“If it’s happiness you’re looking for then a clear understanding of exactly what happiness is for a human being seems like an important conclusion to come to – that way the search can be focussed with less chance of getting lost in practices or movements which are unlikely to deliver what we are really looking for.
If we approach this question objectively we will come to see that in fact the general assumption and attitude is that our happiness is dependant on what happens in our life. This means that we actually think that happiness and pleasure are the same thing, that happiness is a pleasurable feeling. For example that excitement or joy based on circumstance is happiness.
The flow of life is always either pleasure or pain. Good food is pleasure, stubbing your toe is pain, being complimented by another is pleasure, missing your flight is pain, feeling love from another is pleasure, being let down by a friend is pain.
Here is the hint or pointer to contemplate: Our happiness is never to be found in the flow of life. This means that our happiness is never dependent of pleasure or pain. This is great news really, I’ll explain why. Life is always going to be a flow of pleasure or pain, that’s just a fact, and how much pleasure or pain we get is never in our control and life is never going to be just pleasure, pleasure, pleasure.
Life is a duality which means both pleasure and pain, that is the nature of life in its expression form, it is never going to be just pleasure, no matter what we try to do to control life we will never be able to change it’s nature as being a flow of pleasure and pain.
So, the fact that our happiness is never to be found in the flow of life, in other words not dependent on what circumstance we find ourselves in is great news…. if it were dependent on pleasure and pain then our happiness would be a fragile, impermanent state, here one minute gone the next.
Whereas true happiness for the human being is available on a permanent unbroken basis. This is our birth right. Intuitively this is known that is why spiritual seeking happens.
So what is happiness really for the human being? Happiness for the human being in very practical terms is peace of mind in daily living regardless of the circumstance we find ourselves in. Happiness is not pleasure. This contentment is something we can come to know for ourselves, directly, beyond concept. We know this directly when peace starts to become the ground of our being even in the face of pain.
And this peace is available on a continuous unbroken basis because it is based on our attitude to life and not the flow of life itself. Our attitude to life stems from who we believe ourselves to be. If the other steals from us for example this act must be seen as a personal attack when I hold the image of myself as the body. If we believe ourselves to be a body then life has to be seen as a continual assault on what we believe ourselves to be. From this standpoint peace is not available because of the inevitable attachment and personal involvement to whatever happens in the moment.
When these false beliefs of ourself fall away our true nature as the silent formless witness, or consciousness becomes known directly and the flow of life no longer represents an adding to, or taking away, from what we know ourselves to be.
This is the spontaneous attitude of non-doership and non-attachment that stems from Self realisation and it manifests in practical terms as a natural continuous unbroken peace of mind regardless of circumstance.
This is happiness for the human in practical terms as it actually presents automatically with no effort or doing when there is Self knowledge.
Enlightenment is the end of suffering.
Peace is the absence of suffering.
Enlightenment is peace.
Happiness is peace.
Enlightenment is happiness.
and it all stems from our true nature. It is the most natural thing. It is what we are.”
Happiness for the human being is not a peak experience.
Peace of mind regardless of circumstances.
Happiness is not to be found in the flow of life.
Relax, it is not as important as you think.