Is lasting happiness not just a fantasy, seeing that life’s circumstances are perpetually changing?
Circumstances have very little effect on lasting happiness. Let’s take the example of people who have risen above a life of poverty: they might say that they are happier, but more income does not necessarily equate to more happiness. Unfortunately, many of us require ever increasing pleasures to have any semblance of happiness. In the long term, this dependence on pleasures can be detrimental, because a person’s happiness depends entirely on external factors. As long as a person’s happiness is based on pleasures or materialism, there can be no lasting happiness. A taste, as delicious as it is, will lose its savor; scenery, as magnificent as it is, will lose its beauty; a person, as interesting as he is, will lose his charm… Therefore, it is imperative that what gives us happiness be non-changing. Much can be said about this, but in general, the lesser attention paid to the external and the more to the internal, or the essential, the greater the possibility of lasting happiness.