It is said that when a person seeks happiness through material goods that they are in an endless game. Material goods naturally degrade and any happiness gained in the initial ownership soon fades.
As material seeking is seen this way by many people then a common conclusion is that some kind of spiritual quest would be more fulfilling. A common name for this is the quest for enlightenment.
Common to both quests, material or spiritual, is the goal of ongoing happiness. The material quest is recognized as flawed by the simple nature of things and so the quest for enlightenment is taken to be the wise path.
When we examine the goal though we see that the quests are equally flawed. Spiritual seeking is no greater than material seeking - it is the very same thing - a desire for control. A desire for an average more happiness than sadness, often a desire for only happiness. Not asking much are we?!
Could you maintain happiness for extended periods without feeling drained? Not the kind of happiness that comes from material goods, spiritual highs or any other means you couldn't. Let us be honest friends here, not out to fool one another or make false claims. Ongoing happiness has never once occurred in anyone anywhere. And we're not special.
The quest for enlightenment is just like the quest for happiness by material means. You seek a book, teacher, video, exercise, diet, method, philosophy, gem of wisdom, that is going to fill the space you have waiting for it. You've never quite found it so you continue. How is this different or any better than the path of materiality?
If you see that it is not whether such a thing as endless happiness exists, but that the desire for it is the very root of suffering then - you've cracked the code. Happiness and misery are yours to behold. You're enlightened! Apologies that it wasn't what you were expecting.
Yes, ongoing happiness is simply an impossible goal and accepting that - while it seems like a dead simple truism of no worth in uttering, one any fool could realize - is the only enlightenment there is.
Tao Wow | Daily Cup of Tao