Chapter 14: Happiness
Some people claim that happiness is impossible. They think that human nature is an uncontrollable beast who pushes us to seek new conquest. They think we are always unsatisfied. They find life frustrating and psychologically upsetting. The fail to see that Man is more complex than simple frustration. I can understand why a person in civilization is frustrated. His natural desires cant find satisfaction. The unnatural conditions of civilization may teach him to pursue things that his body can not feel as pleasurable. He constantly falls short of pleasure, and constantly feels the desires. Civilization will punish him and make him stumble when he tries to let the beast out. Eventually, he learns to just keep the beast locked up, and accept frustration as normal.
Our psychology is interconnected with what we are. We have evolved to be happy if we live as are biologically designed to live. Man is heavily dependent on psychological well being to survive in Nature. Happy people survive in Nature. We break down if our psychology is upset. For us to be stable we must feel natural. We seek happiness, because it is a great comfort. The beast within is not bad. He just does what he is programmed to do. He seems unable to find happiness if he is out of his proper environment. Put him in his environment, and then youll feel pleasures of all kinds, and they just keep happening. Everything fits where it was meant to fit. We are a hunter-gatherer.
Some psychologist will tell you that using the word "instinct," the way I do is improper. The way I equate animal instinct with passion annoys them. They want more specific definitions, which can be tested scientifically. I wish there were such a words, but no one has found them yet. Many people write against following our instincts. I have no word to defend instinct other than the word, instinct. In the wild, it makes no difference what word you use. If you make a mistake, you die. Most psychologists have never lived in the wild. Let your cravings tell you what to do. I have spent some time in the woods, and it works. The body takes care of itself, if you just learn to read the signs that it gives you.
Whether you are good or bad has a lasting effect on the heart of your personality. It will determine the quality, of a person you are. This will affect what you do. The path you choose will affect weather your life is good or not. What you are will come back to you. Being bad will hurt you. Being good will help you. This may sound very vague and open to interpretation. In the real world things might be very different, or they might be exactly the way I just described.
Some people think that the good has to be thought to a person. We do sometimes learn good cultural ethics, but I think that some good comes from within a person. It is part of our nature to desire the good. Apparently, there is some kind of selective advantage in the human econiche that has made desiring the good a successful evolutionary trait, perhaps because the good is socially beneficial, and a strong social structure makes a society survive. Perhaps our instinct does not provide us with an exact picture of what the right way is. The instincts only guide us partially. We have to find the rest of the way ourselves. We seem to start learning the mystery of the good as young children. The learning process is a significant part of our life experience.
We seem to develop a sense of the good, which is more idealistic than realistic. We wish to do good, but might not be sure what it is. Also we make mistakes and discover that we failed to do the good. Still, when wrong is done we still feel that good could have been done. As if the good is a model that we try to imitate as closely as possible, but do not always succeed. If we keep failing, we might assume ourselves to be no good and somehow separate from the idealistic good. We might also see the good outside of ourselves, in things we call good. We might assume that achieving a harmony with these things is a key to achieving perfection. I admire nature and wish to be part of it. We might find that the key to achieving the harmony is already inside us. Our instincts and our passions are full of good powers, which are naturally, set to fit Natures way. Often, we think the good creates harmony, which let us feel happiness. It all seems to fit. I call it justice.
Many religions make achieving the good the ultimate goal. Many religions believe that a good God intends the good. They might think that the good is part of the big plan of the universe. They may even think that the good is an absolute form that actually exists somewhere. They might even think that the good is God, and that a vision of the good would be the ultimate answer to the ultimate question. Im not sure whether the good really is the answer. For humans, the good is a very important part of life, but Im not too sure how another life form which evolved differently might feel about it. The ability to idealize the good might just be something unique to man. It might not even be an important part of the universe.
The ideal of the good can become evil. Some people think that Nature is a corruption of the good light. They might try to change the world to make it fit their ideals. I tend to think that the natural world is good as it is. People who think the good is separate from the world have taken a natural human need and turned it into insanity. These insane people might fail I to see a natural good, and might never archive natural harmony or happiness. Beware that you are not fooled into becoming one of them.
