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Happiness

All people want to be happy , no one is happy because we can't be happy , so why strive to be happy ?: this is the most prominent source of pain (the striving) , actually I think is the single one ........... in fact do we have an escape : can we stop striving for happiness ? I don't think so .

What do you think ?

Closing Statement from E G

Now, I think that we all are more aware of what we think about happiness than before this conversation , that's a good start............. good luck everybody.

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    Sky F

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    Sep 20 2011: I think the really big disagreements floating around this thread are simply semantics... People aren't using the same 'happiness' idea. Apples/oranges. Anyway, using the traditional conventional idea of happiness I'll add my two cents:

    I believe happiness is simply contingent upon one's ability to savor.

    Because rich people can be sad and poor people can smile their faces off, it's all dependent on how each individual enjoys their experiences life gives them to the fullest.

    As Oscar Wilde said: 'With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?' Hell, even homeless people have access to these things! Or Kurt Vonnegut: 'Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you'll look back and realize they were big things.'

    I was a little kid who had more fun playing with the boxes the toys came in rather than the toys themselves. If I could expand that to my every day life that would be some powerful stuff.
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        Sky F

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        Sep 20 2011: Thanks! Familiar faces! Cool.

        Nice to not be forgotten :)
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      Sep 20 2011: Sky, this gets my vote for best answer.
    • Sep 20 2011: Brene Browns talk on Vulnerability quote

      "Honor the ordinary"

      key to happiness is right there and goes along with what you said sky!
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      Sep 20 2011: Well said Sky...nice to see you again:>)

      I like that Autumn..."Honor the ordinary".
      When we are mindful and pay attention in the moment, we often see the beauty and joy in everything.

      I am grateful and enjoy washing dishes, because I think of how many people in our world do not even have water or food. I feel grateful that I have clean drinking water, food, and a home.

      This week, I have been pumping water out of the cellar, and it feels, at times annoying and discouraging. The moment I feel discouraged, disappointed or annoyed, I think of the people who do not have a home because of flooding and other disasters. I come back to the thought..."at least the water is only in my basement, and I am grateful for that. I think/feel that gratitude is very connected with happiness/contentment.
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        Sep 20 2011: No one would have ever known you were facing such a miserable thing as a flooded basement from reading your entries this week. Same old consistent kindness and wisdom all week long. This is a good indicator that a world view is working - when it works during the annoying stuff. I hope you find dry land in the basement soon!
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          Sep 20 2011: Thanks Debra,
          Like I've said so many times...I focus on the positive. One of my favorite songs is...
          "Accentuate the positive...eliminate the negative":>)

          Yes, I've had 8-10 inches of water in the basement. Luckily, I live in northern Vermont, rather than central or southern Vermont, where there has been incredible damage from flooding...it is a disaster. Many people are isolated because of road washouts, and we may consider those the lucky ones, because many watched their homes float down river!
          It's difficult to even dry out and catch up because the rain continues. I am aware of the disaster and challenges many in the state face, and I am so grateful that my home is still standing, and the water is ONLY in the basement.
      • Sep 20 2011: I too had water in my basement-about a foot and I felt so grateful that nature did what I couldn't do in clearing out items I was not ready to get rid of.

        It was a blessing in disguise for me- all though there were many people devastated by the flood, I pray that if this is their dark night of the soul, they find what they need to grow and make a blessing out of a disaster.

        "the things we own end up owning you" Chuck Palahnuik from Fight Club
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          Sep 20 2011: HA! Makes me smile Autumn:>)
          Maybe that's what this is all about...my basement simply needed cleaning!!! LOL:>)

          I agree Autumn, that we can usually find the light at the end of the tunnel (a blessing in disguise as you say). It is true that disaster and trauma often bring us to a new and different place in ourselves.

          When I was young, I sometimes struggled with impatience, frustration, pain, etc., and at some point in my life, I realized that everything was/is an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve. So, I started moving more directly to the learning and growth, and not staying with feelings of disappointment and discouragement for very long. I still have moments of "woe is me", but I don't see any point in staying in that mind set for longer than a few seconds:>)
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          Sep 20 2011: Something joyful for Colleen and for Autumn as they face the yuck of drying out their basements. (I once had a sump pump quit and allow the basement of a brand new house to flood so I can relate- all my stuff was still in boxes in the basement!) I just went looking for Colleen's song!

          http://youtu.be/4IP9h40z0sk
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          Sep 20 2011: Thanks for that link Debra...it's a good one huh? Brings tears of joy to my eyes because I started singing that song a LOT at the time of my near fatal head/brain injury, when I was also going through a divorce, ending 24 years of marriage, was diagnosed with cancer, and both my parents died. I often felt lost, and in a whirlwind of emotions, which were so confusing at times. I took one step at a time, and sang that song a LOT:>)

          Water in the basement? HA!
          When I remember where I've been in my life journey, and what others face in their life experiences, water in the basement is nothing. Perhaps that is one key to unlocking the experience of happiness/contentment. How important is the issue that we percieve to cause unhappiness? How much energy do we want to give to that challenge?
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      E G

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      Sep 20 2011: You are right : perhaps the single point of disagreement is the semantics and even more i would say the idea that by happiness we all should understand the same thing : why don't we do it ?
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        Sep 20 2011: Eduard,
        Perhaps we don't all "do it" the same because our experiences, interpretation, perceptions, expectations, etc., are apparently different. We are all offering our own interpretations and experiences, and many of our perceptions seem to overlap. Some do not and that's ok.
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          E G

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          Sep 22 2011: Maybe but we all seek the truth I guess .
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      Sep 22 2011: " Happiness is simply contingent upon one's ability to savor " - this from Sky.
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      Sep 22 2011: Bravo !!!
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      E G

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      Sep 16 2011: '' you've already made up your mind that it isn't.'' yes and it isn't .

      I was one-sided because that was my purpose , look at the entire disscusion and you'll see that I was how I was with a reason but I agree (I ever agreed)with the other side presented shortly by you.

      "the fact that simply experiencing pain as pain and pleasure as pleasure, as they come and go, without holding on or pushing off, reduces suffering and increases fulfillment." maybe but in that case we wouldn't be humans , that is an ideal state , and by principle it cannot happen in our world therefore you shouldn't write this: ''..And potentially absolutely''
      (You know what's strange : I know three religions with such messages : do it: ' the fact that simply experiencing pain as pain and pleasure as pleasure, as they come and go, without holding on or pushing off, reduces suffering and increases fulfillment. Potentially to an enormous degree. And potentially absolutely' at the end as reward that three religions guarantees 'the absolutely' , partially that's why I'm a theist and I never find so far atheism to talk against it.)
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          E G

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          Sep 17 2011: -Yes it is possible to experience in this world moments of almost absolute happiness ( Buddha done it ) but practically for us it isn't (=ideal state). But even that moments are very few and short .
          -No one knows with proofs about a reward or about anything what is about the after life I guess we all agree on it.

          You don't see the point of being rewarded after this life , look it:
          We all strive /fight for happiness and in the best case if that happen to be ours we have only some very few and short moments of almost absolute happiness , we can't stop fighting not if we are mentally all right : this situation leads to insanity/madness . to fight/strive for happiness all my life and in the end to get practically nothing ? because that is what this life offers , in my opinion there is a necessity to believe in that next life : that's partially I believe in it (not because a religion or another says me to do it ) , I need another life.
          You knowing what I've just said my answer at your last question : Idk how it will be that another paradise I just need to believe that there is another paradise and that is it better than this life (for my mental health at least) .
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          E G

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          Sep 17 2011: Just that by starving I mean it (when I talk with you) :''simply experiencing pain as pain and pleasure as pleasure, as they come and go, without holding on or pushing off, reduces suffering and increases fulfillment. Potentially to an enormous degree. And potentially absolutely, if and when your pushing and pulling is absolutely absent in that moment." no one do it naturally .
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          E G

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          Sep 18 2011: First of all : look what I mean by starving/fighting for happiness (and I mean it momentaly only when I talk with you): trying to 'simply experiencing pain as pain and pleasure as pleasure, as they come and go, without holding on or pushing off, reduces suffering and increases fulfillment. Potentially to an enormous degree. And potentially absolutely, if and when your pushing and pulling is absolutely absent in that moment."'' You said well 'Some people come to a point where they spontaneously...' or ' a whole lot of other people are able to get there' because this is possible to happen but all of them ''..have to come to a point.. by experienceing ..'' , this is the striving/fighting for happiness and this usually last the entire life for everyone . And when they get there and do it 'naturally' the starving/fighting don't stop ,they have to fight to maintain it , this never stops usually (even because of that habitual patterns...)
          ''It's about changing your habitual patterns, which grew out of unattended reflexivity'' I know what it is about , that's why I'm talking about starving .
          ''Not striving doesn't mean being passive or non-responsive or plain stupid.'' Idk why do you say it because not starving really means that.why do you say it?
          What I said sounds more rational to you now (maybe I wasn't so precise and specific before.....) ? if not why ? by the way I'm really wondering what do you mean by 'starving ' for happiness?
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          E G

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          Sep 18 2011: In everything there is pain as well as pleasure , we agreed on this before : The people will always suffer no matter what they would do , just that by a right way to look at the things and to understand them they can suffer less .
          Idk too much about that chinese game but i can tell you surely that everything have it's price. . Just think realistic what means to '' simply experiencing pain as pain and pleasure as pleasure, as they come and go, without holding on or pushing of'' : this simple means for example to not get attached emotionally of anything : 'can you imagine having a family that kind of life ? this kind of life is for the best and even they never reach what they are striving for : our natural human condition don't let us to do that .
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          E G

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          Sep 18 2011: I agree with your first paragraph , that's what I talked about in the last part of my first answer to you , it just proved the imposibility :'simply because it's been such a deep and unconscious habit for such a long time' that's what we are now by our instincts , by our nature as a whole , there will ever be something to fight against . I'm not in that state when I'll be there if I would ever be we'll can talk more detailed about what happen then (as you very well suggested ) , just some general principles don't let me think now at what happen in the way you described:
          -there is pain as well as pleasure in everything
          -there will ever be something to fight against
          -our nature is a very 'against nature' when it comes about happiness while the same nature urge us to seek the happiness.... and so one . (why this principles , read the nest post of mine to you)
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          E G

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          Sep 18 2011: ''Striving implies the combination of working towards something, and being hung up on the outcome.'' right , that's what I mean too . There has to be clear for everyone : that ultimate thing on which everyone is hung up is happiness , when we get it we stop being hung up on it right . And something more , I should mention from the beginning : ''simply experiencing pain as pain and pleasure as pleasure, as they come and go, without holding on or pushing of'': that's what starving for happiness means; you see even this striving implies to experience pain , by the fact that we simple experience as they come and go doesn't mean that we'll ever stop experience pain/pleasure but it does mean that by an attitude (that described there ) we can stop causing more pain than we already have .
          ''In fact it is at the very core of your resistance. It is largely subconscious, but it is entirely possible to learn to become conscious of it and see this for yourself. And in the moment you see it clearly, you automatically let go, simply because it makes so much sense.'' yes but pain anyway would be suffered . Do you understand why I said that "The people will always suffer no matter what they would do , just that by a right way to look at the things and to understand them they can suffer less '' and that 'our nature is a very 'against nature' when it comes about happiness while the same nature urge us to seek the happiness'''. think better from this perspective at how happiness is possible , what I said just reduced the possibility to almost zero .

