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​​The only Possible Transformation

The common question that pollsters ask to assess happiness is about the degree of satisfaction of those polled with their own existence: "In a scale of zero to ten, how do you feel in life?" To the frustration of romantics and idealists, money weighs a lot in this important assessment. According to a survey in 43 countries, carried out by the Pew Research Center, a think tank in Washington, the average happines is higher in rich countries and decreases, country by country, with the per capita income of their people.

So, not surprisingly, social revolutions–radical reforms–always aim at securing the community widespread opportunities in education, health protection, security and employment, the basic social needs that can be straightforwardly provided through money. Such intentions are perfect and honest, but... Can governments warrant happiness to its citizens? Could they alternatively increase their inner harmony?

Some states manage to distribute the 'financial happiness' without resorting to despotism–the Nordic countries are the admirable examples–but, when economic resources are split by force, the failure of social equalizing is so sinister that it pushes happiness downhill and the collective discontent upward to intolerable heights.

'Happiness' is an indeterminate word–acquisitions, exclusions, wins...– Instead, inner harmony, the internal state that allows us to be at peace and act calmly, even in the midst of difficulties, is a clearer expression, though ineffable and tenuous

Inner harmony does not come from the satisfaction of cravings, the elimination of what we dislike, or the triumph of parties or sects. The transformation of internal states must be 'my' transformation and cannot rely on external stuff, namely acquisitions, exclusions or victories. The personal 'revolution' must not pursue happiness as averaged by the Pew Research Center but instead it should open spaces for inner harmony to come to us spontaneously.

How do we open the door for inner harmony? In some fortunate beings their inner harmony is so natural that they do not seem to even be aware of it. Krishnamurti, the Indian sage, said that truth–inner harmony in my interpretation–"has to be found through the mirror of relationships, through the understanding of the contents of our own mind, through mindfulness”.

The task would be that simple if our mind were not so disperse and distracted that it does not even notice what is going on within it. Mindfulness meditation is the exercise that we, ‘non-krishnamurti' common mortals, should practice to appease our minds and stimulate the permanent observation of our life as it unfolds. Mindfulness meditation is like a log of wood with which we keep the door of our mind open for inner harmony to inadvertently enter.

The eradication of cravings, aversions and biased views is the only transformation over which we have control. Anything else is minor adjustments. "Don’t desire anything and you’ll be the richest man in the world," says Cervantes.  The sum of millions of isolated real personal transformations might be a viable alternative for a major social revolution that were not to depend on political groups or religious sects, and, yes, it would increase ‘standard’ happiness. In this movement with no campaigns nor votes nor commies nor faith followers, each person would be a weaponless soldier.

Mindfulness meditation is the only ‘artillery’ which everyone has to undertake this challenging cause. The appropriate question, however, is not whether societies or nations will ever achieve victory in this one-by-one crusade; nobody would know. The right question to ask is a straightforward, different one: "Will I win my battle and eliminate the roots of my anxiety, my stress, my disharmony?" For such query, only I have–only you have–the answer.

Atlanta, December 4, 2014