Our True Nature is Goodness and Happiness

This is the second of seven key understandings.


We can choose to regard happiness and goodness as our natural state of being or natural potential – the potential we were born with.  This is the view that our happiness comes from within and that our capacity for happiness and joy is potentially unlimited.

The potential to be happy is there in everyone.  It is a quality of our being – the human being part of us on which rests our self as a unique individual identity.

Seeing peace, wisdom, strength and love as the TRUE NATURE or natural potential of every human being provides a powerful basis for a positive relationship with ourselves and with others through recognising our common humanity.

Our inherent potential can come through naturally if we let our minds settle and our hearts open.  We can learn to relax into, and rest in, our NATURAL STATE OF BEING.  Spending time in quiet reflection we can get to know ourselves both in terms of our true nature and our outer individual nature.

Resting in just being we find what is constant beneath life’s changes.  We find emotional equilibrium and a deep reservoir of inherent calm that can sustain us through difficulties.  We feel natural, with a more expansive sense of self in harmony with life.  We realise there is a stable centre to our existence.

We can discover that our being has all the qualities needed to be happy and at peace and to live life well.  We can find goodness, peace, love and contentment are the true and natural qualities of our being and see that we can bring those qualities into the way we live.  Over time, acting from our stable centre, can become increasingly effortless and natural.

Ultimately, we can discover the true qualities of our being are full awareness, open-heartedness and a joyful freedom of spirit.  We can seek to focus more on these qualities as the basis for our identity and focus less on our outer individual characteristics.

Unconditional acceptance of ourselves can come from realising the true nature of our being.  We can believe in ourselves because each of us are human beings with all the capacities of a human being.  Underneath our individuality, and our various changing roles and identities, is our continuing true nature.

If instead we focus on our individual qualities, that could lead to pride and arrogance, or to doubt and scepticism about ourselves.  Self-views that are based on our personality are unstable and subject to change as life conditions change and life events change our self-perception.  Our true happiness lies deeper than this.

Discovering a natural happiness within us means there is no longer any need to pursue it in things outside of us.  Peace and happiness can be found within, rather than in the outer world which is subject to constant change and uncertainty and where our control is very limited.  Our identity need not be dependent on the things around us.  We can avoid building an identity dependent on changing things.

Our RESOLVE can be to open up to our true nature and to develop our good qualities such as generosity, respect, gentleness, patience, tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness, appreciation and gratitude.  To learn to be kind to ourselves and to accept ourselves.  To choose to see ourselves as being essentially good.

Self-confidence, self-reliance and trust in ourselves can be built on trust in our inborn true nature.   Faith in our innate capacity to be strong, resilient, adaptable, wise and loving, through life’s inevitable ups and downs, can build.

Realising we have FREEDOM to creatively express our true nature we see we can generate happiness for ourselves and for others.  Our capacity to give and to love unselfishly can flow from our true nature.  We can enjoy relating to others without expecting them to meet our needs.

There are also purely selfish ego driven aspects of our nature.  While realising and accepting this, experience and calm reflection lead us to understand that such tendencies are often destructive of human happiness.  A view regarding human nature that is a middle way between naivety and cynicism can be adopted – seeing human potential while being aware of negative human tendencies.

Looking outward we can recognise that others are like ourselves – having the same inherent worth and so entitled to respect.  They have the same NEEDS; they seek true happiness; they want to avoid suffering; they experience sadness or disappointment; they make mistakes; but like us they have the potential to learn and grow and develop their true nature.

We can recognise our individual differences as less important and being only on the surface, while our similarities are far more significant and constitute the core of being human.  Seeing our common humanity, leads us to want to act with GOODWILL to everyone.  To want to be kind and helpful to those who are suffering and to feel happy when we see others are happy.

We can even resolve to maintain goodwill to those who are difficult or antagonistic towards us because, while seeing everyone as essentially equal and as essentially good, we can also understand and accept that everyone has difficulties arising from the selfish aspects of human nature – just as we do.  At times it will be a challenge to see goodness in people who, from delusion or ignorance, live violently and with ill-will and dishonesty.  At times we may need to protect ourselves from their actions.  Some people may seem to never change but we can choose to believe that everyone has the potential.

Mutual RESPECT, based on the understanding of our EQUAL HUMAN WORTH, or our common humanity, or the equality of our being, is the basis for our values of freedom, equality, individuality, justice, democracy, and equal opportunity.  With an understanding of our inherent worth we speak and act with DIGNITY; understanding the inherent worth of others we speak and act toward them with RESPECT.

Copyright © 2008-2017 John Frederick Gray



  • True happiness comes from within,
  • Happiness and goodness are our natural state of being.
  • Everyone is essentially of worth. Everyone is entitled to respect.
  • We can develop faith in our innate capacity to be happy and wise

Some quotes about OUR INNER HAPPINESS

Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within.  – Helen Keller.

A feeling of warmth creates a kind of openness.  You’ll find that all human beings are just like you. That gives you a spirit of friendship.    – the 14th Dalai Lama.

The best way we can serve the world is to be in touch with our inner joy –the spirit within us.  – Peggy Jenkins.

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For more Quotes related to Our True Nature is Goodness and Happiness click here.

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For suggestions for Practical Activities and Resources related to this topic click here.

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