Friday, June 08, 2007

What is Happiness?

What, then, is happiness? The answer is not complex. Happiness is simply a state of inner freedom. Freedom from what? With a bit of self-insight, every individual can answer that question for himself. It is freedom from the secret angers and anxieties we tell no one about. It is freedom from fear of being unappreciated and ignored, from muddled thinking that drives us to compulsive actions and, later, to regrets. It is freedom from painful cravings that deceive us into thinking that our attainment of this person or of that circumstance will make everything right. Happiness is liberty from everything that makes us unhappy.

Happiness is formless; it cannot be fitted into the frame of our demands. We insist upon this wife or husband, this career or achievement, this home, this security, excitement or distraction. Even if we get our demands, we are no happier than before; we have merely covered our unhappiness. It is still there, and will inevitably show itself when change occurs. We must break the frame altogether, and just let life happen; then, we enter an amazing new world whose existence we never before suspected.

Vernon Howard



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