( A follow on read: Twelve minutes from the post – WHAT IS THE CONCEPT OF NOW.)
While writing:( what is the concept of now) my daughter suggested I write a happy post. This post is therefore dedicated to her continuing search for happiness.
What is happiness? How do we find the key to happiness?
Is happiness the sole purpose of life or is it just good health with a bad memory.
To day this is the default view. Skepticism about the afterlife drives humankind to seek not only immortality but also earthly happiness.
Who would like to live for ever in eternal misery?
What stands between us and an answer to this deceptively complex questions is the problem of subjectivity –happiness means different things to different people.
To behaviorist, happiness is a cocktail of emotions we experience when we do something good or positive. To neurologists, happiness is the experience of a flood of hormones released in the brain as a reward for behavior that prolongs survival. According to the tenets of several major religions, happiness indicates the presence of God.
This question has no straightforward answer, because the meaning of the question itself is unclear. What exactly is being asked? Perhaps you want to know what the word ‘happiness’ means. In that case your inquiry is linguistic.
Chances are you had something more interesting in mind: perhaps you want to know about the thing, happiness, itself. Is it pleasure, a life of prosperity, something else? Yet we can’t answer that question until we have some notion of what we mean by the word.
Is there anything more to being happy than just thinking you’re happy?
Do we have the power to choose to be happy or unhappy?
Are all kinds of happiness created equal?
Happiness is not a single all-encompassing concept it is a complex the notion.
A state of mind. What is this state of mind we call happiness? Typical answers to this question include life satisfaction, pleasure, or a positive emotional condition.
A life that goes well for the person leading it. Perhaps you are a high-achieving intellectual who thinks that only ignoramuses can be happy. On this sort of view, happy people are to be pitied, not envied.
We are inclined to think that pleasure is the key to happiness.
Is it purpose, or goal?
Has a goal that is an end-in-itself, nothing that he does is actually worth doing.
For most people, happiness is a central aspect of well-being, since most people very much desire to be happy. Even a slave might come to internalize the values of his oppressors and be happy, and this strikes most as an unenviable life indeed.
Is happiness overrated?
How if at all should one pursue happiness as part of a good life?
Is it possible to objectify and even quantify so subjective and elusive a quality as happiness? The individual pursuit of happiness may be subject to non-moral norms as well, prudence being the most obvious among them.
The pursuit of happiness is self-defeating especially when it is associated with pleasure. The virtue of compassion or kindness, giving not receiving, produce happiness.
Philosophical “theories of happiness” can be about either of at least two different things: well-being, or a state of mind. To be happy, it seems, is just to be in a certain sort of psychological state or condition.
Is it a psychological state (for example, feeling overall more pleasure than pain) and happiness as a positive evaluation of your life, even if it has involved more pain than pleasure.
Above all, there is the fundamental question: In which sense, if any, is happiness a proper goal of a human life?
Wealth, beauty, and pleasure, for example, have little effect on happiness.
What is needed to achieve genuine happiness?
Answer me this: Would you choose to attach ourselves to a device that would produce a constant state of intense pleasure, even if we never achieved anything in our lives other than experiencing this pleasure. We all need to answer this question for ourselves.
Morality itself is a worthy goal of human existence. Our good or bad fortune can play a part in determining our happiness; for example, happiness can be affected by factors as our material circumstances, our place in society, and even our looks, whether we are married or not. In the long run marriage is not a major source of either happiness or unhappiness.
When asked Aristotle said” that the supreme good is happiness.”
And of this nature happiness is mostly thought to be, for this we choose always for its own sake, and never with a view to anything further: whereas honour, pleasure, intellect, in fact every excellence we choose for their own sakes, it is true, but we choose them also with a view to happiness, conceiving that through their instrumentality we shall be happy: but no man chooses happiness with a view to them, nor in fact with a view to any other thing whatsoever.
But what is happiness?
For Aristotle, it is by understanding the distinctive function of a thing that one can understand its essence.
Whereas human beings need nourishment like plants and have sentience like animals, their distinctive function, says Aristotle, is their unique capacity to reason. Thus, our supreme good, or happiness, is to lead a life that enables us to use and develop our reason, and that is in accordance with reason. Unlike amusement or pleasure, which can also be enjoyed by animals, happiness is not a state but an activity. And like virtue or goodness, it is profound and enduring.
By living our life to the full according to our essential nature as rational beings, we are bound to become happy regardless.
For this reason, happiness is more a question of behavior and of habit—of virtue—than of luck; a person who cultivates such behaviors and habits is able to bear his misfortunes with balance and perspective, and thus can never be said to be truly unhappy.
Some goals are subordinate to other goals, which are themselves subordinate to yet other goals, but happiness needs sadness. Without sadness there can be no happy moments unlike pleasure which can be manufactured by algorithms.
Being happy doesn’t come easy with the stress of modern life. Take for instance the average American who uses sixty times more energy than the average stone age hunter-gatherer. Is he sixty times happier?
It took just a piece of bread to make a starving medieval peasant joyful.
It appears that even with all our unprecedented accomplishments even if we provided free food, ensured world peace, provided free medical care, gave everyone a thousand bitcoins the Capitalism system ensures that the ceiling of happiness remains out of reach.
Our exceptions are driven by our biochemistry level rather than our economic, social or political situation. Pleasure v pain. Unpleasant bodily sensations.
PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS DISAPPOINT TO REMAIN HAPPY YOU MUST LEARN HOW TO FORGIVE, FORGET, “ Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Self-actualization is Happiness. Joy goes in and out of vogue. We can deceive ourselves into thinking we’re happy when we’re not and we can be happy without realizing it.
It’s pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed.
I would be as happy as a pig in shit if I could live in THE CONCEPT OF NOW.
All comments happily appreciated all like clicks chucked in the bin.