Everything around us dies.
Every person we meet, every object we see, and every experience which we will ever have will end. While such a viewpoint is extremely cynical, it is fact. There is not a single thing in our experience which will last forever, no matter how hard we try to preserve it. Nature reflects this through its seasons, each one representing a different stage of life. How then can there be eternal happiness? How can we ever be at peace in a world that is forever crumbling as we watch it?
Intuitively, we know that there is something which cannot die within us. We know that there must he something about us which will live on once our bodies pass away. What is it then that can outlive form, that can outlive the Universe and everything in it?
If we cling to things which are ephemeral, our health, our house, our loved ones, the sad truth is that one day we will lose them. They cannot last forever. Even our memories of them may not outlive us, due to diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. If we attach ourselves to these things, we can never experience true freedom from suffering. We will always be paranoid to lose them, and the happiness which they bring us.
True happiness, permanent happiness, is therefore found when we are able to surrender the mortal within us to become immortal. It is a change in our relationship to the world. No longer do we cling to the ephemeral to bring us happiness or to give us a sense of identity. This is when we become free of form, and free of the world.
Suffering dies with our attachment to things which pass, and while it takes an enormous amount of wisdom and courage to be able admit that, we can never be happy until we are able to let things go. It is like stepping into the fire. What we are not will die, and what remains is that which will never perish. From the ashes of that fire, we will rise free of the burden of existence and our attachments to it. This is happiness. This is who we are, who we have been, and who we always will be.