Sensation is ever a reaction, and it wanders from one reaction to another. The wanderer is the mind; the mind is sensation. The mind is the storehouse of sensation, pleasant and unpleasant, and all experience is reaction. The mind is memory, which after all is reaction. Reaction or sensation can never be satisfied; response can never be content. Response is always negation, and what is not can never be. Sensation knows no contentment. Sensation, reaction must always breed conflict, and the very conflict is further sensation. Confusion breeds confusion. The activity of the mind, at all its different levels, is the furthering of sensation; and when its expansion is denied, it finds gratification in contraction. Sensation, reaction, is the conflict of the opposites; and in this conflict of resistance and acceptance, yielding and denying, there is satisfaction which is ever seeking further satisfaction.
Mind can never find happiness. Happiness is not a thing to be pursued and found, as sensation. Sensation can be found again and again, for it is ever being lost; but happiness cannot be found. Remembered happiness is only a sensation, a reaction for or against the present. What is over is not happiness; the experience of happiness which is over is sensation, for remembrance is the past, and the past is sensation. Happiness is not sensation.
Have you ever been aware of being happy?
‘Of course I have, thank God, otherwise I would not know what it is to be happy.’
Surely, what you were aware of was the sensation of an experience which you call happiness; but that is not happiness. What you know is the past, not the present; and the past is sensation, reaction, memory. You remember that you were happy; and can the past tell what happiness is? It can recall but it cannot be. Recognition is not happiness; to know what it is to be happy is not happiness. Recognition is the response of memory; and can the mind, the complex of memories, experiences, ever be happy? The very recognition prevents the experiencing.
When you are aware that you are happy, is there happiness? When there is happiness, are you aware of it? Consciousness comes only with conflict, the conflict of remembrance of the more. Happiness is not the remembrance of the more. Where there is conflict, happiness is not. Conflict is where the mind is. Thought at all levels is the response of memory, and so thought invariably breeds conflict. Thought is sensation, and sensation is not happiness. Sensations are ever seeking gratifications. The end is sensation, but happiness is not an end; it cannot be sought out.
‘But how can sensations come to an end?’
To end sensation is to invite death. Mortification is only another form of sensation. In mortification, physical or psychological, sensitivity is destroyed, but not sensation. Thought that mortifies itself is only seeking further sensation, for thought itself is sensation. Sensation can never put an end to sensation; it may have different sensations at other levels, but there is no ending to sensation. To destroy sensation is to be insensitive, dead; not to see, not to smell, not to touch is to be dead, which is isolation. Our problem is entirely different, is it not? Thought can never bring happiness; it can only recall sensations, for thought is sensation. It cannot cultivate, produce, or progress towards happiness. Thought can only go towards that which it knows, but the known is not happiness; the known is sensation. Do what it will, thought cannot be or search out happiness. Thought can only be aware of its own structure, its own movement. When thought makes an effort to put an end to itself, it is only seeking to be more successful, to reach a goal, an end which will be more gratifying. The more is knowledge, but not happiness.
Thought must be aware of its own ways, of its own cunning deceptions. In being aware of itself, without any desire to be or not to be, the mind comes to a state of inaction. Inaction is not death; it is a passive watchfulness in which thought is wholly inactive. It is the highest state of sensitivity. When the mind is completely inactive at all its levels, only then is there action. All the activities of the mind are mere sensations, reactions to stimulation, to influence, and so not action at all. When the mind is without activity, there is action; this action is without cause, and only then is there bliss.