“I’d be interested to know your views on how to achieve and maintain happiness, whether the world (or people in general) are basically good or evil, and maybe your 10 favorite animes ;]”
Individuals, huh. Oddly enough that might be harder than worldwide, or even “does god exist,” etc. Because really, the religions of the world may or may not care about the existance of a supreme being, but they all attempt to bring happiness or oneness to the individual subscribers of said religion. So really, if I attempt to broach this subject, I will not only be approaching religious ramblings, but I will indeed be stepping on some feet. But hey… that’s why I wear big heavy boots… to step on feet.
I’ll first start out by saying that Happiness is completely subjective. If you don’t believe that, then I’d suggest you stop reading this and go read Ayn Rand or someone equally as annoying… perhaps Ann Coulter.
Okay… with that out of the way. Let’s get down to the tacks. To attain happiness, you must lower your expectations. lol… kidding… partially. Western civilization has poisoned the ability for someone to be happy. Bigger, better, faster. We all know how that goes… we want something, we think it will make us happy, and it usually does give us some happy feeling for a brief amount of time, but it fades and we must go consume again. That’s what we are even without western Civilization… consumers. Food, Water, etc. And ever since the harnessing of fire, some strange desire has appeared in humanity to consume more than (s)he needs. wants. Buddhists and Essenes alike would say we must eliminate the want from life to attain happiness… and there is a very good argument for that. What is a want, a desire? To look for something we do not have: almost always external to our being. A refirmation of the fact that we do not have whatever we are looking for. Be it a cool computer, or happiness itself. “I just wish I could be happy…” Doesn’t that in itself make things worse?
It is the same word game that you play when you say “Try to pick up something infront of you”… all of you that just picked it up fail. I said Try… not Do. Or “Look all you want, you’ll never find anything”. Starting to sound like Yoda? Makes sense… before Lucas f-ed it all up, Yoda was a good representation of some Eastern thought.
Back to what I was saying though… in the West we have some notion that anyone who doesn’t have a ______ (insert item here) must not be happy. “Thou shalt not covet thy…” That could be true… but many a Monk would disgree. They have the clothes on their back… and some might even prefer to have less. Hmmm… but then, they have the choice to give up their worldlies. Someone who lives in Africa with nothing does not have that choice. Hmmm… so is choice integral to happiness? Your guess is as good as mine. But I’d probably say it is. But then we get into what is choice? We all have choice whether we are wealthy or poor… it’s all a matter of magnitude.
So really, it all comes back to the first thing I said… subjective. Happiness comes from within. Be good to yourself, and let life come to you. Don’t force it… Bobby Mcferrin said it too… Don’t Worry, Be Happy. Simple Simple. Don’t dwell in worrying or doubt, or malice. Just live… let things work themselves out… when it comes down to it, it really does come out even in the end.
For now, that’s it.
BTW, have a great and safe New Year’s Eve… don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… er well… you figure that one out. And remember, the reason people have New Year’s Day off is to recover from NYE.