What are we told? (and what do we want to hear?)
That we have the right to happiness, that we just have to seek it. Starting by running away from troubles and problems.
For Buddhism « happiness is the goal of life. », hence the need to « educate the mind to preserve itself from suffering. ».
The Dalai Lama tempers these doctrines by saying that this goal should not be associated with the pursuit of pleasure. But the reality is obvious, even if we refuse it: suffering is inevitable because happiness as we usually understand it (feeling good, without worry for the times to come, etc.) can only be temporary.
We must therefore accept this other evidence:
« The first goal of our coming to Earth is not to be happy there. »
Otherwise why would we come here? Why didn't you stay in Heaven? « The souls that inhabit our bodies did not come down to have a good time. »
Happiness is a beneficial stopover, a salutary elevation.
But if it continues, it puts you to sleep and makes you selfish.
Suffering keeps the soul awake.
We must never lose sight of the reason for our coming to this world.
So how can it manifest?
Happiness does not depend on materiality « The thing that gives you pleasure today will make you suffer tomorrow. Or the pleasure will disappear and its absence will make you suffer. »
(Eckhart Tolle: "The Power of Now")
...but from Love
; only of that.
« Make no mistake about it, happiness is not the goal to be achieved (it will only be a consequence); the real goal is love. » (Love until self-forgetfulness; find happiness through self-forgetfulness.)
« The huts are absolutely poor. They don't contain anything. It's simple: nothing! The mother of one of the small porters explains to us that her husband cannot find a job. What does she live on? She goes to the market every day at closing time and picks up the vegetables and fruits that no one wants but that feed her family. This story seems to amuse her a lot, she jokes about it with her friends and converses with them in incessant bursts of laughter! This joy in the midst of this destitution is astounding! Where does man find his happiness?
This same question, I asked myself later in Europe, where I often discover a climate of gloom, a basic dissatisfaction. I have the impression that individuals are entangled in another kind of slavery. Desires that are impossible to control, constantly resurgent, a panting race without remission stifle in its germ the pleasure of living, of living the moment: joy of being, of breathing, of walking, of thinking... We are perhaps touching here on a essential divergences: the African, closer to his childhood, remains immersed in the present which he simply enjoys. Tomorrow does not interest him. The European, always in search of evolution, is turned towards the future, which he wants indefinitely better. »
('Sister Emmanuelle's Farewell')Contributions by Sister Emmanuelle on the theme of:The WAY
« Everyone wants everything to happen in perfect conformity with their ego : to be the center of the world and to encounter only the yes, the yes, always the yes. When we always have to deal with the no. And that the little child learns one day or another. We want a colleague to smile at us, he does not smile at us. We want a woman to love us, she doesn't love us. We want a raise and we don't get it. And that deeply we do not accept. We don't give the other permission to be themselves, to be different, to be like us an ego, with their desires and fears.
This attitude is characteristic of the small child who conceives only his needs and their satisfaction: only me. Normal human growth should be: me only, then: me and others, and finally: others only. The child is made to receive, the adult to give. But today how many children become adults? More and more, the world is populated by spoiled, frustrated, revolted and frightened children. »
« Certainly, the desire to be happy is legitimate. But what is happiness and how is it acquired? We receive according to what we give. And the best gift you can give is the gift of yourself. To those whom he still sees as children, the master gives. To those who want to become an adult, the master asks.
« Give me your despair, your hatred, your lies, your fears, your pride, your pain. Unload your burden on me and I will relieve you. »
But still it is necessary that the disciple agrees to discharge his burden. For a long time he clings to it with all his strength, he has become (he identified with) his burden. Because this burden has the trick of also presenting itself under fascinating aspects: success, pleasure, superiority over others, brilliant intelligence, love. People love me, I am loved. Who I ? The ego. But it is not the ego of the disciple that the master loves, loves with an infinite, incomprehensible, indescribable love. This is the disciple's truth (it is God through this man, the man who seeks) . It is out of love for this truth that the master shows towards the ego unlimited patience, unfailing delicacy, severity without weakness. »
« You have a bad habit of constantly comparing your lives to each other, and always believing that the neighbor is luckier than you. Your scales are wrong because you are all at different stages of evolution. »
... and own it as one owns property. Like this madman evoked by Saint-Exupéry « who filled his jug and locked it in his cupboard because he loved the sound of fountains. »
« To build the orange tree I use fertilizer and manure and pickaxe in the ground and I also cut through the branches. And so rises a tree capable of bearing flowers. I, the gardener, turn over the earth without worrying about flowers or happiness, because for there to be a flowering tree, there must first be a tree. To be a happy man, you must first be a man (built from inside). »
« When you've known enough rich, admired, and unhappy men and women, you know that money and success don't bring happiness and that there must be 'something' to understand and find. Happiness or misfortune are the expression of what we are, not the result of what we have. »
« Liberation is the extinction of desires, in other words, finding joy and fulfillment within oneself instead of seeking them outside. It is the end of all suffering, of all pain. But how to get there? First be convinced that everything I have just said is true. »
The task of the animal is centered on itself.
