Most people rely solely upon the external world for their emotional wellbeing, or rather, their happiness (or lack thereof) depends entirely upon the physical world and its constantly changing appearances, which includes all of its cultural and societal manifestations in which we have collectively become so invested.
In other words, most people’s sense of happiness relies upon the impossible—maintaining the permanence of that which is inherently impermanent.
Certainly, this is a foolhardy quest, but one which we are nevertheless enamoured and overwhelmed with.
We attach our happiness onto fluctuating bank accounts, the beauty and condition of our ever-aging bodies, the success of our favourite teams, and how we believe the outside world perceives us. We believe that what matters most is that which is outside of us, and because of this, our sense of who we are—our internal sense of self—remains separated from the rest of reality.
When we live in such a way our emotional health then becomes entirely dependent upon the state of the false objects of consciousness that we have asserted value onto, that in actuality have no lasting or redeeming qualities of their own—such as flashy cars, fancy shoes, six-pack abs, a corner office, a well-stocked liquor cabinet, and a penthouse downtown.
All such things have no inherent spiritual worth of their own. If you rely upon them for your happiness, then you choose to be dependent upon the perspective of the collective, the hysteria of the crowd, and the dumbed-down group-think of the masses.
No longer subject yourself to the passing whims of other people’s overly-cricital opinions.
Care not about what others think. Care not about your “position” in the game of life. There is nothing to be gained, nor is there anything to be lost.
Awaken from the dream of concepts, names and appearances. Realize that you are already complete—it is only your belief in the unreal that deludes you.
In reality, these are all just variants of the same dream—transitory and conceptual modulations of consciousness—ones that we have mistakenly placed our life’s entire focus onto. But such surface level appearances are momentary flickers of mind, they are not real.
“How utterly dependent is the personality of man and how indifferent is its world.”
—Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
You may depend upon this world of your projections to define your identity and self-worth, but it cares not about you, because in reality it doesn’t even exist. It is empty of any permanent form, characteristic, or attribute—it is a conceptualization of consciousness only. It is an illusion—and a very convincing one at that.