Print Story The Blame for Bliss
Religion & Philosophy
By CheeseburgerBrown (Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 11:09:57 AM EST) test (all tags)
The more life happens to me, the more convinced I become that happiness takes hard work.

And some miserable bastards just aren't up to the job.

Warning: chronically miserable people may find this post saddening.


It is very easy to relegate the roots of happiness to environmental factors, like whether we are rich or laid or beautiful or lucky. The most satisfying aspect of this theory of causation is that it removes the burden of responsibility for our happiness to elements we have little or no control over. If we are sad it is due to our situation and not, say, due to a critical mismanagement of our internal resources.

Being sad, runs such logic, is not our fault.

I suspect otherwise. I have been suspecting otherwise for a long time. I become more certain as the years pass and I see miserable people with wonderful situations, and joyous people living through hard times. It is clear to me that there is something more to the equation than account balances and stress.

I used to think I was a preternaturally lucky person. This thinking originated primarily from interaction with others and coming up short when it came time to compare hardship. Try as I might, I just couldn't come up with a competitive list of disasters. "I guess I'm just lucky," I'd reason.

"I guess," they'd agree with varying levels of envy or sardony.

Eventually I figured out that it was possible to retell many of my life's adventures with a more doleful tone, and they could resemble other peoples' disasters without applying undue literary license. Whether or not a challenging event was logged as a crisis or simply a colourful anecdote seemed to be largely a simple matter of perspective.

This theory was confirmed when I started blogging. If I related an autobiographical story just the way I felt about it I was accused of sugar-coating the story, of combing it to a high gloss, of omitting the uglier parts of my emotional chafing. I was, in short, guilty of selective memory and allowing an unforgivable bias toward contentment to colour my recollections.

From the point of view of the mechanics of storytelling this was easy enough to rectify: I had to include a little bit of shit in every load to make the package taste credible to a cynical audience. No problem. Bitch a little to gain some credibility -- fine.

From the point of view of coming to terms with my life the feedback was harder to parse. Was I rewriting my memories to suit myself? Was it all a lie told to myself to make me happy, or to present an illusion thereof?

Which brings me to another one of my credos: the human brain is an appliance ill-suited to the detection of truth.

I am equipped with twin photon detectors. I can distinguish a wide range of oscillations in fluids. I am sensitive to motion and pressure both tactile and proprioceptive. I can correct my orientation without outside cues. I am capable of distinguishing dozens or even hundreds of compounds from minute samples, and have the onboard hardware to evaluate whether or not they represent something edible.

...And that's about it. I possess no direct sense organ for divining factuality from invention.

Without an objective record of the events my memory records (and my memory of those memories, altered with every act of recall) my version of reality cannot be validated to any degree of accuracy. I can call on external witnesses, and I have. I can sometimes check dates and verify certain facts. Reasoning can reveal degrees of likelihood and unlikelihood. However, I cannot determine what is truly real and what is fanciful. Without engaging in a lot of expensive magnetic brain tomography I'm not sure anyone can.

Sociologists have established that human memory is replete with fiction. Accounts taken from witnesses mere moments after a crime reveal gross inaccuracies and bizarre mistakes, many of which the respondant is convinced accurately depict what they just saw before their very eyes. With our perceptions fallibility is the rule rather than the exception.

So I can take it as read that our personal histories are all versions rather than canon. We are all of us imperfect recording devices.

The meat of the matter comes with interpretation. Given that you and I experienced comparable crises, can either of our imperfect versions of events be said to be superior to the other? I believe so. To be glib: it's all in what you take away from the experience.

This means that you and I can go through the same shit and you can come out saying, "I'm an unlucky wretch for whom life sucks persistently and with special vehemence," and I can come out saying, "What's for lunch?"

(The answer: a capicolla and provolone sandwich with a granola bar and butterscotch pudding.)

This has been rammed home for me by recent events. I live with a mentally ill man and over the past three years I have had the opportunity to see the trainwreck of his life in motion. While his illness means he is obviously not representative of the larger population, it does serve to highlight certain more universal tendencies by their exaggerated relief.

You see, he is dedicated full-time to making himself miserable.

Why he does this is rooted in the condition of his damaged brain, but how he does this is a revealing study in the mechanics of self-deception. His principal tools are: 1) viewing any interaction as a kind of contest, where somebody always "wins" and somebody always "loses"; 2) obsessing over distorted versions of his personal history slanted to stoke his own fury and feelings of righteous indignation; 3) an inability to let things go, a protracted frustration that life isn't "right."

He therefore serves as a living example to me of how to be sad and, through simple inversion, into a living example of how to be happy. For the sake of clarity, let's run through his pet devices in their inside-out form:
1) While ambition is affirming, competitiveness is destructive.

2) Self-pity immolates the soul.

3) "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change those that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
Is it always simple to distinguish ambition from competition? No. Is it easy to avoid feeling sorry for oneself? It isn't. Is letting things roll off your back as easy for people as it is for ducks? Not usually. In other words, the skills we bring to bear on interpreting the state of our own lives are not applied without effort.

Nothing is free. The spirit, left to its own, sinks.

