We often think of life as a journey along many pathways, and mostly it is. We travel along multiple paths to multiple destinations in the material world. We have discovered that at some point along life’s journey, there is a need to find the most illuminating paths that lead to the highest fulfillment of life and happiness. After traveling separately and together for several decades along multiple pathways, we have discovered five illuminating pathways that we share with you. We delineate these five pathways as Spiritual Happiness, Moral Happiness, Social Happiness, Intellectual Happiness, and Physical Happiness.
Each of the five pathways underpins the human journey. They can help to liberate the postmodern world from a growing state of unhappiness. Whether we are aware of the fact or not, every aspect of our lives and every action encompasses the five foundational perspectives. They confer on us all of the spiritual and material gifts that we desire to experience a life of fulfillment. The benefits become real when we subscribe to a belief in the existence of a higher Spiritual Intelligence. A universal spiritual purpose on Earth intrinsically links all humanity regardless of color, race, culture, language, nationality, or religion.
SPIRITUAL HAPPINESS (“joy”) ― This is the pathway transcends all other forms of happiness. This path is a noble way that brings both happiness and “joy” to others and ourselves because it is the realization of the whole purpose of human existence. Spirituality sustains us when everything else fails. “Spiritual Happiness” is the “Optimum” state of happiness. It rises above all other imperatives of happiness. It is the exception because it manifests both happiness and “joy,” which is internal to the human spirit and is lasting; it is living a life of higher virtues.
Spirituality compels us to choose light instead of darkness, love instead of hate, tolerance instead of intolerance, faith instead of fear, hope instead of despair, peace instead of war, and happiness instead of unhappiness. Spirituality is not an abstract notion.
Spirituality sustains us when everything else fails. “Spiritual Happiness” is the “Optimum” state of happiness. It rises above all other imperatives of happiness. It is the exception because it manifests both happiness and “joy,” which is internal to the human spirit and is lasting; it is living a life of higher virtues. On the other hand, material compulsion fosters the need for material things, which are temporary.
MORAL HAPPINESS ― This is the pathway taken to understand, embrace, and practice moral laws. The principal foci of the moral foundation are the transcendental and transformational benefits to “moral leadership” in the world. Moral happiness promotes voluntary control of excessive wealth and power and helps individuals, families, and nations to grow and prosper equitably as a unified human family.
Moral happiness comes from knowing that our behavior and character conform to higher moral authority. Moral authority is an indispensable attribute of leadership and power in the world. Violation of moral laws brings unhappiness, while attention to and the application of the universal moral code of behavior resonates peace and happiness among people. The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim, ethical code, and morality. It essentially states, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Our highest form of relationship with God informs our understanding of the relationship in the natural that we form with our neighbor. These two mutually inclusive relationships help us to maintain a mental and physical balance between “moral” and “civic” duty, which often conflicts in the corporate world. The moral foundation demonstrates moral discipline, moral courage, moral appeal, and moral persuasion. It helps individuals, families, and nations to prosper in health, happiness, and a virtuous life ever growing closer to moral happiness.
SOCIAL HAPPINESS ― This is the pathway taken to build close social relationships with fellow beings. Social Happiness is not merely with family and friends, or with our immediate neighbors, but with those in the diverse international community, religiously, morally, socially, culturally, scientifically, and environmentally. Relationship bonds define all human interactions in a myriad of ways depicted in the following fifteen relationship types:
FIFTEEN RELATIONSHIP TYPES — DISTINCTLY DIFFERENTIATED
- Spiritual relationships (between God and man)
- Marital relationships (between husbands and wives)
- Parental relationships (between parents and children)
- Sibling relationships (between brothers and sisters)
- Romantic relationship (between lovers)
- Platonic relationships (between friends)
- Business relationships (between business associates)
- Associate relationships (between co-workers)
- Casual relationships (between strangers)
- Subordinate relationships (between employers and employees)
- Territorial relationships (between neighboring countries)
- Sovereign relationships (between nations)
- International relationships (between world governing bodies and nations)
- Constitutional relationships (between government and people)
- Judicial relationships (between state and judiciary)
Intellectually and intuitively, we understand that there are many distinct types of relationships, each with a unique bond and directive. These fifteen different relationships and the obligations bonds provide a broad spectrum for understanding the uniqueness of each connection and its particular bond. Without such an understanding, individuals may respond to each relationship in a similar manner and impair each relationship. Such a response is probably responsible for much of the breakdown of communications and unhappiness in the world.
