Sunday, October 20, 2019
The Pursuit of Peace
Yesterday I walked past the magazine stand at the supermarket and the cover of the fall issue of the Magnolia Journal caught my eye. They had an article that said the Pursuit of Happiness with the Happiness crossed off and replaced with Wholeness.
The Pursuit of Happiness was a stirring movie with Will Smith about how a homeless man with a young child made it rich on Wall street. Although it has a heart warming ending, I never made it that far when I saw it in the theater. I had to leave when he was homeless with his child. It hit a little too close to home at the time as I was almost in a similar situation myself.
The pursuit of happiness is a constitutional quest. The Declaration of Independence states "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Times have changed. Our materialistic world has found itself in hard times. The high cost of living implies that perhaps happiness can't be found. I beg to differ.
Although wholeness is also a worthy quest, money doesn't buy happiness. As TI pointed out in the song Live your Life, you're unhappy with your riches because you are piss poor morally. I submit that morality brings happiness. It also brings peace.
Christ taught "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27
When you look at the stations of the cross and the life that Christ lived, you'd think it would have been difficult for him to be happy when he was beaten and whipped then crucified. Yet there is no question he felt peace knowing he was doing the right thing.
Likewise, we too can find inner peace amidst trials. That peace can bring joy. Not as the world knoweth, but as God knows it. The kind of joy and satisfaction that only comes from hard work.
Joanna Gaines goes on to explain in her blog that she gave up on the need to find balance in life and decided to peruse wholeness instead. It works for her because people misunderstand balance in the same way they misunderstand happiness. She's got it together. She and her husband Chip are a nice couple in Waco Texas who run a few hotels while raising a young family. I wish them well. I've never had a desire to visit Waco Texas but who knows. Maybe one day.
My daughter had a friend visit us here in Surrey from Texas. After a few days he said, why is everyone here so angry? It's as though everyone here wants to beat me up. I could have said oh that's just Surrey but is it really? Most of us drive like a*sholes here. Everyone is in too much of a hurry to get nowhere and become self centered pricks. There's no wholeness, no balance and no peace. There are indeed a lot more friendlier people in Texas.
In the pursuit of peace I recently ordered the book The Goose is out: Zen in Action. The tittle intrigued me as it relates to a recent post I made about Clay. I like Zen and how it applies to my understanding of Christianity. However, like Christianity, Zen can be distorted into esoteric mumbo jumbo and become meaningless nonsense.
There's nothing wrong with pursuing peace or pursuing happiness as long as you understand what you are pursuing. I really like the Dalai Lama's recent book The Art of Happiness in a Trouble World. Osho's book trashes Christmas Humphreys and thereby misses the point. It contradicts what the Dalai Lama teaches about happiness.
Although Zen is not a religion it can certainly enhance religion. It's not in opposition to it. Freeing the mind is indeed the root of the quest. Abandoning the quest and abandoning goals lead to chaos and nonsense. Goals are how we achieve things. If we didn't seek for enlightenment, we would never find it. The quest for a moral compass is one we should all embark on so we can find that inner peace Christ talked about.
I recently saw a plaque at the mall that gave some life advice and said If you're looking for love stop looking. Do the things you love and you will find someone with similar interests. Love will find you. Recently I went out with some old friends. One of them is getting married. They're both scuba divers and they love to dive all around the world. When I told that to my daughter she asked if they met under water. She thought that would have been romantic. They did meet on a dive. I'm not sure if they first met above or under water.
The point is love, like happiness or inner peace, isn't something we find if we look for it. It's something that finds us when we do things we enjoy and aspire to something higher. Peace.