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Website owner:  James Miller


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Happiness



   Q. What is happiness and where is it found?

   A. Happiness is the absence of unhappiness.  It is the absence 
       of misery; the absence of guilt, sorrow, confusion, worry, 
       hurt and pain.  It is achieved through avoiding those 
       things in life that cause pain and misery.  The way to it 
       lies in choosing the right paths, routes and actions in 
       life.  It is achieved through the exercise of foresight, 
       prudence, care, honesty, integrity and virtue in conducting 
       one's life;  One finds it through the pursuit of wisdom and 
       spiritual truth, through love and reverence for God and the 
       pursuit of virtue, through increasing knowledge of oneself 
       and learning what brings happiness and satisfaction to the 
       human soul and what does not. 

   Q. If happiness is achieved by taking those paths in life which 
       avoid pain isn't that the same as saying it is found by 
       taking the easy, painless paths in life?  Doesn't the 
       person who tells lies often do so because that is the 
       easiest, least painful route?  Doesn't the person who 
       steals often do so because he considers it the path of 
       least pain and most benefit?  Isn't the right path in life 
       often the hardest and most painful path?  Isn't it usually 
       much less painful to just go along with the crowd and do 
       what it is doing, even though it is wrong, then to break 
       with the crowd and do what is right? 

   A. Often in life we face situations where we have to make a 
       decision, we have to choose one of several routes, and each 
       route involves some pain or hardship.  The trick then 
       becomes to choose the route that gives the least pain.  The 
       man who lies because he considers it the path of least pain 
       or who does some other type of bad thing because he 
       considers it the path of least pain does so out of 
       shortsightedness and ignorance. There is an important truth 
       that he is not seeing.  It is a hidden truth, a truth that 
       is not obvious.  But it is a truth that the wise man is 
       aware of.   What is that truth?  Briefly stated it says:  
       "Badness always destroys itself;  Goodness always wins in 
       the long run". This truth is, in the mind of the wise man, 
       a strongly held philosophy, a deep belief and confidence in 
       the power of Right and Good.  The longer one lives with 
       this philosophy the more sure one becomes of it.  But to 
       the ignorant, common, foolish mind the very opposite 
       appears to be true. This ignorant, common mind thinks 
       "Badness always wins, Goodness always loses".  And because 
       he always thinks this way he is always making the wrong 
       choices and picking the wrong routes in life.  Instead of 
       picking the routes that give the least hurt and pain he 
       picks the routes that will, in the end, give the most. 


   Feb 1984


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