Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

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Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  Michael Chen on Mon May 18, 2009 10:21 pm

“ To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
We once ended a class discussion with a conclusion saying living content is key to happiness. We also know that we can become content with a widening of scope, an embrace to nature, and to live simplified as Thoreau might say. However, if an individual becomes completely immersed in the ego mind and succeeds in the conformity of competition, that single individual is also likely to achieve contentment. Is that ego based individual happy? And is happiness an emotion arises out of comparison, does it come out as an added effect from a situation, or does it require a complete connection of being while maintaining control of the ego mind? Also, we constantly try to analyze life and its meaning, will the enlightenment of truth make us happy, or will it only trigger more questions out of a never-ending loop of logic and reason? Shouldn’t we just enjoy life as it is without trying to understand it or will that be labeled ignorant?




Sites to look at:
http://www.srichinmoybio.co.uk/blog/happiness/the-source-of-happiness/
http://www.spiritualforums.com/vb/showthread.php?p=380998#post380998
http://forums.philosophyforums.com/threads/the-source-of-happiness-35060.html


Last edited by Michael Chen on Tue May 19, 2009 1:23 am; edited 1 time in total

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Happiness

Post  Luoh on Mon May 18, 2009 11:06 pm

While it is true that living content is the key to happiness, reaching contentment with the ego mind would only be temporary. When contentment is reached through the ego mind, after a couple of days, you want more. However, if we can reach contentment without the ego mind, we will stay forever happy, in theory.

I think happiness is something that requires connection with your being, while having some control over your ego mind.

I believe that by asking the truth of life, you receive happiness, but by asking too much, that is when you begin to trigger the never ending questions. Therefor, i believe that we should live our lives with some degree of curiosity, and that at times , we should be ignorant. This will lead to happiness.

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HAPPINESS AND ITS REASONS OR THE LACK OF

Post  Fionaaa :) on Mon May 18, 2009 11:16 pm

if an individual becomes completely immersed in the ego mind......likely to achieve contentment. Is that ego based individual happy? And is happiness an emotion arises out of comparison...

I believe that when we achieve happiness because of comparing ourselves to others, it will only be short term happiness. it will only EVER be short term happiness, because all in all, we are all one, the Universal Being, so how is it possible to be better than something that is essentially the same as us? the only thing that you can do to achieve true happiness by comparison is by comparing you...to well, yourself. the cliche "compete against yourself" proves to be filled with truth, because only YOU are in charge of your own being. you can't let others control your happiness just because they become better than you. if you don't give them the power to your contentment, then they will never be able to control you. anyway, back to topic, competition with others is, yes, a byproduct of the ego-mind going in overdrive. it wants to be better, even when there's nothing to be better at. it needs something to keep it going, to fuel it. competition will always be in need of the ego-mind. so to sum it up, competition will not provide happiness unless it is against yourself. however, this doesn't mean that the ego-mind can't bring happiness. the ego-mind is not the big bad monster everyone should go against, no, it is a TOOL that can prove to be extremely useful. so this tool, this ego-mind, will be able to bring one happiness when one know show to control it. happiness is a result of the Being using the ego-mind to do its biddings. a very simple example may be when you become overwhelmed with society, and you just want to indulge yourself in a good fiction book. in this case, the ego-mind can help bring you into this world of..books, where you might be able to find happiness. can you guys think of more examples of where the ego-mind is a tool for the Being to achieve happiness?

Also, we constantly try to analyze life and its meaning, will the enlightenment of truth make us happy, or will it only trigger more questions out of a never-ending loop of logic and reason? Shouldn’t we just enjoy life as it is without trying to understand it or will that be labeled ignorant?

the enlightenment of truth should bring us to a point of happiness that we will not NEED to ask more questions or clarify logic and reason. it is here that we are truly connected with the Universal Being, and as i have said before, this Being cannot be classified, because it is impossible classifying something that runs through all of life. this being is astronomical. we simply cannot label something that ...whoaaa. anyway, we don't need to understand life to enjoy it. do you understand why basketball makes you happy? or why eating spaghetti makes you content? no, you can't label the feeling, and there's no need to. we don't need to understand it. the emphasis is on the FEELING. and no whoever labels you ignorant is probably the most ignorant of all. cyclops
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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  Vincent_Lee on Mon May 18, 2009 11:33 pm

There is a saying I hear pretty often about how despite how good you may be at something, there is always someone out there who is better than you. That quote embodies an idea that undermines the whole idea of one being able to attain lasting happiness from competition. Competition is an ever-changing thing and victory is very often temporary. A Taekwando master might've taken home the Gold Medal for the 2008 Olympics, but the next time the event is held, someone else might just best him. In addition to that, while the elation that comes with victory is so short-lived, the training required to attain victory is undergone through the course of a life time. 10 or more years spent training for one year on the throne probably doesn't seem like a worthy trade-off for most people.

