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Thursday, August 25, 2005

On happiness

Just a few thoughts.

So much can be said about happiness. And what makes us happy. And yet, sometimes what makes us happy is better left unsaid and best kept to ourselves.

I gave up the notion of materialism bringing happiness a long time ago.

Happiness comes from within.

Sometimes I think our happiness goes to someone else and we end up with yet another person's happiness.

There comes a time when something that one day made you miserable, may today make you happy.

Sometimes happiness finds you where you are.

Most of the time, you have to grab a moment of happiness when and where you can get it.

Posted by Marie at August 25, 2005 10:11 PM

Comments

Marie,

It's a very big subject, happiness.

It's been the subject of numerous studies, and ongoing scientific debate in recent decades, but you've shown how broad a subject the issue of happiness really is.

You touch upon a state of mind, and also upon a philosophical approach towards happiness.

And that opens up a world of questions too. Philosophers, modern and ancient have delved into the issue.

Religious leaders have focused upon happiness too.

Behaviorist would dismiss the entire concern as untestable, and therefore psychobabble, and that happiness doesn't therefore exist.

But I'm inclined to believe the it does exist, since we can look into brain activity using PET scans, and we can see that mental states do occur, and that different areas of the brain are active for different moods.

We also know, and debate continues on the exact etiology, that levels of certain neurotransmitters (for example serotonin) lay a large role in how people feel - happy or sad.

I believe the biggest question in the whole study of happiness is the definition of happiness. In science in order to develop a progression of research, first operational terms must be defined with exactitude, or at least the various possible definitions must be listed. And then the testing begins.

Some feel that happiness is achieved when one divorces oneself of ego, and want (The Budda, and Jesus are two examples), while hedonist argue that titilating the senses is a way to achieve happiness.

Sometimes in moments I will believe that I am feeling happiness. I've also noted that I often feel sad. It's never the big things it seems as much as it is the little things in life. A sunset, a hug, an icecream cone, an amusing story, a warm cat with a wet nose - like the one that is laying between my outstreched arms as I type this.

I'll notice the happiness, there it will be, and somehow that state always changes. Boredom, fatigue, hunger, stress from work, etc.

So happiness for me seems fleeting.

But I don't feel depressed about happiness either, each day is a gift, each moment a treasure.

Posted by: JeromeProphet at August 25, 2005 11:44 PM

You bring up some very good points. It is fleeting. I want to add that, what makes others happy, doesn't necessarily make us happy. And vice versa. I don't want to make it sound complex. Because I think it really is very simple. Thanks for your comments.

Posted by: Marie at August 26, 2005 10:37 PM