cst commonsense

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How shall we find 'Happiness' in the new world that is coming?

The historical question of happiness lies at the heart of the ancient philosophers' quest. This shall 'soon' (within several generations) become an inevitable issue for ALL human beings. Improving technology brings imminent and profound opportunities along with new dangers - can we all become the modern thinkers that will allow us to handle these opportunities to enable our happiness while handling the burden of playing god?
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Indeed, science has opened potential possibilities that will be the driving force behind renewed attempts to find an enduring answer. These are considered in some detail (see link), but you shall see, they change everything that the ancient philosophers thought was sensible to consider in attempting to answer this question, the doors to the future are soon to be flung open, nature itself, as we know it, is about to change.

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    Jan 4 2014: By finding contentment in Nature rather than money.

    By knowing ourselves, only then shall we know others.

    By changing our relationship with death, in the certain knowledge that it is an essential part of life.

    The whole of life depends on the existence of opposites, and our acceptance of them. Happiness cannot be experienced without the presence of sadness, just as light cannot be perceived without the presence of darkness.
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    Jan 4 2014: This question seems to be not only "at the heart of the ancient philosophers' quest"....it also seems to be the quest of many people in conversations on TED! I am wondering, cst commonsense, if you have explored the many conversations that have been happening on TED with happiness often the focus?

    Personally, I don't think happiness is something that we "find", "out there" somewhere. It is something we create by starting with our "self". I am not sure what you mean by "the new world that is coming", because humans are always learning, growing, and evolving to create a different world, and I think/feel we will continue to do so throughout our existence. Since we have that opportunity and ability, it seems like our world will be constantly changing.

    You write..."can we all become the modern thinkers that will allow us to handle these opportunities to enable our happiness while handling the burden of playing god?"

    I do not perceive "playing god" to be a "modern" or useful idea, and in fact, that idea seems to be falling aside for more beneficial ideas on how to create happiness in our world.

    I believe we can continue to grow and evolve with some of the insightful ideas already offered in this conversation....contentment, knowing ourselves and understanding others, respecting our environment, offering peace, compassion, respect, love, and all of that begins with us as individuals.
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    Jan 4 2014: By adopting frugal lifestyles with as little footprint as possible, by upholding human dignity in an unobtrusive yet emphatic way, by working for and offering peace, love and compassion in meaningful ways.
    In the new world that will be coming the technology should be efficient enough not to borrow the future of our children for the prosperity of the present.
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    Jan 4 2014: Being peaceful with yourself and others,Thinking of what you've got instead of what you don't have and embracing your dreams to realize them one day.
  • Jan 4 2014: Cooperatively.....
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    Jan 5 2014: science is the new magic.

    it seems that everyone needs to put their faith in something. but you won't find happiness there (other than citing 'proof' that your happiness is 'real').

    hopefully, we'll still have hackers, renegades, artists and poets. as long as we have them, humanity may yet survive it's own short-sightedness.

    there's always a passing over from old to new but the core never really changes - the group may tout great achievements but the individual remains an island.

    while there's life there's hope - how you want to get there is up to you alone.
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    Jan 4 2014: Optimism.

    Someone asked one of my kids if he ever thought about being an adult.
    "I can't wait", he replied.
    "Why's that?"
    ""Cause it'll be the future then."
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    Jan 4 2014: Happiness is never more than partial.There are no pure states of mankind.Whatever else happiness may be,it is neither in having nor in being,but in becoming.What the Founding Fathers declared for us as an inherent right,we should do well to remember,was not happiness but the pursuit of happiness.What they might have declined,could they have foreseen the happiness market,is the cardinal fact that happiness is in the pursuit itself,in the meaningful pursuit of what is life-engaging and life-revealing,which is to say,in the idea of becoming.
    I tought about your question of finding the happiness in the new world.i guess happiness isn't a matter of what period of time you live in,improving technology gives us more opportunity of pursuing the happiness as long as we have the ability to judge the right and wrong.
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      Jan 4 2014: Happy new year~!:)
      Long time no see~.
  • Jan 4 2014: Keep love in heart.
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    Jan 22 2014: Anything that is a creation of the biased, divided, thought-based consciousness, is a relative, temporal, intermittent outcome, by nature - very addictive. When happiness ends, as all relative and temporal states of mind do, we are left with the opposite, sadness, and we feel the urge to jump on the treadmill again, and chase another intermittent victory. Which is all very tiring, and can end in a burnout. But this is the root of all addiction, the intermittent reward of a desirable outcome, and the avoidance of it's opposite. That is why most people are on the bandwagon of happiness quests, the treadmill of suffering.
    So, what of happiness?
    Happiness itself, the quest for it, must come to an end, and in that, it's ever shadowing opposite, sadness, will also cease. Then, there is no need for more quests, or addiction. But to end them both, we must operate from the non--dual mind, away from bias and preference, which is choice.
    When choice comes to an end, so does the biased mind, and choice is spurred on by avoidance. When one ceases avoiding the present experience, and sees it for what IT IS, with UNDIVIDED ATTENTION, meaning NO CHOICE, and NO BIAS, the mind undergoes a shift. This shift alone is the liberation from happiness, unhappiness and all that.
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    Jan 22 2014: By competing against no one and collaborating with everyone.

