Happiness RULES! – Part Two

Following yesterdays post re the ancient philosophy of Vedantamind2

Peace of Mind is the most important factor for feeling grounded and achieving happiness.

What disturbs your peace of mind?

No external factors can disturb you except yourself. You make yourself, you mark yourself. The world cannot disturb you.mind1

Rule #1: If you operate on likes and dislikes, you will face the consequences thereof.

A man picks up a cigarette and finds so much pleasure in it; another guy can’t stand smoking. A man goes to a lawyer to divorce his wife, and he finds great pleasure in getting rid of her; another guy is desperately waiting to marry the same lady.

This happens everywhere: The lady produces joy to one, sorrow to another. Therefore, it is not in the object or in the being—it is in how you relate to it. It’s your mind that wreaks havoc on your peace, not the external world. It is a mistake to believe that joy or sorrow is in the external world.

The mind is replete with likes and dislikes. So when you’re operating at the level of the mind, you do what you like, and you avoid what you don’t like. And when you’re dependent on your likes and dislikes, it’s miserable. For example, an Indian comes to the United States and he only likes rice and dal, but you give him pasta. What is this pasta? Meanwhile, the pasta-lover doesn’t like rice. If you operate on likes and dislikes, you’re dependent on the world. The world is in a flux of change. It can’t cater to your likes all the time. Therefore, you will be frustrated. If you only like summer, you will enjoy three months and suffer for nine. When you operate on likes and dislikes, you operate on the mind. But when you operate on the intellect, you choose the right course of action.

See, what is pleasant to you in the beginning is not so in the end. Junk food is pleasant in the beginning, but not so much in the end. You don’t like exercise, and you avoid it, but it becomes a problem later. What you like is detrimental; what you don’t like is beneficial. This is not to say that you shouldn’t do what you like—I’m only asking that you examine whether it is proper.

One Indian man heard my lecture and he went home and he looked at his wife. She said, “Why are you looking at me like that?” And he said: “I was liking you very much, but Swamiji said that I should throw out my likes and so I’m going to throw you away.”

Crazy! I didn’t say that! For heaven’s sake, don’t throw your partner away! All I said is to examine your likes and dislikes. If you don’t like exercise, you can’t just throw it away. If you like junk food, and you eat it all the time, there are consequences.

Rule #2: Know the mind has a tendency to ramble.

When I’m talking to you, it’s impossible to follow everything I say, even though you might want to follow. The mind rambles. It’s natural. It rambles into worries of the past, and anxieties for the future. That tires you. Action doesn’t tire you. Action can never tire you.

Therefore, you are making the biggest blunder by getting away from action for weekends and rest. In my entire life, I’ve never taken a vacation. Every day is vacation. At the Institution, students are in a three-year course. They’re up at 4am and we go until 9pm, 365 days a year. There are no breaks for weekends or vacations. Come and examine the students—nobody wants a break.

If you don’t find rest in action, you will never rest by getting out of action. In fact, you’re working for weekend and vacations. But if you don’t know how to control your mind and act in the present, you will always feel tired.

Do you want proof? Examine your own children. Your children are never tired. They are bristling with activity. Because of the simple fact that children have no worries of the past and anxieties for the future, they’re happy. But you all have the worries of the past and anxieties for the future, and it tires and fatigues you. So you need rest. It’s as simple as that.

Rule #3: Uncontrolled desires create havoc.

Without desires, you can’t live. You can’t survive. So what do you do with desire? You have to monitor and control your desires, because when unmonitored, desire becomes lust, greed, and avarice.

That’s what happened in 2008—the greed mounted to the point where there was a crash, and crash after crash. But if you control your desires, it becomes an aim, an ambition, or aspiration, and that is alright. You have to watch your desires before they mount to greed.

Rule #4: Preferential attachment is deadly.

What you pass off as love is nothing but preferential attachment. And preferential attachment is deadly.

When there is love, I serve you.
When there is attachment, I look for your service; what can I get out of you?

The husband says: This is my right, I married you.
The wife says: This is my right, I married you.

It’s more a life based on rights than on duties. It’s because of preferential attachment. It’s passed off as love.

Love + Selfishness = Attachment

Attachment – Selfishness = Love

Get that straight!

I’m not against love, I’m against this deadly thing called attachment.

The home should be the center, not the boundary of your affection/love. It becomes the boundary when you can’t see anything or anyone beyond it.

When you change yourself, you change the world

You cannot change the world without changing yourself. Everyone has the ambition of changing everything except for themselves.

All the great prophets, they changed themselves, then changed the world. If you change yourself, you change the world. If you want to change your children, you need to lead by example.

