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What Is Happiness?

Here is Gina Lake channeling Jesus from her book Jesus Speaking: On Being in the World, explaining that there are two kinds of happiness and how to experience true and lasting happiness. Find out what happiness is really all about. A transcript of this video message can be read below.

I’ve spoken about happiness quite often, but it is an important enough topic to dedicate a message to. Of course, everyone knows what happiness is. You know what it feels like to be happy. However, I’d like to suggest that there are two kinds of happiness: the kind you are most familiar with and a more subtle, ever-present kind of happiness that comes from the simple joy of being alive. Not everyone is aware of this second kind of happiness, but since it is ever-present and always available, it seems important to get to know it, in this world where sorrow and suffering are so prevalent.

Little needs to be said about the kind of happiness that everyone is familiar with, but I need to point out a few things to compare and contrast it with the more subtle happiness of being alive. The thing that is most un-happy about the happiness that you are familiar with is that it isn’t always present. It comes and goes, often rather quickly. Furthermore, being happy in that way isn’t particularly in your control.

The reason it isn’t in your control is that getting your desires met isn’t in your control—have you noticed? This connection between desires and unhappiness, or suffering, is usually not acknowledged. People are convinced that the way to happiness is getting what you want, without noticing all the suffering their desires cause along the way.

People spend more time suffering and striving than they do feeling happy and at peace. This is because the state of consciousness humanity finds itself in is a state of ongoing desire. Nearly every moment of your day, the voice in your head is expressing a desire. It may be couched in the form of a preference or a complaint—"I like,” “I don’t like”—"but underlying those thoughts is the desire for something to be a certain way, usually some way other than the way it is.

It’s not your fault that you have such desires. This is how you are programmed. You are programmed to suffer, and thoughts about what you want and don’t want and what you like and don’t like are how you are held in that prison of suffering and endless striving. And rarely does it occur to you that this is what’s going on. Such is the nature of programming. It operates below one’s conscious awareness, in the background. It is the water you swim in as fishes.

But now you are aware of this. The jig is up! And, now that you know, you can’t be unaware of this. And that is also as it is meant to be. At some point, you are meant to awaken out of the programming, to see it for what it is, and to be in a new relationship to it. That new relationship is one of choice: You are aware enough of your programming that you can choose to follow it or not.

The happiness that you are familiar with is such fun, and you are meant to feel that good from time to time. It’s wonderful! It’s a blessing to have moments and days when you feel elated, when you seem to be walking on air, finally uplifted from the struggle and strife of the egoic state of consciousness, at least for a while. What a relief that is when your desires are finally met! Then, you can finally relax, and you find yourself enjoying life—enjoying everything. Life looks so bright when you are this happy.

Why is this? It’s simply because you like what is. You’ve gotten what you wanted, and now, you can finally be happy with life the way it is. If only this relief from suffering, this happiness, would last! But it never does. Eventually, the voice in your head comes up with other desires, complaints, and preferences, and you’re off and running, trying to get life to line up with them. What a task!

Trying to make life conform to your ideas and desires is impossible, and yet, so rarely do people realize this. Instead, they just keep going after their desires. Except in certain spiritual circles, people aren’t talking about the craziness of trying to make life fit their desires, but the opposite: They’re talking about what they want and sharing tips on how to get what they want. That’s the driving force in most people’s lives, which explains why so many people are exhausted and unhappy no matter how many desires they manage to fulfill. The rat race is largely about desire-fulfillment.

I need to add that there’s nothing wrong with going after what you want. The problem is that this is not what life is all about, and if you make it what your life is all about, you’ll never experience true happiness, at least not for long.

If going after your desires didn’t interfere with true happiness, I wouldn’t even be bringing this up. But if you assume that true happiness lies in getting your desires met, then why would you ever question this or look elsewhere for happiness? And that is the problem. Many never look elsewhere for a truer kind of happiness, and so they never find it.

If fulfilling your desires is your focus, you won’t often venture beyond the egoic state of consciousness, and that would be a shame because there’s much, much more to life than desire fulfillment. There’s another state of consciousness and another way of doing life that is driven and guided by a different set of desires that run deeper.

This other way of doing life, of being in life, which is called being present or being awake, is so unusual that it’s often thought to be special and difficult to attain. However, although extraordinary and wonderful, this way of being is really very ordinary and attainable.

These deeper desires, or drives, which stem from your soul, or divine self, are meant to propel and guide your life, not the ego’s superficial desires, as expressed in the thought-stream. These deeper desires are felt and responded to naturally, without thought. Everyone has deeper desires, and everyone responds to them to some extent. They are felt as drives, not experienced as thoughts. If the ego’s desires aren’t your primary focus and motivating force, you will naturally follow your soul’s, or Heart’s, desires.

What does this have to do with happiness? When your actions are aligned with your soul’s plan and Thy will, you experience true happiness. This deeper happiness is your lodestar, and it’s quite different from the happiness that comes from getting your ego’s desires met. There should be another word for this kind of happiness, and many do use the word “joy” to indicate this deeper happiness, so I will use that word as well.

Joy is the subtle experience of your true nature. When you’re aligned with your true nature, you feel joy. This experience could also be called love or peace. These are all qualities of your true nature, different flavors or facets of the diamond of your true nature.

Unlike the happiness of the ego, joy is not a human emotion but comes from the realm of the Divine. You could say that joy is a higher octave of happiness, since joy stems from the subtle realm rather than the denser realm of the ego. Joy is a sign, or symptom, that you are aligned with your true nature.

Joy isn’t something you can or have to “get.” It’s already got you. It is you. You are joy. But joy is often obscured by putting your attention elsewhere. There are only two possible places to put your attention: the unreal mental realm or reality: what is actually real here and now, which includes the subtle world and the joy, love, peace, and other qualities of your divine nature. Therefore, true happiness, or joy, is a matter of giving your attention to anything but the unreal world of the mind, particularly the egoic mind, the voice in your head.

Can you do that? How hard is it to give your attention to the sky? The cars passing by? The wind as it blows your hair and touches your face? The love in your heart? The subtle nudges to do something? How hard is it to give your attention to the person in front of you instead of to your thoughts about that person?

Giving attention to what is real here and now isn’t hard, but you have to be aware of the value of doing this, and there is a choice to make. True happiness—joy—is a choice. It’s a choice about where you put your attention.

Many people consider the phrase “happiness is a choice” to mean a choice about what you’re thinking: Think positive thoughts instead of negative ones. That’s helpful, but positive thoughts are merely a bridge to joy, not the destination. Positive thoughts take you beyond negativity, but they don’t take you beyond the mental realm. And if you stay involved with your thoughts, you won’t remain positive for long, since it’s a very short trip from a positive thought to a negative one.

There’s another place where you can abide besides the mind, and positive thoughts can take you there. But once you’re there, you have to keep choosing to stay there. This “there” that you are choosing to stay in is reality. To stay in reality—to be present to it—you have to choose to give your attention to what is real, what is arising in the here and now besides thoughts and emotions. What you give your attention to are the sensations, sounds, sights, smells, tastes, intuitions, knowings, drives, inspirations, and qualities of your true nature that are arising in any moment. If you do that long enough, you’ll experience joy, and that joy will be enough.

This joy, this happiness, is satisfying. It’s simple, it’s subtle, and it’s always there. The goal of all your lifetimes is living in joy. This joy is the endpoint; it is Home with a capital “H.” It is the experience of just being present to life, of simply existing in reality just as it’s being experienced here and now.

The price you pay for joy is your attention, while the price you pay for the ego’s happiness is suffering. What serves you better? The problem is, the ego loves drama, including suffering. Yes, the ego loves suffering! It loves to play the victim— “Poor me!”—while the ego is both the perpetrator of suffering and the victim.

The egoic mind hurts, and it is hurt. Without the voice in your head in play, with it in the background, there is no hurting and no being hurt; there is just peace. But, as I said, the ego doesn’t want peace, and to the extent that you are identified with the voice in your head, peace won’t be of interest to you.

Nevertheless, there will come a time when you will want peace more than you want drama, and peace will be there, waiting for you, in the silence, where it has always been. Thank you for being here and being willing to experience the simplicity, peace, and joy of this moment. I am with you always.

More about Jesus Speaking: On Being in the World and the other books in the Jesus Speaking series...

This channeled message was shared in weekly online gatherings where Christ Consciousness Transmissions (CCTs) are offered by Gina Lake and her husband, Nirmala. These transmissions of higher consciousness will assist you in your spiritual awakening, in awakening to your true nature.

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