Taking it to a more relatable, don't we all know the satisfaction of achieving a high grade on tests? It feels great yes, but how often does that feeling last for more than a day, if even that much? Nice big number you've got on that piece of paper there, definitely. But is it that random collection of checks, crosses, and numbers that matter more or the fact that the effort you put into studying and learning the material that is more important? Once we go in to that area, we can get a feel on the more Being-based happiness, which often lasts longer and is less derived from external events, such as pwning your classmates, attainment of bragging rights, and big numbers.

One of the many things I've learned in AP Psychology is that in terms of effectiveness, intrinsic motivation is nearly always more powerful than extrinsic motivation and more likely to produce fulfilling results. And since competition is largely based on extrinsic motivation, it can hardly ever be as satisfying as engaging in intrinsically motivated activities. Is the child who beats his entire grade in the drawing competition happier or the child who draws because he loves it happier?

Although happiness derived from competition is temporary, that is not to say Being-based happiness is completely unshakable either. Happiness is not passive. It is very much active. To 'finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours" is very much a constantly engaging process.

Michael Chen wrote:Also, we constantly try to analyze life and its meaning, will the enlightenment of truth make us happy, or will it only trigger more questions out of a never-ending loop of logic and reason?

The enlightening truth, I believe, is that to be happy, we must simply embrace life. Will knowing that make us happy? On its own, no. Thought without action produces nothing. Knowing is not enough. Knowing the truth and then living it out is what will make us happy. And once we are happy, truly happy, is there any more reason to question anything?
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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  joyceychen on Mon May 18, 2009 11:37 pm

as Fiona mentioned, what I thought enlightenment was - based on my understandings from Siddhartha - that you've reached a certain point in your life journey where you dont need to continue to search for the meaning of life. You've attained a universal sense that allows you to understand it all. something like that. but as Lee says, and I totally agree, action should be executed so that your knowledge of happiness can fill your life, and thus you actually "physically" reach happiness.

as for your question, mike. I feel like the words content and happiness are actually of two different meanings. as Luoh said, being content usually is temporary, it can be easily changed. you are content with a situation, that is having your feelings depend on something else. Happiness, on the other hand, true happiness, that is, is slightly different. people can be happy for no apparent reason; youre happy because well, you just are. similar to what Fiona said, when youre happy around a particular person, most of the time, you can't really explain why. sure, that person might be fun to hang around with/funny/etc, but sometimes, when you just think of that person, you smile. [kinda connects to the little exercise/game we did in 10B, where we said a person's name and we tried to understand the feelings other people give off when that person's name is mentioned.]
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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  soph on Mon May 18, 2009 11:37 pm

hmm... interesting topic so profound ^^

lemme think...

I think when an individual engages him/herself in ego mind based competition, it produces a different kind of contentment. This type of "contentment" stems from the thought and belief that in outdoing someone else, one will be able to gain success. Therefore, an individual deceives themselves into thinking that this kind of competition is good for a person because one achieves success through this. This type of happiness and contentment does not truly stem from the being in my opinion. It is the ego mind casting a spell and contantly telling oneself that this is the correct thing to do and the only way to success. This sort of comparision creates the hallucination and imagination that makes us think it is good. For example, Taiwanese schools are heavily based on the academic performance and achievements of a student, they hardly take anything else into account. This puts tremendous pressure on the students of this society while making them believe that all this is good for your future and will be beneficial to your successes in the future... etc. (I'm sure we've all heard that at some point in our lives right?) This image creates a deception to our inner beings by making us feel or think in ways that contradict the wishes of the being.
I think true happiness and feelings of contentment come from complete connection of inner being while maintaining control of the ego mind. This is the only way in which, we human beings with our loud, never shutting up ego minds, can establish that connected between the essence and the universal soul in order to feel an inner connection with all that is, therefore experiencing its essence and coming in contact with it. Through this form of inner connection, we are truly able to feel satisfied and content, not just of the materialistic objects, but on the deeper essence level.
I think enlightenment will provide a guiding light to our lives, therefore giving us a sense of direction and getting rid of particular uncertainties and questions we may have about our existence, our beings, essence etc. Enlightenment SHOULD take away the need to analyze life and its meanings (but im not really sure if it'll raise more questions in its continuous loop and cycle of the unknown). I think we should just live life as it is, accept what comes into our lives, and... erm go with the flow! I dont think it is ignorant to take life on as it is because it requires courage, bravery, and all sorts of other qualities to be able to face the kinds of situations we may have to deal with in life. Living life as it is doesnt mean to be passive and sit at home all day (although you might produce some good poems if you are like Dickinson...), it means that you simply do not strive to catagorize, analyze and take apart everything in life to examine for its meaning, because that is just pointless. ^^
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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  Kenny on Tue May 19, 2009 12:19 am

I used to believe that life could only be good if you lived it contently, I reasoned that if you followed the path of happiness you would end up in a never ending search for the next more powerful high. So I decided that to live a real life, it'd be best to be content with everything you have and live without bias and without these fluctuations from good to bad.

