This question was prompted by a discussion I had with Stingray about being here to learn lessons. Although a lot of Abrahams teachings ring true for me, I still have difficulty believing that we are here merely for the joy of it alone.

Since starting on my spiritual journey I've grown and expanded in ways I previously wouldn't have thought possible and I attribute a lot of this to a willingness to look at myself and my own life experiences and see the lessons and opportunities that were previously not within range of my perceptions.

I know Abraham is an advocate for joy first and everything else later. Although I see this as a valid way to live I just don't know if I would have achieved the level of growth I have if I had adopted this as a sole viewpoint.I know that love,trust and compassion are equally valid as part of my journey as joy is. I really feel that there were things I needed to learn from those not so joyful experiences and given a chance I'm not even sure I would change some of them because of the invaluable lessons I've learned.

Isn't it possible that Abraham's perception is valid from their state of consciousness but that there are other higher states of consciousness where perceptions are broader? If we are all sparks of the one consciousness, isn't it possible that we all came here to experience something different and that life may not just be about joy only?

What's your take on this? I look forward to hearing a diverse group of opinions.

asked 11 Jul '10, 19:20

Michaela's gravatar image


edited 15 Aug '10, 16:52

Stingray's gravatar image



You will always believe and fall for what you wish for. And that applies to the question and all the answers to it. Unless you visit a place of no wishes, no beliefs, no needs, nothingness. Then you will find your answer, which at this stage you would neither like nor accept anyway.

(12 Jan '13, 08:12) CalonLan

Consider this; so long as you believe that positive and negative emotions exist ... positives being good and negatives being bad ... and that happiness is one of the positive emotions ... then you'll never be completely happy. Putting it otherwise so long as your mind set is negative/positive your mind will always create the split ... and while you're telling yourself you're happy when you feel the positives, there will always be negatives you'll try to avoid

(12 Jun '15, 14:37) jaz

"Bliss" is enjoying as many different emotions as possible ... just as when you're watching a thrilling adventure film you can experience feelings of excitement, anger, fear, tenderness, hope etc , all these emotions blend into a highly pleasureable ensemble

(13 Jun '15, 01:24) jaz
showing 0 of 3 show 3 more comments


Yes, life really is about living in a state of bliss (or joy), ideally about 90% of the time, and then finding more things that you can become blissful about for the remaining 10% of the time.

I've noticed a number of people are hung up on this 'life is about learning lessons' idea and I've been thinking for a while about how best to get an understandable concept across of what is going on.

I've put together a few pictures (based upon my own understanding) that, hopefully, will clarify some ideas for people. Don't be surprised if I keep posting these pictures again and again in various questions to help people get it :)

Take a look at this picture firstly.

We have a soldier on the ground and a helicopter in the air hovering above him.

alt text

The soldier on the ground represents your physical self. The helicopter (and pilot) represent your Higher Self or whatever equivalent terminology you prefer.

Why is the soldier down there on the ground at all? ...because being on the ground scouting around in the details is the best place to be to get a close-up view of things.

Why is the helicopter up there in the air? ...because being up there in the air is the best place to be to see the overall direction you are going in and what's coming up.

The picture below represents the view from the Higher Self (up in the helicopter).

alt text

As you can see, it's a much broader view than from the ground level, but it lacks the details of what is actually happening at ground level.

Can you see how both purposes are different and yet interdependent? Without the soldier (the physical self), the helicopter pilot (the Higher Self) would not be able to get information about the details of what is happening at ground-level.

But without the helicopter (the Higher Self), the soldier (the physical self) would not know which direction to go in to reach the target (what you want).

But this relationship is of little value unless there is communication between the two. The soldier needs to let the helicopter pilot know what is happening down there and the helicopter pilot (based on that information) needs to let the soldier know which way to go next and what to do next.

