Extract Four Quartets 4: Little Gidding
With the drawing of this Love
and the voice of this Calling…
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.
Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
Finding answers, canvassing ideas, considering alternatives… these are the some of ways we try to get a handle on what this (life) is all about.
Is it happiness we are seeking in this exploration of self? Is it understanding? Is it to find a way of feeling “good” all the time?
If only we’d stop trying to be happy we’d have a pretty good time.
What is happiness?
pleasure, and enjoyment of things;
How would you describe happiness?
Some people may say happiness is finding a way to fill the day with pleasurable activities. Finding a job we love (or can even pleasurably tolerate maybe) would seem to me to be a good start. How many people do you know can say they love their work? And I don’t mean love the fruit of their work (pay packet)… although it may contribute to overall satisfaction.
Albert Schweitzer — (1887-1965)
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
Is the search for happiness solved through the plethora of drugs available? Alcohol is even legal. Shopping is our right. Keeping up with the Neighbours material possessions is a national pastime.
As a counsellor/psychotherapist working in Sydney CBD I see many people who find mainly frustration in their daily grind. They can’t quite understand why they are unhappy, even though they have great jobs, successful marriages, happy children and financial abundance… everything they “believed” would make them happy… they are unhappy. There is something missing.
Digging deeper into their lives we find that with all the material satisfaction they have attained there is a spiritual or emotional cavern not accessible to them.
From time-to-time we all experience times of frustration
Realising that the cavern or blank or space (times of unhappiness) is something most of us recognise in our lives from time-to-time can often help deal with our own dissatisfaction with our lives. However, for some this is not such a time-to-time event. For some people it is most or even all the time.
Constantly searching for satisfaction seems to be the mindset. If we are OK on the basics — food, shelter and some kind of relationship with parents or friends or special partner then what? More of all of that? Bigger of all of that? So say the advertising industry, the corporate giants we seem to answer to. But do we need to respond by obeying their call?
Voices in the wildernes
Among the cries to expand and be better or faster or begin this process earlier and earlier (one advertisement in Australia for cars features a baby in nappies picking up this/her girlfriend to go surfing) a few people (I include myself in this bunch of dreamers) extol the small, the mindful, the relaxing and calming of anxieties that we might better enjoy our infinitesimally small time in this universe.
We are not so much interested in what happiness is but how to get it.
34,500 results in Google from “how to find happiness”
20,500 results in Google for “happiness”
Henry David Thoreau: (1817-1862)
The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend. I have no wealth to bestow on him. If he knows that I am happy in loving him, he will want no other reward. Is not friendship divine in this?
John Milton: (1608-1674)
The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven.