The Basis for Happiness

What I really like about this is that it puts the focus exactly where it properly ought to be: what “kind of person” am ‘I’?

That’s all any resistance to being happy and harmless ultimately comes down to. Not wanting to change the “kind of person” that I am. ‘I’ hold who ‘I’ am more dearly than enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive.

This phrasing makes that crystal clear!


I remember a while ago we had a zoom chat with Geoffrey and one of the other guys was explaining some drama that he had going on and that the method was not working in resolving it.

I remember Geoffrey suggesting this very approach, essentially asking them - look at what you are doing, is it not silly wasting your opportunity to feel good now by doing X?

I remember thinking, this seems too obvious/simple to work, like c’mon Geoffrey surely you have more tricks up your sleeve!

But this is exactly it, this is all that is needed.

It’s not about ever finding a solve for whatever drama, it is about seeing that getting involved with it in the first place is silly and the reason it is silly is because I am wasting an opportunity to feel good now.


It’s quite amusing that this thread is titled ‘the basis for happiness’ and although the direction of the discussion has shifted from the initial posts I think we have actually arrived at the genuine basis for happiness.

Which is the fact that nothing is actually worth loosing enjoyment and appreciation over. And the key is to sincerely see this each moment again. This is somewhat similar to @rick’s post about nothing mattering in the long run because all ends but more naive/direct?


Yes, and the conditions I actively impose on my well-being from moment to moment are an accessible but influential layer of ‘me’, so it’s a direct way to effect those changes.

It’s sometimes hard to let go of a feeling, but it’s quite easy to let go of the conditions I place on life that sustain those feelings once I see how impossible or absurd they are. “I can’t/won’t be happy unless/until…” It’s not going to work. I see I’m signing myself up for failure. It’s me who’s doing that. If I see that, I can let go of the conditions (if I want to), and the feelings follow.

It’s not like I’m trying to become someone else, struggling to live up to a new image of myself, or forcing myself to feel a different way about life. It’s a clear seeing of what I’m bringing to the situation that makes it literally impossible to feel good in a huge range of circumstances. It’s an easy way to “see the silliness” of that. I’m not forced to act on that if I don’t want to. But I can, it’s a choice. The ball is in my court.


Interesting that letting go of the conditions is a way towards an unconditional happiness and harmlessness, this makes sense in a very obvious way. I always had it the other way around, that an unconditional happiness and harmlessness would persist despite the conditions placed upon it, which the more I think about the less it makes any sense lol.

It’s like you say asking for the impossible, like a paradox, essentially I am saying I want to be happy and harmless each moment again but only if A,B,C happens at the same time, so which one is it then? :joy:

There is such an obvious simplicity to this, if I want to be happy and harmless 24/7 then my happiness and harmlessness cannot have conditions, otherwise it’s simply a contradiction.

It seems the only way to accomplish the absurdity of an ongoing conditional happiness would be to invoke some kind of spiritual fantasy world, where I get to be god and have everything my way, then I have my ‘unconditional happiness’, by changing the entire universe instead of myself.


Yea and I find when life is living me at its best, I experience myself as more like myself, as I ought to have been the whole time! As opposed to less like myself. It is being closer to that which I already have been being anyway. The startling clarity of the simple facticity of life blows any seriousness out of the water. Grimness & glumness is banished, nowhere to be seen. Nothing stands in the way of perennial enjoyment & appreciation of being alive!


Interesting because this is the experience I had yesterday. I was driving to training and having awesome success with this simple and sincere looking that we’ve been discussing. It was exposing things right left and centre in this very sincere way.

It was so successful that I began to experience something interesting, I was beginning to experience myself as an individual again, it’s like I found the person that was underneath all the BS this whole time? It’s tricky to describe this but it was such a precious and freeing experience that I had tears in my eyes!


In fact there has been so many answers to this question (and genuine ones too) of seeing that ‘I am the kind of person that X, that I have found like I am actually getting to know myself? And the answers have been accompanied by this sincere humour at seeing the silliness of what I have been involved in. Also this sense of ‘how could I have not seen this before when it was right in front of me’ I was being that kind of person the whole time, but somehow blindly, lost in the maze.

There’s been some surprising ones that actually made me giggle a little bit, I could write a list!

