Rupert Spira reflects on International Day of Happiness

Rupert Spira reflects on International Day of Happiness
Rupert Spira discusses happiness and wellbeing in recognition of the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness.

In 2012, the United Nations proclaimed this day of the Spring equinox, the 20th of March, an International Day of Happiness, in recognition that happiness and well-being are the birthright of all human beings.

So, I wanted to take this opportunity to say something about happiness.

I would suggest that happiness is not just the birthright of every human being but is the very nature of all beings.

When I say all beings, I imply that each person or animal, and indeed each object, has its own discrete and independent existence. This is not intended. In reality, there is simply being, and everyone and everything derives its apparently independent existence from it. 

Devoid of limitations or divisions within itself, being is impersonal, unlimited, indivisible, and yet it is utterly intimate. It is one, whole, perfect, complete and, as such, lacks nothing. From a human perspective, this wholeness, completeness or absence of lack is felt as the experience of happiness.

Happiness is, as such, the very essence or nature of each one of us. This is the great secret that everyone should know.

Infinite, impersonal, utterly intimate being, whose nature is peace and happiness, shines in each of us as the feeling of ‘being myself’ or the knowledge ‘I am’. It is only when being becomes mixed with the content of experience that it seems to become qualified and, as a result, limited by it. 

‘I am’ becomes ‘I am this’ or ‘I am that’.

With this mixture of our essential self or being with the content of experience, our innate happiness is veiled and, in response to the ensuing suffering, we set out on a great search in the world for someone or something that will make us happy.

Sooner or later, usually after a series of failures or disappointments, we begin to intuit or understand that the happiness we are seeking can never be found in objective experience. And as the search winds down, we become open to another possibility, that the very nature of our being is happiness itself.

This is the essence of the message of all the great religious and spiritual traditions.

All that remains is to trace our way back to ourself, letting go of anything that is not essential to us until we come back to our essential irreducible self or being. That is, we return from the adventure of experience to ourself.

Just as one who undresses before going to bed at night takes off layer after layer of clothing to reveal their naked body, so in this return to our self – its return to itself – we take off, so to speak, the layers of experience with which our being has been clothed and with which it seems to have been qualified, until our naked being stands revealed. That is the experience of happiness. In other words, the awareness of being as it essentially is, is the experience of happiness.

It is my hope, my prayer, that this simple understanding, namely that happiness is the very nature of our self or being, be made available to the entire world, and that this simple, easy and direct approach to it may be shared with everyone. 

The happiness we seek is the happiness we are.

If you liked this piece, why not take a look at Doug McGill's illustration, which definitely brings us happiness!

The Happiness We Seek is the Happiness We Are

On The International Day of Happiness, Rupert talks about his belief that Happiness is the very nature of all human beings, and shares other reflections on the topic of Happiness.


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