Betting on happiness

My state instituted a lottery a few years back.  Now poor folk can routinely pretend a windfall is just around the corner, just behind that glittering offer to scratch and win.  Now we all have an equal opportunity to live the good life.

On a forum I frequent, the question has arisen twice in six months:  what would you do if you won the lottery?  Would you keep working?  It’s a fond dream:  we love to picture unlimited funds at our disposal.  We deeply believe in the liberation that money seems to promise.

This is an example of living faith.  Though believing in anything is difficult for many a modern pragmatist, we seem to have no difficulty believing in the power of money, even though its benefits are often proven illusory, deceptive, often downright false. 

Maybe the underlying belief is the truly operative one: that we deserve liberation from the stresses and demands we experience daily.  The lottery represents sudden heaven, all problems solved, only treats and delights remaining.  It’s magic, and there’s nothing so seductive.

Far less obviously alluring but far more trustworthy is seeking the same kind of liberation through awareness rather than money.  Life can become all treats and delights; we can manage instead of be managed by our stresses and demands; we can develop an outlook that sees opportunity everywhere, that is grounded in ecstasy and compassion, and not in fear and selfishness.  This method of attaining heaven on earth is indeed a method, not a faith.  Even a small amount of progress reaps rewards.

The imagineering that leaps into action when we’re asked, “What would you do if you won the lottery?” is fun and revealing; but consider how you can get to work manifesting many of those things without buying a  ticket or placing a bet.

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