For example leaving the house yesterday I noticed I am the kind of person who can’t leave the house without feeling bad that my dog will be upset, how little and how silly but it was there :joy: It disappeared the second I saw it for what it was, but how many moments I gave up happiness and harmlessness for that specific reason!

Other one that I noticed was also so slight but having such negative consequences. I noticed that I am the kind of person that withdraws intimacy from my partner because of a fear of rejection. It was wonderful to notice this because then I immediately found a closeness and ease around Sonya that has been missing.


It does seem that there is something here to seeing the general pattern, like @Paul said with specific instances I can always make an excuse, “oh this time I am being jealous because I have good reason to” etc

But once the general pattern is seen for what it is then I can’t explain it away anymore, it is right there in my face, I am the kind of person who is wasting this moment of being alive on being jealous. Then there is no way to maintain this jealousy at the cost of enjoyment and appreciation any longer.
Unless as mentioned it is something that I still take as too precious for whatever reason, but the ball is indeed in my court. Now isn’t that something that Richard said haha that it is up to me how I experience this moment of being alive, there is no-one stopping me from feeling good but myself, and like @Paul mentioned if I decide to place this condition here then I get what I want, to suffer over it until I have had enough.

That’s really great to hear, @Kub933. I like how you’ve picked up on the clarity and the gentle amusement that comes from seeing ‘me’ this way. Really nice.

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The funniest thing is that I am experiencing this as a big discovery for myself and it is, however it is right there on the AFT, at the top part of the most quoted article of them all, one that I have read over and over myself haha - This Moment Of Being Alive

Once the specific moment of ceasing to feel good is pin-pointed, and the silliness of having such an incident as that (no matter what it is) take away one’s enjoyment and appreciation of this only moment of being alive is seen for what it is – usually some habitual reactive response – one is once more feeling good

What I am describing working now is precisely the above, it just seems it took for you to come along and present it in a way that finally clicked for me.

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Seeing that it really is silly makes all the difference! :smiley:


Right and the clue is in the word seeing, it does not say thinking/feeling/believing/theorising/deducting that something is silly, it is all about actually seeing it, seeing the fact of it.

Exactly. And seeing that it’s silly in your own opinion!

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@Kub933 I’m going on memory here so I am light on details. As I remember it when Dona and Alan came back from Australia the message they brought was to commit to feeling good. I remember that I did make that commitment and it did make a difference to me. Basically the enjoyment and appreciation came naturally when I was feeling good. Iow, I didn’t actually commit to e and a. I committed to feeling good and the e &a followed. When I was feeling good then I enjoyed and appreciated.
As far as the drug it came serendipitously as a prescription from my pain dr. It seems unlike any drug I’ve ever had. It doesn’t show up on drug tests. The main thing I’ve noticed is it prevents thoughts of anxiety which has catapulted me to a new level of enjoyment.


I just realised that’s the positive aspect of “unconditional”. As the conditions approach zero, there’s less reason to suffer, but there’s also little (or no) need to induce enjoyment. Perennial enjoyment for no particular reason, what could be easier? :smiley:

I’m not there yet, but I can see how the same thing works in both directions.

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The key is that the startling clarity and simplicity of being alive, unencumbered / unburdened / unhindered by a ‘self’/‘Self’/ego/soul, is intrinsically enjoyable and there is nothing to actually be done besides enjoy and appreciate it.

So it’s more a matter of removing the obstacles than inducing enjoyment, in the long run!

Even while a feeling-being, Richard wrote somewhere that it’d be impossible to passionately feel happy and passionately feel harmless 24/7 as it would take too much energy (or something like that), but that it rather becomes a matter of mood and character. This is what segues into out-from-control then allowing self-immolation to occur, as I understand it!


Ooh thanks @claudiu this is something I have been circling for a while and you hit the nail on the head. I recall those specific experiences where it is that quality of living unencumbered which is so precious and like you say intrinsically enjoyable, without any extras required.

Whereas day to day I am looking for something specific so that I can feel good about it etc.


What drug! Need it! :laughing:

Name of drug is pregabalin. It has other names from other manufacturers. I think you can get it otc in Mexico. Let me know if you find it. I take 50 mg twice a day.

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