We constantly seek a deeper experience of life, one way or the other. Whatever one may seek – God, alcohol, drugs, meditation or any thing that one feels will provide relief, give pleasure or fulfilment – you are only seeking to have a larger slice of life.
The intention is always the same, somehow to have a deeper experience, to extract a little more out of life, to find access to that which is not yet for you. The question is not of the intention as the intention is always the same; it is only of whether it works or not.
Everything you’ve done in your life so far has been in pursuit of joy – career, business, making money or starting a family. From when you were a child till now, is your joy increasing or decreasing?
Now that you have grown up, you have your own life, your own family, your own bank account, everything of your own – has your joy multiplied? In the last 24 hours, how many moments of joy have you known?
When you came into this world, you came with no investment. So whatever happens in your life, anyway you are in profit. But the reason people are in various levels of distress is because there is no life-sense, only ego-sense.
If you are miserable, it is because life is not happening the way you think it should happen. If everything happened the way you think it should, the whole existence would happen within the limitation of your limited thought.
Is it not wonderful that so many things that you could never imagine are happening? What you enjoyed, your parents were distressed about. What you are distressed about, your children are enjoying.
The nature and basis of your experience is within you. Pain and pleasure, joy and misery, agony and ecstasy happen only within you. The very seat of your experience is within you. So why try to extract joy from outside? At best, the outside can provide a stimulus.
If you depend on the outside to bring joy to you, understand that the outside never happens a hundred per cent the way you want it. Those who think that there is something like an ideal situation are not in touch with reality. No situation or person will ever happen a hundred per cent the way you want it. But at least you should happen the way you want yourself to be. Then there would be no need for you to be in pursuit of your happiness. So the question is not of intention or direction, but of doing that which works. If you did happen the way you want yourself to be, joy would be the natural choice. What we refer to as inner engineering means not seeing joy as something that we could achieve in our life but seeing joy as the very basis of our lives. Joy is not the goal; it is the square one of our life. Other things can happen only if there is joy. Otherwise, you will live constantly with the fear of misery striking at you.
What great things you achieve in your life will depend on your capabilities, the situation, and the prevailing times. Regardless of what you do or don’t, my wish and blessing is that your experience of life is pleasant and graceful.