HAPPINESS, COMPASSION= PEACEPosted on November 1, 2014 by Ines
The fundamental issue at hand is that we all want to be happy, have a successful life. It’s not just a goal but our legitimate right. So, how do we achieve this happy life?
Before we can get there, we first need to have Peace. No matter how great your life is, no matter how happy you are, it will be short lived without Peace, can you possibly be happy knowing the rest of the world is not experiencing Peace?
In these modern times, when technology is so well developed/evolved and freely available, we get the idea that material things are the ultimate factor in satisfying our desires and fulfilling our goals. Thus, we put too much expectation of material things and put too much trust in them; our strong materialistic beliefs give us false hope. As a result, wehave neglected our inner values and state of mind.
By relying too much on external things to make our lives more meaningful, we have moved away from basic human values. Of course, the development of technology is essential and useful when used for good purposes, but it’s wrong to think that our problems can be solved through external stimuli.
When material and spiritual development are combined, however; we can achieve happiness. Therefore, while focusing on material development, it’s essential that we pay attention to inner values as well.
The word “spiritual” doesn’t mean religious faith. It’s quite obvious that there are 2 levels of spirituality–spirituality with religious faith and that without. Of course, a person can manage to lead a meaningful life without religious faith, but you can’t be a happy person without the spirituality of basic human values. As long as we remain human, there is no way we can neglect this.
What are the basic human values? There are 2 levels . On one level, there is the sense of caring for one another, sharing with one another–the sense of oneness that comes from seeing people as brothers and sisters in a single human family bringing respect, tolerance and self discipline. We will find these qualities in the animal kingdom. However, on another level, because of our human intelligence and understanding of far-reaching consequences, we can deliberately increase certain qualities and try to restrain others. In this way, humans are much more intelligent and sophisticated than animals.
Humans and animals equally have the same basic desire for happiness. This is common to all sentient beings. The unique aspect about us, however, is our intelligence. The desire to attain happiness, pleasure and satisfaction mainly through the five senses is not a uniquely human thing; there is not much to distinguish us from animals in this regard. What does distinguish us from animals is our ability to use our faculty of intelligence and imagination in our quest to fulfill our natural desire to be happy and overcome suffering.
It is the ability to judge between the long and short-term consquences of our behaviours and actions that distinguishes us from animals, utilizing our unique human qualities in the right way is what proves us to be true human beings.
Another important aspect is that there are two kinds of pain and pleasure–pain and pleasure on the physical, or sensory level and those on the mental level. If we examine our daily lives, it will become clear that we can subdue physical pain mentally.
When we are happy and calm, we can easily ignore the physical discomfort, such as pain and unpleasant sensations. When, however we are unhappy or disturbed, then even the best of external factors such as good companions, money and fame, cannot bring us happiness.
This suggests that no matter how powerful our sensory experiences might be, they cannot overwhelm our state of mind; mental experience is superior to physical. It’s in this mental realm of happiness and suffering or pain and pleasure that the application of human intelligence plays a tremendously influential role.
Human intelligence is neutral; it’s just an instrument that can be utilized in either destructive or constructive ways.
For example: Much of your suffering comes about as the result of power of imagination and ability to think about the future, which can create doubt, expectations, dissapointment (worry) and fear. Animals don’t have these problems, they don’t worry.
If an animal finds good food and shelter and there are no immediate disturbances, it can exist quiet peacefully, but even when we human beings are well fed and surrounded by good companions, nice music and so forth, our sophistication and expectations don’t allow us to relax. Human intelligence, in other words, is a source of worry and problems. The unhappiness that arises from an overactive imagination can’t be resolved by material means.
Human intelligence, therefore, can be very influential either negatively or positively. The key factor in directing it to be positive is to have the right mental attitude. Instead of thinking about money and material things every minute of the day, we should pay more attention to our inner world. We should ask: “What is the mind”? Where is it?, because the greatest of all disturbing forces are our negative emotions. When they are fully developed, we become their slaves; as if mad. Therefore, when these negative emotions arise, ask yourself “Where does all this come from”
The key factor in developing and improving basic human values–the sense of caring for and sharing with one another–is human affection, a feeling of closeness with one another. This quality is present within us at the moment of our conception. According to medical science, an unborn child can recognize it’s mothers voice. Each of us started life with the inborn need for affection and without it we would not have grown up into stable and happy adults.
Fear and hatred have a negative effect on us. When we feel negative emotions, certain parts of the brain become blocked and our intelligence can’t function properly, this also leads to serious health problems including cancer.
If we switch our mental attitude from concern for our own welfare to that of others, our mind automatically widens and our own problems appear much less important and easier to face.
The actual beneficiary of the practice of compassion and caring for other is Oneself. Because our mind broadens/expands and we feel more comfortable when we think about humanity and the welfare of others, if we can generate this kind of mental attitude, whenever we meet someone, we will feel that here is another human brother and sister and will immediately be able to communicate with ease.
When we think about ourselves, our inner door remains closed and we find it difficult to communicate with our fellow human beings.
The practice of compassion and caring for others immediately brings us inner strength and inner peace.
It’s quite clear, therefore, that if we really are concerned about our own future and the happiness of our own life, we should develop a mental attitude in which the practice of compassion plays a central role.
Through training our minds we can become more peaceful. This will give us greater opportunities for creating the peaceful families and human communities that are the foundation of World Peace.
Non-violence does not mean being passive. We need to solve our problems through dialogue in a spirit of desire for peace. This is the real meaning of non-violence and the source of World Peace.
Once we have developed a peaceful society in which problems are negotiated through dialogue, we can seriously think about demilitarization–first on the national level, then regional and finally global level.
Many of you have commented that there are people doing the work towards peace, but you have avoided answering your own question; what are YOU doing about bringing forth Peace?
We can’t look around us and measure what society is doing, we need to do our part. Ask yourself: “What am I doing towards Peace?”
You throw the STONE, it will become a RIPPLE. Don’t look around and compare, do your part, it matters not what others do or don’t do; it matters what YOU do.
Thanks to: http://inesradman.wordpress.com