True happiness is not merely a momentary emotion, but a CONSTANT, ABSOLUTE WELLBEING – which as such needs not necessarily become an object of consciousness.
– George Grimm, Buddhist Wisdom: The Mystery of the Self p47
So true happiness does not come and go like our everyday happiness does. ALL of our everyday happinesses are dependent upon external conditions and so – they come, stay around for a bit… but then inevitably must go. They are a time based form of happiness that decays and dies out over time.
So this type of happiness is not ultimate because it is dependent upon external conditions to be favourable. Once those conditions change, then the happiness goes too.
The nature of this type of happiness is that it can’t last – and so, it’s not real happiness. You could say that ordinary happiness is just a temporary excursion from neutrality and suffering. It’s not a true state of wellbeing. It’s not a real cure for the illness – it’s just a temporary alleviation of the symptoms.
So any happiness that is time based has a limit – it is finite. It’s just a temporary happiness that may last for a short or long while – but in the end, it is still just a temporary happiness, because its nature is that it can’t last forever.
If there were a real happiness, then:
1. It wouldn’t decay and die out over time
2. You wouldn’t have to go out and get it (because whatever you have to get, you will one day have to un-get – so any happiness that you have to go out and get, although it may be worthwhile, is still not an ultimate form of happiness – it’s still an ephemeral form of happiness).
3. It is an inherent part of you. Because any happiness you have to go out and get is external to you – whenever it’s not with you, you won’t be able to have that happiness. A real happiness is with you at all times, in all places. Real happiness would be an inherent part of you.
4. You wouldn’t even need to cognize this happiness as a object of your consciousness – it would be an inherent part of the subject, the knower of the happiness.
So if we want a real, ultimate form of happiness, then it must be an inherent part of us at all times that does not change. Real happiness no longer fluctuates between suffering and happiness – the fact that a type of happiness does fluctuate means that it’s not a real happiness.
Real happiness then, is constant, unchanging and the happiness must be absolute as well. An inherent, absolute state of wellbeing.
And because it’s constant, this absolute state of wellbeing will never change, never decays and never dies. And because it never decays, never dies, never becomes separated from you – suffering never arises within it.
That is the type of happiness that the Buddha wanted for us. This is the type of happiness that the Buddha discovered in himself – this is the type of happiness, the qualities of which are inherent in Nirvana – the happiness of the Buddha Nature within our selves.
“Nibbanam paramam sukham” declared the Buddha.
Nirvana is the supreme happiness, Nirvana is the ultimate bliss.