Distinguishing between pleasure and happiness, Part 2/5

‘Happiness is like a ball: you keep kicking it and running after it – and just as you are about to catch it, you kick it again… and start running after it all over again. Yes, it is the chase that stimulates you. It is in the quest, in the pursuit of a goal that you find happiness.

When you get something you want, of course, you are happy for a little while, but that satisfaction is soon followed by a feeling of emptiness, and you start to want something else. Your satisfaction never lasts. So what is the answer?

The answer is to set out in pursuit of the farthest and most inaccessible goal: perfection, immensity and eternity. In pursuing this goal, you will find all the things you desire: knowledge, wealth, power and love. Yes, you will find these things without even asking for them.

Happiness is always accompanied by pleasure
The need to find happiness is very profoundly rooted in every human being. It is this fundamental need that drives us and guides our actions. And even though each individual envisages happiness differently depending on their own particular temperament, most people think of it as pleasure, for happiness is always accompanied by pleasure. So much so, in fact, that most people fail to distinguish one from the other.

When you consider how much energy human beings expend on activities that give them pleasure, it is obvious that if happiness were synonymous with pleasure the whole world would be overflowing with happiness. But what we see is just the opposite.

Pleasure concerns principally the physical body
Pleasure is a brief and very agreeable sensation which leads you to believe that if only you could prolong it indefinitely you would be happy. This is an illusion. Why? Because the activities that give you an agreeable sensation quickly and effortlessly almost never belong to a very high plane. They concern principally your physical body; they have little to say to your heart, and practically nothing to your mind.

Happiness concerns the whole of one’s being
But no human being can be happy if they seek to satisfy only their physical body, or even their heart and mind, for such satisfactions are necessarily incomplete and transitory. Happiness, unlike pleasure, is not a fleeting sensation; it is something that concerns the whole of one’s being.’

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
Izvor Book 231 The Seeds of Happiness
Chapter 2. Happiness is not Pleasure

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