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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Entries in happiness (4)


The World Is Amazing and Nobody Is Happy

Relentlessly upbeat, Todd pokes us to question why we aren't happier. How do we appreciate the incredible luxuries and conveniences of life without immediately absorbing them into our set of expectations we can be disappointed over? This post was scooped from Todd's Blog. -Editor.

Recently I came across a comedian, Louis CK, who was on a late night talk show and explaining to the host how, “The world is amazing and nobody is happy.” I posted a link to this on the Hurstville Facebook page, and encourage you to watch it. This guy is absolutely right. We go to the airport, complain when our flight is delayed by 30 minutes or an hour, totally forgetting that it really is amazing that we can travel coast to coast in about 5 hours. Even if you add in the time it takes to get to the airport, going through security, etc., you can make the Sydney to Perth trip in 8 hours. Amazing. Consider that 100 years ago that trip wasn’t something you did in a week, much less a third of a day.

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Misery and the Search for Happiness

How can we address misery within ourselves in a way that elevates our perspective and frees us from wallowing in an emotional underworld? Rachel cautions us to be tender with ourselves. If we let our pain teach us, we will be bettered by it. -Editor

Often I think the hells trick us into being more miserable than we need to be. Perhaps we don’t feel as energized or as happy as we would like some days. And some days we feel a little depressed and down. But do we say to ourselves, “Oh hello, sadness how are you today? What do you need?” No. Not usually. Most of the time we say, “Go away misery! I want happiness! Leave me alone. I hate you.” And then we begin to get mad at ourselves for being so miserable. And it spreads to those around us and sometimes we feel guilty for lashing out at others just because we are miserable. And the hells have a party because our misery becomes a toilet bowl being flushed—an endless spiral downwards.

How can we stop this downward spiral? Plugging it up often seems like the easiest way. Bottle up that emotion! Ignore irritation! But Thomas Moore in his book Care of the Soul cautions: “Hiding the dark places results in a loss of soul” (148). As tempting as it is to ignore or bury the things that bother us, we actually are stifling a part of ourselves that needs listening to. Moore also says: “Care of the soul begins with observance of how the soul manifests itself and how it operates...Observance is a word from ritual and religion. It means to watch out for but also to keep and honor, as in the observance of a holiday” (5). So when negative states are manifest in our life, does observing and honoring those states help?

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Celestial Bliss

This is our third dissertation digest. Pearse Frazier (with help from his wife Taryn) give us a little taste of his study on bliss. Pearse helps us understand in simple and real terms what constitutes pleasure or happiness at the different levels of our being. Two weeks ago we featured Todd Beiswenger's disseration digest on Creating Your Own Reality. Last week Stephen Muires shared extracts of his dissertation on The Sacred. -Editor

Many people say they would be happy to just barely make it to the lowest level of heaven—what the teachings for the New Church call the “natural” heaven. The idea of ending up in the highest, “celestial” heaven may seem overly ambitious. Even the term “celestial” is hard to grasp; it sounds nice, but its meaning is ephemeral. Do you really think you’re able to experience celestial bliss, the kind of delight the highest angels feel?

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Are You Happy?

Ronald explores how to actually be happy. States of desolation may have to come but they still aren't any fun. How can we work towards real happiness? How can we ask the Lord to experience joy along the journey?

Are you happy? I mean actually happy? Many of us are not happy and at times there is no apparent cause. For whatever reason, walking the spiritual path can be difficult and at the end of a day we may find ourselves wondering why we endeavored to walk such a path in the first place. Maybe it’s just a flash of a moment, but many of us in a moment of desperation wonder if satisfaction lies in other places. It happens to even the best of us.

At times we may feel tempted to be bitter or maybe we are bitter. This state can be compared to a barren wasteland where nothing is growing.

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