Contemporary life has become so fast and seemingly so complicated that from time to time it is profitable to sit back and take a moment of reflection. What are we running so breathlessly for ? Is it money to gain comfort, status and power ? Is it for knowledge to become brighter, more beautiful or more healthy ? Basically it is to gain more happiness. But is happiness to be found in the market place, in flat screens, fast airplanes or top notch jobs on offer ?
Some eighty years ago Jose Ortega y Gasset wrote in Revolt of the Masses (1930) : “No one knows toward what center human things are going to gravitate in the near future, and hence the life of the world has become scandalously provisional. Everything that today is done in public and in private – even in one’s inner conscience – is provisional, the only exception being certain portions of certain sciences. He will be a wise man who puts no trust in all that is proclaimed, upheld, essayed, and lauded at the present day. All that will disappear as quickly as it came. All of it, from the mania for physical sports (the mania, not the sports themselves) to political violence ; from “new art” to sun-baths at idiotic fashionable watering-places. Nothing of all that has any roots ; it is all pure invention, in the bad sense of the word, which makes it equivalent to fickle caprice. It is not a creation based on the solid substratum of life ; it is not a genuine impulse or need. In a word, from the point of view of life it is false”.
These words sound ominously true to date as we get caught up in all the streams of fashion, gadgets, ready-made ideas and ordained news. However at times something within us pushes us from the comfort zone of thinking and doing as the crowds. There is this gnawing feeling that there is more to life than what we have yet discovered. Then the search begins. This period of human history appears as the best one to the seeker as he/she enjoys more individual freedom than in any other period.
According to Harold Klemp in The Call of Soul (2009) “An individual’s state of consciousness simply means his ability to accept change in his life. It includes new thoughts and new feelings, and the new behavior and actions that will naturally come as a result”.
Happiness is not blind luck. It comes with the search for spiritual growth and freedom. Truth has to be continually rediscovered, reformed, and transformed ; the same truth has to be experienced in ever-new forms.
To make matters more simple for the contemporary seeker of happiness, Richard J. Maybury in Whatever happened to Justice (2004), has articulated two “laws”, which, if individuals and societies followed, would allow for more peace and freedom. These laws are : 1. Do all you have agreed to do. 2. Do not encroach on other persons or their property.
This could be a good start in the search for happiness and freedom.