Now I believe differently, That belief was stupid, I was trying to classify life, figure out a strategy for it. The truth I've come to live by, is that there ISN'T a formula for life, there's no way to truly find happiness, it'll come and it'll go, resisting it and seeking it only serves to ruin the happiness you could have experienced. Life has it's ups and downs and there's no way to truly become objective about everything, we will always be biased. So now I think this: We're put here on this Earth for about 80 years or so, we only get one shot at life, why not make the most of it? Why not explore it as much as we can, appreciate any beauty we can find?

Again, there is no true secret to happiness, no secret to life, the only real way to live life, is to live it. And you have to live it with your essence, with every fiber of your being, so yes this includes the ego mind, but is not completely the ego mind. So people who are "happy" based on the ego-mind are only deluding themselves, you have to feel and live with every part of you, one sense is not enough to live with all must be open to the world to truly experience it.

It's ok to live life without understanding it, you just have to be able to appreciate it. Appreciate it's existence and appreciate the experience of it

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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  anita on Tue May 19, 2009 12:49 am

That individual, in my opinion, who thinks he has attained real happiness from the conformity of competition, is being deceived by the ego mind as he is completely sucked into the dark hole of the ego mind. This is not real happiness; this is the temporary satisfaction that the ego mind tricks the person into thinking he is happy.

Triggering more questions out of a never-ending loop of logic and reason is not necessarily bad, since that allows us to possess the passion and curiosity to constantly search for answers within us. As a result, we could constantly be growing and transcending. I think this is where both views come in. Then enjoying life as it is going with the natural flow of everything, with the natural current - being natural? You are still experiencing life, are you not? Just like what Emerson has stated in Experience, go out and live life instead of sitting down and just trying to analyze life. Living life like this, there is more spontaneity, which is the source of genius or virtue. I don’t think living life without trying to understand it is necessarily ignorant, since you are still sitting on the rollercoaster of life, experiencing everything, which takes courage and bravery, like Soph pointed pointed out.

Life is an attitude. It is like a mirror – if you face it with happiness, then most likely it will reflect happiness back to you. That is the law of attraction. You have the power to create what you want.

And is happiness an emotion arises out of comparison?

This reminds me of the research that we did on the relationship between excessive consumerism and happiness that we have done earlier. I remember reading that someone who is not rich, but is the most wealthy among his peers, is more likely to “feel" happier than someone who is really rich but yet is the least wealthy among his peers. This kind of happiness is superficial, it ties in more with satisfying the superiority complex and greed, which is letting the ego mind dominate?
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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  joyceychen on Tue May 19, 2009 1:00 am

oo, so soph youre saying that the being is satisfied/content/happy when we realize interconnectivity?

hm...I've always been wondering about the theories you've brought up, Kenneth. what about those people who dont know the ideas we have been learning and follow the philosophy of how we've only got one chance to live, so make the most of it. Is it then ok for me to say I want to experience all those crime and things? Or would that go against my being and then it's not really living life to its fullest? but isnt that kind of putting a restriction on myself? (I'm just trying to go in a different direction, since we've been mainly focusing on expanding in the positive, beautiful way.) Or would I become like Poe? what interests me is still an expansion, just it is taken by the audience in another way?
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your post

Post  Ajk on Tue May 19, 2009 2:17 am

Whew! What a great bunch of questions! You threw them all out there at once. It gives people a lot to speak to, so let's see how it works. I hope that you get the answers and discussion that you're looking for. I can hear your genuine voice through this Michael, and I also ask the same questions.

Looking forward to seeing where else this goes, it already looks good!

ms k Very Happy

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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  Kenny on Tue May 19, 2009 7:58 am

joyceychen wrote:
hm...I've always been wondering about the theories you've brought up, Kenneth. what about those people who dont know the ideas we have been learning and follow the philosophy of how we've only got one chance to live, so make the most of it. Is it then ok for me to say I want to experience all those crime and things? Or would that go against my being and then it's not really living life to its fullest? but isnt that kind of putting a restriction on myself?

Well, do you actually see any beauty in these acts labeled as "crimes" by society? Do YOU actually want to do it? Or is there some special motive? Most people who commit crimes have a reason: they may need money, want revenge, want sex, want to fit in, or want drugs to name a few. These are all ego-mind based, it's not the real them that's feeling the want to commit these crimes. Living life to the fullest is about living all of the YOU you can find, you don't need a reason to appreciate beauty, you just do.

joyceychen wrote:Or would I become like Poe? what interests me is still an expansion, just it is taken by the audience in another way?

Does it matter what other people think of you?

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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  stephsquared on Tue May 19, 2009 8:38 am

Kenneth.. how can you be sure that all our desires (drugs, sex, so called "crimes" ) are from our ego mind? How can you be sure? Isn't it "natural" to want those things?

