The following is one of Gandhiji's sayings mentioned in her blog...it got me writing the below...
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Today people think one thing, say another thing and end up doing something totally different! Most people today find it hard to remain as one person...they are different people in different places. They wear different masks at depending on the situation and people they have to interact with. They wear a 'nice' mask when they are with their near and dear ones, they wear a 'serious' mask at work and a 'jovial' mask with their friends. They never really expose the person who they really are deep down and maybe that person is unknown even to them. It is very easy to preach 'Happiness is what you choose' and that you just have to make a choice but that is easier said than done...!
People nowadays always find it hard to sync up the person they are at the Mental, Physical, Emotional and Spiritual level. Each level seems to have different needs which don't seem to fall in place harmoniously with the other levels. So people try to satisfy their needs at one or two different levels and ignore the rest. This results in cacophony and discord between the different levels resulting in imbalances that affect not only individual lives but also societies as a whole. That is how things slowly start disintegrating and people start losing faith and start believing in things which are just superficial. If you see this video on how pimples are formed (sorry for not being able to come up with a better analogy...) you can get a better idea of what I am talking about. First say a person is not satisfied at one level say the physical level, then he / she gets blocked at that particular level with all the 'bacteria' of ego, superego and conditionings. Then the person tries to satiate all their desires at that level and goes to the extremes like earning crores of rupees by any means to keep themselves 'happy' at the physical level. But like a drug the high stays for a short duration and the effects wear off gradually. Slowly things start welling up in them and then one day everything explodes - just like a pimple!
According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs the step of Self-Realization is the highest pinnacle among the needs of the homo-sapien species. But I believe it is not something which has to be achieved in steps.
I think human beings today are much more advanced than their ancestors and have come to realize the futility in hankering after material desires and also the emotional drain they experience being in unhappy relationships. So the ideal solution for this problem would be to start at the top end of Maslow's hierarchy. I have experienced in Sahaja Yoga meditation that once our spiritual needs are met then all the other lower level needs fall into place and it all happens very spontaneously. It works just like a pack of Dominoes...one piece falls and the rest of them automatically falls in place and you become completely synchronized and in tune with yourself. So you become just the 'one person' that you really are and lose the maddening duality. So anything you do from then on becomes a beautiful rendition of a song by a master soloist who is none other than the Divine and you just step aside and enjoy the soothing music. :-) so be happy and be yourself - inside and out!