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A possible paradox involving eternal happiness?

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posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 04:36 AM
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I'm being strictly literal and practical here. No wishy-washy happiness coming from internal peace, but just a very generic happiness that most individuals experience from time to time as a result of things they like.

Let's say you met a Genie who would grant you just 1 wish. You wished for "eternal happiness" throughout all your life and possibly after your life. You start off feeling great and enjoying yourself but could/would this wear off?

If you had no emotional fluctuations and remained in a solid-state of happiness, would it become normality and result in boredom? The problem with this is that.. you are governed by a law which grants you eternal happiness so it would seem impossible to grow bored because boredom would cause unhappiness, yet you would become so used to this happiness that it would feel uninteresting.

I'm inclined to believe that you would remain happy no matter what due to the law of your wish but possibly something could go awry.

Any way, it was just a thought I wanted to jot down and wouldn't mind receiving some conversation. =)




posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 04:48 AM
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Originally posted by ErroneousDylan
I'm being strictly literal and practical here. No wishy-washy happiness coming from internal peace, but just a very generic happiness that most individuals experience from time to time as a result of things they like.

Let's say you met a Genie who would grant you just 1 wish. You wished for "eternal happiness" throughout all your life and possibly after your life. You start off feeling great and enjoying yourself but could/would this wear off?

If you had no emotional fluctuations and remained in a solid-state of happiness, would it become normality and result in boredom? The problem with this is that.. you are governed by a law which grants you eternal happiness so it would seem impossible to grow bored because boredom would cause unhappiness, yet you would become so used to this happiness that it would feel uninteresting.

I'm inclined to believe that you would remain happy no matter what due to the law of your wish but possibly something could go awry.

Any way, it was just a thought I wanted to jot down and wouldn't mind receiving some conversation. =)



Oh, thats an easy one. You explicitedly wished for "eternal happiness" - so whenever you would have reached the point that the actual level of entertainment which kept you happy for the last letssay 2 hours can't keep you happy anymore, you would be automatically "upgraded" to the next entertainent, otherwise you would not be happy anymore.

Therefore, yes, eternal happiness is possible. Just don't ask how.

If you would have wished for something more detailed like "i would like to have 200 million bucks so I will be happy", you would get the 200 million dollars and COULD get bored with them. That would be possible, yes.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 04:49 AM
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reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 

If I met a genie that woud only grant one wish I would wish for a trillion dollars.

Then I would have that eternal happiness.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 05:09 AM
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reply to post by SecretWeapon
 

Not a bad idea.

Assuming of course they don't all suddenly land on top of you, in which case the moment will be a mere second of bliss, because as John Lennon once sang: "Oh boy when you're dead you don't take nothing with you but your soul."


More generally on the OP's point though, I think that what some cultures call spiritual "happiness" is a state that avoids excess of emotions and material entanglements, unless they are instructed to please a deity.
"Joy" becomes virtually routine in such situations, and is switched on at congregational worship.
Eternal bliss is promised for an afterlife where conditions are different.

In a secular sense of "joy" as a state of being, I don't think it is possible without the opposite feeling of "sorrow", and excess of either implies the opposite state as a contrast, or as the following phase when the one has been exhausted or driven to its maximum.
They have no meaning without being interconnected as opposites.

Perhaps as William Blake wrote in The Proverbs of Hell:


Prisons are built with stones of Law,
Brothels with bricks of Religion.
The pride of the peacock is the glory of God.
The lust of the goat is the bounty of God.
The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God.
The nakedness of woman is the work of God.
Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps.

www.levity.com...
edit on 4-9-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 05:36 AM
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All happiness is relief from tension. Sexual orgasm is the prime example of this. I don’t see how there could be a permanent state of happiness as happiness has a cause. Anything that has a cause cannot be enduring. This is the reason that atheists dismiss the notion of a creator God. They have expanded upon the child’s logic when children ask, “Where does the world come from?” and are told by an adult, “God created the world.” So they then ask, “So who created God then?”