I believe that to reach contentment we have to dig within ourselves. Growth inward.. or should i say grow spiritually. We dont have to literally SEE it happening. We should FEEL it happening. Seeing it, yes it gives us security and confidence. But FEELING is the ACTUAL growth. Even though we may doubt ourselves if we dont have tangible pragmatic proof right in front of our eyes, it is only the mind creating this emotion--fear,doubt. It's not really us. So we can reach contentment by trying ot grow spiritually, our KNOW yourself better by getting "in touch" with your inner BEing (as cliche as it sounds, it's definitely true) How do we grow? We accept the new, and we take risks. These are opportunities for us to become something different. These are chances for us to develop and be better. These are opportunities to help us experience and by experiencing more, we become wiser. Smile

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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  Vincent_Lee on Tue May 19, 2009 10:25 pm

@ Ken

Steph raises an important point about crime. We might take drugs because our egomind tells us its the fastest way to achieve gratification but that basic desire to feel, well, happy is a very natural drive. Our egomind doesn't tell us that we need to be happy. In fact, nothing has to tell us we need to be happy. We just need to be happy. On the other hand, our egomind may tell us that to become happy we must take drugs, get cash, drink alcohol, smoke, drive fast cars, buy the latest iPod shuffle or whatnot. Though the methods to fulfilling our desires may spawn from the egomind, the desires themselves are manifested of our Being. I don't think anyone's Being wants them to be miserable.

@ Joyce

I honestly don't think anyone in the right mind would really go out and commit crimes because they need to in order to experience life to the fullest. As Ken has stated, people commit crimes because they want to attain certain pleasures. The only reason the average, non-psychotic person would commit crime is because they feel there is no other way to attain those pleasures or that committing crime is the fastet route to getting what they desire. As I stated earlier, those desires are manifest from the Being while the methods to satisfy them are of the egomind. Are we restraining ourselves by choosing not to commit crime? In some ways yes, as there are some pleasures that come with comitting crime offer that doing other things can't exactly replicate. Using common sense though, why risk precious years of your life in jail trying to get something you could attain otherwise, just with a little more hard work?
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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  Michael Chen on Tue May 19, 2009 11:06 pm

@ Lee joyce and Kenny
I think Lee is right to both Joyce's and Kenny's points. Our drive for happiness seems to be very natural and that the ego mind is not exactly related. the ego mind at most controls us in a sense that we operate in its fashion. Also, I think that living life to its fullest is important but we dont achieve that by literally doing everything. The best way to life to its fulelst is probably just to take life as it is with itss many attributes whether its the pain, pleasure, etc. The spontaneity of life is itself the maximum experience. Kenny brought up some very good points too. Knowing that the beauty in the owrld comes just as spontaneous as life itself, their existence can hardly be justified. Their existence being spontaneous makes its existence validated just by existing. Also, I also agree with your idea of knowing life by being a part of it. Lastly, Lee's point of knowing and then putting the knowing into action to create happiness corresponds to our class. Soo i think thats a good synthesis.
JOyce.. correct me if I'm wrong but your saying that contentment is temporary and happiness is spontaneous right? The thing is.. when I think of contentment, I tend to think about.. well.. a farm village where people arent exactly influenced by materialism and media adn therefore find happiness through simple living in harmony with nature. I think thats why Bangladesh is one of the countries with highest net happiness. So.. I can see why you would think that because I guess shouldnt have labelled contentment with the my example of a content ego based person. It would be nice if you can clarify on that point.
@Fiona and Luoh
I think both of you thought the same about the ego mind offering contentment thoruhg comparison between individuals and how the happiness is temporary. Fiona brought up a good point about the ego mind and that is that comparison between individual is trying to find fulfillment in the physical world which will never be as transcending as our spirit and the UNiversal being. OUr achievements in the physical world is limited and short termed but our essence leaves marks that are everlasting. Therefore, I agree that the indivudal who rests upon contentment in the physical sense will never be truly happy. However, Fiona, i think later you said that utilizing the ego mind will bring happiness... I can't really agree with that. Your example of reading a novel will reward you with happiness in various ways such as finding out what really happened in the end, or appreciating the technique and skill of the author. THe aforementioned are all similar to the contentment from competition because well, they're limited. The world created by the author is limited and as for the appreciation of the skill and technique of the author will only cause us to ask for more. Unless, it is the sharing of essence that may occur thoruhg transiiton of ideas, I cant really agree wiht you on that point.. so if you can clarify it'd be nice :O
@ Sophia and Anita
I think you guys are both right in that the ego mind based individual is decieving themselves by denying what life really has to offer. Also I agree on the point on courage to experience life allows life to be lived to fullest. To attain happiness through law of attraction is obviously preached in the movie. HOwever, if the law of attraction is there to create realities through the power of our minds.. doesn;t that somewhat correlate with a predetermined sequence of underlying connections? Isn't that Fate then? I believe that our thoughts of wants that trigger the Law of Attraction(meaning honest thoughts that realign the universe to make thoughts realities) are inevitable. WE cannot deny ourselves of what we really want and need. So,, isn;t that contradictory to spontaniety?