Communication from the soldier to the helicopter pilot happens through just living life. There is an automatic mechanism whereby whenever the soldier encounters something interesting, a rocket of desire is immediately launched for the helicopter pilot to see.

alt text

It's an automatic signal to the helicopter pilot that the soldier has stumbled across something that may be a potential target. (I'm not using target in a negative way here as in enemy target, I just mean something to aim for, some place that looks like it would be worth heading towards for some reason)

This signalling happens without any conscious awareness from the soldier so the soldier can just get on with looking around and investigating interesting things without worrying about whether the helicopter pilot is receiving details about what he is discovering.

Meanwhile, the helicopter pilot communicates with the soldier through emotion in response to the information received from the soldier.

The more the soldier is heading towards the target, the more positive the emotion. The more the soldier is heading away from the target, the more negative the emotion.

There are many targets to choose from though, some less interesting than others.

The more the soldier is heading towards an interesting target, the stronger the emotion. If it is less interesting, the emotion is weaker or if it is not interesting at all, there will be no emotion.

So what really is Joy?

Joy is the soldier heading in the right direction towards a very interesting target!

By contrast, the strong negative emotions like Depression, Anger, Revenge mean that there is a very interesting target available but the soldier is heading directly away from it.

Who decides what is interesting and what isn't? Well, it's a joint understanding between the soldier and the helicopter pilot...because the soldier and helicopter pilot are actually different aspects of the same person!

To understand this a bit better, look at this picture below...

alt text

This view of Earth from a satellite represents the view of the soldier and his airborne vehicle from non-physical. (I couldn't find a suitable helicopter image!)

Look how from high up there in non-physical, it appears that the helicopter pilot (or airplane pilot) and the soldier (in the red circle) seem to be almost one unit. Non-physical can't really see that the pilot is hovering above the seems to non-physical like they are actually in the same place.

In other words, from non-physical it looks like your Higher Self and your Physical Self are the same thing.

Yes, from the soldier's perspective, the Higher Self is definitely not physical but from a true non-physical perspective, the Higher Self appears to be virtually physical.

This is an important point.

When you are working together with your Higher Self, you are not working together with some far-off distant ethereal entity, you are working together with another aspect of yourself that is almost, but not quite, physical.

The Higher Self is the accumulation of your lifetimes of wisdom, understanding and intent. It's who you are when you clear your mind of all thought, put yourself in a meditative state and just be.

I think one of the issues that confuses people is that they think they are physical and everything else is far-off non-physical. Not true. Your Higher Self is virtually at ground-level with you, but just high enough above (in that helicopter) to give you a broader view to what you want.

Coming back to the question now.

Life really is about living in a state of bliss because in this state the Higher Self (the helicopter pilot) and the physical self (the soldier on the ground) are communicating in an optimum manner to reach the targets they are interested in.

If you try to force the soldier to take on the role of the helicopter pilot instead (which many do through this idea of looking for lessons to learn), the soldier will very likely get lost and there will be nothing the helicopter pilot can do to guide him back on track again.

Notice the important point being made here.

If there are lessons (or life themes) that the helicopter pilot wishes to experience (i.e. targets to aim at), it's the pilot's job to communicate them to the soldier, not the soldier's job to take the role of the pilot.

The soldier's only job is to let the pilot know what is happening at ground level, not to figure out which direction to go in. In fact, the soldier may not have any idea at all why the pilot wants him to go a certain way, and it's not the soldier's job to second-guess the pilot. The soldier has a job to do and he needs to get on and do it (i.e. follow the directions of the pilot while reporting back on the ground-level details)

This doesn't mean you are at the mercy of some other being...because the pilot is you too...just a part of you doing a different job.

In other words....The purpose of your life is joy.

Seeking and experiencing Joy means you are following orders clearly from broader view while deciphering the contrast of "ground-level" life...but following orders should not be interpreted as a negative, controlling, subservient idea because it's all YOU!'s all about YOU communicating clearly with YOU.

No analogy is perfect and I'm sure this one will probably have some holes in it that will need some patching up :) But I hope, at least, that it makes some of these concepts clearer and more real for people.


answered 15 Aug '10, 15:16

Stingray's gravatar image


edited 15 Aug '10, 16:40

HI, thats awsome Stingray. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with others. Yours answers and advises are really enlightening!!

