Happiness in Aivanhov's teaching

true Happiness in Aivanhov’s Teaching

Libri di Aivanhov

Laura Galgani’s

from Misli IV – 2017

In the 21st century, talking and writing about happiness causes a certain uneasiness: it may be because this concept is now mostly relegated to the sphere of advertising, where it is used to make a product to be sold appealing; or because it is associated with a state of mind that is linked to childhood – now distant in time and that will undoubtedly never return – or again because it is linked to instants, to fleeting moments of existence, in which some event triggers pleasant feelings called, precisely, happiness. These moments, for most people, are really only moments, or at most short periods, as external conditions, not always favorable, soon turn them into more or less gray moods.

Happiness is therefore not spoken of openly, as if it were an excessive demand, something an adult and mature individual knows well that he must do without; and if by his good fortune he is still given to experience it, he will do well to keep quiet and guard those precious feelings for himself. Sharing those moments, in fact, could take away their benefit and exclusive ownership, as well as their thaumaturgic power to soothe suffering. Thus, it can be said that, with respect to happiness, human beings are faced with a new and modern taboo, which really leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

This stems from a misunderstanding, based essentially on the little knowledge that human beings have about themselves. He, indeed, has the right to be happy! Indeed, the duty!

However, this duty does not necessarily, or not only, coincide with the fulfillment of those aspirations that one nurtures from a young age: to have a good job, to earn a lot of money, to love a partner and be loved back, to have healthy and strong children, to travel, to have a nice house; in fact, even if we really succeeded in conquering all these things, it is not certain that we could say that we would be truly happy.

It is commonly stated that “money does not give happiness,” yet it must be acknowledged that the economic aspect of existence affects a large part of thoughts and conditions the mood of human beings: how often do you fear “not making it,” and feel sinking because you think you do not have enough money for your livelihood?

The Philosophical Teachings of Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov offers interesting reflections on this topic, which help to find the right attitude toward money:

To solve the problem of money once and for all, we need to know that the real danger lies in allowing it to take possession of man’s mind. I mean that it is not good to think only about money, as the idea of money and the desire to possess money, gradually grows larger and larger, swelling to the point of obscuring the sky. It is like a curtain that prevents the Heavenly Light from penetrating and coming to dwell in the human being. It is good to have money, […] but on condition that you put it in your pocket, in a drawer, in a safe … so that you can have it when you need it. Put him anywhere, but not on your head, otherwise he will become your master and you his slave. If, on the other hand, you are the master, the money will have to obey, and you can make many good things out of it.[1]

This reflection helps us first of all to understand that money must return to being, in the existence of a human being, a mere tool and not its center; especially avoiding thinking that the attainment of happiness is connected to it.

Thus, it can be said that the first illusion that turns us away from happiness lies in seeking this state of mind in something external to human nature, such as precisely money. It is necessary, we shall see, to start from the inner self and cultivate the idea of happiness as a gift, intimate and personal, that every being can conquer.

In the teaching of the philosopher Omraam M. A. we find passages that open up absolutely inviting and rewarding new perspectives on why and how stable and lasting happiness can be developed:

If you want happiness, do not sit idly by, but set out in search of the elements that will enable you to find it. Such elements belong to the divine world, and when you have found them, you will love the whole world and be loved back by all, enjoy a better understanding of things, and finally have the power to act and achieve.[2]

Thus, a long journey lies ahead, aimed at a deep understanding of what should be meant by happiness and especially where to go to find it. First, however, it is good to clear the field of possible false goals! Omraam M. A., for example, teaches how to distinguish the difference that exists between pleasure and happiness. In fact, too often in daily life, these two concepts are confused with each other, and it is believed that pleasure coincides with happiness:

To orient oneself according to the pleasure one feels presents risks, since, usually, what one likes only feeds the instincts rather than the soul and spirit. Just look at what human beings find pleasure in: eating, drinking, embracing a man or woman, playing games, demolishing others, taking revenge, etc.; there is no shortage of possibilities. But, at this rate, where will it end? Certainly not in happiness, for happiness is something larger, something infinite, while pleasure touches in man a very limited field, that of his lower, selfish and limited nature.[3]

It is evident from this reflection how pleasure and happiness touch and act on different parts of the human being. Pleasure is mostly related to the physical body, happiness on the other hand to the soul and spirit.