          Sorry now I'm a bit on hurry but I'll come back later.
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          E G

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          Sep 19 2011: See if I understand correct what you said (I say it with my momentum words) :
          -starving in your opinion is the process of learning how to experience pain as pain and pleasure as pleasure as they come and go without getting attached of them , and someone do this not being hung up on the outcome=happiness but accepting the present moment. You say that when we learn to experience pain as pain and pleasure as pleasure we won't be suffering because the suffering it's not a activity in itself but it's in the resistance to the very pain . Pain is only suffering when it encounters resistance (about the pleasure there is no need of explanations I agree with what you said about it so far).
          -You say that 'not getting attached' has not the meaning of not caring of what happen right now but it has the meaning of accepting the present moment and in this way we can live it fully (I see it's oversimplified, what happens doing it it's still not clear for me from your words.........I guess because I don't have that experience).
          -You said also that we don't have to be attached of the outcome because in this way will suffer more.
          On the basis of this explanations we agreed before.
          Is it what you meant to say ?

          A pretty good position and reasonable at least in an intuitive way , now (if that is what you meant to say) I understand you better. I'm waiting to know your answer and after that I'll say my opinion (just to be sure) .Thank you so far for your patience.
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          E G

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          Sep 19 2011: yes for now I agree with what you said , I have many reserves and objections: one of them is that we experience pain and pleasure all the time , this two are in contrast whatever if they produce suffering or not (they are so by what they are) , maybe in that state accepting what's happening we can have a fulfilled life but we have it by living with contrasts : it creates differences therefore somehow I still think that the fighting for happiness never stops (it's not clear and I don't try to make a point) .

          What I said and was in contradiction with what you said/(my last comment) was wrong .

          So far here in my conversation with Colleen and Thomas especially, we were talking about if the happiness exist or not , they said that it exist I said the contrary .As I said I still don't think that happiness exist on this earth but I think that all I have to do is to get closer and closer to it (you presented so far in my opinion the best method to do that ) .
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          E G

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          Sep 19 2011: I agree with you the pain and pleasure are not a inherently feature of the things , they depend more of how we experience them . There are unclear for me too many things to continue thinking in this way : the first phrase that I agree with you on could make me to believe that there isn't actually pain and pleasure , and even further maybe that there is only one of them ...... for now Idk .
          Contrasts: maybe fight each other by what they are , they are opposite 'things' , maybe you are right . There is nothing sure , not now for me . Your presented method (are you a buddhist ? ) is a very good one but if I want to study it deeper I'll surely find deficiencies (I usually do) but because it's a so good one I'll study it deeper.

          But now let's imagine that a person (let's call that person George) wants to be happy and wants it by this method : he will start by starving to get that naturally way of living the present by simply experience the pain as pain..without resistance . and after some time you will say him "About the being attached to outcome, it's a kind of fixation, like any other resistance" and he will answer you '' maybe but it is the very reason for which I started practicing this method '' and you'll say him : ''yes George but you have to practice this method thinking that you don't do it for being happy even though in the end this is the reason for which you practice it " ; my question: isn't that a kind of contradiction ?
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          Sep 19 2011: " I don't think any single set of ideas under any name has an exclusive claim to reality"
          That's why in hinduism they say that there are as many truths as there are people.
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          E G

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          Sep 20 2011: Thank you for all the informations you gave me so far about this method , I won't comment them I just read them .

          I'm also glad you recognize that even this method have deficiencies , it just prove my point about happiness as being non-existent in this world : you can't say that we can reach the happiness by a deficient method , it's like saying that by following the scientific method we can get the absolute truth=the single truth , it doesn't happen .
          It's also true that the contradiction exist in points of view because that's all we have but this doesn't change anything , the contradictions/deficiencies exist , that's what we are .
          I find your method interesting but I don't think that by following it, it will bring me the happiness , I think only that it can help be to get closer and closer and even closer to happiness .
          P.S.: Mark I really thank you for you willingness to help I really do believe me but I'm a lonely wolf , I like to be alone , I ever found my way alone and I ever will , I don't need help , I'm grateful to you for what you did believe me but I don't need this (I don't mean any hurt by what I said if that however happen : I'm really sorry ).

          By the way I don't believe in free will , in my opinion the idea of free will is just a big aberration .
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        Sep 20 2011: If I get you well Eduard you refer to something that the English language doesn't provide a proper word for.
        It is the theme of Don Quichotte or Lancelot. The happiness of suffering from that all consuming love for the unattainable queen. This love gets you going in life and let you undertake all kinds of adventures and overcome all dangers. To be united with the object of your love would bring life to an end.
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          E G

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          Sep 20 2011: I think the English language does provide a very proper word (I'm not specialist in it by the way), this word is happiness : what we understand by it make difference , that's right too .
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          Sep 21 2011: What you presented to me was a method and if I'll study it deeper I'll find contradictions even it being so good now (I' won't study it for that), everything has deficiencies , there is nothing perfect in this world .

          " If a contradiction appears only in some views on reality and not in other views on reality....''I said there clear Mark :all we have are points of view , the reality isn't known than only through this points of view.

          About the third pharagraph, I will .

          And about the fourth , I'm glad you do understand and you are right . It was worth to spent the time with you here , thank you and good luck in this life .
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    Sep 14 2011: "Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination".
    (Roy M. Goodman)

    I agree Eduard...striving for something may be "the most prominent source of pain".
    Many times, people are struggling, striving, working toward finding happiness outside themselves. Happiness is something that resides in our hearts. We simply need to recognize and acknowledge it. As we are striving to find it, we often miss the opportunities to recognize that we already have it:>)
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      E G

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      Sep 14 2011: Colleen:
      By saying that the happiness is a way of travel you don't say more than like saying about a man that is a creature with two legs and two hands (I hope you understand what I want to say).
      What is that means : 'heart' ? and what is that mean 'happiness'? I guess we have to know what they mean in order to acknowledge them .............. but even by don't knowing them we are unhappy , think that there are thousands of definitions of : heart and happiness , none is complete (we know it even only because are so many ) : how can we be happy then?
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          E G

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          Sep 15 2011: None of them and every of them (about synonyms) : shortly : Idk .
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        Sep 14 2011: Yes Eduard, I think I understand what you are saying, and I agree. Happiness is a way of travel...just like "a man that is a creature with two legs and two hands". I percieve it to be very similar as well. Many people are searching for happiness as a destination, and are forgetting that we can choose to be happy in spite of challenging situations. I prefer to use the word content rather than happy, because there seems to be many more interpretations of what is happy...or not.

        You ask "what is that means: "heart?
        To me, it is where our feelings come from...the heart...intuition...gut feelings. We also can influence our own feelings with our thoughts/mind. The more we know about anything, the more possibilities we have available to us regarding how we live our lives.

        There are some people who face incredible challenges and remain content. There are people who sometimes seem to have it all, and are NOT content or happy. I believe that it is a choice.

        You ask..."how can we be happy then"? For me, Eduard, it is usually a choice. There is ALWAYS something for me to be grateful for, even when I am facing challenges. Those are the things I focus on. It does not change my situation (cancer, near fatal head injury, abusive father, etc.) I CAN, however, change my perception and my feelings about a situation.

        I look at EVERYTHING as an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve, so I look at many different angles of any situation. There is always, in my experience, something to be thankful for, something positive, and interesting to focus on. I do not deny any feelings or thoughts about the situation, and I do not focus on that which can cause unhappiness in my mind and heart. My mother taught me this from the time I was a small child, and I am very grateful for this lesson:>)
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          E G

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          Sep 14 2011: I'm a bit on aurry now , I'll come back .
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          E G

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          Sep 15 2011: About your first pharagraph read another comment of mine to you .

          ''To me, it is where...'' yes you said it very well : 'to you it is....' : this cause unhappiness .

          The change, the growing , evolution means suffering= unhappiness and so on...

          I understand your perspective Colleen , Idk if I agree with it all I know is that it cause unhappiness like many other perspective met by me so far ............. (hmm going with my mind a bit away of my actual thougths : your perspective sounds good).
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        Sep 15 2011: I've read all of you comments carefully Eduard.

        For me, the change, growing and evolution DOES NOT mean suffering. It means pain and challenges at times, but suffering, to me, happens when we hold onto the feeling of the challenges that cause unhappiness. When we spend a lot of time focusing on the problems and challenges, we may be unhappy.

        Eduard, I'm truly sorry if my perspective, and the perspectives of others on this sight cause unhappiness for you. I'm glad you may be going in another direction with your thoughts. I believe happiness or contentment is a choice. If we have an underlying belief that we can experience happiness/contentment no matter what is happening in our life, we can experience pain, problems and challenges, and still be content knowing that we will move through the challenges. It is an opportunity to learn and grow in ourselves, and with others.
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          E G

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          Sep 15 2011: Pain is in contradiction with our instincts : unhappiness (pain, suffering doesn't matter too much)
          "Eduard, I'm truly sorry if my perspective, and the perspectives of others on this sight cause unhappiness for you" oh , that's not the case , don't foreget ;noone can be happy anyway.
          I saw and I see what you believe : all I can tell and I tried to say here (was nothing personal) is that what you believe as happiness is not happiness because even that (what you believe as happiness) cause pain .
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        Sep 15 2011: Eduard,
        I do not percieve pain to be in contradiction with our instincts. Pain is a natural, common result of trauma.

        If you believe "unhappiness (pain, suffering doesn't matter too much)", why did you start this discussion?

        "No one can be happy anyway" is YOUR perception Eduard, and it doesn't seem like you will believe anything different. I do not agree that happiness causes pain, and I cannot even imagine how you come to your conclusions. I respect the choices you make for yourself.
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          Sep 15 2011: ''If you believe "unhappiness (pain, suffering doesn't matter too much)", why did you start this discussion?'' Idk what you mean by it.

          ''I do not agree that happiness causes pain''

          Everything in this world cause pain . Just look around you and in you and if you find a thing which don't cause pain : I'll be very glad to know that thing .
          All these just prove my view.


          Thank you anyway for your time and your shared thoughts with us/me, it wasn't for nothing.
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        Sep 15 2011: Eduard,
        I look around me carefully every day, and am aware of many things that cause me to be thankful, grateful, content and happy:>)

        You say "It wasn't for nothing". That is part of the point I am trying to make. Any interactions we have, offer the opportunity to learn and grow in ourselves and with others. That is the pleasure I derive from conversations, so I use that as the example of "look around you and in you and if you find a thing which don't cause pain: I'll be very glad to know that thing". This "proves" my point:>)
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          Sep 15 2011: yes I see what you tried to say and I agree with but my point has a longer range : and my point is that even this: ''Any interactions we have, offer the opportunity to learn and grow in ourselves and with others'' causes pain , even your point causes pain :::::: unhappiness , got it?
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        Sep 15 2011: Eduard,
        Yes...I've "got it"...happiness and contentment. I understand that you would rather hold onto unhappiness, and I respect your choice...sorry my point causes you pain.
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          Sep 16 2011: Hey hey don't cause pain only on me , it cause pain on you too , it cause pain on nature .
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        Sep 16 2011: I agree Eduard,
        I believe we are all connected, so when one person feels pain, it affects other people and nature.
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          Sep 16 2011: That's good.
  • Sep 18 2011: I guess, we can be truly happy, when we become less self-centered,
    and stop thinking about our happiness. "Do the best you can with what you have" and reside in peace,
    whatever the result. Somebody here said that contetntment was a shame.
    No it is not , it's another level, It's freedom from anxiety, which pursuit of happiness inevitably brings.
    Let me quote A.S.Pushkin, /sorry for the translation, it's mine, spontaneous and far from being perfect, but I hope it'll convey the idea/

    "There is no happiness in the world, it's true,
    but there is peace and freedom"

    Peace of mind and freedom from fear to be unhappy.
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      Sep 18 2011: ''"There is no happiness in the world, it's true,
      but there is peace and freedom" Pushkin was very right at least with the first verse but you said also '' we can be truly happy'' , what do you mean by 'we can be truly happy' ? And how being less self -centered help us to be 'happy' ? (I'm interested to know your perspective .... I agree with you)
      • Sep 18 2011: what do you mean by 'we can be truly happy' ? And how being less self -centered help us to be 'happy' ?

