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A possible paradox involving eternal happiness?

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posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 04:25 PM
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reply to post by ManFromEurope
 


Hello ManFromEurope,

The next level of happiness, huh? Sounds like you saying happiness can be measured? Is this so? I do not know, so I am curious. I would hate to see how intense an individual would be who had his happiness "upgraded" hundreds of times. They might kill you with cheeriness.




posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by SecretWeapon
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.



Haha, maybe so. Maybe not
You might be happy until you find out the Genie stole that money from an entire country.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 04:29 PM
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Originally posted by shimmeringsilver73
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


Agreed. You can learn a lot of happiness, but you can learn even more from suffering.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 04:29 PM
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Originally posted by shimmeringsilver73
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


Agreed. You can learn a lot of happiness, but you can learn even more from suffering.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 04:29 PM
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Originally posted by this_is_who_we_are
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


Ah, thank you, sir. Alas, I am young and have not had the pleasure of watching any of that series. Thank you for the transcript!



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 06:10 PM
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You'd be happy all the time. Therefore you wouldn't be able to convey any kind of sadness at all, which is actually a key and an important part of being human. Who cares about the happy person? He or she is fine so let us move on the one needing something more in their life. Eventually your happiness ruins relationships because you just can't react the way people need you to. You become a loner, although a happy one, not truly feeling your own sadness because you can't feel it anymore. Death comes with a smile on your face doing something that brings you happiness....which is everything and anything...like staring at the ground lol. See how this "wish" plays against you in the long term?



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 07:09 PM
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So far, there only seem to be a couple of methods that eternal happiness is possible:


1) Only focus on wants that you need, so you wont feel like you "need" what you want.

2) Only desire Now, and love it no matter how "good" or "bad" it seems.

3) Observe Now without judging or beliefs. See a "person" as a "person" - not as good or bad.


Examples of each method:

1) "I'm hungry so, I want food. Any food will keep me happy."
[So, you take pleasure in what is simple, and the simple is always there]

2) "I hit my toe against the wall. It hurts, but I love the pain because it happens now."
[Only desire/love Now and your desire will always be fulfilled (Satisfaction/Happiness).]

3) "Tree...Grass...Wind...Walking Person...Sounds...Birds..."
[Only focus on Now, and you won't dwell on lack/desire, but only act on impulse]

What do you think about these methods of endless happiness?



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 08:52 PM
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Originally posted by Cycnus
You'd be happy all the time. Therefore you wouldn't be able to convey any kind of sadness at all, which is actually a key and an important part of being human. Who cares about the happy person? He or she is fine so let us move on the one needing something more in their life. Eventually your happiness ruins relationships because you just can't react the way people need you to. You become a loner, although a happy one, not truly feeling your own sadness because you can't feel it anymore. Death comes with a smile on your face doing something that brings you happiness....which is everything and anything...like staring at the ground lol. See how this "wish" plays against you in the long term?


Yep! That's the paradox, so to speak.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 11:14 PM
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Originally posted by arpgme
Only desire Now, and love it no matter how "good" or "bad" it seems.

"I hit my toe against the wall. It hurts, but I love the pain because it happens now."
[Only desire/love Now and your desire will always be fulfilled (Satisfaction/Happiness).]


That my friend is even a bigger paradox than the OP.
Being in the moment of now is our natural state, which is also bliss. Eternal happiness. We are born into it, but everyone taught us to give greater value to other times... Now is peripheral, now is only the time you do things for the future, now is what happening after what has already happened. This is a must precondition in order to have boredom and desire in the first place, when you live life the way it really is (not meant, IS), moment to moment while this moment is truly all there is, there is no boredom, because there is no going back in the mind for events that entertained you. There is no desire, desire is only for the future. If you desire something, you are turning away from the present moment, and expecting a future result of some sort.

So basically, you cannot desire now.
You can either be at presence, or desire to be at presence.

