At What Time in my Life Was I Happiest, and Why?
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 by Frank Shortt
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As a 78 year old, who has experienced all forms of happiness in the physical sense, it would be very difficult to pinpoint any one experience that made me completely happy! I have come to the conclusion that a mere human can never be completely happy in the natural realm!

When I was a child, growing up in the Mountains of Appalachia, happiness was having enough to eat, a place to sleep, buddies to play with, and a family to go home to at night after work or play. School was not a happy place for me as I mostly felt out of place among those who were more well-to-do than what my present status allowed. I went to school, out of necessity, and because my oldest brother told me, “that if I quit school he would come all the way from Germany, where he was stationed in the Army, and beat the daylights out of me.” I graduated High School! Thanks to my next oldest brother who made sure that I had shirts, pants, and shoes to wear to school! He manifested to me what a true brother should be like. He quit school to help support the family during this difficult time in our lives.

I entered the USAF at age 18, on my birthday, and stayed a total of 6 years until I was discharged in 1966. I had plenty to eat, to wear, and a roof over my head most of the time. By the time of my discharge, I had met, and married, my one and only wife, Sharon, who gave me great happiness according to my physical needs. We sired, and raised, two beautiful daughters who have given me much pleasure, and sometimes challenged me intellectually, and in ways that are sometimes hard to understand. They have children that I have been involved with, all their lives, sharing their successes, and sometimes failures, as the case may be. All in all, the pleasure has outweighed the pain!

But, true happiness is not gauged by the physical realm! True happiness is gauged by the spiritual realm. I had not known True happiness, until, one day the Spirit of Truth dawned on me. True happiness is not a group thing, but an individual thing. If one is not happy within themselves, there can be no gauge of happiness! Life will remain an empty dream! Life will be a passing mirage that, as one approaches the water in the road, it disappears into nothingness. The Spirit of Truth does not involve a man, and his wife, but is for him alone. This is not to say that his wife cannot be subject to the same Spirit. When this Spirit is revealed, what others think and do are without circumstance, because that Spirit is teaching him, and him alone. This is when he realizes that the mistakes others make are for their own education and edification. Then, and only then, can a person become non-judgmental, non-prejudiced, and begin to live the life that he or she was meant to live! This is when a person can love unconditionally!

The Spirit of Truth in a person does not recognize, race, creed, color, or anything that would keep the unenlightened from enjoying the wonderful things that the other person has to offer. The Spirit of Truth only looks for the ‘good’ that the other person does. As a person becomes more enlightened, that person does not see whether another person is Muslim, Hindu, Catholic, Buddhist, or whatever! He only sees another human being that can either be a friend, or choose to be left alone! We humans spend entirely too much time worrying about whether or not the other person believes like us or lives like us. What we should be concerned about is whether, or not, we are measuring up to the Spirit that we say lives within us! Other’s judgments are of no consequence.

Throughout history, we have had those who experienced the Spirit of Truth. They were either listened to, or rejected, as the other person heard about the wonderful things the Spirit of Truth was revealing to the enlightened one! When one is enlightened, he does not have to speak about it to others but actually lives the life as an example to others, most times without even realizing it! Those who represented the Spirit of Truth to others were sometimes beaten to death, crucified, ridiculed, killed in arenas, and were sometimes exiled far afield in order that he or she would not influence other people. What greater way can a person demonstrate their beliefs than to die for them? This does not always mean actual death in the flesh! This simply means that others can kill the enlightened one’s influence over others by belittling their lives in general.

I would have to say that this time in my life is the happiest I have ever been even with all that is happening in the political arena, the pandemic, and the crime wave that has struck America. I repeat, “Happiness is not found in external things but within an enlightened individual who counts each day, each hour, and each minute a blessing, extended to them by the Spirit of Truth!