The mind is boggled when contemplating a causeless phenomenon. According to Indian sacred texts Krishna is known as the causeless cause.

I can intuit an eternal state but it is not one of happiness. Happiness is beginning to appear to me as being a drugged state, an intoxication of sorts. The eternal state I contemplate would not be concerned with time or with transformation that develops through time. As it is not concerned with time it could not really be called eternal either, as eternity is only relative to the temporary.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 05:37 AM
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This paradox also pertains to the paradox of happiness within the 'Perfect World'. Would we be contented as a species if we have reached a point where all strife, unhappiness, toil and war have been eliminated? Would we be eternally happy if we all wore white, sang Ohm all day, and perpetuated the idea of peace, compassion and love in all our dealings? Or would we cease to evolve? Would we be truly happy?

I reckon that unhappiness and strife is the key to accelerated evolution. And I am certain that we would contrive some sort of 'drama or scenario' in a world that existed without the elements that create unhappiness - partly due to sheer boredom, and partly due to a sense of restlessness. I cannot see that that platonic existence of one 'eternally happy' emotion will ever bring about the type of evolution that I hope to attain. It is my darkest moments that bring about my greatest growth-cycles. Without the darkness, one cannot fully appreciate the light. In the same manner it is possible that we cannot hope to reach our full potential if we are not emotionally stimulated from one extreme to the next.

I don't know about other people, but it is the unhappy moments in life that make my happy moments just so much more... ahem... happy...
How can I appreciate my happiness if I do not have a gauge against which to measure my happiness?

Good question. S+F



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 05:48 AM
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reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 


This is the very theme of a Twilight Zone episode:

A Nice Place to Visit (15 Apr. 1960)
www.imdb.com...


When bad guy Henry Francis Valentine dies in a shootout with police, he wakes up in the next world where his every wish is granted forever, and ever.


A Nice Place to Visit
en.wikipedia.org...


Plot

Henry "Rocky" Valentine is robbing a pawnshop after shooting a night watchman, but before he can get away he is shot by the police. He wakes up to find himself seemingly unharmed by the encounter and in the company of a pleasant individual named "Pip" who tells Rocky that he is his guide and has been instructed to grant him whatever he desires. Rocky is suspicious, having never received anything for free in his life. He believes Pip is trying to con him and asks him if he is a cop. Pip proceeds to quote personal information about Rocky's tastes and hobbies from a notebook. Irritated, Rocky demands that Pip give him his wallet. Pip says he has no wallet but obligingly gives him a large amount of money and is willing to give him as much as he desires. Rocky believes Pip wants him to commit a crime on his behalf and that the money is an incentive.
Rocky holds Pip at gunpoint, following him to a luxurious apartment that Pip insists is Rocky's. Demanding to know what he must do to acquire all this luxury, Rocky remains skeptical when he is told that it's all free. Despite his suspicions, he begins to relax, changing his clothes and taking a shower, after which he is presented with a meal served on a silver platter. He abruptly becomes suspicious again and demands that Pip taste the food, believing it to be poisoned. When Pip claims he can't remember how to eat, Rocky shoots him in the head but finds that the bullets just bounce off, leaving Pip unharmed. Rocky now realizes that he is dead and immediately assumes that he has died and gone to Heaven and that Pip must be his guardian angel. Pip replies, "Yes, something like that."
Later, we see Rocky in a casino, surrounded by beautiful girls and winning every game he plays. Outside he sees a tall policeman and is able to make him smaller and thus pick on him. After returning to his apartment with Pip and the "dolls" (as Rocky refers to them), Rocky asks to see some of his former friends who have died. Pip says that won't be possible, as this "paradise" is his own private world, and none of the people are real except for Rocky and Pip.
Rocky becomes curious as to why he was allowed into Heaven. "I must have done something good that made up for all the other stuff. But what? What did I ever do that was good?" With Pip, he visits the hall of records, but it merely contains a list of his sins. Rocky is puzzled but he decides that if God is okay with him being there, he won't bother worrying.
After a month, Rocky becomes thoroughly bored by always having his whims satisfied and predictably winning at anything he attempts. He tells Pip, "If I gotta stay here another day, I'm gonna go nuts! I don't belong in Heaven, see? I want to go to the other place."
Pip retorts, "Heaven? Whatever gave you the idea that you were in heaven, Mr. Valentine? This IS 'the other place!!"
Pip begins to laugh as Rocky unsuccessfully tries to escape his "paradise".

