"The earth is beautiful. If you start living its beauty, enjoying its joy with no guilt in your heart, you are in paradise. If you condemn everything, every small joy, then the same earth turns into a hell. It is the question of your own inner transformation. It is not a change of place; it is change of inner space.

Live joyously, guiltlessly, live totally live intensely. And then heaven is no more metaphysical concept, it is your own experience"


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

HAPPINESS


The grand essentials to happiness in this life are –

              Something to do,
           Someone to love, and
          Something to hope for.
                                     .... Joseph Addison 

I created you human being because-
I desire to see you lead a joyous life. 

Man still wishes to be happy even when he so lives,
As to make happiness impossible.  

Happiness is a conscious choice,
Not an automatic response. 

Most folks are about as happy as
they make up their minds to be.
                                ....... Abraham Lincoln 

Being happy does not mean everything is perfect,
It means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
                                                ... Albert Camus 

To be happy is the ultimate goal of all ambition, all endeavour, all hopes and plans. “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence,” declared Aristotle, supreme philosopher of the ancient world.

But what is happiness? Clearly, it means vastly different things to different people. Since earliest times men have sought and found their happiness along amazingly divergent paths- in work, achievement, success, in love and family ties, in the affection of friends, in religion.

There is one point, however, on which philosophers in every age agree : true happiness stems from a quality within ourselves, from a way of thinking of life. Of all the millions of words written on happiness, this is the oldest and most enduring truth. If the principles of contentment are not within us, no material success, no pleasures or possessions, can make us happy.

This philosophy has been expounded by writers and thinkers since civilisation began; but never more beautifully and effectively than in Maeterlinck’s famous play, “The Blue Bird” Tyltyl and Mytyl, the woodcutter’s children, search far and wide for happiness, only to find it on their return home. (“we went so far, and it was here all the time!”) it is not necessary  to search for happiness in far places, says Maeterlinck in The Blue Bird. It is everywhere around you and about you. The quest for happiness is always in vein unless you can find it within yourself, within your own heart and soul.

“very little is needed to make a happy life,” wrote Marcus Aurelius in his immortal ‘Meditations’. “It is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” 

THE ART OF HAPPINESS

William S. Ogdon the writer and columnist had a column to write for “Topics of the Times” why not make this his subject ? if there were ever time to remind people of their blessings and urge them to stand on their own feet, this was it!
He created one of the best piece on “The art of Happiness”
The column appeared on the editorial page of New York times on December 30, 1945, under the title “The Art of Happiness” which was most stimulating and inspiring. This has helped many to achieve a happier, more tranquil way of life....

“There was never a time when so much official effort was being expended to produce happiness, and probably never a time when so much little attention was paid by individual to creating the personal qualities that make for it. What one misses most today is the evidence of widespread personal determination to develop a character that will in itself, given any reasonable odds, make for happiness. Our whole emphasis is on the reform of living conditions, of increased wages, of controls on the economic structure- the government approach – and so little on man improving himself.

The ingredients of happiness are so simple that they can be counted on one hand. Happiness comes from within, and rests most securely on simple goodness and clear conscience. Religion may not be essential to it, but no one is known to have gained it without a philosophy resting on ethical principles. Selfishness is its enemy; to make another happy is to be happy one’s self. It is quite, seldom found for long in crowds, most easily won in moments of solitude and reflection. It cannot be bought; indeed, money has very little to do with it.

No one is happy unless he is reasonably well satisfied with himself, so that the quest for tranquillity must of necessity begin with self-examination. We shall not often be content with what we discover in this scrutiny. There is so much to do, and so little done. Upon this searching self-analysis, however, depends the discovery of those qualities that make each man unique and whose development alone can bring satisfaction.

Of all those who have tried, down the ages, to outline a programme for happiness, few have succeeded so well as William Henry Channing, chaplain of the House of Representatives in the middle of the last century: “To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy.... to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to the stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never; in a word to let the spiritual unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. “

It will be noted that no government can do this for you; you must do it for yourself.

Real Happiness    

According to Professor William Lyon Phelps “the happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts”. He taught to his students – The real happiness is not dependent on external things. The pond is fed from within. The kind of happiness that stays with you is the happiness that springs from inward thoughts and emotions. You must think of this now, while you are young. You must cultivate your mind if you wish to achieve enduring happiness. You must furnish your mind with interesting thoughts and ideas. For an empty mind grows bored and cannot endure itself. An empty mind seeks pleasure as a substitute for happiness.”  

Happiness by John Burroughs :

“....
Without the one think I have in mind, none of these things would long help their possessor to be happy. We could not long be happy without food, or drink or cloth or shelter, but we may have all these things to perfection, and still want the prime condition of happiness. It is often said that a contended mind is the first condition of happiness, but what is the first condition of a contented mind? You will be disappointed when I tell you what this all important think is – it is so common, so near at hand and so many people have so much of it and yet are not happy. They have too much of it, or else the kind that is not best to suited to them. What is the best thing for a stream ? it is to keep moving. If it stops, it stagnates. So the best thing for a man is that which keeps the current going- the physical, the moral, and the intellectual currents. Hence the secret of happiness is – something to do; some congenial work. Take away the occupation of all men, and what a wretched world it would be!

