Interview with Javier Salinas: “We do too many things that we don’t really need”

In his book he does not propose to the reader try to bring down the system that enslaves us, but the system runs out of slaves to enslave; If this goal were achieved, what new system would we live in?

As you say, it is not about tearing down anything, nor about making changes from the intellectual point of view, it is about each one of us changing the level of consciousness in which we live, that will lead us to live differently and subtly As consciousness rises, everything changes. It can also be the other way around, of course. The system, then, is not a theoretical product to be reached from the old consciousness. On the contrary, first awareness and, through it, a greater openness in the way we are and do things.

What is, in your opinion, the most important thing? what we have to do, what we need and what we don’t have to be happy?

The truth is that it is not about doing more, but less. As I say in the book, we already do too many things that we don’t really need and that we actually do because our minds are overstimulated and can’t stop “doing”. As soon as we realize that we are operating from an “altered” state of mind, then we can begin to deactivate that state and through relaxation gain clarity about what really makes each of us happy.

It refers to the labor market as a great machinery that crushes us without blinkingbut how to do without it to be able to cover our needs?

The answer to this is to see if what we call needs is really necessary. That is what is interesting, because the point is that most of what we feel as needs are nothing more than desires generated by the society in which we live and that by trying to satisfy them, they impoverish us.

In his book he claims that we live in a system that wants us scarce so they can sell us things to try to fill that shortageDo you think that if we tried to live only with the basics we would be happier?

The question here is, again, what do we mean by basics? Do we understand what is important or do we think that the basics are little and that we need more to be happy? Sometimes we are like children who are happy with an ice cream but when we see that another child has a bigger ice cream, we no longer like ours…

You have to find for yourself what makes you happy.

He quotes Jesus on numerous occasions, but also affirms that the Church chronicles sin so that we are its customers for lifeIs religion necessary to be happy?

As we said above, one has to find for himself what makes him happy. So it may be that for someone religion is very important to achieve happiness. For others it will not. I have always liked what Buddha said when he pointed out that each one had to test whether what he preached was good for him or not and then do it or not.

He assures that his work is not a book of personal growth, but of social growth. Do you consider that among freedom, equality and fraternity, the most important to be happy is fraternity?

An idea that I really like is the one that says that all happiness comes to us by seeking the happiness of others and that all misfortune comes to us by seeking personal happiness. By giving to others, one ends up giving to oneself as well. And by looking for the little personal happiness, too often we end up mired in the lack of meaning.

Is the meditation that you propose an essential practice in the search for happiness?

Absolutely. Meditation is certainly a good tool because it makes us stop and find the space to see what we do well and what we don’t do so well. But if it works for someone to walk by the sea to make peace with oneself and with life, then go ahead. Actually it is not meditation, but what makes us live in a less reactive and more conscious way.

Write that sometimes we hope to be happy when a situation changes and we are the ones who create those circumstances. However, there are circumstances that do not depend on ourselves, such as Covid, the war in Ukraine or the death of a child…

Spirituality tells us that pain is inevitable, but that we are responsible for the amount of suffering we add to that pain. We can always do something in one way or another, to increase the pain or to soften it, to lose balance or to gain compassion…

It also ensures that we have forged our entire identity around painbut how can you stop feeling pain when someone very close betrays you or you have multiple sclerosis?

This question is related to the previous one and it is precisely the essence of the book that goes against a society that almost forces us to supposedly have to be happy all the time by minimizing or underestimating other feelings. Each feeling responds to an experience of the world and each one has its message of wisdom.

In your opinion, what would be the most relevant matter that should be contained in that personal agenda What do we need to be happy?

One has to look at oneself with love and compassion, leaving behind that speech with which we usually deal. We usually have a bad relationship with ourselves and we censor ourselves all the time. Did we do something wrong? Let’s try to do better next time. Pedagogy has long understood that the best way to move forward is through support, empathy and love. Let’s look at each other and treat ourselves like this so that we can later relate to others and to the world in the same way.

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Interview with Javier Salinas: “We do too many things that we don’t really need”