I am a happy man, and I maintain that I would still be a happy man if my situation were worse. As time goes by I find myself increasingly resentful of the attitude that would dismiss my happiness as the product of pure luck and/or naivete. I have no time for those who think they're smart because they're depressed. I have run out of pity for those who would be jealous. I am no longer convinced they are innocent of their pessimism.

Sometimes I'm sad, too. I'm not advocating a willing blindness to poor turns of events. Feeling things is important, even shitty things. But if your negative feelings own you, you've competed with yourself and lost. You have admitted self-pity into your interior monologue, and given it top billing. You both quail before and bow down to injustice, your mentor, your master, your scriptwright.

I'm not happy-go-lucky. I'm happy-go-bravely.

I've been depressed. I've seen the shrink and been prescribed the soma. I've gone through crises of confidence and crises of materials, crises of faith and crises of action. I've been lied to. I've been betrayed. I've been attacked. I've acted wrongly and felt guilty. I've acted rightly and been pressured to feel guilty. I've been accused. I've felt pointless, purposeless, wasted, wasteful, useless, ugly and mean. I've been shocked. I've cried. I've made others cry, too.

And yet I can be happy. It's mine, and I claim it. I will fight for it.

I know it isn't cool to examine your own psychology unless you're so deeply troubled that you have no choice, but I recommend it even for non-flaky people. The efforts of investigation are worth it since, obviously, happiness is its own reward.

The best thing about happiness, from a moral perspective, is that when you're happy it is surprisingly easy to commit good acts. Your take on the cost-benefit analysis changes. It is not a strain to do for and to think of others when you're not railing against yourself. Patience extends. Forgiveness comes quickly. Hostility inspires compassion instead of defensiveness.

I am proud of my happiness, and I don't think that's wrong.

The mentally ill man says I am a fool because I don't see things as they really are. Perhaps he is right but, no matter how I try, I cannot bring myself to envy his position squatting on the painful corners of unverifiable truth, full of hate.

A crisis engulfs us all. "My life is over," he declares.

"What's for lunch?" I ask.


< It is never too late to become reasonable and wise. | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
The Blame for Bliss | 107 comments (107 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
pizza and kisses by 256 (4.00 / 2) #1 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 11:17:57 AM EST
i used too much hot sauce, but that is the sort of tribulation i can overcome.

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I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
You're An Inspiration To Us All. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 02:24:58 PM EST
Racist by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 11:29:04 AM EST
It's not my fault, it's my genes.  Or the way I was brought up.  Or goblins.

See the little goblin,
See his little feet,
And his little nosy-wose,
Isn't the goblin sweet?

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.

We're Lynching the Damned! by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #15 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 02:29:03 PM EST
Actually, ucblockhead and I agree that only the right kind of people have the real capacity for genuine happiness -- which goes a long way toward explaining that whole "developing world" shite and also urban slums and gangs.

Born wrong, is all. Some people is just plain born wrong.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Well... by ucblockhead (4.00 / 4) #17 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 02:33:52 PM EST
I think people can and do change...I just think most think that change means "getting that one material position/mate/etc. that'll make me happy" when, in truth, it means internal realignment.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
So True You Make Me Weep, Brother. by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #19 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 02:38:39 PM EST
If you do by ucblockhead (4.00 / 2) #23 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 03:17:04 PM EST
Make sure you fix the typo.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
No Way! by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 2) #24 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 04:05:30 PM EST
"born wrong" is overstating it. by aphrael (4.00 / 2) #29 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 07:20:49 PM EST
I do think that some people have a predisposition towards happiness (or at least contentment), and some people have a predisposition towards misery.

Those predispositions are not dispositive; they can be overcome. I think of it as being sort of similar to cancer --- some people are predisposed to develop cancers and so will develop cancers in situation where other people won't; but that predisposition can be overcome by avoiding the triggering circumstances and by working on general health, etc.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Well, Of Course It Is. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #45 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:00:59 AM EST
I tend to agree with Aristotle on this by lm (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 11:29:30 AM EST
Happiness is an internal disposition of the soul but it requires certain exterior conditions to obtain. The exterior conditions, in and of themselves, do not guarantee happiness, but their absence will prevent happiness.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Aristotle Hits Buddha With a Maslovian Pyramid by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 02:13:49 PM EST
I think you're probably right, in general. The exciting exceptions are figures we glorify on account of their ability to remain light in the face of great suffering or deprivation: your Jesuses, your Buddhas, your Xenus.

Still: less is definitely more, because maintenance is a bitch.

If a homeless guy could be crossed with a campist enthusiast, for example, their children would be jolly to be dirty nomads, as per Lamarck.

"Simplify, man, simplify."

However, I'm pretty sure the exterior conditions you were alluding to are more along the lines of access to water, protein, etc. Which I can't argue with. All those African kids on the Christian begging commercials always do look pretty glum, after all.

What I'm saying can really only apply within the context of my experience: a white male of the West living above the poverty line (usually).


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Take the example of wealth by lm (2.00 / 0) #14 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 02:27:40 PM EST
Aristotle argues that both having too much and having too little wealth deprive a human being of the chance to fully develop. Without sufficient money for leisure time, the human being is stuck in subsistence mode. But with too much money, sedentariness creeps in and corrupts the soul.

