Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

24 articles on this Page

" DAN OLYGIAETH " CYMRO'R…

. Y BEIBL.

PRIODASGERDD

PA LE MAE'R CYFEILLION?

-CTFLAFAN SPION KOP.l i.

♦ DEDWYDDWCH.

. SILOH NEWYDD, GLANDWR.

Advertising

[No title]

Advertising

SWANSEA. POLICE COURT.I

SWANSEA. Y.M.C.A.

INQUEST.

[No title]

Advertising

GLAMORGAN COUNTY COUNCIL

THE ROYAL JUBILEE METAL EXCHANGE…

CONCERT AT RHYDDINGS CHAPEL.…

Advertising

[No title]

THE I ATTAINMENT OF HAPPINESSJ

News
Cite
Share

THE I ATTAINMENT OF HAPPINESS J [BY REV. W. TUDOR JONES, F.R.G.S.] The search of man. wherever he is found, and in whatever circumstances he is in, has been a search for happiness. From the earliest records which we possess concerning primitive man to the closing of this 19th cen- tury, the same pursuit is writ large in the annals of the human race. Look wherever you will, and you will find all striving in devious ways, and over paths of a very dif- ferent nature to rea.ch happiness. The ques- i tions, then, naturally arise—What is happi- ness ? and how can it be found, if it can be found at all ? To the attempt of answei- ing these two questions I wish to call your attention this week, and so offer you a few hints by which happiness can be se- cured. (1) WHAT IS HAPPINESS ? We are born into this world with many needs—some, many of which are absolutely nocessary to be fulfilled before the man's body and mind can ever hope of growing. Our natures demand these needs. They de- mand, for instance, food and comfort for the body. Before the body can become adapted to its environment many things are needed. Our first needs are food and clothing. When wo obtain these we find that iho body is bet- ter fitted to meet outward conditions than if it had been kept without them. As the child grows into the man, and has to work, the body requires relaxation from work. This re- quires a suspension of its energies for a time, in order that it may be better able in the future to cope with further work. This re- laxation ia a need which the outward con- ditions impose on the man. The body will wear out unless it ia periodically recruited. Nature demands it, and the man who refuses to obey the l.aws of nature has always to pay the penalty. We also find that man—especially the young mui—is drawn towards those objects which provide a field for his physical ener- gies. And so artificial modes of recreation are developed which in time become even al- most a science, as, for example, cricket, foot- ball, and other well-known sports. Man's body is so constituted, and is so related to nature, that it must obtain a fieild for the play of its physical powers. The gain in this way is enormous. Those who run down athletics should remember that man has a body as well as a mind, and that the proper exercise of that body, the proper placing of it at one with nature, is a sure way for the mind to become healthy. One of the best, one of the greatest exercises for the human mind, is either not to think at all or to think in a new groove to what one is compelled J. o think. Some form or other of recreation is absolutely necessary for every man and wo- man, if their bodies and minds are to remain | healthy for unless body and mind are healthy, speaking generally, pleasure and happiness oannot be found. And here one of the distinctions between pleasure and happiness caa be seen. Pleasure refers to the bringing of the body at one with outward conditions. Happiness con- sists in bringing the mind at one with ihinga. Pleasure generally refers to the physical happiness to the mental or moral nature of man You will see thus that happiness is in one sense a higher form of satisfaction than pleasure. No one tells me that his mind is very much better for his athletics. Athletics do not fill the mind with knowledge. They perform a function ;n life. They pre- pare the mind to work in the field of happi- ress. They sharpen the mind in order to set it ready for work. But as man is some- thing more than an animal, satisfaction of the need of the body will not suffice him. This will suffice him if he is willing to close tho room of his mind. He will thus reduce it to a minimum, and will be in a sense the receiver of pleasure. But who will pay such a penalty for such a pleasure ? To lose life and all its interests and happiness for the sake of merely existing as an animal in this world, without any notion of what life in reality means, or of what it ought to be We are, then, prepared to see that happiness is something which belongs to the mind and spirit of the man in a greater degree than pleasure. Obtain legitimate pleasure, bring the body as much as possible into sympathy with nature and society, in so far as they are good. It is our duty to do all this, but it is also our duty not to stop at this. It is our duty to go further into the regions of the mind