Awaiting Life

The Saddest Part of Life is We are Still Alive

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Happiness = ??

Posted by Krishna KBS on March 2, 2007 at 11:22 AM

What is happiness?
Is anyone ever happy?
Does happiness spring from being lucky?
And, before we forget, what is meant by 'being lucky'?
Is it something like achieving things without deserving them? (But let's not discuss about luck here -- That's too unlucky!!).

Too many, too many questions --- but no answers!!
Or there are answers, but are they satisfactory? Will they make everyone happy??

Happy... happiness...Which brings us to our original query -- "Happiness = ??"

Though this is a query that doesn't have an answer at the best of times, we -- everyone of us -- has tried to figure out an answer, to find a solution to problems.
Even Buddha did.
I mean, he went out on a limb trying to answer what is meant by sorrow, and what causes it, and how to avoid it, and is it possible to avoid it.
But then aren't sorrow and happiness two sides of the same coin??

Anyway, Buddha doesn't give us an answer.
He says that sorrow is caused by desire, and by following some guidebook of rules -- eight of them, in fact, we can avoid this. However, he doesn't stop there, and goes on to talk about rebirth and what-not rot.

Of course, I have nothing against Buddha -- or Gautama, or Siddhartha, or whatever.
I think, and well, I know that isn't saying much -- whatever Descartes might say to that -- but actually, I do think that Buddha is one of the more accessible and more understandable religious figures -- or to be more precise, thinkers.
When we come to think of it, it does make sense -- I mean not the philosophy, but Buddha talking about rebirth and linking it to sorrow. In other words, Buddha was plainly trying to give an explanation that would seemingly be satisfactory, and at the same time escape from explaining anything.
Well! he had to do that!!
After all, that is the only way he could escape censure for deserting his wife and son. Buddha can always turn around and say that it is due to fate, rebirth, destiny. And that sorrow is caused by actions of the past, and he was just doing something that was fated.
Talk about Holy Crap!!

These paragraphs might give an impression that am being blashphemous. I am sorry if I am hurting some feelings -- inadverently everyone does. And probably it is fated!!
But on a serious note, am just trying to understand the machinations of Buddha's mind. Trying to understand him as a human being, and not as a deity.
But then if that isn't blashphemy, wonder what is?!!

However, coming to the original debate -- Happiness.
Well, happiness is being satisfied, is an answer that pleases most people.
But the immediate query to such a statement would be: "What is Satisfaction?"

Satisfaction has two meanings -- broadly speaking.
1. Getting what we desire means being satisfied.
2. Accepting what we get means being satisfied.

The second definition obviously means that we have to compromise. I find this the more interesting and the more satisfying of the two definitions. (By the way, just realized that am using the word 'satisfaction' too many times. But then I amn't satisfied unless I use it!) I will explain in a moment why I think so.
Before I do that, however, let's look at the first one, and debate it.

Are we satisfied if our desires are fulfilled?
I don't know.
At the same time, I don't think so. I don't think that realization of a desire gives satisfaction. Going back to Buddha -- he says that desire begets desire. That is true. Ask any economist!! He will say the same thing.
I mean, you desire a plot of land. The desire is fulfilled. You then desire a house -- or worse/better a mansion. Your desire is fulfilled. You then desire a car, a copter, a lake, a fleet of cars,.... God! Desire is endless.
It's never fulfilled. And till all these desires are fulfilled, one can't be happy. However, all desires can't be satisfied.
Even Sachin Tendulkar and Sonia Gandhi and Bill Gates have desires that are unfulfilled. And compared to them, we have lot more unfulfilled desires; simply, if for nothing else, because of monetary concerns/reasons.
Hence, satisfaction of desires does not guarantee happiness. Even if we feel happy on quenching our desire, it is momentary.

Now, the second definition.
Happiness means being satisfied with what we get.
The definition implies that happiness is got by making compromises. Well, frankly speaking, compromises don't give happiness.
However, if we achieve peace with ourselves, with the compromises, we might -- there is still no guarantee -- we might be happy.
But this happiness doesn't signify joy or celebration.
It's more like we realize that we can't and won't get somethings, and trying to console ourselves.
At the same time, if and when we achieve this peace, we achieve a sense of tranquility.
Achieving something doesn't make us lose our heads in celebration, and losing something doesn't hurt.
We realize that such is life.
Life is a compromise.
And happiness results from our realizing that ... and assimilating that in our system, and applying it sub-consciously to everything that we come across in our daily lives.

Yes, it sounds pathetic!
I mean, the definition: Compromise = Happiness.

But then isn't life pathetic?

Categories: Philosophy, Religion

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Reply anonymous
8:13 AM on March 4, 2007 
Maybe happiness is less being satisfied with what we get than appreaciate what we receive. You can, no doubt, find happiness in a child's smile, in the warm beams of the sun, the smell of flowers or the sea. I think what it really comes down to, happiness depends on your point of view, on your expectations, your character. <br>Satisfaction of desires might not really bring happiness, it might on the contrary, take it away. Often we find happy moments in the dreams of our desires. If we fulfill each desire, we lose our dreams, without dreams we most certainly lose the ability to be happy... The old saying 'Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it' does have a deeper meaning, to fulfill your desire might be very disappointing and destroy the ability to be happy... <br>Really enjoyed your blog about the happiness, as you see, it started something.<img alt="big grin" src=""
Reply birgitpratcher
8:17 AM on March 4, 2007 
That was me with the continuation of your happiness philosophy, somehow I was not signed in anymore and rather surprised to find myself being anonymous <img alt="unsure" src=""&
gt; Sorry 'bout that. <br>Birgit
Reply vinod
4:50 AM on March 19, 2007 
well done, the mind creates happiness in you and more over the heart feels it. Feel happy in whatever you do and forger the result. Don't get into philosophy and feel happy in whatever you do. okay
Reply Nirmalya
1:47 PM on July 9, 2007 
Pursuit of goals is one of the things that give satisfaction. One rather smart guy I know has this theory 'that short-term happiness is the reward for doing something which is stimulating in the short term, and that long-term happiness is the reward for doing something which is stimulating over the long term'.I'm musing on that one, and I'll leave you to do the same. <br> <br>
Reply nanditha
1:26 PM on December 24, 2007 
hey!...that makes sense every time i read it!