03 Jan The Stories We Tell Ourselves – January 4 2021
It [bliss] was there from the beginning, but we were not aware of it. We become aware of it. We enjoy the glory of the house, but we don’t bother with the foundation of it. Because it is out of sight. It is in the transcendental area. That is why we don’t know about it. And if we want to know about it, then we have to take our attention to that level, and then we know the depth of the foundation…
… God has created eternal bliss in the innermost area of man’s personality… In the outer aspect of man’s personality he has created the desire to go that way. The desire to go to more happiness, more energy, more intelligence. This nature of the outside life to flow in the direction of more and more and more–this is the nature. So man’s outer nature is to go toward man’s inner nature, which is bliss. These are the two things: the innermost nature of man is all bliss, outer nature of man is in search of happiness; and these two things can make the life integrated. And this is the expression of God’s mercy, that he has done these two things in man: ability to get to the infinite and the infinite lying inside everyone. From this we know that God has been merciful in creating man.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Lake Louise lecture, 1968
The very nature of life is bliss itself. In our least excited state, there beneath the thoughts, the feelings, the opinions, the ideas, the sensations of the body–all these things we generally know as ‘self’–is a place of pure bliss, a place of pure Being. This place is the truth of what we are, the truth of our very makeup; yet if we do not know to look for it, we never will find it.
The way we are taught to live – by our schools, our parents, our churches and temples, by all of society – is in the nature of activity–movement and thought directed into the world outside oneself. The ‘more’ that man naturally wants is seen as residing outside of the self, and so we are taught to seek that more by doing more, accomplishing more, working harder. If I can just get this and this and this (money, power, safety, love), then I will be happy. If I think this whole thing through just one more time, then I will figure it out (and then I will be happy).
From the great spiritual teachers we learn that happiness resides only within. There is no amount of anything ‘out there’ that can bring us to happiness for more than a moment. Love, romance will fade; the financial windfall of today becomes the not-quite-enough of next year. This outer world–the world of the relative–is the world of change. Everything, always is changing.
Truth is that which never changes; and where we find the truth of our very Being is within. In meditation we go within, transcending all these changing values and settling into the most-subtle experience of Self. And we find that the very nature of what we are is bliss. In the Veda it says that the very stuff of life is satchidananda. Existence/consciousness/bliss is the material of which everything is made. There beneath every seeming difference and beyond every argument to the contrary, what we are is bliss itself. All we need to do is to look in the right direction.
Today I will take my 20 to 30 minutes morning and evening to settle down into my least excited state and feel the truth of what I am. And then, rather than seek to take happiness from the outer world, I will find the place of bliss within and bring that happiness to the world around me.