Bô Yin Râ
The Nature of Happiness


From The Book on Happiness, 1994. Translated from Das Buch vom Glück, published in German in 1920. 


Have you ever watched a child create a castle in the sand and see it happily express its satisfaction when its work had been completed?

All of you that seek true happiness in life can learn a lesson from this child.

For here you see a human being that has found its happiness, and if you will not seek to find your own, the same way as that child, you shall forever hunger after happiness in vain.

All happiness this mortal life affords—and only it shall be the topic of the present book—is joy experienced through creative effort. Be it that a person will create the timeless realm of love within his soul; be it that his creativity express itself within the province of the mind; or that material things provide his will the means creatively to manifest its power.

The joy experienced in creative work alone is real happiness, and all things else you might regard as such will surely, if you trust them, betray and rob you of true happiness, as much as one can find it in this life.

. . .

Lacking the desire to be happy is a sin; a greater sin, however, is the lack of will to forge one's happiness in life on earth.

Sinful, too, and blasphemous before the Spirit's all-sustaining power is the wretched modesty that many show in their idea of happiness.

Some cannot imagine greater happiness than merely being able to feed and clothe their family without continual worry.

Others think the greatest happiness would be to live in royal castles and to travel in a golden coach. Still others mean to find it by seeking fame and honors, high positions and renown.

Few seem to comprehend that neither wealth nor honors can ever make a person truly happy, but that in happiness resides a force that will provide, of all the treasures of this earth, to every individual precisely what he needs to lead a happy life—no more, no less.

Whoever thinks that happiness consists in gaining hold of certain things in life is seeking still to gain those things; he is not striving after happiness.

Happiness is the contentment that creative will enjoys in its creation.

Yet this "creation" knows no end, and its creator's days of rest are merely Sabbaths of the soul, which will restore his energy for new creative work.

Whoever has found happiness is active without ceasing and never tires of employing his creative gifts.

What his activity creates is the prerequisite, the basis for his happiness. That happiness as such, however, is the force commanded by creative will, which of itself attracts all things that grant a person lasting satisfaction.

Not everyone will need the same, but all who undertake creating their own happiness are certain to attain whatever they require to achieve that end.