Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Attachments and the Pursuit of Happiness

Attachments and the Pursuit of Happiness

The first order of business is to differentiate between happiness and gratification. Gratification requires sensory input or stimulation, happiness does not. Gratification is affected by external environments, happiness is not. Gratification is dependent upon our external reality, happiness is not. Gratification is always in a state of flux; happiness is a state of being. Objects and activities that provide gratification can be denied us, our reservoir of happiness lies within and follows us wherever we go. Gratification is based on our material reality; happiness is based on our spiritual maturity.

We, as living beings, exist in two realities, our material reality and our spiritual reality. Sensual gratification resides in the realm of matter. Though we are, by natural, pleasure seeking, we mistake sensory gratification in our material reality for the true happiness to be experienced in our spiritual reality. We then develop attachments based on these matter based objects of gratification and therefore stay trapped in the realm of matter.

It is our attachment to sensual gratification that keeps us bound to our material reality and blinds us to true happiness in our spiritual reality. Happiness, on the spiritual level, requires no sensory input. In yoga practice this is called Samadhi. Try it. Sit in a chair, close your eyes and choose to be happy, literally choose it. This is the beginning of experiencing true happiness devoid of attachments to matter-based objects of sensory gratification. We carry our source of happiness around with us 24/7. The problem is that our attachments to sensory gratification get in the way and we spend our time chasing temporal objects and circumstances that provide only fleeting and impermanent gratification.

By eliminating our attachment to sensory gratification we can experience true, deep and lasting happiness.

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