Utmost Happiness Lies in Not Aware of the Happiness.
Utmost happiness is an inner peace that transcends any judgment as to whether we are happy or not. Zhuangzi (369?-286 BC) held that happiness should be dictated solely by the heart. If we measure happiness against a worldly criterion, we may lose sight of life’s essential purpose. If we are driven by emotions and base desires, harm and loss may be the result. Our happiness in fact depends on our judgment of loss or gain. However, loss or gain is relative and subject to change. Only when we totally forget this question can we attain utmost happiness. This term reflects the spiritual magnanimity and the open, pluralistic worldview of ancient Chinese scholars, while urging them to greater effort at self-reflection, criticism, and transcendence.
Is there happiness or not in this world of ours? My belief is that utmost happiness lies in not even being aware of it. However, this very thought is exactly what agonizes us all. Hence the maxim: “Utmost happiness is when we do not strive for it, and highest praise consists in having no need for praise.” (Zhuangzi)
Confucius asked: “When the heart roams free between heaven and earth, what will the scene look like?” Laozi answered: “Once a person has reached that realm, he will be able to savor beauty at its best and bask in extreme happiness. Such a person is known as a ‘man of the highest order.'” (Zhuangzi)