How To Find True Happiness - Part 2
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The mode of 'action' towards life happiness
Most people live their lives by doing things every day that 'make' them feel happy. Or they do things that will take them to some 'place' (like enough money, the right partner, the perfect job) where they believe they will feel happy once they've reached it.
In this 'goal-and-action' mode one spends much of one's time having fun, buying things, enjoying entertainment, having adventures, working to achieve wealth, recognition, influence and possessions, experiencing relationships, and so on. These are the external things that 'make people happy'.
There is nothing at all 'wrong' with this. It is just how very many people are 'wired'. Most people the world over are part of this scenario.
It is particularly predominant in the younger to early middle age group, and it reflects a certain state of our evolving consciousness, where the concept of life happiness is not considered seriously.
The striving for more and more
Although people in this category are indeed experiencing happiness every day, or at the least much of the time, some also know that if they don't keep on doing, achieving and acquiring they won't stay happy. So they keep on doing stuff, striving, achieving, and doing more stuff, and so on, to keep themselves happy -- that is, until they get tired of it.
Now, here's the catch: because of life's natural urge for the expansion of happiness, and the impulse within the human being to create and expand one's experience of self, doing the same things over and over eventually wears a bit thin. We notice that each time we do or achieve the same thing, there is a little less happiness than we gained previously.
So the natural human response to that is to go for bigger things: like more expensive possessions, a bigger home, greater challenges and achievements, better relationship experiences, more exciting adventures, and so on. The human being is 'driven' always to reach further, higher and wider.
Architects and property developers demonstrate this in their quest for taller buildings, higher or longer bridges. Athletes display it in their striving for faster times, heavier weights, higher vaults.
Entertainers seek larger audiences. Fraudsters go for bigger hauls. Fashion followers want bigger diamonds, more outrageous outfits. In every walk of life we see this urge for more and more.
And the ultimate basis of this, whether realised or not at the time, is the urge for more and more happiness, peace and contentment; in short, for life happiness.
When desires are no longer being fulfilled
Instead of striving for these happiness-givers from an an established state of happiness and exhilaration, people start needing more and more just to maintain the status-quo of the existing level of happiness feelings they enjoy.
And if they're not able to reach that, their level of happiness starts to decline. They start to experience more non-happiness and then even unhappiness. Eventually this can lead to ill-health, disease and deep depression.
Having desires is not the problem when seeking life happiness
Incidentally, this is why some philosophers believe that 'desire' is the root of unhappiness, and we should therefore root-out all desire and just live in the present, in a desireless state.
I say, that's an erroneous understanding of life. The problem is not the desire, but the inability to fulfil one's desires. Desire is absolutely essential in the process of life's expansion (more about that elsewhere on this website).
These understandings explain why money, possessions, power, fun, achievements and the like do not bring us lasting happiness. They cannot, because they are in the realm of the ever-changing, unstable external aspect of life.
The only way to be in a state of contentment and true happiness, irrespective of what's happening in your life, is to unlock the happiness from its source within and let it flow into every situation you experience. And that is what this website is really all about -- explaining this, and offering the means to move daily towards such a state of life happiness.
Something is 'missing' - life happiness eludes one
And so, we see that as people progress in their lifespan, many start shifting a little in their perspectives about life. They start asking questions: Is this what life is all about ... running on this treadmill of constant action and seeking something to make me happier? Surely not?
Somewhere deep inside there is a subtle feeling, a kind of sensing, that 'something' is missing in their lives. This is particularly the case when people get a little older, and they've been doing these same kinds of things for a number of years or even decades. Or, they've achieved what they were wanting to achieve and are now looking for what comes next. Or they're possibly wanting to slow things down a little, to live a less hectic life.
Looking inwards for life happiness
Often, as one matures in age and experience, some degree of insight or wisdom unfolds and we find that people start to look inward towards what many would describe as the 'spiritual' aspects of life. People turn to religion, read spiritual books, do altruistic activities to help others.
And so, with aging there often comes a kind of evolution in consciousness towards a different level. And it's all the result of the urge for happiness to expand itself.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
~ T.S. Eliot
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