He only enjoys what is his.
Its air, its food, its child.
If he is well, he rejoices in everything.
He lives in a circle called: himself.
It's (must be) just the opposite in humans.
Your joy is (must be) what you radiate beyond the circle.
The animal is hungry, it is satiated and that is enough.
Man is filled, he radiates, and that is never enough.
« We experience here (to the sky) this incomparable happiness of finding happiness only in that of others. When we reach this state – which is a reward – we remember with shame, regret and pity, the selfish contentment we sought on earth. »
« Think so as not to hurt. Create happiness, peace, joy around you.
Always be joyful, happy when you have the opportunity; love life, God gave it to you. Walk the beautiful paths, God created them, let your eyes admire the beautiful spectacles of nature, God gave them their splendour. Love all that is beautiful. Nature is a work of love and consolation. »
« You must despise the judgments of the multitude because they prevent you from growing. They want you locked up in your provisions. Let them talk. Their advice comes from an easy heart that first wishes you happiness. »
Just as genuine love frees itself from external attractions, happiness comes closer as we detach ourselves from the things of this world. « If you ceased to live according to your desires on human advantages, the criterion of your happiness would shift, the smell of wisteria would have a value for your soul. »
« The only way to be happy is to love, to forget yourself. »
In this pageExcerpt from the chapter: "The why of suffering?"
«If anyone wants to come with me, let him stop thinking about himself and carry his cross. » ( Matthew 16.24 )
To live constantly turned towards oneself is to transform one's life into hell.
« Sister Emmanuelle, said the superior to me one day, currently, you only see your problem. It's normal. But share more of other people's problems, and yours will lose its monopoly. Open your heart to the hurt of others, and your wound will heal. »
('Sister Emmanuelle's Farewell')
« By loving others, your own tears will miraculously heal. »
, great sages tell us about forgetting oneself, or more exactly about the sublimation of the self, which, from a source of distress and frustration, becomes a royal path. Because it is not a question of despising this ego, but of using it:Matter purifies itself when it burns.
The flame grows, the light spreads.
« Listen to your inner self. Hush… do you hear that? This sound you hear in your heart is you, the inner you speaking through your innermost feelings. Feelings that you often overlook and push away in ignorance of their source and the information they convey. These feelings come on the wings of angels and light up the path before you. Do not take them lightly and do not trample them with your decisions to go ever higher in your world of dreams. »
, they invite us to embark on the Way (“ For those who are tired of being wrong. "); that of the search for our inner beingExcerpt from the page: "Taking-back-control"
Every being is connected to their inner Self, which is connected to God.
Our inner being
« In you there are two characters, one terrestrial, stuck to matter, mired in its heaviness, and the other celestial, letting itself be carried by the light. The moment you conceive your two poles, you become greedy for unity and begin your quest for purity. But that's also where the trouble begins! In the innocence of unconsciousness you found a certain tranquility, operating in the same patterns for generations, fit to taste the pleasures of the flesh.
However, as soon as your consciousness opens to greater lucidity, your thirst for clarity comes up against the shadows.
In the grip of an existential despair, your mind then plays monumental tricks on you. You become the prey of grief, terrible doubts, loneliness and your impatience.
We are with you more than ever in these wanderings. Because then we recognize in you the flame, the inner fire.
Then begins an interior dialogue between your soul, which has already recognized us, and us who are your servants, your companions on the way. At your side, ready to support you in the difficult passages, smiling at your stammerings as a child of light.
In your heart of hearts, ego of earth and soul of light manifest themselves to each other and show themselves in turn. There is no point in adjusting them with a master's hand, there is no point in wishing for their fruitful friendship. Their role is not to oust each other. Thus you grow, by making in you the union of your part of incarnated man and your part of brilliance of light. It is there, in the balanced axis between these two aspects of yourself, that you touch that you touch the new dimension that allows you to Over-Live (among earthly torments). Then your personality of light irrigates your being incarnated in matter for a happy birth: that of the new Man in you, an incarnated reflection of the Father Creator. »
Happiness is not synonymous with being fulfilled at all times and forever, but with inner peace found and installed.
It is when we accept our suffering that we find peace.
For happiness, it's the same... you have to give it up first.
This is one of the great lessons that this life has given me. « Who wants to save his life will lose it. »
« To lose your life to save it is to give your time, the time you reserved for yourself, in order to offer it to those you love. »
« The search for happiness above all things is madness! This is going straight to failure.
You will only find happiness by forgetting to look for it.