Omraam M. A. uses a very telling image that helps one understand what happens if, in life, one puts pleasure first:

It is not a matter of depriving ourselves of pleasure, but simply of not putting it first as the purpose of our existence, since physically it debilitates us and spiritually it impoverishes us. Those who seek pleasure before anything else behave like those who, to make up for the cold of winter, use all the wooden objects in their house for warmth: the doors, windows, chairs, beds, closets… after a while they have nothing left. The same happens to the one who allows himself to be driven by pleasure: the emotions and sensations he is experiencing gradually burn up his reserves. Those who seek pleasure at all costs must therefore know what the future will offer them: the impoverishment and dulling of consciousness. Since they cannot know the treasures of the soul and spirit, they only know what happens in the stomach, belly or even lower.[4]

There is another major illusion that turns many people away from being able to live and experience happiness: the belief that it can only be achieved in the life of a couple. How many people believe that without a partner or companion one is doomed to be hopelessly lonely and unhappy!

The origin and cause of this sense of sad loneliness that many experience is clearly explained to us by Omraam M. A. in this following reflection:

How many people complain about loneliness! Well, they must know that they are the ones who have created that loneliness in themselves, in their own minds. In fact, you are never alone. Then, why do people feel lonely? Because they don’t have much Love. “How?” they will say, “but we have far too much love, we dream of nothing but love!” Precisely, therein lies the error: they dream of love, they wait for the fairy tale prince or princess, and that is why they feel lonely: because they wait for love instead of looking for it within themselves. The love that is expected will never come. Love is not to be expected from the outside: it lies within us, let it come out, let it manifest, this is the only way you will truly encounter it.[5]

Moreover, the problem of loneliness does not exclusively touch lonely people; how much loneliness and unhappiness we also find in those in a relationship! Expectations lead to the belief that it is always the other person who has to make one happy; everyone wants a partner who is capable of preventing and fulfilling every desire, satisfying all needs, meeting the needs for care, support, problem-solving, gratification, security, pleasure … perhaps even before they have expressed them.

In a couple’s relationship, the other is often seen as a source of water to be drawn upon at will, and you drink, drink… until the source runs out, and equally what sustained and nourished the relationship.

Omraam M. A. invites us to consider the couple from a different point of view, from a perspective that allows us to experience immense happiness in the relationship:

Everyone seeks the higher feminine principle. When it comes to happiness, it is she who is sought, because she is the one who distributes it. […] If you want to drink from the cup of happiness, try to regard the woman as a Soul and you as a Spirit. A different kind of relationship will then be established between you and the women. (T.d.A)[6]

This reflection involves a radical shift in perspective. Omraam M. A. thus advises going beyond appearance to try to know the human being in his essence, in fact:

Human beings are not limited to outward appearance: each of them has a Soul, a Spirit, and even if that Soul and Spirit rarely manifest, they exist […]. Believe me, the best way to act with others is to discover their qualities, virtues and spiritual riches, and focus on them.[7]

It is then necessary to understand and know the deep nature of the human being, how he or she is made and how he or she functions, and to do this it is necessary to go beyond the physical and material plane in which we live our daily lives.

Omraam M. A., in numerous passages, illustrates the structure of the human being, which is divided into two parts: the “Lower” nature, consisting of the Physical Body, the Astral Body (the world of emotions and feelings) the Mental Body, and the “Higher” nature, consisting of the Atmic Body (the body of higher will), the Buddhic Body (the world of higher feelings), and the Causal Body (the higher mental plane).

