Happiness is a discipline, and it requires the engraining of new patterns.

The whole structure of consciousness is meant to protect us, from the need of clarity, confidence and affection, to the safety we create in accomplishing what we know we must do, to the pride we feel by doing it right. No one consciously desires dysfunction. Even when being irrational, we want our views to work!

Happiness is so elusive and fleeting that most feel as if they are staring into a void, just saying the word. We all know what it feels like but few can describe it, and fewer can repeat the steps necessary to conjure it. But once the steps are known, it can be had as a constant medium of our existence. The incredible meaning most come upon only once or twice throughout their span of years, you can come to feel a few times every day, and it will keep getting more and more frequent and more and more powerful.

What’s really entertaining is watching those who emerge from the depths and struggle with their new happiness. They don’t believe it’s real. They struggled against pain for so long with the tools of evasion, denial and false justifications that they’re not prepared for an intense and consistent joy. They are so used to pushing feelings away that they are unpracticed in dealing with something they want to keep. They fear that it will elude them as in the past, and in panic, try to hoard it; but they have to break down and laugh, because it just keeps bubbling out of them. By practicing the correct causal factors, they’ve become a bunch of little happiness generators, and the rest of their lives are going to be like this. Instead of dealing with pain, they have the wealth of a new resource to contend with, and all the years ahead to discover the immense pleasures it will bring them.

 

Ingraining New Patterns. Preserving a high-spirited outlook is crucial to everyone, yet under society’s mess of moral contradictions, there is nothing more difficult than spiritual maintenance. Cultural roots have us so off track, I’m surprised anyone wants to get out of bed in the morning. To most, a sense of invigorating pride and opportunity is inconsistent, uncontrollable and elusive, as if the stability of a human consciousness had a fragile nature. It doesn’t, but under the ancient inversion, it becomes unstable. The whole structure of consciousness is meant to protect us, from the need of clarity, confidence and affection, to the safety we create in accomplishing what we know we must do, to the pride we feel by doing it right. Cause and effect can be identified from one end of it to the other, but we are vulnerable if we agree to pretend that the rules of the physical world do not apply to the soul. They do. There is no meaningful, lasting emotional intensity without acceptance of the concept of identity—accepting that existence exists. There is no long-term safety in relationships, business or law, without an organized and rational value-hierarchy, or in other words, without standards.

Our disconnection from rational standards is obvious in that we’d all like to live with great depth, passion and meaning, yet the trouble for everyone is…How? All men desire the same sense of ease in life; a sense of inner peace on a fundamental level. No one consciously desires dysfunction. Even when being irrational, we want our views to work! We all say we “just want to be happy,” and then the fog rolls in and the epistemological chain ends. Happiness is so elusive and fleeting that most feel as if they are staring into a void, just saying the word. We all know what it feels like but few can describe it, and fewer can repeat the steps necessary to conjure it. But once the steps are known, it can be had as a constant medium of our existence. The path to an indestructible spirit is the reintegration of mind and body, of Man’s proper relation to existence and of Man’s proper relation to other men. The solution is had by looking to those untarnished by the problem.

There are people out there that are bulletproof spiritually, and they do certain things that make them that way. By conforming to the right code, they exist outside the Spirit Murderer’s power. However, so few have reached an intransigent mindset—the soul of a hero—that it cannot be studied readily. If there were more such men in existence, its nature could more rightly be determined, but for now, we are left at the mercy of the sheer number who seek it. Such heroes embody a strength beyond strength; an impenetrable barrier for pain; a reservoir which holds a purity so potent that no foreign matter can survive past a certain point. By following their lead, it is possible to grow just as strong, to achieve all of our goals in a framework of our own design, to meet and surround ourselves with people we can respect and admire and to live a life largely absent of pain, contempt, boredom and senselessness.

The incredible meaning most come upon only once or twice throughout their span of years, you can come to feel a few times every day, and it will keep getting more and more frequent and more and more powerful. The full integration of mind and body is so potent a combination that no such individual can remain a follower; therein lies its danger to precedent. Your physical senses and their integrator—your consciousness—are the metaphysical inlets that open into a virtual ocean of knowledge and fulfillment. Sensory perception is the foundation of all exertion-generated human values including happiness, whose enjoyment is the bane and impossibility of those otherwise denied. Honest spirituality follows the clean rationality in the volitional nature of our being. Pride is a barometer, measuring the success of our choices.