    By practicing gratitude in our daily lives
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    Jan 22 2014: Let us not look to technology to provide happiness. Technology is simply a tool. I would think it is shallow for a person to be made happier by a new tool. Happiness comes from within... a beautiful morning sunrise, someone I love at my side, a fresh cup of coffee, all the aches and pains aside.. now that is happiness.
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    Jan 21 2014: There is no new world ... only the old one evolving. The core values, basic philosophy, and the existence of many cultures will continue to guide us.

    We will continue to have successes and failures ... emotional highs and lows .... at best happiness is fleeting. The term "happiness" is in itself questionable.

    I am satisfied to have small victories and "kodiak" moments.

    I am suspect that science can resolve the wrongs that we have done in the name of science and progress. Changes should be evaluated and employed slowly .... not all change is good.

    I wish you well. Bob.
  • Jan 12 2014: I think you live the best you can and every once in a while, you look around and say I have not done too bad. Also, you do the activities you love (thrill seekers - driving fast cars, sky diving, etc.) While you are doing it, you are probably happy and when you look back at that activity, you are happy.
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    Jan 12 2014: The Gautama Buddha has a great solution to this!

    But to be happy is information received by your brain by
    certain reactions either in your brain or in your body. So you can
    either manipulate that or do what they require. (For instance
    becoming healthy and strong -> would make you proud, right?)
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    Jan 9 2014: I like how you mentioned "playing God." We have this superiority complex that thinks ourselves better than everything. Consumer culture is directly based on this vanity. Having designer items gives a temporary relief of the unconscious stress of pursuing happiness. It lasts until the next generation of Iphone's comes out for example. There will always be better materialistic objects so it creates a cycle of ignorant spending. I fear based on the past century that this is what the future has for us, a constant nagging of advertisements and stupidity of people falling for something that is designed to add even more to their ignorance. True genuine happiness is found in the lasting bonds present in this world. These bonds come in the form of types of relationships. One with "God," family, friends, animals, etc. I do not see a distinct purpose for our existence on Earth. We are no different from animals in everything we do, simply how we do it differs. Happiness is found in connecting with the basics of humanity. Overcoming the selfish ways that are more and more persistent in pop culture provides this break from the pressures of society. The world we live in now is way to fast paced perpetuated by the drive to be that top notched CEO. What happens when you become that CEO? You still fall asleep that same, lost puppy full of emotions you have chose not to face. Growing up and facing reality, not hiding from it through work, liquor, drugs and other addictive ideals can give you the happiness we all seek. The problem is, once you reach that peak, you truly see how the world is. This is quite nihilistic, because I am saying the world is and has been filled with greed, anger, selfishness and pity. Although these traits were beneficial when we were cavemen, now-a-days most of the world doesn't need to fight for survival. As our hierarchy of needs is being met, maybe a new section of the pyramid will have to be built. This time it is up to us to build, not Maslow.
  • Jan 7 2014: I wonder if more of us would find happiness if we looked to find the answer to the question within ourselves, rather than believing it is what advertisers and critics tell us it is.

    A mathematician and philosopher was asked several centuries ago by a king of Italy ( when Italy was made up of many kingdoms) "What will make me happy?"

    The philosopher asked him what he was doing next.

    The king was going to invade the next kingdom over from him.

    So, what was the king going to do then?

    Probably invade a few more kingdoms.

    What then?

    Well, the king thought about it for a while. Actually, he'd like to sit on his veranda and drink some wine while he looked out across his kingdom from his home.

    So, said the philosopher, why don't you just get some wine, sit on your veranda, drink wine, look across your kingdom, enjoy and be happy?

    By all accounts the king did so, and was happy.

    Apparently this is a true story. I cannot remember the name of the mathematician/philosopher, but he made a king happy and prevented the misery of many thousands of ordinary people too.

    How is this relevant today? Well, I don't think that I for one will find happiness in the next pair of sunglasses, an expensive watch, a flash car, a jar of face cream or some 'nip and tuck'... whatever others may tell me!

    Happiness will, I'm sure, be found in different places by different people. However, it will surely seldom be found where others tell us it will be.
  • Jan 7 2014: Happiness to me is a side-effect of being useful, not a lasting condition we can 'create'.