Also, your examples are bad. Buddha ultimately rejected suffering after trying to suffer to find enlightenment and just ending up miserable. And Jesus, well, isn't revered for his ability to remain happy in the midst of suffering. In fact, the Gospels portray him as being quite miserable through the suffering.

I will point out that a large number of people in North American don't seem to be able to distinguish between a want and a need.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Why Do You Hate America? by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #22 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 02:47:52 PM EST
Buddha ultimately rejected suffering after trying to suffer to find enlightenment and just ending up miserable.

Poppycock. Buddha came to understand the suffering intrinsic to consciouosness in order to appropriately acknowledge and then deconstruct it. Plus he was a good sport about every step of the process. "Ho, ho, ho!"

And Jesus, well, isn't revered for his ability to remain happy in the midst of suffering.

You're nuts. I remember when he sang that song: "Always loooook on the briiight side of life..." Also, movie depictions aside, I think a lot of folks would argue that Jesus kept his poise throughout the whole affair. Quite philosophical about it, really.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
I don't know what you experience is ... by lm (3.50 / 2) #26 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 05:16:20 PM EST
... buy I'll take my Jesuitical liberal arts education over yours with regards to what the teachings of the Buddha and Jesus were.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
"were"? by Rogerborg (2.00 / 0) #36 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 10:06:24 PM EST
If you want to know what Jesus thinks, why don't you just ask him?

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
Because by ambrosen (4.00 / 3) #38 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 12:54:53 AM EST
He's not a charismatic evangelist liberal bullshit artist. It's just possible that he belongs to a religion which has a well defined and principled practiced based on a succinct and internally consistent article of faith which is able to coexist with scientific exposition of the world, and to rule out delusional spiritual apparitions.

But ICBW.

[ Parent ]
What lm *meant* to believe... by Rogerborg (2.00 / 0) #39 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 01:23:12 AM EST
Hey, I just asked Jebus for a Bentley, but I didn't get one, so that proves my blind faith in his existence is well founded.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
Blind faith is a furphy by lm (4.00 / 1) #48 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:03:41 AM EST
It only exists in the minds of atheists.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Well, that's me well flummoxed by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #56 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:33:24 AM EST
If I'd known that he actually gave out Bentleys to the Faithful, I'd have become a believer long ago.

Wait... some toerag must have just stolen my new Bentley, because it's not where I wished for it to be.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.

[ Parent ]
Because I'm arguing with CBB by lm (2.00 / 0) #47 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:02:27 AM EST
He's already on the appeal to authority kick just because I mentioned the Jesuits. I don't think appealing to a still yet higher authority would do anything to increase my credibility with him.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Actually, You Made The Appeal to Authority. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #50 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:07:46 AM EST
Right by lm (2.00 / 0) #53 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:25:38 AM EST
Because going to a liberal arts university and studying what Buddhists have taught throughout the ages is a bad way to learn about Buddhism and referencing that education is an appeal to authority.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Whoa There, Nelly! by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #57 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:34:35 AM EST
As I've mentioned, the speed with which you've lost perspective and your enthusiasm for lashing out in the guise of debate suggest that you really need a vacation, lm.

Drink one with an umbrella in it for me, will ya?


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Silly is relative by Rogerborg (4.00 / 2) #58 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:37:52 AM EST
We're talking about the dispositions of dead wizards, filtered through the lens of 2000 years of Chinese whispers passed on by partisan propagandists.  An appeal to authority makes about as much sense as any other method of determining the truth.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
I'll Buy That. by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #59 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:40:08 AM EST
Except I secrely own a copy of Buddha's personal diary, and on Page 34, right under practising his signature, it says, "Jesuits will be dorks."

I think this demonstrates remarkable foresight, as well as an excellent command of the Force.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Well, tell HIM to ask Jesus then by Rogerborg (2.00 / 0) #54 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:31:15 AM EST
Or doesn't He speak to Canadians?

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
Take Whatever You Like, With Whatever You Like. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #40 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 01:49:02 AM EST
Including this advice: your view may be a bit narrow, your marriage to its authority a bit defensive.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Methinks thou art projecting by lm (4.00 / 1) #44 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:00:36 AM EST
If you were to give me a comprehensible reason why what I've read and been lectured about is wrong, I might be quite willing to change my mind.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Nice. by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 2) #49 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:06:22 AM EST
All I can suggest is that you may one day discover that, to paraphrase Vonnegut in The Sirens of Titan, there can be issues about which two Daddys who are always right disagree, and yet neither of them are wrong.

When this is not the result of chrono-synclastic infidibulum, it's the result of some issues being sufficiently complex and subtle that one interpretation doesn't fit all, or answer all.

If your feeling is honestly that since somebody's taught you about the ways of Buddha and Christ you're all stocked up on knowledge and can't absorb more contemplation without displacing something -- well, it's your bag. Enjoy!


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
I find that to be an odd reply by lm (4.00 / 2) #52 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:23:35 AM EST
I'm perfectly willing to change my mind. I'm just not willing to do so because a random Internet user says ``LOL, YOU DON'T GROK TEH BUDDHA''

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
You Need To Chill Out. by CheeseburgerBrown (3.50 / 2) #55 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:31:51 AM EST
Take another look at your challenging, aggressive tone in the replies you've made to comments here. Take, for example, your response to aphrael's comment about economics. Subject reads a bit belligerent, would you agree?

