The Source Of Unhappiness
A student asked:
"Why does life bring me so much unhappiness?"
The Teacher answered:
"Your unhappiness does not arise from your life situation, or from other souls. Unhappiness is a reaction that arises within your ego in response to certain stimuli. The stimulus may be the action of another person, a physical mishap, or a pain in your own body. In each case it is something outside your Self. The stimulus may be external, but the reaction -- the unhappiness -- is entirely created by your ego. Do you disagree? The next time you feel unhappiness coming over you, be aware of the process of stimulus or response. Is the unhappiness something that is injected into you, or does it arise internally as your ego's reaction to an external event? Even if you are unhappy only as a result of witnessing someone else's unhappiness, the pain that you feel is not their pain, but your own."
"Unhappiness is the emotional suffering with which your ego responds to a painful stimulus. Because it arises in the ego, it also is outside your Self. You do not realize this until you have learned to distinguish between the ego and your Self as the center of awareness."
"You may not be able to prevent the ego from responding in this way. That is what ego does. Eckart Tolle speaks of the pain-seeking aspect of ego as the 'pain body.' The pain body is composed of the accumulated negative energy of all your lifetimes -- to the extent you have not previously released it -- and may seem even to possess sentience. It literally feeds on and gains strength from negativity. It drives the ego to seek painful experiences and to create more suffering for itself and for other pain bodies. "
"How many times have you asked yourself why you seem to be deliberately causing yourself to suffer; why others seem to deliberately cause you to suffer; or why you seem compelled to inflict suffering on others? This behavior is the pain body in action. It needs no explanation other than that the pain body is engaged in self-preservation."
"Pain is one of ego's principal tools for asserting control over your being. Physical or emotional suffering gives ego an excuse to demand your full attention and insist that you devote all your resources to making the pain go away. Ego enjoys and benefits from this form of distraction. It makes it easier for ego to possess the small self. Mindfulness is the antidote to this poisonous manifestation of ego. Meditation brings the higher Self to the fore and shines the light of joy into the darkness of ego's suffering. As darkness is only the absence of light, awareness of the Unity of the true Self with the Source of all Joy is the way to remove suffering from your experience."
"You can ameliorate the influence of the pain body only by becoming mindful of its influence and refusing to act mindlessly -- that is, through the ego rather than through the Self -- in response. In this way you further your sole purpose, which is to manifest Joy for your Self and others in awareness of the unity of All That Is."