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Let's create worldwide happiness

G'day. Martin Gifford is a regular Webdiarist. This is his first piece for Webdiary.

Have you noticed that although politicians, parents, teachers, businesses, organisations and the media promote the goal of happiness, no one seems to achieve real enduring happiness? One third of marriages end in divorce and 88% of people are unhappy in their workplace (Charles Birch and David Paul, 2003).

Looking at the faces of people walking down the street, you would think they have been ear tagged for processing into alien food. Prime ministers, presidents, premiers, and dictators often look frightened and miserable. Even princesses and movie stars complain. Temporary highs and oblivious cruising do not count as happiness.

Happiness is the meaning of life. I define happiness as enjoying life now (appreciating present creation), while fulfilling your potential (creating the future). Happiness seems to be the purpose of everything.

After taking care of survival matters, animals move towards the pleasant and the enjoyable e.g. sunbathing, playing, and singing. The energy of the Universe manifests its potential in spectacular galaxies, stars, and planets. The lifeforce (for want of a better term) manifests its potential in myriad wondrous forms such as a peacock, a rose, and Angelina Jolie.

In the absence of convincing alternatives, it seems to me that human beings should do what the rest of the Universe is essentially doing - enjoying life and fulfilling potential. We are already attempting to achieve happiness in everything we do, but without success.

The absence of real enduring happiness has concerned me from an early age, so I have been on a lifelong quest for a way to realise our greater potential for happiness. I believe I have found a way. Essentially, we need to spread the following two ideas:

1. Our greatest potential for individual and group enjoyment and fulfilment can manifest only in the context of worldwide happiness.

2. Creating worldwide happiness is easy.

Since we cannot be truly happy unless our ‘enemies’ are happy (for otherwise they will threaten our happiness), and since we cannot eradicate all enemies, the only valid goal is happiness for everyone. As Abraham Lincoln suggested, “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

Happy enemies would be too busy being happy to bother hurting us, so they would no longer be enemies. When widespread goodwill replaces rivalry, there is no cause for which to fight. Instead of wasting time and energy in conflict, we will naturally support each other’s constructive activities. In addition, since we require sensitivity to feel happiness, we must end the suffering of others so that it can no longer depress us.

To create worldwide happiness, we only need to change one system, not 6 billion human beings. The system is the collective belief that competing for exclusive individual or group gain will bring happiness. Changing the system means changing the false world view that sustains it.

The false worldview is the idea that we must struggle in a world of adversity and danger. Each human being is born with excitement, high expectations, and great potential, and we have all experienced the Earth as supportive, so it can only be the inherited system that is responsible for crushing the spirit.

Communicating the truth will change the system. Communicating the necessity and ease of creating worldwide happiness leads to foresight, which stimulates the will, which leads to harmonious co-creation. This harmonious co-creation is innately evolutionary.

Therefore, the four stages of creating worldwide happiness are:

1. Communicating the truth.

2. Experiencing foresight.

3. The arising of will.

4. Co-creating the future.

Do you want real enduring happiness? If so, then suggest to friends and acquaintances that we need to create worldwide happiness, then counter their objections until they experience a glimpse of what is possible. Then they will want worldwide happiness, and so they will communicate further.

When enough of us are inspired by the possibility of worldwide happiness, we will act with increasing harmony and co-operation, thereby creating worldwide happiness, which will include you, your friends, and your acquaintances. We already have the physical and mental resources; we only need to stimulate the will that is latent in us all.

Interestingly, the majority of people I have spoken to either seem to have given up on the possibility of worldwide happiness, or believe that it is centuries away - “if we manage to survive that long”. Most agree that they would like to walk down the street fearlessly and joyfully in a carnival of love. In contemplation of this, their eyes brighten, their breathing relaxes, and their body language opens.

But then clouds close over as they conclude with statements like, “I just don’t think it’s possible”, or “Not in my lifetime.” Some people literally topple off their chairs in their efforts to prove that worldwide happiness is impossible.

After witnessing such reactions many times, I began to wonder why people fought for a world view that is so pessimistic as to suggest that happiness for everyone is impossible (at least in the foreseeable future) in spite of the case-clinching facts that the goal was the best possible goal, and the majority of us ultimately wants it to happen.

If a tiny minority can send people to the moon in 7 years, surely a vast majority can create a happy world in a similar amount of time. After all, creating a happy world means simply creating a happy home for us all. You, me, and everybody wants a happy home. It is the most fundamental desire. It is the starting point for a joyful productive life. If we are not happy or pursuing happiness, then what are we doing?

I was sure that each person ultimately wants to fulfil his or her Earthly potential. In the short-term people might pursue higher ideals, or they might make sacrifices now for a better future, but if someone asked, “Would you like some more enjoyment and opportunities for fulfilment now, no strings attached?”, nearly all of us would answer, “Yes.” All beings want the best for themselves.

I was also sure that it is possible for human beings to be happy here on Earth, for I had experienced wonderful periods during my early childhood, and I have witnessed moments of profound joy in others. Deep down, we suspect that our greater potential for happiness still waits to be unearthed - our dissatisfaction with our love relationships, our frustration when watching the news, and our natural hope for a happier future, give us away. So why do people argue against the possibility of worldwide happiness?

My conclusion is that the topic of worldwide happiness presses a hot button that connects to a network of negative conclusions based on the following repeated evidence:

· The warnings of evil and entrapment promulgated by religionists.

· The conflict and meaninglessness emphasised by scientists (the theory of survival of the fittest, and the belief that the Universe is purely material and accidental).

· The past horrors highlighted by historians.

· The daily horror updates exhibited in the media.