Let's review our own chat: I made a statement about Christ, Buddha and Xenu. Your response was "Wrong!" I made another statement, your response was, "I was educated by Jesuits, so I'm content with my knowledge," and challenged me to either deconstruct your authorities or supply my own. You then went on to accuse me of making appeals to authority, and claim you're perfectly willing to change your mind but you require an authority greater than a random Internet user.

You, sir, need some self-reflection time.

The evidence that you haven't fully grokked the Buddha is broadcast by your own reactivity.

Om, brother.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Okay, I'll try to be more polite by lm (4.00 / 1) #60 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 03:32:35 AM EST
I'm sorry that you're wrong.

Let's try a different reconstruction.

cbb: Jesus and Buddha are examples of this.
lm: No they aren't and this is why.
cbb: hey, no you're wrong.
lm: I'll take what I've learned at the university over your snappy reply.
cbb: wah, you're appealing to authority.
lm: no, you're the one appealing to authority.
cbb: no I'm not and now I'm going to start on this nice ad hominem attack to show that I'm not. Further, this is amply demonstrated because you can't possibly understand Buddhism if you're not more Buddha-like.

But I suppose what really happened is entirely in the mind of the perceiver. I don't think I'm being any less agressive then you. You're just more flowery with words and less willing to admit being wrong.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Q.E.D. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #67 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 04:46:43 AM EST
Thanks for making my point about ego-driven competitiveness, lm.

Meanwhile, your summary is too internally inconsistent to even bother rebutting. But do consider this:

The philosophies of major religious figures are not simple, black and white affairs. Learning about them from one source doesn't guarantee one has a complete picture. I didn't say you were wrong, per se: I'm suggesting that your picture is incomplete. At best, your dismissal of the role of suffering in Buddhism is glib.

...And that's one to grow on.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
I don't think my summer is internally inconsistant by lm (2.00 / 0) #72 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 05:32:46 AM EST
Rather it is you and I that are internally inconsistant.

``I didn't say you were wrong, per se''

Please excuse my inference that the statement Poppycock was not intended to mean ``you're wrong per se.''


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Let Me Help You Help Yourself by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #75 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 05:52:53 AM EST
Yes, your statement that the view I expressed was simply wrong was indeed wrong. The statement you were defending was less wrong and more...naive, or perhaps simplistic is a better word.

At issue here is not "who's right about Jesus/Buddha" (I never claimed to have all the answers) but rather your attitude that you are right about Jesus/Buddha because you implicitly trust the source of your information.

My contention is that anyone who says they have a definitive answer on these kinds of controversial issues, just because someone -- even someone with authority -- told 'em so, is too narrow.

For instance, your claim that Buddha "rejected suffering" is a pretty narrow one considering the centrality of suffering in the Four Pillars of the religion. There is a lot of room for interpretation there. Suggesting that I'm simply "wrong" and you know better due to having taken a few courses offered by a competing religion is...well, arrogant.

You can either learn from this, or not. Most people learn while still in university the limits of their knowledge and the subjectivity of opinions on complex and/or subtle issues. But you're not dead yet, so there's still time.

Peace be with you.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Let me help you help me by lm (2.00 / 0) #77 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 06:14:54 AM EST
Consider that the words of the Buddha are not the only place where there is room for interpretation.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Let Me Help You Help Starving Children in Africa. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #84 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 07:44:26 AM EST
oh, the agony! by nathan (2.00 / 0) #89 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 08:09:19 AM EST
For instance, your claim that Buddha "rejected suffering" is a pretty narrow one considering the centrality of suffering in the Four Pillars of the religion.

This is no refutation at all to the original post: Buddha ultimately rejected suffering after trying to suffer to find enlightenment and just ending up miserable.

I think it's pretty obvious that lm meant that the Buddha rejected suffering as a means of attaining enlightenment through self-mortification. This is exactly how the Buddhist scriptures put it. What are you trying to prove with all this crap?

[ Parent ]
I'll Say. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #97 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 10:53:55 AM EST
What you quote as the "original post" isn't the original post. lm's claim that suffering is not a route to enlightenment is irrelevant to my claim that the Buddha underwent his suffering with a cheerful attitude (while living as an ascetic, for instance, he did not let go of humour).

Can you refute that? I doubt it. lm can't. He can just dance around it.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
my mistake by nathan (2.00 / 0) #102 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 03:45:26 PM EST
I didn't realize that you were trying to make a mundane, stupid point. Fine, the Buddha didn't become an embittered shell of a man: he just rejected suffering as a means of enlightenment. Bravo, you really proved something contentious there.

[ Parent ]
That's Exactly What Made... by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #107 Thu Jun 22, 2006 at 04:20:08 AM EST
suffering intrinsic to consciousness by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #30 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 07:22:54 PM EST
i'm not sure i buy it.

i think there's something to the notion that being an individual, conscious of that individuality, entails the potential for loneliness; and i think there's something to the notion that desire can lead to suffering through deprivation.

but i don't buy that consciousness equals suffering, and that's what keeps me from the buddhist path. i think the world is a beautiful, wonderful, magical place; and i'm aghast sometimes at how i can get caught up in the drama of my life and miss the beauty and peace around me.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Om! by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #43 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 01:59:49 AM EST
I'm no Buddhist scholar, but I understand the suffering of consciousness to be an almost physics-like idea: peace and perfection is non-existence (flat spacetime), and any disturbance in that is a kind of pollution -- thus to think and feel to is to work against that backdrop of perfection, i.e., can't help but stand in contrast to, i.e., sometimes it isn't the being who suffers, it's the universe.

