Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Money and Wealth Are Only Partial Sources of Happiness"

I have always been unable to believe in an "anthropomorphic" God -  an ethereal 'man-God' somewhere up there, behind or outside the universe. Such a belief is essentially part of humankind's mythological past; and, thankfully, for millenia the world's great wisdom teachers have taught just the opposite, that God (or G_d) is an inward experience. "The kingdom of God is within you," Jesus plainly told the Pharisees, who later had him executed for such heresies:(Luke 17:21). And one cannot enter that kingdom, when one's mind is on the material, rather than spiritual, particularly if one is fixated with, or judges oneself by, "material success."

In his book, "Bhudda Says," (at pp. 30-31), the late spiritual guru, Osho explains this in greater detail, writing:
"God is not a person. You cannot buttress him, you cannot flatter him. You cannot persuade him to your own way; whether you believe in him or not, that doesn't matter."

"A law exists beyond your belief. If you follow it you are happy. If you don't follow it, you become unhappy . . . (T)he whole question is of a discipline, not of prayer. Understand the law and be in harmony with it. Don't be in conflict with it, that's it. . . . (W)henever you are miserable it is just an indication that you have once again gone against the law. . . . Whenever you are in misery . . . watch, observe, analyze your situation, diagnose it - you must be going somewhere against the law, you must be in conflict with the law. . . . You are punishing yourself by being against the law. . . . If you obey, you live in heaven. If you disobey, you live in hell."
But let's be clear, when Osho says if you follow the law "you are happy," it is not because of material goods. It does no good to pray for things, or for people, for that matter. As Osho observes, you cannot "buttress," "flatter" or "annoy" God into providing material goods. Nor will God withhold such goods, as lack of material possessions is unrelated to the operation of what Osho calls "the law."

Or, as the Dalai Lama explains:
"Happiness is mental. Machines cannot provide us with it, nor can we buy it. Money and wealth are only partial sources of happiness, not happiness per se. Those will not produce happiness directly. Happiness must develop from within ourselves; nobody can give it to us. The ultimate source is tranquility, or peace of mind. It doesn't matter if we lack good faculties, a good education or a successful life so long as we have inner confidence."
["The Transformed Mind," pp. 27-28.]

And the law . . . ??? "As a man thinketh, so he is."

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