ETHICS OF HAPPINESS

Ethics of happiness: –

It is not possible to live happily if one does not live beautiful, righteous, and wise life; or to lead a beautiful, righteous and wise life if one is not happy. The goal of Buddhist ethics is to free all beings, including one-self, from momen- tary and long-term suffering and to develop the ability to help others to do so. In order to accomplish this we must equitably balance our own aspirations for well being that of others. It is not a question of defining good or evil absolutely, but of remaining alert to the happiness and suffering we cause by our deeds, our words, and our thoughts.

Thus the very core of ethics is our state of mind, not the form our actions take. If we relied solely on a deed’s outward manifestation, it would be im- possible to distinguish, for instance, between a white lie and a malicious one. If the killer asks you where the person he is chasing is hiding, that is obviously not the moment to tell the truth. The same holds true for an aggressive action. When a mother roughly shoves her child across the street to prevent the child from being hit by a car, the act is violent only in appearance; she has saved the child’s life. Conversely if some one ap- proaches you with a big smile and showers you with compliments only to rip you off, his conduct is non violent in appearance, but his intentions are actually malevolent.

Evil is not a demonic power external to ourselves, and good is not absolute principle independent of us. Everything occurs in our minds. Love and com- passion are reflections of the true nature of all living beings – what we have called as basic goodness. Evil is a deviation from this basic goodness, which can be remedied.

Buddhism says that a person’s goodness remains intact deep within even when it is horribly marred at the surface. This is not about naively ignoring the ex- tent to which that good nature can be buried beneath hatred, greed and cruelty; rather it is about understanding that the mere fact of its existence always allows for its potential reemergence.

Thought to Destiny: –

Sow a thought and reap a deed,

Sow a deed and reap a habit,
Sow a habit and reap a character,

Sow a character and reap a destiny.

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