edit on 9/4/2012 by this_is_who_we_are because: typos



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 06:03 AM
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What is happiness without fulfilment? A pointless and fruitless existence.

To have eternal happiness regardless of what happens would be no better than being a rock in the middle of the desert and being content with doing nothing, being nothing and experiencing nothing. I think real happiness comes from the people around you experiencing true happiness so I'd wish for everyone on the planet to be happy. If you are surrounded by misery and death but have a massive grin on your face you'd probably need to be put in a home.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 07:23 AM
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Originally posted by ErroneousDylan
I'm being strictly literal and practical here.

Just the way I prefer
Here is my opinion:

Your concern is completely correct, because whenever one increases happiness, they inevitably increase the fear which holds it's hand, i.e the doubts of 'will this happiness be enough', 'will it one day go away one day', 'will it get boring', etc...

That is why happiness stemming from pleasure will never be eternal, unless the fear becomes eternal as well.
There is really no way around it. It is a binary emotion and an inseparable pair.

I feel there is a way to have eternal 'true' happiness (a bliss which does not depend on pleasure), but this can only be observed, as it flowers from the singular concept called love (the true form, not the Hallmark card mutation).
This bliss is timeless, and has no reference position, so in that way it does not bring about any unwanted guests or any added doubt. Just complete and total freedom.

And I now feel like I am sliding away from the original topic. So I'll leave my thoughts at that.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 08:08 AM
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reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 


"Happiness" is the result of satisfaction:

For example, I was starving with hunger pains, but now I have food to eat so I am happy.

I was poor and about to get kicked out of my house, but I found money so I am happy.


The only way to have "Eternal" happiness is to have "eternal" satisfaction, but what can you be "satisfied" of that will never change and always be there? It cannot be life because then at some point you'd die and be "unsatisfied" on your death bed.

Maybe the only way to be "happy" is to be satisfied with TRUTH whatever the TRUTH may be.

"I am happy - because I choose to be satisfied with Truth and this is the Truth of what is happening no matter how good or bad it is".

Maybe the only way to keep being happy is to Love the Truth (whatever it may be).

Pure appreciation of whatever happens whether you think it "Benefits" your or not. Then you can be happy all the time because your happiness comes from reality alone (not life, not success, etc.)



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 08:51 AM
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Originally posted by ErroneousDylan
I'm being strictly literal and practical here. No wishy-washy happiness coming from internal peace, but just a very generic happiness that most individuals experience from time to time as a result of things they like.

Let's say you met a Genie who would grant you just 1 wish. You wished for "eternal happiness" throughout all your life and possibly after your life. You start off feeling great and enjoying yourself but could/would this wear off?

If you had no emotional fluctuations and remained in a solid-state of happiness, would it become normality and result in boredom? The problem with this is that.. you are governed by a law which grants you eternal happiness so it would seem impossible to grow bored because boredom would cause unhappiness, yet you would become so used to this happiness that it would feel uninteresting.

I'm inclined to believe that you would remain happy no matter what due to the law of your wish but possibly something could go awry.

Any way, it was just a thought I wanted to jot down and wouldn't mind receiving some conversation. =)


Look at the size of the universe. How VAST it is!
If you wish for eternal happiness, understand also that you would have to be gifted with a body that was invulnerable.
Then imagine that you were also given the power to arrive to wherever you wanted with a thought.
Now imagine yourself dancing on a star - literally. And imagine all the stars that we can count. And imagine all the planets and peoples' that inhabit those planets (and are there creatures that live on or within stars even?)
Imagine all the possibilities just based on our NARROW view of the universe from this planet.
And then imagine how much we actually do not understand about the universe - its true scope and all the things within it.

