Pleasure Is Not Happiness
(Posted on November 11, 2013 by David McMillin)
[NOTE: While serving as mentor for an online version of “A Search For God” study group and working on the Happiness lesson, a group member struggled with the ASFG book text that stated that Jesus brought happiness to a dying world on the way to Calvary. She wondered if her uncomfortable feelings could simply be a matter of a past life remembrance of having witnessed it first hand. Here is my reply. – David McMillin]
It is a deep and fascinating question you are pondering. And for you, it may well be a matter of resonance with a past life. There are several such cases within the Cayce readings, and they do provide an amazing perspective on the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.
With regard to this lesson, in the ASFG text that you are citing, the Section Heading is:
"Pleasure Is Not Happiness"
The scripture and examples provided at the beginning of this section seem to reinforce the theme of difference between the consciousness of spirituality and materiality – much as we saw in the previous lesson with the contrast between the Wisdom of God and "worldly wisdom." So what is our standard for Happiness?
In this context, the example of Jesus fulfilling his destiny at Gethsemane and Calvary is put forth as a contrast in consciousness. Apparently, Jesus did come to terms with his sacrifice as he sweated blood in the garden of Gethsemane. When he brought his will into attunement with God ("Thy will be done"), he accepted his role and apparently experienced Happiness in Spirit that carried him through the arrest, trial, and crucifixion. And as you have noted, the readings insist that he even exhibited a sense of humor about the entire awful process – again the contrast between his spiritual consciousness and the physical/material reality of the situation in terms of flesh and blood. For those in the group who may not have access to the ASFG text you have cited, here it is:
The road to Gethsemane, to the minds of those who looked upon their own Gethsemane, was a road of thorns. Yet the Lord's kind words, spoken on the way to his Calvary, brought happiness to a dying world. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
I take this to mean that Jesus set the example in a worst-case scenario of life. That experience was not "pleasure" or "worldly happiness" and yet he did seem to have peace and happiness within. Quite a contrast, to be sure. And by demonstrating that consciousness, he makes it available to each of us in our "own Gethsemane" and our own "road of thorns." I think that is the Happiness that he provided through his sacrifice, if we are of that consciousness. But if we focus and identify with the physical pain and suffering, then that will be our experience. With this example, I think the compilers of ASFG were seeking to illustrate that worldly pleasure (or absence of pain) is not the standard for Happiness from a spiritual perspective. I think we may have covered some of this in the lesson on the Cross and the Crown with regard to suffering and soul growth.
Since you are reading a book on this subject ("Killing Jesus") and resonating to this section of the ASFG text, it is probably something that is important for you to understand in your own life. As you continue to ponder this, you may want to take this question into meditation and seek within for an answer that will ring true in your own experience.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings on this deep subject. Please feel free to share any additional insights or questions you may have with this as you seek Happiness in your own Search For God. Blessings, Dave
As you reflect on the passage from ASFG, here are a couple of quotes from the 262 readings that were probably the basis for the book text. This may provide some additional insight into what they intended while writing that section:
In knowing Happiness ye find that it is the little things, the little "I thank you," the little patience, the little mercy, the little kindnesses that bring it to the lives of others. So does it grow in thee. Then let grace and mercy and patience be thine. For in patience ye become aware of thy soul, that ye are indeed a soul in a material world; though stumbling oft, following blindly at times. The way is narrow, yet it is the Happy Way. Only in Happiness may one indeed KNOW Jesus. ONLY in HAPPY WAY may one know Jesus. For He is the Way, as thy soul knoweth; and He was Happy even to the Cross. Not that moments of discouragement do not arise in thine experience, for as He gave – and these are His words, and His words, though the heaven and the earth may pass, do not pass away – "It must indeed be necessary that offences come, but woe to him by whom they come!" Then never be in the way of being an offence to anyone. Let mercy and patience keep thee. (262-109)
That which gratifies only the sensuous self, or as an aggrandizement of physical pleasure, RARELY brings Happiness. Out of the dregs of same may GROW Happiness, but in themselves they are only passing. To illustrate: The road to Gethsemane, to the minds of those who look upon their own Gethsemane, was as a road of thorns; the perspiration, the sweat of blood and all appear anything but Happiness – yet the kind words spoken, even on the way to Calvary, were indeed those that brought Happiness. And as there were the words from the Cross, these – though filled with all of the horrors of spite, fear, by the very activities of others – were such as to bring Happiness into the hearts and minds of those who seek to know His Way. (262-111)