Freedom? Self-sufficiency? Liberation from passions?
Getting what we want? Stuff?
Well shoot, it can’t be “stuff” or getting what we want… since those things come with some inherent problems:
Envy. Jealousy. Suspicions toward those who can take from you, and the neurotic need to plot against those who have what you desire.
Not very happy thoughts and emotions, right?
But, like everything, we experience the reality of happiness, or lack thereof, through our minds… and treating your mind as the greatest treasure, the greatest prize you could ever have, blesses you with the gift of perspective.
Rabbi Hyman Schachtel (ZT”L) said, “Happiness is not having what you want. It is wanting what you have.” (The Real Enjoyment of Living - p. 37)
To do that, we must answer the question: What matters to us?
What if what mattered to us had no connection to the material world? What would that look like? What does happiness look like when it’s not based on things that can be taken away or lost?
If we learn to care about things that are either below our financial means, or things that are not connected to finances at all, we can continue to be happy in a way that is, foundationally, strong.
The more we desire, the more we have to do to acquire those objects of our desire… and what’s left is a “life” we’ve no time to enjoy, and the illusion of the freedom to enjoy that fictitious life.
Be clear about the nature of happiness, and its cost.
(See y’all tomorrow)