I DARE YOU TO BE HAPPY!
Presented recently at the Edgar Cayce Holistic Center,
by Ron Hounsell
Recap by J. Miller
Ron began by speaking to the question of daring us to be happy. He pointed out that “Our society is no more geared toward individuals achieving happiness than traditional medicine is focused on maintaining health or preventing disease. It has not been very successful in making happiness happen. Just look around you.”
As anecdotal evidence, he cited some data he had gathered locally. Among 13 people surveyed, within three generations of their families only 4 in 10 were perceived to be happy.
Yet the following observations posit the idea that we not only can, but probably should be happy.
“I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness.” The Dalai Lama
“Thus ye may find in thy mental and spiritual self, ye can make thyself just as happy or just as miserable as ye like. How miserable [happy] do ye want to be?”
Edgar Cayce Reading 2995-3
Ron also pointed to some contemporary evidence of the impact of choosing to be happy. A recent University of London project studied this question as it related to mortality – forget happiness itself for the moment. The survey asked 4,000 people to declare themselves as either happy or unhappy. Participants were then tracked for five years. After correcting for age, gender and health, those who fell into the unhappy category died soonest while the happy group lived an average of 35% longer.
Periodically throughout the program, Ron stopped to ask participants to make a list of one kind or another. The lists are presented here for convenience.
- Top 10 things that pre-occupied you this past week; rank in order of importance.
- Words for happiness
- Ways you’ve shown yourself some love this week
- Ways you have been of service to others recently
- Things that inspire you
- One positive thing for each other person in the room
- Things for which you’re grateful
- Ways you can be of service to others in the coming week
- People or places or things you can whole-heartedly recommend to others
- Beautiful experiences you had today
[NOTE: If you would like to replicate this activity, stop reading now and make a list for each statement above. Do it quickly and don’t spend more than a couple of minutes on any one list. The total number of items on any single list is unimportant.]
Ron went on to ask “If you can and you should be happy, (1) what’s stopping you? and (2) how do you get there from here?”
In answer to these questions, he proceeded to illustrate and discuss what spiritual leaders from a wide range of times and places have observed and recommended on the topic. These profound thinkers came to many of the same conclusions, independent of time or place. Here are several illustrations:
“Fear is the greatest destructive force in man’s intelligence.”
Edgar Cayce Reading: 101-1
“To overcome fear, so fill the mental forces with that of the creative nature. Edgar Cayce Reading: 5439-1
“If a difficult situation or problem is such that it can be remedied, then there is no need to worry.” “Alternatively, if there is no way out, no solution, no possibility of resolution, then there is also no point in worrying about it - because you can’t do anything about it anyway.” The Dali Lama, P. 172
“The opposite of happiness isn’t sadness, it’s disconnection.”
Rachel Maddow of MSNBC interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh
Air, NPR, 3/27/12.
“What is real happiness?” “Being at one with your soul.”
Depak Chopra in Why Is God Laughing, p. 97
“ Nothing may separate the soul from its source save the will of self.” Edgar Cayce Reading 5089-3
The basic sin is not knowing who you are.
Eric Butterworth “How God Forgives,” Discovering the Power Within, pp. 150 ff.
“We’re punished by our sins, not for them.” (Butterworth)
“God doesn’t know ‘sin.’” (Butterworth)
God’s favorite joke: “Sin.” whenever God hears that people believe in sin, it cracks him up.” (Chopra, P.114)
“We have yet to make even one person immortal. We have to celebrate life and extend life, but also somehow factor in what it means these days to die well, as a developmental stage in human life. We have to balance these two.”
Dr. Ira Byock, Director of Palliative Medicine, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire and Dartmouth Medical School.
The last words attributed to Oscar Wilde were: “Either that wall paper goes or I do!”
Schott’s Original Miscellany, Bloosmbury, 2003 (H), p. 124.
“There is really no forgiveness, only Understanding or its absence.”
“And as He has given, ‘In all thy getting, my Son, get understanding.’" Edgar Cayce Reading 3409-1
“The Christ is “you at the point of God.” (Butterworth)
“We operate under the illusion that each of us is a person searching for his soul. The reality is that you are a soul playing the role of a person.” (Chopra,P. 124)
“God can do no more for you than he can do through you.”
“I see now that the eyes through which I see God are the eyes through which God sees me.” (Meister Eckhart)
“Happiness, then, is not a thing set apart from self, but the conditions with which one approaches that in hand to be done.” Edgar Cayce - 5563-1]
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want yourself to be happy, practice compassion.”
(The Dali Lama, P. 59)
“Once you heal your emotional brain and create the state of brain synergy, … you will no longer need to pursue happiness… happiness will arise from you with ease.” P. 10
Flowby Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Harper Perennial, 1990 (P)
“When I got beyond fear, ego and the addictions of my habits, I went from personal happiness ‘being happy about something’ that can be snatched away at any moment ‘to being happy without a reason.’” (Chopra, P. 144)
“. . happiness is love of something outside of self! It may never be obtained, may never be known by loving only things within self or self's own domain!”
Edgar Cayce Reading 281-30
Ron’s closing assignment for attendees was to list the three most important things to do next to get happy, and to act on them.
He gets the last word here, too.
“Edgar Cayce, like many others, endorses the concept that the attitude with which we address the events of our lives (all of them) is an essential factor informing the quality of life, and is under our control.
But I believe that there is another more subtle and very powerful factor at work here, too. Cayce suggests, I think, that we can choose to allow (i.e. open ourselves to permitting, but not dictating) change. That act of allowing, of aligning ourselves with something greater than we are, opens the door to possibilities not otherwise available.
By being the means of creating this opening, we become a channel of Divine manifestation, a channel for God to act in the physical world, to activate purposeful physical action. Ours is the choice of allowing or not. By our attitudes and our actions we can function as what Cayce calls “channels of blessings” creating specific change (misery or happiness) in the physical world for ourselves and others.”
How miserable or happy do you want to be?
New Events at the Edgar Cayce Holistic CenterSeveral new and exciting events have been added to the Chicagoland list of events. Most events are held at the Edgar Cayce Holistic Center in Des Plaines For more information including dates, time and an overview of the upcoming event choose either the Activities menu at the top of the Home page or CLICK HERE. Register early to save your spot for these wonderful programs!
Chicagoland Area Team News
Whenever there are new activities or items of interest to A.R.E. members in the Chicago area, the team will post it here. Old articles will be archived so they can be retrieved by team members and visitors. Check back often to read the latest news about Chicago A.R.E. and the opportunities available to members and friends!
If you'd like to see a special program, or volunteer for the Chicago Area Team please send an email to one of our team members listed in Contacts. We look forward to seeing you at upcoming programs and events!