(15 Aug '10, 17:15) blossom 1

Thank you!Thank you!Thank you! - What a greattt!!! analogy - I'll have to chew it over for a while but something definitely clicked :-)

(15 Aug '10, 19:45) Michaela

WOW! What a terrific and AMAZING response! KUDOS!! Thank you!! Well said! Wow!!!! Awesome. Love it!!! So much MORE clarity rings in my head! Just when you think you "got it" something else makes it clearer! Thanks Stingray!!

(17 Aug '10, 23:41) figure8shape

Nice analogys Stingray


(06 Sep '10, 15:32) Monty Riviera

Kind of like your soul(higher self) communicating with your mind (physical self)? If you leave one of them alone you will get lost. Very nice post Stingray. Thank you

(22 Dec '10, 18:41) jim 10

@Stingray Super Ninja Awesome this was! :) Thanks soo much for the wonderful insight! :)

(01 Jun '12, 11:07) MagicalUniverse

Well said and shown @stingray

(02 Jun '12, 07:58) streetsanto

Wow time is moving fast, I can't believe it's almost 2 years since I posted this question. Just wanted to let you know that I have let go of the words 'lesson' and 'challenge'. They were substitutions originally for the word 'problem'. But I come to realize more and more that they're all just experiences...some we label 'good' and some 'not so good' but each and every one is self created for our own expansion. Our Spirit (higher Self) always sees the bigger picture as your analogy shows and only

(08 Jul '12, 17:52) Michaela

when we begin to integrate that Spiritual awareness in physical expression do we begin to live an authentic and fulfilling life experience...Thanks:))

(08 Jul '12, 17:54) Michaela

@Michaela - You're welcome, and I think you expressed the essence of all these ideas very nicely there :)

(09 Jul '12, 08:36) Stingray

This is a very vivid analogy. How about when you feel a kind of emotional confusion, like interference with the helicopter's signals. How do you clean up the transmission?

(10 Jan '13, 19:16) flowsurfer

@flowsurfer - "How do you clean up the transmission?" - The fastest and most efficient way I know of is meditation. See Is meditation a cure-all? and How long should meditation last?

(12 Jan '13, 06:40) Stingray

Actually, for the sake of accuracy, I should add (for anyone else reading this) that appreciation (of anything) is a much more powerful alignment technique than meditation but @flowsurfer has stated previously that he is not prepared to appreciate anything in his life until he physically manifests what he wants :)

(12 Jan '13, 08:05) Stingray

@Stingray I appreciate things all the time and used to appreciate them even more than I do these days. It hasn't resulted in a single inch of growth or any other meaningful manifestation.

(12 Jan '13, 10:14) flowsurfer

@Stingray - this is so apropos for me! I'm going through a growth spurt of understanding that has me frequently thinking "I'm like a nervous dog, trying to control things way above my understanding", because I don't really trust that "my human" (or, in your analogy, the pilot) knows what to do. I can sense that this is the source of a lot of resistance for me. For the first time, that doesn't strike me as terrifying. Just, oh, that's the next step then, huh? Thank you again for sharing!

(16 May '15, 01:44) corduroypower

I invite you to pay particular attention to what you "feel" when reading this short adventure novel ... do you experience emotions of fear, reassurance, excitement, tension, relief etc ? ... :)

(13 Jun '15, 01:46) jaz
showing 2 of 16 show 14 more comments

Could it be that you're splitting hairs where no hairs exist? In other words are you becoming entangled in labels?

Following your excitement or joy (to the best of your ability) in every moment means just that. If in this moment your highest joy is being compassionate, loving, riding a bicycle, having coffee with a friend or lying in bed all day - there is no contradiction. Unless you decide there is.

At a base level it's all about vibration right? Excitement raises our vibrational frequency and we focus on a less dense aspect of ourselves, so we lighten up or become more en-light-ened. Isn't that what the non-physical energy of Abraham is, higher frequency consciousness focused in non-physical and able to see from a broader perspective?

From my current perspective, I've decided that being happy and enjoying my life in every moment makes sense. I'm not always in that place, but am pretty close to it. Here's why it makes sense to me:

I exist now, always now. Time is part of the illusion and when time is removed from the equation, we’re left with now. There can be no space without time and matter has never existed. Without space there is no place for location.