and spirit. Happiness, then, is the placing of ourselves at one with all things which tend to uplift the mind and spirit of man. Remembering this, we may now ask the question again how to obtain it ? for obtaining it will mean all for us. # As hap- piness belongs to the mind and spirit of man, it is clear that man must dwell on the things of the mind and spirit before it can be obtained. That is the first requisite for se- curing happiness. And there is such a thing as a scale of happiness in connection with the things of the mind. The lower your aim is the easier it will be to reach it but the happiness obtained in reaching it is lower in the scale than the happiness of a man who reaches a. higher aim. "That low man seeks a little thing to do, Sees it and does it This high man, with a great thing to pursing Dies ore he knows it." Happiness, then, is relative to the nature of the being who enjoys it. The high- mindod man cannot be satisfied with the hap- piness of a lower-minded man. And it is a truth in human life, that we gain happi- ness by throwing away some lower happing from day to day, and by limiting our desires. For it is not in the mere reaching of the aim that happiness consists of, but in the game of imrsuing. You attempt a higher game of mind and spirit, a game which demands greater ener- gies on your part. In fact, you are dissatis- fied with the lower, and go out, whatever the consequences may be, in pursuit of the higher. This demands our most earnest consideration. Wo ought daily to set our minds on the obtaining of higher and nobler objects, and not rest satisfied with merely realizing old ends which we have realized hundreds of times before. Any man, what- ever his circumstances or capabilities may be, who sets a higher goal for himself in lite than he has realised before, will invariably reach happiness. It is an infallible pre- scription for securing happiness. It is as old as human nature itself. It is the prin- ciple which is at the bottom of all advance- ment, and will remain as long as the world shall last. The higher, the nobler we are, the higher and nobler must be the goal of our happiness, and we nust become un- happy before the whole nature can become truly happy. As Mill says It is indis- putable that the being whose capacities are low, has the greatest chance of having them fully satisfied and a highly-endowed being will always feel that any happiness which he can look for, as the world is constituted, is imperfect. But he can learn to bear its imperfections if they are at all bearable and they will not make him envy the being who is indeed unconscious of the imperfec- tions, but only because he feels not at all the good which those imperfections imply. It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied better to be a Socrates dissatisfied than a beast satisfied." The important thing, then, is not to search for the greatest amount of happiness, but to s;vek for the highest and best happiness. We are (or ought to be) continually advanc- ing upward towards a nobler state of being. We ought to possess higher and higher no- tions of things—how to place the mind and spirit more at one with things. When this idea seizes hold of the mind, and a search for the goal, for a clear realization of the idea which is at the start dim and incomplete to us ;—when such is the case, we begin to realize what happiness means for we shall realize that it means our whole nature having become more at one with things. (2) How CAN HAPPINESS BE FOUND ? I ha^e already given some hints on this in dealing with the nature of happiness. But let us look further at some hints which are to be found in the nature of things, and in human experience. (a) It cannot he found hy thinking of it. (b) It cannot he found by seeking it. (c) It cannot he found by thinking of ourselves. If you think of happiness, it turns at that very moment in your mind to be unhappiness. If you seek happiness, the more you run after it, the more it will elude you. It is like running after your shadow you will never catch it but if you run from it, it will run after you. What is the clue here, then t' That in order to obtain happiness we must think on something besides happiness. We are to think of the goal—of something not accomplished, not done by us. It is the par- tial accomplishing, doing of this that is happiness. It is the feeling of mind and spirit becoming at one with vhings. It is the sense of the awakening within you of some faculty, a faculty if you will place it in motion will bring a thrill of thought and feeling which will show us the value of life and its true meaning Happiness will in this sense be ours—a feeling which is the result of a new view of life and a new energy put forth to realize that view. All could obtain happiness if all were true to their lights, strived for more light, and reflected the light