Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Stumbling INTO Happiness

"There's a book called Stumbling on Happiness by David Gilbert, about how our brains are wired to encourage us to make elaborate predictions about what's going to happen if we do this or that--and our predictions often are wrong. It's good to understand our limits. (And push them when we can, I suppose, as well.)"

So goes a comment from a member of SeatleIntegral on the group discussion list.
From Malcom Gladwell's review:
Stumbling on Happiness is a book about a very simple but powerful idea. What distinguishes us as human beings from other animals is our ability to predict the future--or rather, our interest in predicting the future. We spend a great deal of our waking life imagining what it would be like to be this way or that way, or to do this or that, or taste or buy or experience some state or feeling or thing. We do that for good reasons: it is what allows us to shape our
life. And it is by trying to exert some control over our futures that we attempt to be happy. But by any objective measure, we are really bad at that predictive function. We're terrible at knowing how we will feel a day or a month or year from now, and even worse at knowing what will and will not bring us that cherished happiness. Gilbert sets out to figure what that's so: why we are so terrible at something that would seem to be so extraordinarily important?
I wonder if any of us truly know what our limitations are? Or if we truly have them at all, except those that are consciously or unconsciously set from earlier patterns, family of origin issues, shadow, fear, etc.

When we talk about our brains being wired in certain ways, we're really talking about the upper right quadrant, the physical, what we can touch, what can be observed with the proper equipment, etc.

What happens we we free the upper left quadrant from fear, expectations, the past? The metaphysical, that which exists with, and without, the physical brain? That which we know exists, not because we can see it or touch it, but because we can feel it...we can experience it! That which goes beyond to the eternal, the everlasting, and the never ending? The part of "us" that is fully connected to all that is whether we realize it or not? Do any of us really know what our limits are?

What's possible with the full realization and activation of who we really are?

I think we do "stumble on happiness".. ..we stumble on it because we don't really believe we deserve it, that somehow, in our deepest places, we think we're really not worthy. I think we sometimes "stumble into happiness," as well: Times when, despite our stumbling immaturity, we still hit upon special moments and glimpses of perfection.

What if we could open our minds, releasing the stuff that holds us down, and train our minds to fully manifest all we are capable of? As a part of a perfect, limitless and abundant universe, are we not capable of that perfection, that realization, that limitlessness, and the utter and stunning beauty of freeing ourselves even further? What holds us back? What are we doing to free ourselves?

1 comment:

John said...

I think it's not all that complicated; but there's a lot of unlearning involved. The Dalai Lama says it best: There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. Our own heart is our temple, the philosophy is kindness. My book--now in 11 languages--to Bee or Not to Bee reflects this. Namaste