        Eduard, I don't want to create a religious debate here, as to my experience on TED, such debates generate more heat than light,
        but all religious beliefs and sacred teachings, as far as I understand them based on the same insight "We are all one"
        and "be truly happy" for me means to be aware of that and make your choices in the light of this knowledge.
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          Sep 18 2011: I like the religious debates even though what you said about them it's very true .
          ''we are all one'' ? oups , what religion says that ? I mean from my knowledge ..........
          what I know is that the christian religion says (and not only) : we are all equal in front of God and postulate that golden rule . is that what you meant to say by 'we are all one' ?
      • Sep 18 2011: Edward, I really don't want to go into this,
        but you've asked... The religious person, being hurt won't ask "Why do you do this to me?"
        but "Why do you do this to thyself?"
        Maybe I am biased, but in "Don't do to others ...." I also see the message of oneness.
        Actually, we all find what we seek, there is nothing new here.
        The Nazarene Jesus said:
        When you make the two one, and
        when you make the inner as the outer
        and the outer as the inner
        and the above
        as the below, and when
        you make the male and the female into a single one
        then shall you enter the Kingdom
        He used /I believe / the word "Kingdom" in the exact sense of the Buddhist "state of enlightenment"
        But, please make no mistake, I am not preaching or debating, it's not my intention. It's how I see it now, nothing more. : )
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          Sep 19 2011: ''"Don't do to others ...." I also see the message of oneness'' you aren't biased.
          .
          But you see when Jesus says : ''Love your fellow as yourself '' He says I think to love myself and in the same measure to love my fellow , He here don't destroy my identity . May you having in mind what I said explain better the ideas of oneness ?
      • Sep 19 2011: May you having in mind what I said explain better the ideas of oneness ?

        -Not better, but it fits just fine. Concept of Oneness,as I understand it , doesn't diminish your identity,
        even more it applies to your uniqueness.
        It is not a homogeneous entity, but multifaceted whole, every cell of which is unique, valued and loved.
        And if you see it like this, you are doomed to be happy. : )
        btw. the true sense of the word ''enthusiasm'' in it's original meaning- being (in) theos (God).
        Maybe happiness can be experienced throug enthusiasm? Why not?
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          Sep 19 2011: You make my day Natasha.
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          Sep 20 2011: Mark,
          This suggests to me, that we can create our own happiness by bringing joy to every interaction, which I firmly believe:>) What goes around comes around. We reap what we sow...

          "Life begets life
          Energy creates energy
          It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich".
          (Sarah Bernhardt)
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          Sep 20 2011: Natasha:
          So you say that by being less self-centered we can reach the fulfillment of this concept of oneness and in this way we can be happy . And by this concept you understand an homogeneous whole/entity which is made up from every particular identity . have I understood correct?
          (if yes)It's a pretty good way of looking at things , yes pretty good , all I have against it is that it's not realistic :- there are too many self-centered people in this world
          -we have to fight in every moment until we die to be less self-centered and it's impossible to reach that equilibrium in everything what we do : to love our fellow in the same measure we love ourselves (this simply for example because we aren't aware in every moment of what we do and our nature (it is well-known by everyone) will ever want everything for itself).
          Somehow you said the same thing with what said Mark and it's very true what you said but unfortunately it's not realistic .

          Happiness perhaps can be experienced through many things , why we can't experience it in my opinion otherwise said is because we don't have them all and surely we don't have them being complete in themselves.

          Anyway thank you very much for your answers.
      • Sep 20 2011: Thank you, Frans
        "what goes around, comes around" : )
      • Sep 20 2011: Mark,
        Thanks for a "bit of world-analysis"
        Resurreted words, alone can bring us closer to understanding
        how this world works!
        Enjoy your day!
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      Sep 22 2011: " Freedom From Anxiety " ..... this says a lot. I like that !! Thanks Natasha.
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    Sep 17 2011: Eduard wrote (in response to Thomas) "your basic premise (that your perception defines reality for us all) is illogical.'' Because I never said and never wanted to let someone think that my perception defines the reality "

    There is a often-cited story of 12 blind men who experience an elephant for the first time. Each explores a different part of the animal. One believes it is like a snake, because he explored the tail. Those at the legs determined that it was like a tree trunk, those exploring the ears thought it like a fan. etc.

    The point is there is no objective reality because we can only view it through our perceptions. (I like to break it down into frames (expectations, beliefs,interest, motivation) filters, (emotion, bias, attitude, outlook) and focus (what we tend to pay attention to). These can become rigid and fixed, thereby creating a finite view of reality. They can also become flexible and expandable allowing us to incorporate how others may view our world. The second option tends to work better in my experience. The first is a major contributing factor in most every unresolved conflict.

    We can only be logically consistent within the frames, filters, and focus that we are aware of. The world outside that can easily seem illogical (or ignorant, evil, perverted etc.)

    in my experience, flexible, expandable frames filters and focus contribute to happiness, rigid, narrow frames, filters, and focus lead to fear, frustration, and the absence of happiness.
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      Sep 18 2011: "The point is there is no objective reality because we can only view it through our perceptions'' I agree of course but I used the concept of objective with an relative meaning as it has in science usually. Always what we particulary observe it's defined by our perceiving ,in science too therefore this is not a point for ignoring another way of explanation only because other percieved it differently, let's try to have a scientific look at the more perspectives presented looking them as objective perspectives(even if they aren't) and to judge them consequently in this way , my perspective is defined by my perceptions but everyone else's is too and if we have the same objective reality from which we take our ideas again there is no point in saying something like:'' this is your way of perceiving the things '' . Let's have a scientific look at everything and judge them rationally .
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        Sep 18 2011: Eduard,
        This is your one comment that is keeping me in this discussion:

        Eduard Ghiur
        1 day ago: I talk about what I notice in people , in the world around me .... and you know why ? : because I want to be happy too .
        Thank you again very much

        You have been offered scientific theory, philosophical theory, psychology practices and teachings, and testimonies of real life experiences. You are going around in circles with arguments that in your mind "prove" that happiness is not possible. What would it take, for you to believe that happiness is possible? Because, if you really "want to be happy too", as you have stated in your previous comment, you have to first believe it is possible. I care about you.
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          Sep 18 2011: I see ..... just that I look at the things from a different perspective an I wrote that words to make sense revealing that perspective ; the happiness is not possible and I don't try in slightest to prove it to myself , I try to prove it here , and i do it for others because I wanna be happy .
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        Sep 18 2011: Eduard,
        It is very obvious that you "look at the things from a different perspective". As I have read all of your comments carefully Eduard, it appears to me that you do try to prove that happiness is not possible. In fact, you have stated that many times. You're not proving anything to the rest of us on this thread, so who are you trying to prove it to? It feels like you do want to be happy, so why don't you embrace some ideas that might help you reach your goal, rather than continuing to try to prove that it is impossible?
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          Sep 19 2011: If I wouldn't answer to your perspective or if I wouldn't talk here on TED I don't think I would care too much to prove that happiness don't exist.
          At you last question : I don't think i can be happy if I don't understand the reality as it is as much as I can.
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        Sep 18 2011: Eduard wrote "Let's have a scientific look at everything and judge them rationally."

        Science tests hypotheses systematically. Allow me to propose three hypotheses for you to test:

        1)Reducing tension makes it more possible to perceive happiness

        Happiness can be perceived if we 2)allow that it is possible; 3)do not resist emotions and 4)we pay attention to instances of beauty and appreciation in our world.

        I suggest you try an 8 day experiment to personally test these hypotheses.
        1) View the 2nd through 6th video podcasts on this list http://bobvanoosterhout.com/id113.html and practice the techniques described - diaphragmatic breathing 6 x per day for 3-5 minutes, Rhythm phrase whenever your mind is free; grounding 3 times daily for 5 minutes - (you can do these at the same time).

        2) If you experience any emotions during this time, immediately begin diaphragmatic breathing and grounding and allow the emotions to run their course (this lasts minutes if you do not resist them)

        2) Each day write a brief description of five experiences or observations that could bring someone joy or happiness each day (Example feeling the wind on your face).

        3)Note if you experience any moments of what we are referring to as happiness.
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          Sep 19 2011: ''Science tests hypotheses systematically'' ok , suppose that I have an hypotheses and you have another , we all know that both mine and your hypotheses finally have their datas from our subjective percieving therefore there is no point in saying :'your hypotheses is wrong because that is your subjective experience '' we won't make any progress in this way . What I suggested is to judge them as objective as we can even if they aren't and in a reasonable way.

          Thak you for you presented experiences.
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      Sep 22 2011: I love the Elephant story.

      And I love having " flexible, expandable frames filters "

      Thank you Bob for these.
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    Sep 17 2011: I regularly work with people who see no potential for happiness in their lives. Here is the usual scenario. There is a build up of tension, often resulting from stress, resisting painful emotions or both. The body seems to interpret the build up of tension as a threat and activates the sympathetic nervous system (which energizes muscles) which puts us in fight or flight mode. The mind also interpreting tension as threat, narrows its frame on possible sources of threat and focuses on “what’s wrong.” Since we can always find something wrong (particularly with ourselves), the mind starts to dwell on that, which further stimulates the sympathetic nervous system fight or flight reaction. Since the body has no realistic response to this process, the energy in the muscles is not discharged through running or fighting and the process escalates until the person seeks help (or posts to TED.)

    The frame through which one perceives reality, shrinks. One’s view is filtered through fear and negativity and there is a narrowing focus on what’s wrong. There is no room for happiness in such a reality. Happiness requires a broad, flexible frame that incorporates what is beautiful and fulfilling. It requires a filter that allows rays of appreciation and joy through to our mind, emotions and senses (tension blocks the experience of emotion) and a focus that is flexible and able to perceive detail and context. When frames, filters and focus become less fixed and rigid, the capacity to experience happiness is restored. Frames, filters and focus that are narrow and rigid eliminate the possibility of perceiving happiness. Since there is no awareness or experience of happiness and memories of happy times are blocks by rigid negativity, one logically concludes that the possibility of happiness does not exist.
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      Sep 18 2011: The first paragraph it's very interesting but it's not the case with me . Usually I don't have this kind of explanations because mine are more of an intuitively nature . But you have to know that the concept of happiness for me have an absolute meaning , you described it there in very physical terms , I usually don't think it's proper to do it. What you called happiness there in my opinion it's not really happiness but it's a reflection/a shadow of what happiness really is , that's how I explain the fact that even when someone is 'happy' that person want to be 'happier' (or I explain it in the way of your suggestion about degrees of awarness of happiness ).
      But again what you said it's very interesting and partially new for me(I was expecting at this kind of explanations).
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    Sep 14 2011: Happiness cannot exist without sadness. One must occasionally have downs to have ups. The trick is not to always go for the quick easy thrills that'll make you immensely happy in sharp bursts, because you'll just be miserable waiting for the next burst of happiness to happen. Like drug dependence. We must strive for a milder happiness that lasts longer and doesn't have such a painful opposite.
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      Sep 14 2011: " Happiness cannot exist without sadness" In other words happiness can't exist without unhappiness ........... that's strange .
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      Sep 14 2011: BALANCE:>)
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        Sep 15 2011: equilibrium
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    Sep 14 2011: No one is happy?

    Have you ever seen a three year old playing in a park?

    Well, that three-year-old still resides inside of all of us.

    I agree with Colleen: "Happiness is something that resides in our hearts. We simply need to recognize and acknowledge it."

    I have a friend and he says if you want to be happy, invite happiness into your life.

    Extend the invitation and I think you'll find it is already there.
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      Sep 14 2011: "I have a friend and he says if you want to be happy, invite happiness into your life.

      Extend the invitation and I think you'll find it is already there." ok I do it and after that i find out that I have to pay my credit at bank instead of buying to my children what I've promised him before ...the result: I quilckly find that it was already there (if it ever was because again the life don't let me to think to much at what was bringing another problem on the table and so on.... )


      (a just imaginary case) .
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        Sep 14 2011: Ah, I see - you interpret happiness as an absence of problems.

