I suggest that there are 2 fundamental rules one should live by.
1. Seek to understand the nature of the reality we find ourselves in.
2. Act with compassion.
As free beings in an effectively Infinite Universe, all actions are permissible. There are, of course, consequences. As we delve into the layers of knowledge and meaning, we find more and more that much of what we think and do are programmed into us by our society. Much of this is used to control and manipulate us for the benefit of others. We, as social animals, go along willingly with the bulk of this. To be accepted as part of the troupe has a certain comfort, whilst bucking the cultural restrictions can lead to ostracization, and in the extreme, a violent and unpleasant death.
Thus we are somewhat discouraged to seek the "truth". It at times is analogous, and the image is often used, to the summiting of alpine peaks. The view is stunning and beautiful, but there is danger from the cold and the rarefied atmosphere. However, as with the mountaineer, we are able to ascend safely to the heights if we choose appropriate techniques.
I suggest that the pursuit of happiness is just this technique. This may at first sounds glib and trite.
But with all things there are layers of meaning. As we contemplate Happiness and the conditions that bring it about for us as Individuals, we come to realise that the secret of happiness is to Choose to be happy. As "free beings in an effectively Infinite Universe" happiness is not a right. We live in a storm of consequences and seemingly random events that impact us in ways that cause us to experience realities ranging from the bliss of love to the horrors of war and disease and the darkness of despair. This does not have to be the case.
We have within us the ability, when developed, to apprehend Happiness despite the circumstances of life.
First; one needs to See that Happiness can be chosen and is independent of circumstance. Here we come to the reasons why the pursuit of Happiness is so effective in the understanding of Reality. To achieve this independence from circumstance, one needs to cultivate the abstract mind that is able to stand back from action and analyse the given situation. Often called the Higher Mind. To apprehend and develop this facility we come back to rules 1 and 2 from above. These 2 rules, when applied to a given line of development, have a tendency to create a feedback loop. Pushing the Mind into progressive Realisation.
We seek understanding, and apply it with compassion. Thus we are raised to the Summit and can see Forever
Second; one needs to do that which is required to achieve and maintain Happiness. Here we not only need the clarity of thought of the Summit, but also the abandonment of fear and the attachment to those things that stand in the way of our Happiness. We need to be able to let go of the Toxic. The abusive relationship, the addiction to food or drugs, the Need for wealth and status, whatever it is that holds one back. Again we use rules 1 and 2.
We seek understanding, and apply it with compassion. Thus we are freed of Gravity and cannot Fall.
Third; one needs to remember to practice the choice of Happiness. To maintain Happiness at all times, one must choose Happiness at all times. This brings about the apprehension of time and the role of time in our lives and the nature of Reality. Life is not a series of snapshots but a Sea. Our consciousness is a wavefront propelled by the past into an unformed future. One needs to achieve Perspective. To hold the pastand possible future in mind whilst being in the present.
So it's all process, there is no destination, there is only the Journey. This contemplation of time and its role is the real challenge. The first two steps are relatively mechanistic in operation. Cause and effect. Not easy, but if followed, will lead to Happiness. These are operations of the Individual in the mundane circumstances of our lives. But to expand into the contemplation of time in this way pushes our consciousness away from our Individual circumstances and begins to show us our true position in the Universe. Even at our present primitive abilities, we can see that the Universe is incomprehensibly large. This is just spatially. What about the time line, what about the more subtle energy manifestations of this Universe, some of which we are starting to study, others yet to be discovered. What about the Small. The Cell, The Atom etc etc etc.
As Free Beings in an effectively Infinite Universe, one can see that we are effectively nothing. Our lives, even the most dynamic and influential, for "good or ill", disappear into time on this planet, and are totally unknown elsewhere. This can be scary, it can also be freeing. This brings us back to the assertion that all things are permissible, because in the totality of the Universe, all our actions are meaningless. Yet, to the Individual Mind, I am all there is. I am that which experiences the Universe. What was there before I became aware of it? What will there be when I am no longer? Thus I am the Universe experiencing itself. All things are permissible.There are consequences to all action, and all inaction, for of course there is no such thing as inaction.
However we want to cut this. It still comes out that all things are permissible and that there are consequences. We could go off and do all sorts of stuff that advantages us as Individuals, but unless we act with Compassion, we cause unnecessary suffering of others and ultimately ourselves. Thus we cannot achieve Happiness and we fall into delusion. We become a casualty of the climb to the Summit.
We need to not forget, in pursuing Happiness, that we also exercise Compassion on ourselves.
OK, that's what this Blog is all about. I suggest this stuff for contemplation, and as the"spirit moves" I'll add more in the way of clarification.