Periodically my brain comes up with cosmic conclusions that feel ever so right to me. For example, on my Church of the Churchless blog I've written about how back in 1968 I had a convincing realization that the universe is a paper bag turned inside out.
If this doesn't make sense to you, I recommend ingesting a psychedelic, mescaline, since that substance was responsible for the paper bag turned inside out insight. Which, I readily admit, didn't last very long in my psyche.
On the other hand, my current cosmic conclusion arose while I was in a normal state of mind (leaving aside the vexing question of what "normal" means in relation to anybody's mind, mine or anyone else's).
It pertains to happiness and goes like this.
Be happy today, right now, at this very moment and every following moment.
Why? Because our future contains only three possibilities.
Tomorrow, or the next moment, could be better than right now.
So be happy! Life will look even brighter soon.
Tomorrow, or the next moment, could be worse than right now.
So be happy! Enjoy life in this more pleasant present.
Tomorrow, or the next moment, could be the same as right now.
So be happy! Life has brought you some stability.
Now, I readily admit that what I've just written isn't exactly a groundbreaking idea. Few, if any, ideas are. We humans have conjured up so many thoughts in the course of human history that it is very tough, if not impossible, to come up with a completely fresh one.
But these ideas about happiness were new to me. At least, in a certain sense.
As I have for almost all of my life (can't remember my earliest child years), I spend a lot of time worrying about the future and fretting about the past.
I hope that I'll be happier tomorrow. I regret that I wasn't happier yesterday. Somehow today, the present moment, has a way of being shunted aside by my mental time travel into the future or past.
Which is crazy, since if there is any time I'm going to be happy, obviously it is now... or never.
By "never" I don't mean that if I'm not happy right now, I never will be. Rather, I mean that when happiness is felt, it is in the present moment, since this is all that exists for us.
Further, we don't know what will happen in the future. We also don't know with a whole lot of accuracy what happened in the past, since our memories are faulty and decidedly selective.
(Once I had an email exchange with my ex-wife about some details of our divorce after several years had passed since our breakup. I was surprised at how different my recollection of what went on differed from hers, probably because each of us had come to view ourselves as the "good guy/gal" in the divorce and so had come to focus on memories that supported that view of things.)
So this argues for being as happy as possible right here, right now. We don't know what awaits us. It could be better, worse, or the same as what is in our life currently.
Given that uncertainty, embracing happiness in the present moment makes a heck of a lot of sense, even though it is difficult to give up habits of worry, anticipation, hopes, regrets, and such.
A few days ago I shared my cosmic conclusion about happiness with Aujene, a LifeSource Natural Foods employee who asked me "how's your day going?" prior to checking out my grocery purchases. I took the opportunity to share my happiness ideas.
It was encouraging that after I gave Aujene the basics of what I've written above, she said "that's so close to what my mother always told me."
Which goes to show, as noted above, that my insight is no way original. But more importantly, it seems to contain some valid wisdom that's been expressed in many different ways by many different people.