A brief inquiry into the nature of happiness


It seems to  me as though many noble things, for the lack of a better word, are now check list items for many, many people.  Take happiness for instance.  How many of us treat this as an item to be achieved?  How many people walk around with happiness as the number one item on their mental checklist?  Why is arguably the most key component to living “the good life” treated as such?  And what does this do – to both people and the notion of happiness?

To me, all of the above questions are definitely worth looking into, especially for people suffering from the checklist syndrome.  The good life used to be something of great public debate, treated as a virtue and regarded much more closely than that of a mere abstract idea, or something to attain.  Now, I am not even exactly sure what happiness is, but I am still going to make an attempt at exploring the idea.

Now, as long as being happy is some sort of goal then it will never be attained.  I think that is lesson number one for the checklisters.  This logic is quite simply because as long as something is a goal of yours that means obviously you do note “have it.”

Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, is what does happiness mean to everyday people?  What does “the good life” entail?  Is there a checklist manifesto for guaranteed happiness, like so many people superimpose?

The answer is no – at least in my book.  One way to look at it is that if there was, somebody would have published it by now (and reaped a hoard of cash if during the capitalist era).

Happiness, for me, is largely a fleeting illusion, which is to say I have not experienced much lasting, genuine happiness.  But I am not saying this to be a so-called “negative Nancy” but because it is simply true; factual.

Instead of walking around deeply saddened all the time, I realize that happiness impossible for me to achieve living in this world I call reality.  I laugh of course, and smile at times, but I am generally not a happy-go-lucky type simply because I do not see the world as a very happy place.  There is too much unnecessary suffering for me to sit around smiling all of the time.  That is just how I see it.

For me, there are too many atrocities committed on a daily basis for me to possibly put on a constant smile.  And many people that do are faking it, as far as I am concerned.

Now is genuine happiness possible, in this world, today?  Yes.  At least I think so, but not as it is commonly understood and certainly any authentically happy people are few and far in between, if they exist at all.  I also want to distinguish the type of person I am interested in, or rather whom I am not – the blissfully ignorant.  This is not happiness to me, in any real sense of the idea.

This actually narrows down the list of potential happy-candidates quite a bit.  For it seems to me that most people whom are concerned with the world, which is to say reality, and are genuinely happy, or living the good life, are limited if there are any at all.  But it is these folks I am very interested in learning about.

I must be careful though, because I realize there is no checklist, as mentioned above, to attain a state of real happiness.  I agree, but I do still hold the view in which there is something meaningful to be learned here.

Perhaps I am incorrect, but to me, sometimes just being around positive people spreads the good vibes.  Actually, I know of other people whom talk about this, albeit with somewhat different language, so it must be true to some degree.  Or at least I believe it is.

So let the revolution begin…now!

Love ‘n’ light,

-Paul

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