        If that is the case, then, yes happiness might be elusive.

        But if you think of happiness more like thirst - you could be thirsty regardless of circumstance.

        Within reason, happiness is more like that - it can be present and experienced no matter what else is going on. (In my experience.)
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          Sep 14 2011: "you interpret happiness as an absence of problems." partially I do because everyone makes me to think so : everyone wants less problems than they actually have , when even this wish makes them unhappy .
          '' within reason it (the happiness) can be present and experienced no matter what else is going on" by this regarding the matter of problems all what you tell me is that you have an rational acceptence of the reality (it being composed from problems) .
          But this your rational acceptance actually is not rational because we all want to have less problems than we actually have , this is a natural instinct; you just can't be happy when you are in contradiction with yourself.

          Sorry man but from your sayings I don't think you know what the happiness is about (when in fact I don't think someone knows , you just proved the rule ) .
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          Sep 14 2011: In my experience as well..."happiness...can be present and experienced no matter what else is going on"...in my life:>)

          Eduard,
          You say..."...everyone makes me think so..."
          Why do you allow everyone to make you think that? Are you giving up your power and ability to make choices for yourself?

          Even when one has a "rational acceptence of the reality", which might be composed of challenges, one still has the option to make a choice, no matter what anyone else tries to "make" us think. Why are you not thinking on your own, and making your own decisions about how you will feel?

          Eduard,
          You say..." we all want to have less problems than we actually have, this is a natural instinct, you just can't be happy when you are in contradiction with yourself".
          This is true...we cannot be truly happy when in contradiction with our "self". What about if we accept the fact that there will be challenges in our life that we cannot control? Then there is no contradiction with our "self"....right?

          As individuals, we all decide for ourselves what happiness or contentment means to us, and then we create that in our lives.
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          Sep 15 2011: It's a kind of hard to connect the all dots when I talk with you Colleen : look : ''What about if we accept the fact that there will be challenges in our life that we cannot control?'' yes and what I said to Thomas is even that this acceptance is irrational and crazy because we by our natural instinct of perserving ourself we want less problems, less chanllenges : results unhappiness ; simple said : even the lack of power of controling all what happen make us unhappy .

          At your first (Idk too much what to say) : just that I don't have to allow anyone to make me think in a way : I see what everyone wish and I draw conclusions .
          Look something funny : even the process of making choices cause us unhappiness because all the time we love our both possible alternatives more or less every of them of course and when we choose one of them ................ you know what follow...

          I'm not a negativistic man , I'm just realistic.
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        Sep 14 2011: Eduard,

        I do think some people choose not to be happy. We just fired someone who was like that. No matter what was happening in her life she chose to see it in a negative way. Even compliments were seen as a form of insult.

        In the same situation, everyone else around her would be happy and she would not be. It was as if her whole identity was that she was not a happy person and so she lived her live in such a way that it matched her image of her self.

        She literally made an effort to interpret every situation in a negative way. She worked hard to be unhappy.

        It was quite sad, and painful, to see.
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          Sep 14 2011: I guess with this attitude she was closer of happiness than we all are .
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          Sep 14 2011: I've just read your both comments , you should be a bit more careful : you are shocked of what I said that she by trying to be unhappy she actually was more closer of happiness but at the same time you agree with Matthieu (and with me perhaps) that happiness cannot exist without unhappiness , how this come ? your both comments togehter don't make too much sense.
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          Sep 15 2011: What you think or not about that woman doesn't matter for our disscusion :'she just chose to feel miserable all the time.' limit yourself at the wrote words and draw conclusions starting with them , otherwise we can't have a rational disscusion .

          '' What I meant was that we need unhappiness to appreciate its opposite '' but you are also shocked of my idea that she by choosing to be unhappy was closer of happiness (of recgonizing it) : it's the same thing and the same contradiction.
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        Sep 14 2011: QUOTE: "I guess with this attitude she was closer of happiness than we all are ."

        Eduard, you seem to have an unusual perspective on what happiness is - and what it isn't.

        Why do you think a woman who is objectively, and by her own account, extremely unhappy is closer to happiness than all of us?
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          Sep 15 2011: at your question : Yes I do (and I do only if that woman is objectively and by her own account extremely unhappy only in order to be happy) .

          What I see at all of you is that you talk about a metaphysical concept which don't have any application in the real world , you use items like :'her happiness isn't my kind of happiness' or 'happiness from my experience' , this isn't happiness I can't rationally buy it.
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        Sep 14 2011: QUOTE: "...I don't think you know what the happiness is about (when in fact I don't think someone knows , you just proved the rule ) ."

        Hi Eduard,

        You don't think I know what happiness is?

        Well, I suppose that is a possibility. It depends on how you are using the word "happiness."

        Based on your comments, so far, I suspect your definition is unconventional. It appears that you see happiness as unobtainable.

        By that definition, no one would know what happiness is.

        So, rather than debate whether or not I am happy perhaps you might clarify what you think happiness is.
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          Sep 15 2011: Thomas&Silvia ;

          I don't know what happiness is , I don't think someone knows , I don't have a definition for it .
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        Sep 14 2011: Hi Eduard,

        Your last comment ("I've just read your both comments , you should be a bit more careful...") was registered as a reply to me but it seems like it is probably meant for Silvia.

        You seem to be suggesting that happiness and unhappiness must co-exist. Again, I suspect this depends on how we define our terms.

        Personally, I do not think one needs to have experienced happiness to know unhappiness. Nor do I think someone has to experience unhappiness to know happiness.

        Darkness is not required for light to exist.

        Disease is not required for health to exist.

        Bitterness is not required for sweetness to exist.

        One could experience darkness, disease, and bitterness without ever know light, health, or sweetness.

        And the reverse is also true.

        The same could be said for happiness and unhappiness.

        (The assertion we need to know one to know the other is not true. Knowing both might change our perception ... but that is a different story.)
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          Sep 15 2011: ''You seem to be suggesting that happiness and unhappiness must co-exist'' maybe in our world ; Idk for sure I just know that we can't be happy .

          you just proved it by your shortly shared with me vision of 'happiness' .
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        Sep 15 2011: Hi Eduard,

        I'm not sure if it's a language thing or a logic thing but I am having a hard time following much of your argument.

        What I have been able to understand is, you "don't know what happiness is" and you "know that we can't be happy ."

        I find these statements somewhat contradictory.

        How do you know we can't be happy if you don't know what happiness is?

        As I mentioned before, you may have a unique definition for the word - which is fair enough - it's your conversation.

        But using my own definition of happiness (and a definition shared by most of the people I know) I have this to report:

        I am happy. I am routinely described as the happiest person my friends and family know. (This last statement surprised me because I thought, generally speaking, everyone was as happy as me.)

        I also believe Colleen is happy.

        There are a few others here on TED I would be bold enough to say were happy too.

        Anecdotal, I know but there you have it.

        I'm not sure how that will fit your theory.

        I have no objection if, by your definition, you see me as not happy.

        I presume and accept you are not happy.
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          Sep 15 2011: Idk what why this mania of thinking in terms of definitions , theories : I don't think in this way , I wanna be free .
          ''How do you know we can't be happy if you don't know what happiness is?'' it's simple(lol) : I know what happiness isn't (and isn't what you and the most here on TED perhaps think , it's simple to prove it ).
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        Sep 15 2011: Hi Eduard,

        So you know what happiness isn't and you know that most here on TED don't know what happiness is, is that right?

        And you can prove it?

        Okay, go for it: Prove it.

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        By the way, I don't recall offering a definition or a theory of happiness.

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          Sep 15 2011: No one knows what happiness is and all know what happiness isn't (if they are sincere ) .


          ''By the way, I don't recall offering a definition or a theory of happiness.'' even this words prove what I said (you don't have to recall in order to think in that way) but look:''you may have a unique definition for the word'' ''my own definition of happiness'' ''how that will fit your theory'' ''by your definitio''
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        Sep 15 2011: Hi Eduard,

        You seem to be playing a word game. Which is fine. Word games are fun.

        I did refer to your definition ... which seems to be something along the lines of "there is no definition ... and if you have one you don't know ... no one knows what happiness is ... we only know what it isn't."

        And, you are correct, I did say "by my definition" but I did not elucidate what my "definition" is.

        I am sure within the confines of your perception your assertions make sense to you. However, saying, "No one knows what happiness is and all know what happiness isn't (if they are sincere ) " may be true (accurate) only from within your definition of what happiness is or isn't. It may not be true for anyone else. And it certainly isn't "proof" of anything. Unless you have something to support your assertion it is not much more than sophistry.

        It is an interesting mental exercise to try to understand you ("you" not happiness) ... but, so far, you have not provided any meaningful insights into the experience of happiness or unhappiness.

        Why did you open this conversation? Do you have an objective in mind? To teach? To learn? Social interaction? Amusement?

        What outcome are you expecting? (If any.)

        As I say, you are essentially playing a word game.

        Personally, I like word games (within reason.)
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          Sep 16 2011: You don't have to elucidate what your definition is in order to think in terms of your definitions .

          '' may be true (accurate) only from within your definition of what happiness is or isn't. It may not be true for anyone else.'' now this is a word game really , you make it interesting : look :
          -what happiness isn't knows everyone , right ? : it isn't sadness , pain , betraying , cruelty , love , acceptance , pitty , idea , choice , way of life ....... : happiness is happiness , right ?
          Anyone don't know what happiness is because I can prove to anyone that what he think that happiness is , it's a fake .

          Look just two example : -Colleen said that happiness is a choice but she also said that happiness don't causes pain : we all know that every process of making choice involves more or less pain .
          - You said :"Within reason, happiness is more like that - it can be present and experienced no matter what else is going on" after that I said you (and I can prove you again if you want to) that what you call here happiness it's not happiness but it's rational acceptance of the reality.
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          Sep 16 2011: Eduard,
          Regarding your comment: "Colleen said that happiness is a choice but she also said that happiness don't causes pain: we all know that every process of making choice involves more or less pain".

          Those statements do not "prove" your point in any way, shape or form because WE DO NOT ALL FEEL THAT EVERY PROCESS OF MAKING CHOICES INVOLVES PAIN. I'm sorry if that is your experience, but that is not true of everyone. I do not experience painful decision making, and I know that many others DO NOT experience that either.

          What is your end goal with this discussion? It feels like you started it simply to prove that happiness is not possible? Sorry if you believe that.

          Eduard, if you continue to focus on the ideas you put forth on this comment thread, that becomes your reality, which gains in strength, all the time. How about considering something different? At one point in this discussion, you said that my perspectives were sounding good. How about if we follow the paths of discussion that several people, including me, have suggested? It may be different for you, and it may open some new windows?
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          Sep 16 2011: Colleen :
          First of all I always consider something different , this what I talk here is not necessarily about me , ok ? this is about some ideas : some of them have been taken by me from others, some are mine , and my reason within what I know is mine . At your last questions find out that I've done that , I don't wanna do that any more because is irrational .Look out to my answer to Thomas before saying something . ok?

          ''WE DO NOT ALL FEEL THAT EVERY PROCESS OF MAKING CHOICES INVOLVES PAIN'' this is also irrational and look why before having an attitude towards me ok?:
          -you don't have to feel the pain for the pain to exist , the pain can exist in your conciousness without you to know it. Look a case of making choices : -when you have two alternatives/options/choices , the fact of the matter is that you love for example both of them but you can't do that completely so when you choose one of them ..... .EVERY PROCESS OF MAKING CHOICE INVOLVE PAIN.
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          Sep 16 2011: Ok Eduard,
          If what you are talking about here is not about you...who is it about? Honestly, the only time I have heard ideas similar to what you express, is when talking with people who are depressed.