Sometimes people do evil to accomplish a greater good. Often the greater good never happens and all that is left is the evil they do. A lot of destruction is caused by people who care but fail to do right. We should try to make our search for the good also good. The good does not exist as a single end. The world is constantly changing. There are real goods and we have to constantly care, search, do, and learn. The good may, be a continuous process. To do this you must find a harmony that will best fit the way things happen.
The seed that causes you to care is always young. Each moment is different, and you must always start again. The seed is always inexperienced, and can make mistakes. It can grow inside you in a process called love. The growth is an activity. The activity is a search. Life gets meaning by playing this game. They say that it is the thought that counts, but there is also active application, as we choose our steps and make our lives what they are. What we actually do is more important than the thought. You should have to have done it right; not just though you did it right. Perhaps sometimes we get a feeling that tells us when something is wrong. We should listen to these feelings. If you were good your soul would feel good.
Some people think that the universe operates by love. Love makes the world and puts beings like us in it so we can strive to find this love. This way of thinking makes love the whole purpose of the universe. A lot of people pray to an ideal love, which they believe is separate from the world. They might search for the true love by asking this ideal what to do. These people fail to realize that the true, right way can only be found by looking and searching the real world. Maybe we are supposed to find some ideal love, but I believe that to do this we must search the real world. We do not create the ideal just by being idealistic.
It is possible that love is just a material instinct inside you, caused by your biological nature. It is another human trait. It is possible that it is not a universal anything. We only idealize it as a universal thing, because were human. It is part of our biological nature to see things this way. It is part of our universe and our purpose, but it is not part of the universal purpose. A lot of people wonder if being a loving person will help them get to Heaven after they die. I dont know about that, but I do know that it can create a Heaven inside you, and also a Heaven in your relationship to other people. This can happen if you follow the purpose love gives you and create many good things.
The seed of true love is the pointer. It is pointing in the direction of the world. Sometimes it might point at the whole world as one. Sometimes it might point at specific things in the world. If you fail to explore the world you will fail to find these things. The God who does the pointing is a loving God. But dont assume that he is love. Anyone, who says that the source of love is the only love, is missing the point. A lot of religions bow to love and miss the point. The Buddhist concept of wisdom is similar to a nun who gives up her sex life to be married to God. Maybe God wants them to do something else. They are the dog who stares at the hand doing the pointing.
The word, religion, means to relink. For some religions, the divine marriage is a union of the faithful with God. Their Goddess is an understanding of their Gods. This can become evil if they forget about the Earth and let the union give birth to an idealistic babe. In my religion, the relinking is sex; the Earth is never Forgotten, the artificial laws are unimportant, and the divine child is simply life. The Old Testament has the Jews married to God, who acts like a jealous, abusive husband. In my religion, we are married to the Earth, but we are not supposed to act like an Old Testament God. Love the world for what it is not for what you want it to be.
If you love a person you would try to find a harmony with them. You would not try to force them to be something that theyre not. A lot of people might love someone and then try to force that person to fit their ideas of what they wanted that person to be. They actually did not love that person; they only loved what they wanted that person to be. They might even make the other person unhappy. Loving them in a wrong way is not love. If you truly loved them you would have cared enough to find the real person, and check to see if you really love their character. It is possible that they actually hated the person, or at least hated the way he is. They still assume that they love the person. They may feel the need to love, but dont know how to do it right Yet. They abuse the other person. They might even think that their abuse is a good thing to do since theyre trying to correct what they think is wrong. They might think that they are trying to help the other person. They might assume that their need to help is love. This can become abuse if the other person doesnt need their help. Love has a way of making people lose their better judgment.
Caring feels good. Being cared about feels good. Happiness is connected to how well you are loved and how well you love. Man is a social species. We do best when people cooperate together. Our social instincts are deep. We feel best in a working society. Your true place is most likely as a contributing member of your society. Only a few people are meant to live outside a society. Getting love is a process that is connected to how well you fit. You will have a better time adjusting to life if people love you. Those who fit are going to be happier than those who dont. Happiness can make you feel like accomplishing anything. Unhappiness can upset your whole life. Those who dont fit might feel that the world is working against them.
