Thursday, April 07, 2005

On Happiness

It seems to me that at the root of human dissent is happiness, or the lack thereof. This concept is so simple that it almost makes me weep. No person who is truly happy would ever do harm to another. Balance with one’s environment is easily achieved when one has balance within. It appears that most, if not all, problems are caused because people are not happy.

Wars are started over riches, land, and beliefs. The most basic of these are material goods, money, oil, etc. But the only reason that people hunger for these goods is because they believe that having them will make them happy. What they do not see is that true riches come from within. These are the riches that truly make on happy (to be touched on later). Again is the misconception that land will make on happy. This idea is quite funny considering that land cannot truly be owned. History has shown us land changing hands many times due to various reasons. People can certainly occupy a space of land, but it can no more be owned than the air that we breath. Lastly, beliefs tend to be such a touchy subject these days. I’m right! No I’m right! These concepts simply melt away with the awakened person. The awakened one is at peace because they see things for what they are. No attachments are made. Beliefs do not define the individual. Indeed, it is the other way around. While I’m not saying that there wouldn’t be some conflict if people were truly happy, the world would be a much more peaceful place.

Now, what does it mean to be truly happy? Happiness, I believe, is the equivalence of awareness. Awareness of what you ask? Awareness of life! Our society has imploded upon itself to create zombies out of people. The conditioning that subjugates people can cause them to walk through life with their eyes closed. Be aware of knowledge, attachments, and labels. All of these can stop one from seeing, for seeing is the path to righteousness, to awareness. See things and people simply for what they are. This is achieved by dropping your labels, your attachments, your preconceived notions. Once one is walking through life with their eyes open, they see, they are aware. Awareness such as this will lead, most importantly, to seeing yourself. It will lead you to drop your ideas and labels of who you are. Once one sees themselves simply for who they are, they will realize that nothing can hurt them emotionally and spiritually. How can you be hurt when you have no attachments to trivial things such as pride and beliefs? Once it is all dropped, the natural state of happiness will ensue.

It is this particular statement to which I have given thought recently. The natural state of people is one of happiness; not the common misconceptions of elation or joy, but mere happiness. Contentment might be a more apt choice of words. Just what is this particular state like? It is simply experiencing all the natural emotions of life while not identifying with them. Realizing that one is not the emotions that they experience, all worry and anxiety will fall. Only contentment will remain. And how can happiness not be the most basic feeling when there is so much beauty in the world? Not just sunsets and flowers but simply wood and rock too. When all things are seen for what they are, a sense of great wonder will prevail. Such wonder I myself experience at taking in the view of something such as grass. Live each and every day in this state of wonder through seeing; happiness will permeate your existence. That is the key.

3 comments :

  1. jennifer smith4/18/2005 10:02 AM

    alright, that sounds pretty good. my question is this: why is attachment to a belief system petty/unnecessary in the enlightened person?

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  2. Yeah, Andrew got that stuff about attachments from this book called Awareness by Anthony De Mello. Basically the idea is that happiness does not come from outside sources; that's what he means by an attachment: if you refuse to be happy without something, De Mello defines that as an attachment. This goes along with another idea that the root any negative thought we have is because of a fault in us. So when we drop our "attachments" to everything, we will no longer see things through our negative perspectives, but instead see the good in things without overvaluing them.

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  3. Hope that answers your question, feel free to give your opinions or ask questions anytime.

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