          I've read your comments, and everyone else's comments very carefully Eduard, and I'm concerned about you. I care about you, and am sorry that you feel as you do about life.
          No one should have to always have pain and discontent in his/her life, and I'm very sorry you experience that. I do not have an "attitude" toward you Eduard. I care about you.
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          Sep 16 2011: I talk about what I notice in people , in the world around me .... and you know why ? : because I want to be happy too .

          Thank you again very much
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          Sep 16 2011: You are right Eduard...there are many situations in our world that can cause unhappiness and pain. It is a good thing, and very helpful, that you notice what is happening in our world.

          I want you to be happy too...how can we accomplish that goal? Do you think it would help to believe that happiness is possible? It is my pleasure to communicate with you Eduard, and it would be nice to talk about things that might help you to be happy?
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          Sep 16 2011: "Do you think it would help to believe that happiness is possible?" No I don't think so but I think that if we think right about the reality in the world would exist less pain .
          Thank you
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        Sep 16 2011: Eduard,

        You have still not proven anything; you are simply stating that others do not know what happiness is. And you "know this" because, consciously or not, you are comparing their (our) comments to your own understanding of what happiness is.

        In other words, you have a definition of happiness against which you measure other people's definitions of happiness (as you imagine them to be) and you draw a conclusion.

        While you do this, you make essentially meaningless claims for instance you don't know what happiness is; you know what it isn't, no one knows what happiness is, etc.

        Again, you are playing a word game.

        Happiness is (conventionally speaking) an emotion. Its effects can be measured and plotted using fMRIs, subjective reporting, even blood tests.

        I assumed you were discussing happiness on "another level" so there was no point in mentioning the tangible evidence for the experience of happiness. But you do not seem to be discussing what the rest of the world refers to as happiness. You seem to be discussing some unique idea of your own (which so far makes no sense whatsoever.)

        I suspect what you might be trying to say is that if we define happiness (in any way) we are setting ourselves up for disappointment: we will either fail to achieve our objective and so be "unhappy;" or, if we do reach our goal, we will fear losing that which (we think) has resulted in our happiness, and, again, be unhappy.

        Another possibility is, you are suggesting we cannot predict what will make us happy.

        Both assertions have merit but they are, in no way, unique.

        And neither one implies that happiness does not exist - as you seem to be stating.

        Other flaws in your presentation include erroneous statements like, "we all know that every process of making choice involves more or less pain" and "I can prove to anyone that what he think that happiness is , it's a fake ." To mention only two.

        Making a choice does not "cause" pain.

        You have not proven anything to be "fake."
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          Sep 16 2011: I don't have an understanding of what happiness is but I have an understanding of what happiness isn't , this phrase is not a game of words , ok ? because I don't have to have an understanding of happiness in order to know what happiness isn't , ok ? if we agree on this we can move on , therefore your explanation of what you think I do conscious or not don't have a basis .

          "Happiness is (conventionally speaking) an emotion" you say it ,Collleen says : 'happiness is a way of life ' : the fact of the matter is that happiness is none of these two , why I say this :
          - I use the concept of happiness with an absolute meaning not with a relative one as I guess you do and I do it because it's irrational to do otherwise : -how could a person be happy and at the same time starving to be 'happier ' because that part with starving to be happier all the people do conscious or not . (this is just one reason and this is about 'You have not proven anything to be "fake."')
          About this :'
          'Making a choice does not "cause" pain.' read what I wrote to Colleen in my last comment to her.

          Idk too much about fMRIs , all I know is that through that machine (MRI I guess) we watch the activity of the brain , the conclusion if we are happy or not it's up to the doctor perhaps or to you .

          PS: I understand why all of you don't want to accpt the fact that happiness (As I use this concept) don't exist in our world= you strive for happiness .
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        Sep 16 2011: This simply sounds as a kind of depression. In that case some medication can help to improve life's quality.
        Tell me if I'm absolutely wrong.
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          Sep 16 2011: (lol) (lol) you are absolutely wrong because you made me by what you said 'happy'
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        Sep 16 2011: Eduard,

        You appear to think that your perception defines reality for all of us. For example, you do not know what happiness is (so neither can anyone else); other people's experience of happiness is fake because (you assume) they would like to be happier; by your definition, happiness is not possible in our world - for anyone; happiness is not what other people say it is (even though you do not know what it is); and so on.

        I accept that happiness, as you use the concept, does not exist in our world - that is, in fact, your definition of happiness: "It does not exist in our world."

        (Just out of curiosity, do you think happiness exists in "the next world?")

        I don't accept that your ideas about happiness (as you use the concept) are valid.

        Actually, I reject them outright.

        But I accept your ideas define YOUR experience of our world; and they influence how you perceive others.

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        If this conversation is an intellectual exercise for you, so be it. If it is a reflection of your experience and emotional state, I would encourage you to consider Frans' suggestion.
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          Sep 16 2011: Read my answer to Mark .
          In rest i don't see something else to answer to , I just wanna stress it :''do you think happiness exists in "the next world?'' yes otherwise our world and my and everyone life wouldn't make any sense.
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        Sep 16 2011: Hi Eduard,

        Thanks for your reply.

        If that is your worldview (that the afterlife is the only thing that makes life make sense) it is not surprising you have such views on happiness (and this life.)

        I accept that these are your views.

        I do not share them.
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          Sep 17 2011: ''But I accept your ideas define YOUR experience of our world; and they influence how you perceive others.'' lol : you accept something wrong and you are funny doing it.
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    Sep 14 2011: i read somewhere people try to do good to be happy, when if you be happy you do good
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      Sep 15 2011: I agree with this Benny,
      When we are doing good for others, we are often helping and encouraging them to be more happy/content. Helping others, often gives us the boost we need to move out of our own discontent and unhappiness:>)
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    Sep 20 2011: I just posted the "Serenity Prayer" on another site in relation to another conversation, and I began pondering how important that little concept is to me and how I experience happiness/contentment.

    "Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change,
    courage to change the things I can
    and wisdom to know the difference"

    This relatively simple piece of information has often been a foundation for me. My observations, tell me that unhappiness is often caused when people are struggling, fighting or resisting the existing reality. For me, it's been important to acknowledge and accept the circumstances I cannot change. Sometimes, it takes a lot of courage to accept our circumstances, but it's an important part of moving toward happiness/contentment. It helps to be open minded and open hearted enough to accept the circumstances and have courage to move through the reality of the situation. It helps to know our strengths, and have the wisdom in our "self" to be honest and trusting with our "self".

    I am aware that this information has been presented in many different ways on this thread, and this is simply another way of possibly seeing and hearing the same ideas:>)
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    Sep 20 2011: Happiness can be obtained only when we keep our surroundings Happy :) That is the most valuable thing I found throughout my life.
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      Sep 20 2011: What do you mean by surroundings : some boundaries or the natal environment ?
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        Sep 22 2011: Surroundings refer to the medium of interactions i.e. medium of people, medium of nature, medium of silence.
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          Sep 22 2011: ok and how can we keep our surroundings happy ?
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        Sep 23 2011: You know we interact with surroundings through our energy? If you don't, you should study the magnetic waves we emit 24/7 :) The positivity attracts positivity and vice versa.
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    Sep 19 2011: A note to others who are responding to Eduard:

    I have noticed when someone "presents" a problem we try to fix it (I'm doing it now) ... sometimes the problem does not need to be fixed. Maybe it cannot be fixed for various reasons (physically impossible, resistance, lack of skill, timing, etc.)

    Eduard seems highly functional and, in spite of his claims to the contrary, he seems to be experiencing what the rest of us would call happiness; he's engaged, has a sense of humour, and so on.

    He also has a very well defined view of the world and, in particular, "Happiness."

    With modifications (that you can check below) he has agreed that this is a reasonable accounting of his position:

    - You do not know what Happiness is.
    - You do know what Happiness isn't.
    - No one knows what Happiness is.
    - Happiness is not possible in this world.
    - Happiness is possible only in the next world.
    - You are unwilling to consider that Happiness might be possible in "this world."
    - Your view is universally true and any dissenting view is universally false.

    He has also asserted that for him Happiness is "an absolute."

    In other words he has elevated Happiness to the realm of "Deity" - it exists as an absolute unattainable-in-this-world ideal much as religious people view God, heaven, and so on.

    As this is a voluntary perception - he chooses this point of view - there is essentially nothing that can be said that will alter his perception. It is not causing him harm. It provides him with a sense of "place" ("this" world) and a sense of destiny (the "next" world) and a sense of uniqueness and identity (he is special and understands the nature of Happiness better than anyone - including us. He is "different" than the rest of us and so stands out as special.)

    I doubt very much he will give any of this up just because we want to "fix" him.

    He's not really broken anyway.
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        Sep 20 2011: Mark,

        You make an excellent point as well: We learn in the exchange.

        I think, for me, being aware of both possibilities - helping and learning - makes it possible to evaluate what my motives are in any given exchange. Usually, it's a combination of both.

        When I feel I have learned all that I can; and offered all that I can, I (usually) withdraw ... as I have done in discussing happiness with Eduard.

        I don't think I will learn any more by reading his posts. And I don't think I can offer him any more than I have offered him.

        And I enjoyed the interaction.

        He has an interesting perspective.
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        Sep 20 2011: Good point Mark,
        I believe we are all students and teachers in this earth school:>)
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        Sep 20 2011: Mark:
        It was.
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      Sep 20 2011: Hi Thomas,
      Since you addressed your note to "others who are responding to Eduard", and I am one of the "others", I offer a response.

      Personally, I have no intention of "fixing" anyone or anything. Eduard said in at least a couple posts that he wanted to be happy, and he does not believe happiness exists. I, and in my perception others, who have commented on this thread have offered some ideas as to how we all can reach a state of happiness or contentment.
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        Sep 20 2011: Hi Colleen,

        How about we change the word "fix" to "help?"

        I agree with you, there have been many excellent ideas ... I've learned a lot ... and I'm not suggesting anyone quit. I'm just pointing out Eduard might not be willing to accept the help (well, to be sure, he is not!) Nor does he think he needs it. His perspective - as I am sure you have picked up - is we need his help.

        If we expect our input, however we describe it, to change another person's point of view, after 188 posts or so, it might be time to modify (change) our expectations.
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          Sep 20 2011: In one of my first posts on this thread, I said happiness is a choice. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it because it's worked really well for me for 65 years:>)

          There are many practices, methods, and philosophies that can contribute to, enhance, reinforce, or create happiness in our lives, and many of them have been presented on this thread. It's been an interesting exploration:>)
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        Sep 20 2011: Hi Colleen,

        Within reason I agree with you - happiness is a choice.

        (Why I say "within reason" is there are certain mental illnesses which we cannot "choose" ourselves out of. We can get used to lots of things - poverty, pain, loss, etc. - we cannot "get used" to mental illness.)

        As to happiness being a choice, I don't think we'll get an agreement on that point from Eduard, do you?
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          Sep 20 2011: Just make sure to call his happiness "Happiness" (with a capital H) to distinguish it and voila! No need to reach an agreement.
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          Sep 20 2011: I absolutely agree Thomas, that there are mental illnesses, neurological challenges, clinical depression, etc., which may prevent a person from accessing the feelings of happiness/contentment.

          That being said, have you ever noticed that some people with a diagnosed mental challenge are some of the happiest, most content people?

          I have no expectations of Eduard. In my perception, we are sharing information and those of us who want to use the information will use it....or not.
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        Sep 20 2011: Hi Sky,

        I agree there is no need to reach agreement. (If you read that in just ... the ... right ... way it sounds kind of funny.)

        For me, the goal is understanding. Agreement happens. Or it doesn't.

        Capital "H" ... good idea.