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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  Michael Chen on Tue May 19, 2009 11:36 pm

Everybody, Anita's comment gave me a new idea. If the law of attraction is there to create realities through the power of our minds.. doesn;t that somewhat correlate with a predetermined sequence of underlying connections? Isn't that Fate then? I believe that our thoughts of wants that trigger the Law of Attraction(meaning honest thoughts that realign the universe to make thoughts realities) are inevitable. WE cannot deny ourselves of what we really want and need. So,, isn;t that contradictory to spontaniety?

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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  Hannah Park on Wed May 20, 2009 12:26 am

Michael Chen wrote:Everybody, Anita's comment gave me a new idea. If the law of attraction is there to create realities through the power of our minds.. doesn;t that somewhat correlate with a predetermined sequence of underlying connections? Isn't that Fate then? I believe that our thoughts of wants that trigger the Law of Attraction(meaning honest thoughts that realign the universe to make thoughts realities) are inevitable. WE cannot deny ourselves of what we really want and need. So,, isn;t that contradictory to spontaniety?

Well, I think there is a bit of Fate in life in that a course of action will lead to a certain action, which will lead to another..., unless something happens to prevent that chain of reaction. So Fate takes action if we just let things happen without any intervention, but at any set point Fate can overcome with spontaneity or free will if one takes action. But then, after reading Twain I realized it's impossible to assume that anything will happen the way one want it to be; so maybe Fate isn't there after all. The Law of Attraction, I think is a way to combat Fate, by attracting things that might not happen without the help of the Law. Or is it Fate that one wishes for that particular thing, instead of something else? I guess Fate is there no matter what, it just depends on whether one lives according to what they think is their Fate (with the help of saying like "Life isn't fair," so don't expect anything out of it) or they spend their time combating what they think is Fate. Spontaneity comes in because...it's our Fate to be random??? Shocked
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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  joyceychen on Wed May 20, 2009 12:30 am

NOTE: you are about to enter Joyce's mind, which may or may not include thoughts usually not revealed to anyone other than her. you have been warned. (and wow, look at what has happened because of these deep, thought-provoking topics we've been discussing here!)


haha well i know that there have been moments in my life where i've wondered what it'd be like to not be goody-two-shoe. i think that's really where i was coming from when i mentioned the crime things. maybe committing a crime is too "extreme." but i dont know, sometimes it feels like following the rules, being the good girl restricts something inside of me (being??) yes, we say to not conform to society. so society has these rules of what a good citizen should be like. are we supposed to follow those or not? where do we draw the line from what rules we seriously need people to follow (despite the 'dont conform to society' teachings) to function together in harmony (I mena, obviously cells have some sort of order, right?) and what rules we can actually disregard? it's kind of like what the physical boundaries we've been trying to find. i feel like there should still be SOME fundamentals that need to set down, a general concensus you could say, for what is good for the whole. i think i've just confused myself, so if someone could help re-clarify the difference. actually, society is usually just groups of people, while the whole includes not just people but everything else, right?
ANYHOW, back to my first train of thought. how out of it would i be to say i want to be a bad girl for once? or is that my egomind just trying to get satisfaction/temporary contentment from some random feeling. because it's not like i walk around 24/7 with this feeling. it probably only pops up once in a while, depending on my current situation. so it sounds like some external factor triggers such feelings in me. so then i probably shouldnt follow it because that's not my being, more like my egomind.

JOyce.. correct me if I'm wrong but your saying that contentment is temporary and happiness is spontaneous right? The thing is.. when I think of contentment, I tend to think about.. well.. a farm village where people arent exactly influenced by materialism and media adn therefore find happiness through simple living in harmony with nature. I think thats why Bangladesh is one of the countries with highest net happiness. So.. I can see why you would think that because I guess shouldnt have labelled contentment with the my example of a content ego based person. It would be nice if you can clarify on that point.

wait, i'm confused. is the farm village example youve given, mike, describing YOUR definitions or what you think my defintions of contentment/happiness are? and quick clarification for myself, are our definitions the same or different?

to mike's new questions....isnt that like free will vs fate? i know Emerson says they coexist and everything, but i've always wondered about this in regards to religion. I think we're taught (as Christians) that God gives us free will, but to contradict that, we're also taught that God knows exactly what our next word, action, even thought is. so unless free will means something different in God's terms...
how "spontaneous" is everything if it's supposedly everything happens for a reason? then this so-called "random event" is not so random, as it serves a purpose and exists for a reason.
but hannah raises some good points. how much do we attribute to fate? maybe the line between the two is blurred
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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  stephsquared on Wed May 20, 2009 2:13 am

mike that's super critical thinking:)
um... i'm not sure what the answer to your question is but perhaps i'll do a short freewrite. here it goes:
Thoughts creating reality is an essential concept based off of the secret---to life. Thoughts are created from our ego mind--our ego mind is constantly producing thoughts. Our being, hmm, our being is always in us and is seeking fulfillment and contentment. Maybe "thoughts creating reality" can be interpreted in this way. Thoughts creating reality can be correlated with the concept that was in the packet about the forces of life (the one with tennis balls) The writer of that book said that we are what we think we are-- in other words, we are what we BELIEVE we are. So i think the thoughts creating reality concept is just that. If we really believe --- not want, not desire, not waiting to receive and wishing for it--but if we BELIEVE, if we think or tell ourselves that this and this will happen, the forces of the universe will bring it to us--the law of attraction. Thus if we know, believe that something will happen, it will, according to the Secret. This is not contradicting spontaneity because spontaneity is like intuition, a sudden "OHHH" or your gut feeling, kind of. So your extreme desire to get something, by believing, may be from your intuition or spontaneity. does that make sense? just my thoughts.

