Once I see the pleased looks on everyone’s faces, I become happy as well. It is better than beer and Danish pastries!

I don’t remember if I came across Happy Science when I searched on Google for “happiness science”, but I know it was just around that time. Most people who look for such a thing are probably unhappy, so unhappy that they seek a change in their life. Certainly I read that this is a common reason for coming to Happy Science (the Japanese sect of that name).  For me, however, it was the opposite. I was wondering: Why am I so much happier than my friends and random people I meet?

These days, you can even read about people’s feelings on their blogs and “social media” like Facebook or Twitter. This has really brought home to me the fact that many people, perhaps most people, are unhappy. And not only evil people, but nice and friendly people who you would think fate would reward with joy in their hearts, even in the midst of the trials of life.

There are differences, of course.  The old are happier than the young, except for the very old who suffer massive breakdown of their bodies and brains. Married men and divorced women are all happier than unmarried men, with divorced men the unhappiest of all. The middle class is happier than the seriously poor, although happiness does not increase with money from there on up. Europeans are happier than Americans, and people in northern Europe more than those further south. The happiest of all are the Danes, but then again they start the day with a beer. I wonder if they would beat Norwegians if you could find enough sober Danes to run the survey on them… Well possibly. They have the pastry, after all!

And now I come to the point. For my search was not in vain. I believe I have learned what caused me to be bursting with joy most of the time when I am not sick and getting sicker.  No, it is not pastries, but we’ll get to them soon.

Ryuho Okawa may have pointed out something obvious, but I had never heard it before:  Happiness comes from having read many books, more specifically books by high spirits (great souls, geniuses in the classical sense). Having done this, high spirits in Heaven (or your subconscious) can draw near to you, and their being close brings happiness.

Note that I use the religious and psychological viewpoints interchangeably. True religion and true psychology are one, as there is only one truth if you go deep enough.  But often we cannot get all the way to the bottom, and then there will be different truths.

So your library is your doorway to years and years of happiness, a life overflowing with joy.  Or at least if you are like me or Ryuho Okawa when he was young.

Another interesting teaching of Happy Science is that humans exist at different spiritual levels, based on the number of dimensions they inhabit. This is eerily similar to the theory of Spiral Dynamics, but actually originated before it.  Unlike Spiral Dynamics, Happy Science uses religious imagery in explaining this.  You may find it easier or harder to understand that way, but let me briefly mention the main levels as seen by Happy Science.

The 4th dimension: Time.  All sane adults and children above the toddler age or so have access to time, in addition to the three dimensions of the material world.  They are aware that their body and their social relations change over the course of time.  A person whose highest aspiration lies within the four dimensions of space and time can be said to live on this level.  Such a person may aspire to physical fitness, or wealth, or popularity, or other things. But their aspiration does not go beyond the boundaries of the material world of space and time.

For a 4-dimensional person, happiness will consist in acquiring more of what they aspire for in this world.  This could be the pleasures of the senses, of which Danish pastries probably come in near the top along with chocolate and sex and any combination of these.  But it could also be some more lofty goal that is still within the domain of space and time.

The 5th dimension is spirituality, or objective goodness.  This is called the realm of the good, because good people go beyond “it is all about me” and begin to see themselves from outside.  By having your highest mind in the fifth dimension, in spirit, you are able to reflect on yourself, as if seeing yourself from outside. Those trapped in the fourth dimension cannot do this. So being able to reflect on yourself is a dramatic breakthrough.

Those who belong in the 5th dimension derive joy from gratitude. When they see the joy in other people’s faces, they become filled with joy themselves. This is an awesome thing!  A large portion of the human population, although probably no more than half, has come to this.  It should be encouraged, for it is still easy to sink down into the world of space and time. Advertising and political propaganda and even some modern education try to drag people down this way, and the joy of being happy together with others is lost.

Paradise, as we normally think of it, is a state of sharing pure-hearted joy with other people.  One must be without hate to enter paradise, and find joy in seeing other people happy. Those who feel joy in seeing others suffer will not last long in paradise even if they get in.

One should bear in mind that paradise is not a place, like another planet, but a state of mind.  We have to get there NOW while we are alive. But if you derive happiness from seeing the smiles of everyone, you are there already.

The 6th dimension is Truth. It is also called the Realm of Light.  Again, this is not some other planet or something, but a state of mind. Those who belong in this realm derive an intense pleasure from learning the Truth. I mean that in a most literal sense.  Their soul thirsts for insight in the same way a body may thirst for water if wandering through dry places for a long time.  To find it is pleasure that spreads from within to draw the body along with it, resonating in the pure joy. It is a feeling that is sensual only by resonance, the body resonating with the mind.  We who belong in this dimension with our highest aspiration go “Wheeee!” when we discover a new piece of truth.  Most true scientists obviously belong here.

The 7th dimension is altruism. This is the realm of saints and bodhisattvas, people who no longer care about themselves except for the good of all others. They eat to live, so they can be of service to others. They learn to become wise, to be of service to others. These no longer do good because the joy in other’s faces make them feel good. Even if they are misunderstood, even if their goodness is repaid with hate or scorn, they don’t falter.  They wish nothing for themselves, except the joy of love, which is the joy of giving.

There are hints of this life in the ordinary, for instance a mother will not throw out a baby who screams, but try to comfort him even if she does not feel like it. But these are just shadows. It is hard to imagine a life of pure giving, the life of a saint.  Even at my age, I only see this from a distance. I don’t really live that kind of life myself, and I wonder if I ever shall. Possibly, if I live long enough. But right now it is pretty distant.

So I won’t go any further than that.  As you see, there are different happinesses for different people.  For some, the greatest joy in life is to eat Danish pastries. For others, it is to be surrounded by happy friends who can laugh innocently together.  And for some of us, it is learning about the hidden things in nature of in the human mind. And then for a few, happiness is entirely outside themselves, in the act of giving unconditional love, or compassion.

(Note that you don’t really move from dimension to dimension, you add them. So even if reading the Wisdom of Solomon makes you want to dance with joy, that does not mean you suddenly dislike pastries, or beautiful music, or friendship. You add new and ever stronger sources of joy to what you have. You grow.)

There are actually different layers within each of these rough groups, of course. So there is a wide range of things that can cause happiness. Conversely, when people fail to live according to their highest aspiration (perhaps because society tells them they should seek something else), they become unhappy. And this is very common today.

Reflect on yourself, what is it that truly makes you happy?  What does this tell you about who you really are? It is still possible to change, while you are alive. But first you need to get to where your heart is, before you can start moving forward. Hopefully that does not mean a massive investment in Danish pastries and beer, or you would probably not have been able to read this entry.