HAPPINESS COMES FROM THE INSIDE
“Everything you want is an inside job” – The Secret
Happiness comes from within, not from without.
Often we look to create a centre from without, a centre meaning: a place where we feel good momentarily where we may be less inhibited and where our creative juices may flow. When the centre is from the outside through drugs or over exercise/eating or through sex etc., then it is only fleeting and we continually chase after it. Consequently, the constant chase and wrong use of energy has the paradox of taking us further and further away from our true centre of LOVE, JOY, COMPASSION and EQUANIMITY.
So to obtain our true centre we may need to change habits from without so that our ESSENTIAL NATURE can flow freely from within. When we create a true centre and our true essence begins to flow we will naturally feel joyous and loving and out of this the things that we have a vision for will begin to manifest. We need to align our sensations, feeling, thoughts and actions on well-being so that it becomes unconscious and happiness will then be our ordinary state.
The chakras then give us a map of where the interruptions that inhibit our flow occur. A lot of what we see in Yoga as taught in the west and from a commercial point of view is to stretch the muscles, work out hard and even to push through, break down and cathart. Most of what this does is bleed charge out of the pattern/s for a while, but the pattern is still there and will re-fill. In order to restructure the nervous system, the brain stem (C’s 1,2,3) and spinal cord must be persuaded to release and rest down.
In fact the Yoga practices become bridges allowing the frozen patterns to come back into present time, so that the energy is freed up without the pattern dominating experience. So feel the felt reality of the past and notice what is true now. Practice is doing this over and over and over again while allowing energy to move.
Advidya is ability: This Advidya or Ignorance is actually an ability or skill, in addition to being the most subtle obstacle; it is not all bad. While it is true that Advidya masks our TRUE NATURE, it also allows us to function in the world. Imagine that you did not have the ability to ignore all of the thoughts going on in your unconscious mind at a given moment. This could be a state of what psychologists call flooding of unconscious material, which might be called psychosis. If we were masters of non-attachment (See Yoga Sutras 1.15-1.16), then we could be completely open, with no Advidya or Ignorance, and we would be unaffected by that flood of thoughts. That would be a state of complete freedom from the bondage of Karma, the bondage of thought, and the bondage of Advidya. However, in the meantime, it is good to see how Advidya sets the stage for the play of Karma, so we can do the practical work in our daily lives as spiritual aspirants.
When we lose contact with our true essence which experiences unbounded joy, love, compassion and happiness in the moment, we move away from those natural states. This creates a sense of disharmony, and we are always looking to move back towards the state of wholeness. We start to look outside of ourselves for something that will create that happiness but generally only find fleeting moments of pleasure, rather than true happiness. We seek to restore our wholeness through a host of methods that don’t work such as addictions to:
- accumulating money, possessions and power
Our culture generally strives to find happiness from the outside in, rather than the inside out. When we seek material things or external methods to provide a source of happiness, nothing will satisfy us because the effects of these products or substances are impermanent.
There are many cases of people who have everything they could possibly want from the external world – money, fame, and power, beautiful home, etc – but they are some of the unhappiest people around. They have everything money can buy but they lack a connection to their own essence. People often get confused between true happiness and pleasure. Pleasure is derived from the outside world, and is a good feeling that comes from eating delicious food, watching a good movie, enjoying a party, wearing expensive clothes, etc. Pleasure has to do with enjoyment through the five senses and is dependent on circumstances, objects and people. Happiness/bliss comes from the inside, when we are free of the modifications of the mind and connected to the unity of flow.
On an overcast day, the clouds hide the sun, but the sun is always there. The clouds of negative or destructive thoughts, stories and patterns are what cover and hide our essence, or TRUE NATURE. Our TRUE NATURE is always there just waiting to shine forth, it is an inseparable part of our consciousness. To move back towards our natural state of wholeness, we need to keep reconnecting to the essence of who we really are, and stop identifying with the parts of ourselves we deem to be separate.