Meher Baba’s quotation is understood in two distinctly opposed ways.
To the materialistic, profit oriented, world changing, acquisitive achievers marching in lock step with western civilization (is there any other one, any more?) his words would represent the disincentive to making a mark in the world characterized by the baby-making, slacker, druggies that are only too happy to live in the squalor afforded them by the generosity of national welfare being torn from the anal fists of the always worried ambitious. “They only think they’re happy, I’d be miserable without all my stuff I’m worried they might steal.”
To the less than anxious to change a world yet to be comprehended, quiet observation of human behavior and their own experience of inner feelings being reflected in the larger world has lead them to see that true happiness emanates from within enhancing us and our witnesses with the pleasure of getting to live in nature as it has always been rather than having to make changes to and stuff out of it to feel satisfied. “They only think they’re happy, I’d be miserable if I buried my natural happiness under worry about obtaining and keeping sufficient tokens out of a belief that happiness must be earned.”
This isn’t really about materialism so much as about our seeking out the source of our own happiness, about living life simply enough to recognize the natural pleasure that abides in symbiosis with the other cells in the body of which we are all a part, Gaia, the Milky Way, the universe. Worry is the stick ladder purpose climbs for the promise of an orgasmic heaven at the end of the retirement carrot qualification the ambitious make of their life. Merely being born is all the reward required to be happy with getting to have the experience of living — being born into a culture to whom birth carries an original sin to be driven out by having life be an experience of atonement, earned approval and achievement to reach the merit badge of heaven is apparently all the punishment most folks need to forsake the reward of being born. Nature is the background within and without us, like it or not. I am happy to grok and grow with the way it most impermanently is. I worry only that attempting to control it without comprehending it will fail the great natural experiment Gaia is.