Isn't it irkingly passive to want be happy?

2 years, 2 months ago

This is a thought that has been disturbing me since a while. Fret not, i am not again going to the trod the highway that says all emotions including happiness are ‘mere’ reactions in the mind and thus not significant. I do agree that they are impulses coursing through neural networks but it in no way need be ‘mere’ and ‘de-signifying’. Having clarified that, now what disturbs me is, the emotion happiness brings with it, one the ‘feel of it’ and two, the ‘need to indulge in what brought it again’. Its this latter that disturbs me. Happiness started in the evolutionary tree along with ‘pain’ as the behaviour-determining-algorithm before the species could evolve a conscious will to sustain its own life. And arguably it succeeded very well in doing it. But with we conscious being, it seems to me like it strips one off freewill. We don’t decide what makes us happy and what doesnt. We discover it. Be it nature, or science, or abstract art, or music, or any of the many things under the Sun including the Sun! But where’s ONE’S WILL in it? One fine morning we dont tell ourself that from now i am going to find happiness in Quantum opics and start revelling in it. It just doesnt happen so right? The tendency for each to find happiness in else is something innate and also something censured through influences. But it definitely is not a conscious choice. Having said so, letting something thats not within one’s will dictate one’s being, isnt it akin to passivity of one’s will? We have an urge to go in search of happiness and revel in it, but isnt it what happiness wants out of you. To come searching for it and revel in it? Where’s our will in it? One may say if u count will over happiness, then well, veto the latter and do the former even if it bring sadness. But we humans, how long can we do the latter. Wont we slowing but gradually gravitate back to want to be in a state to be happy. Doesnt it like control our being. I know i sound messed up but guess thats what i am. If anyone can point me where am going wrong, i would be more than just pleased.

December 28, 2012 at 6:12 am

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Profile photo of DaDuke DaDuke (@dukevonschmot) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

@myselfbaba22, I’m a little confused with your concerns but hopefully this will help.

Happiness is simply a state of well being. Yes, happiness is often very passive. Passivity is merely accepting what happens or what others do without resistance. Therefore, being passive is something we do to obtain happiness.

One’s will is in it when they decide how they are going to be happy. Passivity or resistance.

Many people wake up one morning and decide to live a more fulfilling life or to ‘revell’ in something that they enjoy more often.

It may not be a conscious choice, yet it is still a choice by one’s own will.

Happiness is a state and not a being. It does not want anything because happiness is not an IT.

Happiness is ONLY an attainment of our will.

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Profile photo of littlefoot littlefoot (@littlefoot) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

I see what you’re saying. Hmm, I suppose by the same measure we’re losing our free will to avoiding pain as well, or things that make us sad. As much as we do control our environments and the path in life we choose to take, the path also influences us, if that makes sense. We aren’t islands unto ourselves. Our environment limits free will as well, not just our natural taste for happiness.

It’s confusing and difficult to come to terms with, but we aren’t completely free-standing organisms. We have a place in this world, and it influences us.

As I like to live by, “Just for today, I will try to adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires.”

Hope that helped, friend.,

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Profile photo of Ray Butler Ray Butler M (@trek79) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

@myselfbaba22, I don’t believe in happiness persay. As you said “Happiness and pain” I say desire and fear, pleasure and pain. The closest thing I relate to “happiness” is the ease of existence (just as easiness and hardness are related to pleasure and pain). The ease of existence is a two fold phenomena, 1) is in psychological balance and 2) is in appropriate interaction.
These two can both compliment each other and rival each other, that is where we use our judgement based on a value system of our own design. Deed done in consideration of others has 3 key benefits to yourself; 1) Others tend to be considerate in return, contributing to the ease of your existence 2) You develop less enemies that actively counter the ease of your existence and 3) Knowing you are “doing the right thing” forges a better relationship with yourself where you become more confident in every aspect of your life and be stronger in will to question rather than blindly accept, which makes you less likely to be manipulated.
There is also having the better judgement to acknowledge your strengths and weakness, with your strength you buy help for your weakness, also questioning the help offered, in order to become more rounded and efficient. There is also the sense of deserving the things you need and want and embracing passions.
So this is a very complex thing to get into, I can talk for ages about it.

