Happening . . . Happening?

by Christopher Lovejoy on April 26, 2021


This is one of those throwaway words that everyone uses without really thinking about it, and yet, when I came upon a most fascinating frame of reference for making sense of my reality, and my destiny, and it included the word “happening” ~ repeatedly ~ I just couldn’t help but notice.

Curiously, a steady upward trend in the use of this word can be observed from the year 1900 to the year 2000, after which it trended upward more steeply. From my own personal experience, I can attest that “things have been happening” much more frequently since the year 2000.


What does this actually mean? (he asked, as he consulted his favorite dictionaries).

happening, n.: (1) an occurrence; (2) an event or a series of events that evokes or provokes, or is designed to evoke or provoke, a spontaneous response or reaction; (3) something (such as an event) that is, or seems, particularly interesting or entertaining, relevant or significant

These definitions rise from the realm of the mundane when we examine as follows, which I invite you to do from the bottom up, as a teeny tiny exercise in personal and spiritual evolution and ascension . . .

7 happening, just happening ~ no me (purity) ~ timelessness
{ecstasy} < > ________
6 happening as me (consent) ~ peace, love, joy, bliss, grace, ease
{spontaneity} < > ________
5 happening through me (destiny) ~ flow, play, creativity, expressing the genius within
{serendipity} < > ________
4 happening for me – abundance (freedom) ~ intrinsic motives: learning, growing, purpose, autonomy
{responsibility} < > ________
3 happening by me (responsibility) ~ extrinsic motives: money, titles, degrees, diplomas, perks
{adaptability} < > ________
2 happening to me (fate) ~ toxic fear: blame, shame, and guilt
{vulnerability} < > the wound of separation
1 happening, just happening ~ no me (innocence)

Update: a new, more refined version of this heuristic was posted here on 05.02.2021

In the book, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, reference is made to these different types of happening, which have been explored and examined in depth by the likes of David Hawkins and Michael Beckwith. Here, I’ve begun cultivating my own take on these states of being.

In looking at this heuristic with due care, I invite you to ask yourself: where do I spend most of my time? My sense is that humanity as a whole is spending much if not most of its time attempting to move from 2 to 3 (healing the wound of separation) or from 3 to 4 (taking responsibility).

Moving from 2 to 3 requires a shift in the locus of control from “you did this to me” to “I must admit, I had a hand in this.” Moving from 3 to 4 requires a shift in the locus of control from “I must admit, I had a hand in this” to “I had a hand in this; now how might I have it work for me?”

In pondering the use of this heuristic for my own life, I wonder: (1) is it really necessary that I get to one place (e.g., serendipity) or is it a more interesting proposition to move with grace and ease between them all?; and (2) how does it apply to my relationship with a world in distress?

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change

~ Max Planck, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, 1918

I’ve come to realize that how I see “things” is as important as, if not more important than, the “things” I see, and here, the catch-all “things” might be interpreted as “the things in my life” or just “things in general,” but I think Planck had something else in mind when he spoke of “things.”

What do you suppose he meant in view of, and in light of . . . happenings?

Oh, by the way, please feel free to play with what I call “the heuristic of happenings,” without treating it as gospel; for me, it’s a work in progress; play with it, have some fun with it, fill in the blanks and, if you feel so inclined, let me know what happened to you ~ by you, for you, through you.

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