Happiness, part one

By Calliope · Jul 25, 2016 · ·
  1. Calliope
    Happiness is a topic that keeps drawing my attention. Probably because my philosopher's mind insists on obsessively trying to articulate and understand what various things are and how they work (or fail), especially simple seeming ordinary everyday concepts like work, laughter, language, and, yes, indeed, happiness itself. And, again, typical philosopher, the more I think about something often the more confused and complicated they seem to get.

    Happiness is a special interest for me, because it matters so much (despite being a philosopher I am after all a standard-issue human with the typical self-interested interest in feeling good and being happy, being around happy people, and being responsible for some of their happiness too!) But this has proved elusive in my life and the lives of many of the people I have most loved and valued . If I don't even know what happiness is then how can I hope to have it and keep it or contribute to the happiness of others?

    There is too much I want to say about all this for one blog so I am going to divide it up into a few. I hope the connection to drugs will be fairly obvious; this is something I've blogged about before - in a way it has already been the topic of all my blog posts so far here on DF. Time to get on my bike an put some words down!

    Gradient's comment on my Love People, Use Things. Then What? entry has been rumbling around in my mind on and off since i read it. He says,

    These seem pretty plausible suggestions to me; particularly the idea that there are a variety of positive affective states that differ along a few dimensions, the most explosive and intense of these possibly accessible only briefly and as the result of using certain drugs or experiencing some of the infrequent but deeply meaningful human moments available in a good human life. I assume the idea here is that events like becoming a parent, falling in love, achieving some difficult and profoundly desired goal of a personal, professional or physical kind are the kinds that can bring with them the kind of euphoria that can also be felt from the use of certain drugs.

    The danger of course is that conceiving of happiness on the model of intense euphoria puts us at risk of ruining our lives chasing that experience. Such risk and its victims surround us every day here on DF. The mistake that sees the high a drug can give us as repeatedly available day in and day out is of course the one that sets many of us off on the path of addiction. But that isnt the only danger, there is a more general one Gradient wisely points out:

    This raises a number of interconnected questions about happiness, all to my mind connected to the overarching idea that how we think about happiness can have profound effects on how much and what kind of happiness we can expect to experience. For example, is aiming to maximize happiness a recipe for a happy life or a gamble that for many results in the opposite? What is the role and importance of the stability and sustainability of what we conceive of as happiness in these things?

    About these I will blog again soon, as well as in particular Aristotle's idea that happiness shouldn't be thought of as a feeling really at all, but a property of a life lived well. But now I shall seek some fleeting and nicely blissful chemically induced happiness-like-state. :D

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  1. Once.up.on.a.time
    I love your blog. I've never been made happy by things. When I got with my partner he had all these wonderful technology things. iPads ect and even now our 3 year old has one. And our 9 year old.

    I have been bought many and they sit in the boxes not used. I only visit the forum on my phone. I'm made happy still by people.

    I love the people I have collected in my life. The newest gadgets are old by the time you purchase them. People will love you your whole life.

    Though my friends are now spread across the globe I see the irony of needing the technology I hate to be able to see them.

    This has made me think a lot. Thank you xxx:vibes:
  2. detoxin momma
    i like your blogs to calli, you talk about what many people think about.

    The united states declaration of independence worded it best,way back in the day, each person is entitled to ,"Life,Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
  3. mastermind22
    I absolutely agree that the brain is not capable of maintaining regular heavy use of the most euphoric drugs like speed/opiates. Yet I still did opposite GAVE UP my own stable sources of happiness and chased heroin. I was then triggered to jump off after bad sleep deprivation episode, speed use, psychedelic and pcp or ket use. All of these triggered a naturally horrid experience that got me re-interested in my own source of happiness my life and the future. Just saw things lined up in a way I couldn't forget. So I thought it was interesting you talked about the most explosive and intense sides of drugs because that's where i had to go :crazy.

    I will absolutely do anything to move forward in a productive manner. As onceuponatime said I'm glad to have met all the people I have on here. I'm sure Aristotle is to some degree correct that people want a happiness that just shows them they didn't waste their lives pursuing it. Yet I've met a lot who pursue it chemical, natural or otherwise just to have done it. This was posted a while ago but I still wanted to chime in.
  4. Jordan belfort
    You are associating happiness with feeling good when they are altogeter different. Feeling good is when the weather is nice and the sun is shining, happiness is waking up to see the day.

    People have a hard time grasping that this is it, this is the prize, we already won, its up to you to decide how to spend your prize and if you want to do drugs so be it, who cares what anyone thinks they dont matter at all they might as well be actors. Happiness is found when we stop going through life thinking theres something missing.. . Try to understand that the odds of us being alive right now are logistically impossible, 1 in 700 trillion, and yet people complain when their phone is on 10%. thats like winning the lotto and robbing a bank on the way home. We can achieve amything we want as long as we get out of analysis paralysis and stop wasting the little time we have left trying to figure out what to do with our time. Want to be happy? Right now, go do whatever you feel like doing even if your parents dont approve, your friend thinks its weird and it wont make other people like you, and spend the rest of the week choosing to enjoy your life on your terms instead of molding your decisions around other peoples made up social standards and see how you feel. I tell my clients stuck in depression that you cant control what happens to you but it doesn't matter, our bodies are masterfully designed for survival, nothing else. As long as youre alive youre doing your job, the rest of what happens is up to your personal preference, do whatever it is that makes you feel alive, even if it is drugs, at least youll be happy while you feel good. Drive through life in a Ferrari, its a lot harder to get mad when you hit traffic
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