Monday, July 12, 2010

Every Day is a Lesson

This morning, while reading through blogs, I found a new posting from one of my favorite writers on Open Salon, Steve Blevins.  He posted a funny, insightful story entitled "Why I'm Happy".  His tongue-in-cheek humor made for an entertaining trip to Walmart.

First up, was the woman in front of him in the check out line that is distressed and furious after reading the People magazine in front of her - she's upset about the Sandra Bullock and Jessie James relationship.  Steve reveals to her that he doesn't know either of them and turns to the man behind him.  He, too, is upset because he's going to miss the LeBron James decision show since he's waiting in line at Walmart.  Steve again is clueless about the details.  When he gets to the check out clerk, who is very upset and punching the keys of the cash register, he asks her what's wrong and is told that she is tired of her daughter's obsession with Justin Beiber.  Clueless again.  So he leaves:
Walking away, I thought about the unhappy people at Walmart. They all had something in common: Each of them knew something I didn't -- and what they knew was causing them distress. 
That's when the epiphany hit. I had unwittingly stumbled upon the key to happiness: Happiness doesn't come from money, fame, or good looks. It doesn't come from love or genes or a positive attitude. 
Happiness comes from not knowing what the hell is going on. 
Ignorance truly is bliss. That's why stupid people are happier than smart people: They lack vital information.
That's where I said out loud, "Wait that's not right.  You just illustrated the second Noble Truth".  
The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof. --The Big View
The second truth states the cause of dukkha, which is craving-attachment, stemming from ignorance into the nature of reality.-- Lama Surya Das
Yep, right there on Open Salon a little lesson in the causes of suffering even though the conclusion was a bit off.  Ignorance, you see, is NOT bliss it's just ignorance and happiness doesn't come from ignorance, it comes from its opposite: understanding. Understanding that grasping at things that aren't reflective of reality results in true happiness.