Why do I want something so badly and as soon as I get it, I feel nothing at all?
The reason we feel like this is because we look for happiness in something that can’t provide happiness. Our longing and efforts are misdirected because we don’t know what happiness is let alone where to look for it.
When I was a kid, I used to long for things like video games, toys, travels, the warm summer weather, and the snow in the winter. As I grew a older, I wanted love, money, and status. In my younger years, I actually felt happy after receiving these things. However, after a short while that happiness always waned and I went back to the same ‘normal’ state as before. With the passing of the years, the moments of happiness or satisfaction from getting things became increasingly shorter, up to the point where there was no satisfaction at all. It really didn’t matter what I got; it was all the same. Somewhat terrified, I came to realize that there is nothing in life that could possibly fulfill what I was looking for.
By meditating, I have gained an understanding of the human mind and the meaning of true satisfaction and happiness. Below I share my insights, which I hope can be of value to you.
What is happiness and where to find it?
In order to understand why life feels unsatisfactory or meaningless, we need to understand happiness and meaning. True happiness is something that’s unconditional and doesn’t go away just because the circumstances change. That is the very nature of something that is true; it is eternal and never-changing. Consequently, order to find true happiness we need to find a state of mind that is unconditional, i.e. that doesn’t change depending on the circumstances.
Conditions are rules created by our mind, and our mind defines the perception of reality for us, for example: “in order for me to be happy, x must happen”. However, as already established this is a false sentiment. This can never lead to happiness because it tries to create something that is unconditional (true) from something that is conditional (false). Consequently, even if the condition is met, happiness in its true form will not, and cannot, ensue.
Happiness is only found in a place where there are no conditions. Since conditions are a product of our mind, we need to clear our mind from the conditions, and we will naturally come to live in a place of happiness.
A few words on false (conditional) happiness
People react differently to false (conditional) happiness. Some people actually think they are happy because things appear to work out in a way their mind finds favorable. Although this feeling of happiness will disappear when the conditions are no longer met, many people mistake this feeling for something that is true and continue to pursue it.
In your question, you mention that you feel nothing at all when you receive the thing you believed would satisfy you. I believe that the reason for this is that your mind is ready to become truly happy. You have realized that there is no happiness in outer things, and are ready to move on and experience the truth of reality. This is the natural progression of our mind. It is (spiritual) growth, and cannot be explained to someone whose mind is firmly entrenched in the idea of false happiness.
Meditation is the way to find true happiness
The reason why we pursue a false idea of happiness is because inferiority and greed are woven into our minds. I’m not really sure why this is, but it probably serves an evolutionary purpose. In any case, as a result of these minds, we believe we are not enough and that we need something in order to be fulfilled. This is a false perspective, from which all endeavors towards reaching happiness will be fruitless.
Happiness is something that exists within each and everyone. In fact, we are it already. We are expressions of life, which is happiness and truth. Every being is that, but we can’t see it because of our cluttered mind. The solution is to get rid of the clutter in our mind. By doing so, our perspective will naturally shift towards a true, and happy, perspective.
Meditation provides us with a method to identify the cluttering thoughts and emotions and let them go from our mind. I strongly recommend to find a meditation center that can help with this process. In some of my other Quora posts, I have suggested different ways of how to start letting go of distractions in the mind.
What does true happiness feel like?
Thanks to the meditation, I every morning wake up clear-minded without the usual woes and worries of the past. I’m by no means perfect, and I’m sure my understanding will deepen further, but what I can see now is that true happiness means to have an always clear and refreshed mind.
A clear mind is a happy mind because it doesn’t have hang-ups or conditions. It is always present in the now. Everything is one existence, everything is me; there is no boundary between myself and the world. Here is everything done for one single purpose, namely to live for truth and as an expression of truth.
Thank you for reading, and please check out this video. It outlines the principles of happiness, enlightenment, and truth.