The stages of happiness as I see it in the current human condition:
1. Have it
2. Loose it
3. Recognise the problem
4. Claim it back
We are all born with happiness. Or perhaps it would be best to say none of us are born with an ego. I use the word ‘Ego’ in the buddhist sense meaning the ‘false self’- our identity gained from comparison to external factors, and hence not our true selves. Ego, in the Buddhist sense, is quite different from the Freudian ego, but more on that later. I use the word happiness here meaning ‘total happiness’ as interchangeable with words such as ‘peace’ and ‘enlightenment’, as opposed to meaning simple gratification. To me ‘happiness’ represents more of a fleeting satisfaction, whereas peace is rising above the dualities of ‘happiness’ and ‘sadness’. However happiness seems to be the word that fits the most comfortably in this context, so thats what I will use. Most people live their entire lives stuck at stage 2, where they have lost their happiness, and thats the way they stay, never to find out why or try to claim it back. This blog aims to record my thoughts and experiences on my own personal quest for peace.
So lets begin!
When I was young, I found what I was looking for. Or perhaps it is better to say that I noticed that something was missing in my life. Note there is an important difference between finding your path and actually walking it, although they do intersect at a certain point. You could live your whole life knowing what you are missing but never taking steps to pursue it, but that would just be stupid because if you really knew what you were looking for then why would you not go after it? But let’s not get into too much detail on, words are just a means to an end, and the last thing I want to do is to not be clear. The fact remains that at around the ages of 18-19, I slowly started to acknowledge what it was I was missing in my life, and take steps to change it.
This ‘thing’ is the same thing almost all of us recognise and experience, especially so if you live in a westernised society. It is the constant yearning for something more, the subtle anxiety that perpetuates your life, the lack of laughter, lack of fun, the numbness, the frustration, the anger, the lack of direction. It takes many forms, maybe you have a flashback to a time in your childhood when you were happy, content and blissfully indifferent. Maybe you look at your job and say “What’s the point of this again?”. Maybe you get so angry and then in the heat of your anger you look at yourself and think “Why am I so angry? Is it worth it?”. I’m not going to try and guess all the forms this unhappiness takes. I am no psychologist, no philosopher, no writer nor self-help guru, I am simply another person and all I can really do is tell my own story in the hopes that other people will enjoy it and benefit from it.
Why my story specifically? My story is just another among billions of others. Everyone thinks in a unique way, and some are bound to think similarly to me. So if that is the case then perhaps this book will help you to find happiness, or it could just be an interesting read. I know that if I ever lost my way, I would want to read a book just like this to guide me. My writing could help you find happiness even if you don’t think similarly to me, but that is something about which I don’t know, because I can again only speak from my own personal experience. I will always try to speak from my personal experience because to me that is the only thing that is real. Otherwise it is just speculation. I will also try my best to be honest, writing from what is true. So my writing has 3 main aims:
1. To help others to find happiness
2. To be an interesting read
3. To help organise my thoughts and be a record and journal for myself
Also keep in mind that this blog is not orientated around any particular philosophy or religion, merely the ones where I find the truth through personal enquiry. Coincidentally I find more truth through practical things such as Buddhism, meditation and new-age thinkers such as Ekhart Tolle than older more complex religions such as Christianity and Islam, however I do not claim to be an expert in any of them.
Sometimes I think that my quest for happiness is so utterly hopeless (as i’m sure do many others), but then I will experience a moment of complete freedom and joy. It is hard at first, and your ‘ego’ or ‘false self’ will be very hard to loose, but the moment you have a glimpse of real clarity you remember what it is all for.
So to summarise, in this blog I will be recording my many thoughts, ideas and speculations regarding my own personal inquisition into the fundamentals of the human condition in order to help myself and possibly others.