Few persons realise that how much of their happiness is dependent upon their work, upon the fact that they are kept busy and not left to feed upon themselves. Happiness comes most to the persons who seek her least, and think least about it. It is not an object to be sought. It is a state to be induced. It must follow, and not lead. It must overtake you and not you overtake it. How important is health to happiness, yet the best promoter of health is something to do.

Blessed is the man who has some congenial work, some occupation in which he can put his heart, and which affords a complete outlet to all the forces there are in him.”
 

“Work and thou canst not escape the reward; whether thy work be fine or coarse, planting corn or writing epics, so only it be the honest work, done to thine own approbation, it shall earn a reward to the senses as well as to the thought. No matter how often defeated, you are born to victory. The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.”
                                   ...... Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
“Happiness, I have discovered, is nearly always a rebound from hard work. It is one of the follies of men to imagine that they can enjoy mere thought, or emotion or sentiment. As well try to eat beauty! For happiness must be tricked! She loves to see men at work, she loves sweat, weariness, self-sacrifice. She will be found not in palaces, but lurking in the corn fields and factories and hovering over littered desks; she crowns the unconscious head of the busy child. If you look up suddenly from hard work, you will see her, but you look too long she feds sorrowfully away.

There is something fine in hard physical labour .... One actually stops thinking. I often worked long without any thought whatever, so far as I know, save that connected with the monotonous repetition of labour itself- down with the spade, out with it, up with it, over with it- and repeat.

And yet sometimes – mostly in the bore noon when I am not at all tired – I will suddenly have a sense as of the world opening around me- a sense of its beauty and its meaning- giving me a peculiar deep happiness, that is near complete contentment.”
                                                   ...... David Grayson 

To awaken each morning with a smile brightening my face; to greet the day with reverence for the opportunities it contains; to approach my work with a clean mind; to hold ever before me, even in the doing of little things, the Ultimate purpose toward which I am working; to meet men and women with laughter on my lips and love in my heart; to be gentle, kind and courteous through all the hours; to approach the night with weariness that ever woos sleep and the joy that comes from work well done- this is how I desire to waste wisely my days.
                                               ..........Thomas Dekker 

WE MUST SEEK FOR HAPPINESS IN A FOCUS OUTSIDE OURSELVES..

According to Psychiatrist AW. Beran Wolfe, Happiness is not in having or being ; it is in doing. That was a point he has emphasised and made it clear in his writing. Almost every human being could be happier at once if he realised this basic truth and accepted it.

He thought again of those ghostly malcontents, crowding the corner of his room. Most of them had one trait in common: a selfish concept of life. Absorbed in their own interest and desires, they failed in their human relationships, and so created their own unhappiness. He must make them realise that the only ambition consistent with happiness is the ambition to do things with and for others- that the only way to find happiness is to look for it in a focus outside themselves.

He glanced again at the last three words he had written : “What is happiness?“ he knows what he wanted to say without any hesitation how:

WHAT IS HAPPINESS ?

If we want to know what happiness is we must seek it, not as if it were a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but among human beings who are living richly and fully the good life. If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden. He will not searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that has button that has rolled under the radiator. He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living twenty four crowded hours of the day.

Just as no one can be happy in work which is centered entirely above his own person and deals exclusively with the satisfaction of his own immediate needs, so no one can be entirely happy in social relations which focus only in himself and his immediate and narrow sphere of influence. To find happiness we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves....

If you live only for yourself you are always in immediate danger of being bored to death with the repetition of your own views and interests. It matters little, for psychological purposes, whether you interest yourself in making your town cleaner, or enlist in a campaign to rid your city of illicit narcotics, or whether you go in for boys’ clubs. Choose a movement that presents a distinct trend toward greater human happiness and align yourself with it. No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellow men.

If you pride yourself on your ambition, take a mental inventory of its ends, and ask yourself whether you desire to attain those personal ends and forgo the opportunities of being happy, or whether you prefer to be happy and forgo some of the prestige that your unfulfilled inferiority complex seems to demand. It your ambition has the momentum of an express train at full speed, if you can no longer stop your mad rush for glory, power or intellectual supremacy, try to divert your energies into socially useful channels before it is too late.... 

For those who seek the larger happiness and the greater effectiveness, open to human beings there can be but one philosophy of life, the philosophy of Constructive Altruism. The truly happy man is always a fighting optimist. Optimism includes not only altruism but also social responsibility, social courage and objectivity. Men and women who are compensating for their feeling of inferiority in terms of social service, men and women who are vigorously affirming life, facing realities like adults, meeting difficulties with stoicism, men and women who combine knowledge  with kindness, who spice their sense of humor with the zest of living –in a word, complete human beings- are to be found only in this category. The good life demands a working philosophy of active philanthropy as an orientating map of conduct.  This is the golden way of life. This is the satisfying life. This is the way to be happy though human.“

To swing in true happiness and be free from your doubt and self, Mahatma Gandhi gave the golden formula :  

“When you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you,
apply the following test:-- 

Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man
whom you may have seen, and ask yourself,
If the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him?
Will he gain anything by it ?
Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny ?
In other words, will it lead to ‘Swaraj’ (independent solution) for the hungry and spiritually starving millions ?
Then you will find your doubt and your ‘self’ melting away.

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