I hope you are faring well. It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all today yet another blog. I had some interesting experience two weeks, after I had posted my weekly blog a day late. Surprisingly the following week I noticed it had quite a lot of views as compared to some of my other blogs. So jokingly I said to myself, “You know, maybe late is sometimes good”. Lol
Anyways, this week I’ll like to share with you all something I guess we all crave in one way or form, and that is Happiness. First, what is Happiness? It is a state of being Happy. What does it mean to be happy? Well the Dictionary doesn’t really help, because it defines happiness again as a state of pleasure or contentment. We can go on and on trying to find the meaning of these words, but we will end in an endless circle of new words, all in the search of the meaning of happiness.
How many of you have seen the Movie “The pursuit of HappYness”. (Yes, Happiness is spelt that way in the title). In a nut shell it is a movie about a single Father who has to go through a lot of difficulty including having no place to sleep, while trying to juggle finding a job and being a father to his son. Well at the end of the movie, things fall into place. The movie though very emotional teaches a lot of things. Today I am not here to talk about the movie but about the concept of Happiness and life generally. From a metaphysical perspective or a spiritual understanding, happiness is more than just being happy. What we define as happiness in the material world is but the absence of sorrow. In other words, happiness and distress are but different sides of the same coin.
When one is absent then the other is present. Happiness from a deeper point of view will be the absence of those things which cause us real misery. These things are Birth, Disease, old age and finally death. We all know how painful the process of giving birth can be for mothers, and even from the early stages of conception to the end, mothers have to put up with a lot of discomfort. No one likes to fall ill and as such diseases are also a source of misery. Old age comes with its highlights and also its constraints. There are a lot of things we can no longer do as we grow old, because our bodies no longer have the vigor it had when we were younger. Yet despite these changes, sometimes you hear people say “I am happy” and the next minute “I am not happy”. The ancient scriptures like the Bhagavad Gita explain to us that the temporary appearance of happiness and distress are like the manifestation of winter and summer or heat and cold, both are temporary and as such one must learn to tolerate these dualities.
That we tolerate these dualities doesn’t mean they don’t exist, as some pseudo-spiritual groups like to teach, however it does mean we know it is there but we detach ourselves from the experience that comes with it. One may wonder, I still haven’t given a clear definition of what Happiness is? Happiness is that which gives lasting contentment to the real self. When we engage in activities that give satisfaction to the soul, only then can we experience real happiness. My Father always use to tell me “Son, happiness is not in a place, person or country. It is inside of you. If you are not happy with yourself, even if you go to the Moon, you will still not be happy”. I’ll jokingly reply him saying “but at least the moon is a place where there are demigods and the environment surely is different and as such I will be happy there”. To this his reply was “If you haven’t found happiness within yourself, you will definitely carry whatever misery is inside of you to the Moon planet too”.
In brief what he meant was that happiness is not in the next car we are dreaming of buying, it is not in the house we want to buy, or the beautiful spouse we hope to marry someday etc. Happiness is not in any of these things and it will never be. If we tie our happiness to any of these things we see, feel or experience, we are definitely bound to suffer misery sooner or later. This is because none of these material items are made to give eternal happiness. Our new car gives us “happiness” as long as it doesn’t develop a fault, as soon as it does, the happiness becomes worry and expenses.
The new spouse we are dreaming of, gives us happiness until we get into an argument and see that we have differences that are difficult to reconcile. Suddenly we begin to question what happened to the “butterflies we felt in our stomach”. If all these things could guarantee happiness, wealthy people would be the happiest people on Earth, sadly the narrative is different. While wealth and material opulence can give some level of comfort, which is definitely desirable, it doesn’t give real happiness that lasts. Another puzzling factor about material happiness is that, the more we strive to achieve it, the quicker it slips from our grips. Thus we are caught in a rat race trying to catch or hold on to happiness and happiness constantly trying to elude us.
When regular folks here spiritual practitioners speak like this, they begin to think; “How can people be so negative that they don’t even wish themselves happiness?” As if to say that merely wishing ourselves happiness was a guarantee to get it. We definitely do believe in happiness, however we seek happiness that truly lasts. In that light, we do not bother ourselves with those temporary absence of sorrow that many confuse for “happiness”. The happiness that we seek as spiritualists is that which brings eternal happiness to all living beings, and nothing else but reconnecting with the absolute can give this in full.
Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.