Why the Pursuit of Happiness Never Works for Long

How happy are you in your everyday life?

In the television miniseries The Impressionists, which is fascinating viewing, someone comments about one of the artists that he sounds happy.

The other responds that he doesn’t think happy is on his palette.

How about you—is happy on your palette?

We’re not talking about the pursuit of happiness, which hordes of us are engaged in. When we pursue happiness what we achieve never lasts long.

A new job, a new love in our life, a new home—all of these bring only a temporary experience of happiness.

Nothing can make us happy in a lasting way.

What all of us are really seeking is a state of joy that isn’t altered by what happens in our external world. Even in the saddest of times in terms of events that befall us or those we love, this is a joy that doesn’t go away. It’s quite different from what we tend to think of as happiness.

There are two primary aspects of each of us: our true self grounded in universal consciousness, and our false egoic self.

The egoic self may or may not have happiness on its palette. It depends on how we grew up. Many are in the habit of being unhappy.

Our true being isn’t so much interested in happiness, although it’s nice to enjoy happy events when they occur. Instead our true being naturally overflows with joy.

Henry David Thoreau once said, “Surely joy is the condition of life.” To be joyous is our natural state, before our false self learns to be sad. But the joy is still there beneath the ego’s sadness.

So even if happiness hasn’t been on your palette until now, this doesn’t have to define you. Joy is your inheritance and it waits to bubble through to the surface.

If you have trouble accessing the joy that’s within you and has never left you, the crucial thing is to not try to access it.

While almost all teachers try to show us how we can use affirmations, meditation, a change in the way we think, and other techniques to become happy, the fleeting times of happiness that result are all part of the false egoic self, which is simply having a better time than it did when happiness wasn’t on its palette.

To know joy, we have to die to all that. As a few teachers such as Eckhart Tolle and Adyashanti show, joy is something we already have—albeit hidden from view much of the time because we are focused on our thoughts, which cloud out our joy.

It’s hard to accept that it works the opposite way from what we tend to believe—and what so many teachers tell us.

Drop the thought and efforting you engage in as you seek to be happy and instead just relax into your natural state. You’ll find yourself spontaneously experiencing a joy beyond all explanation.


David Robert Ord is author of Your Forgotten Self Mirrored in Jesus the Christ and the audio book Lessons in Loving–A Journey into the Heart, both from Namaste Publishing, publishers of Eckhart Tolle and other transformational authors. He writes The Compassionate Eye daily, together with his daily author blog The Sunday Blog, at www.namastepublishing.com



We invite you to check out David’s daily author blog -http://www.namastepublishing.com/blog/author/david-robert-ord.



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