This is all tricks of the mind... That is what gives it its energy, past, future, boredom, desire, the mind and ego exists only because of conflicts. If there are no conflicts, and there is no 'I' that is bored or desire something, than there is no boredom or desire.
There's no need to love the present moment either (not hating it either of course), isn't loving it is for a reason for a future result as well? If one is totally present in the moment of now, there is no 'my toe' or 'love the moment', there is only presence... That presence is great awareness, much greater than anything the mind can perceive. And with that comes acceptance of the moment for as it is. The mind is silent, he no longer analyze the current situation, which turned him against the moment. That presence is awareness, and the more you are present, the more you realize that bliss is what always presence, beyond all forms of the 'I' thought. Buddha was right on, take out the 'I', take out the 'Want', and all you are left with is happiness, which is you. I and Want are preconditions for all human conflicts, and as long as we believe that the I and Want really represents who we really are, we will continue to desire happiness, but we'll miss it, because we are looking for it in the future.

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



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 11:19 PM
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reply to post by Shuye
 


Agreed. To desire now would place distance between you and "it".



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 11:50 PM
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reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 


IMO, this paradox is only manifested if the state your in, is in a human sensory form. The human body does get bored. This is because we over use a situation and become desensitized of it. The idea of eternal happiness is to have no wants and needs caused by the senses. A better word for eternal "happiness" would be, eternal "contentment".

Without the human sensory form, you can not become bored. You can not become tired of any situation because there are no senses to tell you, you are bored of it. You wouldn't even feel happiness. You would feel nothing. You would be perception, if that.

Unless you kept your current form but lose all of the senses of un-contentment. If you were to only feel the sense of happiness.

In a situation like the one you present, you have to think outside the body and human ideals of happiness. It's your human mind telling you, you will get bored.



posted on Sep, 5 2012 @ 12:44 AM
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Originally posted by fallow the light
reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 


IMO, this paradox is only manifested if the state your in, is in a human sensory form. The human body does get bored. This is because we over use a situation and become desensitized of it. The idea of eternal happiness is to have no wants and needs caused by the senses. A better word for eternal "happiness" would be, eternal "contentment".

Without the human sensory form, you can not become bored. You can not become tired of any situation because there are no senses to tell you, you are bored of it. You wouldn't even feel happiness. You would feel nothing. You would be perception, if that.

Unless you kept your current form but lose all of the senses of un-contentment. If you were to only feel the sense of happiness.

In a situation like the one you present, you have to think outside the body and human ideals of happiness. It's your human mind telling you, you will get bored.


As I have said in the opening paragraph:

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.


I'm purposely thinking inside the box to create the paradox for conversation reasons.



posted on Sep, 5 2012 @ 07:48 AM
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reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 


There is no distance and that is how it leads to endless happiness. Only desire now, and that desire is ALWAYS fulfilled because Now is always happening.

The fulfillment of desire is satisfaction/happiness, therefore since now is always happening the desire for now is always fulfilled and you won't feel "lack" but satisfaction all the time.



posted on Sep, 5 2012 @ 08:13 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 


Do you mean desire by focus the attention? Since the term desire (at least for me) usually resonates with longing or wanting, and usually to something that only present in the future, but never in the moment.

For example: You desire to be in a relationship, and let's say that a few months have passed and you have entered a new relationship. A few more months have passed... Do you still desire being in a relationship? Or you are in a relationship?

Do you desire to be in the moment? Or are you in the moment?



posted on Sep, 5 2012 @ 09:42 AM
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reply to post by Shuye
 


Why does it have to be "or"? Why is there so much confusion just because the word "desire" was used?

You can figure out the word usage through its context.




1: to long or hope for : exhibit or feel desire for

2 a : to express a wish for : request
b archaic : to express a wish to : ask


I guess in this sense , the definition is closer to "ask for" or "wish".

To be in the present and to only ask for what is already here, instead of asking for what isn't, so that, in this way, all of your asking can automatically be fulfilled for endless satisfaction....


I want to type this response to you, and I am, but if I couldn't, I wouldn't "desire" it - I'd change focus and only desire doing what is happening now as to not lead to suffering...



Let me just note, that this does NOT mean passivism (allowing anything to happen), choices still happen, but they are NOW focused. You don't dwell on "what choice WILL I make?" or "DID I make a good choice"?

Instead, when choice is present, you pick one that you desire now - only desiring present moment (choices) what is actually here so you never feel the "lack".
edit on 5-9-2012 by arpgme because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 5 2012 @ 10:19 AM
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Originally posted by ErroneousDylan
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.

