knowledge vs happiness

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creds (@creds)    1 year, 10 months ago

Can you be both highly intelligent/full of knowledge and also happy? Why do I have a feeling that the more simple you are, that happier and easier life is? And vice versa.

2 votes, posted 11.10.2012 at 4:27 pm
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Nick (@splashartist)1 year, 10 months ago ago

@creds, Of course you can. The thing is though, you have to apply your knowledge. Wisdom and happiness go hand in hand. Wisdom is just the application of knowledge. So philosophizing on its own wont breed happiness if you are so caught up in your thoughts, it will generate the opposite. You need to have the love of seeing (philosia) which could be considered as wisdom in order to attain true happiness. The thing is a lot of people leave out the wisdom part and get caught up in knowledge and knowing more then others or to challenge themselves which is an act of the ego based thinking mind, this can be somewhat self-destructive in its nature.

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PDC (@chemicalspike)1 year, 10 months ago ago

It is unfortunate but factual that higher IQ and higher intelligence does significantly increase the probability that you will be unhappy and experience problems.

It is of course not determinedly so and within the power of the individual to influence it.

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Yopha (@vibesurfer26)1 year, 10 months ago ago

Define intelligence. Maybe it’s just people who choose to think on a much deeper level about life. This is true for me, if i didn’t think myself into stress and anger and complications , life might be easier, but maybe more bland too?

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jgreen (@andropar)1 year, 10 months ago ago

@creds, its a matter of how you use knowledge and how you can handle it, I really think that knowledge and happiness CAN go hand in hand, but don´t have to.

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Aline (@aleen)1 year, 10 months ago ago

This post make me remember an episode of The Simpson where Homer became intelligent and he said to Lisa that he was more happy when he was stupid and Lisa answers: “It’s natural, hapiness decreases as the intelligence increases.”

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Strathy (@strathy)1 year, 10 months ago ago

The more knowledge that you (want/desire/is in your heart) – I bet you will find happiness.

The more knowledge that you despise(parents tell you need to, your society tells you to do so) – In the end you will be fucking miserable with this kind of knowledge.

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 10 months ago ago

Hemingway said it best.
“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”

Don’t think on it too much.

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GoodnightRobots (@goodnightrobots)1 year, 10 months ago ago

@creds, ok so everyone has really valid, logical reasons that “prove” happiness and intelligence is an inevitable struggle. what really needs to be taken into consideration here is acceptance. if you gain knowledge and you’re unhappy with truths that’s because you haven’t accepted the reality of things. once you accept things of the sort, then you can sustain some form of happiness. for instance, drones to the music industry love Drake and Nicki Minaj but if you can accept the fact that people just want to enjoy themselves and have fun then you’ll see that this is why they idolize these sorts of celebrities and lifestyles; these celebrities portray fun in their lyrics and music videos that make it appealing to the masses. acceptance is key here. you don’t necessarily have to conform, but the more we accept things and people for what and who they are, the closer we get to happiness as an entire species.

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Kip Goeing (@kipgoeing)1 year, 10 months ago ago

If you’re smarter, it just means you’re smart enough to figure out what you need in order to be happy and what’s really important to you. If that means working a simpler job that allows you to smoke weed everyday, and chill with your friends than that’s what you need to do. Stop listening to what society tells you is supposed to make you happy. You won’t find happiness there because most people are dumb. Just being real. Try to sort the stuff in your mind into categories, what you’ve been taught by society and what you really feel and believe for yourself. Also, just because you’re smart doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to do dumb things. Sometimes following your instincts over your intellect is the easiest way to happiness. We are but animals, after all. For example, all logic says that we do not need to have anymore babies. There are already too many humans for this planet to handle. when I was born, 23 years ago, there were 5.1 billion people in the world. Now, there are 7.1 billion. Human population has been increasing exponentially. You don’t need to be a genius to realize that if you load people onto a boat at an exponential rate, that boat is going to sink very quickly. The problem is that if you don’t have kids, you are denying the reproductive instinct inside of you, as well as the societal norms. The easiest way to be happy is just to have kids anyway. Instinct over intellect. If you’re truly smart though, you’ll be able figure out a way to stay happy without having kids.

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Mikey W (@mikeyw829)1 year, 10 months ago ago

@creds, You can be intelligent and happy at the same time. I think it is rare though, because the more intelligent you are, the more cluttered your mind gets, the more you over analyze and bias situations, the more rigidified your thinking gets etc. It’s not a coincidence that most highly intelligent people are not creative. There are exceptions though.

