Is a mixed bag.
That doesn't stop us striving endlessly for happiness.
But, seriously, where do we expect to find a permanent state of bliss?
Let that settle.
If my work is about anything -- and that's not how I'd describe it but it'll do for now -- it's to point you in a different direction to the manage-my-circumstances mantra that, to date, has ruled your life.
You know what I mean, surely?
You think that if you can organise your life in such a way that it ticks all the right boxes that happiness will, ipso facto, manifest.
And it might well do.
But then again, like everything in the known Universe, everything changes.
It's all a moving, shifting, energetic experience and that includes "Feelings, Perceptions, Mental Formations, and Consciousness" (the Heart Sutra).
Where does that leave you?
Exhausted, depressed, and tired of never quite reaching the promised land.
I was for 43 years.
If there was an ah-ha moment, it was simply the recognition that none of 'this' mattered, particularly when we're not in control. Come on, surely you see that? I mean, don't tell me you still believe that you will your wants?
So, Summerhayes, you smug SOB tell me what I'm supposed to do?
You don't have to do a damn thing.
That's not entirely true.
But then again, asking yourself what's happening right now hardly seems revelatory but where else do you expect to go to find yourself? Not another book!
Look, for the record, if you're willing for a moment to drop everything you've ever been told and acknowledge the fact that everything changes, you might apprehend that, together with the nonsense labels we've been given to describe the formless world, there is something other than a bushel of thoughts that is relevant to your life. In other words, if you sit with the idea that right now there is only this -- a moving shifting, happening of the moment -- you might start to question whether the notion that you (part of this formless happening) are in control is a myth.
I realise that what I'm trying to describe makes no sense but then again, trying to write about emptiness, awareness or nothingness to the thinking self makes no sense. Why? Because it needs something dualistic in order to survive. Absent that it would die.
In the end, I accept that this non-dual message is unlikely to find a home when the world is awash with methodologies, processes and fairy tales how it's possible to live an amazing life but then again, as I've already said, if you feel you've done all the right things and nothing has worked perhaps it's time to admit defeat and open your heart to a new way of seeing the world.