Sunday, 31 August 2014
Written by Mathew Naismith
We do indeed have a huge choice in the way we want to be happy, this of course is defined by the difference between in what kind of happiness we live by especially considering the difference between ephemeral and eternal happiness. What are their differences and how do they impact on our being?
Ephemeral means fleeting, a happiness that doesn’t last and eternal means everlasting, a happiness that lasts. Take watching a TV show that makes us happy to watch and that we watch without missing an episode, when we do miss an episode, we are no longer happy, this is ephemeral happiness. When a loved one or a loved pet dies, we become unhappy, again this is another indication of ephemeral happiness brought on by an external source of happiness. This doesn’t mean we no longer love them but it just means they are no longer a source of happiness unless we remember fond thoughts of them.
Eternal happiness doesn’t take an external source to make us happy; when we are eternally happy, missing a show or two wouldn’t disappoint us so we wouldn’t become unhappy missing a show or two. Does this also apply to the other things in life we love dearly like a love one or a pet? This might seem course but it’s exactly the same, some people love certain TV shows just as much as their pets and in certain cases probably more than their loved ones. Love itself doesn’t define our happiness but in the way we love does.
Love is defined by loving something or someone for external happiness, or loving something or someone for the sake of just simply loving them without relying on them for our happiness. When we start to rely on any external source for our happiness, we are really only talking about ephemeral happiness not eternal happiness. We have, especially in the west, been brought up to rely on external sources to make us happy, it’s everywhere around us which is mainly brought about by consumerism.
If my wife died tomorrow would I be unhappy? Yes because I have been brought up to rely on external sources to make me happy, my wife is a source of external happiness to me as I am to her. I would have many fond memories of my passing wife but I’m not really happy until I meet someone else, this is a very good indication I have relied on an external source to make me happy. We can also replace one source of happiness we with something else, if my wife died, I could replace that form of external sought happiness in something else like drugs/alcohol or sport but it would still be of an ephemeral external happiness. You would think there is no other way around this but there is!!
The quote above says it all but this seems to still rely on an external source to make us happy, goals are external from our inner being are they not? Not if you make such goals eternal as opposed to ephemeral. When we have a goal to get married to someone we dearly love, we are giving them a stamp stating they are ours now and we own them. Any indication of ours is a form of ownership and of course with any ownership it’s ephemeral not eternal.
Let’s look at a goal of getting married in a different way, what if the stamp didn’t state they are ours now and we own them, is this of ephemeral or eternal love? There is no such thing of ownership being of eternity, ownership is a fleeting occurrence not eternal. The stamp now states you’re not mine to own but to cherish while you are with me. Can you now see the difference between the mentalities of ownership compared to just cherishing. If we are just cherishing someone without ownership, we are not wholly relying on them for our happiness, they give us happiness but we are not relying on them for our happiness because we don’t own them.
This might seem cold to some people, once one passes on we are no longer relying on them for our happiness but this doesn’t mean we no longer love them; there is a huge difference here. Once one passes on, we don’t own them anymore, they belong to the afterlife but we still have love for them. The trick is to feel happy that you were able to be a part of their lives for however long that was.
I don’t own my wife and that’s not my TV show that I watch with passion so often, it’s all an ephemeral experience not an eternal physical experience, nothing in this physical reality is eternal so why rely on these physical none eternal possessions and people to make us happy? It’s funny to me to rely on something that we don’t really own and isn’t eternal to make us happy, our true happiness comes always from within.
If a goal doesn’t turn out for us and we become unhappy because of this, this is a good indication that the said goal was ephemeral not eternal. A goal that doesn’t work out for us that doesn’t make us unhappy is eternal, it’s eternally not our goal any longer and we go onto the next goal as Einstein did, if a formula doesn’t work out, go onto the next one. If Einstein ever thought he owned a formula that didn’t work out, he would have indeed became unhappy.
If we change our mentality from ownership to cherishing a moment, we would indeed be only relying on our inner happiness to make us happy because we realise we can’t own anything in a physical reality as it’s all ephemeral. This is changing our mentality from an ephemeral mentality to an eternal mentality giving us eternal happiness. True eternal happiness is all to do with our mentality.