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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  anita on Wed May 20, 2009 7:15 pm

Sometimes “fate” is also a word that we coin to make ourselves feel better? “It’s my fate not to be with her.” We also use it as an excuse to what happens in our lives in order to push off the responsibility, to justify ourselves for our own mistakes that we do not want to admit to. Ex. You wanted to attend this certain summer camp, yet you missed the deadline for applications since you forgot about it. Thus you say, “It is my fate not to go. Everything happens for a reason, and there must be a reason why I am not going.” With this attitude in mind, then anything that comes up during the summer, you are inclined to relate that to the “fate.”, saying “Oh thank gosh I did not go to the summer camp. Or else I would have missed ___ !” But then one forgets about what COULD happen at the summer camp. People use fate as a way to explain what is happening in their lives? The concept of horoscopes come into my mind. Those who do not believe in horoscopes will say that how can more than 6 billion people in the world be classified into 12 categories. Those who believe in horoscopes would argue that since everybody is interconnected, we could separate people according to their birth days, since maybe there is interrelation between those whose birthdays are close? Those who believe in horoscopes may also have the tendency to claim everything that happens to their lives as their predetermined “fate” that they have read on the “horoscopes today” on the newspaper. "That's so true! Horoscopes said that I will experience a surprise today, and guess what? These shoes that I want to buy are on sale!" The concept of coincidence also comes into mind. Is there such thing as coincidence? Is it just the law of attraction performing its acts?

Therefore the word “fate” has a connotation of limitations, of what is predetermined so that we cannot control. But we do not know what our fate is? Thus what we can do is to take advantage of today and to use the law of attraction to create our own destiny that we want, thus some people claim a person’s fate is determined by that person’s attitude and actions in life. The cumulative outcomes of those acts would determine the person’s destiny. Giving up on yourself because you think since your fate is predetermined, you have no power over anything is living life without spontaneity, passion, or courage. With the law of attraction, it is best if you do not say you want one thing yet do the exact opposite. If your actions actually support your desires, then with positive feedback, your actions are bound to be the enzymes that catalyze the law of attraction. Everything that happens in our lives, we have somehow caused it (or attracted it, as the Secret states)
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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  Luoh on Wed May 20, 2009 7:29 pm

Sure, we use fate to sometimes make excuses, but it's like we've learned, free will is better than "fate".

I agree that the word FATE gives a feeling of limitations, of something predetermined. However, if people believe this, why do people question fate? Why do they say, "how did that happen?" If people believed that this is fate, why would they say that? wouldn't they believe that it happened because it happened? Do these people not believe in fate then? Or do they know, unconsciously, or consciously, that fate is not the most powerful force in life?

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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  Andy.S on Wed May 20, 2009 8:16 pm

Well, Fate is a vague concept...it usually means a series of "planned" events a person MUST follow right?

I think Fate is more of a product of the mind because in Psychology Class I learned that the mind loves to categorize things. I think I have said this before, but minds have the tendency to see patterns out of thing to try make sense out of it. So perhaps fate is just a concept that does not exist in reality.
By the way, I have a random question of my own

If your actions actually support your desires, then with positive feedback, your actions are bound to be the enzymes that catalyze the law of attraction. Everything that happens in our lives, we have somehow caused it

How does this law of attraction work? And what I mean by that is what sort of intelligences fuels this law to work? We emitt positive energy to attract positive things...but what happens if you send both postive AND negative waves? Do you get a negative and postive thing in return or do you get nothing because the forces "balances each other out"?
So maybe that explains the concept of fate-if there is such a thing-, since we can believe in our "destined" path so strongly that we obtain it through the law of attraction! Am I making any sense?
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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  joannneee on Wed May 20, 2009 9:13 pm

joyceychen wrote:NOTE: you are about to enter Joyce's mind, which may or may not include thoughts usually not revealed to anyone other than her. you have been warned. (and wow, look at what has happened because of these deep, thought-provoking topics we've been discussing here!)


