If I could summarize all of my knowledge from my 50 years of life experience, and all of my investigations into the Big Picture, it would be just one word: en-joy.
All of science and mathematics, art, business, sports, any aspect of life, can be boiled down into this word. Because, the only reason anyone ever does anything is the idea that it would feel good to do it. En-joy applies even to the most abstruse logician, working in the area of pure Mind, attempting to divorce himself from all feeling and bias.
Because underneath all of that attempted purity of observation and reasoning, is the beauty and en-joyment of what is created.
The corollary to en-joy is create. To create is to devise new ways of experiencing. Creation begins in the realm of pure thought, all the way down to intense physical activity.
Creation provides an opportunity to en-joy the experience of creating. In other words, it is an end in itself. The beautiful painting, the well-crafted story, document, or law, the new business venture, the new relationship, etc, all are creations-in-progress. The doing and experiencing of these things provide an opportunity to connect with the source energy of the universe, which can be described as a stream of well being flowing to you.
I write en-joy, to emphasize the creative nature of enjoyment.
A lot of times we use en-joy in the passive sense; that is, if we create or observe something we like, then we feel good. But if we create or observe something we don't like, we will feel bad.
This is a conditional experience of enjoyment. It is dependent upon observation of the creations of ourselves and others.
To en-joy something is to place joy into it. It is an active, creative concept, not a passive, dependent one.
Nothing you observe has the slightest power to affect you in any way, unless you decide that it does. That means that anything that happens to you can be en-joyed.
The observation of something pleasant does not generate a good feeling because of some inherent property of the object itself. Similarly for an observation of something you don't like. Any good or bad feeling arises in you because of your consideration or judgment, your interpretation, about what is observed. It is all within you. You are creating and interpreting your own experience.
'Reality' is not something fixed and unchanging. 'Reality' is a creation of our thoughts and beliefs. Consider it. Scientists tell us that the universe is in a state of constant expansion. That means, a state of constant flux, or change. How can 'reality' be fixed and immovable in a universe with these properties? The answer is, it can't. 'Reality' is constantly changing. If your personal reality is not in a good place, or is not on the way to becoming likable, then you are probably creating almost 100% from observation. This is a rather sloppy and lazy way to create your reality, for what-is, well, just IS! The hamster sees the wheel in front of him and moves toward it, then he sees the wheel in front of him and moves toward it...How can anything change under those conditions?
Walt Kelly had it right when he said: "We have met the enemy and he is us." You are the only one who can do yourself in.
In my contracting business I never seemed to make enough money, because I could never bid out my jobs at a high enough price. I used to think that was 'just the way it is.' I would tell myself 'it's the economy.' 'People just don't want to pay a good price for good work anymore.' One day I decided to figure out why I was constantly short of money. I began to examine some of these old concepts and feelings. I made a list of all of my considerations and judgments on the subject of contracting, and money. I was shocked at what my true attitude was toward my business. Then and there I decided to change those attitudes. The funny thing is, the people I used to work for, the ones who never were willing to pay a 'good price for good work', those people never seem to show up in my life anymore! The people I began to contact all just wanted a good job and were willing to pay what it cost, no questions asked.
Coincidence? No way. My prices rose throughout the recession and after September 11, 2001 when the economy was in trouble. I have never had, since my change of thought and attitude, any trouble finding people willing to pay me a 'good price for good work.' The only thing that changed for the better were my thoughts and my vision of what I wanted. Everything else around me was going to hell in a handbasket. "Reality' around me was changing for the worse, yet my own personal reality was getting better. If I simply created my life from observation of the reality around me, as I used to do, my business would probably have gone under.
An expanding universe has the property of malleability. That means it is possible to change our personal condition at any time. It doesn't depend a fig on what others are doing. In fact, paying too much attention to what others are doing and saying is like the guy who cheats on his geometry exam. He looks over at the girl sitting next to him and copies all her answers, because he knows she got A's in History and English. When the exams are returned, they both get an F!
