In fact, happiness is something that pops up within ourselves. According to whom, according to what is happiness? It is something that is changing according to our perception. "To be happy" is something everybody is after. You are doing business.. why are you doing it?
Maybe you cannot make money, but if you are happy with it, you somehow continue doing it! Sometimes you continue with things out of necessity, you force yourself to be happy. By thinking that your living conditions are what makes you happy.. you perceive happiness as such. In the hustle and bustle of all this, we see in the end that humans are in a chaos, that they are kneaded and wrapped in unhappiness.
Although we are in pursuit of happiness like a rabbit pursuing after a carrot and snatch at instant gratifications, thinking that we were happy; the fact is that there a mass of people writhing in pain, when we look at the state of the world in general.
On the other hand, we see human beings turn a hand to wonderful creativity. We see that they are succeeding in great ways, that they are doing wonderful things. Human beings engineer airplanes and how to fly, they develop high end technologies. So then again, we still ask the same question:
"Is the human happy?"
The human, who is able to manage all these amazing developments, who is at the spearhead of all these greatness, is he really happy actually? Most of the time he/she is not. Some cling to guns. Others succumb to other things. Enslaved by one's desire to receive things only for his own interest, some gain tremendous amounts of money from great masses of other human beings who deeply suffer under the capitalist systems. It's not money for bread these money giants make, of course!... In all of this, where lies the way to real happiness?
I mean, despite the fact that the human brings about such magnificence, still he/she can not be happy at the same time. That same human also raises so much pain. The point that comes forth after the simple question "if the human is happy?" and the answer that he/she isn't, is that the human cannot solve the meaning of his/her existence. So, you can create greatness, but you are writhed in pain. There is one basic question beyond all of our problems: "Why God has created me? Or if you are a non-believer, you may ask: "Why do I exist? What is the reason of my being?".. Believers or non-believers, this religion, that religion, the pagans, all of them still are asking the same question:
"what is my reason to exist?"
Your answer to all of these questions determines the rate and the amount of pleasure that you are getting out of this process. How permanent a "universal pleasure" you are getting with your rate of pleasure, is exactly where you actually are happy. As being a person who is in the conviction of applying the word of God according to the teachings of Jesus Christ within oneself is what will manifest us our meaning of existence, I would argue this: unless we know ourselves within ourselves, unless we open up within us, unless we express ourselves in the same way as God expressed itself to Moses saying: "I AM WHO I AM", as to what it really means to me, unless that "happiness of completeness" finds a meaning in us, we will keep wriggling with these agonies.
Now the concept of "being in the likeness of God" comes into play here. Because the Scriptures say in the secret of Creation the following: "Let us make mankind in our image", i.e. being an exemplar. So, in order to be able to apply within ourselves what we call happiness, what we run after so much, we first of all need to comprehend the meaning of being an image of God.
I like this verse from the Bible:
"Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?"
Obviously none of us can! But in order not to worry, I need to make sure of my place in this world, that if my happiness is a valid one, of how to take real universal pleasure out of things that happen to me, of my being a human. In a sense, I need to be sure of the concept of my reason to exist. I like this verse one from the Bible too: "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven!" We see that being joyful is something so deep that eventually it will reward us in a big way. That there is a connection between joy and some pleasures beyond our perception.
While examining what real happiness is, we need to evaluate some different approaches to happiness. So the consciousness of being created in the likeness of God makes us perceive the real basis of happiness. That the reason of existence finds an application in us. It gives us a pleasure within,.. a reason to exist.
Sometimes, we approach to happiness like Eve and other times we approach it like Noah. Which example should we follow that gives us not a temporary or momentary pleasure, but a permanent happiness?
Now in the example of Eve, especially in that manner of storytelling, we see Eve's happiness or her reason to exist in a way that she perceives it in her own place, inside her garden. In her own comfort zone, where her own ego is already shaped in the likeness of God, she still tries to perceive happiness as she finds an answer to a question like this: "Do you want to be like God?" Namely, in still trying to make herself happy. For Eve, happiness is a kind of happiness which is tried to be perceived inside the limits of a garden. She is trying to experience it with her own efforts, I mean, she tries someone else, Adam, to have a taste of it. And we see that she is imprisoned by constantly questioning things like "Did I find happiness?", or "Is this what happiness is?".. "Is there anything beyond it?".. "Do I miss something here?".. "Is there something else to it?"
So, if we approach to happiness like this, meaning "Oh no, now I can't get off my seat, fetch me that!.. I can't look for a job now, you get me a job!.. would you help me ?.. Can you pray for me? Let me be happy!".. Do you see my point? We are constantly assessing things in our own courtyard.
If we look at Noah, after all his success, after so much loyalty, when he was stepping into a new level, starting a new life in a certain protection - in a dry land after the flood - we see him tending to begin a new life like by forgetting himself by getting drunk. In a sense, tending to escape from oneself.
Yes, he has constructed a big success, he was very tired. But we witness in his attitude something like "I worked so hard, I did my duty, from now on I am going to live like this!".. "How will you live?".. "I will travel the world, when I go on a pension".. etc. But we see most of the retired people, they soon become someone who doesn't know what to do or where to go after one or two months. Why? Because they want to forget themselves and start a new life. So, happiness is neither perceived in a comfort zone nor in forgetting oneself. Where is happiness then?
One of the most beautiful examples of real happiness is the one of Abraham's wife, Sarah's. Happiness is in walking to the top of the pharaoh like Sarah did, to the top to prod the chaos, in deciding to continue to live. It is in exiting oneself like Abraham did; it is in surpassing death like Christ did, it is in beating the existence of the self and getting on top of it.
First, Sarah has come at Pharaoh unlike Eve didn't who just chose to take notice of temptations of the snake, i.e. the ego. And secondly she did not share the kingdom of Pharaoh, the kingdom of the material world. Thirdly, she subjected to Abraham, namely to the one who rehabilitated the chaos.
Well folks, we shouldn't seek for happiness in neither in our convenience, nor in forgetting ourselves. Happiness is an action, a mobility that actually rehabilitates the chaos, that makes judgment meeting with mercy, in a way, balancing the good with the bad and coming to a result that is good.
Bozkurt Palanduz: As I realised that I am not going to be able to really connect with the Wholeness which was more than just the little “I” in me, if I won’t leave the imprisonment of the self and continue being just a result of the negativity, I decided to leave my home some time ago and went on a journey through continents and oceans to witness the Creation as it was meant to be the image of an imageless God!