Sit down for a minute, if you will, and calculate just how many galaxies, stars, and planets there are. Then imagine how long it would take you to arrive at each ONE of these bodies and to learn every single aspect of that body and all things within it, from the largest thing down to the most microscopic of things. And imagine how many creatures you could meet and all the things you could share and learn and how many games you could play with them. And imagine if you will that with that body you were given that you were also given much keener senses - that you could hear things once inaudible to us and see things once invisible to us. Imagine how much is changed! How art is changed! How the universe lights up with more things than we even knew.

Just try to calculate how long it would take, based on our extremely narrow view of the universe so far, for you to travel to all these places and do all these things. And then calculate into that equation times where you are at home, enjoying peace and rest.

Remember there are an innumerable number of beaches and sunsets and different kinds of static sunsets in the universe.

Understand that peace is the true state of being in between peaks of joy. Discomfort is not true state of being in between peaks of joy. Boredom is a discomfort. But boredom and discomfort and war take the places of the peaks of joy in our current form. In a more perfect form, peace is the true state of being. And peace is to be enjoyed most thoroughly in times of rest from performing works of happiness, which is learning and playing and sharing.

I just don't understand, knowing all of these possibilities and more which we cannot yet still imagine, how one could arrive at the conclusion that one might become bored. It seems absurd to think such a thing.

The beauty of eternity is that it can take what is a paradox for us in our current state and it can instead be understood as a reality.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 10:00 AM
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Hmmm interesting...

Maybe I should have just taken the cash. If you live in a world where genies can grant wishes I'm sure you could remain happy yet still be bored. Heck half of my day is spent in a fairly 'bored yet happy' state.

Maybe wish to be really REALLY happy for eternity and we might have a paradox...



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 12:20 PM
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reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 


Well, the two kinda contradicts each other...
Boredom is the state where we are not paying attention to the eternal happiness (which happens right now in this moment), and our focus is on what we want in the future to happen, or what happened before, then we are bored with the moment for as it is.

For a state of eternal happiness, one must always be present in the present. When life is a bliss, there is no longer a 'me' to be bored. You become vast as what you can grasp. Eternal happiness dissolves the ego and the wandering of past and future, you are bored as long as you are unhappy with the moment of now.

edit on 4-9-2012 by Shuye because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 02:15 PM
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An interesting thread this.

If you were indeed magically gifted the ability to be happy all the time it might well be one of those things that turned into a curse, just like in those old twilight episodes mentioned above. I think one of the problems is that you would lose all ability to empathise (feel sadness on because of someone elses misfortune) and so having relationships with anyone above the superficial would be almost impossible and you would end up alone with everyone thinking you're a jerk.

The irony being that you would still be happy even though your life would be terrible and everyone hated you.
edit on 4-9-2012 by davespanners because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by Shuye
reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 


Boredom is the state where we are not paying attention to the eternal happiness (which happens right now in this moment), and our focus is on what we want in the future to happen, or what happened before, then we are bored with the moment for as it is.


Boredom is a bit like desire in my opinion.


Desire is feeling lack for what you don't have but want.

Boredom is feeling like you can't do what you want.


A person can be at work and feel "bored" because they don't want to be doing that, but want to do something else.

A person can also feel "bored" because they are sitting at home, but don't want to be, they want to do something else but feel like they can't (most likely because they can't think of a better idea).



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 03:04 PM
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reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 


Interesting thoughts, I've been mulling over this quote today:




A man said to the Buddha, "I want Happiness." Buddha said, "First remove 'I'. That's ego. Then remove 'want'. That's desire. See, now you are left with only Happiness.


And I am trying to figure out how you can still have happiness when you have no sense of self?

It is a paradox, to be sure.

Because, I wonder if a human even knows what "happy" actually is?

Is happy the same thing as contentment, or just a part of it?

Is happy when you have all of the things you dream about?

