Your Definition Of Happiness Will Depend On How Awake You Are
What is happiness? The definition of happiness according to Wikipedia is:
"a state of mind or feeling such as contentment, satisfaction or joy."
The Oxford dictionary definition is "feeling or showing contentment."
Your definition of happiness is a personal thing and will depend on your level of awareness.
For one person, happiness is a Hamlet cigar and a pint of beer. For another, it is being lost in a computer game. Another may experience happiness through the peace of deep meditation.
Lets talk about the difference between pleasure, joy and bliss and how they relate to different levels of awareness.
All people fall into one of three groups... those who are spiritually awake, those who are asleep and those who are somewhere in the middle.
Your own personal definition of happiness will depend on which of these groups you belong to.
For those who are largely asleep, happiness is sought on the outside and is characterized by pleasure. For those who are caught up in the unconscious thinking, food, sex, relationships, work, entertainment etc serve as distractions from an inner feeling of restlessness and a sense of incompleteness. Happiness derived in this way is fleeting and is inevitably followed, as night follows day, by pain in the same measure.
When engaged in pleasurable activity, a temporary sense of relief is experienced and in this way we become slaves to short-term pleasures such as sex, cigarettes, eating or flipping TV channels.
Longer term pleasures such as relationships or businesses which bring us so much joy one day can become a source of suffering in time ... the happy marriage ends in divorce, the successful business goes bankrupt etc
Everything that exists in the world is subject to change and is therefore a shaky foundation on which to base our happiness.
What many consider love in a relationship, for example, is in truth attachment. If I need you for my happiness I cannot really love you.
Attachment is not real love... neediness is not real love. When our happiness is dependent on something external, we will defend it like a lioness defending her cubs. We can never fully rest for fear of losing it. All problems and war on the planet comes as a result of "me" wanting to keep what I perceive as the source of "my" happiness.
Every person, at some point or another, sees the shallowness and futility of the above approach and starts to look around for more. When we begin to awaken through meditation or some other form of spiritual practice, a new energy begins to arise within us.
We begin to feel happy for no particular reason. The world comes to life in an exquisite way and our happiness becomes more of an inner quality than a pleasurable sensation. At this point, our definition of happiness changes. It is more psychological than physiological. Synchronicity begins to increase, feelings of awe and wonder at the marvel of creation arise and we feel a growing sense of connection and meaning with our world... a sense that all is well. Our desires become more refined and we seek quieter, more peaceful activities.
This form of happiness is not an escape from emptiness, rather an outpouring of who we essentially are, as we begin to connect more and more with our true nature. Not being dependent on any external source, it has far greater depth than pleasure derived from food or sex and is freeing rather than enslaving.
The third definition of happiness pertains to that rare group who are fully awake. In this state, happiness is bliss, the highest state. When the experience of a separate "me" has dissolved, all that remains is our true nature of eternal bliss.
So, in conclusion, your own definition of happiness will depend on where you yourself are at. Pleasure is dependent on others, happiness and joy less so and bliss is completely independent of anything. Pleasure is animal, joy is human and bliss is Divine.
How To Be Happy / Happiness Is A Choice / Achieving True Happiness Happiness Quotes / Happy Here And Now / Happy For No Reason
Return To The Top Of This Page: Definition of Happiness
Return To The Homepage: Finding Happiness