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Does Spiritual Knowledge Lead to Happiness?
By:Roy E Smith

I often travel beyond the veil during meditation to meet my spirit friends. He-who-answers-my-questions is one of these friends.

During a recent meditation, I found myself sitting with he-who-answers on the rooftop terrace of his magnificent sandstone home, sipping a beverage tasting like lemonade.

As always, I wanted to discuss something with him. He waited patiently, glowing radiantly as the Being of Light he is.

"I've devoted years to spiritual study," I began "I've crammed my head full of spiritual knowledge. But my efforts haven't brought me permanent happiness."

He-who-answers looked thoughtfully out at the green landscape dotted with scattered homes. Beyond lay the towers of a crystalline city in the distance. I saw no roads but knew I could travel to any destination at the speed of thought.

At last, he turned to me and said, "Dear friend, your experience is not unusual. Humans search endlessly for happiness. It is what they most desire. They believe doing certain things will bring them happiness. You, for instance, believe that acquiring spiritual knowledge will lead to happiness, just as others believe that acquiring money will lead to happiness."

The exotic fragrance of potted red flowers growing nearby distracted me for a moment. The flowers seemed to glow from light within and even emitted a faint musical sound like chimes.

"It isn't sufficient just to know stuff," I pointed out. "How can I learn to feel it?" My question reminded me that the distance from my head to my heart is like a journey of a thousand miles.

He-who-answers smiled gently. "What is it you expect to experience from the knowledge you're amassing?" he asked.

"Perhaps enlightenment," I answered. Then I reconsidered and said, "I want to establish a closer relationship with Spirit while still in the physical world."

"You're already doing that," he said. "You're doing it right now. The spiritual knowledge you're acquiring is helping you grow spiritually -- and helping you develop a closer relationship with us. How does that feel?"

"Wonderful!" I exclaimed.

"Then you already know the answer to your question," he said. "You always thought you might experience happiness once you had attained enough spiritual knowledge at some time in your future. You thought you might even become enlightened, once you acquired enough spiritual knowledge. But know this: happiness is something you can experience right now, regardless of how much spiritual knowledge you have attained."

Just then, two small, brightly colored birds alighted on the terrace railing. They began to sing a joyous melody and fluttered happily about. I laughed in delight.

"You should spend more time in nature," he-who-answers suggested, noticing my fascination with the birds. "Being in nature brings you closer to Spirit, and that closeness to Spirit leads to the happiness you are seeking."

He selected a clump of luscious black grapes from a bowl on the small table between us and seemed to inhale them. Then he continued, "Do you remember when you were 10 years old? On a certain autumn day, you went walking along a tree line bordering a field of corn that had recently been picked. It was what you call Indian summer, when the temperature turns warmer for a week or two following a brief cold spell in Pennsylvania and there's an enchanting haze in the air and the leaves turn crimson and orange and yellow. It was raining lightly. You were alone and a lingering state of bliss overcame you. Do you remember it?"

His description brought back a captivating memory and I nodded.

He continued, "You often experienced bliss and wonderment when you were young -- especially when you were alone in nature. On that autumn day, you were very close to Spirit. That's why you felt the way you did then. I was with you that day. But soon you became a teenager and then an adult, and you got caught up in things of the physical world. Your life experience as an adult eventually turned into utter misery for you, and you began to anesthetize yourself with alcohol. You lost all contact with Spirit. Any remnants of your childhood bliss and wonderment vanished completely. After years of stress and chaos, your life began to implode, and we knew you wouldn't survive much longer. That's why we had to intervene in 1990 and again in 2000, in experiences that you refer to as spiritual awakenings."

He paused to make sure I understood and then continued. "Your youthful feelings of bliss and wonderment are returning at long last. So is your sense of adventure in life. You are getting close to Spirit once again. The spiritual knowledge you are acquiring is helping provide a cure for your many years of misery."

Yet again he paused and then said, "The veil that once seemed to separate you from us is becoming thinner now. Soon it will not exist for you at all. Soon you will not only know but will actually feel that you are not separate from us when you are in the physical world. Indeed, you will know for certain that you never have been separate from us. It has only seemed that way."

My time with he-who-answers was drawing to a close. I thanked him and, in an instant, found myself back in the physical world. I now knew that my journeys beyond the veil would continue to bring me spiritual knowledge -- and happiness.

In November 2008, Roy Smith created Spirit Quest, a spiritual discussion group, which continues to meet today. You can visit the group's website here: http://www.spirit-quest.org/. He is an active blogger on all things spiritual. To go to his blogsite, click here: http://spiritquest-panama.blogspot.com/. He invites you to join the quest for spiritual knowledge and wisdom and become a part of the global awakening.