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Chapter 2 

Secrets of Happiness

Why do we have lives filled with turmoil, desperation, and anxiety? Why are 

we always pushing ourselves and others? Why do we have only small 

dribbles of peace, love, and happiness? Why is it that human beings are 

characterized by bickering and turmoil that make animals’ relationships with 

their own species seem peaceful in comparison? The answer is so simple -- 

but it is sometimes difficult for us to really understand because almost every 

way we were taught to work toward happiness only reinforces the feelings 

and activities that make us unhappy.

This is a central point that must be understood. The ways we were taught to 

be happy can’t possibly work. Unless we see this point clearly, we cannot 

progress to higher consciousness. Here’s why.

Most of us assume that our desires (backed up by our emotional feelings) are 

the true guides to doing the things that will make us happy. But no one has 

yet found happiness by using emotion-backed desires as guides. Flashes of 

pleasure, yes; happiness, no.

Our wants and desires are so seductive . . . They masquerade as “needs” that 

must be satisfied so we can be happy at last. They lead us from one illusion 

of happiness to another. Some of us tell ourselves, “if I can just get to be 

president of this corporation, I will be happy.” But have you ever seen a 

really happy president? His outside drama may feature beautiful yachts, 

Cadillacs, Playboy bunnies -- but is he really happy inside? Has his ulcer 

gone away yet?

We constantly tell ourselves such things as, “If I could just go back to school 

and acquire more knowledge -- perhaps get a Master’s degree -- then I will 

be happy.” But are people with Master’s degrees or Ph.D.’s any happier than 

the rest of us? It is beautiful to acquire knowledge but it is misleading to 

expect it to bring us peace, love, and happiness. We tell ourselves, “If I could 

only find the right person to love, then I would be happy.” So we search for 

someone who our addictions tell us is the right person -- and we experience 
some pleasurable moments. But since we don’t know how to love, the 

relationship gradually deteriorates. Then we decide we didn’t have the right 

person after all! As we grow into higher consciousness, we discover that it is 

more important to be the right person than to find the right person.

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