Thursday, November 1, 9928

We Are the One and Only Source of Happiness

We seek pleasure/enjoyment from the outside: beauty, music, food, sex, alcohol, drugs, entertainment, thrills, possessions, love, glory, etc. These outer-derived enjoyments are fleeting. We consume them, then they disappear, and the hunger returns. This can cause a desperate pursuit of pleasures in an attempt to satisfy the insatiable inner demand. We seek prettier sights, tastier food, better drugs, more exciting thrills, finer possessions, etc; or attempt to derive more enjoyment from the ones we have. But its a frustrating spiral because as soon as they’re over, we feel just as empty as before. Maybe emptier. 

The problem is that we start from an assumed position of joylessness and emptiness. We believe that we must be unsatisfied unless we constantly have something to occupy our mind. This creates a sense of dependency on and addiction to externals. We then chase externals in an attempt to fabricate good feelings. We always feel vulnerable because we know that whatever we’re enjoying in the moment could be taken away. No matter how much of anything we get, the best it can do is temporarily ease the constant sense of lack, and when it’s gone, we feel miserable.

Getting more or better externals will not make us happy because happiness, joy, enthusiasm, and love can come only from within us. They cannot be created by externals; at most they can only be triggered. Even without external things we can still have a wonderful happy feeling as long as we are in touch with our true selves.

It might seem that happiness comes from externals. After all, when we get a new possession, lover, etc, we feel elated. But if we feel unhappy without him/her/it, then our emotional lift is not happiness – it is a very temporary feeling of gratification that will wear off, and when it does, we’ll go back to feeling unhappy. A lasting feeling of well-being can come only from within, for then it will not be dependent upon externals.

The idea that we must have certain externals in order to feel good is the equivalent of saying that our natural state is one of need, boredom, or suffering. What a negative way to view ourselves! When we find our true selves, we feel naturally happy, regardless of externals, because happiness is what we are. When we do get externals, we enjoy the moment with them rather than desperately cling to them, and when they are gone we still feel happy, because happiness is a state of being, not a temporary emotion.