        [I edited one of my comments to conform to the Eduardian-Fenton Happiness convention - see above.]
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        Sep 20 2011: Hi Colleen
        If happiness is a choice as you said it is necessary that there are options to choose from.
        Apparently this isn't always self-evident.

        In a program I saw a young Londoner woman that was unhappy and regularly sunk into a deep depression volunteered to live three months with the Himba people in Namibia.
        At first she complained on everything she saw, about the men that were doing nothing and the hard work women did. She resisted to listen and to cooperate, cried constantly.

        At the end she could cry of happiness and was full of love for those people.
        She looked back at her past as a nightmare and had learned laughing and loving for all those women she lived with were unshakably happy.

        Here is a detail of the program.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3gIZu3W9OA&feature=fvsr
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          Sep 20 2011: Hi Frans,
          I agree...there are always options. I watched the video.

          My response, based on only the short video, is that it would be challenging for any person to be in a situation like that where she did not understand the language, they dressed her in their traditional clothing, which was strange to her, and the people were constantly laughing at her. I don't think laughter always indicates happiness, and when one does not understand the culture or language, it may be confusing.

          I'm glad that it worked out well for her. One thing I've noticed in my travels, is that people in poorer, more simple cultures (cultures with less development, technology, etc.) often seem to be more content in their lives, while people in more complex cultures (western cultures) seem less happy/content. I believe there is a TED talk addressing this, which I watched quite awhile ago, and I cannot remember the title. As I recall, the topic discussion was about whether or not more choices cause us to be less content.
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          Sep 20 2011: why the happiness is a choice ?
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          Sep 20 2011: Eduard,
          I say happiness is a choice because that has been my life experience. In spite of challenges that could be debilitating, I have chosen to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the opportunity to learn from each and every experience, the benifits that are derived from facing the challenges with peace, contentment and love in my heart...to me that is happiness. I have made many choices to move beyond the pain and challenge, and find happiness. That is simply a choice I make, and I realize that it might not work for everyone.
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          Sep 22 2011: ''I say happiness is a choice because that has been my life experience.'' I don't mean any hurt by what I'm about to say : I don't think you have this right :to say that happiness is a choice because in this way you experienced it .
          Why are so many people unhappy if the happiness is really a choice ?
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          Sep 23 2011: Dear Eduard,
          I realize you don't mean any hurt by what you say...nor do I. We simply have different perspectives and I'm not the only one who experiences happiness in this way.

          Why are so many people unhappy?
          There are a lot of wounded people in our world...people who have faced and are still facing unbelievable hardships and painful challenges. There is no question about that.
          There is trauma and fear in our world, and that causes unhappiness. There is also beauty, joy, kindness, respect, consideration, compassion, empathy, contentment, and peace...LOVE.....in various pockets of our world.

          When we are in a wounded place in ourselves, it is difficult to see or experience happiness and contentment. To feel contentment, we have to move beyond the woundedness, either emotionally, or physically, or idealy, both. To move out of our woundedness is a choice. It could be a choice as individuals, and it can also be a choice on a global level.
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      Sep 20 2011: Thomas! If I had 10 thumbs up (I am still out for you) it would not be enough for the wisdom demonstrated here. Thank you.
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        Sep 20 2011: Thanks, Debra, and you're welcome.

        How about this: When you get some more thumbs, you can assign them randomly to my more mundane future contributions.

        [We have thumb quotas?]
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          Sep 20 2011: Yes, if you give one person more than an unknown number of thumbs up in the period of about a week, a box pops up to say that you are out of them for this member. I have never figured out the number. You mean you have never gotten that message?
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        Sep 20 2011: QUOTE: "You mean you have never gotten that message?"

        Not yet.
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      Sep 20 2011: Not my intention to "fix" anything really.people has very goods reasons to believe what they believe. If i were him,i would think the same.And i feel like i am still begaining to get a idea of what Eduard knows about happiness ( i should have read all the other comments) ;D Anyway...

      Its quite impressive to see how much efforts you guys are taking (whatever the word is "fix" "help " " conncet" "respond")I feel happy just looking at the whole thing- people care about each other. what a beautiful day!
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        Sep 20 2011: I agree Amily...
        People have reasons to believe what s/he believes and the beautiful thing about this interaction, is that people care about each other, which reinforces happiness in my mind and heart:>)
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      Sep 20 2011: With modifications (that you can check below) he has agreed that this is a reasonable accounting of his position:

      - You do not know what Happiness is.

      It depends on person to person, how h/she percieves Happiness.

      - You do know what Happiness isn't.
      Again the same answer for this.

      - No one knows what Happiness is.
      Who knows about everyone?

      - Happiness is not possible in this world.
      We don't believe in im-possibilities much.

      - Happiness is possible only in the next world.
      Who knows there would be another 'World'? Might there would be another dimensions.

      - You are unwilling to consider that Happiness might be possible in "this world."
      Happiness can be found in any moment, depending on the state of minds.

      - Your view is universally true and any dissenting view is universally false.
      Universal truths are applicable for all, provided they (people) should eliminate inner grudjes.
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        Sep 20 2011: ''It depends on person to person, how h/she percieves Happiness.'' why do you say it , in my opinion it doesn't.

        ''Who knows about everyone?'' I do believe me.

        "Who knows there would be another 'World'? Might there would be another dimensions.'' Idk this but I don't have to.

        A fake :''Happiness can be found in any moment, depending on the state of minds.'' but if you want I would like to know your argumentation for it.

        What I said is applicable for all.

        By the way I don't mean any hurt by what I'm about to say but you've just come and perhaps think you have the answers , you don't know so far from what you wrote what I'm talking about what Thomas said are just some ideas of mine the reason for which I have them it's don't know by you but you can know it if you wanna have a conversation.
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          Sep 20 2011: Dear Eduard,
          What you say, is NOT "applicable for all". I accept what you say and believe it to be YOUR opinion. It is not mine, nor does it seem to be the opinion of others on this thread.

          That seems to be the main argument on this thread. What you say Eduard is YOUR truth. It is, for whatever reason, what you believe, and I respect your beliefs. However, they are NOT the beliefs of everyone.
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          Sep 22 2011: @ Eduard

          Only your's opinion can't do justice with everyone's thinking patterns, as Colleen Steen said
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        Sep 22 2011: Colleen & Younus:
        I understand you think that what I said here is my truth but I don't believe it , I can't have my truths, the truths are universal and applicable for all , if what I said is rational and can't be denied then it should be the truth for all as well as if what you say is rational and can't be denied should be truth for all .
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          Sep 23 2011: Eduard,
          What you say in this recent post makes sense....look at your words and read the comments on this thread carefully Eduard.

          You write..."if what I said is rational and can't be denied then it should be the truth for all as well as if what you say is rational and can't be denied should be truth for all".

          What you have presented over and over again on this thread Eduard, is the idea that happiness does not exist. Has there been anyone on this thread who agrees with you?
          Or have several people been offering comments to support the idea that happiness IS possible? Do your own evaluation of the information on this thread with an open heart and mind. I care about you:>)
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          Sep 23 2011: Thank you Colleen :)
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    Sep 17 2011: The folllowing ideas come from or influence the work of Martin Seligman who has evolved his position from striving for happiness to Flourishing which involves a meaningful life.

    Learned optimism is the idea that a talent for joy, like any other, can be cultivated. It is contrasted with learned helplessness, which is when one believes that they have no control over what occurs, rather it is something external that dictates their ability to accomplish a task, succeed, etc. Learning optimism is done by consciously challenging self talk if it describes a negative event as a personal failure that permanently affects all areas of the person's life. Reports of happiness have also been correlated with the general ability to "rationalize or explain" social and economic inequalities.

    A study done by Stillman et al. (2009) found that social exclusion results in a perceived loss of meaningfulness in life. Furthermore the four needs for meaning (sense of purpose, efficacy, value and sense of positive self-worth) were found to be mediators in the perception of meaningfulness of life. When an individual thinks himself to be socially excluded, one's sense of purpose, efficacy, value, and self-worth are all indirectly diminished (Stillman et al., 2009).

    (Can't claim to have written the above other than the intro- I cut and pasted it from definition of meaningful life in Wikipedia because I have never quite known how to address the despondency I feel from Eduard's position and I think these clips address it better than my own words could)
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      Sep 18 2011: Debra as you know very well, happines disapears when you defines it....is better to live it.
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        Sep 18 2011: Grazie Caro, caro Luigi,
        La felicità può sparire quando si definisce, ma quando qualcuno ha nessuno Vorrei solo per aiutarli. Eduard sembra così infelice che sto sottolineando che egli fosse affetto da isolamento sociale.
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          Sep 19 2011: Avanti cara.
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          Sep 22 2011: Be it known that these are the most magical tools to create happiness with - " Avanti cara "
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        Sep 19 2011: QUOTE: "...happines disapears when you defines it ..."

        This sentiment intrigues me. It is commonly asserted as "a given." Self-evidently true and all that.

        But it makes about as much sense, to me, as saying that if we define a sunset, it will no longer be beautiful.

        It is possible to "live happiness" (an excellent idea) whether we define it or not.

        Happiness is not affected by external circumstance (within reason) and that would include the external activity of defining it (say by researching neuromodulators, social behaviour, and so on.)

        I know, one or two, happy scientists. And they try to define everything!
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          Sep 19 2011: I wish I knew when my quota of thumbs up would be reinstated because you have deserved several lately, Thomas that I was unable to give.
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          Sep 19 2011: Thomas...define means limit the feling nor the concept.
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        Sep 19 2011: Hi Luigi,

        Yes, I agree with you and understand that, on some levels, when we define things, we limit our experience. We expect it to fall within the parameters of our definitions. We "stop" when we get to the border, so to speak, even though there may be entire nations, vast uncharted lands, beyond our self-imposed boundaries.

        But I do not think the fault lies in the definition, the fault lies in our restricting ourselves by assuming our definitions are complete.

        As long as we live, there will always be ... more.
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    Sep 16 2011: I agree with the statement in Eduard's introduction that striving for happiness is a source of pain, but not "the most prominent." The most prominent source of pain, in my opinion, is resistance to pain.

    When we stop resisting pain, we can find happiness in the midst of pain.
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      Sep 16 2011: Yes , I'm tempted to agree with you if we stop resisting pain our existence would be less painful than it is (I said it a bit differently but I guess it transmits the same idea) and I would go a little bit more further : if we stop NOT resisting pleasure (stop accepting pleasure) we'll get the same results as if we'd stop resisting pain .
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    Sep 16 2011: My very best effort at a contribution to this conversation is a link to Bob Marley's 'Don't worry be happy!" sung by Bobby McFerrin (only because I could not find the original version which was much better- more joyful!)

    http://youtu.be/c7QCbCwmtXc
  • Sep 16 2011: From my experience if you decide to have a positive outlook on life, acknowledging that you will be sad as well as happy then even if you are not happy all the time it is OK.

    If one focuses their energy on raising kids and/or helping less fortunate people then one will not have much time to think whether he/she is happy or not? =)

    cheeeers
  • Sep 15 2011: Y no one z happy? I believe that happiness doesn't come out of blue!! Its within us and depends on how we react or respond to every situation. Appreciating what v have while accepting reality leads to happiness :) :) :)

    I
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    Sep 14 2011: I think happiness without self-responsiblity is an illusion and maybe thats why we never obtain it.
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      Sep 14 2011: You are right only that even this idea of self-responsibility makes us unhappy.
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        Sep 15 2011: what makes the idea into unhappiness?
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        Sep 16 2011: @Colleen
        Yes I agree that it is a choice. I was just curious about Eduard's perception.

        @Eduard
        I think the idea of being reponsible for self means control over your own life.Isnt that good? but its ok if you dont want to share.
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          Sep 16 2011: Sorry ................ 'Isnt that good?' that is good , but in order of controling yourself you would have to fight with yourself , you would have to encourage a possible alternative to another , you will have to make choices and any process of making choices involves pain......and so on : shortly said you would have to suffer : unhappiness. .

