Today, I am thinking about how happiness and unhappiness are not exactly opposites. The distinction is not meaningless, but more and more I think that happiness cannot being knowingly uncovered while unhappiness is predictable in our seeking.
Our seeking brings about the lists: the lists of society, our parents and ourselves. The scroll grows longer and longer as I say to myself, "If I can just lay it all down neatly, I can work towards and attain the happiness, that promised fruit." The spinning wheel would tell us that once we master the way of eating, sleeping, breathing, having sex and picking our noses we will have happiness. It is simply practice and effort away.
I think the reality is that we find happiness in the most unexpected of places. Not when we are doing nothing or because we finally found time to "relax," but when we are investing in something beyond happiness. Meaning can drive us to do a number of painful things, but the negatives to not negate. Meaning does not dilute in suffering or disappear when we are at our meanest.
No amount of sheer mental force can make us happy, but there are many good questions of meaning to which we can put our minds. It won't be a haze of happiness, but it won't be unhappiness, either.