How To Find Peace And Lasting Hapinness
I’ve been reading and listening to certain ‘Eastern themed’ works lately. And they have completely changed my outlook on life.
Will tell you about them on another day.
For me, the lessons are so MASSIVE that I consider them the most important things that has and will ever happen to me in ‘my’ entire life.
There’s now a level of clarity that puts everything in it’s proper perspective.
My motivations, the things I now consider valuable, the things I now hold to matter, the things that can no longer affect me.
Below, I will share with you some of the key concepts that I learnt. And I just hope that this benefits you, even half as much as it has others
Everything is unstable...
6,000 years ago, we had some very powerful rulers who lived in absolute splendour…and had magnificent empires. Well, they are GONE. With just a handful of dilapidated pyramids and a few artefacts left to show for it.
For all his reported magnificence, today, King Solomon of the Bible barely has any archaeological evidence for his existence.
So looking at ‘life’ on earth today, what is most notable feature of our physical reality?…IMPERMANENCE.
5 years from now, 30 years from now, 500 years from now – the laptop you are currently using to read this would have been melted into a plastic bottle or a spoon. The clothes you are currently wearing would have been discarded and probably buried deep down in the bowels of the earth.
The house you’re in right now would have been knocked down. And your nice, succulent, beautiful body – that means so much to you right now, would have turned into dust. All the things that are now ‘yours’ will no longer be ‘yours’.
Let’s face it. You could die today, you could get HIV, you could lose your job, you could be bedridden, your investment could be lost. Anything you consider ‘bad’ could possibly happen to you at any moment.
For example death is an inescapable certainty. Yet we are constantly in RESISTANCE to the fact that it will happen. We live daily with the background terror of it happening.
Your job is impermanent. Your health is impermanent. Your social status is impermanent. Your body is impermanent. EVERYTHING you know and see is impermanent – this is the absolute nature of things.
‘Suffering’ comes from RESISTANCE to this glaring, inevitable & inescapable reality. From trying to make, what by it’s very nature IMPERMANENT to be permanent. By trying to make the unstable, stable.
Peace on the other hand arises from a state of ACCEPTANCE. And this acceptance sets you free.
Peace vs Happiness...
Happiness is short-lived and fleeting. And is dependent on unstable ‘external’ factors. If you buy a pair of shoes today or a Rolls Royce, your happiness jumps up a bit. And a few days down the line it disappears from you like a ghost in the night.
Your team wins the Champions League this year and your happiness goes up. The next year comes around and it’s as if last year never happened.
You become like a speck at the mercy of the turbulent waves of the sea.
(Inner) Peace on the other hand is of a deeper dimension. A state of tranquillity and serenity. And is not dependent on anything outside of yourself.
This is really BIG. All unhappiness, all discontent, all worry, all ‘agitations’ come from a state of RESISTANCE to what is. From wanting this moment to be different.
From resisting the isness and the suchness of a situation (The Buddha called this tatata). It is what it is.
Peace comes from the the inner space of: “I don’t mind what happens”.
An example would be NEPA strikes and takes your light, you go “No wahala”. Your house gets burnt to the ground, you go “Cool”. Your car gets stolen, you go “OK”.
Now, how could the above possibly change anything? Good question. Agitating yourself over the fact that the light is off will not change anything. It will not replace your house or bring back your car either.
It is just like hating someone. St Augustine once said “Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping that the other person will die”.
So what should you do instead?
"Stick to the facts ma'am"...(Sherlock Holmes)
NEPA taking the light or your house getting burnt is not a problem…it is a situation. Handling the facts additionally motives your brain to action.
Wishing that what has happened didn’t happen creates massive amounts of negativity within you.
You can’t change the fact that NEPA has taken the light, but you can turn on the generator or use a hand fan. You can’t sorrowfully regret yourself into a new un-burnt house. You can temporarily move your family to a friend’s or relative’s.
Accepting whatever form the moment takes by not resisting it creates a space between you and the situation.
Jesus even teaches this so many times in the bible but we seem to miss what he truly meant. He said: “If someone slaps you on the cheek, turn to him the other”, “Do not resist evil”, “Love those who hate you”, etc.
Worry and regret are also forms of resistance to the present moment. We regret because we want the moment to be different, and we worry because we are resisting the form the next moment will take. “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life” said Jesus.
Peace or what we could also call lasting happiness comes from non-resistance and accepting what is.