In Pursuit of Happiness
All pursue happiness. This includes even those who are on the fringes – The Mystics who rejected much of the material world as also those who became billionaires in the pursuit of the same. However, there is a major difference in the way in which happiness is pursued between these two extreme fringes of society. Understanding their paths is helpful for most humans who are between the two extremes.
Mystics endeavor to pursue happiness in a way that does not lead to harm for others. If possible, they help others increase their happiness as well, not just from compassion but also because they understand that whatever one puts into the world comes back. Moreover, they avoid pursuits that may lead to brief episodes of happiness but pain later. Most of all, they seek a path of happiness that helps their souls to evolve, i.e. capable of ever greater peace, happiness and bliss, for if the very apparatus that perceives happiness is damaged, there is little hope of it.
Mystics value not just love of all life but also romantic love, just like others. It is a source of happiness, but for the mystic, love not lust dominates. Famous mystics like Rumi and Khalil Gibran were ardent lovers as were numerous others who remain largely anonymous or unknown. This type of love leaves a soul charged with bliss for long periods unlike lustful interactions that dissipate a person and may leave one sorry and depressed.
A billionaire seeks fame and large mansions with huge gardens around it for space and show but a mystic seeks the wider expanse of forests, wild flowers, mountains and lakes. The Billionaire listens to a symphony in his mansion but the mystic listens to the song of birds beside the lake or joins in devotional singing in a church, temple or any such gathering he happens to pass by. Just a hut or two suffices for the hermit. Large buildings, after all, are a burden for the soul and tie it down. A Billionaire may lie and cheat easily to increase his profits while a mystic forever attempts to embed himself in love, truth and simplicity, for it is from this that a soul rises to yet greater joy.
While most humans are neither mystics nor billionaires, they lean towards one or the other model of happiness as described. Where do you fall dear friend? If your prime goal in life is worldly success, then you are following the billionaire’s path but if your prime goal is happiness then you are perhaps leaning towards the path of the mystic. That is a wise thing to do for,
When one pursues happiness first and foremost, whatever worldly success is needed for that, for each according to their personality follows but when the prime goal is worldly success, then happiness often recedes.