What is the spiritual quest? What is the search for happiness, peace and love? What is the journey to find meaning? The timeless image of the wanderer, scaling the mountains or trampling the thicket into the uncharted forest conjures up the idea that what is waiting for us, whether it be purpose, meaning, love or enlightenment, exists somewhere beyond us; that not only does it require us to acknowledge that it’s out there somewhere but that we have to find it in order to be happy and complete.
A ball wants to float on the water. If you subdue it by pushing it down underneath, you might convince yourself that the ball isn’t there, but it is. It’s wanting nothing more than anything to reemerge on the surface and float in its natural state. So too, our happiness and bliss seeks to make itself known within us, to rise inside and emanate outward through us. Yet, we have subconsciously subdued it. We have, through conditioning, pushed it deep within, into the dark corners of our souls, kept hidden for no one, including ourselves, to see.
The quest is not a journey beyond, but a delving within and an uncovering of the innate love and joy that exists inside us. And by subduing that happiness, I don’t mean that we even know we’re doing it. When we have decided to allow happiness and love to rise within us, we suspend the pressure to be something; a pressure, again, we’re unaware of. Think of spontaneous displays of emotion that catches people off guard (i.e. “I began crying and I don’t know why). Where did it come from? Where does spontaneous and unexpected joy come from? What makes one person overwhelmed with happiness when they least thought they’d be? Emotional real-ness exists within us. And the trajectory of all of this points toward happiness and levity. Tears can transform even the most acute sadness into joy. If we slowly allow that buoyant ball to rise again to the water’s surface.
Maybe it’s not finding happiness, but allowing the happiness that already exists to show itself within us.