Examples/description of spiritual happiness

Jun 2013
16
Utter Confusion
Dear Friends,

I've just read Tonyfish's signature "Be Happy Be happy Be full of Joy". This reminded me of another question I've been asking myself for a long time: what is that spiritual joy/happiness every Bahá'í is supposed to possess all the time? Is it possible to describe it? What is supposed to make a human being spiritually happy? Or it is something one can understand only when one feels it?

It's relatively easy to explain what makes one physically/materially happy. Examples:

- be in good health
- have a minimum of comfort
- eat tasty food
- hear a beautiful melody
- admire a beautiful scenery
...

There are complex neurochemical mechanisms that trigger physical pleasure. I guess we could also include the avoidance of mechanisms that induce physical pain and mental unhappiness to contribute to material happiness. This happiness can be manifested through the operation of chemicals released by the brain that will, for example, reach receptors in other areas of the body.

How about spiritual happiness? For example, many of the friends mentioned service as a way of being spiritually happy. Why exactly do we feel physically happy when we serve others? How does it manifest itself?

Thank you for your contribution!
 
Last edited:
May 2013
1,786
forest falls california
Detached souls

Dear Friends,

I've just read Tonyfish's signature "Be Happy Be happy Be full of Joy". This reminded me of another question I've been asking myself for a long time: what is that spiritual joy/happiness every Bahá'í is supposed to possess all the time? Is it possible to describe it? What is supposed to make a human being spiritually happy? Or it is something one can understand only when one feels it?

It's relatively easy to explain what makes one physically/spiritually happy. Examples:

- be in good health
- have a minimum of comfort
- eat tasty food
- hear a beautiful melody
- admire a beautiful scenery
...

How about spiritual happiness?

Thank you for your contribution!
>>> I see it in others much more than in myself. Those who are the most detached seem to be the happiest. I see it in those who are selflessly busy serving others, forgetting themselves in the process.
Then again, good food, music, friendships do a lot for my own happiness.
Ya Baha'ul'Abha!
 
Jun 2011
1,543
Somewhere "in this immensity"
While I don't think we should ever pass up the opportunity to be happy (if not at someone else's expense), I think contentment is where it is really at. Happiness and sorrow are two sides of a coin, and it isn't really possible to know one without the other. This is why contentment is better. I guess I support this idea with the following from the Hidden Words:


"Should prosperity befall thee, rejoice not, and should abasement come upon thee, grieve not, for both shall pass away and be no more."

"...be content with what We have ordained for thy sake, for this is that which profiteth thee..."



Naturally, we all prefer to be happy and would probably choose to be continuously happy if we could. But happiness is not really better than sorrow, and sorrow is not really better than happiness. Both are necessary and both are fleeting....even necessarily fleeting.
 
Jun 2013
16
Utter Confusion
While I don't think we should ever pass up the opportunity to be happy (if not at someone else's expense), I think contentment is where it is really at. Happiness and sorrow are two sides of a coin, and it isn't really possible to know one without the other. This is why contentment is better. I guess I support this idea with the following from the Hidden Words:


"Should prosperity befall thee, rejoice not, and should abasement come upon thee, grieve not, for both shall pass away and be no more."

"...be content with what We have ordained for thy sake, for this is that which profiteth thee..."



Naturally, we all prefer to be happy and would probably choose to be continuously happy if we could. But happiness is not really better than sorrow, and sorrow is not really better than happiness. Both are necessary and both are fleeting....even necessarily fleeting.
It seems to me that you are referring to material happiness which, as you mentioned is one side of a coin, the other being sorrow. If you flip the coin 101 times, you'll get happiness once and sorrow a hundred times:

"If once this life should offer a man a sweet cup, a hundred bitter ones will follow..."

However, as Bahá'ís, we are supposed to always be spiritually happy:

As to spiritual happiness, this is the true basis on the life of man because life is created for happiness, not for sorrow; for pleasure, not for grief. Happiness is life; sorrow is death. Spiritual happiness is life eternal. This is a light which is not followed by darkness. This is an honour which is not followed by shame. This is a life that is not followed by death. This is an existence that is not followed by annihilation. This great blessing and precious gift is obtained by man only through the guidance of God.

I'm trying to understand how you can know you are spiritually happy...
 
Oct 2011
4,213
Quilimari,Chile
While I don't think we should ever pass up the opportunity to be happy (if not at someone else's expense), I think contentment is where it is really at. Happiness and sorrow are two sides of a coin, and it isn't really possible to know one without the other. This is why contentment is better. I guess I support this idea with the following from the Hidden Words:


"Should prosperity befall thee, rejoice not, and should abasement come upon thee, grieve not, for both shall pass away and be no more."

"...be content with what We have ordained for thy sake, for this is that which profiteth thee..."



Naturally, we all prefer to be happy and would probably choose to be continuously happy if we could. But happiness is not really better than sorrow, and sorrow is not really better than happiness. Both are necessary and both are fleeting....even necessarily fleeting.
Dear friend, yes I like contentment, when a person finds contentment with ones spouse, therein I feel lies happiness, people talk about having to be madly in love. I feel that this love often dies a disastrous death, and we see people separate.

Johnnyboy, the list you supplied for happiness I feel is a false list, think, how many people would fill this list and yet still be unhappy/depressed/ suicidal?

I for myself have found the greatest happiness is in the service of others.
I have lived many years and had many occupations, to supply my family and children with the so called benefits of life to bring them happiness, what I see is that it did not bring them happiness.

One day I decided to give some time to the service of others, from that day I discovered real happiness. I eventually changed my occupation to a serving occupation. While studying for my new Occupation, I decided to try (not thinking that I would like it) working with severely handicapped people, both physically and mentally. What I found after only six weeks was a great happiness working with these wonderful people, I applied and was excepted to work in this field after I had completed my studies.
I never regretted working with these people ever, I did suffer though from the hands of those in power in these organisations, who profess to care with their lips but not in practice.

So for me yes service to mankind is the path to happiness. That combined with a love of Baha'u'llah and striving to bring His teachings into my life has I think positively rounded out my life of happiness.
 
Jun 2013
16
Utter Confusion
Johnnyboy, the list you supplied for happiness I feel is a false list, think, how many people would fill this list and yet still be unhappy/depressed/ suicidal?
MY BAD! I wrote the opposite of what I wanted to write! I fixed it now...

I have also elaborated on what my question is in the initial post.
 
Last edited: