Happiness, what is it really?

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EmperorNero
 
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 05:38 am
@Seriost,
All right, nice chat. I think we figured it out.
I might get back after reading up on all the links you gave me and other material on ethics.
 
salima
 
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 10:50 am
@Seriost,
Satisfaction and fulfillment are temporary outcomes of certain situations or events. Pleasures are the chemical goings-on in the brain, but happiness is a state of being or frame of mind which even when reached can be lost. Best way I could describe it is a connection with the all-you can give it any name you want; inner self, higher power. Faith isnt enough; it must be the actual experiencing of the condition. It is possible to be happy when you are in pain or when you are sad. a happy person can experience a great trauma or tragedy, like an earthquake etc, can lose everything in life, can become dependent for care from other people-yet retain happiness, if they are fortunate enough to have it.


The thing about loving yourself before you can love another never made sense to me. When I love someone there is no myself-and underneath what appears as reality, there is no other.


If there is only one being, and the cause of manifestation was the desire to express 'something' and the resulting need of there being an 'other' to express it to...when that one being finally realizes its condition and admits that there is no separation, no loss, no need...but realizes it is totally, terminally alone. Then what happens to happiness?
 
Yogi DMT
 
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 11:57 am
@Seriost,
To be honest, i think happiness is an illusion. Happiness is whatever you make it out to be. There is no definite set of ideas that defines happiness. Another person can find happiness in things that most people find sadness in and there is no arguement against what makes that person happy. Happiness is purely when you are enjoying yourself and only you can define those times and what you find enjoyment in.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 05:47 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT wrote:
To be honest, i think happiness is an illusion. Happiness is whatever you make it out to be. There is no definite set of ideas that defines happiness. Another person can find happiness in things that most people find sadness in and there is no arguement against what makes that person happy. Happiness is purely when you are enjoying yourself and only you can define those times and what you find enjoyment in.


Your talking about the means of acquiring happiness, not happiness itself. Happiness is simply a state of contentment and enjoyment, and yes, different things make different people happy. However, many of the same things can make different people happy, because the human is brain is, for the most part, wired the same way for almost everyone.
 
EmperorNero
 
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 06:00 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT;62289 wrote:
To be honest, i think happiness is an illusion. Happiness is whatever you make it out to be. There is no definite set of ideas that defines happiness. Another person can find happiness in things that most people find sadness in and there is no arguement against what makes that person happy. Happiness is purely when you are enjoying yourself and only you can define those times and what you find enjoyment in.


My opinion of the origin and purpose from earlier posts.

EmperorNero;59253 wrote:
Happiness is chemicals in the brain, released when humans do something that used to increase the chance of survival in the early times of man.
Eat, reproduce, be with your "tribe".


EmperorNero;59265 wrote:
In everything that makes us modern humans happy, I can see a reason for why that would increase a primitive humans chance of survival.
And in many cases still does today.
Or rather the other way around: We are still around because what made us happy, is what made us survive.

You noted that a more comfortable lifestyle makes humans happy, and I agree. Maybe one of the most important ways primitive humans survived was by conserving energy. Whether that means to shun effort, to not be out of breath when danger approaches. Or to limit actions that require more nutrition, through the largest extent of human history, getting enough food was the biggest concern. So a primitive human, that is happy from conserving energy is likely to have successors.


EmperorNero;59265 wrote:
Yes, I meant the people around you. You are happy to be with your friends and family, because in the old times, having a strong tribe made you more likely to survive.
 
William
 
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 06:35 pm
@Seriost,
Happiness is a state of mind that is represented in the now when the guilt of the past and the worry of the future don't mess it up, that is provided what has occurred in your past is nothing more than discontent. I think happiness/un-happiness is tied to wants, and what we "expect" to get out of life as if we actually had control of that. Life is a moment to moment occurrence. For happiness to exist in that moment one must have a kindness of self that is not dependent on any outside influence whatsoever, IMO. When that exist's, it can be easily shared with another even if it is nothing more than a smile. Happiness comes from what we have being shared with another and not dependent on what we "expect or demand" the external to supply. IMHO. Smile

William
 
Yogi DMT
 
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 08:46 pm
@EmperorNero,
EmperorNero wrote:
My opinion of the origin and purpose from earlier posts.