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Profile photo of Baba Baba (@myselfbaba22) 2 years, 1 month ago ago

@dukevonschmot, it was enlightening. thank you. i had made the mistaken assumption of seeing ‘happiness’ as something unto itself and something to be aspired. i realise its actually a subsequence. its a state as u said. And happiness comes as a subsequence as when one attains their will, wel it quite dissolves my unrest by removing happiness from the position of the originator of will.

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Profile photo of Baba Baba (@myselfbaba22) 2 years, 1 month ago ago

@trek79, correct me if am wrong but isnt ‘affect’ and ‘reason’ two disjoint aspects of cognition. and isnt ‘affect’ that is the emotional, by definition, irrational. it seems lik u r rationalising emotions as in retrospect. ur model seems very rational. as in ‘ease for existence’ it seems to come out together as in a coherent whole. but i ask, is emotion, and thus happiness, in the purview of such rationalisation. does it fall within the domain of this function? if it didnt, then though the model that u created would serve to explain it, the explaination though coherent would be an over-simplification and at fault.

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Profile photo of Ray Butler Ray Butler M (@trek79) 2 years, 1 month ago ago

@myselfbaba22, Over-simplify? Not really, I think people make it more complex then it needs to be. I suppose I have a nack for doing that, but you are right in the sense that it I have not gone into specifics for every possible example and how this spirit or sentiment would manifest in any or every given situation. I look at it as a guideline, it probably isn’t fool proof but keeping in mind those points can help.
I am not the most emotional person in the world and so it is definitely an over-simplification in regards to the complexities of the emotionally dominant psyche. I am more empathic, that I am very intouch with the feelings of others but virtually zero emotion is actually sourced of me. So yeah, I try to help people but I do have to remember that their minds are not as emotionally unaffected as mine so chances of any of my reasoning making sense to people who exist in a completely different rationality to myself are pretty slim.

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Profile photo of Dan Dan (@danfontaine) 2 years, 1 month ago ago

@myselfbaba22, Great post. Are you talking about addictions? I think we’re all addicts, it’s like you say. Enlightenment is freedom from the mind that needs more and more.

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Profile photo of Dan Dan (@danfontaine) 2 years, 1 month ago ago

@dukevonschmot, “Happiness is ONLY an attainment of our will.”
That’s not happiness, that’s joy.
Happiness is a chemical cocktail, it’s an out of date system that once encouraged selfish behavior as a survival function. Transcendence is moving past caveman wiring – becoming a cerebral thinker.

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Profile photo of Baba Baba (@myselfbaba22) 2 years, 1 month ago ago

i agree about the part where people make it more complex and a mess out of. And as for the ‘different rationality’ u added, am not emotionally deep. Actually i try not to be pay heed to any emotion at all. I put in my best to keep away the emotional aka the irrational from the days as from my nights. But yet, point taken.

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Profile photo of Baba Baba (@myselfbaba22) 2 years, 1 month ago ago

@danfontaine, Transcendence…? can u supply me a link to read more about it?

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Profile photo of Dan Dan (@danfontaine) 2 years, 1 month ago ago

@myselfbaba22, It was a broad term, no nut-case about it. I’m talking about coming into awareness as opposed to domination by the mind. Eckhart Tolle is a master if you’re looking for one.
Check out his books. Reading them is like a meditative self-examination.

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Profile photo of Baba Baba (@myselfbaba22) 2 years, 1 month ago ago

@danfontaine, i looked into wiki about transcendence. u know wat, i doubt if there is something really called joy as against happiness. Be it either way, lets set it aside for a moment. consider this. Pick two emotions. Pain and happiness. And adding them in differing combinations, and placing them into a context, the myraid other emotions can be accounted for. Like consider using three primary colors and forming all others of the rainbow. I agree an analogy cant substantiate. Its only to mak u see the point. So having said that, joy and the real long list of emotionally charged labels seem more like lexical tags than real entities.

