As Long as We Believe That We Need Things to Make Us Happy…

Matthew Capowski

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As long as we believe that we need things to make us happy, we shall also believe that in their absence we must be miserable. Mind always shapes itself according to its beliefs. Hence the importance of convincing oneself that one need not be prodded into happiness; that, on the contrary, pleasure is a distraction and a nuisance, for it merely increases the false conviction that one needs to have and do things to be happy when in reality it is just the opposite.

But why talk of happiness at all? You do not think of happiness except when you are unhappy. A man who says: ‘Now I am happy’, is between two sorrows — past and future. This happiness is mere excitement caused by relief from pain. Real happiness is utterly unselfconscious. It is best expressed negatively as: ‘there is nothing wrong with me. I have nothing to worry about’. After all, the ultimate purpose of all sadhana [spiritual practices] is to reach a point, when this conviction, instead of being only verbal, is based on the actual and ever-present experience.

Nisargadatta Maharaj
 
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