Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Question on Happiness

Sometimes during those rare nights when all things seemed so still, and the only sound you could hear is the steady expanding and relaxing of your own lungs, thoughts would flood on me like wild fires. In no particular order, regardless of themes, they would attack my sleepy mind and hook you on those what other call playing with your thoughts.

And I cannot quite remember when it came to me, this sudden question of mine. Perhaps it grew out of being too drowned with the thoughts of existentialism and other related stuff. Who could blame me? I mean, who would not enjoy beautiful books by Camus and philosophy stuff by Nietzsche (not that I’m professing that some higher being is dead or what, hehe). Or maybe it was just the product of some of the mounting problems that I have for the past few months now (which I am not going to discuss of course – private lives, private lives). Or ultimately, perhaps it was simply the fruit of my mind being too playful, more so ignorant on the principles surrounding my ‘cheap question’. This will not be too long. Just an innocent one anyone can freely ignore, argue about, or agree with. As the title says it, it concerns happiness. Well as I’ve said, it popped up during a particular night and just grew into this somewhat coherent tone of question.

I would look into the faces of children and see how the world seems to be a paradise to them. They would respond to the environment by simply crying and sucking the milk available in the immediate vicinity. And they would soon grow old and experience pain, most likely suffering, and in time, even for just a single second, they would wish that they could go back to their childhood, where they could frolic in the park, play in the streets, eat candies and other sweets, and just sleep onto the laps of their loving mothers after those bedtime stories. Lovely, as I picture those childhood years.

Now here comes my question. Is it possible that happiness is just a form of response and not an absolute thing in itself? That happiness is by nature not found in this world but simply a medication for the feelings received by the humans? And following this thread of asking, that life, and perhaps the whole of our world and existence, is really a lonely and pain-stricken one and we just use the concept of happiness to make it through every single day of our mortal exist
ence?

I began to entertain the possible answer of seeing things in different perspectives. Remember the famous issue of the half-empty or half-filled glass? But, it seemed to me that we ought to stick to the truth, to the pursuit of the truth. I mean if we really have to state that things are not really that good, why would we insist on saying it’s alright and we can make it through? Darn, don’t you think that it is better to face experience, facts, etc. as they are – however painful they may be – and from that move to resolve them? If it is really a lonely and painful existence we are having, then I am more inclined to believe that life is indeed ultimately set to find happiness as its end. And not talk as if happiness is a living being just lying around us.

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