In my previous article, I spoke about the ways in which a person can identify whether he is happy. In today’s article, I want to talk more about happiness and how an individual through understanding and insight can live a life of Happiness.
It is important to understand that happiness is more than an emotion or a feeling. Happiness goes far beyond all mundane descriptions and philosophies.
The reason why people are unhappy is not because unhappiness is our fate, but because we haven’t yet learnt the art of living life. Yes, living life is an art. You may go through your entire life doing a thousand and one things and yet it wouldn’t matter a bit unless you change your entire pattern of living life.
Unhappiness will be the norm unless you understand the nature of life. I will try and get into as much detail as I can and yet keep things as simple as possible so that some understanding can happen inside of you.
Never ask the “How” question:
To understand Happiness, you need to understand life. Life is not a problem or a question that needs a solution. What we call life is a certain experience; a flux; a dynamic, or a mystical phenomenon.
Happiness as well is a part of life. Therefore, the basic understanding is that because happiness is a part of life, it will have the essence of mystery to it. Happiness is a mystery. Nobody knows what it is.
It may seem very unfortunate to know that happiness is a mystery, but it is not. It is good that happiness is a mystery. If there was no mystery about happiness, then a simple answer would have satisfied you.
Only a question can be answered, a mystery has to be lived. Life is a mystery.
For example, if you asked me: What is love? and If I had to give you a book and say to you that this book contains everything that you need to know about love, how would you react?
You would become very excited, but imagine how dead your life would become once you were done with the book. Now that you have read the entire book, nothing remains a mystery anymore. There is no need to fall in love with a woman, there is no need to go out on dates, there is no need to hug each other, there is no need to for anything because now you know it all.
Once you have read everything about love, what is the point of falling in love? Imagine how dull life would have been if everything could be boiled down to knowledge.
Therefore, never ask the question how when it comes to happiness. Happiness is not found but stumbled upon.
Happiness is hidden within Unhappiness:
Life is a strange phenomenon. There are circumstances and situations that seem so contrasting and yet there is a certain harmony between them just like music. On the outside, it may seem as though silence is against music, but if there were no gaps of silence between two notes, then life would have just been a noise.
Silence is what gives rise to music. The entire secret of happiness lies in this understanding. We always escape from situations that seem negative. For example, the moment you feel lonely, just observe your actions carefully.
You would notice that even a moment of loneliness hasn’t passed and you immediately call a friend, run to a bar, switch on the television, or you start reading a book.
Entertainment is one of the greatest barriers to happiness, and anything can become an entertainment in life. Even things which seem deeper are just forms of entertainment.
Nobody likes to be lonely because it gives rise to unhappiness, but you can’t escape. As a matter of fact, instead of escaping, you need to create more situations in which you can feel your loneliness even more. This sounds really strange but just try it out as an experiment.
The next time you feel unhappy, do something that will make you more unhappy. Play sad music, close yourself inside a dark room and start crying. What you do doesn’t matter. Just find any excuse to be unhappy. A moment comes when unhappiness suddenly fades away. How long can you be unhappy? Nothing in life is permanent.
The reason you are always unhappy is because you keep running away from it. For once, just try and switch roles and see the magic.
Happiness Lies within You:
I can feel the cringe that you’re feeling right now the moment you hear that. I mean, what a cliché right? We have all heard this statement, and rather than feeling happy, we become more unhappy. This statement has almost become a joke.
Why is it so? You need to understand the fact that the people who use this statement are the ones who do not understand it at all. If you ask them the reason, they will not be able to answer you. In fact, all their answers will simply make you even more confident that happiness lies outside.
I wanted to give you my own perspective on this and the way I see it. I am not an enlightened man so obviously, I cannot give you my perspective from an absolute state of emptiness. Although, I still have a certain insight into this through years of observation and inner exploration.
If any of my observations make sense to you, then you can take it. If not you can share your views with me in the comments of how you perceive it to be.
Outside situations work like triggers:
The way I experience and understand unhappiness is that the circumstances and situations outside of us simply work like triggers. To be more precise, a certain event simply acts as a trigger to awaken the happiness or unhappiness that is already inside of us.
For example, you watch the news on television which talks about the injustice that is going on in the world. Now, this can create a trigger inside of you that life is meant to be miserable. One thought leads to another and suddenly, you realise that you have fallen into a bottomless pit of negative thoughts which create unhappiness.
You go through your entire day feeling miserable. Now, there are thousands of people who must have watched the same news, and everybody felt a certain emotion based on what was already inside of them.
You must be wondering what a happy person would feel about a similar situation. A happy person feels bad, but that bad feeling does not make him unhappy or miserable. A happy person may feel sorry, but he won’t feel any emotion that will put him into a negative state.
A positive situation triggering Unhappiness…:
I’ll give you another example which will help you understand this better. You may have seen couples on the street hugging, kissing, or just walking together. Whenever you observe something like this, how do you feel inside of you?
Now the obvious thing to conclude is because two people are loving each other, you will naturally feel happy looking at them. When two people are walking together, there is nothing about this situation that makes it negative, but if you are the type of person who is always unhappy and miserable, you will suddenly start to feel lonely, jealous, or even angry at these random people whom you don’t even know.
In the previous example when I spoke about the news, you had an excuse that a negative circumstance is what triggered unhappiness, but what about this situation where there was no outside trigger to make you feel unhappy? In fact, you take any situation on the outside and judge it using your inner reaction and you will notice that unhappiness happens irrespective of what is going on outside.
Something as beautiful as a child playing can also make you feel unhappy. You may think of your own childhood and feel that those days are gone – suddenly you are unhappy. Just observe yourself and you will notice that everything just works as a trigger. From this, it becomes simple to conclude that happiness is something that lies within you. If you were happy on the inside, the outside situation would trigger happiness.
Therefore, both happiness and unhappiness lie within you. Never blame someone else for the way you feel. This does not mean that you let a person walk all over you, but it just means that you hold the power in every situation.
Unhappiness has become a Habit:
You can never live a life of happiness if unhappiness has become your habit. You may try to convince yourself that this is not true, but it is. Unhappiness is a habit. You have been unhappy for so long that you have an automated program in your mind which filters happiness out.
You will be surprised but every person in the world has moments when happiness knocks on his door, but in those moments you are always busy being unhappy. If your eyes have been habituated to experience unhappiness, you will automatically close yourself to situations that can make you happy.
So many people complain about unhappiness and yet they are the same people that avoid every opportunity in life that can bring happiness.
Remember that happiness is not so simple to achieve. You need to take risks and give up your old habits in order to feel happy again. You have to work hard to achieve happiness just as you have worked hard to become unhappy.
It is not only happiness that requires hard work. Even unhappiness requires hard work, and if you ask a spiritual teacher or a mystic, he will tell you that you have worked hard for your unhappiness not only in this life but for many lives together. Your unhappiness the bitter fruit of your hard work of thousands of years.
If only you could switch your perspective right now and work hard to attain happiness, then happiness can be yours right now.