Sample text for The spirit of happiness : discovering God's purpose for your life / T. Byram Karasu.

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The Bible on My Mind: Chapter and Verse

...eternal filled with all fullness of God.

Eph. 3:11, 19 (NIV)

I have practiced psychiatry for the last thirty-five years. I have written many articles and books about psychological care and sought out factors that might help people to be happy. I've studied the works of many psychologists and philosophers, and I have read the popular books that explore sources of happiness and the meaning of life. They deliver advice on self-actualization, success at work, relationships, marriage, world views, and philosophies of living. The proliferation of these "self-ultimacy" books validates my conviction that the answer to the human dilemma can't be found in the realm of the mind. The works of secular gurus demonstrate again and again that making the mind of man its own center generates only personal confusion, unhappiness, and communal disorders.

In my book The Art of Serenity, I identified six tenets of soulfulness and spirituality as the basic requirements for happiness: The Love of Others, The Love of Work, The Love of Belonging, Believing in the Sacred, Believing in Unity, and Believing in Transformation. I emphasized that a secular person may cultivate these extraordinary tenets, but it will be difficult to maintain them without divine inspiration.

This book begins where The Art of Serenity ended, with the belief in and the love of God. This book will guide you to the next and final step: to become godly.

To believe -- to have faith -- in God means trusting that there is a reason for the existence of everything in this world and beyond, and that there is meaning in its mystery. It means believing that there is a Holy Purpose. To be godly means to resonate with God's Holy Purpose, to bring all your personal and mundane purposes under its umbrella. If you not only have faith, but also become godly, you'll be a recipient of God's help, friendship, and boundless generosity in every aspect of your life.

In this book I use the Bible as the only source of reference. Throughout the centuries, men of wisdom have praised the Bible's guidance for truthful living; its cheerful urgings of love and compassion; its eternal lessons of serenity amidst the tribulations and adversities of the world; its tender teachings of the mysteries of life. As Heinrich Heine says in Ludwig Boerne (1840), "Great and wide as the world, rooted in the abysmal depths of creation and rising aloft into the blue mysteries of heaven...sunrise and sunset, promise and fulfillment, birth and death, the whole human drama, everything is in this book. It is the Book of Books, Biblia."

I am not a man of the cloth, merely a student of the human dilemma. Any theologian who reads this book will easily see the hand of a layman at work and I hope will forgive any of my shortcomings. With that proviso, I will present how you can find God's Holy Purpose and become godly. I will describe what godliness means in all aspects of your life, ranging from your career to relationships with your spouse, children, friends, and colleagues, and even strangers.

Only by being godly can you be strong and successful, find joy and happiness, and live an extraordinarily meaningful existence while leading an ordinary life.

Copyright © 2006 by T. Byram Karasu

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Christian life.
Happiness -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.