In essence, these bodies are “each other’s reflection, like a house mirrored in a lake […], there is no separation between the two, it’s like a really long cat trying to bite its own tail, and it feels bad! Between the head and the tail there is something in between, and the same thing happens to us. The higher self wants to connect to the lower self, wants to descend down and tries to get through the matter of our body to the lower self […] it is perfection, it is God who wants to connect to man.”[8] (T.d.A)

This process of unification of the Higher Nature with the Lower Nature constitutes a long journey for the human being, a journey, however, that is not easy, often making one feel so far from harmony, unity, communion with the Higher Self, that one feels as if one were split, inwardly divided. To explain this concept of duality well, Omraam M. A., in French, uses very effective words such as: bifurcation (splitting, separation, crossroads, division) and unification (unity, harmony, cohesion):

Not being split means not having two contrary thoughts, two incompatible ideals, two contradicting desires or activities […] The disciple must first avoid and prevent separations by correcting errors.[9] (T.d.A)

This inner division is increasingly common today, as we live in a contradictory society: on the one hand we find the lofty ideals to which everyone aspires, of peace, brotherhood, and harmony, and on the other the small or large personal and selfish ambitions for success, power and material well-being. You feel so poised between the two plates of the scales, torn between having to choose which part of oneself to give voice to. Who, in fact, can claim to lead an absolutely consistent existence with a single unifying principle?

Yet true happiness cannot exist if inwardly one is in schism. Omraam M. A. explains how to understand whether inwardly we are in a state of unity or division:

And happiness, joy, health, what are they? a Unity. The moment you are happy, light, smiling, observe whether everything is in agreement within you, whether everything is united, whether nothing is left aside […]. If you are joyful but your solar plexus is contracted, there is a dissonance somewhere, some thing not working in harmony with the whole. Disunity is at the root of all human evil and suffering. Unity is the basis of all forces, the foundation of power.[10] (T.d.A)

The pursuit and attainment of happiness therefore come through the pursuit of unity, and if it happens to be inwardly in separation, it is necessary to remedy it as quickly as possible:

The disciple must first avoid and prevent separations by correcting errors. This is the work worthy of a disciple. Therefore, take care for years to harmonize and reconcile everything within yourself.[11] (T.d.A)

The work suggested by Omraam M. A., aimed at creating inner unity, however, passes through a greater awareness of one’s inner world, one’s moods, one’s conflicting personalities, which, we shall see, Omraam M. A. himself compares to many “tribes.” Unification work presupposes that these “tribes,” throughout life’s journey, learn to submit to the will of the Higher Self, the only one capable of creating true unity and establishing, in the human being, a reign of peace and harmony:

When the Higher Self speaks in him, He will dictate the laws of love, justice, purity, and obedience to God’s will to all people. The same laws for everyone and throughout the kingdom! […] It is worth devoting one’s whole life to this unification; to suffer, to work, in order to bring together the tribes of our inner world that have so many different habits and tastes, in order to create one nation, one kingdom, one family, with one head ruling the whole! It is not an outward realization, but an inward one. […] The main task of a king is to pacify his people.[12] (T.d.A)

This image of the inner way seen as a realm will also be addressed later, as it can be deepened and explored on the higher planes of human existence as well.

The work that everyone can do on themselves in the pursuit of happiness and inner unity is something that brings benefits and advantages not only on an individual level, but also on a collective level.

In fact, Omraam M. A. explains that in unity lies the key to overcoming not only personal conflicts and difficulties, but also social conflicts and unrest.

