Community Spirit




In studying various theories of psychology it seems there is only one thing they agree upon: we are motivated by happiness. On all other points there are differences. Perhaps this is as it should be, for it can be taken to imply that we are all unique, until you get down to the basic core. At our root we are the same, with one basic mission: "I want to be happy!" I'm sure you have noticed this about yourself and others already.

There is more than meets the eye here. If our basic mission in life is to be happy, it implies we were created to be happy. This also suggests that the universe may have been created to assist us in that endeavor, and that your life as it is unfolding has similar purpose! And further, that our ultimate destiny is happiness, and that if we want to be straightforwardly engaging in our life mission, purpose, and destiny, we would be well served to make a study of happiness itself.

In the wisdom teachings of the great mystics and spiritual traditions, the greatest single mistake in our "knowledge" of ourselves and the secret of happiness is the idea that we are separate--separate from each other, from nature, from our Source. In the same way that all the characters in a dream seem separate but are in fact part of the same single mind of the dreamer, so it is taught we are fundamentally united, one. Therefore, if happiness is our core, and oneness is the basic truth about our being, they teach that the key to happiness is joining, uniting, communing with others or life.

It is in community with others that we have a quintessential opportunity to pursue this great mystery and reward which is happiness. Haven't you noticed that as a result of connecting with others, you sometimes feel a happiness that transcends physical events, bad or good? A true happiness is one that is pervasive, not dependent on whether things "go right." Love is both fruit and seed of this.

I want to suggest that you find ways to be in community with other people, people of a mind that resonates with yours. And that when you are with these people you actively explore, experiment with, and seek to experience together your community spirit. There is a happiness there that overshadows the individual fortunes of your lives. There is a happiness there that emerges from a deeper place in your being than any fear, anger, guilt, or depression--and so is capable of unseating these emotions. There is a happiness there capable of an unbounded interest, renewal, and heightening. It is an answer to the challenge of ego, and to the larger difficulties that humanity presently faces. It is a cornerstone of any spiritual path. It will lead to a greater mystery of love than can be imagined by your personal mind alone. It will bring to your experience a capacity for happiness deeper than you knew you had, pointing the way to the inexpressible possibility of a happiness without end ... !
© 1998
 Mark Shafer  


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