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Humans Aren't Meant to be Happy?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nakosis, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    It’s worth remembering, then, that we are not designed to be consistently happy. Instead, we are designed to survive and reproduce. These are difficult tasks, so we are meant to struggle and strive, seek gratification and safety, fight off threats and avoid pain. The model of competing emotions offered by coexisting pleasure and pain fits our reality much better than the unachievable bliss that the happiness industry is trying to sell us. In fact, pretending that any degree of pain is abnormal or pathological will only foster feelings of inadequacy and frustration.

    Postulating that there is no such thing as happiness may appear to be a purely negative message, but the silver lining, the consolation, is the knowledge that dissatisfaction is not a personal failure. If you are unhappy at times, this is not a shortcoming that demands urgent repair, as the happiness gurus would have it. Far from it. This fluctuation is, in fact, what makes you human.
    Humans Aren’t Designed to Be Happy – So Stop Trying - The Conversation - Pocket

    So what do you think? Is the pursuit of happiness just a pipe dream?
     
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  2. Amanaki

    Amanaki Well-Known Member

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    Yes. When you accept life as it is, then natural happiness arise. Can't force happiness to become happy
     
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  3. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    Happiness can be our natural state. Attachment to material circumstances is the source of suffering. Detachment can lead to permanent happiness.
     
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  4. We Never Know

    We Never Know Well-Known Member

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    Greed kills all happiness. No matter how much they have, they always want more. And the more they take, the more the others suffer.
     
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  5. Howard Is

    Howard Is Lucky Mud

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    One of the lamas I studied with (Lama Dorje) said “You can be happy in hell if you’re smart”

    Another, Ribur Rinpoche, spent 13 years imprisoned by the Chinese, under appalling conditions. He practiced tong len, and emerged a happy man. When he taught, his courses were called ‘How to be happy’.

    In the midst of a severe crisis (about thirty years ago) I took refuge in the wilderness, in rough conditions during winter. In fact the winter Solstice was the long dark night of the soul for me. In the morning I was wretched, but my inner voice very clearly said “Go on, smile anyway”. Which I did. And immediately felt much better.

    Happiness is a skill, not a reward.
     
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  6. Stanyon

    Stanyon WWMRD?

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    I agree with this, we aren't promised anything extra and shouldn't expect it.
     
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  7. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    To me, happiness is something that is balanced by unhappiness. Joy comes when duality is transcended and it is permanent.
     
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  8. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    The pursuit of happiness is not a pipe dream. The illusion to be able to achieve it and hold on to it is.
     
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  9. We Never Know

    We Never Know Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty true.
    Without unhappiness you would not know what happiness is.
    Without wealth we would not know what poor is and vise-versa.
    Without etc...
    It takes two sides to see/experience the other side.
     
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  10. Howard Is

    Howard Is Lucky Mud

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    In one way I agree with you completely. We aren’t promised anything.
    And I also agree that we shouldn’t expect it, in the sense that we shouldn’t consider it a birthright.

    That notwithstanding, I have found that amongst the ‘inner games’ which are skilful noetic acts, “expecting” can enable receiving. That is to say, constant negative expectations can set the stage for negative outcomes. A kind of self-destructive self hypnosis. The Power of Negative Thinking, lol.

    So consciously and deliberately “expecting” happiness or good fortune can be a way to practice a mind state more likely to lead to good relationships of all kinds.

    I don’t mean to suggest or endorse New Age ideas like The Secret, which appears to me to be justification for greed.

    I mean something like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, except maybe more like Emotional Behaviour Therapy.

    A phrase I used was “something wonderful is about to happen”. Not repeated like an affirmation or a mantra, but used as a trigger for that particular positive feeling. And then the practice was to simply enjoy that feeling. Not to hang on to it though. Just prime the pump.
     
    #10 Howard Is, Feb 27, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
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  11. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    The law of non reciprocity of expectations:
    Negative expectations produce negative outcomes.
    Positive expectations produce negative outcomes.
     
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  12. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Sorry, but I can't buy the design palaver. We all evolved, and without any goal.

    .
     
    #12 Skwim, Feb 27, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
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  13. Howard Is

    Howard Is Lucky Mud

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    Yes.
    And I think it is important that it is a felt thing, not just a thought thing.
    We are working directly and consciously on our endocrine system.
    Feelings are dopamine and serotonin etc.
    You are your own pharmacy. :alien:
     
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  14. Howard Is

    Howard Is Lucky Mud

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    @Heyo
    Long time ago I read a novel by cyber-punk author Greg Bear.
    Without bothering with plot details, an alien race eventually instilled in humanity a range of new capacities and language to encompass them.

    The one meaning I remember (can’t remember the word) was “a sense of imminent healing”.

    I am still unusually healthy, strong etc ; ) for my age, especially for a hedonistic psychonaut whose life started out way stressful and got continually worse. Rightly or wrongly, I attribute that resilience to learned responses, particularly including the generation of positive somatic states.
     
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  15. Geoff-Allen

    Geoff-Allen Resident megalomaniac

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    Interesting thread!

    Happiness is the subject of so many books & sites & forums :)

    I do believe one can become happier by choosing better habits - not always easily done but far from being impossible

    Here's a little site that talks about that little voice in your head -

    For most people the mind has developed into something that does incessant describing, comparing, and judging. When I didn’t have any awareness I didn’t notice how busy it was all the time. When I noticed it, I just assumed that it was me thinking. I didn’t think of my thinking as judgmental. I just thought that my opinions were the right ones. Because I was comfortable with my opinions for a long time they didn’t bother me. But then in times of stress when the voice in my head would keep me up at night, I began to notice things were out of balance.

    For the full blog - click here -

    Enjoy your day!

    :)
     
  16. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Compassion, understanding, and tolerance.
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    Perhaps we need to understand that one's own happiness often comes with a price - stealing that of others. And as commented - no design involved in human beings. o_O
     
  17. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    Happiness is now and fleeting. Enjoyable and pleasant, but I'd rather have contentness in life.
     
  18. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Well-Known Member

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    You can't be happy all the time. Science has tested that and it doesn't work.
    In practice go for content, good enough and not perfect.
     
  19. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    Maybe, depending on how one defines "happiness." Perhaps a certain measure of security and material comfort might help to aid one's happiness.

    Hard to be happy when one is constantly worried about where their next meal is coming from. Or if they can't be safe in their homes (whether from predators, criminals, jack-booted thugs, etc.), then that would certainly be an impediment to happiness.

    Happiness might also come from a sense of belonging, as people who feel isolated tend to feel alienated and unhappy. That may explain why people from apparently good families join cults, in order to feel a sense of belonging which had somehow been absent from their lives.
     
  20. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    IF YOU READ the original, you will notice that is says
    The prufuit of happineff.
     
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