Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series
where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years,
the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them
with you. This morning we seek to understand the nature of spiritual happiness.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Nature of Spiritual Happiness
"These things have I spoken to unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy
might be full" John, Chapter 15, Verse 11.
Brothers and sisters, material happiness is a state in which material things, meanings, and values are
in harmony, the one with the other. It is a temporal (temporary) state, and thus is subject to the
vicissitudes of the material state. Material happiness, then, is largely dependent upon outer
circumstances. Humans have come to associate the state of happiness with the things that they want
and need, and we perceive that things are working as they should. The three great needs of humans
are: self maintenance, self perpetuation, and self gratification. These states when adequately satisfied
constitute human happiness. But we cannot always satisfy our desire for these because they are not
lasting. They are subject to the temporal ups and downs of life.
When human beings have pleasant thoughts, there are corresponding feelings that go along with
them. These feelings give rise to various moods. For example, the tri-harmony of self maintenance,
self perpetuation, and self gratification give rise to a set of thoughts that reflect satisfaction and thus
give rise to the emotional feelings of joy. These feelings of joy give rise to a mood of happiness.
Conversely when the tri-harmony of self maintenance, self perpetuation, and self gratification are
out of sync, they give rise to a set of thoughts that reflect dissatisfaction, and thus give rise to
emotional feelings of sadness and a mood of unhappiness. Sometimes the thoughts of human beings
can create unhappiness even when the tri-harmony of self maintenance, self perpetuation, and self
gratification are in sync
Human thoughts are not only generated by outside stimuli, but they are also generated by stimuli that
have been internalized. Thus a bitter or disappointing past experience may generate thoughts related
to those distant experiences even though the experience itself is long gone. These thoughts bring
about feelings of sadness, which lead to a depressed and unhappy mood. And these thoughts, feelings
and moods occur even when the tri-harmony of self maintenance, self perpetuation, and self
gratification is in sync.
We witness this phenomena of unhappiness in those we feel should be extremely happy but who are
not. Such people are controlled by a circle of unpleasant thoughts, feelings and moods that continue
to spiral downward. Depression is one of the most difficult things to overcome. How does the self
come to realize that its attitudes toward the present is inappropriate? How do you move the attitude
of the self from the past to the present? And we are not blind to the difficulty of doing this since we
all have more or less traveled down that dark road of evil. Unhappiness is the result of elevating
purely temporal experience towards supreme levels. That is, the event (and thoughts, feelings, and
moods about it) becomes the most important thing in the person's life. And though they are not (and
don't wish to be) conscious of this, the behavior signals that they have elevated purely temporal
values to supreme levels, tying their sense of well being to these now derailed events, meanings and
Human beings are experiencing creatures. We come into the world with an empty slate, which is
written on as we gain experience. What things mean to human beings initially not only depends on
the nature of our experiences but also on how we interpret them. This is why parenting is so
important. The parent with his/her far reaching experiences and insights can and should interpret
events for the growing child, educating and helping the child to understand the nature of temporal
events and the meanings and values that result from them. But if the parent has failed to search for
insights and the relative meanings and values of existence, then that parent can only fail the child.
The child grows up with distorted values and meanings, now exalted to supreme levels.
It is not that we condemn temporal values and meanings. The grasp of temporal values and meanings
is only scaffolding, designed to assist us in acquiring spiritual and eternal values and meanings. The
home and family are man's most important accomplishments in the temporal life, but neither the
home nor the family survives man's resurrection into the next life. While the individuals of families
survive, they do not survive as families but as brothers and sisters, "for in the resurrection they
neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." Thus it only makes
sense to place temporal values and meanings in their proper prospective. Enjoy family and home for
what they are, but never make the mistake of elevating these to supreme levels, as the ups and downs
of temporal life may demolish them, leaving us without comfort and in despair. As we enjoy the
temporal values of home and family, we should also cultivate the spiritual values that will not only
glorify the family and home but will sustain and fill us with spiritual joy and happiness long after
family and home have disappeared.
So now we are ready to answer the question raised earlier. Like material happiness spiritual
happiness is a matter of perception and appreciation. Mind is the mediator between the spiritual and
the material. Material values and meanings and spiritual values and meanings are mediated by mind.
Mind is the arena wherein we are self conscious. Thus both the perceptions of the spirit and of the
material appear there, and mind emotionally reacts to both. But though mind may have an emotional
reaction to spiritual happiness, spiritual happiness is not an emotional reality. It is a genuine spiritual
state which is present eternally. It is not subject to the ups and downs of the temporal life. Spiritual
happiness is present even under the most bitter of circumstances. It has the sustaining power of hope
and comfort even in the most difficult circumstance. Spiritual happiness generates faith.
This happiness is a property of the Father's spirit that lives in the soul of man. The spirit is the
internal stimulator of spiritual thought; just as the material environment is the external stimulator
of thought. Plus the mind itself can stimulate itself to think certain thoughts. By an act of will, we
decide which thoughts we will entertain. And this is both the secret to happiness and unhappiness.
We have within our power to choose our basic state of mind. We are not suggesting that spiritual
thoughts change the material reality that we are experiencing, but they can change our attitude
towards material reality. Spiritual thoughts can modify the meaning of what we are experiencing.
Thus without spiritual thinking, we may consider a task that we are involved in as most undesirable,
while with spiritual thinking this same task becomes a source of tremendous joy. It is the same task,
but the motive, value and meaning of it has been altered. Spiritual thinking when done consistently
becomes the supreme joy in human life, and this is right. Since spiritual thinking is eternal,
indestructible, not subject to the ravages of time, it is supreme, even absolute. Spiritual thinking
allows the self to live in its spiritual center, where values and meanings are concerned. Thus spiritual
thinking brings about the perception of true happiness. It is true happiness because spiritual values
and meanings are intrinsically satisfying and pleasurable. Spiritual thinking reveals the presence of
the Father's spirit to the mind. The consciousness of the Father's spirit is spiritual happiness.
The nature of spiritual happiness is not subject to the vicissitudes of living. It is indestructible.
Nothing of spiritual value is ever lost. Spiritual happiness is always present and can be consciously
experienced by an act of will. This spiritual happiness is the result of the tri-harmony of truth,
beauty, and goodness---divine love. It is the one thing that all of the Father's children can experience.
If you are trapped on the merry-go-round of endless unhappy thoughts precipitated by past or even
present events, the surest way of keeping these values and meanings a purely temporal event is to
embrace the doing of the Father's will. This act allows you to correlate the past, present, and future
into the everlasting now. This act ejects all the meanings and values of evil thoughts from the mind,
and ultimately the evil thoughts themselves. And in its place is left true happiness, spiritual
This concludes today's message on the nature of spiritual happiness. We hope you find something
in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry