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Helm Helm is offline
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Old Feb 4th, 2003, 11:42 AM        A new definition of happiness
The words come to me now, but the principle predates them.


I've come to realize that living a good life, and being happy isn't the goal I've come to desire. Because of this, I now put to words what I've resolved from a long period of introspection. Because this is a very informal draft, it's format might not be the best I can do, and at times it might come full circle or repeat itself. I apologize in advance for this. Same goes for any strange English I might resort to, for I am not as erudite in this language as what I'm going to attempt to describe might require. I also warn that this is probably going to be long, although I am not certain how long exactly at this point. I'm said to be boring-to-tears wordy. Also, what I'm going to say might sound completely obvious to you. I can't help it if I'm discovering what you've left behind long ago, so bear with me. If you're looking for an opportunity to scorn or make jokes, I cannot stop you from doing so, but I am not actively trying to present such opportunity. In other words, this is what little I consider actually important in life, and I present it to you in hope you'll treat it with a degree of respect, even in the context of I-mockery.

So,



I don't know where to begin.





For some time now, I've come to think the definition of 'happiness' to be lacking. The short glimpses of euphoria I've experienced at times in my life, I've always felt to not be deserving to be called a reason to exist. To strive for those brief emotional interludes seemed like too much trouble for too less of a profit. It became apparent that my continued existence needed a much more essential goal. I've tried to pursue something that could be described as 'love' and I've tried to find an end in serving Reason. Both, while presenting some interesting insights - I could not lie to myself - were not what my... inner sense of direction? I'm not certain... my driving ambition, anima, soul, whatever one calls it, yearned. This instinct, while not strictly orthological -in fact, I think many Hardcore materialists would laugh at me for resorting to souls- I cannot disregard. It may be another social construction or resort to 'faith', but I rest safe in the knowledge that it doesn't seem so, mainly because it doesn't seem to comply with what society wants me to be, so it's influence lies elsewhere. That's currently good enough for me.

Then I considered the joy of creation. Artistic creation has always been very important to me, and I've thought it to be a source of happiness. However, after inspection, I found that happiness to not be exactly that; Meaning that after a long, frustrating session of say, musical composition, I was many times left tired, spent, not at all accomplished. Not happy. But there was this feeling inside me, that substantiated my existence. That feeling, while not actually putting me in the well-known state of momentary drug-like euphoria of an unexpected kiss or a moment of emotional connection in a very awkward way, dignified my existence, like a stern tutor, berating and praising at the same time. It is a difficult thing to explain. I can only hope you've felt it. This feeling, which lacks a name to the best of my knowledge I've found to be my goal in life. But not as a junkie, creating things to get his fix of pleasant punishment, but rather so as to know that I am here, I exist and do.

There's a semiotic value into taking nothing and making into a recognizable something. There's an unmistakable dignity - I risk the ethical judgment - in that process that can not be liked to say, going out with your friends to party. Both feel good, but not in the same way. This, a more substantial happiness at this moment remains my goal, and I strive to serve it with all the talents my biological make-up and social upbringing have imbued in me. The awareness of one's own self in the something that he separates from himself is much more than just a reward to yearn. It is the reason to be. One can be bordering at the verge of depravity, or he could be inhumanly detached, but still serve this end. It is I can say, the a priori definition of being self-aware . When you create something, you are essentially creating another pair of eyes that stare right back inside you, and for the first time, you glimpse fragments of what could be your true self. Your technical skill and your maturity might help or hinder the eyesight of those eyes, but one immediately knows the truth in the process. We've been used to live in such mediocrity that when something so substantial occurs, the difference is of such startling proportions, one knows he's stumbled on to something that could be true.

Remember how some songs, or works of art, after a long time (or for others immediately), seem to merge with your person to such a degree it no longer matters who originally made them? You are making them your own. I believe this is because we instinctively(?) realize the truthfulness of the purpose of that piece of art, and it cuts to our soul through the haze of terrible uncertainty that is life. I think Inspiration is this effect. When you recognize something that stems from this.. this process of belief, and you gather the resolve to set out on the same path. Many people listen to music with their only criteria being the melodic value, the 'catchyness' of a melody, and it's not in me to judge them as simple, but there seems to be something deeper in the process than that. Something on a whole different level. Maybe there's some cognition between what the complexity of your true self, ambition, drive, is and the kind of art one relates to. It's a dangerous assumption to make for many reasons, but possibly true. In any case, I'm in the position to say and believe that Creation is much more that feelings expressed. Art is not means to and end, it is an end in itself Not the only end, but a very important one.

