Today the Pope gave out his advice for being happy. Most of them are how to get along with others, which is more about the happiness lie than inner happiness. They are also very vague. (The Happiness Lie is the belief that things, people, or events make you happy or unhappy. Read more about it here.)
Below are the Pope’s ten tips translated from Spanish by the Catholic News Service, and my comments on them. Society is experiencing more and more suffering, as the rising stress, anxiety, depression, drug use, and suicide statistics show. If even our religious leaders and experts believe in the happiness lie (the idea that things, people, or events “make” us happy or unhappy), where will our mass ignorance continue to take us? In spite of that dire direction, I know that individuals can break free, and this is why I continually point to the confusion about the source and cause of happiness and pain.
1. “Live and let live.”
You can live and let live, not interfering with others’ lives, but if it is done with inner judgment and frustration, you will be unhappy. If you have to “live and let live” then you still harbour bad judgment and feeling, and will be unhappy.
2. “Be giving of yourself to others.”
You can give to others, but if it is done with an idea of debt, you will be unhappy.
3. “Proceed calmly” in life.
You can proceed calmly in life, on the outside, but if there is an idea of chaos within, you will be unhappy. Also, if you suppressed emotions are bad for the body. It’s pointless to tell people to proceed calmly without instruction how. When they fail, they will be more unhappy.
4. Have “a healthy sense of leisure.”
You can have such a healthy sense of outer leisure that you neglect inner life, and ultimately you will be unhappy.
5. “Sunday is for family.”
Why not every day? I guess the idea is that minimally, there is at least one day of the week dedicated to family. But what *about* family? It’s how you are being with others, not just that you are being with others, that makes you happy. You can be with others and be miserable.
6. Be “creative” with young people and find innovative ways to create dignified jobs.
Every job is dignified. Working itself is dignified. Dignity comes from within, not from the outside. To attach it to some thing is to breed suffering.
7. Respect and take care of nature.
Again, in what state are you taking care of nature? With resentment? With fear? Merely taking care of nature will not make you happy.
8. Stop being negative. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy,” he said.
Yes, he scores a point on this one! Finally, something about the only place you will find happiness, within. But how do you do this? Everyone everywhere is saying to do this, but not how. How you stop doing anything is how you start doing anything. Learn to use Alchemy. Get the three chapters free here, and the free cheat sheet here.
9. “The worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes.”
Any idea of, “You have to listen to me, believe as I do, or do as I say,” is separation and making war. Good to hear a religion recognizing it.
10. Work for peace. “We are living in a time of many wars,” he said. “The call for peace must be shouted.”
Peaceful people create peaceful families. Peaceful families create peaceful communities. Peaceful communities create peaceful countries. Peaceful countries create a peaceful world. Want to work for peace? End the war within your own mind first. Inner peace comes before outer peace, that is how important you are. Learn to access the love and joy within, and pass it on.