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{mosimage}"I was afraid that by observing objects with my eyes and trying to comprehend them with each of my other senses I might blind my soul altogether." - Socrates

What do we do during our difficult times? Well, whatever we do, I think there will be only two categories that we will eventually fall into.

1. Those who try to find out what really is going on.

2. Those who end up doing nothing constructive.

Anybody not in the first category should be in the second one. Naturally we all would want to classify ourselves in the first one. We all think we know enough about our problems, but when seen absolutely I think only 10 percent of us will even make the right effort to go to the first category. And may be only half of those will succeed in doing it right. And these 5 percentage are the ones who know the secret of happiness.

'Secret of happiness' the phrase sure does get some attention. And I just pointed to something and told it is the secret of happiness and it is most likely that you are one of those people who didn't really know what I pointed to. Well, here it is again - Secret of happiness is knowing what’s going on.

What does 'knowing what’s going on' mean?

Finding out what really is going on.
Finding out what is going on as it is.
Finding out the real causes.
Finding out how everything affects other things.
Finding out how things are related.
Figuring out the design of how things exist.

The point that I'm trying to make is pretty straightforward. And it is this: If I have the right idea about how everything works, if my mind gets the design right, I automatically move in the direction of the right solution. I don't have to make an effort to find a solution. All I have to do is make an effort to find reality.

The secret is more like disarming our problem by stripping it down. All we have to do is look. Nothing further than that. Look at it, you see it is there. Look at it more, it loses it's clothes. Look at it even more its just the skeleton that is left. Now look into it, and it evaporates :)

We all do take a lot of effort to find out and learn things but why do we fail repeatedly?

The answer to this question is conditioning. We don't get close to reality because we get conditioned very easily. As long as this happens we will always be getting our facts wrong. Every wrong thing we think conditions us and we almost always keep thinking wrong things.

What are the wrong things?
between the lines has been our style for like 'ever'. That is something which we do effortlessly like some involuntary reflex. We think that everything is trying to suggest us something else. And we fear that we will end up not getting it unless we use our brains to quickly think and understand it. So we put on this decoder hat and start looking for ulterior stuff. What we end up doing is trying to minimize everything. Summarize and make them compact so that we can feel bigger and more in control. We keep looking for shortcuts to the final solution. The problem with this urgency is that we make quick decisions and that introduces junk into the process and corrupts the vital stuff, which is our perception of reality. And that makes a big difference within us and thus everything that follows.

We look into things like how we usually listen to people. We do it with a 'what’s your point' or 'can you convey it in one sentence' kind of attitude. When somebody says "I hate it when you disagree with me", almost always we cannot look at it as what it really (absolutely) means. Which is exactly what it sounds like. Though we hear one thing we end up perceiving it as something else. More like "I hate you" or "dare not disagree with me in the future" or "I'll be happy if you don't disagree with me in the future".

One good example is like how some of you might be thinking right now that I'm talking about how we should pay attention to what people say. But I'm not talking about how one should listen to people. I'm talking about how quickly our minds rush for the abridged versions of everything.

I can see this approach is wrong but how/where does it affect everything else?

How does this conditioning work?

The answer for these two questions in one word is 'fear'.

My fear of being left alone makes me perceive "I love to be by myself" as "leave me alone". This is just one example. And don't we have like zillion fears like this.

The lab analogy.

When we compare how we deal with things with a standard lab experiment approach, we can understand how things go wrong. What we do is keep switching between these different steps within like milliseconds.

1. Purpose
2. Related facts
3. Hypothesis
4. Experiment Design
5. Materials Required
6. Procedure
7. Results
8. Conclusion

There goes the list in order. If the purpose was to find out if a chemical sample is acidic or basic, the answer is right there in 8 steps. But if it were to find out why things never get better at work or at home even though we really want them to, unfortunately we cannot follow the same thing.

I guess the most popular purpose would be 'happiness'.

Okay before I go further, what if we were confused about the purpose (duh!). Well I guess that would be out of scope for now.

So let me just go with 'happiness' or to be even specific, 'true happiness', that way I can rule out alcohol sex etc. Technically the purpose should be 'absence of unhappiness' because there is a lot of difference between absence of unhappiness and happiness but just for sounding simple lets just go with the term 'happiness'.

Okay what happens when we seek happiness. In the next step we go around gathering facts. Almost none of us will get through step 2 (facts) perfectly. So going on to 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 is a total waste of time.

Lets say we are in Step 3 thinking about the hypothesis. What this means is that we are in an advanced stage cooking garbage. Because we got out of Step 2 with garbage (wrong facts).

We stray around everywhere from 2 to 8 and it is difficult to control ourselves not to do
that. But the problem is, every time we go anywhere past Step 2, we end up affecting Step 2 (our facts). For example a wrong hypothesis or a wrong experiment design (which came out because of wrong facts) conditions us and corrupts our facts thus making it even more difficult for us to get near reality (right facts).

I think this explains why most us feel as if our life is like some race on a treadmill. We keep working for happiness but we don't get anywhere. We know not what is wrong but we are pretty sure something is wrong.

The funniest thing is that most of the times we'll be around 8 the conclusion area. (how ironic!). At times we go into 6, the procedure. These are the times when we think we are doing a good job figuring out a smart plan of action that will really work.

Okay. . so what is the way out?

Always be at Step 2.

Keep working on getting your facts right. When you think you are done, do it again. Probe into what you are scared of. Be brutally honest about it and work constantly on being aware of how that could condition you to get your facts corrupted. Everything else will fall into place and start working fine automatically.

All we have to do to achieve happiness is work on finding out reality. If you see that things are getting worse, that means you don't know what’s going on. If you see that things are getting better, that means u are starting to understand what’s going on.

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About myself
Author: MaheshwaranWebsite:
I am a SAP Consultant in my late 30s, residing in the happeing IT City - Bangalore. My interests vary from reading to travelling to handicrafts to photography. My latest interest is on Body building. May be this vivid interest keeps me going in my life without getting bored.