          (I talk saying 'you' , not reffering necessarily at you ).
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          Sep 16 2011: Hi Amily,
          I know we are in agreement because of previous discussions and I realize you were trying to get Eduard's perception. Since he was not responding, I thought I'd offer an idea:>)

          Eduard,
          We don't necessarily have to "fight" with ourselves to guide our thoughts and feelings. You are right, however, that being in control of our thoughts and feelings we need to encourage an "alternative". Life does not have to be always painful. Are you ready to consider some other ideas?
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          Sep 16 2011: I'm always ready only that I can't do that now because I think exatcly the opposite : the life is always painful , share me just a little part of life which isn't painful and I'll consider as truth your ideas.
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          Sep 16 2011: Share just a little part of life which isn't painful, and you'll consider my ideas?

          Sharing thoughts, feelings, ideas and opinions with you Eduard, is not painful for me.
          I care about you.
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          Sep 16 2011: Thank you for your care Colleen , I really do but I have to disagree with you : ''Sharing thoughts, feelings, ideas and opinions with you Eduard,'' , it is painful because you do a work, you think , you type : pain in a little measure but it's pain there : otherwise you wouldn't get older .
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          Sep 16 2011: Eduard,
          Trust what I'm saying...I choose to focus on the beauty and pleasure with the communications, rather than pain. That is a choice I make. If communicating with you felt like too much work to think and type, then I would not do it. I am happy and content with the choice I make to communicate with you and others in this discussion.
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          Sep 16 2011: Your choice , i respect it and I agree with it but we have to be aware of the all reality.
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        Sep 18 2011: @Colleen
        thats nice and i hear you speaking with your heart ;)

        @ Eduard
        Yes .Striving for anythings requires efforts which not necessarily makes people feel good about.Feeling good =happiness ?pain=unhappiness?I dont know how you see it.
        (I can understand what it is for you to believe what goes against "your reality" (especially when you used 4 have' tos in a short previous post.)
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          Sep 19 2011: ''Feeling good =happiness ?pain=unhappiness?I dont know how you see it.'' You don't have to know because that isn't what I said , I said that pain causes unhappiness.
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        Sep 19 2011: thanks for clarification.so what you seemed to say so far is that life is always painful and pain causes unhappiness and that why you believe there is no happiness in the world? Is that what you were trying to say?
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          Sep 19 2011: ''...and that why you believe there is no happiness in the world? Is that what you were trying to say?'' not necessarily , yes pain can cause unhappiness if we don't have a proper attitude to it and not : pain stops to be the cause of unhappiness if we have a proper attitude to it . But even if we have that attitude I still don't think that happiness is possible (and this for other reasons : for example the pain is not the single fact which can cause unhappiness) .
          That's what I meant to say shorlty.
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          Sep 22 2011: @ Eduard - How you percieve, matters most, then understanding the causes about those effects would second the thought. Hope you get it right.
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    Sep 14 2011: Most people give up on happiness once they are content. A shame really.
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      Sep 14 2011: Being content is also a kind of happiness. See if my mother and father are happy with my salary(I am not married) I am content and happy..
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      Sep 14 2011: I read this entire thread, and Anthony is the first I found to mention contentment though I disagree with him. I think contentment does not require happiness. Not that it has been 'given up on'.
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      Sep 15 2011: Yes Anthony : A SHAME REALLY
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    Sep 27 2011: Hi Eduard,

    I took the time away from this conversation simply because I didn't like the concept you propose:
    1. Happiness is impossible.
    2. We should all accept this.
    3. You trying to impose your ideas on me.

    Anyway I get the whole HAPPY -> UNHAPPY chain idea. I get the fact that unconditional Happiness may be hard to reach (I agree with the capital H idea). I can even relate to a lot of the opinions shared here. Still I don't get your persistence. However, I have a few suggestions for you:
    http://www.ted.com/conversations/5915/why_do_people_assume_that_othe.html - I really think you should participate in this conversation and share your opinion on the topic.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/elif_shafak_the_politics_of_fiction.html
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6642715-the-forty-rules-of-love
    http://es-la.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=135312939544&topic=14243
    Please listen to the author (if you like her talk - read the book) if not you can always just get a quick glimpse at the short version in the last link and give me a feedback whether the happiness she proposes in the book is your idea of it.

    Overall I agree with Sky about Happiness and as said before for me it's a kind of art:
    1. Different for everyone.
    2. Not all do experience it.
    3. It has all kinds of flavours and faces (and I love every single one of them).
  • Sep 23 2011: Happiness is within and it depends on situation and circumstances provided how the person is....
    So it is time n our mindset v ve to clame on.
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    Sep 20 2011: I'm just busy , I say it because I think I have somehow a duty to care of what happen here (maybe it's my fixation, Idk ) anyway I'll come back later , you enjoy the conversation .
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      Sep 20 2011: No worries Eduard. We're doing fine. It seems we're all happy to chat amongst ourselves. ;-)
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        Sep 20 2011: It should be good to hear that .
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    Sep 20 2011: Really a beautiful day :P
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    Sep 17 2011: Eduard wrote” if we stop NOT resisting pleasure (stop accepting pleasure) we'll get the same results as if we'd stop resisting pain”

    I see a big difference between pleasure and happiness. Pleasure is a brief (usually sensory) experience, whereas happiness is a state of mind and emotion, a filter that affects our view of the world.

    Not resisting pleasure is potentially dangerous. Chrystal meth addicts don’t resist pleasure as they destroy the receptors in their brains that allow them to experience pleasure.

    Sustained happiness requires discipline and a process of making clear and informed choices about what is most important over the long-term.

    Resisting pain builds tension which narrows our frame, creates a negative filter and focuses attention more on the pain. I believe that resisting pain (usually emotional pain) is the root cause of depression which in my mind, is the opposite of happiness (It is also partially defined as the inability to experience happiness.)
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      Sep 18 2011: Oups , either my way of talking in English was wrong or you understood what I said in a wrong way : ''Not resisting pleasure is potentially dangerous'': I meant to say the reverse : by stop not resisting pleasure (I mean a double negation here)/stop accepting pleasure.

      Yes : resisting pain causes usually more pain and also accepting pleasure (by it I mean getting attached of the things which cause pleasure , I hope you mean the same thing) causes more pain .
      But don't this sounds more like a stoic way of looking at the things ?
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    Sep 16 2011: i heard if you can tell people what you believe without breaking stride you've created a life for yourself where you can be happy. Also less pain without greater wisdom would defeat its purpose i heed this also. is my point of view :DD
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      Sep 22 2011: " Less pain without greater wisdom would defeat its purpose ".


      I am being told: " You've reached the weekly maximum number of ratings for this user "!!
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    Sep 16 2011: Eduard,

    Your position seems to be:

    - You do not know what happiness is.
    - You do know what happiness isn't.
    - No one knows what happiness is.
    - Happiness is not possible in this world.
    - Happiness is possible only in the next world.
    - You are unwilling to consider that happiness might be possible in "this world."
    - Your view is universally true and any dissenting view is universally false.

    Is that a correct assessment of your position?
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      Sep 16 2011: It feels to me like Eduard's position is changing a wee bit with the most recent posts?
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        Sep 16 2011: I saw that. And almost edited my query to include: "You may be willing to soften your position."

        I decided not to because it didn't strengthen the inquiry. Also his reply was qualified and I thought it could go either way.

        Lets' see how he replies.
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          Sep 16 2011: I'm not sure if it is a matter of him "softening" his position, or perhaps it is a matter of all of us understanding each other? I percieve things differently now than when we started this conversation...finding "common ground" as Eduard insightfully says:>)
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      Sep 17 2011: Thomas and Colleen :

      Nothing from my initial thoughts changed only that Mark filled my one-sided view for a reason then , he did it very well and in this way I could with him to reach at some conclusions , they are :
      ''Where your view is not deep enough, is in stopping short of the fact that simply experiencing pain as pain and pleasure as pleasure, as they come and go, without holding on or pushing off, reduces suffering and increases fulfillment .Potentially to an enormous degree. And potentially absolutely''(Mark's words) ''maybe but in that case we wouldn't be humans , that is an ideal state , and by principle it cannot happen in our world therefore you shouldn't write this: ''..And potentially absolutely''
      ''Pain is in everything ''
      "Pleasure is in everything''(Mark's words).
      In a way or another I would have reached at the same conclusions but thanks to Mark we are now here quickler .
      Thomas:
      ''You are unwilling to consider that happiness might be possible in "this world."'' this is the reality : happiness don't exist in our world , it's not about what I'm willing to do or not.
      I think about my view as true , isn't it logical ? and consequentely I think that a the views which are in contradictions with mine are potentially false , I'm not an idiot, I accept the changes . In rest you summarized up well what I think .

      Mark already knowing what I was about to say I started a new thread , read my last answer to Mark's comments if you want to .
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        Sep 17 2011: QUOTE: "''You are unwilling to consider that happiness might be possible in "this world."'' this is the reality : happiness don't exist in our world , it's not about what I'm willing to do or not."

        Eduard,

        Thank you for your clarification. I understand your position.

        I reject your assertions outright.

        Some of them make as much sense as me saying that "Eduard does not exist in this world; this is the reality: Eduard doesn't exist in our world - whether I am willing to accept that he does or not has nothing to do with it.

        I have no reason to believe Eduard exists; I believe he does not exist; and so, even if this person who claims to be Eduard, disagrees with me and asserts that Eduard does, indeed exist, I know he is mistaken for I do not believe Eduard exists in this world. My belief (that he does not exist) is more meaningful to me than his experience and assertion to the contrary (that he does exist.) Ergo, he is mistaken; and my understanding is affirmed and reinforced even in the face of this person's denials.

        QUOTE: "I think about my view as true , isn't it logical ?"

        Yes, of course, you think your view is true; and yes, as such, it is logical you would assume it to be universal. BUT that is NOT the same thing as being logical: your basic premiss (that your perception defines reality for us all) is illogical.

        I accept that you do not understand this. I also accept that your ideas define YOUR experience of our world; and they influence how you perceive others. And that you - in keeping with your perception would, of necessity, see that as: Someone (me) "accepting something wrong and" they would appear to you, "funny doing it." [Your inability to accept the statement, proves the point.]

        I do not expect you to change your mind. I have no objection to you holding this view of your world. For you, you are speaking "the truth." I have no desire to change your perspective.

        I understand you. I do not share your views. We are not in agreement.
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          Sep 17 2011: That's also your understanding of my words all I wanna know is why you have this understanding ?
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        Sep 17 2011: Dear Eduard,
        I'm sorry your reality is that "happiness don't exist in our world", and it has a lot to do with our perception of the world as individuals. In my perception and experience, your view is not true or logical at all. I'm so sorry you feel as you do, because happiness/contentment is achievable and sometimes, it takes help from our friends, and/or medical professionals.
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          Sep 17 2011: no rpoblem just tell how , explain what you think
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        Sep 17 2011: Eduard,
        I'm sorry, but I cannot think of any more ways to explain what I think or feel about this topic, that have not already been suggested by someone. Everyone on this thread has offered many good ideas, and you seem to stay with your belief that happiness does not exist in our world. I feel sorry that you believe that, and I don't know what else to say. I care about you, and I sincerely hope that at some point, you may evaluate different information because to me, and apparently to some others, happiness DOES exist.
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          Sep 17 2011: Thank you for your time , I hope you enjoyed it (more or less) ............. (just before leaving this conversation read my last answer to Thomas ).
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        Sep 17 2011: Hi Eduard,

        You "wanna know ... why [I] have this understanding ?"

        Because you have expressed yourself clearly (after a fashion) and consistently; I checked with you to see if my understanding of your position was correct; and you said it was (with some minor corrections - which I accepted and integrated into my understanding of what you are saying.)

