HAPPINESS AS SPIRITUAL FOOD
Aristotle was once asked the question : What do people generally view as the end of life? And instantly, his answer was Happiness. He further explained happioness to mean a state, a feeling, or an activity that excluded misery and miserliness. Aristotle saw happiness as an activity of virtue manifested over a whole life and affecting others positively.
Man by nature is therefore always searching for happiness in all he does. What ever his preoccupation, his endeavors,and past times he is all the time, propelled to do what he does becuase he wants to be happy.
Even as a social and a political animal as he is man in his relations with other people, he is in search of happiness. Man is happiest when he is involved in a love relationship. He is therefore in such relationship because he wants to be happy.
DIFFERENT WAYS MAN FAILS IN HIS SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS.
A desire for food, for love or even for drinks within normal limits is okay since they are essential for our living. When these desire become too much leading to an obsession such an abnormal craving is known as Lust. Lust manifests in various ways. It manifests as a burning desire for drugs, alcohol, smoking, some special type of food, or abnormal sexual activities. Lust has the tendency of putting the indicidual down to the level of the beast Psychology teaches that whatever the mind dwells on ove ran extended period becomes a part of us and this is exactly what happens with lust Lust is habit forming.Any shade of happiness that comes from lust is transient, it is shortlived.
Whenever we feel we have been wronged we feel our state of happiness has been disturbed and has to set the wrong right. This process is normal. But some people become extremely angry and are prepared to pull the world down in other to even the score They have thus given anger an upper hand. If not properly handled, trouble, criticism, slander, lies, jealousy malice resentment mockery and at times murder may result.Ironically an angry person is never happy even though his anger started because he wanted to regain his state of happiness!
In man’s search for happiness he wants to have or own many things. Of course everyone wants the good things of life to live the good life. Some people are not satisfied with what they have This is where Greed comes in Greed has the effect of chaining its victim to the material things of life. The person is never satisfied with what he has Greed hardens the consciousness to such a point the the person is hardly aware of anything else apart from the acquisition and stockpiling of items that he will really never use
The greedy person is rarely grateful for anything simply because he feels that the whole world is obligated to him This human habit is demonstrted im miserliness, lying, bribery, trickery, perjuey,robbery embezzlement cheating and all forms of financial frauds
But is the greedy person in all his amassed wealth really happy? The story of the rich man whom Jesus told to go sell all his property before becoming his disciple provide an apt answer. He went away sorrowfully! Psychologically a greedy person is a victim of poverty consciousness in spite of the wealth he has amassed.
The value we place on the things we own is important. We place value for the homes we own, our family our business even our cars, we have a craving for them. But when the craving for them is too much such that we do not like to let go of them then we are being attached to them
Attachment is an unnecessary clinging to anything. Attachment is one of the most deceitful mental infatuations. It slowly creeps in on its victim. It comes with gentleness and apparent good intentions. Its aim is to fix the victim’s attention on the lower values of life. I am not in favor of giving up our material possessions rather that we should not give them undue attachment. We do not stop loving and cherishing our family and friends or our possessions but such affections should have their limits. We do not really own them. At best they are under our care for the moment and we should not be too possessive of them. Life itself is too short for such a burden.
There is nothing wrong with having a good opinion of ourselves. In fact we should. A good self esteem is better than a low self esteem. When we begin to think and feel that we are more important or better that those around us, and therefore they must accept what we say or do, this sort of attitude is Vanity Persons with such an attitude are being vain. They have become swollen over and out of proportion to the real image of themselves
The vainglorious, arrogant and proud person thinks that he is the center of the universe and as such he is above any error of judgment. Everything he says and does is right.he is the source of truth
Vanity blocks the pathof truth and objectivity. It causes errors in judgment and action. It deceives both the vain person and those he is in association with, Vanity has been the major cause of most wars in human history leading to untold violence, bloodbath, pogrom or “ethnic cleansing” The vain person is extremely sensitive to criticism and when opposed, vigoriously brings instant punishment to those involved in opposing him.
In the search of happiness Vanity is a far distant candidate.
This concludes the first part of the two part post