Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson
This is funny and delirious. Both myself and my wife take oats for breakfast practically every morning. There are times when the mind got tired eating oats, and anything – yes, anything edible – that comes our way will be a respite from the “boring” routine of just oats. And that thing will be something the mind defines as “nice”. And we come to an agreement that that food be repeated again the next day. And you can guessed what happens after a few days of doing that :)
So we have our regular oats and one day we created our own version of sweet potato porridge – wow, so “delicious” – that was our exact expression. And after a day of repeating it, our mind changes and we have sandwich for breakfast instead. Another wow! And guess what happens after a few more days of sandwich? The mind’s “wow” is not truly an expression of joy but rather a relief, an interval of a boredom. The mind’s boredom plays up again and again practically in anything we do, looking for new things to be entertained. But truly there is nothing new anymore to the mind. They are all the same stuff except a different form, a different appearance. Like a child playing with his only toys, he creates new experiences out of the old toys to entertain himself, again and again. Watch what happens to the old toys when new ones come along.
So what is “happiness” in reality? To me happiness is a definition of a brief respite of what has just passed – a so-called interval from dis-ease, awaiting yet another dis-ease to come again that pushes me to seek another. The mind is never grounded, disgruntled. The so-called interval is just another dis-ease, relatively less uncomfortable than the immediate past – but it is just a matter of time – for the meaning of dis-ease to arise again, making the mind seeking further. So where is truly happiness? Where is joy? Do observe that each time where there is a meaning of “happiness”, it is an interpretation of the mind’s relief of a prior boredom, or an anxiety, or any kind of negativity. When I can expect “happiness” coming my way by what I am doing now- I am already experiencing anxiety of some sort as all expectations have a hidden fear in it.
I may be doing something “happily” now – but consider that the meaning of happy is build from an idea that this is what I like to do. When there is a liking, there is already a holding on expectation that the thing that I am doing will last. Again, in any form of expectation, there is anxiety, subconsciously.
From personal observation “happiness” is an escape from a prior boredom that I am not willing to face. It is a camouflage, a cover-up of what is in the mind? If I wish to see to the end of the dis-ease I have to be truly authentic with myself. The mind is like a clay – I can practically mould anything out from it but whatever that is moulded is still the same old clay. I have never left that clay – I am subjected to its subjugation. To see the impermanent nature of that clay is to see a way out of that clay.
My moment to moment actions are founded on either one of these – decorating the prison or breaking out of the prison – the former has the meaning of “happiness”, the latter peace. In peace there is no need for happiness for everything is accepted exactly as it is.