Two kinds of happiness
In the west, our culture emphasized the pursuit of happiness through external means. Most people would complete the sentence, I’ll be happy when I’ve made a million pounds, when I am married to the person of my dream, when I find a job, etc. we are told from a very early age that these are the things that will make us happy, but a quick glance at the news each day reveals clearly that having “good things in life” can only be part of the story.
In the East, traditional culture emphasizes acceptance of the conditions of existence, positing the idea that happiness is found within.
Real wealth is not about money – it is about your access to resources, whether or not those resources technically belong to you. So money is essentially a symbol of value. Money is a symbol of our confidence in our product, our service and ourselves!
Much suffering, much unhappiness arises when you take each thought that comes into your head for the truth. Situations don’t make you unhappy. They may cause you physical pain, but they don’t make you unhappy. Your thoughts make you unhappy. Your interpretations, the stories you tell yourself make you unhappy.
Little stories we tell ourselves and others, often in the form of complaints. They are unconsciously designed to enhance our always deficient sense of self through being “right” and making something or someone “wrong”. Being “right” places us in a position of imagined superiority and so strengthen our false sense of self, the ego.
Many people are in the manufacturing business. They manufacture their own unhappiness. How foolish to manufacture personal unhappiness to add to all the other difficulties over which you have little or no control!
Let us proceed to the formula for putting an end to this misery-producing process. We manufacture our unhappiness by thinking unhappy thoughts, by the attitudes which we habitually take, such as the negative feeling that everything is going to turn out badly, or that other people are getting what they do not deserve and we are failing to get what we do deserve. Our unhappiness is further distilled by saturating the consciousness with feelings of resentment, ill-will, and hate.