When you learn to use your consciousness a certain way, happiness is the natural consequence. You don't have to use your consciousness to create happiness, but once you learn how to do so, you'll probably be inclined to leave it switched on all the time.I stumbled on this art, or something similar, myself three years ago after years of mild depression. The easiest way I can summarize my enlightenment: happiness is an act of will. There were other parts too, though, which probably seem trite and obvious, unless you accept them in a deep way (or maybe I'm just different, or slow, or whatever :-):
- The world isn't entirely understandable or controllable, so accept things you can't change.
- Logic and reason, the scientific method, is not a philosophy which leads to happiness or completeness.
- Committing to every action, drinking actively of every passing moment, effortful yet (in the end) effortless deliberate living is one of the keys for framing one's life and action. A focus on one word: being.
When they're written down, the seem like so many useless platitudes. The words are only the shadows of the living actions, though, flat photographs of live actions.
I'm interested in what Steve has to say, and how what he says compares with my own experience.