So the only location must be here and the only time must be right now. Therefore, I exist here and now and I always will. Why not follow my joy and excitement and live in a state of bliss right here right now?

PS. I confirm that being in a state of joy brings all good things, just like Abraham confirms :-)


answered 12 Jul '10, 09:28

Eddie's gravatar image



Quite possibly I am splitting hairs where they don't exist. I fully get what you're saying and for the most part agree with it.However, I still can't get past the fact that most of my growth has come from what I've learned and not just from being in a state of joy. Maybe looking for those lessons is holding me back from living in that state of joy? - hmm! something else to ponder. Thanks for your answer Eddie.

(12 Jul '10, 12:43) Michaela

Michaela think about it this way - the journey could probably have been easier if you had learnt earlier how to get to a better feeling place rather than achieve a particular result. My point is that maybe we do not have to suffer first to experience joy.

(12 Jul '10, 17:30) Drham

@Michaela. Glad of the interaction. If we are all sparks of the one consciousness... Then we already know and inherently understand all there is to know and understand. Any and all teachers can only serve to remind us of this. Up until the point you remembered, everything prior to that was valid and served to help to remind you... At your current level of awareness, you already know that you know...

(13 Jul '10, 08:53) Eddie
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

Michaela, this is an excellent quesion. I like Abraham's explanation that there is only one "Source" and that you are either in alignment with that flow or not. We know where we are by how we are feeling. I see the state of perpetual joy as a state of perfection. Maybe we will never get there but our feelings will let us know where we are. There are so many areas that we desire to develop ourselves in so it is a continous process of growth and development. The level of joy and appreciation is the measuring stick that let us know how we are doing. Hope that makes sense.


answered 12 Jul '10, 17:27

Drham's gravatar image


Thanks Drham:-)

(12 Jul '10, 22:47) Michaela

I love the Abraham-Hicks material because it is so positive and offers a real method of climbing up from desperately unhappy feelings to much better ones. I love the emphasis on joy.

But is it possible to live in a state of bliss at all times? I don't think on this plane of existence, that it really is. We are impinged on by others, their free-will and actions; some of it that we seem to attract and some that seems thrust upon us. Certainly the joy they speak of is something to aim for, and live as fully as possible, but personally, I keep it in perspective. Perhaps that is a limiting belief, but I am not perfectly joyful at all times and don't know anyone who is.

From the plane that Abraham exists on, perfect joy at all times may be possible. Here on ours, it seems more like a goal.


answered 12 Jul '10, 01:02

LeeAnn%201's gravatar image

LeeAnn 1

I, too, indubitably love the emphasis on joy and again indubitably love when I am living from that perspective.However, I just don't know if I feel completely fulfilled when living from that aspect alone - I sometimes feel that there are other aspects that fulfill me as much as joy does - eg. love and compassion, and knowing that I'm learning and growing. Thanks for your answer LeeAnn:)

(12 Jul '10, 01:12) Michaela

@Stingray - this is in response to your answer above. I fully get and love the analogy you use to represent the physical and higher self.

Chewing over your answer one of the first things that came to me was that, for me personally anyway, I think it could be possible that the joy comes from the learning.I know to someone who is probably more evolved that this would seem like a long road to take to get there but maybe from my, and some other's, perspectives ( the guy on the ground ) it's the only way to get there. And honestly I am at my most joyful when I have an Aha! moment or feel that I've learnt something valuable.I think too when we look at past experiences from a new perspective and learn from them, they become a purposeful part of our journey and we are able to let go of previous negative connotations, our perspective changes so in a way we actually change our negative past to something more positive.

When someone has spent most of their life unaware of that helicopter, it's hard to just jump to that place of trust, in something they don't know, from a physical perspective; so they tend to still rummage around in the jungle below looking for a clearer path or where they took a wrong turning previously ( reviewing past experiences and gaining a new perspective).

