This is a topic that has, in all honesty, caused me stress. Its something my mind just wont quit, and its causing me an amount of pain (psychologically). One reason for this may be that the very question of "which is better, happiness or truth" suggests that to have truth, you cant be happy. Although many sources do suggest this - that the illogical nature of truth upsets the logical human mind - it also implies that if you're happy with what is, it isn't true. This is, of course, a leap, but it follows the logic here I feel.
My question is, if I am happy with my path, is it not true or real? If I'm happy to have my beliefs, and find emotional and psychological comfort in my spirituality and make that a huge part of my life, am I then lying to myself? This is something I want to put out to the community, so that I can be sure I'm not stuck in my own echo chamber of thoughts and can get some fresh insight.
Another response I have seen before to this question, is that by challenging "truth", or what we perceive to be true, we are allowing for humanity to evolve in a positive direction, expanding in a way that is supportive to the continual development of the species. In this sense, truth is a human responsibility. Yet, where do we draw the line? Surely, if any harmony is to be sought from one's life, one cannot constantly question - however, if one does draw a line, how can we be sure we are not choosing to question those things that do not align with our own world views? For example, if I questioned every experience I had in meditation, I would never have the time to analyse those experiences and consider what they represent, both psychologically and spiritually. At what point does questioning become anti-productive.
This probably sounds very scattered and much like I'm having a spiritual crisis - I'm not, I just have lots of questions and no answers, simply because I have too many questions and feel slightly overwhelmed by them. Another thought I had while writing this, and it has been often the "collective" spiritual response on general discussions on this question, which is that by constantly questioning ones own beliefs to the point of anti-productivity, are you then simply questioning for the sake of questioning? Could questioning one's beliefs be a means of self-denial, and reinforcing negative views of one's self and own reliability? For example, if an individual had poor self-esteem, they may excessively question their own beliefs in order to confirm their existing self-image, thereby denying themselves happiness.
On another point, can over-questioning exist? Can experiencing that be a form of self-doubt, even (though not literally) masochism? Of course, questioning is completely healthy, and should definitely be encouraged. But where do we draw the line?
Much of this is likely to be something I have to figure out for myself, but I want to avoid getting lost in my own thoughts and have a bit of external insight into the debate. Honestly, I sometimes wonder if it would genuinely be easier to simply accept my own beliefs and lifestyle for what it is, and to treat it as a personal choice rather than something to be constantly doubted and questioned. But then there's always that question - am I somehow denying that responsibility to truth and humanity, by allowing myself that contentment? It's a matter of personalising the question here, I feel, and maybe deciding for myself.
Any and all replies welcome. Sorry for the rant - I'm now still unpicking my questions to address one by one.
Blessed Be x
Truth versus Happiness