Can Happiness Be Found Through Anything?

July 5th ~ We seek happiness through things, through relationship, through thoughts, ideas.  So things, relationship, and ideas become all-important and not happiness.  When we seek happiness through something, then the thing becomes of greater value than happiness itself.  When stated in this manner, the problem sounds simple and it is simple.  We seek happiness in property, in family, in name; then property, family, idea become all-important, for then happiness is sought through a means, and then the means destroys the end.  Can happiness be found through any means, through anything made by the hand or by the mind?  Things, relationship, and ideas are so transparently impermanent, we are ever made unhappy by them. . . . Things are impermanent, they wear out and are lost; relationship is constant friction and death awaits; ideas and beliefs have no stability, no permanency.  We seek happiness in them and yet do not realize their impermancency.  We seek happiness in them and yet do not realize their impermanency.  So sorrow becomes our constant companion and overcoming it our problem.

To find out the true meaning of happiness, we must explore the river of self-knowledge.  Self-knowledge is not an end in itself.  Is there a source to a stream?  Every drop of water from the beginning to the end makes the river.  To imagine that we will find happiness at the source is to be mistaken.  It is to be found where you are on the river of self-knowledge.

January 1st, 2020 ~  One of the things I am passionate about is desire, otherwise known as motivation.  My search to understand this started pretty much when I started working professionally.  My first jobs were in the area of sales.  Making cold calls was close to drudgery, not so much that I feared it but found it quite boring.  It made me feel sleepy in the afternoon.  I began to wonder if all jobs were like this.  Would it be this difficult to motivate myself my whole career?  I then went to school to become a therapist.  Guess what?  This involved sales as well: selling and marketing oneself.  Not to mention having to learn about oneself.  The latter was the easier part, but that took time to accept!  All along, I was paying attention to motivation.  I have taken sales seminars on motivation, from Zig Zigler to Anthony Robbins.  I have read up on desire.  I have studied spiritual beliefs about desire and watched videos on how science describes desire.  One of the things I have noticed is how hard it is to start something like one’s exercise for the day, especially if it is on one’s own.  Once I start my Tai Chi exercise, the resistance dissipates about 5-15 minutes in.  I watched a YouTube video  on how we have a mechanism in the brain that kicks in where once we start something, that mechanism wants us to finish it.  It is called the Zeigarnik Effect.  The hard part is starting!  It’s funny when we say we don’t have the time to do things like exercise or cook healthy meals.  We don’t have any problem doing things like watching videos or going out with friends to the local wine bar.  Why is this?  Conditioning.  Habit.  Even exercise can become habit.  Then we can’t live without it and sometimes it gets in the way of other parts of our lives.

When we are seeking happiness through something, it is “separate” from ourselves.  Just like the “word” is not the thing, so is the problem with seeking something outside ourselves.  It is not that things outside ourselves like “Tai Chi” or relationships are bad, it is just that our true happiness comes from within.   It would behoove ourselves to pay attention to how we are feeling when we are doing our activities, and that means even when exercising and eating.  Pay attention when we don’t want to do something.  Notice how the resistance will go away if you wait long enough, as my mentor Don used to say.  When you notice these things, you are learning about yourself.  That is what makes relationships so wonderful and powerful: learning about oneself and giving others the opportunity to learn about themselves.

In the last paragraph, K talks about how self-knowledge is not an end in itself.  We think we have made it or solved the problem when we have found that job or relationship or whatever.  But it is an on-going and never-ending process.  This is where attachment gets us in trouble.  I remember in one of K’s video how he says rather than love one person, you love the whole world.  That stuck with me.  Compassion, not just for loves ones, but for everyone.  I notice when I am around loved ones, and I think they are about to hurt themselves, even in a minor way, I twinge.  It is as if I am experiencing what they are experiencing.  This awareness is new for me.  It sure seems like we are connected, whether we realize it or not.

Reference

As in most posts on Zentrepreneurial.com, italicization of words refers to the words of either Jiddu Krishnamurti or Albert Low.  The website writer’s words are in regular text.

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