Soltalk 2018 November 2017 - Page 46

We can be happy All of us want to be happy. Most of us haven’t much success. We have occasional glimpses and that’s about it. Pursuing happiness is unquestionably the focus of our lives. In order to be happy, like the ‘pimpernel’ we seek it here, there and everywhere. It’s almost always just a step ahead. Targets are set, a new job, another degree, salary increase, the most wonderful person in the world, all dead certs for happiness. A short-lived euphoric state, splutters, fades and fizzles out. What now? New targets are set, a bigger house, a really fantastic garden, 45ft yacht. This time it’s sure to succeed. Just like the fairytales, I will be happy, but will I? in our emotional lives, other highs and ecstatic moments leave as quickly as they come. We need something that will last, something dependable which will give us joy and peace. We want a default mode in which we are at ease and content. Let’s call it Class A happiness. Components of happiness include joy, peace, tranquility, love and hope to mention but a few. Throw in material sufficiency, health and companionship. Surely with such a combination we have cracked it. Happiness is guaranteed. If only? But why not? “Focus on the “now” and happiness is assured.” Other sure fire, well-trodden happiness trails are alcohol, drugs, promiscuity and gambling. These do the trick for a while. Unfortunately because of receptors in our own brain we need more and more of the same to get a worthwhile effect. Result is often addiction, overdose, depression, mental damage and suicide. Not the sought for happy outcome. Happiness, like Santa Claus, is a figment of our imagination. happiness is rare. Before throwing in the towel, it might be worth our while to examine what exactly we seek. What is happiness? The concept is hazy. It surely it isn’t the happy, clappy let’s have another drink type. Doesn’t last and we know it. Spikes like this flashing Recently, a number of books have been published on mindfulness. One notably one written by Echkard Tolle called “The Power of the Now”. This excellent book highlights the psychological fact that human experience is generally fixed 44 Unhappiness is, unfortunately, very well armed. Wading in against our Class A happiness we have an army of downers. Looking ahead, a state we revel in, we meet fear, anxiety, unease and loads and loads of “what ifs”. Looking backwards we face regret, guilt, sorrow and of course loads and loads of “if only’s.” Burdened with self- created fears and sorrows, Class A