “more loving than thou,” they are very welcome to do so! However, the game of being “happier than thou” doesn’t seem to me to be nearly as much fun.
So the idea is not only that happiness is an important goal to be sought, but that the closer you get to the happiness goal (or the higher your “happiness quotient”), the more love you will feel, and the healthier and more beautiful you will be, because it is all the same thing!
So, like all other yogas, the Yoga of Happiness will bring you closer to union with God, and I’m all for it! This world needs all the happiness, and all of the love, that it can get.
Addendum appended for the rehabilitation of Timothy Leary:
There have been objections to Timothy Leary’s slogan of “tune in, turn on, and drop out;” it seemed to be completely negative in its implication. However, I have long ago discovered the importance of considering an idea from the point of view of trying to understand what the idea was, rather than a literal interpretation of the words. In the present instance, Leary’s idea is lost in the midst of its misconception. The first step towards a regeneration is a fall back. Solve et Coagula. Move back away from the forward point in any direction of novelty, followed by a renewed movement forward: Change is like the pounding of a hammer. Meditation is a similar going within, in contrast to the more usual going out that pervades so much of our life. Like a sabbatical, a period of going back may be followed by a creative and powerful movement forward. So Leary’s message can only be understood in the light of its obvious continuation: “and then do something New.”
Tune in, turn on, drop out; and then do something new.
The Evanescent Press