I get from a broader perspective that the purpose is joy but to get there I think some of us have to unlearn a few things and get in touch with our sixth sense to remember a few others and eventually become aware of that guy in the helicopter who sees the bigger picture. The path to joy then becomes a process as trust and faith grow and we become aware of that guy flying overhead, we begin to trust him more - the lessons become fewer and the joy becomes part of the journey. Even Abraham agrees that it's hard to jump from a place of depression to joy in one swoop - it's a process.

So until one becomes aware of that helicopter,he's probably going to keep rummaging around in all directions down below and most people, even when they do become aware of it, will have to go through their own process to unlearn what they previously believed and trust the guy in the helicopter. Hope what I'm trying to say makes some kind of sense.


answered 16 Aug '10, 00:11

Michaela's gravatar image


@Michaela, I'll have to think a bit about where you are coming from before replying to this :)

(16 Aug '10, 09:55) Stingray

Two things strike me from your answer. Firstly, learning. To me, life is meaningless until you assign meaning to it. With the learning idea, like the farmer in the story, when do you know you've learned your lesson? Secondly, you are trusting that guy in that helicopter anyway even if you don't do it consciously. Isn't everything you want in life because you want to feel good? I'm just suggesting not to fight something that is happening anyway.

(22 Aug '10, 05:35) Stingray

Thanks for the response Stingray. Sorry for not acknowledging it sooner - I've been away and haven't had internet access.If we're trusting the guy in the helicopter, who sees the bigger picture, then how come everyone isn't living a life of bliss? Indubitably everyone wants to feel good and I know our own resistance is the only thing that gets in the way of that but getting back to the learning - I'm not suggesting we go looking for lessons but if one makes a perceived mistake, if one can make sense of it by learning from it isn't that better than staying stuck in that past mistake. J

(26 Aug '10, 02:29) Michaela

Just curious - have you never learnt any life lessons on your journey?

(26 Aug '10, 02:30) Michaela

Apologies - only just noticed your reply. I think the basic issue is one of perspective. From inside the Vortex, you would never call any new desire a mistake or any life event a lesson. From outside the Vortex, anything goes, and human beings are enormously creative for coming up with all kinds of justifications, and blaming anything and everything just for themselves being of out alignment. :) Everyone is actually living a life of bliss - it's only their physical projected counterparts that decide not to come along for the ride, from time to time. Hope you see what I mean. :)

(08 Sep '10, 12:30) Stingray

I think in future I'm going to substitute the word lesson for gift.I think our intepretation of the word 'lesson' is different, for me it is something beneficial to aid in my growth when I make a perceived mistake, so it actually, for me, is a very positive thing because it helps in my growth and expansion. I don't intentionally go looking for these 'gifts' but if I somehow have an experience that I don't particularly like, I will look for the 'gift' in it as this is what propels me toward the Vortex - my physical counterpart hasn't caught up with the nonphysical yet but it's getting closer:)

(08 Sep '10, 13:39) Michaela

For what it is worth :), I don not call it learning but re-membering. For all that is known is already in you, you just have to remember it. Everything already happened.

(22 Dec '10, 18:45) jim 10

Thank you Wandering Dude- a point worth 'remembering' :)

(23 Dec '10, 13:15) Michaela
showing 2 of 8 show 6 more comments

I believe that a great deal of the learning happens during hardships. When you're experiencing joy, you're at a state where emotions of thanks and gratitude arise and points you to where your focus is at that particular moment as a place worthy more of your attention than other. I can't help but agree with Graham that other noble attributes, such as compassion and patience among other, are also worthy. To be constantly in a state of joy is static, like a junkie who does all to keep himself in lala land. One needs to experience all the colors of the rainbow. That's why we're here in the physical...........And life is beautiful...............Thanks, Namaste


answered 08 Sep '10, 11:28

daniele's gravatar image


@ Michaela: Not entirely. Such really depends on the incarnating individual Soul or collective Soul group's agreement prior to incarnation. Physical Life is a low density experience of limitation, creation, and Free Will 'separateness', designed to further understand and expand ourselves, our Over Souls, and the Infinite Creator.