In the forms that I think I see now, world is a canvas so to speak. I've come to realize that many of my political and ethical beliefs do not seem to be able to coexist with this creation-based point of view. This is an issue I cannot resolve at this time, although I'm trying. It still seems important to me to be able to serve my end in creation, and still keep my morality. If that's my pavlovian programming, or something more substantial I cannot tell at this time time, but I hope for the latter. This doesn't say much, though.


That's it, more or less. I'm not exactly certain why I want to discuss this.
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Protoclown Protoclown is offline
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Old Feb 4th, 2003, 01:33 PM       
There's no way I'm reading all that. I HOPE THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
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Helm Helm is offline
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Old Feb 4th, 2003, 04:01 PM       
It's somewhat sad to see that you didn't make it to the end of the first paragraph even.

You made me sad
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theapportioner theapportioner is offline
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Old Feb 4th, 2003, 05:54 PM       
Happiness is t.a.t.u.
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Old Feb 4th, 2003, 07:50 PM       
I have read all of you have typed. Im still a bit lost though of what you are trying to say in the middle paragraph down onto the end(I know words cannot explain true feelings so I can't blame you for that) Anyways, if I have interpreted what you typed up correctly. I too, have gone through what you've said in the first paragraph:

Quote:
I've tried to pursue something that could be described as 'love' and I've tried to find an end in serving Reason
Im not sure what type of 'love' you are talking about but I've always thought that happiness could be found, or completed, by finding your true soulmate (Laugh if you want ), but what disturbed me to the fact that people could prove that biologically that homo sapiens were meant to be polygamous, rather than monogamous. I don't know how to think of 'love' anymore, I once that it was a 'magical feeling' but then it could later be proven that it could be a bunch of chemicals in my head having a reaction (I am talking about 'true love'- if it hopefully exists- not the "I'm not looking for a serious relationship right now, but could you be my boy/girl friend for 2 weeks?" love)
Quote:
Both, while presenting some interesting insights - I could not lie to myself - were not what my... inner sense of direction? I'm not certain... my driving ambition, anima, soul, whatever one calls it, yearned. This instinct, while not strictly orthological -in fact, I think many Hardcore materialists would laugh at me for resorting to souls- I cannot disregard.
I don't know how I've got over this but I still, once in a while, seek many questions left unanswered. I know that I could lie to myself, but something inside of me tells that I shouldn't. I don't know how to explain it but it does make me depressed knowing that I don't know any of the answers... Sometimes most arguements would probably have to rely on the concept of a soul or inner-being. That is probably how I've gotten deeply (well, let's not consider that) in the field of philosophy. I'm still a bit of a n00b in this field (Ive only been into it for about a year and a half) but Im trying to do my best =/

ps. I hope I understood correctly what you are trying to say
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Old Feb 4th, 2003, 10:14 PM       
HAPPINESS IS DRUGS

D'UH!!! OBVIOUSLY!
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Helm Helm is offline
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 01:00 PM       
Quote:
Im not sure what type of 'love' you are talking about
It is exactly because love is different from person to person (to this conclusion I've come a while back, like anyone bored enough to read my gigantic posts on this forum knows) that I felt persuing it was akin to mental masturbation. If you cannot feel it the same way the other person feels it, then the bliss of the supposed connection between you and the other person is just you trying to convince yourself that you're on the same emotional level. You're not. You're not even in the same plane, so to speak. Comparing emotions is an execrise in frustration.



but I've always thought that happiness could be found, or completed, by finding your true soulmate (Laugh if you want ),


I do not laugh. Happiness, I suppose could be found there(if happiness can be said to be the same thing for two people - debatable). But I deem the other kind of happiness, the one gained through the process of creation so much more important. Once you've experienced it, momentarily bliss seems like a cheap substitute. My father believes as you do in the subject, and we've discussed it a good long while before he admitted merit in my oppinion, even though he chose to not accept it.



but what disturbed me to the fact that people could prove that biologically that homo sapiens were meant to be polygamous, rather than monogamous.

It doesn't negate your demand, really. Who says happiness is achieved in servicing your primal needs? There's no stong argument supporting this oppinion.

