For better or worse, I am a spiritual seeker who doesn’t stop. I find
I’m currently experiencing what I perceive to be my ‘most important’ series of spiritual lessons for living, and while I’m keenly aware that many of the conclusions I am considering in this journey are subject to change, there are 3 principles I believe I have learned that will never change as I move forward.
Principle #1: Truth cannot be conveyed through words, it can only be hinted at until people find it for themselves through their own experience.
All communication is filtered and distorted by our knowledge. These filters and distortions are NOT the ‘truth’ of a matter. They are simply our personal attempt to convey the truth we are feeling.
Consider the fact that even the very words we use to convey ideas are nothing more than sounds that we have invented with other humans. We have created agreements with these other humans about what the sounds mean, yet there are many other sounds that other humans around the world have invented to convey the same ideas that our sounds convey. This, of course, is the reality of language(s).
So we understand that the sounding out of the word “sky” is unique to the English language, and thus, it’s not the complete TRUTH of what the sky ACTUALLY is. It’s our sound that we make to convey the truth of what the sky is, but it’s not the truth of the sky itself.
If you’re having trouble understanding what I’m getting at… What would happen if you were trying to talk to someone who doesn’t know English about something you’re seeing in the “sky”? You would probably point up to the thing in the sky, and there is a good chance that they might think you’re calling that thing “sky”, or maybe that you’re trying to convey their version of “up” (because you’re pointing), or maybe they will understand exactly what you mean because they understand the truth of what you’re pointing at REGARDLESS of the words you’re using.
Point being… Truth is anything but relative. Truth is
The words we choose to use when sharing the truths that we’ve experienced are only the first layer of personal distortions and filters. Add to this the reality of beliefs, age differences, gender differences, cultural upbringing, education level, non-verbal communication, etc.; you’ll begin to realize that while most people are trying their best to be honorable and honest, the reality is that everyone is distorting the truth of life through their own story. Or perhaps a more blunt way to put it… everyone is ‘lying’ to each other… about everything.
When you truly understand this, you will have accepted a very freeing truth of the human experience that will unlock your ability to entertain new ideas and move freely through life. If you want to know how exactly that becomes possible, I suggest you read The 4 Agreements.
Principle #2: Your level of happiness is directly proportionate to the level of congruence between your external circumstances and your internal agreements.
Happiness only comes when your external circumstances confirm your internal agreements. Thus, there are really only 2 ways to manifest happiness in your life:
- Change the external circumstances of your life to match the internal agreements you’ve made with yourself.
- Change the internal agreements.
As you may have already have guessed, 99% of people opt for happiness option #1. They pursue external conditions that they believe will make them happy, and they spend every day trying to make tomorrow better than today. Not happy? Buy a new car. Still not happy? Lose weight. Still not happy? Go on vacation. Are you happy now? If so… for how long? Will this happiness last? What happens if something that already makes you happy ends up changing? How sustainable is your happiness?
“Happiness is an inside job.”Raymond Charles Barker, The Power of Decision
The truth of the matter is that no amount of ‘getting’ will give you lasting happiness. As long as you view your source of happiness outside of yourself, it will always be subject to the circumstances around you. And let’s be honest, the circumstances of life are rarely static for even a day, much less guaranteed to stay in place for years and years. Thus, this version of happiness is fleeting and unquenchable.
Principle #3: True happiness comes from the Kingdom of Heaven that is within you.
The Kingdom of Heaven within you is happiness that stems from a system of internal agreements that removes external caveats from being required. All of humanity is looking for this system of agreements. All of humanity knows this is where heaven truly resides.
Sure, you could change your internal agreements to match your current circumstances for a while. For many spiritual traditions, this is known as ‘contentment’. But I would argue that contentment is still energetically tied to external circumstances at its core. Yes, it’s a more stable energy than conditional happiness, but it is still focused on trying to match your internal agreements with the external world.
On the other hand, I believe there is an even deeper source of happiness that has NOTHING to do with the external world. Something unconditional, unshakable, and eternal. It is truly where heaven resides, and it is simply a few ideas, agreements, and beliefs away from you. It is at hand, for those who know where to reach.
If you want to truly find Heaven on Earth, you must understand that the only path that will get you there is one that is tailor-made for you. Because heaven is inside of you, no one else has the same journey in front of them as you do, and thus, no one else’s choices or conclusions will be sufficient for YOUR journey.
This is where principles are infinitely more valuable than conclusions. Yes, you will ultimately draw conclusions from the principles, but those conclusions will be specific to YOUR life. No preacher, teacher, prophet, friend, family member, or guru can give you a road map to heaven. YOU must be the one to find it. For heaven is inside of you, and no one else can take you there.
These are 3 of the principles that I have been using to guide myself towards finding Heaven on Earth. More accurately… These are 3 of the dozens of principles I have been using to guide myself towards finding the Kingdom of Heaven that lives inside of ME.
These ideas have largely come from my exploration of a series of books authored by don Miguel Ruiz and his two sons Jose and Miguel Jr. This series of books convey ideas from their family’s Toltec Native American heritage. The original book that started me down this path was their most famous book, The 4 Agreements, but I highly recommend ANY of their books for those who want to consider what their internal world might look like if they were truly living ‘in heaven’.