What brings happiness is creating space in the mind. Space between thoughts. When all your thoughts are jumbled together, and thought after thought occurs, you are not really living and are not really there. There is no room to appreciate anything going on around you. Everything is conceptualized and dead,

A good metaphor I can think of is that of the universe. A highly intelligent and unhappy person could be the universe in its condensed form, right before the big bang. All the material aspects of the universe are condensed together and more solid and jumbled together. A happy intelligent person is the universe after the big bang. You can look at galaxies and universes as thought forms, and the space between them like the space in your mind. You can clearly see all the individual shapes and patterns, and therefore decides which are helpful and which are not.

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anthonynlee (@anthonynlee)1 year, 10 months ago ago

@chemicalspike, can you site your sources for this “factual” information?

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PDC (@chemicalspike)1 year, 10 months ago ago

@anthonynlee,

Is Google broken? Since the “” make your request seem like a sarcastic request I have little desire to comply and since I have no desire to prove myself right I’m sure you can type a few keys and look up whether what I discuss is “factual”

As a sop though start here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_giftedness#Depression

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James (@alljuicedup)1 year, 10 months ago ago

@chemicalspike – “It is unfortunate but factual that higher IQ and higher intelligence does significantly increase the probability that you will be unhappy and experience problems.

It is of course not determinedly so and within the power of the individual to influence it.”

On the contrary, intelligence and happiness may have a documented correlation, but NOT a causation. You don’t become unhappy because you learn more, it’s just that people who are naturally intelligent, who have that curiosity, that desire for truth and knowledge, also have a higher disposition to be “unhappy”. One doesn’t create the other, they simply exist together.

Heck, the very concept of “intelligence” and IQ is a fundamental measurement of ones potential ability. Intelligence isn’t knowing a lot, intelligence is having the capability to know a lot. So semantically speaking, you don’t become “more intelligent” you simply learn more.

Either way, there is no causation. If anything, I’d say its the opposite. People seek knoweldge because they are already unhappy/empty and they want something more. Unhappiness is the driving force that seeks knowledge, not the other way around.

Simply look at the end result, and you may come to the conclusion that intelligence creates unhappiness, but when you look at the process, the whole, I think you see a very different picture.

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derek (@dkanowsky)1 year, 10 months ago ago

We seem to be making the assumption that happiness is the best thing there is, the peak of emotional satisfaction – I thought this too until I watched this and began thinking about the nature of desires and how rarely satisfaction comes as a result of them

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anthonynlee (@anthonynlee)1 year, 10 months ago ago

@chemicalspike, That was not a sarcastic request. You made a definitive and broad sweeping assertion and called it “factual”. I merely asked you to demonstrate where this was fact, as I disagreed. That is the course of intellectual debate.
Your response, however, was sarcastic, rude, and destructive to the spirit of debate and discourse.

Your source didn’t actually support your assertion either. In the Wikipedia article it stated that there isn’t any evidence that links depression to giftedness.
However, I did find a Cracked.com article that supports your assertion, but hardly solidifies it as fact. Merely, it was a clever spin to make a headline for the article. The only points that may be valid are the “eveningness” points, and in some cases the “self destructive curiosity” points: http://www.cracked.com/article_19174_5-unexpected-downsides-high-intelligence_p2.html

However the guys at Freakonomics provide a terrific rebuttal to this stance: http://www.freakonomics.com/2009/01/15/is-ignorance-really-bliss/

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PDC (@chemicalspike)1 year, 10 months ago ago

I didn’t say depression did I?

Nope I didn’t. I did say unhappiness and problems, unequivocally not the same thing as depression and indeed in that article are some if the things that can occur as well as the fact that it isn’t specifically linked to depression.

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creds (@creds)1 year, 10 months ago ago

@mikeyw829,

Interesting. Can you say a little bit more about how one can create this space in between thoughts and over analyzing. That is exactly where I feel I am stuck. I think too much, is not as creative as I want to.

However, I am striving to not to think and over analyze everything, so get more space in between my thoughts sounds perfect.

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Anonymous (@)1 year, 10 months ago ago

@creds, Mikey’s talking, obtusely, about meditation.