The person who fits you is someone who mixes well with you. You and that person can develop a happy life together. Everyones path in life is different. It is possible that someone might have a life that does not connect to yours. Their love does not involve you, and yours does not involve them. In order to find the people whose paths cross yours, you should find the place you fit in. Here, your abilities work best. Here, the world seems to work for you. Here, you might find people who fit you. In this place you would have more to offer other people. You would be a more complete person. You would be a good catch. You would be someone worth loving.
Some people can easily find a place. Some have to search long and hard. Some people might have to practice and train themselves. Even change yourself to be yourself. Or perhaps you must stop changing yourself. When you have found the place that you belong, you have found yourself. The right place for you might be where you never expected it.
Many people are unhappy because theyre in a role that they dont really belong in. The may have placed themselves in this role because they thought they might get something that made another person happy. What makes one person happy will not necessarily make another person happy. You cant fit roles that dont fit you. Other people can help you find part of the way, but they cant help you all the way. You also cant tell another person what his right way is. Each person must find it for himself or herself.
As a contributor to society, you will find many rewards. It will make you feel good, and give meaning and purpose to your life. It makes other people care for you, and you will find people who you can care for. You will have a lot to contribute to them if you are who you truly are meant to be. When I said a society of people working together, I dont mean a civilization. Some natural primitive societies have many dreamer cults or places for different people. A civilized society is one that makes it people separate from their true nature. To free man from civilization would allow people to naturally be what they are.
The path we take is the world we make, and what we do is where we are. You hurt yourself if you hurt the Earth. Your future is the Earths future. Your nature is the Earths nature. The one true connection is even deeper than this. Each person has his own place in the world. If you can find it, then you will have found yourself and also you will have found the Earth Inside of us there is something that wants the Earth. There is an even deeper secret. The Earth wants you. Does each person really have a place in this world? I have not offered any evidence to show that they do. I just think they do.
Remember that you can only worship Nature if you worship yourself, and you cannot worship yourself unless you worship Nature, you are both connected as one temple. How you treat Nature is how you treat yourself. Remember to protect your Sacred Grove. Like a person, a society also has to find its way. You should try to make your society best fit Nature, so the society will be happiest. As a Holy Anarchist, you should act in a natural way and perhaps inspire people to follow your example.
Some ancient Greeks equated mind with spirit. They considered it separate from the material body. Modern scientists have discovered that mental information is processed by a material organ in the body called the brain. This discovery seems to disprove the Greek view. If the new scientific view is true, then psychological processes such as love are all part of the material world. Energy, information, activity, mind, and Nature are all part of the prime material plain. Spirit is something more obscure, which includes God. The mind might be no more spiritual than your foot.
That famous song by Madonna uses the ideal that love is good for the soul, and that the pursuit of money and material wealth is harmful for the soul. This modern idea is a descendant of the Greek idea. It may very well be true, but it gives a limited definition of a materialist. A materialist could be someone who loves material nature. He does not have to be someone who loves money. Money is a mathematical fiction, and a very peculiar cult. A businessman who destroyed Nature for money does not necessarily do it for the money. He might have ideals. It seems that in my definition, love is materialistic and money is religious.
I try to make it clear that my definition of Nature is the kind of Nature you would find in the woods, such as trees growing and animals eating each other. This definition of Nature has been around since ancient times, but it is not the only definition. Before the 20th century, many people had definitions of Nature, which were idealistic and religious. They thought the ways of their civilized culture as natural. For example, they thought the divine right of kings was natural.
Eventually, new technologies created new problems which the old way could not solve. The system started making the poor poorer and the rich richer. Humanists broke way from the old dogmas by emphasizing the importance of Man over the system. Some humanists claim to love Man, but do not see Mans connection with Nature. They do not love Nature and think that Man could live without Nature. In a way, they do not love Man. Many 20th century thinkers have made this mistake. They built industry to serve Man, with little concern for how it affected the environment. I think people will have a better understanding of Man as part of Nature in the next century, because now we can see how hurting the environment can hurt us. We will keep learning more as the effects off progress on the environment keep getting worse. The environment will be a major concern in the next century.
