The topic of Happiness, same as of Love is one of the greatest mysteries of all times. Everybody wants it, many have it, even more are desperately searching for it…
When I ask a person: Are you happy? he or she starts reflecting like “yes, basically I have this and that.. must be happy.. but…” Something seems to be missing, at least for the Western mindset.
It’s hard for me to comment on it, for I was already born a happy person. Despite several pretty gloomy periods in my life I remember having inner peace and contentment and even bliss constantly, independent of the hard life tests. However I was not taught that. It was just there… some good luck, may be :).
Looking at people around I am wondering why can’t they be happy. If happiness is about having the material wealth, then most of the people in the West must have been the happiest in the world. But the opposite is true. Ask anyone “what do you wish for yourself?” and the most common answer will be “I want to become happy”.
That was always puzzling me… until I discovered for myself a great Master of a human psyche, a Jungian analyst Robert A. Johnson. In his book “HE” Johnson gives probably the most accurate and brilliant explanation what happiness is and how to achieve it.
“Modern western man has some basic misconceptions about the nature of happiness. The origin of the word is instructive: happiness steams from the the root verb to happen, which implies that our happiness is what happens. Simple people in less complicated parts of the world function in this manner and exhibit a happiness and tranquility that is a puzzle to us. How can peasant in India in which so little to be happy about be happy? Or how can the peon in Mexico, again with so little to be happy about, be as carefree as he appears? These people know the art of happiness, contentment with what is. Their happiness is what happens. If you can not be happy at the prospect of lunch it is not likely you will be happy over anything…
A Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, came to America more than a century ago and made some astute observations about the American way. He said that we have a misleading idea at the very head of our Constitution: the pursuit of happiness. One cannot pursue happiness; if he does he obscures it. If he will proceed with the human task of life, the relocation of the center of gravity of the personality to something greater outside itself, happiness will be the outcome.”
I agree and belive that happiness cannot be found.
It is already there.
(image by me)