April 15th, 2002

the torch-ginger

Questions and Comments

This is a comment I posted in Jimmy's journal to answer questions he mentioned the other day. His questions and my answer have made me think and re-think my own situation a bit. Have a read:

  1. What is happiness?

  2. That's a very hard one to start off with. Pass.

    Or better yet, does it really need to be defined? Does naming it and analyzing it ever really make is more likely to understand it and attain it? Buddhists believe that those who are enlightened can not possibly explain to non-enlighened people what it is like. It can't be explained in terms that someone who hasn't attained enlightenment would understand. It requires what modern people would call a paradigm shift.

    I like to think that the more you try to grab it, the more often you miss and it slips through your fingers. Let happiness happen. See how similar those two words are? :)

  3. Is happiness physical, emotional, psychological, or a combination?

  4. A combination. Your psyche, even if you'd like to think it's above your body, it's not. It is in your body, thus affected by your body. I think it is how satisfied with your own self-image and how well that matches the person you really are...thus self-esteem, which is psychological. And emotional completeness is an equal factor with the two above, almost most people rank this first and most closely associate it with happiness.

  5. Can you be happy doing what other people want you to do?

  6. Yes, but only if you grow to love/want that same thing/situation, too.

  7. Are people that say they are happy confusing happiness with apathy?

  8. Quite often, yes. It depends on what you consider happiness. Is happy an intense, passionate emotion, or is mainly just a simple satisfaction in life? And of course, you can never truly know if someone else is happy or not. You can only determine your own happiness.

  9. Do you have to be content to be happy?

  10. Definitely not. I doubt I will ever be completely content but I am often happy (although people in my journal don't get to read about that often as when I'm unhappy about something, usually myself).

  11. Can you be happy with yourself and not your surroundings?

  12. Yes, but you have to be careful that it doesn't break you down slowly and turn you into a person that you don't want to be. How badly does the situation contribute to your making decisions in a way that you normally wouldn't make them or constantly make you worry about things that normally wouldn't be present?

  13. Can you be happy in your surroundings and not with yourself?

  14. Yes, my current life situation is exactly that.