“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
Happiness is a perspective gained through the acceptance of truth. It is as broad and enduring as our awareness and acceptance of that which is revealed by truth’s sacred light. Gratification is a temporal ego or sensory experience of pleasure, usually deriving from an external source (e.g. task completion, food, praise, altered states, travel, or sex). Its transitory bliss feels good, but its mercurial evanescence fades into the truth of who we really are. No matter how hard we try, this truth is inescapable. We may deny, avoid, or project all or part of it; but it is still there, waiting to be accepted and developed. It is through the discovery, expanded awareness, and unconditional acceptance of our true nature; and the degree to which we live our outer lives in alignment with its inner truth; that we find true happiness. The ego, with its issues and defenses; and the senses, with their distractions and urges; are the greatest deterrent to happiness. I would add to the above quote that happiness is found through fidelity to a worthy purpose deriving from our true nature.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Have you experienced the difference between true happiness and ego or sensory gratification? Have you noticed that one is relatively continuous, and the other fleeting? Do you distinguish between happiness and temporary pleasure? Do you look forways to feel pleasure and avoid facing the truth, calling pleasure happiness? Are you aware such things are clear choices?
Photo Credit: Nick Mealey via Flickr