(...) The more you flee from the personal search for joys, the closer you will come to a spiritual state which is really "happiness". »
« Why is it so hard to find happiness? Because we are expecting it.
Happiness is not something that comes or does not come, just like that, from outside. Happiness is a state of consciousness that depends on our good understanding of things. We must not imagine that we came on earth to live in ease, pleasures, abundance. We came to earth to learn and improve. But how can you improve if you don't have new problems to solve every day? Here, it must be clear: the earth is a school and, as in all schools, only those who learn and progress can be happy.
(...) Because it is in the victory over the trials that you will draw your happiness. »
( Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov, "The duty to be HAPPY")
The vanity of such a quest
« Man was created to know not happiness but truth. »
« Learned men do not lament over the living or the dead. »
however, feeling it is a sign
Setting happiness as a goal is like running a mirage through brambles and swamps. On the other hand, feeling it is a sign that we are on the right track.
Excerpt from the page: "Taking-back-control"
What is the way?
« What all religious or esoteric teachings call the way, is for those who are tired of being wrong.
The path begins with a complete reversal of our way of seeing. When you have known enough rich, admired and unhappy men and women, you know that money and success do not bring happiness and that there must be "something" to understand and find. Conversely, how many people without beauty, without notoriety, are nevertheless relaxed, at peace and happy. There are people who are both fulfilled and desperate, and people who are disgraced or crippled, but radiant with joy. Happiness or suffering only apparently depends on external conditions. Happiness or misfortune are the expression of what we are, not the result of what we have.
The important thing is not to have but to be.
The sage is free from desire. He stopped opposing what we like to what we don't like.
The one who, on the contrary, can feel himself to be only on the condition of having is necessarily in competition with those who also covet to have what he desires. For him there is neither rest nor peace. To have does not only mean to have money or material goods, but all that is combined with this verb: to have knowledge, prestige, honors, original ideas, an ideal, an ideology, experiences, friends, admirers, everything that we can say "my", everything that can give the illusion of filling the inner void and the nullity of being. »
« The way is a huge hospital where those who have recognized and accepted the fact of their illness meet. This disease is the disease of the ego, of individualism, which imprisons us in the duality of desires and refusals. »
« Happiness is the surest criterion of wisdom. We know that we have reached the end of the road when we are in the state of total happiness, to which nothing is missing and nothing can be added. The man around us is far, very far from it, because he seeks outside himself the meaning of his life.
Addiction causes an external event to mutilate us as if our very being was called into question. »
« Happiness has always appeared to me as the sign of their perfection and the quality of their hearts. To the only one who can tell you: "I feel so happy. », open your house for life, because the happiness that comes to her is a sign of her quality. »
« Love, joy and peace are deep states of Being. Their origin is beyond the mind.
In the state of non-awakening and identification with the mind, what is called joy is most often just pleasure. Which is always brought about by something outside of you, while joy emanates from within.
In other words, the thing that gives you pleasure today will make you suffer tomorrow. Or the pleasure will disappear and its absence will make you suffer. »
« Happiness does not consist in acquiring and enjoying, but in desiring nothing. » ( EPICTETES (50 - 130) )
Possessions and Happiness
« The key to our happiness depends on our ability to be satisfied.
Happiness in this world depends on our desires, which is why it is unstable. Because the characteristic of desire is never to be satisfied, it leads us to want to receive and possess always more. This permanent dissatisfaction creates suffering because the happiness that results from the fulfillment of pleasure does not last. We are afraid to see it disappear because we know it is inconstant, and like children, we seek to accumulate moments of happiness. »
« By dint of advocating the cult of matter and appearances, we have erected a society that has lost the link with the spiritual. Wealth and success are presented as the ultimate aspirations and the biggest dreams to achieve in order to be happy. We come to neglect the spirit. Matter becomes an end in itself and the question: "Why are we here?" loses all its meaning.
Locked in our ego and obsessed with appearances, we end up missing out on a lot of things. »
« (...) I did not conclude from this that the quality of food was opposed to the quality of happiness, but simply that where goods are in greater number, men are offered more chances of mislead about the nature of their joys.
In prosperity it may be that they are more easily deceived and more often run to vain riches. Those in the desert or in the monastery, possessing nothing, clearly know where their joys come from. »
« Where does it come from that wealth does not enrich me? » they lament and they calculate that it is appropriate only to increase it because it was not sufficient. And they appropriate some others, which encumber them even more. And here they are cruel in their irreparable boredom. »
« If given the choice, I would only treat wealthy patients, because they no longer believe that their problems can be solved by money. »
« During several existences, I passed through the hardships of work and misery which I had voluntarily chosen to fortify and purify my soul. I had the good fortune to emerge victorious, but there remained the most perilous of all: that of wealth and material well-being. Many minds, seduced by appearances, hasten to choose it; alas, they too weak! to face danger. »
Paula, countess of V... on earth (questioned during a seance).
