March 17, 2020

Happiness – Material and Spiritual – by Shahnaz (Louise Spencer) Waite

Thomas Edison, when celebrating his eighty-second birthday, was asked to give his formula for a happy life. He replied -"I am not acquainted with anyone who is happy." He could not give a recipe for happiness, he who had given to mankind so much that had brought comfort and enlightenment the world over, because, as he stated he knew no one who was happy. His statement was unqualified, he made no exceptions.

On the other hand, there are countless cults whose leaders make a specialty of "formulas for happiness." They promise perfect "health, wealth, love, and happiness" to all who will pay the price for the formula with instructions as to how to apply it; but it does not seem to work out well or more of their followers would demonstrate the promised results.

The extreme scarcity of happiness goes to show that there is something else to be sought for upon which happiness depends, or else that one is searching in the wrong direction.

There are as many human opinions as to how happiness may be obtained as there are various conceptions as to what constitutes that blissful state. That which ranks first among these may be classified under sense-gratification. By the pleasure seeker it is confused with the sought-for prize. Yet we know that sense-gratification is not happiness neither is asceticism practiced to win this sacred gift.

It has been said that "happiness ever flees the ardent seeker," that it "comes unbidden when it comes at all." Conditions must be right, for it enters the human heart. It cannot dwell with discord or inharmony. It is never found where evil impulses, greed and selfishness dwell.

Neither does marked culture, education, talents or fame encage it. Palatial environments, wealth and social position seem more often to frighten it away; and sordid conditions offer no inducement for its abiding place. Material grandeur, pomp and glory hold nothing that attracts its divine nature.