SUPERHUMAN LIFE No. 17

WHY AM I UNHAPPY?

by Ernest O'Neill

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Until you get the fastest car, boat, or motorcycle. Until you marry the most beautiful girl or buy your dreamhouse. Until you get to the top of your profession. Until you have money to burn. Until you fulfil your early promise. Until you get a certain level of security. Until you do these things, you live to pursue happiness.

That is-you live with the thought in the back of your mind that the only reason you aren't happy is that you haven't got what you think would make you happy. But "when you get it" you will be happy!! Just a few get these things--people like Howard Hughes or Boy George--and then? Well, then they are so happy they want to die!!

But that's the people who seem to get to the end of their rainbow. What about you and me-and most of us? Why are we so unhappy? And why do we con ourselves into thinking that we would be happy if we had those things that just a few people have attained-especially when we see them so unhappy too? Actually, when we at last get past these temporary hopes and ambitions, we reach a point in life where we are able to see that happiness or unhappiness isn't so much the real problem. The real problem is just a lack of satisfaction with life - a feeling that we haven't quite lived it as it was meant. We feel we've missed something somewhere, but don't quite know what it is. Why do we feel like this?

Created Life

The real reason is that most of us have passed all our years here on earth breathing sub-standard air, and as a result living a sub-standard life, and falling far below the person we were intended to be. We were given created life-physical, mental, emotional-but within us, deep inside, was the seed of another uncreated life. It is spirit-life-the kind that enabled Jesus of Nazareth to maintain serenity despite nails in his hands and the kind that surged from his body and healed a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. This spirit-life transforms our physical and mental life so that it lasts forever.

But more importantly, this uncreated, superhuman life enables you to be and do what you were created to be and do. Without it, you live a half-life-attempting only what you can achieve with the minimal powers you were born with. Your expectations grow smaller as the years pass, and you fall into the old debilitating attitudes and habits of thinking that accompany the decline of temporary life.

Because that's what created life is-temporary! That's all it was ever meant to be. The creator gave you enough physical and mental life to get you on your feet in his world. Then he expected you to turn to him and ask him to begin to infuse his uncreated life into you. This is the meaning of the tree of life in Genesis 2:9. Most of us, of course, have never taken this step. So we live a sub-standard life with substandard resources! The result is we are almost continually dissatisfied with life, with ourselves, with the world. We are vaguely unhappy most of the time.

Why do we Refuse Superhuman Life?

Why do we live like this? Why do we settle for this half-hearted, vaguely unhappy life? Mostly because we don't think there's any alternative. We've heard so much religious talk that is either infantile or nonsensical. We've seen so much so-called religion that is more ruthless and underhanded than good old atheism. But there's another reason that underlies these. It has to do with the way one is supposed to receive this supernatural life. God seemed to place this "tree of life" in the garden of Eden and Adam simply had to eat the fruit of it. He was obligated simply to eat it. Now we can't see any tree (because that was the way God provided it to mankind in his childhood). Today we're supposed to receive a "spirit" that we can't see or taste or smell. We're not supposed to manipulate our thoughts in a certain way or stimulate our emotions because this superhuman life-spirit is a gift. We've simply to receive it and live as if we have received it! It's all so ephemeral and unreal that most of us reject the whole idea as being too unlike life where you get only what you earn and work for. It's so unlike ordinary existence where you can see and taste and touch things that are really real.

Faith and Superhuman Life

Yet all our objections are ill-founded. In fact, our most valuable possessions were indeed given to us we did not earn them-our eyesight, our brains, our arms, spring mornings, our breath. And we do operate by faith-believing that we can walk even before we take our first steps--believing that the plane will hold us up even before we take our first flight. We put our life into the hands of a stranger when we have general anaesthetic before an operation. And we often try a new diet or vitamin pill for months with full faith before we abandon it. The Creator who has given us eyes that see the world offers us a superhuman life that we can depend on. When we do, our real life begins!

Read Superhuman Life No. 18

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