....I think I need my coffee before I can respond more coherently. Short version: I think consciousness as suffering is something I almost have my head around. One day I'll get there.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
wtf man by nathan (2.00 / 0) #65 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 04:24:53 AM EST
At first, I thought this was a joke:
You're nuts. I remember when he sang that song: "Always loooook on the briiight side of life..." Also, movie depictions aside, I think a lot of folks would argue that Jesus kept his poise throughout the whole affair. Quite philosophical about it, really.
It had that whole "I'm CBB, and I'm not taking this all that seriously" tone to it. But now you're arguing like you believe it. Are you actually serious?

[ Parent ]
About Singing Jesus? No. That's A Joke. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #68 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 04:51:25 AM EST
Is it arguable in a serious way that Jesus kept his composure under duress? Yeah, I think it is.

Is it arguable in a serious way that Jesus saw educational value in suffering? Yeah, I'm pretty sure there's something to that, too.

Do you think those are baseless points of view?

By the bye, I'm fairly sure all I've been arguing is against the idea of somebody saying, "I already learned about Jesus at university, so I'm right and you're wrong." I think it belies the potential complexity of the issue to be so dismissive.

Do you disagree with that point of view?


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
snort by nathan (2.00 / 0) #91 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 08:17:35 AM EST
Is it arguable in a serious way that Jesus saw educational value in suffering? Yeah, I'm pretty sure there's something to that, too.

Jesus "saw educational value in suffering" (whatever tf that means) != "The exciting exceptions are figures we glorify on account of their ability to remain light in the face of great suffering or deprivation: your Jesuses, your Buddhas, your Xenus..." Remain light? Does that even mean anything? Here are the traditional Seven Last Words (utterances) of Christ on the Cross. He wasn't telling jokes.

[ Parent ]
does it matter? by garlic (2.00 / 0) #73 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 05:35:41 AM EST
why argue with someone who's just bullshitting? Better off to realize they're bullshitting, and just let ot go.


[ Parent ]
Glib Does Not Equal Bullshit by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #76 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 06:01:35 AM EST
Just because I made a joke in my comment doesn't mean my point is pure fluff.

I stand by my statements that both Jesus and Buddha showed remarkable composure while enduring suffering. That's not bullshit -- it's a point of view.

Just because I won't descend to lm's level of melodramatic snipery (at least not until three layers of invitations have been offered) doesn't mean I don't believe my basic point is serious.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
I thought you were happy. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #78 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 06:15:12 AM EST
You're starting to look a bit grumpy in this thread.

[ Parent ]
Naw. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #81 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 07:40:47 AM EST
I don't think anyone is arguing that point by lm (2.00 / 0) #79 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 06:16:55 AM EST
That Jesus and Buddha showed remarkable composure while enduring suffering is not in question.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
So, What's The Point, Then? by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #83 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 07:43:17 AM EST
That's my point. I did suspect you had something else in mind...where were you arguing about then?


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
I don't equate happiness with remarkable composure by lm (2.00 / 0) #85 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 07:49:31 AM EST
*N*ot *T*he same.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Peddle Me Your Warez, BackPeddlar! [nt] by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #86 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 07:51:02 AM EST
Where did I say that they were the same? by lm (2.00 / 0) #87 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 07:52:29 AM EST
If I did, I apologize.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
All Debates Now 50% Off For A Limited Time! by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #88 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 08:04:20 AM EST
CBB: "I think you're probably right, in general. The exciting exceptions are figures we glorify on account of their ability to remain light in the face of great suffering or deprivation: your Jesuses, your Buddhas, your Xenus..."

lm: "...Your examples are bad...You're wrong..."

That's the point where you expressed your trust in your education (appeal to authority) and then followed up by characterizing me as "some Internet geek" (ad hominem), followed by a challenge to explain why I thought university was a bad way to learn about Buddha (non sequitur).

To cap it all off, you've utterly failed to address the suffering of Xenu.

The basic point is not that my interpretation is right or that yours is, but rather your implied assertion that you have a more than sufficient grounding in the inner workings of Buddhism and Christianity because you studied them at school once.

I beg to differ, not primarily because I disagree with your interpretation but primarily because such a view seems to bely the real complexity and controversy of the issues involved.

Whether my interpretation is right or wrong is beside the point next to such a display of apparent arrogance.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
heh, WHBT by nathan (2.00 / 0) #93 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 08:21:47 AM EST
Whether my interpretation is right or wrong is beside the point next to such a display of apparent arrogance.

Classic.

[ Parent ]
I still don't see where I conflated happiness with by lm (2.00 / 0) #94 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 08:39:10 AM EST
... composure.

Apparently you are using ``remaining light'', ``happiness'', and ``remarkable composure'' as synonyms.