I don't have any desires, besides wanting not to feel emotional pain. However, when I deny/ignore emotional pain, I deny/ignore all other emotions as well. So, to me, it's one or the other: I feel extensive pain and small bits of happiness, or I do not feel anything, including happiness.



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.

I get that, it definitely makes sense. For me, past is pain, present is pain, and future will most likely be pain, but I will try to make it as painless as possible. I desire to make my future life and self better, but for the sake of my children. If they did not exist, I'd have left this life long ago. I exist now because that's the only place I am or can be. However, I do realize that I must string together some inevitable future instances of "Now" to be able to take care of said children.



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.

I don't know, it doesn't seem "boring" to me, because I am like that naturally. I am focused only on moving through Now. The thing is, when I am in Now, I am surrounded by people who are also Now and who speak/act independently of me. While I can only adjust my response to their actions at this moment, it is still not fun to have every moment influenced by external forces.

Agreed, getting stuck in past events or fantasy futures is useless.

But, what happens when you are stuck in Now, with no means of escape?

What happens when you accept Now for what it is, but it is not pleasant?

This is what I mean: Is this happiness?



posted on Sep, 5 2012 @ 11:54 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 


I understand you now. We talk about the same thing, only using different terminology.
Which is peripheral, when it comes to describing it.



posted on Sep, 5 2012 @ 01:18 PM
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reply to post by Shuye
 


Yea, this is why I don't mind when people are using a different definition for a word, as long as they clarify their interpretation of that word, otherwise it would be confusing.

I wonder how many wars were started due to misunderstandings?

I hope in the future people will get spiritual enough to talk to animals and read intentions (accurately). That will make another quality spread around the Earth - Honesty, which I believe is an ingredient for freedom (and therefore happiness). I will also help with misunderstandings.
edit on 5-9-2012 by arpgme because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 5 2012 @ 02:41 PM
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Originally posted by arpgme
reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 


There is no distance and that is how it leads to endless happiness. Only desire now, and that desire is ALWAYS fulfilled because Now is always happening.

The fulfillment of desire is satisfaction/happiness, therefore since now is always happening the desire for now is always fulfilled and you won't feel "lack" but satisfaction all the time.


To desire is to think about. If you think about the present moment you'll be thinking in the past or future and lose it. The present moment is experienced and felt, you are aware of it. To desire it, is to lose it.



posted on Sep, 5 2012 @ 03:05 PM
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reply to post by ottobot
 


I'm sorry for your pain. The only thing I can recommend determined acceptance of this pain. Eckhart Tolle (whom I think is great) refers to the Ego as the "pain body" because it causes you pain, both mental and physical. He says some people have strong pain bodies and others have lesser. As was mentioned in a response to someone else in this thread, strong pain bodies can actually be a better teacher than lesser ones. He also mentions that coming into the Now while the pain body is still hanging around will bring your awareness to the pain and can make you feel worse or discomfortable, almost like a self-defense mechanism for the survival of the Ego.

I get very bad headaches from TMJ and clenching my jaw and I notice that if I actually take some time to sit down and meditate my jaw will loosen up, but what's worse is that the pain in the jaw will increase. Of course, meditation wouldn't actually cause me any more pain but I think it allows me to finally notice the pain that has been there all along. Sometimes I get jealous of morbidly obese people (that might be an overstatement) when I see them walking around and eating whatever they want but it doesn't seem like it is effecting them mentally any way. They seem happy although rather rotund, but if I eat one cheeseburger, I feel horrible. My only conclusion is that we tune our focus away from this pain until eventually we don't notice it any more.

So, I reckon if you've had pain for awhile in your life that coming to the present moment might actually make you notice it more and intensify it. Tolle recommends that you actually focus on this pain but try and keep aware of the Now and relaxed. The more attention you bring to it the more you counteract this pain body's self-defense mechanism.

To truly accept something means you are O.K. with it even if it is not pleasant. I'm not trying to make an assumption but perhaps you aren't 100% accepting of your unpleasant Now? Personally, I have a very hard time staying in the Now when I can fantasize about what I believe would be a better life so easily. The truth is, we are all stuck in the Now, as no other moment physically exist other than in our heads. Life is just one constantly changing and warping moment.

It sounds like you've already done a great deal of work though so you are probably closer than some to finding some peace. Focus on your breath, be present, and feel your existence, is all I can recommend.




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