Finding Happiness with Eyes Closed
The power of Buddhism can help us find inner happiness. As the famous Western philosopher George Berkeley once said, “When I close my eyes, the cliff before me disappears.”
The famous philosopher George Berkeley once said, when I close my eyes, the cliff before me disappears. Many people thought this was absurd. Actually he was talking about the spiritual thing. All of you here might want to think about this. Sometimes when we open our eyes, we might not find happiness, yet we may obtain it when we close our eyes.
I’m not sure if you get my point. I really worry that in this modern age of science, external attractions with sophisticated commercials and so on may eventually replace our traditional religions and spirituality. If after a short period of 100 years the religious traditions of Thailand, Tibet and other areas become nothing but empty rituals, this will be a big loss for human beings.
I am concerned, perhaps excessively. There is an old Chinese story of a man from the Kingdom of Qi who feared that the sky might fall in, yet there was no reason behind this fear. Nevertheless, I really feel it is important for young people to pay attention to this issue. Because without religious or spiritual faith, regardless how abundant our material wealth, it can never bring us true happiness.
If we fail to maintain a calm and peaceful mind, then no matter how much wealth or dollars we possess, we won’t necessarily be happy. For instance, many people staying in luxury hotels often don’t have smiles on their faces whereas poor people living in the mountains or people who live near monasteries in secluded places are much happier. Many young people may think that if they had more money, they would be happier. On the contrary, more money brings more suffering, and this has been proved by historical and personal experience.
In recent years a number of surveys in the US have shown that the more money a society possesses, the lower its happiness index will become. For this reason, I personally feel that many young people’s goals are somewhat misplaced since they think that only money, status and fame make a meaningful life. However, this is not necessarily the case. In our lives, we need to cultivate our character, have a sense of morality and foster an altruistic spirit. Only by making these efforts will our lives become more positive.