I do not.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
You Can Wiggle All You Like. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #98 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 10:56:12 AM EST
Never the less, your current backpeddling illustrates that you've seen the flaw in your argument.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Were I backpedaling, that might be true by lm (2.00 / 0) #99 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 11:43:53 AM EST
But I think it fair to say that the flaws I see in my own argument aren't the ones that you've pointed out. The flaws in my argument that you've pointed out are mostly ones of your own construction due to a very narrow interpretation of what I've written.

Throughout this entire discussion you've consistently misrepresented what I've said. For example, I refered to you as a random Internet user. You then ``quoted'' me as calling you some ``random Internet geek'' which you've then held up as evidence that I'm using fallacious reasoning in the form of an ad hominem attack.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
You're A Class D Debator. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #100 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 12:00:43 PM EST
But you're handsome and dashing, so I just can't find the ire to hold it against you.

You came in heavy, got defensive when your slant was pointed out not to relate to the argument at all, and then settled into a huff of mislabeling fallacies. In the end, you ignore the comments that rebut your efforts and instead try to shift the emphasis of the points in question.

In the end, you can't prove that Buddha wasn't jolly while enduring suffering, and you'd have an uphill battle trying to say that Jesus let physical mortification get to him.

You can pretend you were arguing about something else, but all that does is highlight your basic misunderstanding of what you were pretty arrogantly debating.

Thanks, though. 'Til nexttime!


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
ok by garlic (2.00 / 0) #80 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 07:01:24 AM EST
but the tone started off as a bunch of buddies at the pub talking about philosophy inbetween staring at the waitresses tits. Not the place to nit pick.


[ Parent ]
How Is Our Debate A "Nit-Pick"? by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #82 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 07:42:22 AM EST
I think that lm's point of view and my own are sufficiently different in their gross properties to be dignified as more substantive than a "nit-pick."

Why do you hate discussion?


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
I don't. by garlic (4.00 / 1) #90 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 08:16:28 AM EST
I just hate myself.


[ Parent ]
no, he's serious by nathan (4.00 / 1) #92 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 08:18:36 AM EST
Unless this is the "I'm a dipshit" school of trolling; we'll soon see one way or the other.

[ Parent ]
have you taken any economics courses? by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #34 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 07:33:03 PM EST
Economics --- the true religion of modern America --- teaches that there is no difference between a want and a need.

For the analytical purposes of economics, this is at least arguable: does people's purchasing pattern differ based upon the difference between a want and a need? I suppose, arguably, that you could classify the two based upon the elasticity of demand ... but that doesn't quite work, and economic modeling pretty much depends on their being no difference.

But thinking about everything in America has been influenced by half-understood high school economics ... and it doesn't help that middle- and upper-class Americans basically have never had a need not met, so the difference isn't obvious to them on an emotional level.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
I have, have you? by lm (2.00 / 0) #42 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 01:58:36 AM EST
Economics determines the difference between a want and a need with the concept of elasticity. Wants generally have substitutes. Needs do not. When prices of something people want goes up, so the theory goes, people switch to the next best thing. But when the price of something they absolutely need goes up, there is no substitute and they are fux0r3d.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
I believe that I said by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #61 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 04:13:47 AM EST
that you could use elasticity that way.

It is, however, my experience that every economics teacher i've had --- intro micro, intro macro, intermediate micro, intermediate macro -- has claimed that wants and needs are indistinguishable.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
You're probably right on that, then ... by lm (4.00 / 1) #70 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 04:56:54 AM EST
... from the point of view of an economist.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Wants vs. Needs by skippy (2.00 / 0) #95 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 10:03:31 AM EST
I've been seeing a lot more stupid ads lately with "you don't just WANT something, you NEED it."

No, bloody hell, I don't need a 50" plasma HDTV.  Nor a new SUV.  Nor a fancy vacation.  Sure, I want them, but I definitely do not need them.

Just such a disgusting attitude that's becoming ever more pervasive in society.  Ick.

[ Parent ]
i can see where by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #101 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:45:54 PM EST
obliterating that distinction would be good marketing.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
It's true by ucblockhead (4.00 / 3) #4 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 11:42:40 AM EST
There's quite a bit of psychological evidence for it. If you factor out the short term impact of life (i.e. most people are upset when their spouse is run over or they lose their job.) general happiness levels are only marginally connected to life. People tend to have a baseline happiness that they return to whenever life experience stays steady.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
It's A Skill, I Tell You! by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #16 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 02:30:48 PM EST
I recently read somewhere . . . by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 3) #5 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 11:46:54 AM EST
The theory that happiness was a necessary delusion.

In clinical testy terms: the depressed had a more clear image of themselves and the conditions around them. Their quantitative assessments of various aspects of their lives proved more accurate than the assessments "happy" people made.

However, the "happy" had the advantage in that they were more likely to undertake and succeed at tasks, partially due to their overly optimistic assessments.

Perhaps, the doctor theorized, we need to be just a bit happily delusional in order to get on in life.

Watch a film called by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #8 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 01:53:19 PM EST
"The Castle".  That's an exercise in being happy with what you have, and how you perceive it.

It'll also make you wet yourself laughing as well.


[ Parent ]
Ringing Endorsement: "You'll Urinate!" by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #20 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 02:40:00 PM EST
This also happens to me in movies about deserts, because they make me thirsty.