haha well i know that there have been moments in my life where i've wondered what it'd be like to not be goody-two-shoe. i think that's really where i was coming from when i mentioned the crime things. maybe committing a crime is too "extreme." but i dont know, sometimes it feels like following the rules, being the good girl restricts something inside of me (being??) yes, we say to not conform to society. so society has these rules of what a good citizen should be like. are we supposed to follow those or not? where do we draw the line from what rules we seriously need people to follow (despite the 'dont conform to society' teachings) to function together in harmony (I mena, obviously cells have some sort of order, right?) and what rules we can actually disregard? it's kind of like what the physical boundaries we've been trying to find. i feel like there should still be SOME fundamentals that need to set down, a general concensus you could say, for what is good for the whole. i think i've just confused myself, so if someone could help re-clarify the difference. actually, society is usually just groups of people, while the whole includes not just people but everything else, right?
ANYHOW, back to my first train of thought. how out of it would i be to say i want to be a bad girl for once? or is that my egomind just trying to get satisfaction/temporary contentment from some random feeling. because it's not like i walk around 24/7 with this feeling. it probably only pops up once in a while, depending on my current situation. so it sounds like some external factor triggers such feelings in me. so then i probably shouldnt follow it because that's not my being, more like my egomind.

JOyce.. correct me if I'm wrong but your saying that contentment is temporary and happiness is spontaneous right? The thing is.. when I think of contentment, I tend to think about.. well.. a farm village where people arent exactly influenced by materialism and media adn therefore find happiness through simple living in harmony with nature. I think thats why Bangladesh is one of the countries with highest net happiness. So.. I can see why you would think that because I guess shouldnt have labelled contentment with the my example of a content ego based person. It would be nice if you can clarify on that point.

wait, i'm confused. is the farm village example youve given, mike, describing YOUR definitions or what you think my defintions of contentment/happiness are? and quick clarification for myself, are our definitions the same or different?

to mike's new questions....isnt that like free will vs fate? i know Emerson says they coexist and everything, but i've always wondered about this in regards to religion. I think we're taught (as Christians) that God gives us free will, but to contradict that, we're also taught that God knows exactly what our next word, action, even thought is. so unless free will means something different in God's terms...
how "spontaneous" is everything if it's supposedly everything happens for a reason? then this so-called "random event" is not so random, as it serves a purpose and exists for a reason.
but hannah raises some good points. how much do we attribute to fate? maybe the line between the two is blurred

In direct response to Joyce's question:

You know, reading what you just wrote gave me this sudden thought: if we didn't do anything - let's say, we just sit there - we will one day waste away/die. Is that fate? If fate were allowing nature to take its course, then is that fate? If we could use free will and side track fate, as Emerson said, then our only universal fate would be death, since we make choices all the time. Whether or not our choices are "fate" depend on how you want to think about it. If we took a certain course of action in this moment, we could believe it to be fate, or we could believe that we did it with our own power.

Of course, it probably depends on circumstance too - if we did something horrible, it's hard for us to take responsibility. If we do something wonderful, it's hard to give all the credit to fate too. Fate is a blurred concept in terms of this. It's not organic - it almost seems constructed by our minds, since it's swayed by how we choose to see it.

As for your above quote, I think we don't neglect all the rules set by society. They're blended with both good and bad qualities of people - we can be courageous, but we shouldn't be foolishly so. We can live our own lives and be happy, but we shouldn't hurt other people. I think it takes energy and consistency to actually distinguish where the good ends and the bad starts - like seeing the "gray area", as we all like to say. Our consciousness may be momentarily blinded by societies values, but according to Emerson, our intuition would know what to do. Fundamentally, we don't believe in hurting each other - Babies cry when they see other babies cry. But as we grow older some people stop doing that, but does that mean we don't share their pain? Or that we're just numb to it? Society's values may seem okay right now, but whether or not to follow the rule will depend on what it makes us feel, wouldn't it?
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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  Vincent_Lee on Wed May 20, 2009 9:35 pm

joyceychen wrote:
haha well i know that there have been moments in my life where i've wondered what it'd be like to not be goody-two-shoe. i think that's really where i was coming from when i mentioned the crime things. maybe committing a crime is too "extreme." but i dont know, sometimes it feels like following the rules, being the good girl restricts something inside of me (being??)

joyceychen wrote:ANYHOW, back to my first train of thought. how out of it would i be to say i want to be a bad girl for once? or is that my egomind just trying to get satisfaction/temporary contentment from some random feeling. because it's not like i walk around 24/7 with this feeling. it probably only pops up once in a while, depending on my current situation. so it sounds like some external factor triggers such feelings in me. so then i probably shouldnt follow it because that's not my being, more like my egomind.

It seems to me like that urge is coming from the Being actually. With your description, it seems like a sudden spontaneous desire, which would fit under Being. The egomind's voice chatters on noisly and incessantly, so perhaps if you have that nagging desire to do something bad all the time that might be your egomind. I'm not completely confident of that however. I believe that if you have this feeling that something's missing and that doing a certain thing might fill up that emptiness, then it's your being.

joyceychen wrote:yes, we say to not conform to society. so society has these rules of what a good citizen should be like. are we supposed to follow those or not? where do we draw the line from what rules we seriously need people to follow (despite the 'dont conform to society' teachings) to function together in harmony (I mena, obviously cells have some sort of order, right?) and what rules we can actually disregard? it's kind of like what the physical boundaries we've been trying to find. i feel like there should still be SOME fundamentals that need to set down, a general concensus you could say, for what is good for the whole. i think i've just confused myself, so if someone could help re-clarify the difference. actually, society is usually just groups of people, while the whole includes not just people but everything else, right?

