Utility

is happiness permenant or always subject to change

I was thinking about Doug's question on the forum. If you think of the innocence of a child, he's happy most of the time except for times when he falls and skins his knee or wanders off and discovers he's all alone for a few seconds until he see's his mother watching him. Then the pain of the skinned knee and the moment of fear vanishes and he is happy again. He's happy most of the time because he's innocent, but ignorant of who he really is.

Then he gets older and he is taught by his parents, teachers, the media and society that you have to strive to be happy, you should be like your brother, your father, like your neighbor. You need to be rich, wear the right clothes, have the right job, get married, have children and on and on.

Then maybe when he gets a little older and starts to see there is something wrong with all of this, he starts asking questions, he becomes a seeker of truth. He's taught you have to be enlightened to know the truth, you need a guru, a technique, you have to eat the right food, have the proper daily routine and on and on.

Then if he is lucky, thru grace he gains that innocence again. The only difference between this innocence and the innocence he had when he was a child, is that he now knows through the experience of striving and seeking that happiness is not gained by these things, but by being innocent as a child. But, he had to go through this in order to know this.

So, happiness is different in different states of awareness. As a child we are happy because we don't know anything else. When we loose our childhood innocence we become unhappy because we are taught to be unhappy. When we start to question what we are taught because we are unhappy then we start to seek for happiness through gaining enlightenment instead of things in the relative, but we are still not happy.

Happiness will be subject to change until innocence comes about through experience and knowledge. When by grace all that striving and seeking comes to an end and the mind becomes acquiescent, only then can happiness be. You can't say it is permanent because happiness is. It is already that. We just have to go through this process of realizing that.