The forces of good were those which had constantly oppressed me. I saw them daily destroying the happiness of my fellow-men. Since, therefore, it was my business to explore the spiritual world, my first step must be to get into personal communication with the devil.
If I were to put it into a very few words, my dear sir, I should say that our prevalent belief is in moderation. We inculcate the virtue of avoiding excess of all lands—even including, if you will pardon the paradox, excess of virtue itself. In the valley which you have seen, and in which there are several thousand inhabitants living under the control of our order, we have found that the principle makes for a considerable degree of happiness. We rule with moderate strictness, and in return we are satisfied with moderate obedience. And I think I can claim that our people are moderately sober, moderately chaste, and moderately honest.
Mortal distrust of mortal happiness
Is born of madness and of impotence;
A miserable and distorted sense,
Defiant in its hatred of success.
Aleister Crowley, “The Pessimist’s Progress” from The Temple of The Holy Ghost
humour is a key lubricant of life. Humour is a social glue. Humour is the best anti-arrogance device. Humour is the best anti-despair device. Humour is what may separate man from other creatures. So why is humour neglected?
Edward De Bono, H+ A New Religion? How to Live Your Life Positively [Amazon, Local Library]
It turns out that it doesn’t matter much what activity a person is doing. Typically fun activities didn’t correlate much with happiness. Instead, what matters is whether you are paying attention to what you are doing. Focused attention was strongly correlated with feeling happy, whereas having a wandering mind was usually accompanied by unpleasant feelings. Interestingly, human beings are very prone to mind wandering.
Having attained that state, he may retire from the world and employ his energies for the employment and the further expansion of the spiritual power which he possesses. He will be perfectly happy, because that which he desires he can create in his own interior world. He expects no future reward in heaven; for what could heaven offer to him except happiness which he already possesses. He desires no other good but to create good for the world.
I have seen possibilities which have enforced a humbleness that is not good for my happiness nor conducive to my development. Henceforward I will espouse the cause of vanity. It is only the vain who deprecate vanity in others.
In the middle ages the magicians who created monsters were haunted by them forever after. We are all haunted by dreams and shadows. The dreams of happiness and the shadows of disappointments.