It's difficult to really go out directly and say that rules that meet some certain standards are automatically unnecessary, but I think when we examine individual rules, it is much easier to tell which ones are actually necessary and helpful and others just enforce a "foolish consistency". Take a look at red lights, yellow lights, and green lights - traffic stuff. They are definitely necessary in order to ensure no Final Destination 2-esque pileup occurs, but who among us would stop and wait at a red light if there were clearly no oncoming cars or any other potential dangers if we decided to speed past? In that situation where breaking a law does no harm to anyone, I see no point in following the rules.

Taking it to school rules now, a rule like "No beating the snot out of your classmates" is completely necessary lest you want a school full of students walking around with black eyes and broken noses. On the other hand the rule banning iPods I think is unnecessary. Firstly, no one follows it. Second, what harm can having an iPod on school campus do? Sure, listening to Michael Jackson in class instead of listening to your teacher lecture will get you on your teacher's bad side and into trouble, but I don't think anyone's thick enough to do that without understanding there will be consequences. It's not a written rule, "Don't listen to music while you're in class" but common sense should let you know that's just one of the things you don't do.
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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  joyceychen on Wed May 20, 2009 10:12 pm

hm...I'm kinda just taking this all in now, the people that posted after my last post. I think a lot of you guys made really good points. Like that "gray area" Joanne talks about and the things Lee pointed out.

But I do want to reply to Anita's synthesis of horoscopes
hm..once you have a certain thought (possibly from reading a horoscope), if thoughts create reality, then even if we dont strongly believe it (and Andy, didnt the movie The Secret say that even if you wish "I DONT want xxx" you're still going to get xxx because it's the xxx that the universe will focus on, you still mention xxx. so you have to word in another way to actually not get xxx without actually saying it. so then, does that still count as "negative energy"?) , maybe the universe has already started to form the way it's going to make that thought happen.
as an real-life example, this year, I had a certain "vision"-ish thought in the beginning of the year. I really didnt want it to come true, but I think that because that thought came in mind anyway, the universe has kind of made it happen, kinda. like, I dont want it to happen, but I can see it happening. I guess this is kind of different from reading a horoscope and disregarding it, but maybe just having the thought in mind triggers a little bit of the universe? though that's kind of scary, how we have to be super duper careful of what we think (and there goes the saying of to be careful of what you wish for). hopefully it doesnt completely work this way.
and also, if a nonbeliever reads a horoscope and that day, something on the horoscope really did happen, I guess it depends on the person whether or not to attribute it to the horoscope?
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Re: Happiness and its reasons or the lack of

Post  stephsquared on Wed May 20, 2009 10:50 pm

my thoughts:
All this discussion about fate and rules and spontaneity has really got me thinking. I think i agree with Lee here that the law of attraction/fate etc do originate from the Being because i think this is strongly linked to intuition. Intuition is a spontaneous insight or a "reaction" of some sort that is on the spot. NOthing planned--nothing of the ego mind. It just comes to us. Our desire to want something--this passion--may have been triggered by the ego-mind (the passion) but the actual desire is from the being. Because it is from our Being and our inner Self and the essence of who we are as an individual, this desire works with the forces of the Universe and brings it to us--since our Being and the Universe is all connected by the universal being/ universal soul, we're all apart of a whole, oneness. Therefore, i think it would have to be from the Being because it's our Being that's connected to every essence there is in the universe, whether it's the essence of nature or other human beings, not the ego-mind. Our mind, remember, is artificial and is just a tool. We need it because it creates emotion which keeps us moving in different directions, however, the mind does not connect with other essence. OUr mind is like it's in isolation from everything else, and it is only dependent on itself to survive. But our Being, is open--it accepts the new, the unknown, the chances, the risks. Our Being apart of something greater, as our minds is an independent 'thing' encapsulated in us. Because our being is the part of the whole, and is the one that is open and connected, it is able to work the forces of the universe, in other words, work the law of attraction. Yes.

In connection to fate: fate is what we think of as the future that is already set, that is unchanging, that is already decided and that we can't control it. I agree with Anita. We may just be using this as an excuse and we forget why we have this desire. If we dont get what we want, we say this is our fate. But what about the concept of free will? Perhaps, free will is our 'fate'. And this is also from the being. Here's why: the being is linked to spontaneity and intuition (intuition or a sudden synthesis or an insight is from our Being/ our most primitive, natural, pure Self) Once we receive this insight or a gut feeling, we will be urged to do something (although some of us get limited by thoughts/emotions produced from our minds) This urge to do something is free will--like Emerson said--as long as man thinks, he is free. That is exactly right. If we trust our thoughts and we trust our intelligence/heart, we are wise. We are making our own choices by following our intuition. So all i can say is that maybe fate and free will is very similar if not the same thing.

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