Young boy in front of Christmas tree

Why getting what you want makes you unhappy

In Insight and Experience by true.indigo0 Comments

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When an unhappy self is unhappy, it sends ego out on a mission to acquire what it thinks it wants as a constant stream of external objects to bring back to self to make self happy. Ego is quite content with this arrangement as it allows ego to become very important to self as its supplier with external object happiness. As long as the acquiring of wants is accomplished by the ego, the self is content with the arrangement, but when ego is unsuccessful in acquiring wants, then self becomes ‘unhappy’. Self has become addicted to a continuous stream of external object gratification and is experiencing the opposite as unhappiness, as it goes through withdrawal. The opposite of happiness is experienced as unhappiness, and because happiness is derived from a constant, uninterrupted flow of external objects, which we call wishes, or wants; then, the opposite is the hole in us that cannot manufacture actual happiness as an experience of an upwelling of pleasure and joy simply from being alive to being alive. A dependence upon wants makes us unhappy.

When we get what we want a deception is being done. We are not being made happy. We are actually interfering with our own ability to manufacture happiness from within. What we have to imagine is a continuous, unabated flow of not getting what we want coming into our lives for a very long period of time. We absolutely spiral down to the lowest point we have ever reached in the entirety of our lives. We are absolutely miserable. This is potentially the happiest person alive. This is not the same as saying unhappiness creates the possibility of happiness, as that would be a sadistic and unhappy thing to say. What is being said is that now true happiness may be experienced absent of want.

Young boy in front of Christmas tree with presentWhat this person has been experiencing is a continued thwarting of ego that has resulted in humility. The ego has been brought down to size. The self can no longer trust the ego for providing it with its want stream. So, self is presented with either being happy to the only thing left, the aliveness of the experience of being alive, or, it can continue to project a holographic ghost of an idea as an external object sensation of happiness. They can still want. And, they can remain unhappy.

At the moment the self understands it cannot trust either the ego or external objects to bring it true happiness, it begins manufacturing happiness on its own. It takes responsibility for its own emotional state. Getting what you want actually makes you unhappy. It only produces an illusion of happiness and interferes with or hampers or disallows the internal manufacture of happiness that is completely independent of anything other than a tingling, ticklish, joyous, ebullient aliveness to being alive. Anything that does come to such a person is received not in happiness, but in gratitude. Anything that comes is now a gift. They are now the producers of happiness, and so a search for happiness is no longer required. Self is now in control of happiness. Self generates happiness without want.

Because Western culture is almost entirely constructed upon a superstructure of thought that requires endless wants being created, what has been created is an absolutely gigantic unhappiness machine, just as the actual reality of money is that money, in classic financial analysis, is actually debt. Debt creates money. Wants create unhappiness. This is why the unhappiness debt is so huge. Getting what we want expands the function of ego, which creates yet more wants to supply to an increasingly unhappy self because self is starved of the ability to internally produce a continuous, upwelling stream of tingling, ticklish, expanding bubbles of joy simply as an experience of being alive to aliveness. Be careful what you want. You just might get it.


True Indigo, an Alaskan, is the author of A Personal Aristocracy: Cultivating the Power of Spiritual Nobility, published by North Atlantic Books and distributed in Australia by Brumby Books.

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