Pursuit of Happiness

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 K.Z. Freeman 2 Comments

A human being never acts, he only reacts.

And our reactions have led to a state where humanity has become obsessed with positive emotions. In most cases, we want to shield ourselves and deny all emotions which we perceive as negative. To be happy is what we consider the highest goal: to be completely positive. We fear experiencing any negative emotions and experiences, as these ultimately, if they are perceived and self-determined as being constant and neverending, want us to leave this body full of suffering.

All human beings experience what they experience because of mind. Without mind there is no experience. If they believe that they have seen a certain aspect of experience which is the domain of the soul, this is only more mind.

You wish to understand what happens when you die. And you would like to believe that some know, you don’t personally, but hope that others might. You may have had experiences that made you question the event of death, but you still do not know because you are still alive. 

All experiences which describe what happens after the death of the body and what happens to the soul come from living minds. Living minds subject to the same emotions to which they have always been subject to.

Anyone can reach a realization of knowing, that is to say feeling, that they are not a body, but a soul. Because you train to feel that.

Because we do not equate spirit with matter and vice versa, and because of our duality in this, we believe that this training and practice to become enlightened is a spiritual exercise. Something which also goes on beyond mind. And yet all you are doing is training matter to respond a certain way, training spirit to do things a certain way, to view things a certain way and to feel a certain way.

You are training yourself to be enlightened. You are training yourself not to equate yourself as this body, but as an immaterial being beyond this body.

A bodybuilder trains his body to become completely honed, and has self-realized the body to be as he has fashioned it. The same has been done by the guru, master, yogi. The very same process of training, where the guru not only has to train a certain way, but also think and act and eat a certain way.

Anyone who has ever met a bodybuilder, or anyone that is on what he thinks is a path to enlightenment, knows that a person such as this does a certain amount of training, but also thinks a certain way, acts a certain way, projects a look that is emulating a certain ideal and to an extent perceives and feels things a certain way. The enlightenment-seeker, just like the bodybuilder, has an idea in their mind of what a certain type of person looks like and acts like, then tries to imitate. Some have it easier than others, in bodybuilding and in the path.

This is because some grasp a certain truth more deeply than others. That the body and mind are one and the same thing and completely connected and inseparable, and know, on whatever level, that spirit is matter and matter is spirit.

Here I am not talking about spirit as any kind of non-material entity over which the body is superimposed. I mean spirit as that which all things possess, a thing we cannot truly define because all definitions move away from it, and yet we all feel it within us, and in things that we perceive as living. We know it is in there when we look at a tree, and we question what it is in moments of depersonalization. Moments when we look in the mirror and feel as though that which is looking is not that which we see.

Not only does matter change and alter to our increasingly repeated mental states or muscle movements, so our spirit changes. In this instance, again, I am forced to change what I mean by spirit. In this instance, I do not mean a certain unseen aspect of us, but our spirit with which we do things, that which is not seen directly by others, but is perceived.

Just as it is good for us to never forget that these gurus and yogis and masters are human, we must also realize that words such as spirit and matter are man-made. They describe states of the same thing. They describe states of a spectrum just as white and black describe different states of a spectrum, but both belong to what we named color. They describe states of energy, but only states, while both of these things remain energy.

So why would a person that is enlightened lie about knowing what happens to us when we die?

They are not enlightened. And they are not lying.

They have trained themselves to believe in what was once an idea. They are subject to the same fears, vanity, desires, even though they have trained themselves not to equate the momentary state of fear, for instance, to an actual state of self. 

The human body and mind is amazing. We constantly put it aside and fool ourselves that the psyche is not capable of incredible self-deception and self-training. Or at least think that we ourselves are wise or smart enough to notice it as it happens.

We think that training the mind to act a certain way and be a certain way may not bring genuine results, only imitations. Then act further on this assumption as if everything we do isn't already an imitation. 
When you look at any spiritual discipline you will see the very same thing in every spiritual practice, and that is that it is a manual in training the mind/body to perceive in a certain manner, to act in a certain manner and respond in a certain manner. Usually this stems towards positive alignment. Why would a great guru deny himself all possible experiences and solely focus on experiencing the positive, or to try and train his mind not to label anything as positive or negative, but simply as states? Because all acts, no matter how selfless they may seem, are fueled by desire.

