Did you ever wonder what it would be like if you had access to any pleasure that you could imagine? From gambling, to sex, to food, to alcohol − 24 hours a day − Las Vegas was made just for that purpose. And because I was there last week to help my wife on a business trip, I had a chance to see what happens.
Also I had the opportunity to observe the fallout when your efforts to find pleasure in the heart of Las Vegas fail. At the casinos I saw people sitting in front of the slot machines, who looked as if they were hypnotized by the spinning wheel. Barely waiting for the machine to stop spinning, they spun the wheel again and again. Here at these casinos gambling is depicted as fun.
Giving up everything and getting nothing
But when I walked down West Flamingo Ave just off the Vegas strip, I saw a different side to gambling; one that is not advertised as much. Not only did I find the usual verity of pawn shops, I found shops that specialized in buying used electronic devices, gold, silver and anything else that could possibly be sold. I also saw many stores advertising cheap food. I wondered, “Is this for people who are down on their luck?” Perhaps the people I saw dragging their suitcases down Flamingo Avenue were so addicted to gambling that they were willing to give up everything for it.
Unfortunately though, these addicts will not get what they hoped for from their gambling; the odds are stacked against them. And that’s why just underneath the gaiety on the Las Vegas strip there is a feeling of sadness. But here’s the surprising part: even if they won millions of dollars and could buy all of the pleasures that Las Vegas has to offer, they would not find the satisfaction they are looking for. That’s because even the greatest pleasures are limited, and when people look deeply into their heart they find that they cannot stand limitation.
Real happiness does not come and go
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In fact despite the apparent odds, we feel that we are supposed to have lasting happiness. But no matter how intense our pleasures, at some point we will get jaded; that means that soon pleasures will begin to feel old and we will need more and more of them in order to get the same level of satisfaction. Isn’t this the definition of addiction? This means that a person with a fresh view of life can have more pleasure with one thousand dollars than a person who is jaded with millions of dollars.
If you really want to hit the jackpot however you have to find the everlasting fountain of happiness. If you can find that now, in this lifetime you will find that which even goes beyond life and death. In other words the source of happiness was never born and so it will never die.
Find happiness in the last place you would think
The thief was exhausted; day after day he was searching trying to find where his rich roommate, as they traveled on a long train trip, kept his money. But each morning the thief saw the rich man counting it, just to make sure it was all there. Finally in his frustration the thief blurted out, “Where do you keep your money!” And do you know what the rich man said? “I put it under your pillow.
In the same way happiness comes from the last place you would think to look — the place where you actually experience it. Happiness does not from the objects and pleasures that are supposed to give it to you. If you can find this place of happiness, your life will come to balance in a way that you cannot imagine. Moreover the only thing you have to give up is the search for happiness in places that cannot possibly deliver. And the only thing that you have to do is settle into your true home.
You can hit the jackpot wherever you might live
So here’s a suggestion for starting your search; the next time that you feel happy, notice where you actually experience it. You will find that happiness is not in the extraneous circumstances that seem to cause it. Rather you will find that no matter what the apparent cause, happiness comes from you — from the treasure buried right in your heart.
It is here you find the happiness that people desperately seek as they pursue the sorted pleasures in the glitz of Las Vegas. And best of all you will hit the jackpot without even leaving your home. That's because you already have the happiness that people strive for in Las Vegas. The real treasure is right in your heart.
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If this blog seems a little theoretical to you, ask questions. Then you will see how the explanations in this blog apply to your life. And the freedom that you find will be real. Questioning is the key to your freedom. You’ll see that when you question limitation, it falls away.
Here questions about this article or other things going on in your life are always welcome; you can write us at [email protected]. I love questions and try to answer them all in this blog. That’s because when you start to question limitation, you are on the verge of destroying it. When you can ask, you are well on your way to freeing yourself from the limitations that seem to cause your suffering. Of course, to preserve confidentiality your name will be left off.
Also for more detailed explanations and examples read through these blogs or get my book, Making Your Wisdom Come Alive.
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