Embrace your inner Girl | A mandatory watch!
The Trueness of Happiness
Last evening i was part of a chain of particularly elated calls. As i conversed with one happy voice after another, i realized something. It seems like a very obvious and regular thing from one point of view. But when i behold it through the eyes of wonder, it tells me something like a deep secret.
What i realized is:
True happiness brings forth one’s true self.
Now the very experience of that true happiness is in itself a rare occurrence for most of us. In all probability, it’s not something we can declare to be a regular feature with us. But when we do find ourselves in that space when happiness is oozing out from every pore on our body, rising inside us and filling up us as much as a inflated balloon - that’s when we discard all that we are not and simply swim in humanity; in oneness. It’s when we cut off from all that undesirables we have put up around us and the not-so-human attitudes we cover ourselves with (anger/hatred/resentment and so many more) and feel all the goodness. The happiness within pulls to it all the happiness and the other good stuff from the Universe.
It’s a stupor of true-ness which blinds our ego. And so, we see beyond it. The joy which emanates dispels all things dark and low and triggers the reservoir of human-ness which resides within us all. That’s when our true self truly glows.
It’s not uncommon to see people forgiving each other in times of mirth. Everyone becomes everyone’s friend. Emotional expressions peak; positive ones. Your propensity to forgive booms. In general, goodness multiplies in all directions.
Try this: Pick out the person who’s consistently bitter in their dealings with you. Catch them in one such moment and i can bet that if they are truly happy, their sudden turn in disposition will surprise you. And if things go well, melt away all hard feelings.
Now if my observation were to be correct, or near to it, it tells us not just why the Pursuit of Happiness is so central to our lives, but also how critical to our inter-connected lives and to the idea of Humanity.
Happiness brings out the best in us. And that, quite frankly, is what underlines the real adventure of our lives.
We are not ‘everything,’ but neither are we ‘nothing.’ Spirituality is discovered in that space between paradox’s extremes, for there we confront our helplessness and powerlessness, our woundedness. In seeking to understand our limitations, we seek not only an easing of our pain but an understanding of what it means to hurt and what it means to be healed. Spirituality begins with the acceptance that our fractured being, our imperfection, simply is: There is no one to ‘blame’ for our errors — neither ourselves nor anyone nor anything else. Spirituality helps us first to see, and then to understand, and eventually to accept the imperfection that lies at the very core of our human be-ing. Spirituality accepts that ‘If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.
Stories R Us
God, in his wisdom, has created millions and billions of people, but the expectations of those people are far from satisfied. They say, “Now we want to create people of our own.” So as the gods played with their living dolls, people began to play with their own dolls, dolls they had created themselves.
~ Rabindranath Tagore in his book He (Shey)
Stories are the cradle of mankind. They are the amniotic fluid of the birth of everything new that our world creates. The connecting threads snaking through centuries of generations and civilizations. Storytelling is perhaps one of the first Arts to have been practiced by Man. From sounds and gestures, to carvings and music. From parchment and paintings, to radio and photographs. The whole gambit has been majorly fueled by our innate urge, bordering on desperation, to share what we know and to leave behind a part of us.
Little surprise then that most of man’s path breaking inventions, discoveries and technological shifts have been related to sharing stories. Which has not ceased even after the youtubes, idiot boxes and twitter has touched every corner of the world. Some of our greatest spiritual leaders have been our best storytellers. And never will this subside cause after all,
There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.
Without stories, how will the greater questions be asked or our fears and joys become common? A lot of grandmothers will be out of business. Our flights of fantasy and our visual imagery will decay. How else will we deal with the discomfort of dealing with the unknown?
Stories feed into our collective unconscious where all that we all know is hoarded; and then they travel into the personal unconscious which in turn is the puppeteer for our conscious thoughts and actions. Imagine a vast volume of water contained in a tank (ocean) which collects stories through the rain and then through its innumerable pipelines, rivers and springs, spreads those stories across the terra firma of Man.
In our quest of storytelling, we have lost something - not our need, but our talent, our faculty for the same. We bombard each other with too much, at all times. And during this onslaught, the art of storytelling has suffered; the ocean is impoverished.
“Listening to stories and telling them helped our ancestors to live humanly — to be human. But somewhere along the way our ability to tell (and to listen to) stories was lost. As life speeded up, as the possibility of both communication and annihilation became ever more instantaneous, people came to have less tolerance for that which comes only over time. The demand for perfection and the craving for ever more control over a world that paradoxically seemed ever more out of control eventually bred impatience with story. As time went by, the art of storytelling fell by the wayside, and those who went before us gradually lost part of what had been the human heritage— the ability to ask the most basic questions, the spiritual questions.”
Stories are our grandest attempt at immortality. Are we giving up?