Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happiness, I Will Look For You. I Will Find You. And I Will Keep You.

God once told me that Earth is paradise and not Heaven, because the challenge of creating happiness for yourself is what brings you the most gratification. I didn't learn this until I died, in fact, the lack of gratification I found when I was alive would have made this an entirely abstract concept. I don't even know how often people realize how special the joy they create for themselves is. What we normally realize as humans is when things go wrong. The average living person is, in all likelihood, bound to exclaim that they're in a living hell at some point than that they're in Heaven. So, as an angel, part of the reason I'm so busy is because people in paradise think they're in Hell. We call that a paradox.

This is leading up to something that Sashial said to me the other day. "You've never been in the actual Hell, but I know when you were alive, you felt like you were."

"Let's say, I was in hell with a lower case 'h,'" I said.

She gave me a typical condescending yet concessionary shrug. "Whatever the f--- you want to call it, you were there. And now you're here. Have you ever thought about how it would feel if suddenly you were taken from Heaven?"

I was taken aback by that. "No! Why, should I? Is that possible?"

"No, of course not. Not for you. But in terms of human suffering, as an angel, you have to realize that people go through that. Happiness doesn't always put an end to insecurity. Some humans can live in the moment. Some can't. This may be hard to realize because you never felt you had something that might be taken, but sometimes recognizing human suffering is more complicated than looking for a frown or a tear."

"So, I have to recognize that people who are happy are going to become unhappy?"

"No," she said, "you have to prepare yourself for the idea that losing your paradise can be just as bad as being in your "hell with a lower-case h," or whatever."

"Why are you telling me this?" I asked.

"Because this is the part where it gets tricky. Your experience as an angel is growing. When you first started, you weren't ready to accept the idea that having happiness or complacency and losing it can be just as bad as existing in misery, but I think you're improving. You might not be so f---ing useless after all."

I said, "Everyone has a right to their own pain."

"Pretty smart."

"Well, Marley's the one who actually said that."

"I know she did," said Sashial. "Do you f---ing think I would use the word 'smart' in reference to you?"

I thought about it for a second, and said, "No. In fact not only would I be surprised, in way, I think I'd be oddly hurt."

She smiled. "Good boy."

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