A “satori” moment (a moment in time what everything seems clear to you) is that nobody can be unhappy in the here and now, as Ram Dass points out. If you can consistently live in the “here and now”, you cannot be unhappy. Drop your own life story… the “Story of Me”. That is what gets you depressed because your mind is now moving into the past, which only exists as a thought, and brings you much regret.
You cannot be unhappy in the here and now. Not right now. A person may think of their past and become unhappy. Or they may think about the future, become worried, and become unhappy. But what about right now, at this very moment? I understand you often worry about how you will pay your rent next month, but what is your problem now? Without a past and future, without a self, without a sad life story to regret about, you cannot feel miserable at all. Someone hurt your feelings yesterday, and you bring the misery out from your past, because you are still bleeding from those wounds.
Your father said something to you that hurt your feelings… Why did he say those things? What is wrong with him? Aren’t I doing fine in my life? You nurse the wounds of his words like a baby on a breast, growing your pain. You may also bring sadness in the form of fear from the future. Will you pass your exam next week? Will you be able to pay your rent on time next month? How will you feel when you grow older? How will you deal with all your hair turning grey and men not finding you attractive anymore? All those worries, they are endless worries, you are bringing them from the future too your present moment, thus so much suffering and misery that does not exist in the present moment is suddenly flooded with negative thoughts.
There is a story about a man who needed to find a lit fire to lit the wood in his fireplace. So he took his candle and walked around all night… Happiness is like the air that you breathe. It is all around you. It is like the traffic light ahead of you as you drive. If you look sideways, you will completely miss the lights. If you miss finding the moments of happiness, it is all you. You cannot find the happiness in front of you because you are looking up and down when it is right in front of you. If you are dead to the past and the future, you just cannot create unhappiness and misery, because you are living in the present.
When you desire happiness, you have to go and move somewhere else. That is why people who have a lot seem even more unhappy, are in therapy, and on drugs than those without. The richer and more popular they become, the more unhappy they become. They become at a complete loss on what to do. When you are poor, it is easier. Look at those who are poor. They are clear on what they have to do. They have hope for a better tomorrow automatically without trying.
But the rich man is doubly poor. The rich person is in misery AND all his hope is gone. The rich man has no hope, because he already has all that he needs. There does not need to have any plans. A recent Newsweek poll that I read showed how when a person was asked, “What is the one thing that you would want more of?”, something like 60% answered “More money.” And another 30% answered, “More education.”, which is another way of saying he or she wants more money and more power. So you see that a rich person is doubly, triple, quadruple poor. Don’t confuse yourself. As Henry David Thoreau said, “Make your affairs one, two, or three”, not “a hundred”. “Simplify, simplify, simplify or something like that. And let’s not forget the Biblical quote that Jesus said about “It is easier for a camel to walk through the the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven.”