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Happiness… happiness… happiness! Everyone seems to be chasing happiness lately. What is the secret equation for happiness? How does one find happiness? What IS happiness? Well, today we’re going to answer all those questions in fine detail, and then… we’re gonna explain why it ain’t happiness… but joy that’s really what we’re looking for. GO!
Welcome to the I AM Podcast, where we answer all the questions about spirituality and inner peace that you ever wanted to ask, and where we learn the secrets of humanity and divinity through a better understanding of both. I am your host, Sean Webb.
Happiness. If you’ve been watching since about episode 4, you know that within the Body Mind Spirit model… we explained to you exactly how specific emotions like anger, sadness, fear, etc. come together in our minds, and we explained what exactly what we as humans are thinking when those emotions come about. In addition, we explained how the components of the emotional influence system within the mind create all our emotions, and we discussed how the specific definitions of emotions can be so well defined that it can allow us to even PREDICT our emotions if all other variables are known.
And if you wanna understand how the psychology of the human mind works with 100% accuracy and get the answers to 4000 years of psychological mysteries… go watch episodes 4 through episode 8.
Now… you also know if you’ve been with us… that in episodes 9 through 14 we discussed some specific definitions of some negative emotions, and showed how they come about in our minds. But before moving into the Body, there were a couple emotions we left for later… namely… love, which we talked about last week, an episode a lot of you voiced appreciation for… and we also left happiness for later as one of the other biggies.
And so here we are… we are about to pop the top on one of the biggest secrets in the history of man. What is the secret to happiness? Well actually… it’s really easy to describe. Let’s start with the definition, then review what that definition means, and then talk about some examples.
[The New Definition of Happiness]
The definition of happiness is the emotion that is felt through the Equation of Emotion when little or no perceived difference occurs between an expectation or preference of a reality when compared to a person’s perception of that reality.
Okay… so what does that mean?
If you recall in episode 4 we discussed the Equation of Emotion which governs and creates 100% of our emotions… and then in the subsequent episode we discussed the other components that feed into the variables of that Equation of Emotion. And in those episodes we explained how when your expectation or preference is different from a reality as we perceive it… that’s where our negative emotions come from… when we want or expect one thing, and another thing that doesn’t measure up happens… negative emotions are generated.
And we also explained… when our reality as it is perceived…. meets our expectation or preference, a positive emotion becomes the result. And basically… this is where happiness lives. Or does it?
Officially it does. Regardless of culture, ethnicity, religious beliefs, etc., as humans when the reality of something we are attached to… meets our expectation or preference regarding that attachment… happiness occurs. And just like before… the level at which you are attached to whatever it is… is what creates the varying levels of happiness that we experience. For instance… if you’re mildly attached to the New York Yankees, you are mildly pleased when they win the World Series. But if your attachment to the Yankees is so powerful that a very portion of your identity becomes the New York Yankees and their results… you feel the elation of walking on sunshine when they win… because of the promotion of your egoic understanding.
And that’s it. That’s how happiness works. It’s THAT simple. Anytime you have an attachment to an expectation or preference… and reality meets that expectation or preference, happiness occurs at whatever power level you are attached to that expectation or preference. No attachment… no emotion. Attachment and different result than you want. Negative emotion dependent on the variables – past episodes. But attachment where reality becomes congruent with your preference. A varying level of happiness occurs.
And that’s why… if you’re looking for JUST happiness… it is the practice of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy within Psychology to suggest that you should try to consciously change how you see your reality… which is another way of saying you should adjust your RP in the Equation of Emotion… repaint how you look at things… because if you change how you see reality… you can make your vision of reality be closer to your expectation or preference… and thus be happier… OR it suggests that you should change your expectations about situations… which is another way of saying you should adjust your EP (expectation / preference) in the Equation of Emotion… because if you shift your EP to be less, you can in theory… be happier.
And the only problem there… [@] is that it doesn’t work. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is simply another page out of the Positive Thinker’s Handbook, that winds up not working as a long term solution. Why? Because Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, and Psychology in general, only treat the symptoms of the negative thinking process… not the cause of it.