Consciously en-joying, or appreciating, brings more joyful manifestations. In our vibrational universe model, that's the only way it can be.
Suppose cousin Joe decides to quit his well paying job and invest his life savings in a restaurant. He is bored with his job, even though he is quite successful. He wants to do something new and exciting. Joe has absolutely no experience in the restaurant business. It is clear to you that his ideas and visions for the restaurant will never work out. It is clear that his enthusiasm will never overcome his bad business sense. It's also clear to you that Joe has always been the type to launch into something quickly, then get discouraged when immediate results are not forthcoming.
You can see that Joe's restaurant idea is a recipe for disaster.
Yet for Joe, the whole idea is a big adventure which he plunges into with eagerness. His enthusiasm and hard (but joyful) work manages to overcome his abysmal business decisions, and the restaurant stays afloat. You look at Joe and can't figure out why he would trade a successful job, where he had plenty of free time and money, to one in which he works 7 days a week and barely breaks even.
The answer is, en-joyment. Joe loves being his own boss. He loves dealing with customers. He loves the idea of providing great food and good atmosphere to enjoy it in. For him, working 7 days a week isn't work at all, but fun.
It makes no sense to you, and it even seems wrong to you.
Joe has no time for his family anymore. He spends literally every waking hour at his restaurant.
You can see that his marriage is going down the tubes.
But Joe is happy, happier than he has ever been in his life.
Are Joe's actions wrong? Would it have been better for him to stay in his boring job and keep his marriage intact? Joe has 3 kids after all, what is to become of them? Is it right for Joe to change his life so that he is happy all of the time in his new work, even though others may seem to be adversely affected?
The answer is, I think, that there is nothing we can do about it! If Joe is happy, he will continue to do those things that make him happy; unless, of course, he is more concerned with the opinions of others than his own happiness. Are we to tell Joe he must sell his restaurant and find some other, more profitable work so that he can support and spend more time with his family? That may make the rest of us feel good, but what about Joe?
The difficulty with this approach is that Joe's actions are judged by some societal, ethical, moral, or religious standard of conduct that seems appropriate to the majority. Joe doesn't care a whit about what others think. He has learned to trust his inner guidance.
I have learned that to ignore my inner voice is to go down the path to misery.
I have learned that when one trusts ones self and looks inward for answers, those answers are always the ones that lead to joy.
I have learned that, ultimately, it's not about the goal, it's about the journey. It's the fun you have along the way. No matter how strange someone else's behavior seems, the fundamental reason for doing anything is the en-joyment of it. The enjoyment of something is the ONLY justification necessary for doing it.
That's the answer I have been looking for all of my life.
That's the answer that has made my life a lot simpler and more fun.
I have finally learned that it's none of my business what my fellow human beings think, say or do, no matter how harmful their actions may seem to me.
I have finally realized that people will do what they wish, regardless of my objections, and that it is futile for me to try and stop them. Besides, there are 6 billion of them! How am I going to make sure all 6 billion are doing the right things?
I have realized that it's not my job to prevent others their freedom to be, do and have.
Each person is en-joying life as much as they are able, and I am now satisfied to allow them to do so. Besides, it's a lot more fun for me! And a lot less work. I no longer have to go around observing and pointing out to myself the flaws in the behavior of others, and thinking up ways of trying to fix it. That way of living caused me so much anger and anxiety (and health problems) that I just had to let go of it.
Of course, there are many many people throughout the world who joyfully go about the business of trying to mold the world into a better place for them to live in. My hats are off to them --- as long as they are having fun. You can't possibly do any harm when you're truly having fun, because the actions taken are all from an attitude of light-heartedness. When the goal starts mattering more than the enjoyment along the way, problems result. In that scenario, all of us are now expected to 'follow the rules' laid down by the fixer-uppers! Now we have problems. Now we have conflict, and even war.
You can't possibly hurt another by staying joyful. It's only when you get off the path of en-joyment that problems arise.
The name of the game is enjoyment.