My question to you is do you equate bliss as ignorance? Or do you equate bliss as being consciously self-aware of both positive and negative polarities, and choosing to focus on one and not the other? In regards to the latter, in your perception, are you focusing on including or discluding the polarity you are not of a vibrational match to in your evolution?


answered 26 Feb '14, 00:32

TGunn's gravatar image


When Abraham talks about "Joy" they actually mean "Pleasure". They teach a philosophy of "Do whatever feels good". They teach about focusing on "things" that make you feel good.

There is a Deep Spiritual Peace that exists behind material things. When more people connect to that state, then that Greater Consciousness will flow through the world and influence the world to be a more Peaceful place.

There is nothing "higher mind" about following pleasure and whatever feels good. Animals do this too. The Spiritual Growth is understanding what lies beyond pain, pleasure and other 'things' for your happiness.


answered 26 Feb '14, 04:51

arpgme's gravatar image


Brother I love it how you said if there's more to life than to just joy? You seem to be searching for meaning in your life or are trying to put meaning through life with other peoples' beliefs and attitudes. "Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them" Matthew 5:3... does this sound familiar? Jesus was saying that happy are you if you're conscious that your not spiritually satisfied, I used to be atheist before but I always wonder why my life didn't have any meaning at all. I mean look that there are a bunch of people that are both rich and poor that are not satisfied with their way of living. That they realize there must be something bigger than what they are currently living like. And they try to fill this void by temporal means (exercising, shopping, clubbing, doing all kinds of activities) and so many gurus, scientists, philosophists, and psychologists try to give advice but "then I considered all the work of the true God, and I realized that mankind cannot comprehend what happens under the sun. No matter how hard men try, they cannot comprehend it. Even if they claim that they are wise enough to know, they cannot really comprehend it." Ecclesiastes 8:17. Bro i have love for you because it's like your a reflection of me, I used to ponder about my being here in the world. I like millions of millions of people on earth now and centuries before have realized that "The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard is: Fear the true God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole obligation of man." Ecclesiastes 12:13. I have come to learn that fearing God, is true wisdom my brother, and His eternal love fills your temple (body) because "For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life" John 3:16


answered 27 Feb '14, 03:15

Dodova1990's gravatar image


After careful examination of the text @Michaela two questions spring to mind;

What exactly is meant by bliss?

Are Abraham's teachings valid at all levels of consciousness?

Bliss can be described as extreme happiness and happiness is the hidden motivation for everything you do. Everything you do is always a feeling, an emotion you really want. You may have a whole list of wants but whatever you say you want, the situation or object that you wish for is just an imagined road into the feeling you really want, and the emotion that you ultimately want is always to experience happiness.

I feel sure that you've already experienced manifesting something into your life only to find that what you thought would happen when you got that thing didn't happen, there's still something missing, you're not totally as happy as you thought you would be.

Happiness is all about experiencing a wide variety of emotions, it's all about playing, exploring, creatively expressing yourself.

Imagine you love to read a great story book what does it give you why do you love it? It's all to do with inner experiences, in a story there's action, people talk, do things but that's not what matters, what does matter are the feelings you experience as the story unfolds, what you see in your mind is just a trigger the "on switch" for the feelings you really want to experience inside yourself.

Whilst reading the book you may experience feelings of love, hate, anger, sympathy, fear, etc feelings considered as positive and negative, but that doesn't matter, it's all about feeling as wide a variety as humanly possible, you enjoy all these emotions, they all blend into a wondrous adventure.

Music can be used as a metaphor, what makes a piece of music so enjoyable is the synchronized harmony of emotions it triggers. Different people love different music, it's all to do with personal choice, emotions just like notes of music are neither good nor bad there're just raw vibrations, distinguishable energies.

alt text

That's why Stingray's answer has so many votes because he's a great teller of exciting stories he knows how to trigger the "on" switch. Take away the feelings experienced whilst reading and all the fun and pleasure disappears.

So are Abraham's teachings valid at all levels of consciousness? :)


answered 25 Aug '15, 11:05

jaz's gravatar image


edited 27 Aug '15, 01:32

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