The Major Downfall Of Happiness – A Destructive Social Belief



Matthieu Ricard, the happiest man alive, through his talk, juxtaposed, the two ‘synonymous’ feelings, pleasure and happiness and helped clearly set apart one from another. In simpler words, he established that, if chocolate = pleasure, then we ourselves are the chocolate factories[we create and define our own happiness].

The Dalai Lama was once in Portugal, and there was a lot of construction going on everywhere. So one evening, he said, “Look, you are doing all these things, but isn’t it nice, also, to build something within?” And he said, “Unless that — even you get high-tech flat on the 100th floor of a super-modern and comfortable building, if you are deeply unhappy within, all you are going to look for is a window from which to jump.”

When we chase happiness or things that promise happiness, we essentially are pushing it away from us. In the words of Albert Schweitzer, German Philosopher, 

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

Matthieu Ricard conveys this wronged notion with a commonly prevalent worldly belief, which in itself is the major downfall in the quest of pursuit of happiness

We think that if we could gather this and that, all the conditions, something that we say, “Everything to be happy — to have everything to be happy.” That very sentence already reveals the doom of destruction of happiness. To have everything. If we miss something, it collapses. And also, when things go wrong, we try to fix the outside so much, but our control of the outer world is limited, temporary, and often, illusory.

The inner conditions, the underlying foundations of our being, are often disregarded. Matthieu Ricard, emphasizes on this widely overlooked conditional thinking. These weaker inner conditions reinforce our reliance on these outer conditions which are essentially just auxiliary/support conditions (house, car, bank balance, clothes, mobile phones), which may influence our happiness, but doesn’t make them the source of happiness. 

So now, look at inner conditions. Aren’t they stronger? Isn’t it the mind that translates the outer condition into happiness and suffering? And isn’t that stronger? We know, by experience, that we can be what we call “a little paradise,” and yet, be completely unhappy within.”

These inner conditions are the ones which fall within our control, such as our thoughts, the way we react, the sort of feelings and emotions we portray. But very often we look outside. That is where things start to fall apart, and eventually, catch us unawares. A fateful collapse, which is a logical consequence yet a situation one is unprepared for. 
We all have this deep nature, full of positive emotions, our own selfless being that makes us content with whatever we have. That is what needs to be nourished. Matthieu points, these are the states of minds conducive to this earnestly sought after flourishing/wellbeing/happiness.


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