The Ancient Masters’ View of Happiness

Part 2 of What Makes Us Happy?

Christ has set us free to enjoy our freedom. … Don’t let the chains of slavery hold you again… My brothers and sisters, you were chosen to be free. But don’t use your freedom as an excuse to live under the power of sin. Instead, serve one another in love… So I say, live by the Holy Spirit’s power…. the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. (Galatians 5:1)

According to St. Paul, we are already free! That is what Christ did by coming among us. We have the freedom to ignore our inherent connection to god and live a life of pain and suffering (aka a life of “sin” — see my blog post on the topic of how this word is misunderstood) but we also have the freedom to choose love, to choose to awaken to this truth of our union with our higher self, the Highest Self, in the form of the Holy Spirit. This is just like the Islamic concept discussed above of our unseen but true oneness with the Highest Self, aka god. And if we do that, what will life be like? Well, he tells us: “….the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” Sounds great!

​​The colors of [Krishna’s] body have penetrated Mira’s

body; all the other colors washed out

Making love with the Dark One [Krishna] and eating little,

those are my pearls and my carnelians.

Meditation beads and the forehead streak,

these are my scarves and my rings.

That’s enough feminine wiles for me.

My teacher taught me this.

Approve me or disapprove me: I praise

the Mountain Energy [Krishna] night and day.

I take the path that ecstatic human beings

have taken for centuries.

I don’t steal money, I don’t hit anyone.

What will you charge me with?

I have felt the swaying of the elephant’s shoulders;

and now you want me to climb

on a jackass? Try to be serious.

(‘Why Mira Can’t Come Back to Her Old House’)

So again, we are back to this idea of oneness with ‘god’ as the secret to happiness and peace (imaged in this poem by a penetration or merging of Krishna’s dark blue skin color with Mira’s body). Even being a princess, the daughter of a wealthy and powerful King, the very pinnacle of the human life available in her time, didn’t remotely compare to her experience of union with Krishna. That life of luxury and power is like riding a jackass compared with the shoulders of an elephant that a life of union with Krishna represents.

Zeb is a partner at King River Capital (www.kingriver.co). He also publishes regular guided meditations & wellness recordings (www.happymlb.com)