One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

In pursuit of Happiness

I am not sure what you like but I certainly know that you like the shade of trees in hot sunny day, you like a pristine and cold stream when thirst has dry out your tongue, you like your quiet bedroom after a long and tiring travel, you like a hot bowl of soup when hunger and cold is shrinking your stomach, you like the first appearance of a village after long hours of featureless plain land.... and so on.
Our likes and dislikes may differ and we may disagree in what to like and what to not like but what we all agree is that we all like a comfort after a trouble. This is not something new however, sometimes comfort is within our reach but still look for it......................

If you imagine the world’s only living legendary Scientist, what kind of person will come to your mind?

The person on wheel chair in following picture is the world’s only living legendary Scientist….

In my life time, I come across hundreds of blind people who were begging on streets. On other hand, we also know the world famous blind author, Helen Keller. I come across of many paralyzed people who were waiting for their deaths and still we know Professor Stephen Hawking, the world famous astrophysicist. Even some call him the only living legendary Scientist. Why I am giving contrasting example of disabled persons? The simple reason is to get your attention on relation of mind and body…… Some blinds go begging and Helen Keller decided to overcome the darkness imposed by blindness. Blindness is fact and Helen Keller’s decision did not change that fact. She didn’t get brand new two eyes but her thinking about her blindness to overcome darkness made her a distinguished author. Similarly, Stephen Hawking’ decision to explore the universe did not cure his motor neuron disease and did not make him able to talk, walk and sit like healthy person but his thinking of his mental abilities made him a legendary person.

So what we get out of these two examples???????????????

My conclusion is that “reality is half facts and half imaginations” ……………….

One example that is frequently quoted may explain well this occlusion. You may have heard of “half-glass of water” example. Given a half filled glass of water, one says it is half-filled glass of water and another one says that it is half-empty…………..

The fact is, it is a “half-glass of water” but your reality depends on your imagination. One’s reality makes it half-filled and another one’s make it half-empty…. Our imaginations do not change the facts but they change the reality and it has deep impacts on us………………………..

How could we have a reality that that is more suitable for us? And how it affects our well beings? Does intentional change of reality make us happier?

Of course and that is what I want to clarify because I see majority of people is not clear about these simple facts and they are suffering just because of not realizing it………………….

I am not claiming anything new. You all experience and have heard unlimited times that we have a physical body and a mind. Yes we have a physical body and a mind and it is what is all know but where people are usually confused is the relation of mind and body………….

Physical body has needs and these needs, needed to be satisfied. We get hungry and our hunger satisfied after eating food. We can’t satisfy our hunger just by imagining food. Clean water, clean air, shelter, clothing, education, friends, jobs, etc are physical needs and needed to be satisfied. Satisfying your needs may have some pleasure and feeling good to it but these pleasures are not happiness. You may enjoy a delicious food but it doesn’t make you happy. You may feel good driving a beautiful car but it is not happiness.

Businesses try hard to satisfy the needs of their customers. If satisfaction was happiness then you could buy it from these businesses.

Now we come to relation of mind and physical body: While we work and struggle everyday to satisfy our needs we suffer in the process. The suffering comes from our experiences and we can’t escape from them. These suffering may come from our real life experiences like illness, getting wounded or losing some body part. It could come through cultural transmission like fear. In last ten years people have suffered severely from terrorists acts like bombing and beheadings or from images and news of them. It could be psychological like feeling meaninglessness, emptiness or imprisoned in time and space.

Feeling imprisoned in time and space may seem weird to you but it is true. Let me give you some examples,

When I was a kid, there were no computers, no internet and no social networks. One of my favorite hobbies was climbing mountains. I was puzzled every time finding, people have written their names or messages on rocks. It was not only ordinary people writing their names on rocks but later through history books, I found that even kings had written their names and messages on rocks. Kings were employing permanent record keepers who were writing the activities of kings so it could be transferred to coming generations. What make people and even kings doing all these stuffs??? The reason is psychological. The kings and people were aware that they are limited to particular time and space and they were seeking a form of freedom and they found solutions in recording themselves on rocks and book thinking that they will endure longer times………………….

Sufferings whether they are physical, emotional, psychological or culturally transmitted ones are the facts and we can’t change them much…. but we can change the reality of these suffering or in other words we change our reality and it is what the art of happiness is?

Happiness is not something living in Himalayas as you get an impression hearing about Buddhist monks. It is also not in pilgrimage or buried in Desert of Sinai as you may get an impression from reading Alchemist… it is in hot pursuits for freedom.

Freedom!!! Freedom from what? It is the questions that different school of thoughts differs from each other…..

Let me make it clear for you,

Politicians and philosophers may sell you the concepts of equality as in socialism or in form of personal liberties as in free market economy. Yes! They are good but they are just for satisfying your needs and are not solution for your sufferings….

Then you have religious schools which have the concept of not to do’s that is called morality and to do’s that is called ethics. Yes, morality and ethics are rules of safely satisfying your needs but not solution for your suffering…………. Religions have something else also and that is accepting suffering as will of God or you will be rewarded for those suffering in life after death. It works for most of people to some extent but still you need something else to be really happy and that is freedom….

These freedoms do not come from politics, economics, religious teachings, philosophers’ thoughts and writer’s suggestions but only comes from you and that is you have to work with your mind and intentionally work to change the reality. Our suffering may be due to some losses, some serious mistakes, fear, and sense of worthlessness, solitude, social status or physical defects. These are facts but not realities. You have to train your mind to think like Helen Keller and Stephen Hawking and not to go begging or wait to die…..

One thing more,

Happiness is not something that you go and get and live happily thereafter. It is a state of mind or simply a process. Unless you are in hot pursuit for your freedom or changing the reality, you are happy and once you stop pursuing you are no more……………

Founding fathers of USA were wise men that wrote “US declaration of Independence” and used phrase “Pursuit of happiness”. If they were set measures for happiness or were set what happiness is? Then certainly it would leave US citizen in despair. Let’s say that, if the founding father were written that US citizen would be happy people once US become the superpower of the world then certainly it would have left people in despair because we are witnessing that it is not happening. You can apply the same logic on illiteracy, poverty, joblessness and all other aspect of life………………

At the end, I call upon you to rethink, individualism and liberty. Satisfying your needs is physical liberty and in order to attain you true liberties you need to work intentionally with your mind and to liberate yourself from realities created for you………………..

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