Man is not searching for happiness. He is running away from sadness.
He believes that happiness is the opposite of sadness. When, actually, there are only shades of difference between them.
Happiness and sadness are moods. Moods are a byproduct of thought. And thought is the very constitution of the mind.
In essence, the unenlightened man is a schizophrenic. He thinks, and he then responds to the feeling which arises from the thought.
And then matters become even more complex. He begins to have a thought about the thought. And he begins to have an opinion about the feelings. He categorizes his feelings into likes and dislikes. And he attempts to find ways to cultivate the good feelings and avoid the bad ones.
Thus begins his search for happiness.
It is at this stage where the world of self-help, positive thinking, and motivational recipes come into existence. Books are written and articles are generated outlining ways to attract the good feelings and avoid the bad ones.
Prescriptions abound. Slogans and bumper stickers and Ten ways to . . . lists flood the public consciousness.
The majority of the writings argue that since feelings come from thought, then why not think positive thoughts?
Others recommend singing a song, doing something kind, turning off your phone, taking a walk, practice smiling, taking a vacation . . .
Do such things work?
They certainly can.
Because the mind is an ephemeral element. It changes moods and preferences with every third breath.
But that is not the real question.
The real question is, How long does the good mood or the positive feeling, last?
The tide always returns, does it not? Cosmetic fixes will always lead to results equally cosmetic.
While that may be the real question, the most important question is this: How satisfied are you with your current state of affairs?
You may be a person who lives much of his life in bliss. You may have an even temperament. Your life may be relatively serene and, therefore, entirely satisfying.
You may be a person who experiences some happy moments and some sad moments, but life is not terribly bothersome. For you, a temporary fix is all you need to maintain your level of satisfaction with your daily life.
You may be a person who is searching for bliss. For a seeker such as yourself, the ultimate is the goal. And the ultimate is the state of mindlessness.
In the end, trading one aspect of mind for another takes you nowhere, for it leaves you squarely within the mind.
When one is happy, misery is not far behind. For both lie within the mind.
Bliss is beyond emotion.
And as such, it is beyond the mind.