Dear brothers and sisters, being divided is the greatest enemy of our happiness. If we want to create favorable conditions for our countries and humanity, we must all become servants of love and wisdom. […] We establish unity first in ourselves, then in our family and society. If we are capable of this, it is through a love that implies noble feelings and luminous thoughts. These are what create unity.[13] (T.d.A)

The search for unity and the resulting happiness are to be regarded as an inner process, consisting of different degrees and levels of development. Omraam M. A. identifies in this process of harmonization and inner unification three major levels, let’s see which ones:

Contentment, which, as it increases, transforms and becomes joy, with its different shades, which, as it condenses, turns into Resurrection, namely Happiness, Nirvana, Eternal Life. It is true: if you feel happy, it is because you are approaching harmony, it is because you are moving away from a bifurcation, and if you persist along the path you have taken, you will know cheerfulness, joy, then bliss and eternal Life. How do you introduce order and harmony into yourself? One must direct all one’s love toward a single center, the Lord […] one must love unity, make it one’s ideal.[14] (T.d.A)

In this reflection Omraam M. A. explains what the essential element of this unification process is: “directing all one’s love toward a single center, the Lord.” This Center, toward which everything must converge, is symbolically represented by the sun: its light, its warmth, its endless work, from which all creatures, indiscriminately, benefit, is the prime example to consider in order to overcome inner contrasts and work according to a higher ideal:

Instead of setting pleasure as the purpose of existence, one should say to oneself, ‘Now I must make of my life something useful, something with deep meaning: replace pleasure with work, that is, an ideal.’ And what should this work be? The sun’s. There is no activity that exceeds that which the sun performs. Without ever stopping, indiscriminately, it illuminates, warms and gives life.[15]

To work as the sun works, to identify with it, to develop its same qualities of love, self-sacrifice, generosity… this inner work, of improvement and refinement, immediately produces its fruits:

The disciple who wants to earnestly imitate the task of the sun will naturally do so clumsily and imperfectly at first, but one day he too will begin to radiate light, warmth and life, just as the sun does. When a disciple undertakes such work, everything else will interest him less and less, and the usual small daily joys and distractions will pale before the grand task of imitating the sun. He will then experience unparalleled pleasure, joy and expansion of his consciousness.[16]

And it is indeed so: what joy can prove greater and more authentic than radiating light, warmth and life like the sun? To contemplate him as he rises, and to be enveloped in his pure light, to melt into him and breathe in the very rich particles that come with his first golden rays, that is the path that leads to happiness.

Deep purification work that enables the human being to burn off all those dross, those strenuous thoughts, those negative states of mind, even those painful experiences that have marked his existence and burdened his spirit, preventing him from becoming powerful, capable of soaring to Heaven and uniting with God.

In this state of inner joy and harmony, breathing becomes an experience of genuine happiness:

Breathe in, breathe out… breathe in, breathe out… Happiness is the breath of the soul. […] It could be said that the breath was given to man to make him understand that all that is tangible, such as money, riches, etc., cannot be compared to what is subtle, intangible, invisible, to that etheric world in which man is immersed. All those who have the awareness of being immersed in the etheric world, in the spiritual world, breathe continuously and are happy because of that breathing.[17]

Breathing, contemplation and meditation at sunrise are thus means and tools at our disposal to be able to travel with our soul to the sun, where we might finally merge into our higher self:

So there is something in the human being that extends as far as very far: they are emanations, rays that reach as far as the Sun. […] And there, there is the human being in his higher aspect: his divine aspect is already found in the Sun. But because consciousness resides in the brain, man cannot realize that he dwells in the Sun. […] When the human being becomes conscious of all these truths […], he will place himself in the consciousness that is above consciousness, that is already in the region of superconsciousness, to the point of understanding that he is an inhabitant of it, that he already dwells above it. What is this being, this entity? It is our Higher Self that dwells in the sun; it does not dwell in our physical body, for if it did dwell there it would accomplish extraordinary, formidable things. It comes from time to time, manifests itself a few times, makes contact with the brain, but since the brain is not yet ready to vibrate in unison with it, it leaves and prepares itself until the brain offers it shelter, and the Higher Self is nothing but a particle of God. We, in the higher regions, are God himself; for outside of God nothing exists. […] A particle of us already dwells in God in incredible happiness.[18] (T.d.A)

This very lofty goal may perhaps be frightening or discouraging; how does one concretely reach one’s Higher Self, which already dwells in the sun? One lives in the torments, in the difficulties, in the routine of daily life!

