Where is the source of happiness?

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NLewis
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Re: Where is the source of happiness?

Postby NLewis » Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:16 am

http://www.best-career-match.com/images ... on-med.jpg

This is a good book you should consider reading. But I'm glad you're happy :-)

Phidias
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Re: Where is the source of happiness?

Postby Phidias » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:08 am

My happiness comes from my signature. :P
Freude, schöner Götterfunken
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
Deine Zauber binden wieder,
was die Mode streng geteilt;
alle Menschen werden Brüder,
wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

carter1990
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Re: Where is the source of happiness?

Postby carter1990 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:13 pm

John demartini a noted philosopher said he doesn't believe in happiness the belief that life is only positive. He explains how cares more for love which is both the challenge and the support. I don't look for happiness I look for love

susanzb
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Re: Where is the source of happiness?

Postby susanzb » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:09 pm

I think ultimately happiness comes in death and knowing that one day you just don't have to do this anymore.

DinoT
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Re: Where is the source of happiness?

Postby DinoT » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:50 am

What a great question... I am partial to the ancient philosophers since I think that they are much more objective when it comes to this question.

For example, Aristotle saw happiness as a result of what we do - namely doing things that are in themselves "good". We come closer to happiness the more that we practically accomplish actions that are in themselves good.

I dunno if I am explaining it well... here is a better way of putting it from Stanford University (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-ethics/)

"Aristotle's conclusion about the nature of happiness is in a sense uniquely his own. No other writer or thinker had said precisely what he says about what it is to live well. But at the same time his view is not too distant from a common idea. As he himself points out, one traditional conception of happiness identifies it with virtue (1098b30-1). Aristotle's theory should be construed as a refinement of this position. He says, not that happiness is virtue, but that it is virtuous activity. Living well consists in doing something, not just being in a certain state or condition. It consists in those lifelong activities that actualize the virtues of the rational part of the soul."

Anyway... Do good and live well and you will be happy.

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Re: Where is the source of happiness?

Postby jujimufu » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:57 pm

I believe that happiness is a state of mind, not some tropical paradise that if we strive hard enough we can arrive and have a pina colada and dance topless while singing hallelujah with angels (or whatever the idea of paradise is these days..)

To me, happiness is being content. Happiness comes from the inside out. Someone can find their car keyed tomorrow morning. One person will spend the whole day cursing and worrying about it, thinking how to protect the car from being keyed, how much it's going to cost, how they would punish the perpetrator, how to catch them etc etc. Another person will see their car keyed and think "bah, no biggie - I'll fix it later this week.", write it down on their notebook and not worry about it again and spend the day doing whatever they do. The event was the same - it was what the two individuals did with it that generated hatred/contentment in each of them.

I don't like to think of happiness as a constant state of MDMA-like euphoria, in which you wear a wide grin on your face 24/7 and smile and laugh at everything. I feel it's more like a natural/neutral state, where nothing can shake you, move you out of course. Feeling in peace and at place wherever you are, and emanating contentment and having a presence which flows with the world, instead of swimming against the current. An acceptance of things, rather than a judgmental blocking. It is what Ira Byock describes as "dying well" in his book with the same title ("Dying Well: Peace and possibilities at the end of life"). We are all dying, from the moment we are born. That's the only thing for sure. Are you going to die well? Or are you going to try and hold on to your sense of identity and self, and all sorts of other things that don't really matter?

I like a Zen approach to happiness. I believe that if you are looking for happiness in other things (a car, relationship, promotion, moving to a more wealthy area, whatever) you will always be deluding yourself. It's like the parable with the dog and its tail. The dog represents humans and the dog's tail is happiness. If the dog tries to catch its tail it will run round and round and round, and never catch it. But if the dog walks straight, happiness follows.

Many people have a "scarcity" mentality with regards to happiness - "happiness is something rare, something few people have achieved, and if I want to have it I need to make more money, get a more beautiful partner, move out of here, quit my job etc. And I have to get to it before everyone else does." People are trying to keep as much of happiness as they can, lest it goes away. But it's like a performance of beautiful piece of music - if you try to hold on to it, you lose it. You just have to let go and experience of while it lasts.

I believe that to be happy you need to have an "abundance" mentality - a mentality of giving, not of taking. The universe is giving. When you realise happiness is not a commodity that can be bought and sold, but a state of mind that comes from within, you can share your happiness with others (not by making their happiness dependent on being around you so they can be happy, but by teaching them and sharing how they can attain that state of happiness from within themselves).

People like Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced "chicks-sent-me-high-ee" - author of "Flow"), Ken Robinson ("The Element"), Patsy Rodenburg ("Presence"), all highlight the importance of finding the thing(s) that we are really passionate about, which matter to us the most, activities that make us lose track of time - and dedicate our lives in doing these things we do best in order to feel alive, present, "in the zone", experience what Csikszentmihalyi calls "state of flow".

I personally find meditation and Zen art and writings to be very demonstrative of this - the Tao Te Ching (http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9 ... te-v3.html - although I really like the Tolbert McCarroll translations most) is a classic, and Alan Watts' writings (http://www.leary.ru/download/watts/Book ... %20Are.pdf) are simply beautiful to read or listen to. Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now" also offers some interesting points.

And I think a necessary (but not sufficient) condition to happiness (contentment) is honesty (e.g. Brad Blanton's "Radical Honesty"). Explicit honesty with everyone, about everything. Call your parents/sisters/syblings/children/partners, tell them you love them. Do they know? Of course they do. But when did they last hear it from you? Tell them why they matter, and call up people towards whom you are angry and tell them why. And be honest with yourself. And pay attention to the sensations in your body as you say these things.

What do you really want? Are you happy where you are right now? If you knew you were going to die in 7 days, would anything would have remained unsaid? Is there anything left incomplete? Would you die in peace (assuming there is no physical pain)?

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Re: Where is the source of happiness?

Postby JSB » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:32 am

If happiness was to have a source, it would therefore be a conditional source, a dependency. Therefore, the truth about finding real peace and happiness within is through develping understanding about ones nature, and insight into the true nature of the mind. This penetrates to the root where the conditional mind/conditional experience has always beeen the presumed source of happiness. One develops and realises experientially that a mind that seeks not happiness, but rather wisdom and understanding is a mind that will develop in strength and focus. This is my experience. Then, when the conditioning is undone, one is free to be able to enjoy things that are enjoyable, tolarate things that are intolerable, and ultimately face the life as an art lived in the present, without needing to satisfy/perpetuate an ego, and more freedom and peace to help others. I find helping others to be a valuable source of happiness! And Bach, of course.. Thanks for IMSLP, a wonderful new resource.

Alie
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Re: Where is the source of happiness?

Postby Alie » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:05 pm

As for me the source of happiness can be found anywhere, you just need to look attentively! It can be in a good weather, in children, in health of your elder relatives and so on... For me personally, today, the reason of being and feeling myself happy is love...

Aayla_Secura
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Re: Where is the source of happiness?

Postby Aayla_Secura » Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:47 pm

susanzb wrote:I think ultimately happiness comes in death and knowing that one day you just don't have to do this anymore.


That's a curios idea. But once you're dead who/what is left behind to decide upon happiness? In some cultures and spiritual practices they make a point of celebrating the end of decision making which is what you might be saying.. ?

The Dali Lama goes that happiness is a judgement based on an unreliable set of information, i.e. happiness is a subjective idea. If i was pushed i would say that tea is a source of happiness :D


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