When you are finally escaping from your sorrow you have to recognize that your emerging joy is not getting away from suffering, but rather an understanding of it. It is a deeper insight into your suffering. You are going to address the questions of just why you are so unhappy and what is inside me that is creating it? Just developing insight into your suffering is the first step towards liberation from it. When you get the supreme feeling of enlightenment, know it is not something that just comes to everyone. It is when your suffering is so complete and painful that you have to let go of it and fully realize why you had to let it go at the moment you let it go.
When suffering, pain, anxiety, anguish have been really examined and then released that real true contentment and bliss will arise. When I say real, I mean that the old words you used to use to describe contentment and happiness was not real happiness. But if you have not felt that real happiness, then you have no idea how to compare those words and experience to what you felt against what you will feel. The longer you have been thirsty, the greater the sweetness of the juice that would eventually quench your thirst.
Finally, when you achieve enlightenment (a feeling of bliss, joy, happiness, and being aware that you are not separate from others), you will discover that all you ever felt was not really real, all your past hunting for joy and pleasure, was a dream. They were not real. What is real is something immutable that never leaves you. A deep contentment is like true love between a mother and son. Even though life changes, what comes and never goes is the true reality.
As we discussed, there a reason for your misery. Really try to understand your misery. Go to the very core of it, undercover its roots, find out why it is there at all. Pray and meditate about it. Then really examine your current happiness. Decide what makes you happy, and then understand how superficial it all is. Once you recognize that your happiness is from superficial sources, then you can go about changing your entire consciousness. Your entire being will change, and not even a shred of space will be left for discontent and misery. Suddenly, your entire being will become love.
After you reach a state of enlightenment, and for some it will be sudden, but for most it will be a slow and gradual process, know that what you think of as happiness is not really happiness. Usually it is just entertainment. Just like 99% of the Internet is just noise and random thoughts and musings, most of your so called happiness is only entertainment. It is all just like a drug that you just intoxicate yourself with. That is why after an hour or so of browsing through the Internet, you feel dissatisfaction and uneasiness. This comes from knowing you just wasted your time.
Happiness that comes from the outside is not really happiness. Real happiness comes from within yourself. If your happiness depends on someone else or something else, it cannot be true happiness. Real happiness comes only when you come home into yourself. The fact that you are glued to your TV or Internet seeking happiness just means that you are not really happy at all.
That is why cities like Las Vegas are the most joyless and unhappy of them all. If you need so many things to get lost in, to entertain yourself, it is certain that you are not happy. If a country like America needs so many things, so many channels on cable TV, so many alcoholic bars, so many types of drugs that abound, so many vapid superficial entertainments to get lost in, then the country itself must be without any joy, without any true happiness. The more you require idle pleasures like alcoholic bars, drugs, Hollywood movies, TV shows, the Internet (what the new “stars” are saying, doing, and wearing) the more you are showing that you are trying to avoid the misery that you are in, the anguish you feel, so you can for a moment forget it all. But remember that by avoiding something, avoiding a problem, nothing much is solved.
As I wrote before, when scientists studied human subjects both before and after watching television or surfing the Internet, they were noticeably more depressed than before. By allowing the salesmen of Society into your mind when you turn on the television, you are immediately being programmed for disappointment, things you cannot have which you cannot afford which you don’t need anyway, and so forth.
Thus, true happiness is to enter into yourself and into God. In the beginning you will face much difficulty because you have to listen to your inner voice, and most people are not used to listening to their inner voice. Then are used to their outer voices telling them what to do and how to think. You have an inner voice, and the deeper you go into it, the more your happiness will result. In your life, there would come a day either sooner or later that your misery will just be facing you. It will seem like a great beast that you cannot escape. It grabs you and chokes you. Then suddenly, in a moment, there will be a break and the beast will disappear. You will see the misery as something that is not really a part of you. You just imagined it like so much else in your life. I only hope that such a moment comes sooner rather than later.