If we look around, different people have different goals. Some people just want to be rich, others crave for power, and still others seek contentment and fulfillment. If we look deeper, people pursue different things to ultimately get to Destination Happiness. 80% of the world is trying to climb the first peak of Achievement, while the rest are trying to go further towards the second peak of Fulfillment. The achiever may want to excel in sports, politics or business, amongst the various other fields that are mushrooming in the world today. The ones who are content and fulfilled are trying to escape the rat race. For them, happiness doesn’t come from achieving more, but rather from desiring less. The former, who climb the first peak of happiness, depend on pleasure to achieve happiness, while the latter believe that peace is the foundation of happiness.
99% of humanity falls under these two categories. Does it mean that the remaining 1% doesn’t seek happiness? Of course not! Everybody alive on earth seeks happiness. The 1% whose happiness doesn’t depend on pleasure from achievement or peace from fulfillment seek happiness that comes from finding the true purpose of life. This tiny minority goes on a Quest, on a Search, but ultimately, even they want happiness.
Therefore, what is wrong in saying that the goal of humanity is happiness? There is nothing wrong, except that ultimate happiness is neither on the first peak of Achievement, nor on the second peak of Fulfillment. We are, unfortunately, looking for it in the wrong place.
We are like the musk deer that searches for the musk everywhere, not realizing that the musk it is looking for is inside its own navel. We also do not realize that happiness is within us. We are the very happiness that we are seeking!
While 1% of humanity goes on a Quest, a Search within, trying to find a purpose, and realize the truth, all are not fortunate enough to find this purpose and meaning. A very small fraction of the seekers attain self-realization. They realize that they are neither the body that will die, nor the mind that doesn’t exist. They ultimately realize that they are the Divine Energy or Consciousness that gives them life.
While this realization leads to liberation, it inadvertently gives ultimate joy, peace and bliss. It frees the realized ones from the prisons of misery and sorrow as they escape from the darkness of the ignorance they live in.
Probably, less than 0.00001% of humanity attains self-realization and ultimate, eternal, everlasting joy, bliss, peace and happiness with it. These fortunate souls escape from the cycle of death and rebirth. They are liberated from the body and the myth that they are the mind that is reborn based on their past actions. This realization is the ultimate goal of life which is also called Moksha, Nirvana, Enlightenment or Salvation.
Whatever you may call it, the goal of life is liberation from misery and suffering. And this is possible only if we realize the truth. We should realize we are not the body that suffers and dies. We should realize that we are not the mind that has to be reborn again and again. We are energy – the energy that gives Consciousness to the body and mind while it experiences life on earth. This is self-realization. The ultimate goal is self-realization because realization of the truth liberates us from the prisons of misery and sorrow that are experienced being the ego, mind and body, which we are not.