Lasting happiness cannot be found in the external world

Lasting happiness cannot be found in the external world

“‘All conditioned things are impermanent’ — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.” — Gautama Buddha

On the Earth plane, change is inevitable. Look at a baby. Can you imagine that this silky face before your eyes will have wrinkles someday?

Let us think of the four seasons in Northeast Asia. In summer, the forest shows off its splendor. Under the golden rays of the Sun, the trees are green, and the flowers are in full bloom. Everything in nature flourishes with effervescent energy.

In winter, however, the vigor of nature disappears. The trees become barren; flowers wither away; and the buzzing sound of insects disappears. It is hard to believe that this dreary place used to reverberate with life several months ago.

It has been said that the Sahara Desert used to be filled with forests. What rises has to fall. What blooms has to perish.

From one moment to the next, change is also occurring at every level of our lives. We live in a world of Yin and Yang. Whether we recognize it or not, everything around us continues to change in this world of Yin and Yang. Even the most loving relationship deteriorates.

Depending on the energy interaction between two people in a relationship, the most adorable person can turn out to be merciless and a sense of happiness can turn to anguish without a warning. In this world of Yin and Yang, Yin follows Yang and Yang follows Yin. At a physical level, our bodies continue to change.

Many of us are often deceived into thinking that once we find happiness it will last. Some of us even believe that certain things in our lives will remain intact from the passage of time. The truth is that everything in the world is subject to change. Nothing is permanent on the Earth plane. Everything physical is illusory by nature. We cannot find lasting happiness in this illusory world of physicality.

lasting happiness

Lasting happiness remains elusive when we identify with our personalities 

In this illusory world of Yin and Yang where everything changes from moment to moment, our personalities do not remain content or happy for long. During the course of our lives, our personalities never cease to come up with their own set of wants, needs and desires. It can be a new car, a charming spouse, a respectable career, adorable children, beautiful looks or a fit body.

The problem is that when we manage to satisfy some of those desires, they will come up with another set of desires. Our personalities rarely remain content, as long as they are exposed to the world of Yin and Yang. Therefore, we cannot achieve lasting happiness if we continue to identify with our personalities that are essentially five sensory-based.

Still, the good news is that we are not our personalities, and our personalities are not real us. Our personalities serve us while we are navigating in this illusory world of physicality. However, when we return to the nonphysical realm, we will release our personalities, but real us will remain.

Since we are not our personalities, we can liberate ourselves from their wants and desires. Instead of demanding happiness from life, we can go within and directly connect to happiness without trying to manipulate outside circumstances. We make peace with our life situations.

When we stop identifying ourselves with our personalities, we are no longer controlled by the wants and desires of our personalities. We stop trying to blindly cater to the desires of our personalities in order to find happiness in life.

We realize that losses are not real losses and that failures are not real failures. We make peace with our frustrations. We make peace with our failures. Everything must start from within where true reality lies.

Korean Zen

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