Posts tagged: happiness

Oct 08 2011

Will “Living in the Now” Bring You The Happiness You Want So Much?

As with everything in life, including spiritual matters, “Living in the Now” is a concept, and so is the term “happiness.”
At the highest level of awareness both are meaningless metaphors and without reality; as would indeed be the need to write this post about them.
Therefore, for the sake of argument, let’s climb down from these lofty heights of pure Advaita, and try to navigate through the treacherous waters of the “commonsense spirituality.”

You and I, we want to be happy. To be more exact, the consciousness which is you and I wants us to actively participate in its flow – free and uninterrupted. Only when our “personality” or the ego, if you like interfere, unhappiness comes into play. For in the process of trying to change the unchangeable, we create disruptions and turbulences of the otherwise perfectly harmonious and balanced flow. And not seeing the things going our way (how could and why should they, if for it to happen, the whole Universe would have to cooperate with us), we become unhappy.

In a very few cases, an “individual” may ask: “If my life gives me great satisfaction and happiness, why should I bother about what or who I am?” Nisargadatta Maharaj gives us straight answer to this: “This consciousness will not rest until it gets the answer. This consciousness cannot bear its own existence, cannot bear its own consciousness.” Simply meaning, that even if you experience happiness, “it” and the feeling of it are both unreal, and purely a result of your ignorant view of your individual consciousness as Reality.
And before we get pulled away from the Advaita’s Neti-Neti, into the duality of individual and universal (manifest) consciousness, let’s dismiss the consciousness altogether. Why? Because, as stated above, “this consciousness cannot bear its own existence, cannot bear its own consciousness.”

Indeed, consciousness knows that it is unreal, false and fraudulent – in its deceptive ways that we, humans so naively choose to follow. Sages and scholars might have found many aspects of consciousness that make it unreal.
For us, it’s enough to point out the one we all know and experience only too well: (the spiritual meaning of ) time.
Yes, by being time-dependant, consciousness and all that appears in it is untrue, illusory and ephemeral.
And so is our greatest possession, at least that’s what we think – our life.

Although our perception of it being totally time-dependant is entirely false, we stick to the concept of time for the length of our earthly existence, overvalue it, try to extend it, and insist on creating our reality on the foundation of seconds, minutes, years and indeed, eons.
How then can you know happiness, if all you have is the illusory background screen of time, which you tend to project it against?
And don’t even waste your efforts on trying to harness the concept of time, and make it more exact, precise.
This applies particularly to those enthusiastic followers of the “In the Now” concept.

living-in-the-now

Living in the now is no less unreal than your beingness!

Being “In the Now” is no less unreal than the concept of Beingness itself.
There’s no being, and there’s no Beingness. Contrary to what the many contemporary spiritual “gurus” are trying to make you believe, there’s nothing to gain, no progress to be made, in “staying in the now.”
This is not where the happiness you want so badly, resides.
And before you ask where one should look for it, get your spiritual priorities right!
If you desire happiness, be ready to embrace unhappiness; for they both come in equal doses. In the end, “All is plus and minus, zero!” in Nisargadatta Maharaj’s words.

Still, if you cannot live without happiness and the “rewards” it brings, want get more of it at a lesser cost, here’s the “shortcut” you can start practising right now: begin to ignore time. At any opportunity when the time factor comes into play, try to ignore it.
Depraving it of attention will starve it from the power it holds over you. Realize that time has no independent reality, it is a concept; and being with humans forever, doesn’t make it less illusory than it is. Know that time serves only one purpose: to define your Self.
You’ll know when you arrive at the highest levels of awareness by the strength of your conviction that the Self is too unreal.
Yours worshipping of time only delays your arrival. Yours search for happiness only makes you feel busy, enacting the play “living.” It is only when you give up the desire for happiness, that you’ll find the Ultimate.