Happiness 101

Happiness 101

I received a number of questions from an ex-Mormon spiritual teacher fairly antagonistic to me. Here is a digest of them along with my answers

Question: Why do we exist and how do we exist and what caused us to exist so that we can experience what you term “life”?

Why are you asking me a question you have not answered – at least I have not seen an answer in your writings? Are you looking to me to solve the great mystery?

Here’s the short answer:

“…why do we exist?”

The natural impulse behind all life is to create or have experience that is meaningful. This impulse which lies within the purpose of God lies behind all creation. We exist or live to have experience.

Question: How do we exist and what caused us to exist so that we can experience what you term “life”?

I agree with Joseph Smith here in that we never had a beginning and will never have an end. There is no first cause. Cause and effect just IS, and through cause and effect we came to be as we now are. This was a long process that involved many incarnations and ascent and descent through many spheres. We have lived many more lives than the two or three as you believe.

It is not as simplistic as the idea that God and his wife had a baby composed of spirit matter. Where did the spirit matter come from? How is it different from physical matter? Where did consciousness come from? Where was the entity before he occupied a body of spirit?

I do not recall you answering any of these things.

My long answer to these questions is found in my book, The Molecular Relationship. You can read it free and it can be found at my web site mention at the end of this post.

Question: Why do “we as humans” care what we want out of existence?

It is self-evident that it is much more desirable to enjoy our experiences than to not enjoy them. Why would one even need to ask that question?

Question: What other living thing can cause a change in our “emotion” except for us?

When another can change our emotional state, it is because we have allowed them to have this power. Yes, we are the ones responsible for how we feel. The trouble is that few can control this power including yourself.

Question: Sure, others can change our environment, even burn us at the stake, but why should our “emotion” change?

It changes for the average person because he is not aware of his freedom of choice and accepts society’s standards of what should make him happy.

The advanced person can choose those things that will affect his emotional state – or he can choose to not be affected. It all depends on the purpose he is pursuing.

Question: Are we not all-powerful beings?

Few realize we have full power including, apparently yourself. If you want to go through a locked door and have the key in your pocket, but do not know you have the key, then you do not effectively have the power to go through the door.

There is a way to do anything, but if one does not know the way he does not have the power.

Question: What is a spiritual relationship?

“Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual…” D&C 29:34

“Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” Titus 1:15

Question: Should we have happiness as a goal?

Happiness is a byproduct and a temporary thing. Who’s worrying about finding happiness in a goal? Not me. Enjoying the ride through life in the Now is the important thing, for we are always in the Now.

Question: What is happiness?

Happiness is the emotional thrill we receive from getting what we want.

Question: Why do we seek it?

Because our internal programming causes us to gravitate toward pleasure and happiness and away from pain.

Question: Since happiness is not a “physical” principle, but is an emotional state, how could one possibly find it properly by looking at “physical” things?

Our happiness in this world is dependent on our emotional response to physical surroundings and experiences. Can you give me an example of you having happiness in this world without the physical being involved?

“Spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; And when separated, man CANNOT receive a fullness of joy.” D&C 93:33-34

You cannot have a fulness of joy unless the physical is merged or raised to the spiritual.

Question: You speak of things that bring happiness. Which of these did Jesus tell you to do?

This has nothing to do with my exercise which was to discover the three things you experienced in your life that made you happy. Jesus didn’t tell me to eat breakfast, but I did eat and enjoyed it. So what? This had nothing to do with Biblical injunctions.

Question: How do we know what “goal” to set?

If you have to ask that question then you have a problem and your life is probably in a state of confusion.

Question:  Why do we set goals and other animals on this planet do not?

Because we are self-conscious and the animals are not.

Question: Does not a goal have its end in death?

Most goals do not result in death or life, but affect the quality of life while we are here.

Question: Did Christ ever advise one to set a goal?

Yes, many times. The Golden Rule you cited is a goal to reach for. He set the goal of preaching the gospel to every nation. He said “Be ye therefore perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect.” That’s a goal if I ever heard one. “Seek and ye shall find” is another. The wise man will have the goal of increasing his talents. I could go on and on.

Question: Did he not preach against goals and that “…sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”? By George, I think he did!

I don’t think so. That statement is from the Sermon on the Mount which is full of goal setting statements.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:34

Here he sets the goal of seeking first the kingdom and secondly the goal of putting your thoughts on the present rather than worrying about the future. If we take care of evils as they come up the future will take care of itself. This doesn’t mean that Jesus ignored the future for many of his goal setting statements involved the future – such as preaching to all nations.

He quotes me as saying: “Happiness is temporary because once a goal is met a person ceases to move forward and the happiness dissipates. To cause happiness to return, a new decision must be made and a new goal set. As he then moves toward the new goal, he then has the byproduct of happiness again should he choose to attach himself to it.”

Question: How does this relate to our eternal state?

Even the happiness from spiritual goals has an end when the goal is reached. This is why we need eternal progression, so happiness can be renewed.

Do you think you can apply the Golden Rule for one day and have eternal happiness? No. You have to do it tomorrow and the next day to renew it.

All happiness is temporary because all goals which create it have an end. Our eternal state is more related to joy than happiness.

Question: How and why do we know what a “desirable destination” is?

Pretty simple. It is whatever you decide is desirable.

Question: How can we even know what happiness is?

Again, it is pretty simple. How do you know ice is cold? You can feel it. How do you know if you are happy? Same thing. Not much mystery there.

Question: How does one control his destiny?

By persevering until one reaches his goals.

Question: Why are we able to control our destiny?

Because we want to.

Question: and who gave us the right to control it?

It is inherent in us because we are in the image of God.

Question: Is it not true that in your physical desire for happiness, YOU seek to control others?


Question: You seem to believe in borders. Are not borders a way of controlling another for the sake of your OWN happiness and pleasure?

No. It is a measure to prevent them from controlling us. I take measures to prevent a burglar from gaining control over my life not because I seek to control him, but seek to prevent him from controlling me.

The same with you. You threw some out of your group to prevent them from influencing your followers. Obviously, you believe in borders. Why pretend otherwise? If I am not mistaken you still have a separate group with borders to keep non-believers out. It is your right to do this, but in so doing you need to acknowledge your belief in borders and boundaries.

Question: Do you not also derive your happiness from controlling the happiness of others?


Question: So, which is it? Should we seek for physical peace or spiritual peace?

Both, with spiritual being the priority.

Question: How do we recognize it as peace?

How do you recognize cold and hot? You know it when you experience it. Pretty simple.

Question: What causes us to define peace?

What causes us to define “hot?” Same thing.

Question: And what is the “highest we know”, and how did it become the “highest”?….

How does one see the highest part of a mountain? You look and see. Correspondingly, you look within and see the highest you know to be true and follow. Again, extremely simple.

This teacher ends with this pronouncement: “JJ you are the antithesis of Jesus Christ. Your subtle notions of doctrine leads one away from the very core of his gospel. In you we have an example of an anti-Christ of which was prophesied.”

Obviously, you did not pick the “do not judge” criteria to make your day happy.

Have you had even one happy day in your life? How about telling us about it? You’ve cited numerous occasions in your biography when you were miserable so surely you’ve experienced the other side, which is happiness. Perhaps it would be advantageous to look at the glass as being half full.

Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values. Ayn Rand

April 29, 2006

Copyright by J J Dewey

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