Mind & Happiness 59
The more intense & agitated the activity of our Mind becomes, the more rapidly it rises from one peak to another, & hence the briefer & shallower the troughs between those peaks become. However, if we are able to restrain our Desires, Fears, Likes, Dislikes, Cravings, Aversions, & other such Passions, the activity of our Mind will become less intense, that is, its peaks will be less frequent & will rise less high, & the troughs between those peaks will be wider & deeper.
Thus, when the agitated & passionate activity of our Mind becomes less intense, we feel calmer & more contented, & hence we are able to experience more clearly the Happiness that is always within us. The Happiness that we derive from eating a piece of chocolate comes not from that piece of chocolate itself, but only from the satisfaction we feel as a result of the gratification of our desire for it. When such a desire is gratified, from where does the resulting feeling of satisfaction or Happiness actually come ? It clearly does not come from the object of our desire, or from anything else outside us, but only from within our self. If we carefully observe the feeling of Happiness that we experience when we eat a piece of chocolate, or when we enjoy any other object of our desire, we will clearly see that it arises from within our self & as a result of the temporary subsidence of our mental agitation caused by that desire.
Our satisfaction & the Happiness that seems to result from it are both subjective feelings that arise from our innermost Existence, & that we accordingly experience only within our self. Since all Happiness thus comes only from our own innermost self, is it not clear that Happiness already exists within us, at least in a latent form ? Why then should we waste our Time & energy trying to experience that Happiness in a roundabout manner by gratifying our desires for external objects & circumstances ?
Why should we not try instead to experience it in a direct manner by turning our attention within to discover the source from which all Happiness arises ? Desire arises within us in various forms – as likes or dislikes, as cravings or aversions, as hopes or fears – but in whatever form it rises, it disturbs the natural Peace of our Mind, & thereby obscures the Happiness that is always within us. All the misery or un-happiness that we experience is caused only by our desires.
Therefore, if we wish to experience perfect Happiness, untainted by even the least misery, we must free our self from all our desires. But how can we actually do this ? Our desires are deeply engrained within us & cannot easily be changed. Though we may be able to modify them to a certain extent, our ability to do so is nevertheless limited. Our present desires, or likes & dislikes, have been formed by our previous experiences, not only in the lifetime of the physical Body that we now identify as our self, but also in the lifetime of all the physical bodies that we formerly identified as our self, whether in our Dreams or in some other states of Consciousness similar to our present so-called Waking state.
One of our strongest desires is our desire for sexual pleasure. Though the intensity of this desire may vary with age & circumstances, it always exists within us, at least in the form of a dormant seed. As anyone who has tried to “conquer” lust knows only too well, we can never entirely overcome it. Like all our other desires, our lust or desire for carnal pleasure is rooted in our wrong identification of our self with a physical Body. Because we mistake a physical Body to be our self, we mistake the natural biological urges of that Body to be our natural urges.
All our desires will therefore remain at least in seed form so long as we continue to have the habit of identifying our self with a physical Body, whether our present physical Body in this Waking state, or some other physical Body in Dream. Therefore the only way to put an end to all our desires is to put an end to their root, which is our Mind, our limited Consciousness that feels “I am this Body.”
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“There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth.”
– the “no creation” school of Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramana, Nome – Ajata Vada
for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see: www.ajatavada.com/