Friday, 21 August 2009

What is Happiness?

I believe that happiness is that joyful lighthearted abandonment that comes when you can partake of the pleasures or activities in life that enhance your self esteem, self awareness and world awareness. When you look around you and are heartened by the view should it be a beautiful pastoral scene or a gritty dark backstreet view.
I think it feels transcient because perhaps that light headedness gradually starts to dissipate but if what we are left with is a sense of contentment, a tranquility of mind and a sense of inner peace and well being then we have true happiness.

So I agree with Epicurus that Pleasure is the goal in achieving happiness. Life is brimful of pleasure from sharing a meal and a drink with friends to going for a walk in the park, or even just sitting reading a book. If you sit and think "You know Love, or feel loved and love in return" think how happy that makes you feel? Think how lucky you are.

Sometimes I think the people who are the most unhappy are the people who do not appreciate many of the simple things in life and are constantly searching or wanting to acquire more and more things to boost their self esteem. It is the people we love and who love us back that matter in the long run. A meal and a drink with friends is of much more value than the procurement of 'stuff'

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Returning To An Ex Repeatedly: Karma or Weakness?

On the face of it returning to an ex repeatedly would be viewed as stupidity by some, as weakness by others and then again some others would view it as a mixture of both stupidity and weakness. The stupidity, having an almost impossibly optimistic outlook; that “this time things will be better” or that “this time we will get it right”. I believe that life is just not that simple or straight forward. People are by nature complex and so are relationships. There are many reasons people return to ex's from economic to feelings of insecurity. Some people fear being alone and some are manipulative and find ways of persuading their ex to return. Others believe that they are in love and feel it is worth giving it another try. I think these are all valid reasons and should not be dismissed as weakness or stupidity. Nor should we use the concept of Karma to blame.

If people say it is “Their Karma” meaning that it is their fate and they cannot escape it, they are mistaken in their understanding of Karma. I think we all have a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about the concept of Karma.

In my understanding Karma is bound up with concepts such as causality and good and evil. Some people view it as a sort of spiritual balance sheet were they store up rewards in this life for their next life. Again I believe this to be a simplified (and popular) view of Karma. Karma is not about rewards or punishments in this life or any other life.

My understanding of Karma is that it is intentionality, It is of the mind and is all about our thoughts our words and our deeds.(What we are going to do). It means ‘to act’; it is about ‘doing’ therefore we should not think of our Karma as our fate or destiny. The words destiny and fate imply a fore gone conclusion were no action is necessary. It is true that our existence or changes in our lives is dictated by our karma and that in Buddhist teachings we carry over our Karma from past lives but we should not look on our lives then as predetermined or have a fatalistic worldview. Although Buddhists believe that the situation that we are born into is a reflection on Karma from past lives; for example if you are born rich you were probably good in a past life, poor you were probably bad (another simplistic explanation). It does not mean that we are trapped in a cycle of being that sort of soul eternally. We all have free will, and are able to make choices that can redirect our own Karma. So we are not compelled by fate or predestination. So it would seem that karma cannot be held accountable for someone repeatedly returning to their ex but Karma can break that cycle because Karma is about action.

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