Humans and all activities of a human are led by desire precisely because they are human. The guru is subject to vanity, fear, concealment, despair, depression, elation, tranquility, equanimity, bliss,… Just as you are and can be subject to emotion and lust for influence. Human beings have created the idea of god because they themselves wish to be it, they emulate that ideal. Not necessarily the wise man with a long white beard, but a transcendent entity to be asked for guidance. To think and believe that you are beyond any of these notions is precisely that notion hiding in its own denial.

The human nature is possibility, human nature is to put on masks, to play roles, to delight in roles. These roles can give pleasure and contentment to other beings, so gurus and teachers and masters choose to play these roles to help, selfishly. So that through their selfish acts to help themselves through helping others the act can be made selfless.

And yet a lot of minds stay on the same level as most bodybuilders, they train their minds and enlighten themselves, not realizing that this enlightenment which they have attained is still a role, and that it is not what they truly are either. This reaching of enlightenment often presents itself in the annihilation of the experiencer as separate from the experience and the destruction of the one who puts on the mask, yet in the process many become unaware that anything has been put on in its place.

And in our unknowing of our own nature, we tend to almost worship these human beings, because our psychology is still not connected to the very same thing that the guru has connected himself to. To that which plays the role, to our nature.

In our search and craving for positivity, we focus our energy around these beings and solely on their positive, which in our limited understanding of our nature means to emulate, to be neither truly positive or negative, but subservient, nice, kind. As if bowing to a being would allow us to feel what we perceive they feel, to be as calm as we perceive they are, not knowing the countless hours of training they underwent.

We think that through pacification of ourselves we will understand what they understood, without any training in feeling how they feel.

We think that showing not merely our respect, but subservience, we will become closer to god which we see in an enlightened man.

But this is to believe that you yourself need anything else but you yourself to reach enlightenment. Because when you reach enlightenment, who reaches it, your guru, your teacher, your master, or you? When you reach it, do you think you still call it enlightenment? What happens when you go deep enough to find a basic self with no ideas about what things are, how they work, what he is seeing, where is he or who is he? What happens when you find that when these ideas and memories of ideas are gone, there is absolutely nothing there but possibility? What is there, what is left for you to possibly enlighten?

The real training these minds undergo and the lesson every person must learn in the path to enlightenment is not how to be happy. Constant happiness is an impossible goal. Man himself is subject to constant impermanence. This applies to all of his experiences and states. There are no states and emotions which are not subject to impermanence.

The training, the practice, is not to get attached to a certain state, but to fully realize that it is impermanent and subject to change and alteration. So that when a state arises it is a state, instead of your whole being becoming that state.

Where the idea of enlightenment came from, the term Moksha, is only the first step towards becoming. But what it does and why it is named enlightenment is fundamental and can easily be decried in terms of western ideas from where this term came from.

Light is constantly passing through your neurons. We call it electrical energy, but let me try and explain why it is good for you to try and enlighten yourself and it what way you should.

What I am about to say is my claim alone, and the only basis I have for this claim is subjective experience. 

In quantum theory, we have theorized a certain thing called a black body. A black body is a cavity wherein perfect energetic equilibrium can be reached, meaning that the exact amount of energy that is being emitted from the surface of the black body is being absorbed by the black body.

I think the only reason we were able to theorize and think about this concept is because our brain, our neurons and in fact our bodies are black bodies.

Another basic concept of the black body is that the emission rate increases with temperature, but not indefinitely, because this emission is counteracted by absorption until the point of equilibrium.

It is crucial to point out that this black body emits and absorbs every energy of every possible frequency and direction.

Again, this is the same with what we understand as the process of thinking and feeling. Every possible frequency that can be absorbed through the senses is absorbed by mind, and emitted.

The wish for enlightenment creates a state where neurons will in their nets of knowledge absorb all possible frequencies that are provided by the senses.

And the realization of enlightenment in doing is the emission of every possible frequency and in every possible direction. Suddenly the outside world and the inner world reach a perfect equilibrium.

But is that not what you are doing right now? Is this not already your natural state?

