SCIENCE OF HAPPINESS

If I know water would boil at a 100 degrees Celsius under earth’s gravity. Do I need to hope it would boil at 100 degree Celsius? Or even if I do not want the water to be boiled, could I desire the water not to be boiled even if I heat it up to 100 degrees Celsius? I can hope, dance, or pray—or do all three at once—for it to rain tomorrow. However, if the causes are not right, it will not rain. Or maybe I do not want it to rain tomorrow. But again, if the conditions are right for it to rain, it will rain regardless of what I want or do not want.

The simple yet elegant wisdom that I am attempting to reiterate here is this:

Reality has nothing to do with what one wants. Instead, reality has everything to do with the law of cause and effect.

If the causes are right for an effect to occur, it will occur regardless of what one wants or do not want. Scientifically speaking, there is no room for desires in reality. There is only cause and effect.

The common way, we, humans, achieve happiness in life is to put what we desire in front of the causes we must perform to achieve the result. We start a project by wanting it to be finished. We run a business by hoping to gain and never to lose. We often live by being afraid of dying even though we are perfectly fine. We lived life without  Even when we are deeply in love with someone, we can’t help ourselves feeling a little insecure about how long the good time will last. Humans always put our desire in front of what the reality is. For this reason, our pursuit of happiness has led us to constantly become fearful, worried, impatient, and frustrated by what we demand from reality.

But is this really necessary? or is there a better way of pursuing happiness?

Two Approaches Toward True Happiness: One Is Scientific And Other Is Not.

There are two opposing ways of achieving anything in life.

1. Desire-Oriented Approach to Happiness

This is humans’ most typical approach toward happiness. By putting our desire in front of what the reality is, our happiness is externalized and is dependent what we hope from the reality than what the reality is. And thus, he or she can never be happy until his desire is fulfilled. In other words, we have given up our rights to our own happiness.

2. Reality-Oriented Approach to Happiness

The second way is to work toward your goal without the need to get ahead of ourselves.  To work with and according to what the reality is, not work from the stance of what we expect reality to be.

The man whose desire is with reality lived with what is. Since his desire is in tune with reality, he is not anxious or worried. This, in turn, allows him to become more composed, relaxed, and ultimately more productive while working toward his goal with a peace of mind.

Epictetus beautifully capture this idea as follows:

Do not seek to have events happen as you want them to, but instead want them to happen as they do happen, and your life will go well.

Our Duty To Reality

Right now, I am applying for graduate school. Right away, my desire is to be accepted. But who am I to want or not want things from reality without ever creating the right causes for it to happen? In reality, whether or not anyone would or would not be accepted has many different factors—many beyond one’s control. So just by applying or having a great supporting resume doesn’t mean I have the right to demand or hope from reality my admission. So why hope? Why put my desire ahead of the reality? Why worry? Why set myself up to be dissappointed for something which I have no control over? And why not channel this energy, instead,  in what I can control by creating the right causes such as writing the best application?

You can attain anything in life with or without the need to desire for it. But since reality runs by the absolute law of cause and effect, it does not obey one’s desire no matter how large or small the desire. The only thing that matters is whether or not there are enough causes for the effect to occur. Thus, there is no need to desire because…

  1. One simply can’t. There is no room for desire in reality.
  2. It is not based on reality but hope. Every effect must has it rightful causes.
  3. If putting our demands of the reality before the reality is the root the unhappiness of life, why unnecessarily suffer?

One does not need to desire to achieve whatever he or she set out to accomplish. Our duty to life is not to chase after our desire, but to create the right causes to produce the right effect. Depending on how well one could live in accordance with this natural law and not according to what he or she demands of reality, the happier he or she becomes.

Conclusion

All in all, the message here is simple: life is happier, better, and more satisfactory if one lives in accordance with reality and its law rather than living in accordance with what one wants from reality.

Reality does not revolve around what one wants from it; it revolves around the absolute law of cause and effect. Life is never like what one wants it to be. The only way for anyone to feel the unsatisfactoriness of life is to be unmindful of the law of conditionality and desire life or reality to be the way one wants.

‘What’s worse, the falling rain, or your resistance to getting wet?’ – Jeff Foster

So let’s keep our feet on the ground; and stay with reality and its law. Forget about all your fantasies about how reality should be. Instead, focus on, be satisfied, and work starting from what is. Begin living in the now! Keep on working with reality by making the right causes to achieve the right effect. And always remember that the way to live happily, correctly, and more efficiently, is not to put our desires in front of our reality, but the other way around.

CAUSE OF UNHAPPINESS PART FOUR: MISTAKE IN LIFE

You can’t change or erase what happened in the past, all you can change is your attitude toward it.

Mistake in life is not to be taken lightly. For some, one small mistake could define who they are and enslave our lives in an unending quest to redeem or fix the mistake that he or she has done in the past. So let’s first begin by understanding what mistake is and how it affects our happiness.

Understanding the Nature of Life Mistake

1. Mistake is like a ghost.

When we do not reconcile or do not know how to reconcile with our mistake, the mistake becomes an open loop which endlessly haunts our lives. The more we wish to not think about our mistake, the more our minds irresistibly wander back to the mistake to relive it. Even though that particular mistake might have happened many years ago, or you might be at work or in the middle of a party, our mistake will not rest or give us a break. It will continue to enter into our conscious mind to remind us of its presence.

2. The mistake itself is not what makes us unhappy. It’s our attitude towards it that makes us unhappy.

Mistake is fueled by our biases toward it. The more we resist, avoid, hide, deny, blame, bend, or twist the reality of our mistake the more powerful it becomes in our lives. It draws power from our desire to not accept or come to term with it. The feeling of guilt, depression, anger, frustration, self-hating, and embarrassment. All of which originate from our desire that the past should or should not have been otherwise. It’s the void in our want from reality which we desperately want to change but can’t. The only way for a mistake to lose its power is for us to allow our mistake to be, without disliking it or denying its reality. Accept the mistake as it is without any filters. This is how a mistake loses its power and slowly fade away from our lives.

