Dario took a deep breath. “Happiness,” he continued, “is not an end in and of itself. It may be a welcome byproduct of some other undertaking but should not be a singular pursuit.”
I definitely needed out. He had lost me a while back.
“Okay, start with the basics,” Dario said, sensing our continued confusion. “Happiness is fleeting. Winning the lottery may induce ecstasy, but you’re apt to return to your original baseline level of contentment. Likewise, suffering an injury, even a grievous one, may render you miserable in the moment, but chances are eventually you’ll revert to your emotional mean.
“The problem with pursuing happiness is that it generates tension, a consequence of craving more and more of what induces only temporary pleasure, such as money, fame, sex, et cetera. As a result, no inner peace is possible. That’s one of Buddhism’s main insights.”
“Which is why the pursuit of happiness is misguided?” I asked inadvisably, ensuring that I would have to stick around.
“Exactly!” Dario cried, slapping the table.
“What is worth pursuing then?”
“Meaning?” I uttered with bewilderment.
“Yes, meaning. That’s what matters.
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