Again Omraam M. A. shows us what is the right attitude to adopt toward such questions. What matters, he says, is in fact not the results, but the work of refinement.

One should desire joy, fullness and peace, for that is true life, but as long as one is still too imperfect, one will pass by them without touching them. To demonstrate the truth of the above, let us ask: Who does not desire happiness? All living things desire nothing else. Men spend their time making plans to accomplish what they think will make them happy, yet they never are … So there is still some things to understand and rectify. In fact, as long as one has not made efforts on the path to perfection, one should not wish for life to be easy and free of difficulties-it will not be anyway. Difficulties that require us to make efforts should be accepted, knowing full well that the engines that will lead us to true happiness are precisely our efforts.[19]

This inner refinement work also presupposes the ability to deal calmly with difficulties, as they too can be seen as opportunities for growth and refinement. Therefore, it is not by shunning difficulties that true happiness is achieved, for it is not a refuge, an easy solution for those who give up living themselves and their lives. Rather, happiness:

It is nothing but a state of consciousness, a way of understanding, feeling, behaving,a way of being in life,and that is why it can belong only to those who can find it with the support of spiritual work. Happiness, like peace, is a synthesis: If we understand things well and make them our own, we will have a chance to act well and be happy. To get there, however, one must accept the initiatory science, which is the only one capable of teaching the intellect, heart, and will the methods of mastering the lower nature, the personality, in order to give the higher nature, the individuality, every chance to evolve.[20]

“Happiness as a way of being in life.” here’s a phrase to internalize and repeat every day, like a mantra: when waking up, during the day’s activities, at work, in interacting with family, but also in shopping in a chaotic supermarket … coat everything with a possible happiness that is already present in the human soul.

The profound understanding that happiness is a state of consciousness will allow it to nourish the mind, the heart, and open the way for it to take up permanent residence in the depths of being. But first it is necessary to desire it, to project it in and out of us with the fire of love, without which no realization will be possible. Happiness is to be loved, experienced and felt, because happiness is like a lover, always looking for its beloved, the human being, and when it finds him or her it fills him or her with inexhaustible energy.

The road to realizing happiness, as a state of consciousness, is a long one, but as soon as it is taken, it enables a human being to live at peace with himself and his entire inner world. This work that each of us must do can be compared, as we said, to that of a ruler who rules over the tribes living on his or her own land.

When the human being comes to be reasonable, intelligent, awakened and vigilant to guard his kingdom-the kingdom that represents himself-only then will he achieve stable and lasting peace. And what will this peace be? An indescribable happiness, an uninterrupted symphony, a sublime state of consciousness, in which all cells expand into an ocean of light, swim in living water and feed on ambrosia.[21] (T.d.A)

If one is able, even for brief moments, to tap into that ocean of Light, one suddenly realizes that everything is perfect, that there is no need to have any fear, that one can lose oneself in that boundless love that exists within and outside of us, and that one can return to merge with that Light from which we were generated, to continue to live in happiness as an inexhaustible spark in the bosom of the Eternal.

This fusion is the union between the higher self and the lower self of the human being, which generates indescribable moments of immense joy, happiness, harmony, peace and gratitude.

We end this brief excursus on the subject of happiness with a final reflection by Omraam M. A. in which he describes in poetic words this state of consciousness called happiness.

Only when the Higher Nature has come to dwell in you can you taste indescribable happiness. You will be happy without knowing the reason. That happiness-and this is the most surprising thing-is a happiness without a cause. It seems wonderful to you to live, to breathe, to eat … nothing has happened to you, no gifts, no inheritance, no encounters, yet you are happy, because something has reached you from above, something that does not depend on you … like nectar that has come down from Heaven, and you will be surprised to find in yourself that wonderful state of consciousness. Feel Joy and you don’t know why. This is what true happiness is.[22]

Published Works

Aïvanhov, O. M., The Seed of Happiness, Prosveta, 2007,

Aïvanhov, O. M., The duty to be happy, Prosveta, 2017.