Is happy the default state of emotion one has, even though it does not feel positive?

Is happy the absence of all emotion, or the presence of all emotion?

Is happy when you no longer have dreams, when you have given up on your dreams and settled into the life you have because you know you will never have anything more?

I just don't know.
edit on 9/4/12 by ottobot because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 04:04 PM
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Getting everything you ever wanted all at once could have that effect after a while. But what if all those things were spaced out over a lifetime, and you weren't expecting it, that might work. So basically the Genie would have to erase your memory of getting a wish.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 04:15 PM
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Originally posted by ottobot
reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 


Interesting thoughts, I've been mulling over this quote today:




A man said to the Buddha, "I want Happiness." Buddha said, "First remove 'I'. That's ego. Then remove 'want'. That's desire. See, now you are left with only Happiness.


And I am trying to figure out how you can still have happiness when you have no sense of self?

It is a paradox, to be sure.

Because, I wonder if a human even knows what "happy" actually is?

Is happy the same thing as contentment, or just a part of it?

Is happy when you have all of the things you dream about?

Is happy the default state of emotion one has, even though it does not feel positive?

Is happy the absence of all emotion, or the presence of all emotion?

Is happy when you no longer have dreams, when you have given up on your dreams and settled into the life you have because you know you will never have anything more?

I just don't know.
edit on 9/4/12 by ottobot because: (no reason given)



Hello ottobot,

A couple of things that come to mind about the Buddha's quote. There is an assumption that when spiritual people say to remove all desire that it has something to do with materialism and that "one should not be greedy". However, it is not necessarily about the physical (or mental) object in which you desire, but about the feeling of desire itself.

Desiring things, be them monies or an emotional state, can set you up for much disappointment but more importantly, it distracts you from the present moment. I know that may sound very cliché; everyone talks about this present moment, but there is a lot of reason for it. Having intense anxiety, I know. If your mind is always in the past, you will feel depression. If your mind is always in the future, you will feel anxiety. Of course, none of these moments of past and future exist but the mind likes to go there. If you are constantly in the past you are most likely desiring a time that you used to live in, when possibly things where better. Or if you are in the future, you are most likely desiring something that you feel would make your life better. As you can see, both of these ways of thinking contain desires but cause distress.

As far as the Ego, we could discuss this for millennia, I'm sure. However, to sum it up, the Ego is seen as the entity that causes you to have these desirable thoughts. The Ego is assumed to be your false sense of identification, and this sense is reinforced by negative thoughts. It consumes them. This is because when people are thinking in the past or future, they are thinking and listening to themselves at the same time in a very schizophrenic way. Who is listening and who is talking? Perhaps both are the Ego, but one thing is for sure, it makes the Ego feel all more alive and real.

So, if you come to the present moment and forget the past and future and the desires that come from those two places, your Ego will begin to dissolve. This is because to truly be in the present moment you must practically be thoughtless. Instead of perceiving reality with stimulated thoughts, you would perceive it with physical awareness and experience. Now you are Egoless, in the present moment, and have no desires. It might sound awfully boring to some but that is just the Ego making that assessment. Truly, I believe, this will provide happiness.

You may know this information already as it gets talked about a lot here but in case not, that's what I know.

Good luck.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 04:23 PM
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Originally posted by 3n19m470
Getting everything you ever wanted all at once could have that effect after a while. But what if all those things were spaced out over a lifetime, and you weren't expecting it, that might work. So basically the Genie would have to erase your memory of getting a wish.


True. However, he did not state that he wished for his happiness to be a result of any objects or desires. Just a constant feeling of happiness for no apparent reason.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 04:23 PM
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Originally posted by 3n19m470
Getting everything you ever wanted all at once could have that effect after a while. But what if all those things were spaced out over a lifetime, and you weren't expecting it, that might work. So basically the Genie would have to erase your memory of getting a wish.


True. However, he did not state that he wished for his happiness to be a result of any objects or desires. Just a constant feeling of happiness for no apparent reason.



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