Happiness results not just from the state of mind, but the state of being ()
According to a popular self-help notion, all that we need to do to become happy is change our state of mind from negative to positive. Changing the state of mind may help us feel better, but it doesn’t change the reality that the entire material level of existence is temporary and unsatisfactory. The Bhagavad-gita offers us the ultimate self-help by taking us beyond the mind to the actual self, the soul that has the potential for eternal happiness by connecting lovingly with God. To realize our potential for everlasting happiness, we need to change our being – our values and purposes for living – from material to spiritual. Therefore, unlike the palliative self-help recommendation to see the positive hidden in the negative while continuing at the material level of being, the Gita offers the curative recommendation that we:
- Leave the material level of being by becoming equipoised toward both the materially positive and the materially negative, and
- Transfer ourselves to the spiritual level of being by cultivating spiritual friends, lifestyles and desires.