............. Just like you and most, I have struggled with bringing and saving feeling joy and happiness within myself. As I approach fifty years of my life, I find myself to be writing this book about happiness and joy, an activity that is perhaps the least compatible with my training and education. The only qualifications I have to embark on such adventure is that for the last few decades core of my being has been unhappy and dissatisfied. Some of this, perhaps, led to some serious medical conditions such as allergies or hives. I constantly took medications to control the symptoms, felt miserable most of the time, especially in the mornings. I went about my daily work routine throughout this period, sometimes hiding signs of allergic reactions and most of the time sadness, living inside the core of my being with a smile that could fool anyone. My doctors had no remedy for this unhappiness; they were glad to give me antihistamines for life to control my allergy symptoms. In theory, there was no real reason for this state of my unhappiness. I am and have been blessed: a beautiful and loving wife with a good heart, two wonderful boys, a good job, great father, brother, sister, friends, and I could go on and on. Today, I feel joyous from within myself and have been symptom free of chronic allergies for many years. It is not the medication which did it. Although, I must admit the medicines did help relieve symptoms to a degree. In fact, I had to give up medication to heal myself from within. What caused me to be in that poor emotional state and for that long? What turned this around? The most notable change has come from altering my own perspective. It has made an incredible difference in my emotional well-being. In short, my perspective as a whole starting with who I am to how I relate to others around me and how I see the world around me has undergone a deep change. This book is about this change. As I look around, I find my old paradigm widely shared among many from all walks of our society. For most, it leads to conflict and confusion in the form of stress with a wide range of symptoms. Simple unhappiness to diseases such as cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, hypertension, and one can go on are results of stress caused by inculcating such a paradigm. It will be my hope that this book makes a similar difference in your perspective and inspires a happier change in your life. All my life I have been a hard-core man of science. I always looked to science to find answers. Even though my current perspective is not rooted entirely in science, science has been the route to get there. To my readers with little or no scientific background, I have tried to make this message appear as little scientific as my abilities have allowed me to do so. Unfortunately, my inabilities may have rendered moments where I could not explain difficult scientific concepts simply for all to grasp. I offer my sincere apologies to my readers for my subjection. I do recommend readings to clarify these ideas further.
There is so much information on this idea and so many who have taken on to tell so much, yet most of us struggle with being and staying happy. In fact, most of us cannot even imagine our existence where our being is bubbling with feelings of joy and happiness, emanating from our core, for any significant time. Achieving everlasting happiness has been the holy grail of human achievement. The principal promise of religion, spirituality, innovation, education, hard work, or play is achieving immediate or some future state of happiness for self or others. We see all around us people with a wide diversity of perspectives. Many studies reveal religious or spiritual people are happier. Many studies show married people are happier. Many of us believe that childhood is the stage of most happiness. We often wonder if others are happier than we are, especially if we see someone with qualities such as material richness or good looks-handsome, beautiful, or successful or smart; our mind wonders the possibility that they must be happy or at least happier than we must. Most of us can never know for sure how others feel, but in general form our impression that cycles of being happy and unhappy are universal and spare no one. Most of us instinctively deal with these cycles and respond in almost universal way. We try to eliminate or mitigate episodes leading to unhappiness and amplify the states of being happy. We do this to the best of our capacities and expertise; some of us are better able to save joy in comparison to others.
One is sure that feeling joy is important to all of us. Why is that so? One would think the answer should be clear and precise, but it is not. To some, the answer appears to be clear because it "just is." To others, if we cannot be happy again, we believe life is not worth living or, in extreme cases, consider even killing ourselves. Most of us know that chronic unhappiness leads to all variety of illnesses. Even after knowing this so clearly, most of us end in unhappy states, most of the time. Latest scientific studies have repeatedly shown that the human brain is wired for bliss. Still happiness eludes most of us. What does make us unhappy? What does keep us unhappy?
Does happiness or joy provide satisfying final meaning to our existence? Our journey will begin by addressing the core issue of meaning. Does meaningful existence make us happy or joyous? Or joyous existence is meaningful in itself. This immediately leads to an age-old question, who decides the meaning? Philosophers have struggled with this question for decades. Or "who is it that needs to be happy or decides meaning?" Of course, since we are talking about "our" happiness or happiness of "self," we naturally conclude that it is self or "I" that is at the root of all this inquiry. We end up asking "who am I?" Alternatively, "Who is this self?" Once we understand the true nature of "I," we can address the happiness and meaning associated with "I." As we search for the "I" that likes to be happy, we find several candidates. Of course we start with the most obvious, me with my name, titles, education, place in the society with certain face, body weight. Myself, the one I can see in the mirror. Great! Are we getting close, or it just seems that way? Then we may be awakened by that voice, "I think I know that this is not all I am, maybe there is more to myself than my physical self." Who is doing the thinking? Who is it that is doing the act of understanding or doubting? Maybe there is a little "I" within my physical body that I cannot see in the mirror. Is this the one which needs to be happy? Has science found any such entity called inner I? It is clear that most of us do recognize the big I or the physical I. However, in a quiet and unobvious way, we all seem to recognize this other "I " or inner "I, " especially as we express ourselves in our everyday language and describe our feelings....