Pure sadness is not what you think it is
The emotion of sadness is the one that is most affected by the deceptions of the mind, and it is almost always misunderstood. Usually, people perceive sadness as a negative emotion, the opposite of happiness. Most of the times people are able to explain why they feel “sad”, or at least, they believe that a reason exists that explain their perceived “sadness”. However, sadness, pure sadness, has a unique characteristic: is it inexplicable. And it is not a negative emotion; it is a beautiful and natural state of being. You might perceive it as negative, but it is only because you are unaware of its beauty, you haven’t learned to see the beauty of it. Artists such as poets and musicians know how to see the beauty in sadness, and so much art has been created through it. But artists are special people. Most people have not reached this understanding, because society does not want you to become aware of the beauty of sadness. A man able to be comfortable with sadness is dangerous, because cannot be manipulated. A sad man can be easily manipulated into buying more useless things or eating more junk food to compensate for his sadness. Most people feel miserable when they are sad because they let society take care of their discomfort. Also, they confuse pure sadness with other emotions that are, in fact, a by-product of the ego.
Stop judging your own emotions
Next time you feel “sad”, try this: don’t try to find a reason to explain why you are in this emotional state. Just accept is fully, without questioning its provenience, without judging it, without labeling as negative. Just be a witness, and observe the emotion silently. Imagine that there is someone high up in the sky watching you, seeing everything you do, reading your mind and your emotions. Imagine yourself as that someone, being able to watch your own life through the eyes of the witness in the sky. When you do this, something beautiful starts to unfold within you. When you stop condemning your emotions, and you focus on observing them instead, you will be able to see more through them, and you will immediately spot their real face. The emotions will literally reveal to you. Two different things can happen then: if your sadness is not pure – that is to say – if what you thought was sadness is actually just a by-product of your ego, it will disappear almost instantly. This is because by being a witness, you will switch from a “mind” approach to a “non-mind” approach to emotions. All negative emotions, except pure fear, are ego-generated chimeras that thrive in a very mind-based environment.
Sadness, an uninvited guest?
The other thing that can happen is that this emotional state does not disappear instantly. When this happens, the emotion does not come from the mind, from the ego, or from other external sources such as your culture or background. It is a pure, authentic emotion, pure, authentic sadness, in this case. Its origin is often a mystery. You might have picked it up while looking towards the horizon across a gray sky or it might have just blossomed within you for no reason. The important thing, though, is that it is there, and it is authentic. So, just keep watching it silently, do not judge it, and do not try to kick it out from you. Just treat it like you would treat an uninvited guest that shows up at your doorstep. Be respectful and polite, excuse for the mess, offer something to drink. Be relaxed, make your guest feel comfortable, and remember to walk him back to the door when he leaves. Sadness may not leave instantly, but I guarantee that it will, sooner or later. Sadness always disappears, as it does happiness. Happiness is very similar to sadness. They are both inexplicable, both authentic and both only temporary. Both happiness and sadness are, in fact, the same pure form of emotion. But people misunderstand them constantly, and they have given them another name, and stripped them of their purity. People mistake frustration for sadness and satisfaction for happiness. Real happiness is just like sadness, it is a beautiful and natural state of being that needs no explanation. Just enjoy its beauty and do not cling to it when it tries to leave. Just let it go. One day will come back, but remember that you can only appreciate happiness when you can also appreciate sadness.
If you’re never sad you’ll never be happy either
You can only be truly happy when you have learned to be truly sad. And this will only happen when you have learned to be a witness of both phenomena. Imagine the ocean. Imagine the waves rolling in, and think about all the wonderful life underwater. The waves bring oxygen to the ocean so that life can survive.
If the water was constantly flat, if there were no waves to move it, all that beautiful life would perish, and the ocean will turn in a huge, stinky, muddy slough. Our life is identical to the life underwater. We need oxygen to live, we need wave. We need happiness and sadness, which together can form a wave. Happiness will uplift the water, while sadness will bring it down, and so one wave is created. But many waves are needed, so there will be more happiness coming, and it will be followed by more sadness, and so on… It is what keeps us alive. Think for a moment: how would you be able to know what happiness is if you don’t know what sadness is? You wouldn’t even know what it is to be happy if you were happy all the time! And would you really be happy if you were happy all the time? If that was the only emotion you knew, it would not be authentic, because happiness needs sadness to exist, in the same way as light needs darkness to exist, in the same way as life needs death to be real.