Subhabrata’s Weblog

February 24, 2009

The Definition of Happiness

Filed under: Musings — Tags: — genomewarrior @ 5:24 am

I would like to define “happiness” as the state of being in equilibrium, at peace with one’s surroundings. A state of non-conflict with one’s environment, both material as well as psychological. The really happy person has no conflicts with either his own self, or with his environment, his house, his furniture, his society etc.

By this definition, happy people are probably the rarest humans in the world. And they’re probably populating the mental asylums or remote HImalayan caves, or monasteries, having spent years working hard to attain that state of sustained equilibrium, or having disconnected themselves with reality. All the rest of us are doomed to experiencing fleeting moments of that state of peace, while the majority of our lives are spent trying our best to get to that next happy fix. Our lives are a series of “happy” moments interspersed by rather long periods of gloomy existence, states of non-equilibrium, conflict, strife, doomed to finding the final equilibrium only in our deaths. The people among us who appear the happiest are those who learn to hold on to those fleeting moments of happiness for as long as they can and treasure their memories as vividly as they can for as long as possible.

Interestingly, all progress is the result of “unhappiness”.  Only those who are truly in a state of conflict with their environment strive to attain equilibrium, or peace, either by changing themselves, or by altering their surroundings. Perpetual disequilibrium, perpetual strife is the driver of human progress. The illusion of the perfect state is what keeps us going. In other words, I’d rather be unhappy and moving than be happy and stagnant.

My philosophy for the day.

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3 Comments »

  1. Very well put. I never thought about it in this way, but your philosophy actually makes sense to me! And the progress part is quite true…whenever I decide to be not unhappy my empty refrigerator and dirty house, it gets even worse :p

    Comment by Purbasha — March 22, 2009 @ 12:14 am

  2. Looks like you are a real pro. Did ya study about the theme? hehe

    Comment by Attilebew — December 12, 2009 @ 12:48 am

  3. hi subho da!.. The first paragraph of your definition really confirms with the definition of ashtavakra, zen people, sufis etc. But I don’t agree with your point that- if a person attains a state of equilibrium or a state of non-conflict would become stagnant… because such person would be doing what interest him.. and he would do it with totality.. One way suggested by mystiques is to attain the state of witness( sakshi bhav ) and they say that it is state of permanent bliss.. Kabir and other Sufis never stopped working.. The problem is we don’t know the knack of being in state of non-conflict all the time… I think progress must be related to your progressive thinking, which is anyways must be part of education- being creative and hard working.

    Comment by sonu — July 13, 2010 @ 6:53 pm


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