We have probably asked ourselves whether we had created false assumptions and conclusions whilst seeking happiness in this world.
Let’s face it, we have often sunk into fantasies of wealth, power, good looks, or imagined happiness as a state of blissful peace and harmony, where the mind retains miraculous power over governing life situations.
However, the mind is limited by itself, specifically by ignorance that comes from our primordial experience that a persona, or our personality, exists – “I exist”; But this experience is an illusion.
The outward focus of the mind (towards the world) leads to so-called enjoyment in the phantoms of happiness:
money, power, good looks, prestige. However, a man cannot reach happiness in this way because none of those manifestations in themselves change or purify the quality of the mind, nor ultimately bring a man to the Truth.
As long as we have desires and fears the happiness we seek will remain just an idea, an unattainable dream. Desires and fears exist because of our body and mind. Our attachment and identification to our body is reflected in two ways. Firstly, we are frantically trying to preserve it. Our body is our house but not our truth. Secondly, our identification to it can be seen through the fear of death as if the cessation of the bodily functions is also a termination of our immortal essence. The attachment to the mind additionally stimulates the mind to create thoughts that well up because of our illusion that this world is real. This is why we seek happiness outside of ourselves, in the world that surrounds us, when it can actually only be found within us.
In western tradition happiness is often referred to as follows:
– Level of matter: health, good looks, wealth, and power;
– Level of energy: the most important thing would be the freedom to make decisions about one’s own life; also, harmony, tranquility, a blissful state, and enjoyment. At this level the dual mind survives while retaining the elements of the previous level.;
– Level of awareness: self-realisation, meaning actualised instinct for self-realisation, and full awareness whilst moving towards Mature Consciousness.
In one of the most important books of Hindu tradition the Bhagavad Gita 1 , happiness is seen in terms of qualities that define a man. These are matter, energy and awareness..
– The happiness which stems from laziness and indecision but has an immediate effect, is for people who are primarily oriented towards meeting the needs of their physical body and the material aspects of life – the level of matter;
– Happiness that arises from a reaction to pleasant experiences that we perceive with our senses of taste, sight, hearing, smell, and touch confuse us and bring happiness down to sensual pleasure – to the level of energy – vibrations;
– Happiness that arises from the purified mind is complete because it is identical with full awareness. It stems from the knowledge of the self, is beyond pleasure, and is not conditioned by anything – the level of awareness (Consciousness)..
In the Buddhist tradition of the “Diamond way” the following elements are most frequently mentioned:
– Knowledge: the knowledge of Truth and Love – identification of oneself with this knowledge;
– Detachment: liberation from the “false self”, as well as all assumptions about reality and already formed mental constructs; allows spontaneity;
– Compassion: actively helping others by means of compassion, meaning creative empathy;
- Mercy: giving without a reason and with no expectations or complacency;
- Joy: being in a state of flow, being fully immersed and involved in the activity at hand.