I'm thinking of suing somebody about that.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
I have also read and been lectured to by littlestar (4.00 / 4) #9 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 02:12:45 PM EST
on the subject. In Psych class.

It is definitely a necessary delusion, it makes life worth living. This is why sometimes it can be difficult to deal with depressed people who are looking out at the world and saying, this sucks. The answer is, well, yeah, but just don't think about it all the time or you'll feel like crap.

There is so much horribleness in the world. I read that article about the Congo (oh my god! That shouldn't be real). I have been to India, I have seen the lows of man (there was no way to say something there that didn't sound dramatic), and there are so many other places  like it in the world with dying peoples. You can't think about it all the time or you would be depressed.

We must live in the now babies!
*twinkle*twinkle*


[ Parent ]
there is horribleness in the world. by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #32 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 07:25:15 PM EST
there is also beauty and wonder.

sunlight reflected off of leaves, blowing gently in the wind, set against a deep blue sky.

amazing.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
10,000 people with their hands cut off. = by nathan (2.00 / 0) #63 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 04:22:06 AM EST


[ Parent ]
a pile of little arms by gzt (2.00 / 0) #103 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 04:44:05 PM EST
My God... the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure.

[ Parent ]
at least the kids can sit and listen to by nathan (2.00 / 0) #105 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 06:39:58 AM EST
The wind in the trees. After all, they aren't able to do much else.

[ Parent ]
I like by skippy (2.00 / 0) #96 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 10:05:24 AM EST
to just go and sit in a nice field somewhere with trees nearby on a breezy day.  Just sitting, watching and listening.

[ Parent ]
Ignorance is bliss by Rogerborg (2.00 / 0) #37 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 10:07:34 PM EST
Or slavery, I can't remember.

-
Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
ignore it, it'll go away. by garlic (4.00 / 1) #74 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 05:37:33 AM EST


[ Parent ]
Only Very Bright People and Horses... by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 2) #12 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 02:23:17 PM EST
...can experience true, self-reflective existential angst.

Glimpses into the horror of creation* should be taken in moderation, however, lest damage be done to one's cheerful disposition. That's my fuckin' motto.

"Just because we can do a thing doesn't follow that we must do a thing," -- that's what some space guy said in one of the Star Trek movies about the Klingons, and it's as true today as it will be then.

The truth may well be irrelevant to a majority of the mammal world. It's too much of a stretch, and doesn't provide a lot of reward at the end of the day. Not like, say, hot-buttered barbcue corn-on-the-cob or hot sex. It's just not a part of the mammal way of life.

That's why we breed philosophers. To contain it.



_________________
* Infinity of spacetime, death of God, suffering as intrinsic, universal meaninglessness, et al.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Besides which, it is hell on the literary style. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #21 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 02:40:24 PM EST
Just look what happened to poor Lovecraft.

I never made the connection between a cribbing horse and a jawing philosopher before, but now the parallels seem obvious.

[ Parent ]
Two More Drinks... by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #25 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 04:06:44 PM EST
i'm not entirely sure it's a delusion. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #31 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 07:24:30 PM EST
i've had some experiences which have very strongly shown how being happy, and friendly, and sharing that happiness with the people around me can make them happy ... and then of course their happiness bouys me.

which is a roundabout way of saying: if happiness is self-delusion, acting as though everyone around you is happy can make everyone around you happy. so it's sort of a self-fulfilling prophetic delusion in a way.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
The Delusion Part by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #62 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 04:21:37 AM EST
I don't think the researcher was saying that people weren't really happy, but deluded themselves into thinking they were.

Instead, I think what Herr Doktor was getting at was that people who were happy tended towards optimistic inaccuracy in quantitative assessments of their surroundings. They thought travel times would be shorter than they were or would underestimate the amount of work a project would take. That sort of thing.

Though he said this inaccuracy may have actually helped them out instead of hindering them.

He was very pro-happy.

[ Parent ]
I've Read Similar Things... by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #71 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 04:59:17 AM EST
...about how happy people overestimate their own abilities, and then when they fuck up they are able to put their failures into some kind of perspective (it was bad luck, etc.), while sad people tend to underestimate their own abilities, don't try things, and when they do their own failures crush them (I suck, etc.).

Since most of us on this planet are, on average, stupid, homely, limited, weak, sinful, and fairly sucktastic, I definitely think that the depressives may have a more accurate view.

I simply question the pragmatism of being correct on that particular subject. Who does it help?


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
plus by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 2) #6 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 11:51:42 AM EST
if you're sad, you just have to look at popsicle, and you can't help being happy.

how's she like her book, btw? i wasnt sure if shy kittens were her thing.
---------
Dance On, Gir!

You hold the winning hand, pal. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 6) #7 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 12:22:04 PM EST
You're screwing his daughter.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

C'est Charmant! by littlestar (4.00 / 3) #11 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 02:14:26 PM EST
As usual sweet ti, you sum it up well.
*twinkle*twinkle*


[ Parent ]
*blush* by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #35 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 08:55:48 PM EST
/bows deeply

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
I'm A Cool Villain by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 5) #18 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 02:36:32 PM EST
I drive a black car with tinted windows. (It's a Volvo, but c'mon, work with me here.)

