Episode · 1 year ago

Lecture 19 HAPPINESS


This lecture delves into the many different forms of human happiness, from the one we find in a peaceful conscience and the one we experience when our efforts meet with success, to the one we may fantasize about in some hypothetical afterlife.

Meditation, Time Lecture. Nineteen happiness. There is a common belief that happiness amounts to the fulfillment of our needs and desires thanks to effective strategies in favorable circumstances. Is that belief truly warranted, as though anything short of the ideal it stands for translated into unhappiness or a state of mind that may include moments of joy but remains nevertheless unsatisfactory? In that case, happiness would be like water that becomes undrinkable or unpalpable when tainted. Actually, the happiness that sages talk about as largely independent of their situation and mostly contingent on their attitude. It is a feeling of serenity that testifies to their acceptance of reality and to...

...their clear conscience as well adjusted and fully committed servants of life, of humanity, of nature, but above all, of the divine principle that governs the universe, defined in the framework of a religious or philosophical persuasion. While sages are aware of the subjectiveness ie, the individual limitations and hence the imperfection of their outlook, they still abide by it with utmost faithfulness, if also with a willingness to correct it when they realize they have been mistaken. Their wisdom is a work in progress. It is always laced with some form of foolishness, which leaves them open to ridicule. Humility and compassion, plus humor, are therefore qualities that they cultivate. They mock and forgive themselves without complacency, always striving to elevate their humanness to the highest possible level of truth and moral...

...excellence. In summary, the secret of their happiness is a combination of surrender and struggle in response to unchangeable conditions that may be adverse or honorable goals that may be arduous. Admittedly, this is a recipe for a stern manner of joy that fills the mind rather than the heart. It follows that this happiness leaves something to be desired. Happiness in the fullest sense of the word a state of fulfillment when everything is going our way in terms of results as well as intentions and efforts, which is a joy, ever so sweet, that fills both the mind and the heart. When sages experience this supreme happiness, they rightly feel blessed and know how precarious it is. Furthermore, they accept this precariousness or the fact that suffering and ultimately death loom ahead. Only battles...

...are one in the fight for life that will, inexorably, despite every valiant effort to prevail, end in defeat. Some will say that happiness in its so called fullest sense still leaves us wanting more, the power to make this happiness infinite in scope and duration. Among them, some will choose the path of faith, which allegedly leads to a heavenly afterlife, whereas some will choose the path of reason, which admits of no rosy belief based on wishful thinking and blind trust. This second path leads nowhere as far as the beyond is concerned, or rather somewhere that is unknown, presumably so different from what is known that it totally exceeds our ability to conceive of its nature. For these proponents of reason, these infidels, the source of meaning is not a pair desiaic destination whose existence is supported by no credible evidence, it is the journey...

...itself, a rugged and uphill journey, to be sure, with an abundance of twists and turns, some of which are propitious, others not. In their eyes, this journey is well worth the trouble. Independently of the paradisaic destination just mentioned, it is all about the dignity of living and loving and the joy of succeeding in these difficult assignments to the best of their ability. The limits imposed upon worldly happiness may initially stick in our craw but after due consideration, as we realize that life without these limits would be death, we accept them and, better yet, we welcome them. Life is, by definition, of dynamic state that presupposes a continuous tension between needs or desires and their satisfaction. Render this satisfaction absolute. You resolve this tension and consequently reduce... to nothing, that is, something as inert as a stone. And this nothing, this inert something, is indeed death, not a brilliant prospect for a life. Lover,.

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