Here is a good website about MEDITATION!

http://www.meditationiseasy.com/mCorner/techniques/Vipassana.htm

“Understand this by this analogy: Just imagine that a river is flowing. Now the flow of the river may be fast or slow. What you have to do is to sit on its bank Just watch the river as it flows. Don’t try to create ripples in it. Don’t do anything that affects its flow. Just be a watcher. This river is your breath. The breathing process is going on. Just be a watcher of this process. Slowly slowly as you watch your breathing, your mind will start calming own. You will see that all thoughts are disappearing on their own. Eventually as you keep practicing, such moment will start coming when you see that everything has come to a standstill. There will be no thoughts, there will be no emotions. However, there will be full awareness. The state of choiceless awareness. In this state you will know the real you.”

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Jordan (@jaethedream)1 year, 10 months ago ago

@creds, I feel the more I learn, the more humble within the world I become. Also better foresee and avoid undesirable situations. I think unhappiness from increased knowledge is rather from a lack of other knowledge (as we’ll always have). Not knowing how to let it all go in the end or see the beauty in it all, how to switch perceptions.

It’s dangerous to remain in any one perception for too long. Perhaps many who seek to gain more and more knowledge get a bit too caught up in factual information or, for anyone really, however way their tendency of looking at things develops over time. Sorta like how different branches of scientists will argue over or explain something in different ways just cuz that’s the aspect of life they are constantly immersed in.

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Avatar of anthonynlee
anthonynlee (@anthonynlee)1 year, 10 months ago ago

@chemicalspike, Now you are just playing semantics. No, you didn’t say depression (although that is the issue largely discussed in your article you sited), however the article you point to is about giftedness. No one here ever said gifted. They said smart. If you look up the definition of smart, gifted is never mentioned.

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anthonynlee (@anthonynlee)1 year, 10 months ago ago

Furthermore, “full of knowledge” is even farther removed from gifted. That means one could have average to low intelligence but acquire knowledge over time.

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Almeida (@xetado)1 year, 10 months ago ago

I’ve felt this way before, when I acknowledged some things about life and the universe I kind of started to feel a little melancholic, but it passes with time.

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PDC (@chemicalspike)1 year, 10 months ago ago

@anthonynlee,

Accuses someone of semantics then makes a semantic point…interesting.

The original OP was exactly not semantic interpretations: an you be both highly intelligent/full of knowledge and also happy (it didn’t say smart FYI))

Intellectually gifted according to wikipedia:

Intellectual giftedness is an intellectual ability significantly higher than average. It is different from a skill, in that skills are learned or acquired behaviors. Like a talent, intellectual giftedness is usually believed to be an innate, personal aptitude for intellectual activities that cannot be acquired through personal effort.

…………………………….

Now I’m sorry to have to inform you but you are woefully uneducated or deliberately being obtuse if you really can’t differentiate (or won’t) between problems, unhappiness and depression as they are vastly different things. You can have problems and not be depressed, you can be unhappy and not be depressed and these arent semantic arguments but factual ones.

Experiencing unhappiness, sadness, having problems is quite easily associated with negative feelings and even a depressed mood, you can said to be sad. These are emotional states.

Experiencing clinical depression (MDD) is a whole other kettle of fish, it is a clinical disorder. This can be seen in chemical imbalances in the blood streams and cortisol reactions in some patients . It is always present rather than being emotional states which are often transitory, sometimes rapidly so, unhappiness can return persistently as you encounter the same problems repeatedly but this is a proximal distal cause not a biological one that is having a significant and long term biological effect. It isn’t that unhappiness can’t lead to a depressive disorder but it is important to distinguish between unhappiness and depressive disorder.

So there was a very important reason I didn’t say depression, I meant not to and that article talked about some of the very things which I was thinking about which can cause problems in a persons life with certain qualities which would make them unhappy though by no means cause depression.

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anthonynlee (@anthonynlee)1 year, 10 months ago ago

@chemicalspike, My point was simply that you stated something as a fact that hasn’t been determined as fact.
You became defensive (and still are) and even rude.
Perhaps I am woefully uneducated, but your skills in intellectual discourse leave much to be desired. I no longer wish to continue with it. I wish you a happy thanksgiving.

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ivan linares (@ivanlinaresllamas)1 year, 10 months ago ago

this is as simply as saying that ignorance is a blessing, the less you know the less you wonder the less you struggle,the less you seek. But once you know you cant stop for wanting more, learning is addictive =)

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