Seeking to clarify my motivations
Recent posts have reported changes in my posture or outlook that bring me closer to what I would need to do in the persona of “Philip Mildew” or William Tell. I still find the prospect daunting.
The desires I am about to express come upon me from time to time, and can be quite strong. Some of them correspond to what have been the strongest desires I’ve ever known, from childhood. But they are not with me all the time, and that gives me the apprehension that the path I propose for myself here may not be “real.” But the apprehension may also correspond to fears I may discuss below; or to fear that the additional spiritual growth that may be required of me to make these things real, may land me in an unfamiliar world, an uncharted world for me, where many of the moorings I’ve held onto thus far in life may be gone.
I want all Americans to be happy, and happier.
Related: Podcast – Brightening the sparks
So much of the unhappiness we see in the country comes from the fact that, well, people aren’t happy. Much of our political strife comes from this source.
On the one hand, I speak of “all Americans” on the assumption that Mildew may become a national figure. It is essential that he love his entire audience. So, I pray for them. If I were to pray solely for Baltimoreans, my audience would be limited to Baltimore; and the local audience has attributes very different from those of the national audience.
On the other hand, I have experienced that this love for my potential audience must be strong enough, and is the only motivation that can be strong enough, to make me actually do Mildew.
Advantages of happiness
- A happy person is happy.
- Dealing with life’s inevitable difficulties: Happy people find it easier to be resilient, to deal with life’s inevitable difficulties, to bounce back from defeat and failure.
- Emotional maturity — growth from infantilism into adulthood: In a number of discussions of developmental psychology, I have emphasized that choosing to be happy is essential to the courage one needs to face the challenges of personal growth. This is true both for infants and adults; most drastically in the underclass, but also among many mainstream people, one can look around and observe how emotionally immature many people are. Happiness is essential for them to grow out of these states.
Related: Chaos overwhelms the poor
Related: Courage to walk unarmed
Related: Why racism no longer matters to me
“Enjoy life:” the Danish connection
In surveys as to which nations are the happiest in the world, Denmark, of all nations, consistently comes out at or near the top. What’s up with this?
It most likely indicates the continuing influence of a man and a movement from the 19th Century. Nikolai F.S. Grundtvig is hardly known outside of Denmark, but within Denmark is held as a towering figure. His movement was known as the “Happy Danes.” Their philosophy can be summed up in two words:
And that is exactly what they do, or seek to do. That they succeed, I suspect, may be attributable to a worldview, a set of assumptions about the world, that surveys never ask about.
Here are some features of a dysfunctional worldview, one that almost guarantees a life of unhappiness; some of them may be interrelated:
- Just world theory: “Everything happens for a reason,” and the word “deserve.” The stuggle to find a “why” for every untoward event is likely to be fruitless except to perpetuate grief and woundedness. The word “deserve” presumes just world theory.
Related: Farther along
Related: 2) Give up the word “deserve.”
- Dis-acceptance of What Is: This is the basis of all ideology, and thus the basis of most of our political strife, and its unhappiness.
- Choosing unhappiness: This is what I call a “will habit.” Given arbitrary choices of how to feel, some people establish the habit of choosing to feel bad. Once the feeling is established, it becomes easy to find pretexts to justify the feeling. I have had to work diligently myself to un-learn this pattern.
- The Is/Ought dilemma: This is a matter of a conflict between one’s value judgments — the way one thinks things “should” be — and What Is, the way things are. One will meet frustration, unhappiness and grief so long as one insists that the latter must conform to the former. In many cases, it’s humanly impossible to accomplish that change. The eradication of racism or poverty are examples.
People avoid happiness because happiness creates awareness of opportunities, and opportunities imply decisions, choices, responsibility and the possibility of failure. It takes less courage to stay stuck in grief.
Related: Podcast – Choices facing Mildew
Personally, the goal I aspire to in my spiritual life is to love All. The need to love is also first and foremost in how I see my role as Mildew. If I am to be an honest person, a truth-teller; if I mean to speak to callers in a way that may persuade them; it is essential that I love each and every one.
No matter how objectionable the caller’s opinions or speech may be.
I am not to want to change the person’s mind. I am not to want even to understand the person. I am not to want the person to change in any way. I am merely to love the person, as she or he is.
Related: Just the person
Most love that we’re aware of in life, emanates from the fourth chakra. This love emanates from the root chakra.
One potential obstacle to my pursuing this course, would be fear of failure. What if I exert all this effort, and the desired end does not obtain?
I can dismiss that fear. In some situations, pursuing a given path is the same, itself, as having arrived at the destination. It is enough for me to have a focus for my desires; one tends to be drawn toward whatever one desires.
I need not dream of some permanent shift in America. Just as our ancestors made decisions some of which we want no parts of (such as slavery), and we must make our own decisions of our own free will; our descendants will decide for themselves what paths to take, and we have no power to constrain them.
But for those who do choose to hear my message, and do choose to seek this way; those who hear me, those alive today, those whom I do reach — when we have accomplished all we can toward these ends, it will be
the best we can do.