The origin of happiness is a fairly common question that you often come across: What makes you happy? Or after enlightenment or liberation, what makes you happy?

The Inherent Happiness within Us

Unfortunately, the question itself reveals a misunderstanding or ignorance of the origin of happiness. To ask what makes you happy is to seek an external stimulus or cause that will bring you happiness. However, nothing is needed to make you happy. Happiness is inherent in our nature; it is our very essence.

This becomes most apparent when you observe the faces of infants. Infants, swaddled in a crib or wherever they may be, almost perpetually display a look of happiness, joy, and wonder as they gaze upon the world. Occasionally, their happiness may be interrupted by discomfort from a wet diaper or hunger, but when they are not physically uncomfortable, there is a perpetual state of happiness. This happiness can also be observed in children, although as they grow, they become more conditioned and acquire habits and beliefs that lead to their own misery and unhappiness.

Seeking Happiness in External Pursuits

By the time adolescence arrives, we start learning how to make ourselves miserable. As adults, we have largely forgotten what truly brings happiness, and we constantly seek external things to cause our happiness. We think that buying the right things or acquiring material wealth or fame will make us happy. However, if you look at many millionaires, you will find that most of them are not happy. They may have fulfilled their material wants, but they still feel incomplete and lacking. This is because true and lasting happiness does not come from acquiring external objects; it stems from a state of contentment and wholeness within ourselves.

Think back to your own early years, as best as you can remember, when you did not feel like you lacked anything or that something was wrong with you. As long as you were not hungry or cold, simply lying in your crib was enough to bring happiness. You did not need anything else. However, as we grow, we internalize the belief that there is something wrong with us. This belief becomes deeply ingrained, and no matter how much we acquire in life, as long as we have this feeling of inadequacy within us, lasting happiness will elude us.

Rediscovering Intrinsic Fulfillment and Abundance

Another common conditioning is the belief in insufficiency, the feeling that we are not good enough or that we do not have enough. Even if we acquire wealth or fame, we still carry this inner sense of lack. We are never satisfied, always feeling that we need more. This is because we have forgotten our inherent nature, which lacks nothing. We are complete and whole as we are.

The true source of happiness resides within us. Fundamentally, who and what we are is happiness itself. However, we cover it up, push it away, and hide it through our conditioning, habits, thoughts, and beliefs. We create our own misery by constantly focusing on what is lacking or what makes us unhappy. We need to cease making ourselves miserable and realize that enlightenment and liberation come from shattering the illusion of the incomplete self. What remains is a profound sense of completeness, sufficiency, and fulfillment. Without craving and needing, we can experience lasting happiness.

Therefore, the origin of happiness is our essence, our very being. We do not need external things to be happy. The reason someone is not happy is that they have made themselves unhappy, although not consciously. Our conditioning, beliefs, and thoughts have shaped our habits and created a continuous cycle of unhappiness. As adults, many of us have mastered the art of making ourselves miserable. We need to stop and cease this self-inflicted misery.

I hope this clarifies the origin of happiness for you

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