This word came to me this evening, triggered by something Paul Brunton wrote in "The Quest."
It was a moment of clarity. Something I've known but it hit home with greater force. I have a comfortable material world life, but not a wildly successful one and I've never been able to put as much energy into it as seemed necessary for the outstanding material successes. Well, duh, that's because I don't want material success as much as I want spiritual enrichment.
Spiritual enrichment does not feed the ego; in fact is a cause of ego dis-satisfaction. If my ego was satisfied, it would be a sure sign I didn't have true spiritual enrichment. Yes, there can be a false ego spirituality which is highly satisfying. I've been there. But in my isolation from the material world and society due to spiritual discipline and pursuit; my ego is dis-satisfied.
I have a comfortable material life in part to enable spiritual pursuit. That is, I am not overly distracted by either poverty or affluence. If my career was more successful, it would take up more time. If I had a family, or even a hubby, I'd have no time for individual spiritual pursuit. Even the monastery contained annoying community activity which took away from solo spiritual pursuit. As it is, I have time for reflection and meditation and study. I totally believe that spiritual study, pondering and meditation is not a group activity. And the true adept will out grow any group.
Spiritual pursuit is not "for" happiness. Spiritual pursuit is anti-thetical to ego desires. So of course, happiness for the ego is not part of the package. Joy beyond ego is gained, but this cannot be felt in a worldly way. It exists on a different level.
What is is silence.