Unpublished Works

Aïvanhov, O. M., La vraie place des deux principes, Conférence n. 516 du 27 mars 1951, Prosveta.

Aïvanhov, O. M., Comment regarder le soleil. Séparativité, Réalité et Maya, Conférence du 31 juillet 1967, Prosveta.

Aïvanhov, O. M., Bifurcation et unification, Conférence n. 194 du 14 avril 1943, Prosveta.

Conferenze audio:

Aïvanhov, O. M., Conférence du 28 aout 1965, Prosveta.

Aïvanhov, O. M., Conférence du 31 juillet 1971, Prosveta.

Aïvanhov, O. M., Conférence du 23 juillet 1973, Prosveta.

Aïvanhov, O. M., Conférence du 07 aout 1976, Prosveta.

Aïvanhov, O. M., Conférence du 17 juillet 1981, Prosveta.


[1] Aïvanhov, O. M., The Seed of Happiness, Prosveta, 2007, pp. 49-50.

[2] Aïvanhov, O. M., The Seed of Happiness, Prosveta, 2007, p. 14.

[3] Aïvanhov, O. M., The Seed of Happiness, Prosveta, 2007, p. 20.

[4] Aïvanhov, O. M., The Seed of Happiness, Prosveta, 2007, p. 30.

[5] Aïvanhov, O. M., Duty to be Happy, Prosveta, 2017, p. 34.

[6] Aïvanhov, O. M., «Il vero posto dei due principi», Conferenza nr. 516 del 27 marzo 1951, Prosveta, 1951.

[7] Aïvanhov, O. M., Duty to be Happy, Prosveta, 2017, p. 36.

[8] Aïvanhov, O. M., Conferenza nr. 194 del 14 aprile 1943, Prosveta, 1943.

[9] Aïvanhov, O. M., Conferenza nr. 194 del 14 aprile 1943, Prosveta, 1943.

[10] Aïvanhov, O. M., Conferenza nr. 194 del 14 aprile 1943, Prosveta, 1943.

[11] Aïvanhov, O. M., Conferenza nr. 194 del 14 aprile 1943, Prosveta, 1943.

[12] Aïvanhov, O. M., Conferenza nr. 194 del 14 aprile 1943, Prosveta, 1943.

[13] Aïvanhov, O. M., Conferenza nr. 194 del 14 aprile 1943, Prosveta, 1943.

[14] Aïvanhov, O. M., Conferenza nr. 194 del 14 aprile 1943, Prosveta, 1943.

[15] Aïvanhov, O. M., The Seed of Happiness, Prosveta, 2007, p. 30-31.

[16] Aïvanhov, O. M., The Seed of Happiness, Prosveta, 2007, pp. 30-31.

[17] Aïvanhov, O. M., The Seed of Happiness, Prosveta, 2007, p. 79.

[18] Aïvanhov, O. M., How to look at the sun: separation, reality and illusion, Conferenza del 31 luglio 1967, Prosveta, 1967.

[19] Aïvanhov, O. M., The Seed of Happiness, Prosveta, 2007, p. 41.

[20] Aïvanhov, O. M., The Seed of Happiness, Prosveta, 2007, p. 76.

[21] Aïvanhov, O. M., Conferenza del 23 luglio 1973, Prosveta, 1973.

[22] Aïvanhov, O. M., The Seed of Happiness, Prosveta, 2007, p. 78.

[1] Laura Galgani (Firenze, 1963), has participated for years in the activities of the Omraam Foundation Study Center ; devoting himself to the study of the Teachings of Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov, and delving into spiritual topics aimed at inner evolution. He writes children’s plays on topical issues, also devoting himself to theater workshops to prepare for the stage interpretation of the texts, and the staging of the works with the participation of young actors.