Word is that I have a penchant for waving documents in the faces of helpless seniors while I cackle malevolently and declare everything to be a sham cooked up by evil lawyers -- a long game nobody saw coming. (Isn't that cool? I can see it as a comic book adaption: Schoolhouse of the Damned!)

And yes, I get the girl, too.

You want to know my secret? When I had James Bond in my clutches, I shot him in the face. Like, right away.

[Cue peals of thunder, clash of lightning].


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
schoolhouse of the damned ... by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #33 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 07:27:19 PM EST
have you seen Voodoo Academy? The premise is this: residential students at a Christian College are being drugged by their teachers and then killed as part of a plan to raise the army of the dead.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
I'm confused as to what you are saying here. by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #27 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 07:18:24 PM EST
Are you saying -- as the title suggests, and as your resentment of people's dismissal of your happiness suggests - that happiness is something that we can choose, and that we can all get there by dint of doing hard spiritual work, and by making the choice to be happy and then sticking to it? That is, are you saying that, instead of our circumstances being what makes us happy or not, it is our decision to be happy or not, and the work we put in to do it?

Or are you saying -- as the discussion of how you used to think you were lucky, and then you realized that you viewed the world differently than other people, suggests -- that some people have inherently happy dispositions and others do not, and that it is not our circumstances which make us happy, but rather our own internal meter which determines our reactions irrespective of our circumstances?

Or are you postulating a mixture of the two?

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

It's A Skill. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #41 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 01:54:50 AM EST
Some folks just stumble on it more easily than others, by nature perhaps. That's my basic point of view: seeing the world is in a happy way is a thing one does, whether automatically or conscientiouosly.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
It seems.. by 606 (4.00 / 1) #28 Mon Jun 19, 2006 at 07:19:51 PM EST
It seems that the meaning of life and how to find happiness is the current motif amongst my friends. I've been privy to numerous debates on the meaning of hapiness and success. Personally, though, I'm fairly certain that hapiness comes from within and seeing the world in a certain way. So basically I agree with what you said above.

For instance Edmonton just lost the Stanley cup but I'm not crying or anything.

Stupid Edmonton.

When you were prescribed the soma... did you take the soma? I've always been curious what it's like to be outgoing and devonaire at parties.

-----
imagine dancing banana here

I Took The Soma. by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #46 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:02:24 AM EST
I was like, "Hey -- this is fun! I wonder if one can achieve this kind of calm/non-nervousness without taking soma."

I took soma for about six months.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Hey, this is fun by LoppEar (4.00 / 1) #66 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 04:38:44 AM EST
Some people take the soma and still don't realize they are happier, calmer. Even if they do, their focus is on the times when it fails, how they were still unhappy some of the time. But for those who didn't think they could be happy, and realize it's working, I think any route that gives the experience of happiness has the chance of being just what they needed.

I'm replying to this comment as I think it is an excellent summation of your thesis - given the experience of happiness, you recognize that experience and realize you can return to it by emulating the perspective through which you were happy.

Also, "Hey, this is fun! I wonder if I can achieve this kind of X without" is exactly the phrase that I spoke to stop using pot every day.


[ Parent ]
I Think I Made Good Use Of The Drug. by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #69 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 04:55:57 AM EST
Like you mention, it provided a contrast for me to see how I could feel, which motivated me to find non-chemical tools to pull myself out of my depression at the time.

In my totally non-expert opinion, only the most royally fucked up patients should be prescribed anti-depressants for more than a year. If their psychologist/counsellor/therapist couldn't teach them better skills for catharsis in that time, they should be fired and replaced.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
I'm a cheerful person myself by nebbish (4.00 / 2) #51 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 02:19:27 AM EST
And often get very annoyed with people who consistently fail to look on the bright side of things. However, amongst my close friends who get depressed most (not all, but most) suffered traumatic events when they were younger, or didn't have a stable family background. A couple were abused. A couple more just seem to be lazy, but then I might not have heard their stories yet.

So I'm still the lucky one as far as I can see.

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

How she is by duxup (4.00 / 1) #104 Tue Jun 20, 2006 at 08:47:33 PM EST
An old friend of mine has a full time sad mother.  She often fretted about how her mother can take any situation and make it out to be some sort of negative.  After a long talk one day I told her that I couldn’t possibly picture her mother happy and that it had nothing to do with any particular circumstances, it was just how her mother is.  It was a bit of a revelation along the lines that you’re writing about.
____
My Secret Amateur Theory Is This: by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #106 Thu Jun 22, 2006 at 04:18:36 AM EST
It's curable, by means other than pharmaceutical.

She needs to find Jesus or submit to Islam or take up kayaking or become a sculptor or do Yoga or hurt people.

There's got to be some way to get the seratonin flowing.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
She just needs to want to be happy by duxup (4.00 / 1) #108 Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 07:59:20 AM EST
I don’t doubt that it is within her power to take up the way of the happy person.  From what I know it seems that the way she handles things is just a coping mechanism or some other device used to protect her self from harm.  Outwardly it seems she actively chooses to be sad.  At the very least this revelation has allowed my friend to feel less responsible for her mother’s misery and fewer episodes of sympathy pain when visiting her mom.
____
[ Parent ]
The Blame for Bliss | 107 comments (107 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback