The Pursuit of Happiness

October 6, 2018 3 By Lance Kelly

The spiritual life, when lived as a total practice, is neither being happy nor unhappy, but a state of equilibrium. The world, not surprisingly, equates this peace of mind with boredom or a state of madness. This is why, in an emotionally driven society, it’s so rare for anyone to live uninterruptedly in the enlightened state. Throughout the experience of life from birth to death, we human beings are encouraged to emote and project ourselves as expressions of self. This is the accepted way of living until someone has suffered enough and is ready to break the vacillating emotional cycle for good.

Happiness is a personal affair which is dependent on the caprice of outer forces, such as falling in love, a promotion at work or winning the lottery. Similarly, unhappiness depends on the opposite polarity of falling out of love, getting fired, or having to fend off relatives and friends eager for a share of the winnings. We’re not in existence to be happy or unhappy, but to enjoy life free of the suppression of emotional negativity. The world tries to convince us that happiness is achievable and the way to fulfilment. If it were true, then someone would have discovered the secret by now. But nobody has yet succeeded, or ever will, no matter what’s been gained or achieved by the wealthiest or most talented individuals on earth.

At birth, each of us has to take on a portion of unresolved unhappiness of the past living experience of humanity. This externalises in the circumstances of the life through the predisposition and behavioural traits of the person. Consequently, some people can appear optimistic most of the time, whereas others seem to be burdened by a shadow of gloom. Astrology is a popular means of exploration into the cosmic scheme of life which, although by no means the whole story, does shed some light on what people have to deal with and how they respond to the world. Without delving too deeply into the subject, the study of the twelve astrological sun signs can provide a fairly accurate description of the different character types, as well as opening the mind to the profundity of this extraordinary existence.

It’s the ups and downs of being happy this moment and unhappy the next that’s the problem. If someone were unhappy all the time, they wouldn’t know they were unhappy; or alternatively if they were perpetually happy, there’d be no distinction. The natural creatures of the earth are neither happy nor unhappy, but exist in a contented state of harmony with their environment. The solution is being free of unhappiness, for this can be lived as an uninterrupted state of being. When this is realised, what more can anyone desire? And the answer is nothing; for this is the state of love – the divine mystery beyond the pursuit of happiness.