Well i tend to think that your right in the regard that earlier on that happiness originated from our one goal in life, survival. But i think that what we define as happiness has really evolved and become more of what we enjoy and what brings fulfillment to us.
 
EmperorNero
 
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 08:49 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT;62349 wrote:
Well i tend to think that your right in the regard that earlier on that happiness originated from our one goal in life, survival. But i think that what we define as happiness has really evolved and become more of what we enjoy and what brings fulfillment to us.


Name something and I can trace it back to how it helped us survive. :flowers:
 
Yogi DMT
 
Reply Sun 10 May, 2009 09:00 pm
@Seriost,
Well i enjoy relaxation, playing soccer Smile, and listening to music. They may be a bit specific but i can't think of any primal relations to the activities.
 
EmperorNero
 
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 09:21 am
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT;62356 wrote:
Well i enjoy relaxation, playing soccer Smile, and listening to music. They may be a bit specific but i can't think of any primal relations to the activities.


On the relaxation I can quote an earlier post:
You noted that a more comfortable lifestyle makes humans happy, and I agree. Maybe one of the most important ways primitive humans survived was by conserving energy. Whether that means to shun effort, to not be out of breath when danger approaches. Or to limit actions that require more nutrition, through the largest extent of human history, getting enough food was the biggest concern. So a primitive human, that is happy from conserving energy is likely to have successors.

Soccer is somewhat more complicated. To a degree its the same as comfort. But then it's practicing the skills that you need to survive, as opposed to just sitting around.
And it creates social ties that were important for survival in the early days.
So that's a combination.

As for music, much of the same, but also the rhythm puts them in a state of mind for ample before going hunting.
 
Yogi DMT
 
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 01:49 pm
@Seriost,
What you came up with is interesting but personally i just don't see the connection. Our society has evolved so much from the ways of survival that we don't really have to work about survival. What i think we find enjoyment in are things that entertain our minds because we are for lack of a better word, "bored". The other half of this is the things that we don't like which i think of as the things we do in life so that we can make it so that we can be "bored". For example, work: when a doctor works, he ensures that we don't have to worry as much about survival and therefore leaves us with ntohing to do and that comes out to us finding various things to entertain your mind. Thats my take on this.
 
EmperorNero
 
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 04:27 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT;62460 wrote:
Our society has evolved so much from the ways of survival that we don't really have to work about survival.


I agree, our daily objectives have changed, but out genetic structure has not.
Even though these attributes might not be necessary for survival any more, we are still the same beast. We still find enjoyment in what made us survive:
Reproduction
Security
Food - getting energy
Leisure - saving energy
Money - all the other ones
Power - what you control can't hurt you

Just to be clear, it's really the other way around. We survived because that made us happy. The early man that was happy from something that made him survive and hence gave his genes on. This amplified throughout the ages.

Yogi DMT;62460 wrote:
What i think we find enjoyment in are things that entertain our minds because we are for lack of a better word, "bored". The other half of this is the things that we don't like which i think of as the things we do in life so that we can make it so that we can be "bored".


Yes, and I haven't quite figured out the purpose of occupying the mind when being bored. We only know that we degenerate the further we get away from "the things that we don't like".
That's why I look at happiness not as a goal but as a mechanism for survival. It's not really the point that you reach it, only that it gets you to do the stuff you have to do.
 
