Pursuit of any state of mind, be it happiness or mindfulness or even enlightenment, cannot produce a meaningful life.
Consciousness wants to be in relationship to consciousness. It’s both a part of our evolutionary heritage and it’s fundamental to the concept of consciousess.
I wouldn’t exist without the air, the bacteria, the sun—I am an emergent property of all this together, in relationship. My consciousness depends on all this.
What would the content of consciousness be without relationship? I think in words and images and concepts that were created by other people. All the contents of my consciousness came from the world. The idea that it is “mine” is a misnomer and a product of flawed thinking.
Pursuit of any state of my body and mind is, in part, narcissism. When I grow beyond this, “What do I get out of life?” stops being the relevant question. I become interested in helping others, relieving their suffering, lending them a hand along this same path of outgrowing the selfish perspective.
Life starts there.
(All the above is quoted and paraphrased from the last part of this Modern Wisdom interview with Daniel Schmachtenberger)