‘Happiness is like a ball: you keep kicking it and running after it, and just as you are about to catch it, you kick it again…and run after it all over again. Yes, it is the chase that stimulates you. It is in the quest, in the pursuit of a goal that you find happiness. When you get something you want, of course, you are happy for a little while, but that satisfaction is soon followed by a feeling of emptiness, and you start to want something else. Your satisfaction never lasts. So what is the answer? The answer is to set out in pursuit of the farthest and most inaccessible goal: perfection, immensity and eternity. In pursuing this goal, you will find all the things you desire: knowledge, wealth, power and love. Yes, you will find these things without even asking for them..’
‘True happiness, like true peace, is a state characterized by stability. War can break out, you can fall ill, you can suddenly lose all your money or be abandoned by your husband or wife, your children and your friends, without ceasing to be happy. Why? Because your consciousness is not content to stagnate on the level of events. Whatever difficulty or trial comes along, as you are capable of rising to a higher plane and know how to look at these things, you find an explanation, a truth that pacifies and consoles you. You can be stripped of all your possessions and persecuted without mercy, but since you know that all these things are temporary, that you yourself are immortal and that nothing can really reach you.’
‘You cannot be happy if your field of vision is too narrow. This is why there is no happiness for egoists, because egoists are all shrunken and shrivelled up. If you want to be happy, you have to open up and take the whole world into your embrace, and it is only love that makes this possible. Those who have a great deal of love grow and expand; they embrace the whole universe and vibrate in unison with it. Everything lies open before them; there are no more obstacles or barriers to hold them up; they are in a permanent state of happiness. The road to happiness is the road of love. Yes, neither knowledge nor philosophy, only love. Knowledge and learning cannot give us happiness; they can prepare the way, guide us and enlighten us, but they cannot make us happy.’
‘Once they learn about karma, instead of thinking with compassion of those who suffer and making up their minds to do something to help them, some so-called spiritual people are content to do nothing, saying, «It’s their karma!» Well, if it is to become just one more reason for people to remain prisoners of their own selfishness, it would sometimes be better if they had never heard about karma. This is why I consider the fact that Westerners cannot see other people suffering without wanting to do something about to be a very real superiority. Whenever there is a disaster somewhere –famine, an epidemic, a flood or an earthquake – they organize help, and this is magnificent.’
The secret of happiness: to give without expecting anything and to love without asking to be loved.
‘When someone does something for others, when he helps and supports them, he thinks it only normal that they should show their gratitude, or a least give some sign of appreciation. Those who have devoted themselves to their children for instance, who have nourished and educated them, expect them to acknowledge at the very least that they have been good parents. And here am I, about to demolish this way of looking at things -- which has been considered normal and legitimate from the beginning of the world -- by telling them that they should expect nothing at all. Some of you will probably feel like asking, «Why does he say such peculiar things?» It is very simple: when you expect approval or gratitude, you are entering the world of dissatisfaction, recriminations, bitterness and mental torment. You will say, «Does this mean that the good we do will never be recognized?» No; it will be recognized; but you must not expect or wait for it to be recognized. All Initiates and sages know one great law on which they base their lives: the law of cause and effect. They know that sooner or later, everything they do will come back to them.’