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Inner Peace

All living beings have the same basic wish to be happy and avoid suffering, but very few people understand the real causes of happiness and suffering. We generally belive that external conditions such as food, freinds, cars, and money are the real causes of happiness, and as a result we devote nearly all our time and energy to acquiring these. Superficially it seems that thses things can make us unhappy, but if we look more deeply we shall see that they also bring us a lot of suffering and problems. Happiness and suffering are opposites, so if something is a real cause of happiness it can not give rise to suffering. If food, money, and so forth are causes of happiness they can never be causes of suffering; yet we know from our own experience that they often do cause suffering. For example, one of our main intrests is food, but the food we eat is also the principal cause of most of our ill helth and sickness. In the process of producing the things we feel will make us happy we have polluted our enviroment to such an extent that the very air we breathe and the water we drink now threaten our helth and well-beingg. We love the freedom and independance a car can give us, but the cost in accidents and enviromental destruction is enormous. We feel that money is essential for us to enjoy life, but the persuite of money also causes immense problems and anxiety. Even our family and freinds, with whom we enjoy so many happy moments, can also bring us a lot of worry and heartach. In reascent years our understanding and controle of the external world have increased considerably, and as a result we have witnessed remarkable material progress; but there has not been a corresponding increase in human happiness. There is no less suffering in the world today, and there are no fewer problems and greater unhappiness than ever before. This shows that the solution to our problems, and to those of society as a whole, dose not lie in knowledge or controle of the external world. Why is this? Happiness and suffering are states of mind, and so their main causes cannot be found outside the mind. The real happiness is inner peace, we shall be happy all the time, regardless of external conditions,but if it is disturbed or trubled in any way, we shall never be happy, no matter how good our externl conditions may be. External conitions can only make us happy