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Profile photo of ELI var namnet ELI var namnet (@manimal) 2 years, 1 month ago ago

@myselfbaba22, “We don’t decide what makes us happy and what doesnt. We discover it.”

Not really true. Happiness is just the self, getting its needs/desires met. The self is little more than patterns of habits and obsessions.
Repeated action anchors a behaviour and makes it a habit and/or an obsession. Thus, you can change what makes you happy with a bit of consistent action.

Plus, by merely “zooming out” and not being overly immersed in the ego, you can be happy no matter what the conditions or circumstances.

Proactive, detached living, the way of the enlightened masters.

“One fine morning we dont tell ourself that from now i am going to find happiness in Quantum opics and start revelling in it. It just doesnt happen so right?”

Of course it doesn’t just happen in an instant or overnight. It takes time, but if you really get in the habit of something you start liking it, and over time your ego will grow very attached to it, thinking it “needs” it, and thereby producing happiness or “pain” to keep you doing it.

“We have an urge to go in search of happiness and revel in it, but isnt it what happiness wants out of you. To come searching for it and revel in it?”

That’s a pretty good way of putting it yes, that’s why they call it the divine feminine.

“But we humans, how long can we do the latter.”

As long as we want, as long as we’re alive that is. You don’t need to be happy. Happiness is just a crutch, sometimes the greatest tool for getting out of a rough patch, but mostly something that keeps you from standing upright and facing the world. It can make or break a life.

The difference is in how you handle it.

It’s actually really simple stuff, but that’s very hard to understand until you see it with your own eyes.

Your mind is under your control, most people deny it but they’re just full of shit.

You are the smith of your own joy and fortune.

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Profile photo of DaDuke DaDuke (@dukevonschmot) 2 years, 1 month ago ago

@danfontaine, so our will cannot control the chemicals in our brain? And there is a difference between joy and happiness? Caveman wiring and cerebral thinking? Just trying to understand your argument.

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Profile photo of Dino Dino (@nosorozh) 2 years, 1 month ago ago

@myselfbaba22, while you can mix pain and joy, give them a meaning so as to get a huge range of emotions, it still does not cover all of the emotions…wouldnt that break the cycle you are talking about ( for reference, look up robert plutchik`s work or that of paul ekman)

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Profile photo of Dan Dan (@danfontaine) 2 years, 1 month ago ago

@myselfbaba22, Joy is an expression of living – a very positive one, happiness is a reward – the stressing of which can lead to misery in the long run.

Pain and happiness do not exist! They are attachments that the mind is feverishly prone to because of the instinct we have sprung from. But they are not reality. The cerebral cortex evolved for the purpose of expression and distinction – to define oneself amongst a crude reality that is irrelevant in the light of the existence that you radiate. It is much like how the flower evolved in order to flower. Nature coalesces.
These combinations you speak of are the life and trials of a far left (feminine) individual. One who is highly susceptible to emotional gravity.
Fact of the matter is, the mind pervades reality. The mind is the proof and the light.

“So having said that, joy and the real long list of emotionally charged labels seem more like lexical tags than real entities.”
I am in complete agreement. We can talk all day but the POINT is…. to shut the fuck up. The other point is to get to the bottom of this. We thrive between shutting the fuck up and the need to absolutely voice our self.
The wise man goes about his business.

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Profile photo of Dan Dan (@danfontaine) 2 years, 1 month ago ago

@dukevonschmot, I believe it can but only when we cease being dominated by it. The entire body acts as a unit. The mind alone will damn itself. Consciousness saves, it starts with recognizing awareness.
Joy and happiness are both labels. I find that happiness has more negativity about it. Happiness requires its opposite in order to come into sensation. Joy however, is a constant. Whether or not you can feel it is a matter of personal acceptance. How much do you expect of your self? How fruitful are you when it comes to what you expect? Finding an equilibrium between these two sides is substantially important to you.

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