On Happiness

We tend to think that for me to be happy, everything must go right with me; there musn’t be difficult people around, I musn’t be too old, or sick, or hungry, and I must have a lot of money; all those things I believe, are necessary in order for me to be happy. There must be no difficult people around, who make me unhappy; people must never disagree with me; the weather musn’t get too cold, and so on and so forth. Now, this is a very conditional form of happiness and if I have to aim for that conditional happiness in my life, I shall never achieve it... so maybe it is a surprise for some to hear that it is possible to be happy, no matter what condition one is in. There are so many words used in Eastern philosophical and psychological traditions, that indicate bliss, happiness, rapture and joy... these are all different degrees of fulfilment as a human being. And fulfilment of a human being does not always have anything to do with things going your way; we are suggesting here that we can develop into a stage of joy or bliss which is indestructable: whatever the circumstances are... it will remain indestructable! It is an indestructible joy of living that is independent of the circumstances that you are in. This requires us, as it were, to take up residence with our mind in a different area of consciousness to what we normally occupy. Our ordinary/everyday consciousness is very dependent on our moods and emotions and the quality of our thoughts; If we have to rely entirely on those fluctuating moods and emotions and thoughts, then clearly, we will never find peace of mind.

– Douglas Baker

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