The cause of unhappiness… the cause of pain and suffering in the world… the cause of all conflict within and without… lies right here. In these four circles of the emotional influence system. And the key… isn’t to manipulate this system into churning out happiness, which is what psychology is trying to do today. The key… is to fix this system altogether so that it can’t generate emotional reactions that cause ups and downs in your life. Because happiness… is NOT what you want.
Lemme say that again… because I know it’s contrary to conventional wisdom, and probably what you believe at the moment. Happiness… is NOT what you want. And if you will indulge me… let me now explain to you WHY happiness is not what you want.
[The Flimsy of Happy]
Okay, so… your happiness is dictated by the Equation of Emotion in your mind, and in order for happiness to occur, something you care about needs to be perceived the way you prefer it in order for you to be happy.
And here’s the issue with that. By it’s pure characteristics… happiness is temporary. In order to be happy… what needs to happen is that something needs to go through the Equation of Emotion in a way that matches your expectation. And so something good happens that makes you happy… and then it’s over. You can keep thinking about it, which can make that happiness last a litte… but even that gets boring, and just like a drug… wears off after you build up a tolerance for it.
It’s been scientifically proven that the effect of anger only lasts 90 seconds in the body, and then it wears off if you’re no longer thinking about what made you angry. It’s only your mind’s propensity to think about things that keeps you angry for minutes, hours, days… years… and so although they haven’t studied it… it may be that happiness also wears off in 90 seconds if you don’t use your mind to sustain that happiness.
That’s not a very long time to be happy is it? 90 seconds?
And so in order for you to be happy… with the system working within you the way it does TODAY… good things need happen over… and over… and over again to KEEP you happy.
But the problem is that this same system that creates happiness… also creates anger, sadness, fear, worry, regret, false love like we discussed last week, etc., etc., etc. And the negative emotions outnumber the good ones overwhelmingly… so while you’re operating in that closed system looking for nuggets of happiness… many times you run into opportunities for other than happiness.
Now… it IS true that some people who look at the world with optimistic eyes, not expecting much, and seeing the good in many bad situations… can kinda MAKE their own happiness, and that’s GREAT! But not very many people can do that, and those who try often run out of steam in trying to be positive all the time.
Similarly, people who strike it rich financially… can sometimes create happiness for a while… because… for a while… the money creates the power to manipulate events… to be more agreeable to that person’s expectations or preferences.
But at the same time… money can’t create real love, it can’t create real joy, and most wealthy people in the world will be the first to tell you that money can’t REALLY buy you happiness. In fact, money complicates the dynamics of human relationships more than it helps.
But that’s not what we’re told. We’re told that there’s some magic equation to happiness. We’re told in America… that it’s a good job, and a house, a spouse, and 2.5 kids… with a dog and/or cat… and voila… our kitchen tap-water suddenly becomes an endless fountain of happiness that transforms our life into a blissful state of existence.
And then we get there, and we find out that’s not the case. And we think… well I must need a bigger house. I’ll be happier when I get a better car. Or I’ll be happier when I lose weight. Or when I get a new job. Or… let’s buy some jet skis… yeah… we just need some more weekend fun. Then it gets more serious… well, maybe I need sex with someone new that isn’t my same old spouse… or maybe I need a different spouse altogether. And sadly… oftentimes a tough early relationship will generate a thought like… well maybe it will get better for me better when I have kids. I’ve always wanted to be a parent.
That’s a prime recipe for being a divorced parent.
See…. and this whole system… the fact that happiness can be attained by any mixture of things… and that happiness can be found as a magically permanent blissful state of existence… is false… it’s a load of horse shit.
Because it’s IMPOSSIBLE for any human being to be permanently happy while this emotional influence system is still in operation. Because this system… the system of Mindful Attachment, Ego, Egoic Valuation, and the Equation of Emotion… the system that YOU exist within right now… is not very conducive to experiencing happiness, let alone sustaining it.
Because as long as your mind is measuring the perceived realities in your life as compared to your expectations or preferences… happiness is going to be a hit and miss, miss, miss proposition. So chasing happiness… is NOT what you want. If you’re looking for happiness… that’s bad news, because it means you’re accepting that you’re going to remain in the system that yes, can dole out happiness… but that more often doles out sadness, anger, fear, regret, worry, etc.
But now for the good news. There IS a sustainable pleasant experience that CAN be felt more permanently. And it is now… [@] that we will discuss joy.
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