Who doesn’t want to be happy? If you answered “ME” to this question, please refrain from reading on; this post will lead to unnecessary feelings that might indirectly take you to a happier state. Consider yourself warned; your darkness is much appreciated for contrast purposes, and still welcome here.
Let’s get straight to it shall we; consider the following two quotes first:
“All happiness is of a negative rather than positive nature, and for this reason cannot give lasting satisfaction and gratification, but rather only ever a release from a pain or lack, which must be followed either by a new pain or by languor, empty yearning and boredom.”Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation
“When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is alone and unique in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.”Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Perhaps both quotes tickled you the wrong way, but both help us see something very interesting in the historical pursuit of happiness; mainly that suffering exists in life and it takes so many forms. What one person perceives as a punishment or an exercise in suffering, another person considers normal or acceptable.
So we all suffer, and we all perceive it differently; so how is it possible to perceive happiness as the same for all?
Frankl goes on to dissect positive happiness vs negative happiness, the latter being freedom from pain or of suffering. Positive happiness then becomes a very personal experience, almost a spiritual one.
TOO MUCH PHILOSOPHY TALK AND YOU WANT TO GET TO IT?
Happiness should not look the same for every one, the same way that suffering is unique to each person. So are you happy based on your standards of that? OR are you happy because people tell you that you should be, or have no reason not be? We often experience life so differently within the same moment, and time frame, yet we expect that there should be one story that binds us all together. We expect a streamlined idea of life, one that everyone buys into; and that’s not a recipe for happiness.
How is it possible for people to be in the midst of suffering, and still experience joy? It is then easy to see that those who have discovered internal happiness, no longer seek it by removing themselves from pain or boredom or suffering as a whole.
It sometimes takes us forever to understand what really matters to us despite the suffering, and sometimes all it takes is a split second for us to truly see how happy we are where no comparisons are needed.
So are you happy because you know what happiness means to you, what it entails and what it refuses?
Or are you fooling yourself out of the experience and joining into the suggested story of happiness that people, movies and songs tell?
Worth a thought.