Continuing our “mirror-image” series. The alternative view of a quality or a situation which is generally regarded as a Good Thing or as a Bad Thing. In DL8, we featured the serious subject of Humour. Now we consider Happiness:
THE GREAT ILLUSION
Are you happy?
Well, it depends what you mean by happy.
So, how could we define happiness?
The dictionary says: “Lucky; fortunate; contented with one’s lot”. To be lucky would induce a temporary happiness, but even the euphoria of winning the pools is transitory. To be permanently happy is to be contented with one’s lot, and that means to have no ambitions, no plans, no dreams. In other words, happiness is stagnation.
Yet “the pursuit of happiness” is put forward as one of humanity’s ideals. It is easy to see why a sensible government would like its people to be happy.
What would make you happy? To have more money, a better job, to achieve a good relationship with another person? Such attainments, however desirable they may seem, would increase your responsibilities, you would seek to expand them further. Ambition would ensure that you never rested content.
Can you recall the last time you were truly happy? Not a care in the world? Was it a sudden stroke of good fortune; or had you had one glass of wine too many? Either way, it was ephemeral.
We are told that becoming an Adept means that one will never be happy again. Perhaps because of the awesome responsibilities, perhaps because one sees things too clearly. I believe that every aspiring Occultist has said goodbye to the illusion called happiness. Contentment does not co-exist with ambition.
Further contributions to this “Alternative View” series, or comments on the opinions expressed, are invited.
Anonymous article taken from the Dark Lily Journal No 9, Society of Dark Lily (London 1989).