You might say that my view of Man is superficial, since I think of men like biological machines, and do not appreciate the free being inside the machine. My definition of freedom means to be free to be your nature. I believe that our American founding fathers had a similar notion when they, said that all men have inalienable rights, which includes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Existentialists deny that these rights exist and want to be free from the bondage to the animal. Communists, Christians, and Buddhists also want freedom from Nature. The belief that Man has no essence gives civilization freedom to mold Man into any form. Communists want you to surrender your individual rights and freedoms, which they consider illusionary. They want to become part of the collective, just like the Borg on Star Trek. Id rather be superficial.
Civilization might seem to offer a lot, which might seem to be a new freedom, but this will just take away our natural freedoms and trap us in an unnatural cage. I like the American kind of freedom that appears in the writings of Thoreau, Whitman, Kerouac, Lame Deer, Robert E. Howard, and Edward Abbey. These men wanted to be their Animals. Perhaps no one but an American could understand this kind of freedom. For several centuries, America was a wilderness, and people were free in it. Perhaps some of the wild thinking remains. I recommend that you follow this wild thinking, or else you might be assimilated into the collective.
Some scholars claim that individual freedom was invented by capitalists who believed in private enterprise. They do not think that individuality exists in a tribe. These political writers dont know about the personal Animals and Dreams of primitive people. Social theorists love to make reasonable sounding theories without ever checking to see if what they say is true. You dont have to worry about me being reasonable. All my theories are invented by emotion. Occasionally, I do check to see if they are true, but I let my emotions tell me what is right.
Many people dont understand the difference between poor and primitive. Poor people have basic human rights taken away from them. Primitive people live as Man is meant to live. A mining town in Appalachia is an extremely depressing place. They are poor. The people who live in the backwoods are very different. They are primitive. Once, I told a group of Jews in New York that I had visited hillbilly country. These Jews then began to make a bunch or remarks indicating that they considered hillbillies to be ignorant, superstitious, and bigoted. They consider themselves to be progressive and enlightened. They have never met a real hillbilly. Real backwoods hillbillies have a strong sense of purpose in life. They are barbarians who know life as no one in a city could know.
I tend to think that we can still learn a lot about Man by just by getting to know him. I have tried to look at Man without civilized prejudice, because I dont fear Man. My days and nights are spent getting to know my fellow man. Im not very sociable, but I do try to listen. It is my job as a shaman of a Man centered religion. All the Gods that I write about are loosely inspired by real people I have met.
People tell me that Man must be controlled. In stead of learning the right way to live with people, they want to control them. I have never felt the need to control another person. I do not fear Man, the way they do. Perhaps I see Nature as good because I do not fear Nature, as many civilized people do. I think there is a right way, to live with Nature. You wont find out how if you never try. Most civilized people have never given Nature a chance.
Making a talisman is a kind of magic spell. I like to draw what I think a force should look like, using symbols, rather that detailed pictures. These symbols help me to bring out ideas. Sometimes after I draw the picture I realize that it is incomplete, so I go out to find more information. I dont let my ideas become dogmatic or I would never learn anything new. I am always redrawing my picture as I learn new things. Sometimes, it seems that I never get it right. Usually, I realize how wrong my picture is after I drew it, so I throw it away. I save only a few of my drawings for future use. Sometimes, I am not sure what I want. Occasionally, I end up with a picture of a force which is completely different from what I had originally intended.
Making a talisman can be a way, of exploring a force. Perhaps it is not as good as watching the real world, but it has given me many, good results. Many of the designs of in my temple came about as I drew and redrew the pictures. A vision of a concept is a name, which can be used in prayers. The Talisman can act as a reminder of the vision when you need it.
As you experience the world, the unconscious mind organizes a lot of information that you never consciously, realize. Perhaps you dont need to realize this information, but sometimes it is fun to explore. People, who give psychological interpretations to Gods, believe that you must contact and develop these forces inside yourself, to make yourself a more complete person. Some people might also believe that they must develop these forces in the world around them. These forces can be used in wrong ways, such as the way that progress and civilization uses them. I tend to believe that there is a right way to use them. Included here is an example of what talismans could look like. They are talismans of the 28 days of the lunar cycle. They may look very simple, but I sure had to go through a lot to choose them over many other drawings.
The 28 Days
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