Kirilov – a supporting character in Doestoevesky’s novel, which I am now reading again with a focus on the spiritual wisdom contained in this book – once said in a conversation with the main character Stavrogin: “Man is unhappy because he doesn’t know that he is happy “. Wise words that contain the essence of all the spiritual teachings, if understood correctly.
So why doesn’t he know he’s happy?
Because he thinks and believes that he is not, or that he first needs something, someone, or something to happen, in order to be happy.
Does that sound familiar to you? “Life is a responsibility. Life is hard. Life is difficult. Life is a problem. Life is unfair. First I have to achieve this. Without this and that you cannot live” The list can go on forever in the same manner.*
Where does his thinking and beliefs originate from?
They are not based on the direct experience, but are an accumulation of knowledge about this world and life, as well as about himself. This accumulation of thoughts and beliefs dictates his reality.
And actually, if there is a thought or a conviction that tells us that we can only be happy if … this and that happens, it will become our experience and thus our reality. I call it looking at reality and experiencing reality through the filter of thoughts and beliefs. Not directly, but with a delay and interpretation based on knowledge taught to us.
What is the alternative? In other words: How can I know that I am happy?
Through direct experience without believing in the filter of thought-interpretations and beliefs.
Is it possible not to believe in the beliefs?
Indeed, yes it is.
Who is that, who sees the thoughts, interpretations and beliefs without believing in them?
What is the I? Who am I?
Experience it directly.
* It can also go into the positive opposite, which should protect us from the negative. Then it may sound like: “Everything is wonderful!” There is no problem in anything. I am always happy and thankful for everything”. If not genuine and rooted in direct experience, but just a thought, belief and conviction, such a mind-set, will also prevent us from experiencing life directly and thus pushes us away from the reality causing a lot of disappointments, disillusionment and thus suffering.