Unhappiness

It is indifference which is the cause of most of our unhappiness. Indifference to religion, to the happiness of others, and to the precious gift of freedom, and the wide liberty that is the inheritance of all in a free land. Are we our "Brother's Keeper"? We certainly are! If we had no regard for others' feelings or fortune, we would grow cold and indifferent to life itself. Bound up with selfishness, we could not hope for the success that could easily be ours.

The purpose of this discipline is to bring man into the habit of applying the insight that has come to him as the result of the preceding disciplines. When one is rising, standing, walking, doing something, stopping, one should constantly concentrate one’s mind on the act and the doing of it, not on one’s relation to the act, or its character or value. One should think: there is walking, there is stopping, there is realizing; not, I am walking, I am doing this, it is a good thing, it is disagreeable, I am gaining merit, it is I who am realizing how wonderful it is. Thence come vagrant thoughts, feelings of elation or of failure and unhappiness. Instead of all this, one should simply practice concentration of the mind on the act itself, understanding it to be an expedient means for attaining tranquillity of mind, realization, insight and Wisdom; and one should follow the practice in faith, willingness and gladness. After long practice the bondage of old habits become weakened and disappears, and in its place appear confidence, satisfaction, awareness and tranquillity. What is the Way of Wisdom designed to accomplish? There are three classes of conditions that hinder one from advancing along the path to Enlightenment. First, there are the allurements arising from the senses, from external conditions and from the discriminating mind. Second, there are the internal conditions of the mind, its thoughts, desires and mood. All these the earlier practices (ethical and mortificatory) are designed to eliminate. In the third class of impediments are placed the individual’s instinctive and fundamental (and therefore most insidious and persistent) urges - the will to live and to enjoy, the will to cherish one’s personality, the will to propagate, which give rise to greed and lust, fear and anger, infatuation, pride and egotism. The practice of the Wisdom Paramita is designed to control and eliminate these fundamental and instinctive hindrances.

The greatest unhappiness is to know the source of unhappiness.

Man can only endure a certain degree of unhappiness; what is beyond that either annihilates him or passes by him and leaves him apathetic.

What do people mean when they talk about unhappiness? It is not so much unhappiness as impatience that from time to time possesses men, and then they choose to call themselves miserable.

Back of tranquillity lies always conquered unhappiness.

What is called affluence - the consequence of the type of rapid economic development which occurred from about the middle of the nineteenth century - is in a real sense an abundance not just of serious problems which machines cannot solve, but of hopeless poverty: the physical insecurity, personal unhappiness, the intensified morality, the sense of being dwarfed by vast and uncontrollable physical, mechanical and corporate structures, the hatred and contempt of other peoples, the lack of opportunity for contemplation, the loss of community life.

I am more and more convinced that our happiness or unhappiness depends far more on the way we meet the events of life, than on the nature of those events themselves.

It is worthy of special remark that when we are not too anxious about happiness and unhappiness, but devote ourselves to the strict and unsparing performance of duty, then happiness comes of itself.

When we are not too anxious about happiness and unhappiness, but devote ourselves to the strict and unsparing performance of duty, then happiness comes of itself - nay, even springs from the midst of a life of troubles and anxieties and privations.

Personal relationships are a major cause of unhappiness... Trying to find successful ways of dealing with people according to their personality traits is futile and time-consuming, and it puts the emphasis on outer characteristics rather than where it belongs, which is on the inner... There is an underlying sameness to us all... Operating from the space-time continuum, it is too easy to see others as different from us, to see boundaries, to be exclusive. Operating from our spiritual center, however, is to see others as part of ourselves, to see no boundaries, to be inclusive.

Whether happiness or unhappiness, freedom or slavery, in short whether good or evil results from an improved environment depends largely upon how the change has been brought about, upon the methods by which the physical results have been reached, and in what spirit and for what purpose the fruits of that change are used. Because a higher standard of living, a greater productiveness and a command over nature are not good in and of themselves do not mean that we cannot make good of them, that they cannot be a source of inner strength.

We can never be despised as much as we deserve. Pity and commiseration are mingled with some esteem for the thing we pity; the things we laugh at we consider worthless. I do not think there is as much unhappiness in us as vanity, nor as much malice as stupidity. We are not so full of evil as of inanity; we are not as wretched as we are worthless.

It is no happiness to live long, nor unhappiness to die soon; happy is he that hath lived long enough to die well.

All weaknesses are just fabrications of mind. If I am not happy with myself, how can you make me happy? It takes time to see that my unhappiness stems from myself and not from you. We love to blame others as the source of our unhappiness because that is how we feel good about ourselves. But when we go deeper, we realize that no one in the whole world can make us happy or unhappy. It depends on our own integrity.

Never believe that a man can become happy through the unhappiness of another.

There is nothing in the world so much admired as a man who knows how to bear unhappiness with courage.

What leads to unhappiness is making pleasure the chief aim.

One of the prime causes of unhappiness in the world is approval-seeking.

Unhappiness indicates wrong thinking; just as ill health indicates bad regimen.