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Immediate happiness and deep happiness

It is not surprising to note that consumer society has the immense advantage of providing immediate doses of happiness. This ease of access to happiness makes any other approach less attractive. However, the dissatisfaction that results from an endless race towards acquisition to maintain one’s level of happiness creates the need to find an alternative approach. Anything that is easily obtained is usually fragile. Conversely, anything that took time to build is usually sustainable, which is why it is usually better to have a strategy that maximizes happiness over the long term rather than limiting it with a narrow vision.

Immediate happiness or dopamine as a stimulant

Whether you are aware of it or not, you are subject to various stimuli throughout the day. These provoke a reaction of pleasure or displeasure that makes your daily life more or less pleasant. The sweet coffee that we swallow several times a day, the notification on our cell phone informing us of fresh news, the smell of toast that we smell as soon as we get up etc. All these small stimuli make us alive since they stimulate our senses, yet if we remove one by one these small sources of daily pleasure, we can find ourselves deprived to find a source of joy that can put a smile on our face as when we receive the package we have been waiting for.

All these moments make daily life easier and more pleasant, but they do not contribute to making it more profound or more meaningful. How then can we find a deep meaning that is not the repetition of a purely hedonistic act?

Depth vs. variety

Happiness is obtained through the repetition of a single act rather than the multiplication of acts. To become good at something, one must be able to overcome the learning curve, which can be more or less long and tedious. It is the same for learning happiness: multiplying the sources of joy will not make you better in your ability to be happy, it will only disperse you in your quest. On the other hand, if you commit yourself to a few meaningful daily acts in your ethical and spiritual progress, you can hope to improve your joy throughout your life.

Scattering vs. concentration

What can characterize the most inconsistent people is that they ultimately have a great propensity for scattering which is both the mark and the source of their dissatisfaction. To be always looking for something better, new, more beautiful or recent requires a considerable effort. This energy is somehow wasted because it does not allow to deepen a domain and finally to imbibe a philosophy that guarantees a perennial happiness.

The various strata of happiness

According to the Hindu tradition, there are several “bodies”:

According to Wikipedia:
One counts in three basic bodies (I coarse, II subtle, III causal), five envelopes (1 coarse, 2 vital, 3 mental, 4 intellective, 5 of bliss) and the self.
[I] The gross body (sthûla-sharîra), i.e. the physical organism, contains only one envelope:
[I] the nutrient envelope (annamaya-kosha), i.e., the physical, gross body;
[II] the fine or subtle body (sûkshma-sharîra) contains three envelopes:
[2] the envelope of vital energy (prânamaya-kosha),
[3] the mental envelope (manomaya-kosha),
[4] the envelope of the intellect (vijñânamaya-kosha);
[III] the causal body (kârana-sharîra) contains
[5] the envelope of bliss or bliss (ânandamaya-kosha).
In the center : [6] the Self (âtman).
Each of these envelopes corresponds in itself to a degree of bliss. If you build your life in such a way as to satisfy only the physical dimension of your body, it is very likely that you will find yourself dissatisfied or miserable after a while. Ideally, we should educate ourselves to learn how to nourish the various bodies that make up us in order to satisfy the soul (atman). Sometimes, one can find oneself blocked to a degree by conviction. Have you not come across people of great spirit who had great knowledge and culture but seemed dissatisfied or exasperated. This behavior was undoubtedly a sign of their inability to nourish the deepest spheres of their being. They may have been intelligent and cultured, but they were unable to nourish their souls – perhaps because of a rejection of anything remotely spiritual – which generates this kind of unpleasant impression (ânandamaya-kosha is the closest envelope to the âtman).

A ritual

Establish a program, a routine that allows you to nourish the various body entities. If you neglect your body whether it is physical, mental, intellectual or spiritual, you will be blocked in your attainment of complete happiness. This is why it is important to try to satisfy the different strata of your happiness on a daily basis ideally or at least on a weekly basis.

Reaching deep happiness

In order to get closer to a deep and unchanging happiness, we must therefore manage to raise our consciousness. To do this, we must work on our conscience by teaching to absorb in our heart and mind the purest thoughts that they can. This involves developing charity by giving generously, detaching oneself from sensory stimuli in order to give more space to the mind (and allocate the necessary energy to this work), praying for the good of others, clarifying one’s thoughts through a form of asceticism if it is necessary, and many other things if this is the path that suits you. There is no one way to awaken one’s consciousness, the main thing is to be able to deepen one’s mastery of the path one has chosen. Some are sensitive to devotion, others to prayer, meditation, charity, detached action, etc. The idea is to follow a path that suits you and stick to it.

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