As the human brain has a specific physical makeup, so too does the structure of its content. The function of a mind is identical for every man and cannot be altered, as the function of a heart or any other organ cannot. It has evolved into its most efficient design and can only be nourished by a proper diet, or starved and mangled by an improper diet. To flourish, we need certain nutrients in mind and body, and they go much deeper than you might imagine. So many things that you perceive as okay to leave approximate or optional, are not. The mechanics of the medium must be understood to fully exercise its power to achieve pure happiness, supreme confidence and a radiant self-worth. As in all of the other realms we have mastered, our control will remain precarious until with experience and introspection, we gain a firm grasp on its proper use.

The spirit must be worked and fed throughout life like any muscle, to maintain its strength. Like an athlete, it has a game to play—the game of life—and it must be kept in practice; otherwise, it will suffer in atrophy. All living things deteriorate from neglect. Still, its use must be healthful. An old martial arts instructor once said to me, “Any form is good, but some are better for you.” I learned what he meant after training with Aikido students, most of whom wore joint supports for hyper-extension injuries, which often led to severe arthritis and the eventual quitting of the sport out of physical necessity. Such practice misuses the entity that acts—the human body. Likewise, evasion, repression, hysterics, emotional deadness and the desire for any causeless reward are all a reflection of the misuse and malnourishment of the human mind. A light, healthy spirit can never be conjured with a false smile and an affirmation. It is a state of mind that is earned—achieved—by a direct, focused, conscious effort. Such vitality is the natural result of enacting the correct life-furthering premises—a moral choice. The correct premises are identified by honestly experimenting with rational new ideas and by weeding out contradictions in the old ones. The pinnacle of emotional states has its own constant gauge, evidenced by a pure, vibrant emotional health. The closer we get to practicing the structures nature intended, the healthier we are.

There are ups and downs for us all, but someone with an indestructible spirit makes the right moves when things go wrong. They remain bright, awake and alive—ready and willing to defend themselves, actively seeking new clarity, willing to earn their own sense of significance and ready to enjoy their own existence. To come to this requires that we get good at being human. We have to learn how to demand human status; accepting and supporting that we do see, we do hear, we do feel, think, love and live. We have to learn not to buckle under centuries of ill conditioning by our opposition. It can be done. We must split, not our minds from our bodies, but from the irrational weight of that cross we all bear. The central civil issue in life is that we have the opportunity to experience our highest possibilities, in body and spirit.

Imagine a solid yellow line within your mind, which is the straightest path to your own ideals. It leads to that beautiful stranger, it conveys your truest style and your freest, most desirable way of being. If identified at all, most of us spend our time jockeying back and forth, fearfully and humbly crisscrossing the directness of this path. Learning to walk down the center of your life is a brave step forward. Bringing the heroic into your destiny will be a chaos of challenges as the defaults wither and the spirit blooms, with incredible new highs and frightening but clairvoyant lows; a roller coaster of emotional triumph that will make life worth living again.

What’s really entertaining is watching those who emerge from the depths and struggle with their new happiness. They don’t believe it’s real. I get a kick out of it. They struggled against pain for so long with the tools of evasion, denial and false justifications that they’re not prepared for an intense and consistent joy. They are so used to pushing feelings away that they are unpracticed in dealing with something they want to keep. They fear that it will elude them as in the past, and in panic, try to hoard it; but they have to break down and laugh, because it just keeps bubbling out of them. By practicing the correct causal factors, they’ve become a bunch of little happiness generators, and the rest of their lives are going to be like this. Instead of dealing with pain, they have the wealth of a new resource to contend with, and all the years ahead to discover the immense pleasures it will bring them. They gracefully learn to channel it, and every few months they step up to a new level. So used to being pushed around on moral issues, their new determination becomes a cherished facet of their lives.

Settling into this new code, those outside start to treat you with more deference, the exact deference you have come to associate with a trait you have worshipped and sought. Astonished, you’ll think, “It’s as if they believe I have that stature,” and then you’ll realize that your uncertainty with this level is rapidly diminishing or gone; that you’re comfortable associating with peers on this plane, and suddenly realize that you are one of them. You’ve made it with one up; you’re still moving. It is quietly exciting to watch yourself grow, and such deliverance always happens this way. You will see the day when you have the courage to do what was so recently impossible, and you’ll do it as an afterthought. When you finish this book, you’re going to feel a spectacular moral power. It will accent every thing you do, and your life will never be the same.

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