Nothing is Bad
Nothing is inherently bad, or good. Everything just is.
What we call bad is our relationship to things. That is, our preferences of how things should, and should not be according to our own individual desires.
Let's look at a few examples.
Food is neither good nor bad. There's no difference between kale and Twinkies. It's all just atoms. Neither is inherently good or bad. We just speak of them in terms of our health, and in terms of taste. Some will argue Twinkies taste so much better, and others will argue kale tastes better. In fact, we'll probably find every argument on the spectrum. But soon you realize that we're not talking about the Kale or the Twinkies anymore. We're talking about how we think about these things and how they make us feel - that is, our relationship to them.
Alcohol is neither good nor bad. It's just liquid in a bottle. It becomes bad when it drives humans to cause harm to other humans. It's bad when it causes us to act irresponsibly. It becomes bad when it destroys families.
Guns are neither good nor bad. It's when humans use guns to kill other innocent humans when they become bad. Are guns bad in the Olympics? Are they bad when cops go to the gun range and do target practice? Are they bad when they're locked in a safe? No, they're just pieces of metal.
Material things are neither good nor bad. However, when we think they will bring us happiness, problems arise. This goes for the whole external world, not just material things.
Death is neither good nor bad. Our reaction and relationship with death can seem terribly devastating, or peaceful for some. But death is just death. People die every second of every day. Is that bad? People are also born every second. Is that good? Neither are good or bad. They just are.
What's my point?
My point in writing this is to demonstrate that when I speak about finding happiness within rather than through the external world, I'm never saying there's anything wrong with the external world, or having goals, dreams, and ambitions. I'm just saying it's our relationship to those goals, dreams, and ambitions that can become problematic, especially when we depend on those things being just right in order to be happy.
In reality, we ought to enjoy those things just like we enjoy the not so pleasant things in life. Because it's all a gift. It's all an experience. It's all just a flash of eternity that we get to be here and witness creation as it unfolds before us.
If there's one thing that actually is good, it's our ability to experience life. For that, we don't need a relationship to make it good or bad. Awareness just is, and that's what we are.
Live with substance!