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The secret of happiness: Managing the self (part 2)

Author Raja Krishnamoorthy / Kitty - Dec 07, 2013

“Why does ‘Happiness’ look like a secret? Why does it look so evasive; why is it not easily available to me? Why is it not in my possession & control?”

These seem to be the widespread questions repeatedly being asked by human beings.

Are you also asking any of these questions?

Why are we searching for happiness? Where is it to be found?

When we are looking or searching for happiness, it indicates one of the following possibilities:

1. There is a thing or stuff- including people-which will produce happiness; we do not have it or we are not in touch with it, and deeply wish we had the stuff (…I am so unhappy all alone; I wish I could get someone and be happy! or “I am bored of living in this apartment, I wish I can get an independent house)

Assumption 1: “I need to have/get the stuff/ material which could produce what I call happiness”

2. There is a possibility, probability of a happening but I am not “capable” of making it happen. (“I don’t know how to become happy?” This is more like a trick, ability or skill. Like “I do not know how to make Omlette or Aloo paratha…”)

Assumption 2: I need to have/acquire the capability/ competence to experience happiness

3. Some thing valuable (happiness) exists, and we are not aware of it, but it is likely that some one could be aware of it, and guide me how to get it.( “I wish  some one will tell me how to become happy?” This is more like searching for an address or destination and figuring out how to reach there. “Will somebody tell me how to reach Alwarpet from Tambaram?”)

Assumption 3: I need to have the knowledge/awareness on how to find happiness

4. Some one else clearly has access or hold over happiness, can even help me in getting it for me, but I do not have the same “thing” by myself or on my own. (“I pray to god/ my guru/ my ancestors to give me happiness!”… This is more like there are “holders” of a valuable asset and we are seeking their benevolence to get a small donation or alms. “If only god is kind, I can get lot more of money and I am sure all my loans can be paid back…”)

Assumption 4: I need to HAVE the blessings/donation/connection/grace to get happiness

5. There is a sense of deficiency about the current situation, along with a desire to improve the situation significantly. (I am OK but not very happy right now; I wish I can be a lot more happy.” This is a state of comparative need, like a little girl would demand on her father “Dad, I like the new doll you have got me alright, but I would have been much better, happier if you had got me the video game”)

Assumption 5:  I need to “HAVE better times” than the “present time” and this “having better time”-in future- will give me happiness.

So what is interesting & common in all the above assumptions?

1. “I am dis-satisfied with me current state, or I am currently experiencing un-happiness…of some kind, and
2. I wish to move away from this state,
3. Hopefully I can achieve that by experiencing some thing more or different or the opposite: I call that “hope” as happiness”.
4. Necessarily that hope is about the need to “HAVE/Get” some thing…be it skill, knowledge, grace, good time or things! But I need to “HAVE/GET” it

We can see that the state of mind is made of a few “Components”

a) The “present” (current time state) is not good enough and
A future (a different time state) is desired

b) There is some kind of an identifiable or measurable goal/objective/outcome (Having or getting some thing… Bigger, better or different form of things) to be OB-TAINED

c) Achieving the goal will make the future better (The quality of experiencing that goal achievement will be different: It will create happiness)

Please, please understand the mechanism of unhappiness! It has a time component, a form component and a quality component.

Let’s look at each one of the above components of the mind state.
a) The “present” time is not good enough
b) The current form/occupied space/location or “situation” is not good enough
c) The current “quality” of experience is not good enough

The real question to be asked is:

If I even move from this time (now) to a next time, is there not a further time that can still look “even better” than the one envisaged or wished for right now?

If I get even a better “space” than the current one (here), will I settle there peacefully forever, or is there not a possible “even better space” that I may start looking for than the one that I envisage currently here?

If I GET/HAVE a better quality of experience than what I am experiencing now, is it not possible that there could be much /far better QUALITY experiences that I may come to know of in the distant future, and hence the “currently hoped for” experience also may be short lived because this idea of happiness is RELATIVE, TEMPERORY and TRANSIENT?

Then what am I really chasing all the time? Is this some mythical, continuous, ongoing chase? : A continuous trip: “What I have I don’t’ like (Deficiency) but what I want (Sufficiency) I do not have” trip?

If we deeply reflect a little more, we will recognize that happiness looks like a secret because of our
• Myths (as stated in the earlier examples)
• Ignorance
• Mix-ups and
• Belief systems

Ignorance -due to various reasons: We are –most of the time- ignorant about the true happiness. We are ignorant about its’ quality, we are blind to its’ presence and are mentally blocked from experiencing it, for various reasons.

Hence we need to identify & recognize the cause of our ignorance and get rid of it. That’s all that needs to be done- get rid of the ignorance, and we will gain true knowledge about happiness! Yes. Get rid of this ignorance; It is the same type of ignorance that we all seem to carry about certain things in life!

Surprised?

Exercise:

I have a question and you should answer the question in 5 seconds, not more than that, OK! Take a piece of paper and note down the answer to this question appearing below

As you are reading this sentence, this line on this page, what do you see in front of you?

Can you note your responses on a paper/on computer/laptop/I-pad-wherever…Just note your answer.

Have you missed any thing? Think deeply ;-)

The answer will be available on the next part of this series of blogs on “the secret of happiness: Managing the self”…soon!

Tons of love till then!


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