        Having confirmed with you that I understand you, I think it fair to say I do understand your position.

        And based on that understanding, I can say, unequivocally, we are not in agreement. I do not share your views.

        Does that answer your question?

        Do you have any other questions?
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          Sep 17 2011: First i have to thank you for your patience , I was reffering more at this parapgraph : ''Yes, of course, you think your view is true; and yes, as such, it is logical you would assume it to be universal. BUT that is NOT the same thing as being logical: your basic premiss (that your perception defines reality for us all) is illogical.'' Because I never said and never wanted to let someone think that my perception defines the reality : I tried to rest my view not on a subjective basis but on an objective one ; observing what happen the nature , the people. This is my question : why do you have a different experience ? on what basis rest it? does it rest only on your subjective experience (if this I'm not wondering why do you think that my perspective is illogical) but if you say that it rest on an objective study of nature we got a big problem .... ?
          I said here so many time that what I talk here isn't necessarilly about me , why don't you understand?
          Anyway thank you for your time even though I'm not expecting to stop spending your time right now.... .
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        Sep 17 2011: Hi Eduard,

        I believe I do understand you (and according to you I do) ... I just don't agree with you.

        You say, "I tried to rest my view not on a subjective basis but on an objective one ; observing what happen the nature , the people."

        I believe you think you are being "objective" but, I imagine what you are having trouble seeing is that even if you are seeing objectively you are interpreting what you see subjectively.

        It appears this is not obvious to you; I assume it is obvious to most everyone else who is in dialogue with you. At least to those who are familiar with the difference between objective and subjective interpretations.

        Several of us have attempted, in our own ways, to help you see this, but you have made it very clear, you do not want to see the world in any way other than the way you choose. (You will likely say, you have no choice, you're seeing what's really there.)

        We have been saying, there are other ways of seeing and experiencing.

        Perhaps you are right, perhaps you are only capable of seeing the world the way you see it; perhaps you have no other option but to experience the world as you describe it to us. That's possible.

        You ask, "why do you have a different experience ?"

        I can't answer that. I honestly don't know. But I believe you when you say you experience the world the way you do. I also know what my own experience is and our views are not compatible.

        You said, "that what I talk here isn't necessarilly about me, why don't you understand?"

        What you say may not be "about you" but it is about how you experience and present your view of the world.

        QUOTE: "Anyway thank you for your time even though I'm not expecting to stop spending your time right now.... ."

        You're welcome. I enjoy interesting verbal exchanges. And I think you're right there's not much more to share.

        We experience the world differently. I accept your experience, and your understanding, as valid for you. But, as I say, I do not share your experience or your views
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          Sep 18 2011: ''I believe you think you are being "objective" but, I imagine what you are having trouble seeing is that even if you are seeing objectively you are interpreting what you see subjectively.'' It is obvious to me this and everyone do it that's why I don't accept what you are saying about me :my answer to Bob :''"The point is there is no objective reality because we can only view it through our perceptions'' I agree of course but I used the concept of objective with an relative meaning as it has in science usually. Always what we particulary observe it's defined by our perceiving ,in science too therefore this is not a point for ignoring another way of explanation only because other percieved it differently, let's try to have a scientific look at the more perspectives presented looking them as objective perspectives(even if they aren't) and to judge them consequently in this way , my perspective is defined by my perceptions but everyone else's is too and if we have the same objective reality from which we take our ideas again there is no point in saying something like:'' this is your way of perceiving the things '' . Let's have a scientific look at everything and judge them rationally .''

          In the end the happiness should mean basically the same thing for everyone .
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        Sep 18 2011: Hi Eduard,

        I do not know what you are trying to "prove" ... perhaps that everyone's perspective is relative and subjective so no one actually knows what is going on.

        That's fair enough (If that is your point.)

        But, if that is your point, it is as true for you as it is for the rest of us.

        So rather than be so sure you are right (about whatever it is you think you are right about) it would make sense for you to say, "I don't know. Maybe you do."

        Instead, what you say is, "I don't know and so therefore no one else knows either."

        This is nonsense. And it is not "objective."

        If you are being "objective" and someone says they know something about something you say you know nothing about, an "objective" response would be to say, "Okay, that is possible."

        If you are being "objective," you must accept one of us, maybe all of us, might actually "know" something you don't know.

        But, again, your position seems to be that because you do not know, know one does. (You might be right but the point is YOU DON"T KNOW ... so you cannot say.)

        You abandon what you call "objectivity" when you make assertions that others do not know.

        You are simply not being "objective."

        Let's be "scientific:"

        There are five "scientists" and they are studying "something."

        Four of them, say there names are, Thomas, Bob, Colleen and Mark, assert "something" exists.

        The fifth says he doesn't know what "something" is but he knows what it isn't and that the other scientists must be "mistaken."

        Do you think it might occur to that lone scientist that his data, or his interpretation, might be skewed?

        Probably not.

        Why?

        It's called bias.

        You obviously think you are right and that your data is sound.

        I have told you I accept this. You think you are "right" ... fine.

        By your own admission, you lack any understanding about what happiness is and yet you seem to be unwilling to accept that those who say they know something about happiness might actually know.

        Eduard, this is not "objective."
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          Sep 18 2011: ''perhaps that everyone's perspective is relative and subjective so no one actually knows what is going on.'' yes if my perspective is subjective I say that everyone's perspectives are as subjective as mine therefore yes :''" I don't know and so therefore no one else knows either." , 'maybe you do know' it's not an option because we are keeping an opposite view . But if you know prove it , that's all what I'm talking about.
          do you understand now what I want to say ?

          Scientifically doesn't mean necessarilly majority but necessarilly it means more reasonable , do we agree on this? prove that your view is more reasonable than mine , again that's all I'm talking about and stop saying that I have this view because of my subjective perceving because we can't make any progress in this way (if that would happen in science we would still be in the stone age now): again this is all I'm talking about.
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          Sep 18 2011: Eduard,
          This is your one comment that is keeping me in this discussion:

          Eduard Ghiur
          1 day ago: I talk about what I notice in people , in the world around me .... and you know why ? : because I want to be happy too .
          Thank you again very much

          You have been offered scientific theory, philosophical theory, psychology practices and teachings, and testimonies of real life experiences. You are going around in circles with arguments that in your mind "prove" that happiness is not possible. What would it take, for you to believe that happiness is possible? Because, if you really "want to be happy too", as you have stated in your previous comment, you have to first believe it is possible. I care about you.
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        Sep 18 2011: Eduard,

        I appreciate the conversation so far. However, it is becoming tedious and I have nothing more to add.

        You seem to be unable to understand that, even though you hold a unique position, that, at least, one person has understood and accepted as valid for you, that your position simply is not valid for those of us who have had different experiences than you have had. (And no I am not going to "explain" the "different experiences" to you. You have demonstrated absolutely no willingness to listen, anyway. What's the point?)

        You seem to be genuinely unable to comprehend that others people's experience are valid if they do not conform to yours.

        As a result, I find the conversation to be tiresome and will be signing off here.

        Have fun (if you can.)

        Thomas
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          Sep 18 2011: ''(And no I am not going to "explain" the "different experiences" to you. You have demonstrated absolutely no willingness to listen, anyway. What's the point?)'' That's right , I was focused on my explanations nut I'm willing now (in case you change your mind ) .
          My view make me to have more fun than I guess every view will ever can .:)

          Anyway thank you for your time and your so far willingness to participate in this converstaion .
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        Sep 18 2011: Hi Eduard,

        Cheers.

        You certainly have been focussed.

        I don't think there is any more I can say that I haven't already said.

        I'm glad you have been having fun (if you're not careful you might even experience a little happiness!)

        I've enjoyed the conversation.

        I understand you.

        Perhaps you understand me. Perhaps not. Either way is okay with me.

        I do not think saying any more will advance our mutual understanding. So we're done ... at least as far as this conversation goes.

        Take care.
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    Sep 16 2011: Hi Eduard,

    Thanks for your reply.

    If that is your worldview (that the afterlife is the only thing that makes life make sense) it is not surprising you have such views on happiness (and this life.)

    I accept that these are your views.

    I do not share them.
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    Sep 16 2011: Eduard wrote "Yes I deny that there are degrees of happiness like I deny that there are degrees of truth , this 'degress' are just our models/inventions to can talk about things ."

    Interesting point. Possibly there are degrees of awareness of happiness. Taken further, that line of thinking could lead to the conclusion that happiness is our natural state, if we could only become fully aware of it. Interesting....

    Eduard wrote "I guess you already know my conclusion about that experiment with the students." It would be presumptuous for me to think I might know your conclusions. As would, drawing conclusions based on the limited information provided. I would be interested in reading your hypothesis and the reasoning behind it.
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      Sep 16 2011: '' Possibly there are degrees of awareness of happiness'' :it sounds more rational , and ''Taken further, that line of thinking could lead to the conclusion that happiness is our natural state, if we could only become fully aware of it. Interesting....'' yes (you got what I wanted to say very quickly and you put it better than I ever could with my English now).

      what you think about science which rest all it's claims on degrees of truth ? what is the measure of trust we should give to it in your opinion?
  • Sep 16 2011: nobody is worth your tear,the one who is,won't make you cry. Therefore,i think true happiness is to have frie.nds like that.Do you agree with me ?
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      Sep 16 2011: no because I guess you heard of that philosophical state of existing contempleting the beauty of the truth and so on .............in that state you are alone :the philosophers says that that is the single true way of being happy on this earth , I tempt to agree with them.
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    Sep 15 2011: Happiness is our guide through life. It brings us from a place that feels less good to a better place all the time. Think of a bird that finds a piece of food. It is happy to pick it then it looks around and sees another treat.
    So can we follow all we see that attract us and is natural. Life will fill in the details to bring us where we can be at our best.

    Unnatural attractors for happiness are drugs in all forms which can destroy us.
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      Sep 16 2011: ''Happiness is our guide through life'' right , I definetily agree .
      ''It brings us from a place that feels less good to a better place all the time'' you didn't study perhaps enough what really happen: not happiness bring us to a better place (if something really bring us) but our wish to be happy .
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        Sep 16 2011: YES Eduard!!!
        It is our wish to be happy that may take us to that place in ourselves:>)
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          Sep 16 2011: I see some common ground .
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        Sep 16 2011: Recognizing common ground gives me pleasure...contentment...happiness:>)
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    Sep 15 2011: I believe happiness is a matter of perception and focus. There is an extra credit assignment in a course I teach where students must post a "moment of joy" (something that is an ordinary part of their day but brings them joy) for 5 consecutive days and then describe the results of this experience. This assignment is given in the 2nd week of class before they have learned any techniques to restore balance, solve problems and make healthy decisions.

    Thousands of students have completed this assignment over the past 10 years and there is a clear consensus that they are happier and more aware after the experience. Many have described it as life changing.

    Modern culture and advertising dangles happiness as a distant goal to be achieved when we have bought or accumulated the required amount. It is like the rabbit on the race track that dogs chase but can never catch. Happiness is available each moment of our lives (even when in severe pain) if we choose to focus on what is beautiful in the moment.
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      Sep 15 2011: Mr. Bob :

      I have only a question , you said "is a clear consensus that they are happier and more aware after the experience" , how can someone be happpy at a present moment and at a future one be happier ? if a person is happy , how could that person be happier ?
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        Sep 15 2011: The students reported that they felt more happiness in their lives after the exercise. If you require more precision, I think I can reasonably interpret their statements that they had more moments of happiness or spent more of their day being happy. They indicated that they were less happy before the experience.

        Do you deny that there are degrees of happiness? I would feel happy looking a pictures of coral reefs but much happier diving through them.
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          Sep 16 2011: Yes I deny that there are degrees of happiness like I deny that there are degrees of truth , this 'degress' are just our models/inventions to can talk about things .
          I guess you already know my conclusion about that experiment with the students.