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Maybe, perhaps [I can be happy!][ Mar 31, 2011 ] [ by Frank Mosca, PH.D. ]
Anyone who was privileged to know Bruce Di Marsico and to listen to the many hours of his early years sharing The Option Method cannot help but be struck by the repetition of two particular words: “Maybe, perhaps.” These words were a hallmark of the profound respect he had for anyone he was teaching or trying to help in any way. “Maybe, perhaps,” are words that reflect the heart of what Bruce was attempting to communicate. In a word: freedom! There was nothing dogmatic about his engagement with people. He knew they were free and treated them that way always, even if the people themselves had lost contact with their freedom. Freedom is the soul of The Option Method, the only soil in which it can flower in the human heart. That is the essence of the statement “Cor super ratio,” or “The heart above reason.”
It is not that The Option Method is irrational, but rather that human reason is largely given over to finding “reasons” for self-experience. We create reasons for being unhappy. These accumulate over time and provide close to an automatic way of appraising and responding to each moment. It is the endless chain of reasons that Bruce sought to question. And it is that moment, that like Socrates, Bruce sought to bring people to, i.e., the “I don’t know” moment. Sometimes Option teachers come to find that moment problematical. I guess it is because it seems like a wall. But actually it is a door. What the person finally is realizing is that they have run out of reasons, the reasons generated by their beliefs. So “I don’t know” indicates to them that there is a flaw in their rational reason-making process. They may just be ready to actually understand that they are producing their reasons to be unhappy, ultimately, by choice; that it just isn’t happening to them.
That is the beginning of freedom; that is the beginning of understanding that happiness, like being itself, is beyond reasons. After all, we don’t contrive to give ourselves reasons for being. We just are! We may take up all kinds of attitudes toward that undeniable fact, but there it is, we just are. Like certain givens in physics, our being is an unexplained explainer. It is the platform that makes everything else possible.
It is also helpful to note that just as with unhappiness, we tend to give ourselves reasons to be happy. It’s our birthday, so it’s okay to be happy. I’ve got the job I want, the car I want, the partner I want etc. Like unhappiness, the reasons to be happy are as endless as the reasons to be unhappy. The thing about reasons is that they tend to be exclusive. You give yourself permission to feel better more at one time for whatever reason than at some other time. Why? Reasons, you have your reasons. Okay, that’s fine. But The Option Method offers so much more. To use Bruce’s favorite terms, maybe, perhaps you might ask yourself why you believe you have to have reasons to feel happy? The answer might be after a bit of questioning: “I don’t know.” Wow! Remember how potentially powerful that self-realization could be for your unhappiness. Perhaps it could serve you well to increase your happiness.
You might begin by playing with being happy for no reason. The more playful and comfortable you are with the notion, the more you might find yourself allowing of being happy more of the time without any reasons having to be in place to let that be the case. Who knows? Maybe? Perhaps? Enjoy!
Compassion is the bottom line in The Option Method. That’s the absolute requirement and if you…
Compassion is the bottom line in The Option Method. That’s the absolute requirement and if you ever want to learn to do it for yourself, you’ve got to be at least as nice to you as you would be to others. You’ve got to know when you’re ready to deal with something and when you’re not. And you’ve got to know when you don’t want to question your unhappiness and when you’d be glad to. When you get unhappy enough you’ll be glad to.[ Bruce Di Marsico ]