The nature of these interdependent relationships makes us happy or unhappy. Strong relationship bonds enable us to build and whether the challenges that we may face in the myriad of relationships that we experience daily. The above fifteen relationships, unlike the impersonal world of social media and digital connectivity, put us in direct contact with others. The quality of these social connections is a function of our social well-being and happiness, and how we strive to mitigate and manage each situation relative to each bond.
INTELLECTUAL HAPPINESS ― This is the pathway that informs the human intellect. It operates in an environment that stimulates and inspires people to reach greater heights, much beyond our rational reasoning. Many may view happiness generically, but “intellectual happiness” comes from the “intelligence capacity” to make critical life-saving and life-enhancing decisions.
Where does intelligence come from, and why is intelligence essential for us to live happy and prosperous lives? Is intelligence the same as education, knowledge, wisdom, or understanding? Is “Human Intelligence” (HQ) the same as “Spiritual Intelligence” (SQ)?
Everyone has an “Intelligence Quotient” (IQ). Likewise, the appropriate environment offers intellectual stimulation to him or her. For instance, a group of engineers working on a major scientific endeavor, surrounded by his or her peers stimulate each other to states of “Intellectual Happiness” (IH) that inspire their imagination and creativity.
HQ guides our decision-making concerning the nature and purpose of every human action and endeavor, especially happiness. Our connection to God’s source of SQ is the most significant source of “joy” through acts motivated by HQ. SQ transcends and empowers all other forms of intelligence, such moral, social, scientific, and leadership intelligence. It enables us to understand things beyond our natural comprehension.
When we analyze the “flight recorder” of the wreckage of human history and current world conditions, the analysis will reveal a world littered with fallen empires and casualties of wars, deficit-financed in trillions of dollars, in the pursuit of peace. We are not yet aware that when history repeats itself, the price grows exponentially. SQ is a prerequisite for global leadership; only SQ can help humanity to change its destructive path and rein in the peace and happiness that we seek.
PHYSICAL HAPPINESS ― This is the pathway that exists in the physical realm, which comes from a sense of physical well-being, but understanding all of the complexities of our physical well-being is critical to living healthy and happy lives. For instance, we cannot experience physical health and happiness to the exclusion of spiritual and mental health and a clean environment.
Physical happiness is achievable when we have good physical health, which is a function of diet and nutrition, sleep, exercise, and general wholesome (stress-free) living. Medical researchers advise of the significant value of certain herbs, grains, fruits, and vegetables in our dietary regimen. The capacity to maintain the purity of the atmosphere that encapsulates the Earth is a monumental task.
Mass manufacturing, which began with the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s–1900s, was inadvertently also the beginning of its effects on the integrity of the environment and human health. These effects have now become life-threatening to humans as the Earth’s ecosystem falls out of balance. Scientific literature documents the correlation between the environment and human health and happiness. It is a primary concern to governments around the globe, with global warming taking center stage as the clarion call of scientists as the most significant potential threat to human survival as a viable species.
One can postulate that there is a direct correlation between the “abundant life” of nations and the physical well-being and happiness of nations. We have provided the following ten healthcare criteria to help sustain a healthy and happy body. They are not the only criteria, but they have been helpful in maintaining human life our path to physical happiness.
TEN HEALTHCARE CRITERIA TO SUSTAIN A HEALTHY AND HAPPY BODY
- Get a yearly physical.
- Avoid stressful situations.
- Strive for work-life balance.
- Manage stressful situations.
- Seek spiritual and mental nurturing.
- Exercise frequently (daily if practicable).
- Maintain a healthy diet rich in natural foods.
- Research the family predisposition to illnesses.
- Strive for adequate exercise, rest, and relaxation.
- Eat foods from the ground, the sea, and the tree.
These ten healthcare criteria for a healthy and happy body enable us to counteract the challenges that postmodern lifestyles inflict on our bodies and make us unhappy physically. From the medical scientist to the layperson, all will agree that the human body is complex but marvelously made. We are also, as living beings, an integral biological component of the living and breathing universe. Scientific literature documents the correlation between the environment and human health and happiness, and it is a significant concern to governments around the globe.
Writers, Errol A. and Marjorie G. Gibbs are avid readers, inspired researchers, speakers, and mentors. Their journey, which began with their “search for happiness,” led along paths to Optimum Happiness (OH). OH is a “higher value proposition” for human survival as a viable species than our typical notion of happiness. These same paths await on your “journey of discovery.”