Yogi DMT
 
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 05:24 pm
@Seriost,
I think your explanation of modern day wants and needs is good and does seem to translate into primitive survival skills. It just seems that the connection is vague and there is so much distance between these ideas, that the concept is hard to grab at first. Another idea to play with is that fact that each individual define what they determine as happiness, there is nothing set in stone that says this is what makes humans happy. With out being an attention-getter but someone who is being truthfully honest, let's say a person could like not having security and being on the riskier side, we really can't just say they are lying. And that could make them happy even though it seems to go against survival traits. Things like food are necessities and don't differ to much but i think it be a stretch to connect things like, watching movies, learning, ect. to primitive skills. When you say leisure goes back to energy saving, when you relate things like relaxing outside on a nice day to leisure, not only are you not really trying to save energy but you could possibly have enough energy as it. Yes the traits may have originated from different survival skills but i think today the meaning has completely changed. To be honest leisure today seems of more a way to clear your mind and not have to think about much when your under stress and have a lot to think about.
 
EmperorNero
 
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 06:16 am
@Seriost,
You might be right, I haven't quite figured this out yet.

The concept is hard to grasp because we can't see it, but I believe my explanation of happiness is as natural to humans as having two arms and a head.

You mention a person being happy from risk instead of security. And I believe this is an example of different primal survival attributes competing. And it's not said that the human brain always works as it should, maybe one of them is out of control.
The point is that both security makes us happy for the obvious reasons, and liking the thrill of risk had clear advantages for survival in the days we needed to hunt. The man shunning the risk of hunting would more likely starve. You notice that women, who usually didn't hunt, are less likely to like risk. I think I once heard that 96% of driving accidents are caused by men.
So this seems to not be a example of attributes that go against survival traits, just different survival traits up against each others. And then we might just not function correctly.

The leisure thing, I haven't figured out yet. But I'm confident that it works the same way. Maybe making sure to not get bored is something that keeps us from realizing that once all duties are done, there isn't really any reason we did it. We would just figure out that life is meaningless.
 
Yogi DMT
 
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 01:57 pm
@Seriost,
I mean a lot of what we find happiness in today probably did originate from primitive attributes, even though it may be a stretch. What im saying our our definition of happiness has evolved so that survival as not much a part of it. Taking risks may simply because our life is a bit boring and we want to try something exciting.
 
EmperorNero
 
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 02:31 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT;62706 wrote:
I mean a lot of what we find happiness in today probably did originate from primitive attributes, even though it may be a stretch. What im saying our our definition of happiness has evolved so that survival as not much a part of it. Taking risks may simply because our life is a bit boring and we want to try something exciting.


I don't think there is much that has evolved. Humanity didn't have time for that.
Maybe the risk thing is out of whack, after all man was not created for modern pampered, safe and comfortable life.
 
Yogi DMT
 
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 02:43 pm
@Seriost,
Well when i say evolved, our life style has evolved so that, we as humans, really do not have the same concern for survival as we did back in the primitive times when our whole life was about surviving which is what evolution has made us to do. Our lifestyle has evolved so that we may focus on things other than survival such as philosophy Smile which may not be for survival but for let's understanding our life and it's purpose.
 
EmperorNero
 
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 02:57 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT;62717 wrote:
Well when i say evolved, our life style has evolved so that, we as humans, really do not have the same concern for survival as we did back in the primitive times when our whole life was about surviving which is what evolution has made us to do. Our lifestyle has evolved so that we may focus on things other than survival such as philosophy Smile which may not be for survival but for let's understanding our life and it's purpose.


Oh, absolutely. But then I would use another wording than evolved... our objectives have changed. With evolved I would understand that our biological makeup has changed.
Of course life these days is much different than in the first 500.000 years of our existence. And for good or ill, the same methods of behavior still follow us today, whether we need them or not.
 
EmperorNero
 
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 05:56 pm
@Seriost,
Now I know, knowledge is power. That's why we seek knowledge. It's also an impulse that helps us survive.
 
Yogi DMT
 
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 06:09 pm
@EmperorNero,
True, but the motives and reasons have changed even though the root of which different attributes orginate is not in question. Even though, i will not argue things such as food and protection have not and will not change. We may even have devoloped new defintions of happiness based on the modern society, one in which survival is not our whole life.
 
 

 
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