But to enlighten these neurons, to begin the absorption is very interesting. Because neurons do not work like any other receptor of light. When light flows through them, they "glow" but always slowly dim. So a certain kind of thinking can make those pathways glow and the more you repeat this, the longer they will stay lit and the more those pathways will become the default state.
(this description is beyond rough, but uses the simplest terms possible)

Knowing this, why would you not like to be immersed in your situation? To feel it fully? 
You know you have these experiences, and you know they are normal, and yet a part of you wishes to reject them because of an idea of what an enlightened person is and about what kind of experiences you think he doesn't have. You wish to reject reality because of your ideas about reality.

If you seek to practice in order to gain anything, you might as well stop now, as you will be perpetually disappointed. Rather practice should be a way to gain insight into your own self and to an eventual realization that the Self itself is a temporal state.

To realize that what you call self and all of the emotions associated with it, all of the memories and states associated with it, are learned states brought on by doing, or practice of some kind. What you do and say, you are.  What you practice, you are.

The nature of the temporal illusion is in possibility. The possibility is there, it is you who must make the movement to actualize that possibility. Whatever it is.

Your original nature is not in these emotions, but in emptiness. In emptiness that is not empty as we understand it, but empty of separate existence. In so that, whatever you do will never be done independently. By this I do not necessarily mean that what you do will effect all beings. Rather that what you do with the body will not just happen in the body, and what you do with mind will not just happen in mind. They are not separate movements, and in the same way you are not a separate movement in the world.

The temporal illusion that is man is a learned process. What the Self is and what it is not is learned in exactly the same fashion as is what spectrum of light represents the word orange. Just the same as what shape represents the word chair.

The ground you walk upon may seem separate to you, but that separation is learned and is precisely there because of your belief in a Self, which implies Other.

And yet all of this is merely perception. Just as this text is. But what kind of perception do you want? Will you choose it, in other words are you interested in seeing it directly and for yourself, or will you let other minds tell you what reality is?

This obsession with the positive emotion of happiness is inherent in us since we were told that we must be happy instead of being taught how to find reasons to be happy. Because of this we are constantly searching for happiness instead of searching for a reason to be happy. Happiness cannot be willed, it has to come by itself as a result of direct action. As long as we think happiness will come from either just thinking, or just doing, without meaningful doing and meaningful thinking together, peace will remain elusive. It will remain elusive in our psyche as you either just think and never do, or just do and then after the doing is done find it empty of existential meaning. We will not see in that doing our reason as to why we are here but will begin to see it as distraction from meaning.

But what could be meaningful action?

We were taught to embrace individualism in its ultimate sense of there being an individual who must strive by himself for himself. Occasionally he may ask for help but not too much of it.

And we are thought certainty of self through affirmation of pre-existing beliefs, whether through our own beliefs or in most cases, through cultural beliefs. We ignore the real everyday uncertainty of the individual and because of the teaching of individualism think that our mind has to be made into something concrete and frigid. Then mistakenly equate frigidness as individuality and realness. While individuality in itself is always an imitation.

We forget that the most selfish action or what we could consider as bad action is redeemed and made selfless when it is done for the benefit of others. A sage always wants to make himself feel better. Just as any human. He has accepted that making others feel better by extension makes him feel better as well.

The sage has learned that, while emotions and thoughts can alter his state then and there, his self-deterministic nature and awareness can directly alter how he will react and look at these arising states. He knows and lives this knowledge, that there always remains – if not the will and strength or the physical ability to alter any given situation – the possibility to choose how he will perceive his own state produced by mind or situation, and that he alone can act in this regard.

To me there are always but two choices a human can ever make and only one is meaningful.

They both exist within the same mental concept of bad and good.

A good, meaningful choice is one that takes into account the notion of things being empty only of separate existence.

A bad choice is one that ignores the notion of things being empty only of separate existence.


  1. Anonymous17 May, 2017

    what's your relationship to enlightenment?

    1. It doesn't interest me at all. I am only interested in direct experience. When I searched deep enough into myself I saw that everything I know is a learned process and no thought is truly mine about anything. I absorbed all thinking and doing that I wanted to emulate and spewed it out in my own way. I do it now only because I find it fun to do and due to some personal experiences and the before mentioned of there being no self that I could say was there without the ideas of what the self is, I have lost interest in enlightenment completely. There's nothing here, so what the hell am I supposed to enlighten? I do things that take into account me not being the only stupid human and dumb animal in this world and my actions try and reflect this. That is all.