There is an inscription on the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in England:

When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country.

But it, too, seemed immovable.

As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.

And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family.

From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world.

If you want to change the world, you must change yourself first.

Source: Goop.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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contemplating the MASKS WE WEAR

Two weeks ago I posted about artist Judith Henry who incorporates masks as part of her mixed-media artwork compositions that explore the various roles we play. downloadShe hides behind a mask and becomes part of her canvas (above), just as we sometimes hide a part of our personality in certain settings and depending on the situation.

It got me thinking about the ‘masks’ we all wear, to what extent we tend to layer ourselves at times and the reasons why.  I don’t know the psychology behind it, but I think it’s fairly simple to explain.

In theory, ‘masks’ are a persona that we put on top of the ‘real thing.’ It is a version of our ‘true selves.  It’s not necessarily that we aren’t being authentic, but we can edit our personalities and decorate the versions we prefer to share to the world.masks-we-wear-image

Why do we feel the need to do this?

What they shield are those parts of us that for whatever reasons, we don’t like or accept; or that others need us to hide to make them feel more comfortable. Or we don’t feel comfortable telling the complete truth for fear of breaking down so we are in actuality protecting ourselves from being hurt, our pride from rejection or to keep us from looking like a complete fool. Okay, maybe it’s not so simple after all.

I’m sure that if everyone let down their complete guard to anyone who asked “how are you today” people might be surprised and not be able to fully accept or handle exactly how you’re really doing. It’s keeping a barrier of politeness and having boundaries. In other words, “not wearing your life on your sleeve” at the first introduction.

Then there are societal rules that make it easier for us to fit in so we can adapt to situations like when we’re looking for work or meeting new people for the first time. We don’t want to appear too needy or too shy but sometimes we are exactly that.  That’s just the rules of the game folks.

Interesting subject though don’t you think? 

I'm just great, thank you very much!
I’m just great, thank you very much…Sure!

Two poems on the matter:

“She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by-
And never knew.” –  Shel Silverstein, Every Thing On It
 

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,–
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask! – Paul Laurence Dunbar

Contemplating the Conscious

Being conscientious means you have a conscious.  If everyone listened to their conscious it would likely be a better world.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity – Martin Luther King, Jr.

from THE HAPPY SHOW
And it is only through constant training that the two can learn how to work together.  From THE HAPPY SHOW.
There are two kinds of artists in this world; those that work because the spirit is in them, and they cannot be silent if they would, and those that speak from a conscientious desire to make apparent to others the beauty that has awakened their own admiration – Anna Katharine Green (American poet and novelist).
 Then there’s pre-consciousness. Freud‘s original German term for the preconscious was das Vorbewusste.  He claimed:

“If consciousness is then the sum total of everything of which we are aware, pre-consciousness is the reservoir of everything we can remember, all that is accessible to voluntary recall: the storehouse of memory. This leaves the unconscious area of mental life to contain all the more primitive drives and impulses influencing our actions without our necessarily ever becoming fully aware of them, together with every important constellation of ideas or memories with a strong emotional charge, which have at one time been present in consciousness but have since been repressed so that they are no longer available to it, even through introspection or attempts at memory.”

contemplating… change

“We can’t be afraid of change. *You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as a sea, an ocean. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.” – C. JoyBell C.

change4“Bottom line is, even if you see ’em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are.” – Joss Whedon

Just when the caterpiller thought the world was over it became a butterfly.
Just when the caterpiller thought the world was over it became a butterfly.

 Life moves very fast. It rushes from Heaven to Hell in a matter of seconds.” – Paulo Coelho.  Or, from Hell to Heaven – me

“The only person worthy of your love is not one who overstayed in the relationship without a single change, but one, who appeared like an angel, and used a single day to make a million changes.”  – Michael Bassey Johnson.

“Some changes occur suddenly like a brilliant flash of lightning striking across a dark sky. These changes are stunning, exciting but can be quickly forgotten. Other changes happen slowly, gradually, like a flower blooming in early spring, each day unfurling its petals another fraction of an inch towards the warm, nurturing sun. These changes are as inevitable as nature running its course; they’re meant to be.” – Suzi Davis

Its time for us as a people to start making some changes, lets change the way we eat, lets change the way we live, and lets change the way we treat each other.

But memories last forever!  Thank god for that.
But memories last forever! Thank god for that.

*Some people never leave the place they were born.  They marry their high school sweetheart, have children, hold a steady but ordinary job and remain completely happy. Does that mean they have to change? I think not.  They can be perfectly happy this way.  As long as they’re fine with it, we should be too.  It’s okay to push change but it’s okay to stay the same too – as long as you’re good with it. – me