There is a day in my life that I will never forget. It was not a special day, just one like any other. Yet, that day I experienced “happiness”. It was a strange, exhilarating feeling. For no reason whatsoever, I felt totally happy. For a few hours I felt I was moving, walking, floating in the light. My actions were the same, the people I was interacting with had not changed, yet I could not help seeing myself on another plane of existence. I was here in Earth while my spirit seemed to be “dancing in the light” (as well-known American actress Shirley Mac Laine entitled one of her inspiring books). Afterwards, I have never had a similar experience, but the memory of that blessed day is still vivid in my mind.
Since then, many times have I wondered about the reality of “happiness”. It has been said that, although it is something you can “pursue”, yet you cannot really “achieve” it, no matter how strong your willpower is. You endeavor to reach your goals, you do your best to improve your relationships, you strive to turn yourself into a better human being. In so doing, you walk on the path of spiritual progress, and you feel good about yourself. You approve and appreciate your efforts, you acknowledge and are grateful for the gifts you have been granted. Therefore you are serene and, to a certain extent, you feel fulfilled.
But “happiness”? Is it the same as fulfillment? While we seem to be in a constant state of “searching”, it has been said that happiness can be defined as a state of “finding”, of realizing that what we have is enough, that we don’t need to keep on trying to acquire more and more (material) possessions. Never being satisfied is certainly a main cause of unhappiness, because it keeps one in a prison of selfishness and greed.
As serenity is a true state of grace, where the individual finds reasons for contentment and fully enjoys what he or she has, without running after unreachable chimeras, we can say that it is the most desirable state for a human being while living his earthly existence. The kind of happiness I experienced long ago was just an extra, magnificent and unexpected gift that was bestowed upon me. But I still consider it a great “lesson”. It has in fact convinced me that there must be “something” real beyond what we can see, hear and touch, another place of reality where “something” else exists that we are unaware of, but which yet can have a great influence on our spirit, which is able of transforming our way of interpreting and experiencing the world. The problem is that we don’t know how to tap into this “plane”. We don’t have a handbook at our disposal that tells us what to do in order to have access to such “portal” into another spiritual dimension.
My favorite author, Anthony de Mello, SJ, says that it may take a lifetime to open your eyes while seeing happens in an instant. Scientists say that, hypothetically, we could reach the opposite side of the Universe (millions of light-years away) in a spit second through a so called “wormhole” (also hypnotized by Einstein). So? What happened to me that day might have been a completely unconscious connection to such a “wormhole” that allowed me a glimpse into another possible existence of the spirit and, why not, also of the mind. A greatly comforting idea, I believe.
I’d like to conclude by quoting, once again, witty Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw: “Some look at things and asks: Why? I dream of things that never were and ask: Why not?”
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