Imagine that when each person is born, they are sitting on the center of a see-saw. This is the point right above the fulcrum. At this point of entry into life, the see-saw is completely horizontal. Life is in balance.
As we grow up, it is the mission of each society to educate us and civilize us according to the norms of the group that we are born into. Herein begins the problem. The problem of education is not only what is taught in formal schools, but also what is taught by the parents and everyone else with whom we come into contact. In addition to parenting by humans, this includes parenting by television programs, computers, cell phones and all such new media devices.
In most advanced countries, we learn that time is a very precious commodity. The morning rush to get ready and eat an inadequate breakfast is a daily reminder of how time is managed by people around us. Children learn by what they see and not by what they are told. Everything that happens in the school is dependent on the clock. As we grow up, there are numerous reminders that the clock is really in charge of their lives. Everything must be done by the right time or there are severe penalties.
People who succeed in these societies become more and more prisoners of their time. This includes senior executives, consultants and lawyers, who all live by the clock. Since they are constantly short of time, they invent the fantasy of Quality time in place of Quantity time. Those of us who are less pressured, look up to those who are more pressed for time and aspire to becoming more successful and more like them.
As this process continues, we are sliding from the center of the see -saw towards the left side. We are leading our lives in smaller and smaller units of time. The balance of time is being lost. Now come the consequences of this life style. The right side of the see-saw becomes imbalanced. What is the right side of the see-saw all about?
The right side is about understanding the long time-wave issues about life. These are issues that are eternal ... they do not change with time. Without a balance between rapidly changing things and eternal things, a person is working with only half his humanity.
Think of trying to row your boat with only one arm, and thereby, only one oar. You may be able to navigate through the challenges of life, but your boat is always unstable.
Each human being is composed of two parts ...... the part that can be civilized and the part that does not respond to civil learning. We call this the monkey who lives inside us. Most people in the progressive science and technology-based societies are not even aware of this side of the human being. The lack of awareness leads to ignoring this monkey. This has dire consequences.
As we negotiate life and acquire the material things, like big homes and new cars and all the trappings of success, we wonder why we do not feel any happier. Then we begin to realize that happiness is an inner phenomenon. So, then we look towards our feelings about life. Is life going in the right direction? Is this where I want to be and how are my relationships going?
But this does not get us any close to happiness, because we are ignoring the most important relationship ... the relationship between ourselves and our monkey. This monkey is very precious because it is connected to the cosmos and it is eternal. To find happiness, you must nurture this monkey ... you must feed it .... you must exercise it .... and you must connect with it.
Understanding the difference in things that are ephemeral and change with time and those that are eternal and do not change with time is the beginning of understanding what is happiness. You are now entering the gateway to happiness.