Monday, December 9, 2013

On Happiness

The central philosophical point to these posts is that the logic of happiness is such that the illusions of difference between mind and matter, self and other, appearance and reality, essence and existence ~ all the strain of dichotomized faculties and the angst of alienation and estrangement ~ simply collapse under their own weight. 

The reflex of turning toward the sensation of happiness is a reflex of a certain standpoint adopted by one's own mind. The choice to 'be' rather than 'become' shatters our ego's thoughts on nature where only existence is left, a spirit rejoicing in a moment of self-affirmation that excludes nothing. 

I am aware that these posts are not as "funny" as some of my readers might prefer, but during the holidays one is almost always a bit more reflective than blatantly humorous. Of course the self-designated title of Philosophical Humorist is one that insists upon philosophical rumination weaved throughout all one's thoughts, jokes, and humorous musings. In my mind of minds, everything I write has a humorous tint, a pinkish hue that resonates and bubbles up to the top. My words mirror the sentiments I choose to experience as I skip and pirouette my way through life. 

Whether or not there is something one can do to change the world with a piece of insightful blogging is a matter of debate. Nevertheless, one could come across a blog like this and actually find themselves drawn toward the ease and simpleness presented in each post ~ finding a shared understanding many matters simply by resonating with my initial intention for starting this blog in the first place: the desire to be true to my own self and the willingness to explore rather than define or label.

For me, happiness arises whenever I am thoroughly present in a given moment, which feels like an honoring of myself, another, and the moment itself. 

Under the purview of laughter my sense about the philosophical placement of happiness is more on the order of an obverse to the "sensible" responses associated with living in the "real" world than it is on defining those responses. 

The words: "real", "true", "right", "wrong", "me", "you", "them", and the like are words that instantly produce a smile on my face and within my being. They are hilarious declarations of insanity in that one can never know and can thus only be "okay" with not knowing, contending oneself instead with hoping, if one wishes to do so, or with exploring, if one is so inclined. 

I fall into the latter of those examples. Everything I do in life, which reflects in my writing, is from a standpoint of knowing that I do not know and enjoying thoroughly the experience of exploring and ruminating on all the many thoughts and sentiments available to me. 

Hence my drive toward new and heightened experiences... but not in a way that is vexing. Instead, I prefer the scenic route. The fastest route anywhere, theoretically, is a straight line, but I am not wired to follow a rigid path. This means that I do not enjoy focusing on one path, diligently seeing it through, working my way through, or any word denoting the exercise of effort associated with arriving or "getting there".  

Instead, I incline toward effortlessness and thus naturally gravitate toward those thoughts and experiences that arise from a state of effortless communication, effortless thinking, and effortless being. 

I do not need to bear witness to any fact, acknowledge any primal reality or command another's respect. I do not seek affirmation from other scholars or theorists on the matters discussed, shared or implied in this blog. I write from the other side of the conceptual coin: joyfully celebrating and participating in the reality of each moment, and that is the end of it. 

All the wisdom fashioned in life, literature, and philosophy can awaken us, if we're lucky, to such moments, where we realize, in the wake of history and against the accumulated weight of the world, that these moments in which we are moved to tears and laughter are precious. 

Being happy is about not allowing other thoughts to hold life in bondage. Allowing moments to come as they will, and not as we will, gives us in return a sort of freedom over how we feel inside. When one cannot feel true joy without the internal dialogue directing it so, the reduction of situations aimed at justifying existence emerges from the mind and the moment is lost. It is then a matter of choice; the argument for this is in the result of those choices. 

Happiness occurs at the interstices between freedom and compulsion. Like freedom, happiness loses its life in possession. Like love, happiness can only exist in the exercise of it; also like love, it has a compelling nature of its own, and like loving, happiness can only exist in its own freedom. 

The parity of happiness is fragile in a similar way: the intrigue of intention, however well meant, will destroy it. Happiness is lightness and light carried on the air; it cannot be bottled or boxed. One can adorn a smile, but that does not denote a smile of the mind. 

It is difficult to say which restraints hinder and which ones free us. As for me, I have found that these are one and the same, with choice being the only differentiating factor. 

I can say that it is possible to release oneself from the ancient demons of the human condition of contingency: from time, troubles, plurality, scarcity, from the consciousness of pain, from the responsibilities of promises and obligations, from the authority of truth and reason ... 

...and, yet, still be on time, have the ability to dissolve troubles as they arise and find unity in every crevice of plurality or abundance where none was previously considered...

...and, yet, be able to remove oneself from the intensity of pain to a place where relaxation flows is also an experience of our choosing, a childlike, opportunistic cheerfulness or "pick me" attitude while following through on the promises we make,

and finally, one can arrive to a state of perceived recognition where no single truth is true and no single falsehood is false, but is, instead, both depending on the view one takes and the perspective one holds. Because it can be, it is, or isn't. The truth of the matter is not necessarily the highest order.

The side of the coin we see is entirely our choosing. If we encounter heads where we wish to experience tails, all we have to do is turn the coin over and return to the point in which we made ourselves ready to experience tails... or if the mood strikes, go for it and instead choose to experience heads. Freedom arises from accepting our choices, irrespective of the support the world provides. 

It is pointless to try to determine from whence happiness arises when we can simply release ourselves into it through reflection, desire, and earnestness. Happiness is not the result of any traditional, religious path ~ it is the fullness of time held in a single moment. These moments are available to all who choose them. 

The feeling of happiness, the fullness felt in any given moment arises out of that passion of faith and release of belief that we can affect the world. If we consider eternity to be the absolute fullness of any given moment, then happiness is simply a faith that embraces the whole of existence. 

I have not come quite full circle in this post to give anyone a clearer idea of where it began, but exploring happiness, even in the brief time it took for me to write this post, is an experience from which I derived a sense of happiness. The reality of existing in a given space one wishes to experience is perhaps key to unlocking its potential within it. 

The reality of life is measured in many moments; any one person's exploration of these moments has less to do with the teaching others and more to do with the individual learning that takes place when one considers them. 


Amita Patel said...

I completely agree! Life is a series of spiritual assignments and it is our perception that shapes our experience. Most people live life from a "when I have X" then I'll be happy, but this limiting belief simply holds us back from our true purpose: to be happy and be the light that inspires others. Thank you for this post, it is a great reminder to stay present and aware, especially this time of year.
Much Love,

Soph Laugh said...

Thank you, Amita, for your comment. We are in complete agreement with respect to perception shaping reality, at least from my perspective. ;) lol

I am pleased to know that you enjoyed the article.

Happy Holidays,
Sophy :D