Man’s condition. Inconstancy, boredom, anxiety.
~ Blaise Pascal
It is a sign of health and sanity to seek happiness.
~ Georg Feuerstein
Do people still want happiness? Do we believe in it?
Or has happiness become like one of those ubiquitous tchotchkes, that we might consider, and enjoy lightly from time to time, but not really take very seriously. (Can we even take happiness seriously? Is happiness a serious matter?)
Oh, yeah, that…
Do we confuse stress with aliveness?
This topic is raised in a paper by Georg Feuerstein called “Quest for Happiness” that came up on my Facebook News Feed this week. When I ask myself this question, the answer is sometimes “yes”. When I drink a lot of coffee, I might enjoy the buzz, but it also tends to raise my anxiety levels. (And I’ve been off coffee recently because I want to be more clear.)
And, honestly, I realize that I don’t want anyone to tell me how to be happy. “Happy” is for schmucks (whoever they are…). I think “happy” is for when I’m dead. I just want to live now. Have the experience as it naturally presents itself…
But what if that’s not enough? Are happy people foolish? Or can we reasonably set ourselves up for a modicum (or more) of happiness in life?
I’ve had this on my Facebook page forever as my favorite quote:
Peace can exist only in the present moment. It is ridiculous to say “Wait until I finish this, then I will be free to live in peace.” What is “this”? A diploma, a job, a house, the payment of a debt? If you think that way, peace will never come. There is always another “this” that will follow the present one. If you are not living in peace at this moment, you will never be able to. If you truly want to be at peace, you must be at peace right now. Otherwise, there is only “the hope of peace some day.”
And Georg Feuerstein says something similar about happiness:
To be presently happy rather than to seek to become happy is an open option for all of us—in every single moment.
It just seems so overwhelming to try to be peaceful or happy…
Pass the potatoes, please. (much easier)
I can try a nice breath in and out—oh yeah, feels pretty good…
Enjoy the season! (And remember to breathe…)
* message from Yogic Muse *
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