« This one thinks he finds his joy in the richness of the heap of objects. Powerless as he is to extricate it because it does not reside there, he multiply its wealth, and stacks the objects in pyramids and goes to agitate among them in their cellars, like these savages who dismantle the drum for you to capture the noise. »
« Life on earth is an illusion and what it offers is deceptive. The thirst for power, money... are only appearances and lies. All the goods of the earth are abandoned one day, willingly or by force, and leave only a taste of ashes and regrets. »
Stop comparing what we have and envying what we don't have.
« In the Buddhist tradition in which I grew up, it is taught that all human beings share the same discomfort: dissatisfaction. Everyone is dissatisfied, no one knows how to be content with what they have. For the Buddha, this was the fundamental problem of all mankind. »
(Dr. Norin Chai)
☞ The trap of material goods « You free yourself from the weight of matter, not by denying it, but by using it to approach the other shore. »
« And I passed in front of my one-legged cobbler busy embellishing his slippers with gold filigree. And I clearly understood, despite the fact that he no longer had a voice, that he was singing. "What is it, cobbler, that makes you so happy?" But I didn't listen to the answer, knowing that he would make a mistake and talk to me about the money earned or the meal that awaited him or the rest. Not knowing that his happiness lay in being transfigured into golden slippers. »
- Can you give me the secret of happiness?
- I believe so. You're ready ?
- I'm ready.
- Be satisfied.
- That's all ?
- Be grateful.
- That's all ?
- For what you already have. For the love you receive. For what God gave you.
- That's all ?
He looked me deep in the eye. Then he had a deep sigh.
- That's all. »
(Mitch Albom, "The Old Man Who Taught Me About Life")
« Happiness is continuing to want what you have. »
The happiness of the child is to see only the present moment.
« Patients at the end of life realize that love is the only thing that matters – the only thing we can take with us. These patients have stopped looking for happiness “out there”. They have discovered the wealth of each today. »
To be happy, one should stop wanting to modify events and people; consider only the present moment, which is most often not so painful; and... just smile. « Mom, the weather is fine, the sun today gladdens the hearts of the birds and they all sing. When the light laughs on earth, simply be happy. »
« Everything will crumble around you; they are gifts from God. You will be so light when you die that you will almost immediately come to me. If you were happy again, you would reweave your web with humans, and I don't think that would be beneficial to you, because you could never be completely satisfied. »
« When they are too unhappy men think: "That I can only escape my suffering and I don't ask for anything else." However, as soon as their anguish or despair subsides, aspirations and desires are coming back. »
Joys and pleasures are an integral part of life. It is even the royal road to reach God; however, it imposes to keep oneself constantly awake because the ego would easily forget itself there: « The pitfalls of joy are that joy is self-sufficient, it does not bring being to transcend itself.
» (...) Any humanly satiated life does not seek. You only begin to look up at the sky when worry torments you. »
« (...) But above all, one must be wary of the traps set by the 'gentleness of life'. It encloses us in a hushed comfort, perfectly insulating.
This is not a reason to refuse it, nor the facilities it offers us, but we must not allow it to anesthetize us. We have to stay clear-headed (attentive to the other) , the Essential is "elsewhere". »
(Jeanne Guesné, 'The Great Passage')Contributions by Jeanne Guesné on the theme of:The WAY
« Comfort is extremely fragile, an illusion that puts you to sleep. »
« Accept suffering, but also accept joy; and when she takes you away from sadness and darkness, marry her with all your being. God loves smiles, God loves joy, God loves open hearts. Adorn yourself with flowers, hum with the angels, know how to remain in the innocence of a child's laughter. »
« I would like to remind those who approach these Dialogues that “spirituality” also rhymes – first? – with “gaiety”, and that this spirituality can be rooted in an unalterable good sense and a very keen taste for the joys of this land. »
« Certainly, each ordeal, if it is transformed by love, advances, allowing the soul to rise in vibrations, in quality.
But not only the ordeal : a real love shared, a real laugh
shared, everything brings us closer to the divine vibration. »
(A. Ray-Wendling, "A Sun Too Late")Contributions by Anne Ray-Wendling on the subject of:The WAY
« Reviewing the film of their life, the dying often express these regrets:"Ah, if only I could have taken life less seriously!" They consider their professional, social or other success with pride, but they have understood that existence is not limited to this aspect. They have the feeling of having failed when their professional success has not been accompanied by that of their personal life. »
« It is the moments of laughter, of shared joy that matter most in life.
When someone dies, he does not tell me how much money or other wealth he had. No, he rather brings to my mind the people who have accompanied him throughout his journey here below. It is these memories that represent his true treasures. »