The Happiness Factor
By Remez Sasson
If you analyze people's actions, you will come to the conclusion that they all seek happiness. Every act is in fact a search for it, even if on the surface it doesn't look so. Happiness is always the main target.
Going to the movies, eating in a restaurant or going to a party, are motivated by the desire to be happy. Sometimes the movie is not interesting, the food is not good and the party is boring. Then the search goes on. Maybe the next time the search will be more successful.
If the activity is pleasing, there might be a feeling of happiness, and then this activity is sought again in order to repeat this pleasant feeling.
Who does not dream of a vacation in some fascinating location, a new car, a new house, or the ideal match? All people daydream, and some even try to make their dreams a reality. And why is that? In order to be happy.
What about people who endanger themselves by climbing steep mountains, entering unexplored caves, or diving into the deep of the ocean? They too are looking for the few moments of happiness and rapture.
A thief may steal because he loves the thrill of danger, or because he desires to have quick money to spend. He is actually looking for happiness, though in a criminal and perverted way.
The list can be endless. It is the happiness factor that is dictating the behavior of each and everyone. It is sought in many ways and forms. Sometimes though, it is sought in a selfish way, or by hurting other people through stealing or taking by force.
Of course not all actions end in happiness. The motive is happiness, but the results not always bring the coveted desire.
According to some spiritual traditions, we are spiritual beings in physical bodies. The spiritual part is always happy, or rather is happiness itself. The body covers this happiness essence, but it is there all the time. There is a constant desire to be aware of this happiness. This is the reason it is constantly sought.
No matter what activity is sought, at the moment that happiness is experienced, something happens. Whether it is the thrill of arriving to the summit of a high mountain, eating a delicious cake or winning the lottery, there is a common element that is always present.
At the peak of happiness there is a stoppage of the thinking process. There is inner silence. Worries are dropped away. There is peace. The competition or dangers are over. This may last for a brief moment or a little bit longer. In this vast peace we feel happy. It is not the object gained or the successful performance that brought this feeling. It is something internal and independent of the outside world.
Happiness is always here, but covered by thoughts, desires and fears. It is experienced when these covers disappear for a while. When fear or worry come to an end or a desire attained, there is a temporary disappearance of these covers. The ego and personality stop moving for a while, and a great satisfaction and inner happiness is experienced.
In order to experience it on a daily basis, one has to learn to quieten the restless mind. One has to dive inside, because happiness is an inner attribute and is not in the objects or circumstances. It is in this world, but out of this world.
There is no need to search for happiness or to create it. There is no need to have all kinds of outer experiences and actions in order to feel it. On the contrary, everything has to be dropped in order to experience it.
Every technique, which helps to relax the mind and quieten the rush of thoughts will lead to happiness. Developing concentration and engagement in meditation are the main ways towards this goal.
When the ability to have a quiet mind under all circumstances is gained, one enjoys constant happiness, no matter what he is doing and where he is. This is quite attainable, but to gain this peace and happiness you need to work towards it. By making the first step today, happiness will start to fill your life.