Wednesday, February 11, 2009



(Tue, September 16, 2008 - 6:34 PM)

Today, we often confuse happiness with pleasure; but pleasure is only an illusion, a shadow of happiness; and in this delusion man may pass his whole life, seeking after pleasure and never finding satisfaction. There is a saying that:: man looks for pleasure and finds pain. Every pleasure seems happiness in outward appearance; it promises happiness, for it is the shadow of happiness, but just as the shadow of a person is not the person though representing his form, so pleasure represents happiness but is not happiness in reality.

According to this idea, one rarely finds souls in this world who know what happiness is; they are constantly disappointed in one thing after another. That is the nature of life in the world; it is so deluding that if man were disappointed a thousand times he would still take the same path, for he knows no other.

The more we study life, the more we realize how rarely there is a soul who can honestly say, 'I am happy.' Almost every soul, whatever his position in life, will say he is unhappy in some way or another; and if you ask him why, he will probably say that it is because he cannot attain to the position, power, property, possessions, or rank for which he has worked for years. Perhaps he is craving for money and does not realize that possessions give no satisfaction; perhaps he says he has enemies, or that those whom he loves do not love him. There are a thousand excuses for unhappiness that the reasoning mind will make.

But is even one of these excuses ever entirely correct? Do you think that if these people gained their desires they would be happy? If they possessed all, would that suffice? No, they would still find some excuse for unhappiness; all these excuses are only like covers over a man's eyes, for deep within is the yearning for the true happiness which none of these things can give. He who is really happy is happy everywhere, in a palace or in a cottage, in riches or in poverty, for he has discovered the fountain of happiness which is situated in his own heart. As long as a person has not found that fountain, nothing will give him real happiness.

The man who does not know the secret of happiness often develops avarice. He wants thousands, and when he gets them they do not satisfy him and he wants millions and still he is not satisfied; he wants more and more. If you give him your sympathy and service he is still unhappy; even all you possess is not enough, even your love does not help him, for he is seeking in a wrong direction, and life itself becomes a tragedy.

Happiness cannot be bought or sold, nor can you give it to a person who has not got it. Happiness in your own being, your own self, that self that is the most precious thing in life. All religions, all philosophical systems, have in different forms taught man how to find it by the religious path or the mystical way. And all the wise ones have in some form or another given a method by which the individual can find that happiness for which the soul is seeking.

A person may follow a religion and yet not come to the realization of truth. But of what use is his religion to him if he is not happy? Religion does not mean depression and sadness. The spirit of religion should give happiness. God is happy. He is the perfection of love, harmony, and beauty. A religious person should be happier than one who is not.

If a person who professes religion is always melancholy his religion is disgraced. The form has been kept, but the spirit lost. If the study of religion and mysticism does not lead to real joy and happiness, it may just as well not exist, for then it does not help to fulfill the purpose of life.

The world today is sad and suffering as the result of terrible wars. The religion which answers the demand of life today is one which invigorates and gives life to souls, which illuminates the heart of man with the divine light which is already there. Not necessarily by any outer form, though for some a form may be helpful, but by showing that happiness which is the desire of every soul.

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