WHEN most folk are asked what they should seek to derive from life itself it would be rare to find an answer other than happiness.
So to reflect on this state and the achievement thereof is valid before one can really help any individual and hope to awaken them to higher desires that will in fact assist them in realizing such a goal.
It could be said that when a man has dreams, hopes or aspirations, it should be for the very great, the very highest pinnacle, rather than desiring an outcome that cannot further their existing condition. Certainly in asking - or as some would have it, expecting - happiness, they are in fact asking by measure for something great, and also achievable.
Philosophically the question of eternal happiness, however, today will not be addressed. Personal happiness and true happiness of soul is the subject upon which we shall enter.
There is of course the immediate and the dream/imagining existence. A prisoner held within a solitary cell might expect that a single hearty meal should provide a measure of happiness. Secondly, a glance at the abounding sky would infill his being with happiness; and of course thirdly, certain release from bondage. Although all three conditions would invoke cheer in such a soul, the soul is not truly dependent on any of the three to meet with the goal of being truly happy. In fact the prisoner could be happy at any given moment, locked within the same conditions in which he was unhappy. The despair and grief is symptomatic of the fact that the individual cannot accept the present conditions, and everything within his being is rejecting that which is imposed on it.
From this illustration one can see that the individual himself can determine, to a point, his mastery and perception over the conditions in which he is held. By the act of rejecting such conditions he is causing a measure of discomfort. For it is not the conditions themselves who have master over his consciousness, but his wrestling with the desire to change such conditions in order to achieve the expected happiness.
Also we might add that change in itself does not necessarily bring with it the desired fulfillment. If the only expectation from any change is that of happiness, rather than indwelling in the experience of the new, then there is little point given that the happiness sought can be experienced at any point, in reality anytime, anyhow.
Physically when a man relaxes there is a calmness of muscles. When smiling the facial muscles have relaxed into that attitude. When the consciousness is relaxed in the world in which it operates, there is the experience of happiness and wellbeing which flows from the head down to the toes.
To be active and motivated there must be control over the state of tension and relaxation. Tension from one muscle to another brings action and reaction, and without tensing and flexing (and exercising), the will could not drive the body into outer activity - there should be of course, paralysis.
However, total tension, working one muscle against another with no rhythm - extraordinary tightness - causes also such paralysis, as the muscles thereby would be frozen, locked as it were, against each other. And so relaxation is essential, that for one muscle to work, another must necessarily give over and relax. For the vitality to flow throughout the entire system this active and passive communication must persist in regulated episodes throughout physical existence.