Meditation Categories Happiness

Inner Satisfaction Is the Genuine Happiness

The concept of the split between the soul and body strongly affects Western culture. This, along with the dominance of consumerism in the 21st century, has caused the spiritual aspect of our nature to have been increasingly neglected. So how can we correct the imbalance between soul and body?

Inner Satisfaction is the Genuine Happiness

Question:

I am from Italy, from the world that has exported consumerism. One of the things that strongly affects western culture is the idea of the split between the soul and body. Now there is a strong dominance of consumerism, and the spiritual part has been left aside a bit. What advice could you give us, especially western people, on how to balance the imbalance between soul and body?

Khenpo Sodargye:

The age we’re living in now is quite different from times gone by. Over 200 years ago, Darwin came up with the theory of The Origin of Species, which was taken advantage of by Hitler. The Second World War then resulted in serious destruction of human life and physical landscape. Darwin’s Origin of the Species has had a very negative impact on human ethics in the East and West alike. Over the decades, there have been efforts by scientists to modify or refute this theory. However, its negative consequences have already spread over the world. So if we accept the split between the body and soul and only pay attention to the body, human happiness will be very difficult to attain.

In terms of what you just mentioned, I don’t find it easy to make suggestions because our modern lifestyle is very superficial. I have been to some western countries, and people there are also preoccupied by things like luxury items and blockbuster movies, none of which have much meaning. The things people talk about and the lifestyles they desire are ultimately lacking in real substance. For instance, many people who play online games find themselves lost in their own fantasy world. In this situation, I would really hope people can realize that the mind and body are in fact separate. Material enjoyment is only temporary while inner satisfaction can be enduring. Therefore, if we work to prioritize our inner peace, happiness can be easily realized. Yet if we fail to pay attention to our inner state and only follow the latest trends, then regardless of whether we come from the East or West, genuine happiness will continue to elude us.