Heart with Wings

Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan

The Alchemy of Happiness

Perhaps there is a secret key to resolve the paradox in which the self-created ego is constantly defocusing itself from the true self within. This psychological misconception of reality generates complexes where one makes oneself unhappy within the horizon of one’s own restricted mind-world, as well as being a nuisance to others.

Mastery over this dilemma could be accomplished through endless struggles with the ego, steadily confronting this iron façade with the flames of love offered to others without any expectation of return. This process is traditionally known as the “Alchemy of Happiness”.

In this connection, one could imagine oneself facing a closed door, knowing that on the other side precious vases containing happiness can be reached, but the key to the door must be found. That mysterious door symbolizes the door to the heart, and the key symbolizes the sword of wisdom with which the ego is to be vanquished. There are golden keys, silver keys, copper keys and iron keys, but one also needs to know how to use the key once one has found it. All methods have their qualities but what is important is to be aware of what type of self-discipline is practiced, and what is the true purpose of the efforts made?

If no accomplishment is discovered on the path of the “alchemy of happiness,” one might be tempted to simply break open that symbolical door, but to one’s disappointment, the precious vases would also be destroyed, and nothing would remain other than one’s own restless and untamable ego.

The Golden key to happiness is to always be conscious of the fact that true happiness cannot be obtained at the cost of the suffering of others. When wanting happiness for one’s self, one is faced by quite a number of necessary conditions, such as sincerely appreciating all that one has been granted, and having compassion for those who are not so privileged as oneself.

There is a difference between being happy as the result of a particular circumstance, or being in an unconditional state of happiness, where one’s consciousness is raised to a higher level than just the “I ” concept.

There is also Destiny’s grace, but for inexplicable reasons this favor, which is unconditionally bestowed upon the chosen ones, and which also has its price to pay at the level of responsibility, is mostly encountered unexpectedly on the path. Fortunately we dispose of free will, and with that power, we all possess consciously or unconsciously the secret of happiness, for which we are destined.

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