-- Religions, Life, and the Pursuit of Happiness --

WARNING: I don't mean to stereotype anyone, and I'm
really not very experienced in life but these are my observations
and my honest opinions on a very broad scope of thought. I
don't mind if anyone disagrees but please don't leave flaming,
obscene reviews. Also I don't mean to offend anyone, this is just
the open rantings of a teen-aged girl who's figuring things out for herself.

Thank you, - S.E.

I don't think that happiness isn't a life time thing. I've seen so many people spending their lives looking for it and being disappointed.

I have, at least. Most of the time I think it's a subconscious striving, but I'm just trying to be 'perfect' enough to be happy. Like I'm always reaching and running for

something to fill the gap. I think a lot of people look for an amazing other person to complete themselves. And I haven't seen that work, ever. Even people madly in love aren't really happy. The real ones, not those people in the cheesy love movies and books. That's not real. After they get married they're still dissatisfied, and a lot of times divorce because theres still that gap.

Some people are striving for power, some love, some beauty, and others money and yada yada yada. But underneath it all, in my pretty inexperienced (if I'm honest) opinion, I still think it's the same thing. Perfection is supposed to equal happiness. But I don't think it's humanly possible to reach that.

And then you get some people who get tired of always running. They're worn out; they've had rough lives, after all. These people are depressed, cynical, sarcastic, or self-deprecating. They're sick of the meaningless circles, and really, who can blame them? So you win the lottery... what do you have after all of that? Will those things make you happy? So you find the love of your life... how long will it last? Even when some stay in love with each other for a life time you still see them striving to find that happiness, something that fills the gap. So you become beautiful, you're flawless... now what? I don't think beautiful people are happy, either. Once you have one thing you're striving for the next.

People with money, looks, power, someone to love... when are they happy? I don't really think it's a good idea for someone to have so many of those things because that's when self-destruction sets in. All those absolute rulers who became selfish tyrants... I don't know, I think it's the same principle.

I think there are people who think along the same lines as me in more positive and negative ways. I think people justify these lines of thought with religions, whether you call them a 'religion' or not, it seems the same thing to me.

Cynicism, in my opinion, is a kind of religion. You can get truth with hard cold reality, and cynics get a small measure of satisfaction in knowing that absolute truth. Some of the harshest facts of life are the truest and cynics will grasp onto these things and try to fill that gap with it. Quite often you hear about these people commiting suicide or dying a lonely, angry death. It's because I don't think you can live with that kind of truth. It's brutal and theres no hope in it.

Other people are striving for knowledge, and I think that can become a religion, too. Not that theres anything wrong with the striving for knowledge, but I've gotten the impression that some people think if they can become intelligent enough and understand enough that gulf of incompleteness will be filled.

I've decided that religions aren't just Buddhism, Christianity, Mormonism, ect. I have an art teacher who's religion is basically art. He uses art as a medium of expressing truth. Art isn't a representation of an object or a thing, he thinks. It's basically a belief system. Art should be real, the painting should tell truth, ect.

When it comes down to it, everybody seems to be looking for their own 'truth'. Maybe even the 'truth' that there are "no absolute truths". Except that would make that there aren't any absolute truths a 'truth'. The very statement that there are no absolutes cannot be believed unless it's accepted on the basis of it being a correct, and if there are no absolutes then how can you make that statement?

In another line of thought, I've decided that beliefs like 'atheism' are religions, too. I think everyone wants to believe in God, but their lives have been hard, and a God wouldn't let the world turn out that way, would he? Atheism is believing in no God, but it's a belief that theres no God. You put your faith in believing that there cannot be one. It's impossible to have a belief like this without it becoming a religion.

So what is and what isn't a religion, exactly?

In that train of thought, what is the absolute truth? Everything boils down to this--all the searching and striving in life. All of the ways to try to fill in the gap cut down to 'religion', a belief system that carries you through. Truth has to exist. If you believe that it doesn't then you're trusting in something that it doesn't, and that something is truth. It's redundant to say truth doesn't exist. As complicated as it can get, I keep coming back to that.

So... truth has something to do with the ultimate happiness. Logically it has to.

Find the ultimate Truth, and I think there lies ultimate happiness.