People who are used to living in a ghetto cannot imagine living in a palace. Similarly, humankind is trapped in a psychological ghetto maintained by the momentum of inherited negativity and ongoing propaganda, and so cannot imagine living in a palace of worldwide happiness. Even optimists reject the possibility of worldwide happiness in practice, if not in theory.

Together with religious leaders, scientists, historians, economists, teachers, politicians and the media we subconsciously echo negative conclusions all day. We spread resignation at the most fundamental level with our talk and actions no matter how well intentioned we may be. Wishing people luck implies that they need luck; working 40 hours per week for 40 years is submission to punishment for an unknown crime and provides a bad example for others to follow; and accepting the existence of starvation, poverty, violence, and war is maintaining the existence of hell for others.

The ancients started the rumour that “life is difficult except for the strong, the clever, the evil, and the lucky” and we continue to spread this spirit-crushing rumour like a psychic disease. Due to the current milieu, communicating the necessity and ease of creating worldwide happiness is slow in the beginning; but the more we do it, the faster the cure will spread.

However, we do not need heroism or ideals. Those who promote inspirational success stories ultimately produce a negative effect. Success stories are about heroes overcoming adversity, but since the storytellers do not address the primary adversity, they inadvertently reinforce the presumed inevitability of adversity. The most useful hero is the one who ends adversity as such, thereby putting heroes out of business. Then we can all get on with living out our potential, rather than comparing ourselves with heroes and struggling pointlessly in an unnecessarily difficult world. We do not need to fight as heroes or submit to ideals in order to live happily! We only need the truth. The truth is universal and reliable.

Worldwide happiness is the most important topic of discussion for humankind. Until now, we debated, and polarised over, secondary issues without stating the ultimate goal. Secondary issues, such as territory, security, and fixing people’s behaviour, have remained unresolved for centuries. Each war (including the current War On Terror) is marketed as being the last war, which will bring final peace, security, justice, freedom, holiness, and wealth, yet wars continue; each government promises to stop crime, yet crime continues. The secondary issues represent partial forms of happiness, and focussing on them is an indirect attempt at happiness. However, since the goals and methods are exclusive, they carry within themselves the seeds of their own demise. Instead of engaging in partial exclusive activities, we can act wholly and directly by making all-encompassing worldwide happiness our goal.

People on both sides of any debate have good intentions. However, those who are in power or those who favour action often make hasty plans in reaction to emergencies and use their intellects to defend the plans, then those who are not in power or those who favour deeper thinking use their intellects to attack the plans. A better approach is for both sides to use their passions, their intellects, and the lessons of life for creating wholesome goals, and for finding harmonious inclusive methods for achieving those goals. Then we will stop creating emergencies.

In this, the third millennium of the Common Era, it is time to consciously work issues out by finding common ground. Communication channels, technology, and education are now at the level where an evolutionary leap from the “for and against” debating model up to the co-creation model is possible. Now we understand that the rich can help the poor to help themselves, and that misunderstandings can be resolved before conflicts arise. The strongest foundation for us to build upon is our mutual desire for happiness.

However, since arguments against the very possibility of worldwide happiness are entrenched, we need to initiate a fresh global dialogue on the subject. Indeed, we need to enter a deeper contemplation of our purpose i.e. the purpose of human life on Planet Earth - here amongst all the plants and animals. The greater the number of people contemplating our purpose and the means of achieving our purpose, the sooner our greater potential for enjoyment and fulfilment will manifest. Using the analogy of a tree, we can say that the impulse of evolution is to progress from the survival stage of establishing roots and strengthening (we are already the dominant species) to the enjoyment and fulfilment stage of flowering and fruiting (while maintaining the roots and the strength).

Even positive creative people argue against the possibility of happiness for everyone - mainly because they have not set aside sufficient time to contemplate the proposition. Perhaps you are thinking of a good argument now, or maybe another person’s arguments are echoing in your ear. Finding answers for arguments only requires that we dig deeper.

The most common argument against the possibility of creating worldwide happiness is that human nature is flawed, and that certain people in power will stop worldwide happiness from taking root. Since this view focuses on the worst of our past and on our lower instinctual nature, our task is to emphasise the future and to stimulate our higher nature. In addition, we will need to convince those in power that their own greater potential for happiness depends on worldwide happiness. This will become easier the more we do it. The next most common argument is that life on Earth is restricted and so ups and downs are inevitable. An answer to this is that our ups and downs are mostly created by ourselves and that we are smart enough to learn increasingly effective ways of living happily.

Past empires fell because they failed to evolve i.e. failed to create worldwide happiness. Governments claim to be doing “what’s best for the country” when in reality they are pursuing short-term illusory self-interest or fantasies that are suppressions of the evolutionary challenges of life at large. Sometimes governments drag us backwards by deliberately provoking lower instincts rather than stimulating higher instincts. In order to reawaken our spirits, the quality of our expectations and actions must rise to match our potential. To garner the support of life at large, our actions must be inclusive and constructive. To promote wholeness and truth, we must measure results using all three timeframes - the short-term, the medium-term, and the long-term.

I propose that we discuss all political issues within the context of creating worldwide happiness. With worldwide happiness as the frame of reference, other policies either instantly make sense, or are revealed to be counterproductive. Further, we could ask every politician how each policy would contribute to the spreading of happiness. Harping on about security only begs the question of why we want to be secure i.e. why do we want to continue living? Surely, it is to enjoy life and to fulfil our potential. And what politician would not want to be a supporter of creating worldwide happiness? Claiming that worldwide happiness is impossible would be an admission of incompetence.

Once the will is stimulated in sufficient numbers of people, I believe we can create worldwide happiness in 10 years. What else would we do?

My email address is worldwidehappiness@yahoo.com.au. I welcome your responses, suggestions and objections.


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