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Hansu

Is happiness for the past a trap?

11 posts in this topic

I just finished my engineering degree and joined workforce in a company with very promising future. Im turning a page in my life, so to speak.

For the past 2 weeks I have been dwelling on the memories of my life during the schooling. I feel happy and grateful for all the memories, good and bad. I learned something about all of those.

However, I dont feel happiness for my experience in army, my previous school or my time working on the previous company. I only feel gratitude for those memories, not happiness. The only other past besides my time in the college I feel happiness for is my childhood, and what comes from childhood? Nostalgia. Wanting for the past. Dwelling in the past.

While I know that dwelling and being happy for the memories I have gathered during the 5 years I studied for my engineering degree is great for destroying any negative false beliefs and neurotic afflictions the bad memories could leave their mark on me, I feel like Im creating false happiness connections to the idea of "turning page in life". When you are young you turn pages constantly. Young teen, teenage, high school, turning 18, college... You turn pages all the time. But when you go into workforce, what pages are there to turn during my next 60 years? Higher position and children, thats about it.

I can already see how, in the near future say in 5 years, I begin to sabotage my career because Im secretly dwelling on the desire to "turn a page" in my life. Dwelling with happiness on this "turn of a page" is clearly creating very strong emotional bond with this idea of turning page.

Is my fear rooted in nothing? Will enough meditation make me aware enough to not follow this false craving, if it does come up sometime in the future?

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Posted (edited)

@Hansu

You're still believing your imagination.

You can't be happy outside of the present moment.

When you identify with the past or future, you can be excited, depressed, or anything else, but not happy.

Happiness occurs when you stop believing that your thoughts are true, and when you accept everything as it is. There is peace.

Edited by Truth Addict

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2 hours ago, Hansu said:

When you are young you turn pages constantly. Young teen, teenage, high school, turning 18, college... You turn pages all the time. But when you go into workforce, what pages are there to turn during my next 60 years? Higher position and children, thats about it.

You nailed it. This is what your fear is rooted in. That you're already set, and that somehow, there won't be any new exciting experiences to come. This is a story you've told yourself. A story you picked up from society. But is this story really grounded in anything real? You might think so, but catch yourself right there. Is it really? No, it's a limiting belief! It was the limiting belief passed on to you by your family and peers. Question that. 

As corny as it sounds, every day brings a plethora of new experiences and delights and tribulations. That is, if you're open to them and see them for what they are. 


"The greatest illusion of all is the illusion of separation." - Guru Pathik

Sent from my iEgo

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@Truth Addict

Are you speaking of happiness as we westeners know it as, or as something else?

Often when Im driving to work or to home, I find myself spontaneously smiling. I shut off any distraction that is not the road, my senses sharpen, my awareness jolts up and my mind shuts down. Sometimes I am able to stay in the present moment for 5 minutes, sometimes 10-15 minutes. Only thing that breaks my mind's silence is random thoughts that come up, but go as fast as they came. Is this true happiness? Is this even happiness?

@TheAvatarState 

After some contemplating I realized that when I was writing my opening post I was not afraid that I might begin to hang on this event I described as "turning page" but I was in fact hanging on it. I realized that I was afraid that I will most likely never feel these strong emotions I perceive as joy, as this page is practically the last page I turn before death. Upon realizing this my fear vanished. Thank you!

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@Hansu

Happiness is peace of mind.

If you have any inner conflicts, then you're not happy.

The more peaceful you are on the inside, the more happy you are on the outside.

And happiness spreads through you to others because you have zero levels of resistance, and everything is good and beautiful!

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@Truth Addict

I see. I realized that if I always stay present in the moment, then I would either act on thoughts I see as needing action, and drop thoughts that have no value to act on. Then I would not be tempted to not accept my present moment, because the present moment would already be the best state of my being. The need would simply not exist.

Would this be a good way to move into more dominant state of inner peace, or should I learn to accept the current state as it is? Or in other words, hypothetically, if someone was beating me with a stick should I first accept and be in peace with the fact that Im getting beaten, or should I stop the man first and accept the beating later?

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Posted (edited)

@Hansu

Good question.

The answer is very obvious and simple, you do the best you can do, and accept the rest.

Or in other words, you don't choose what to do to begin with, you would act automatically (like you and I did right here), whether the action is mere thoughts and acceptance, or a real action in the real world.

But a better answer would be this:

You don't stay in the present moment, because you can't leave it in the first place, you are always in the present moment.

What needs to be done is just letting go of the past and the future.

I personally find it better to focus on deconstructing the illusion (what's not here and now), until you're left with the truth (what's here and now).

Of course, that doesn't mean you become a victim, etc... This means that true change can only happen on the ground of acceptance, not resistance. Simply because problems are endless, and if you face them with resistance, you will face the same problem again, only this time it will be harder because of the accumulated thoughts and concerns.

Let go, be free.

Edited by Truth Addict

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@Truth Addict

Thank you. This is clearing up a lot of guesswork out of where I want to aim with my spiritual work at the moment.

Can you recommend any books that could help me with lowering my resistance to what is?

Books that I've found helpful on the topic so far: The Power of Now, Sedona Method, Loving What Is, Psycho-Cybernetic

Thanks!

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Looking back at memories and being happy is definitely being happy, the trap is when you are only happy about certain ones and not others. Ego loves to demonize what it doesn't like. 

Sure memories are a story but they are still an experience which is good to accept and embrace. 

So the goal is to accept and embrace all memories not just certain ones. Letting go means you can enjoy all that life has to offer even the stories of the mind. 

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Well in one sense the present is all there is and the past is just in the imagination, but in another sense the boundaries between past, present, and future are the greater illusion.  Your past is implicitly expressed in what you currently are, and, since being is in a way identical to becoming, so is your future.  The traps of dwelling on the past have been expressed above, but I wouldn't say it's inherently unspiritual to do so. 

Personal evolution is a natural instinct, just as cosmic evolution is a property of the universe as a whole.  Modern industrial society wants people to behave in mechanical, unchanging ways for decades and to strive to climb up constructed corporate ladders.  This is an unnatural state for man.  So I wouldn't sabotage the progress you've already made, but keep finding ways to become better and better versions of yourself.  Ultimately that's what we're all doing here.    

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Posted (edited)

@Hansu

Honestly, I don't read a lot of books (almost not at all).

But there's one book that helped me a lot: Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing.

I guess what did the trick for me is:

  • Deep suffering, which left me with no other choice but to surrender.
  • Letting go of material possessions and becoming free from their captivity.
  • Becoming a minimalist, and knowing that less is actually more.
  • Compassion for other people, because if you can love and accept others, then you can love and accept yourself.

I'm still discovering new levels of happiness, it's always mind-blowing how much there is to it!

My life right now is pure heaven.

Good luck my friend.

^_^

Edited by Truth Addict

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