which they have received. Happiness cannot be found by thinking of ourselves. This cannot be placed before you in better words than those "Genrge Eliot." "We can only have the 'hest happiness—such as goes along with, a gieat man--by having wide thoughts, and much ¡'ii,); for tiio rest of the world as well as Gut-rteivtv and this sort of happinees often brings so much pain with it that we can only tell it from pain by its being what we would choose before everything else, be- cause our souls see it is good." It is to be found by possessing ideals and seeking to make those ideals real. It cannot be found by thinking of our. selves. Ihe man who, making himself the centre of all his activities, will never be happy in the higher sense. By aiming at happiness through selfishness, he becomes the most miserable of men. Happiness comes from within, not from without. It is not in the power of the circumstances of life to give us happiness they may give ua opportunities to fulfil our duties in a better way, but ^Ojre they cannot do. Look, for oxample, at the man who conceives that ao- cumulation of money will make him happy. He buries the better part of his nature in his hurry to be rich. Can he find happiness? Never from the mere possession of wealth. The tramp by the road-aid:), who knows not where the next meal is to come from, is even a happier man than the selfish wealthy man who hurries by on horseback. 't us go c back again to the point that the way to ob- tain happiness is to lose ourselves continu- ally in some great cause,-to cease thinking of ourselves and our own selfish interests. They alone are happy, and all of them are haPPy, who possess noble ideals, who sacri- fice something for the good of others they who give, who give of their talent, of their time, of their money towards a good cause. I nave no prescription for happiness for the elfish man, whether he is rich or poor no prescription as long as he remains in his solfishnow. But if he is. willing to have a noble goal in life set before him if he is willing to serve if he is willing-more wil- ling and more ready to give than continually tc get-such a man will find happiness—the truest happiness—whatever talents he may have, or however limited his circumstances may be. He is the happy man, and he will find peace and happiness by doing his -hitv, and by living for mankind. Jlow would, friends, the world get on if there were no unselfish men and women in it ? It would, not get en. It would remain stagnant and all in it would be devoid of the highest hap- piness, and all would possess the happines3 of the pig we have just been speaking of. Man, in order to find the highest happi- ness, must pursue an unselfish course must take religion and morality into his con- sideration, and be determined to reach his gcal, however many the difficulties in the way may be. Such is the happy man. lIe may meet with calamities in his life, but he knows of a power which will give him even peace and happiness when Fate seems to frown upon him. The peaco of mind, and the peace of conscience, which are his, serve u1 ^n,^s hour of trial and (catastrophe, when the gold of. th.3 missr com3s up as a ghost to chasei him and to frighten him. A (iivine Nemesis is hunting the man. who has made his own selfish life the end and goal of his existence. ,rh.e ^orst speculation that can be made in to for ourselves. We are aliens to the true joy an I happin-ss of life. Give- —says Christ—give of your Jife to others, to good work, and you yvill get more than you •^■eGP> on the other hand, and you —says Christ—give of your life to others, to good work, and you will get more than you give. Keep, on the other hand. and you will lose more than you keep. There is no way out of it. There, is no changing of hu- man conditions. By possessing noble ideals by striding in mind and spirit to realize them, by identifying ourselves in every good cause, by ceasing tc think of ourselves, t state of living shall be ours which is none other than happiness and blessedness. It is the power which serves God and loves God, by serving and loving man, and we will wake one morning and find ourselves greater than we know. We will find that we have united ourselves with the things which fade not and die not, and when outward things fade and die, we turn to the things of the mind and spirit and find that they are the man's companions, when all else fails. Possessing the noblest idoala endeavourin2 in the strength of God to realize them is to place within our ininds and spirits a power which will secure happiness to us all, so that the world will never become dnll to us, neither will existence lose its valuq. Thus man enjoys his life because he lives his life, and he and God, the source of all things, become at cne with one another.

TRINITY CHAPEL LITERARY SOCIETY.

ST. HELEN'S EVENING CONTINUATION…

Advertising