Even Enjoyment Requires a Certain Attitude and Discipline of the Mind
One may make money, but to enjoy what one has, there must be some attitude, for which some education is required. The person who does not have a proper attitude always postpones the enjoyment of what he or she has, thinking, ‘when I get such and such, it will be wonderful. Then I will enjoy.’ But when such and such is gained, the person does not feel wonderful at all and the postponement begins all over again. Something else has to be gained, over and over again!
“Don’t gain the world and lose your soul,
Wisdom is better than silver or gold.”
― Bob Marley, Musician
Which would you rather have: a fortune or a capacity for enjoyment?
‘Pleasure’ means the fulfillment of some desire or the removal of something unpleasant. But experience teaches that, after one desire has been fulfilled, some others will manifest and after something unpleasant has been discarded, some other unpleasant thing will manifest and prevent us from being happy. It is a life-long struggle to arrange and rearrange the circumstances and conditions conducive for our happiness.
If we think that first we will attain all that we desire and long for and then sit back and enjoy, it will never happen. If we wait for the time when everything is perfect to enjoy life, then we will just keep waiting.
Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means we have decided to see beyond imperfections.
Happiness and misery or joys and sorrows are felt in the mind. We need to understand our own mind and analyse it rationally, logically and intellectually to know its weaknesses, shortcomings, imperfections, habits, addictions, flaws as well as its strengths and positive qualities to master it. Mind alone is the cause of our joys and sorrows, bondage and liberation. Our mind has been conditioned by so many factors from not only this life, but from past several lives. Therefore we need to de-condition the mind.
If the discipline is not there, if the requisite attitude is not there, if the values are not there, one cannot really get anything. Whereas, if one has discipline – even if one doesn’t have money – one can gain a lot. It costs nothing to enjoy the stars on a clear night, for instance. Similarly, there are a lot of things to be enjoyed that do not require money. All kinds of books are available in public libraries. One need never buy a book. Without money, one can always go to the library, read on any topic and enjoy.
Real happiness needs no struggle nor endeavour, neither reason nor cause; it is inherent in us and manifests from within.
We must learn to be happy on our own.
With money, but without proper mind, what can one enjoy? All enjoyments require a sound, positive mind, after all. If the mind is always concerned with the future insecurities and has no cheerful acceptance of what is, where is the question of any enjoyment for the person? All go-getters are futuristic people, who neither enjoy what they have nor are they content with what they have. This futuristic attitude motivates them to do all kinds of things and then they rationalize their behavior by saying they are success-oriented people. But what value does such success have when they cannot enjoy what they have?
An affluent man once told a spiritual Master that try as he might, he simply couldn’t stop the compulsion to make money.
“Even at the cost of enjoying life, alas,” said the Master.
“I shall leave the enjoyment of life for my old age.”
“If you ever live to have one,” said the Master as he recounted the story of the highway robber who said, “Your money or your life!” The victim said, “Take my life. I am saving my money for my old age.”
For another wealthy man who endangered his health in his zeal for making money the Master told the story of the miser who was being taken to his grave.
Suddenly he came to consciousness, sized up the situation and made a quick decision: “I’d better stay put — or else I’ll have to pay the funeral bill.”
Most people would rather save their money than their lives.
“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
— Mohandas K Gandhi, Leader
“Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”
— Maya Angelou, Novelist
Success should necessarily be viewed from two standpoints. What one gets out of this life is one type of success and what one accomplishes is another. The first one, that is, what one gets out of life, is the one that really counts. For one who has no discipline, life will not even yield small gains.
To succeed in the adventure called spirituality one must have one’s mind set on getting the most out of life. Most people settle for trifles like wealth, fame, comfort, human company, etc.
“Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.”
— John Wooden, Basketball Coach
Have, but do not possess nor be possessed by what you have. Enjoy everything as it comes and let it go as it goes. Love everything, but don’t need anything.
“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”
― Epictetus, Thinker
What spirituality is not, is knowing what you want.
Spirituality is understanding what you do not need.