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How Can You Not Feel Envy?

Envy is a painful feeling. It arises when we contemplate the life of another and feel a sense of inferiority. This makes it difficult to feel joy when others feel joy. Other people’s happiness crowds out our own. Conversely, the unhappiness of others drives out our own unhappiness, and ultimately makes us happier. This idea is translated into German by the term “schadenfreude”, literally meaning “unhealthy joy” or “malignant joy”. Should we get rid of such a reflex, and if so, how?

Craving Is A Sign Of Dissatisfaction

Envy or “unhealthy joy” are two things to banish from your life, as they are both the cause and consequence of your unhappiness. Being social beings, humans have a natural propensity to compare themselves, so as to know where they rank in society. This shows our awareness of our social nature, but it’s also bad because we might desire to belittle others to better feel elevated in society. Envy is bad because it sustains our own unhappiness. If you want to be happy, it’s better to concentrate on what you can do in your life without worrying about others rather than always following what people do.

Envy Is A Symptom Of Something In Your Life

If you frequently experience envy, it may indicate that you haven’t taken control of your life, that you’re passive. When you’re active, you tend to create a dynamic of positivity around you. Passive people are more likely to be less optimistic or even morose. Envy shifts your focus of attention to something over which you have no control: other people. By being envious, you indicate that your happiness depends on others: if something is happy, you become unhappy, and vice versa. So the only way to have control when you’re envious is to help ruin other people’s lives to make yourself feel better. In practice, this means turning into a toxic personality, which is not at all desirable.

Don’t Become Toxic

When you’re toxic, you contribute to other people’s unhappiness and get caught up in a spiral of negativity that leads nowhere. We destroy ourselves by wanting to destroy others, a bit like a kamikaze. So it’s essential to stop all toxic behavior as soon as possible. Envy is a poison that kills us before it kills others.

Learn To Develop Your “Mudita

“Mudita” is a Buddhist concept meaning “sympathetic joy” or “rejoicing in the happiness of others”. It is in some ways the opposite of “schadenfreude”. It is the consequence of a higher level of awareness. The change is not as simple as that: you don’t go from “schadenfreude” to “mudita” by sheer power of will. Schadenfreude” is the hallmark of our relationship with the world. It is the fruit of our habits, our conditioning, our karma (the accumulation of our present and past actions). To change karmic traces, we need to adopt a different set of values, and this takes time. It’s a slow process: we change our thoughts, then our actions follow. Schadenfreude” stems from a mind plagued by lack, playing a zero-sum game: if the person wins, I lose; if the other person is happy, I’m unhappy; if the other person is rich, I’m poor, and so on. With such a way of looking at things, it’s easy to understand why we rejoice in the misfortune of others in such a situation. Conversely, mudita implies a different relationship with the world: my happiness is the consequence of the happiness of others, and it’s only because the world is happy that I can be happy. There’s a feeling of belonging to a greater whole, to a collective consciousness, and of being the artisan of this consciousness at an individual level. It’s a radically opposed relationship to the world.

Realize That Your Thoughts Influence The World

Collective consciousness is, as its name suggests, the sum of individual consciousnesses. A fortiori, if you wish to influence the Cosmos, you need to be aware that you are part of an interconnected whole. Each thought is a drop of water placed in a vase, which is then poured out onto the world. If your thoughts are pure, they will help to purify this collective vessel. If your thoughts are vile, they will taint the water that is then poured out on others. That’s why it’s so important to take care of yourself and set aside a moment each day to purify yourself. Personal purification is equivalent to collective purification.

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