3. Mistake is by default inevitable.

Nobody wants to make mistake. Yet, why do we make mistake? Nobody would make a mistake if they know ahead of time what would be the consequence of that action. But the point here is we don’t. That is why we must make mistake. There is no avoiding it. So when we look back at our mistake in life especially ones that our minds often replay in our heads, it is important to understand that there was nothing we can do to change the past. It is something that must happen the way it did and not any other way.

Changing Our Attitude with Our Mistakes in Life

So how does one deal with one’s mistake? Here are 4 definitive steps to overcoming your mistake in life:

1. Take Full Responsibility For Your Mistake And All Its Ramification

  • If we are unwilling to accept its consequences, then we are not ready to fully come to terms with our mistake. Have the courage to face your mistake. Be responsible for it. Don’t run away from it. Mistake is by definition undesirable. But when we made a mistake, we must be strong and mature enough to take full responsibility for it whether or not it was intentionally or unintentionally, whether it effects just you or many other people.

2. Think About What Is Best At This Very Moment

  • Is there a benefit in going over our mistake? If there is then please do. But if brooding over our mistake only rubs the salt in the wound, then perhaps there is no point in letting our mistake take over our lives. The best question to ask in this situation is, “What can we control at this moment?” Can we change the past? No. Can we change what is in the now? Yes. So let’s focus on what we can change instead of what we can’t. Let’s ask relevant questions like, “How can I do my best now so that I can avoid more mistake in the future?” or “What is the best thing to do right now?” So without the burden of the past, move on by letting go of the past which you no longer have control and focus on what you can control in the present moment.

3. Learn to Forgive Ourselves

  • It’s impossible to move on if we do not forgive ourselves from our mistake. The characteristic of mistake in life is that they inevitable. Thus, it must happen the way it did. Looking back, you would never have done it. But because you did not know. That’s why you made that mistake. So don’t take it personally. Anyone who was in your shoes would have made the same mistake.

4. Accepting Our Mistake as It Is. Do not Avoid, Hide, Deny, Blame Others, Bend, or Twist the Reality of Our Mistake.

  • If you can’t openly tell others your mistake, then this is perhaps a good indicator that there is something you still cannot accept about it. Of course, I am not suggesting for us to go out and tell everybody of our mistake either. My point is simply to come to understand ourselves to see if we still have our biases toward our mistake. If we still do then it is time to reconcile ourselves with these mistakes.

Learning to Be with Your Mistake

The best way to reconcile with any mistakes in life is to accept it. Accepting is different from justifying our wrong doing. Accepting our mistake is to understand that there is no way of going back to fix the past of what we have done. Accepting our mistake is to be courageous and mature enough to accept whatever outcome and ramification that resulted as the direct or indirect outcome of our mistake. Accepting is to see no value in brooding or regretting our mistake, but instead see the value in what is in front of us. It is to be in the now by taking in the mistake as is, not as what you hope or do not hope it would be.

As a basic practice, when the mind wanders back to your mistake in life, do not fight it. Do not find excuses for yourself about why you were not wrong. Do not look for a scapegoat. Observe the feelings associated with our mistakes, but let it be as it is without hoping the mistake would happen otherwise. Simply, know it and be mindful of it. Take it as it is. And understand that it must happen the way it did. Remind yourself of what is the best thing to do right now by knowing what you can and what you can’t control. And let go of our feelings by seeing how the bad feelings that comes with your mistake does not help you or anyone to be better. Eventually, your mistake will begin to lose its power as you slowly come to understand its nature. Don’t let your mistake of the past clouds what is in front you today.

[Read the original post @ true-happiness.github.io]

 

CAUSE OF UNHAPPINESS PART THREE: FEAR OF BEING MEANINGLESS

One of the worst fear of our lives is that we become meaningless. Whether this would be meaningless to oneself, meaningless to others, or meaningless to the world. Meaninglessness comes in various forms. The feeling of being useless, most evident in today society where everything is about productivity, to a feeling of inadequacy. At True Happiness, this is an important concept to understand as often times, we, humans, equate our self-worth with our meaning. So let’s dig a little deeper on this subject of meaninglessness to see where we could find True Happiness.

One of the most renowned Theravada Buddhist Monk in Thailand, “Ajahn Chah,” once asked his disciples if a wooden stick–just like the one in the picture above–is long or short. Some answered, “It is long.” Some answered, “It is short.” But Ajahn Chah’s answer was not what one would unexpected. His answer is that the stick is neither long nor short. It is only long if we want it to be short. And it is short only if you want it to be long. Thus, the wooden stick is neither short or long. It is what it is. Only our want make it short or long.

Similarly, our life is the same as that wooden stick. We are as meaningless as how much meaningful we want to be. A rich person who want to be richer always feels he or she is not meaningful enough. So in a sense, he is “poor.” A poor person who feels that he or she has all that he or she could ever want is in way “rich.” It all depends on your want. If you want to be richer then immediately you are “poor.” If you feel you already have more than you want then at that very moment you are “rich.”

We are as meaningless as how much meaningful we want to be.

The moment you want to be more meaningful is the moment that you have become meaningless. Those who feels they are already meaningful has no need to search for more meaning in their life. They are already happy and satisfied with life. They have finished looking for more meaning to fill the void of their meaninglessness.

Thus, to find true happiness is not to look for more meaning, but to stop looking for one.

What To Take Away

We are as meaningless as how much meaningful we want to be. Thus, to find true happiness is not to look for meaning, but to stop looking for one.