I don't know how to think of 'love' anymore, I once that it was a 'magical feeling' but then it could later be proven that it could be a bunch of chemicals in my head having a reaction (I am talking about 'true love'- if it hopefully exists- not the "I'm not looking for a serious relationship right now, but could you be my boy/girl friend for 2 weeks?" love)


Probably just chemicals to the brain put there to make the mating procedure seem attractive to humans, but that two doesn't mean much.

I'm still a bit of a n00b in this field (Ive only been into it for about a year and a half) but Im trying to do my best =/


This field being what? There's no 'philosophy'. There's lots of philosophies. Ethical, Polital, Ontological, all sorts of stuff people have thought up.

ps. I hope I understood correctly what you are trying to say

I am trying.
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 08:05 PM       
The philosophy Im talking about is metaphysical or ontological. Theology, I guess.
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Helm Helm is offline
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 08:07 PM       
Not absolutely, but somewhat nonconclusive, and of secondary importance.
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 08:07 PM        A more perfect union.....
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 08:08 PM        Duh
Wrong thread.....
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Helm Helm is offline
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 08:09 PM       
edit : sarcasm edited out since it was a mistake
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 08:10 PM        I bet
I would be willing to bet my Pez Dispenser collection that if you were more like John Stamos, you would be happier.
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Helm Helm is offline
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 08:13 PM       
If you took my brain out of my head, I'd be constantly happy, if not a bit on the salivating side, but that doesn't say much.
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 10:27 AM       
helm, have you ever read kahlil gibran's the prophet? his remarks on the nature of joy and sorrow hit home with me.
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womanwithballs womanwithballs is offline
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 11:35 AM       
Interesting that Sadie mentioned The Prophet, because I was thinking of the same when I read your initial message Helm. Thank you for sharing your insight with us. Yes, I've been there and I continue going there to reaffirm "who I am" at times. Finding a true soul mate is nice, but it's not the ultimate answer. Even if you're on the same plane, there's still lots of work involved to keep it strong.

I have a feeling you are going to create an important book some day. Let me know if you need a publisher.
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 11:57 AM       
Im sorry Helm. I like you very much but, thats too much text to read.
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 11:59 AM       
the only reason i read it is 'cause helm wrote it. i knew it'd be interesting.
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Helm Helm is offline
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 12:17 PM       
Sadie: I have not read that book. I'll look for it, but if it's pseudo neo-age "wish it enough and it will happen" silliness, I'm going to be dissapointed.

womanwithballs: Thanks, I guess. I'm more interested at sorting things out, than writing books that probably rehash ideas people have expressed years ago and with quite a bit more clarity. Check again in 30 years.

Lego: I guess I should have made the topic read "If you do not have something constructive to add, please don't post" after all. Putting that at the end of the first paragraph didn't seem to do the trick. Be a pirate.
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sadie sadie is offline
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 12:37 PM       
it's not very long:

from the prophet, kahlil gibran.



Then a woman said, "Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow."

And he answered:

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
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Helm Helm is offline
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 01:43 PM       
Hm. I might have missed the point, but to me this sounds like more of the usual buddhist crap about extinguishing the flame of passion and whatnot. Duality, and all it's philosophical applications ( kamic, zen, tao) also means nothing to me.

I find it a bit strange as to how this was relative to my original post. I was speaking about a more substantial happiness derived from validating one's existance through creation, I wasn't crying over being sad, nor was I in need of yet more naive black and white perceptions of a world that's infinitely more complex than we'd like to believe.
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Old Feb 7th, 2003, 02:00 AM       
i understood you to be questioning the nature of happiness, and happiness itself is transitory, regardless of which form it takes.
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The_Rorschach The_Rorschach is offline
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 07:09 PM       
Hm. I might have missed the point, but to me this sounds like more of the usual buddhist crap about extinguishing the flame of passion and whatnot.

Agreed.

In regards to the original subject matter. . .Personally, I believe life is about purpose, and not pleasure, therefore happiness is a secondary (if not tertiary) consideration. While it comes in many form, most are fleeting. How long, after all, can one stay amused? The only form of enduring happiness I know is its most mildest form, pride. The length of time one might feel anything from that will be directly related to the achievement itself, the more difficult the challenge, the longer lasting the results, will directly correspond with the duration of the enjoyment.

Of course, I'm also a Robot. Just ask Proto.
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 07:32 PM       
:rebuttal

please elaborate on how you two feel the gibran is about "extinguishing the flame of passion and whatnot."
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theapportioner theapportioner is offline
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 10:58 PM       
Koans are neat.
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