Saturday, January 23, 2021

7 - Happiness (and/or joy)

In search of lost HAPPINESS

1 – Visual example of joy in action

The joy of giving without showing that you are the one who gave freely, no strings attached. A lost art still alive in fairy tales and in magic places, sometimes mentioned in ancient stories and still evoked in modern publicity, but rarely practiced in real life. 

2 – Three flashlights on joy and/or happiness 

The mere sense of living is joy enough. 
Emily Dickson 

 Happiness isn't the reward for a life well-lived,...
It's the mechanism used to control our behaviour.
Paul Kwatz
Conscious robots

Stupidity, selfishness and good health are the three prerequisites of happiness, though if stupidity is lacking the others are useless.
Gustave Flaubert

 3 – One question 
  • What brings you moments of joy or happiness?
Celebrating, singing and dancing with others can give a lot of joy to people, as long as it is limited in time, you are invited as a guest, and you are not one of the many who have to organize before, serve during and clean up afterwards. 

4 – Joy and/or happiness in language games 

We talk about joy and/or happiness saying to us and others: “That's right”, or “That's nice”, “It feels so good!”. What we experience, judge, feel or perceive as right or nice triggers the feeling of joy in us. Just like what we think is beautiful. People with a high energy level of joy or happiness help us to consciously perceive and recognize the tiny graceful things in the world, instead of always concentrating on those items that we don’t like. 

With joy it’s the moment to get a little bit lyrical somehow: With it and/or happiness you are floating in a light element, you are enjoying life in the here and now, you don’t worry anymore about the money you owe and which you don’t have, because you’ve spent it somewhere somehow. 99-Happiness is like a trip in a helium balloon during fine weather, you think you can float very high, and for a while it’s perfect, but the laws of physics (gravity, 2nd law of thermodynamics) and the psychological law of “habituation” catch up with you eventually, the biological law of the “call of nature” will appear eventually, and the happy feeling won’t last as long as imagined beforehand, because in real life there are always things to do, questions to answer and problems to be solved. 

Any kind of feeling won’t last forever, and happiness or joy is no exception, so you have to enjoy the pleasing moments of your life in the here and now, since impermanence is the name of the game for all your enjoyments, and for all your struggles as well! 

Also, when we reach an objective or goal, when we accomplish something important or when good news reach us, our brain produces and releases dopamine and we just start to feel great. As mentioned, the downside is that the effect won’t last for long. Within hours or days we return to our default state of ordinary numbness of not feeling. Evolution hasn’t engineered us to be happy all the time, since it “knew” that if we were happy all the time we wouldn’t get up to go to work in a neon-lighted office or in a machine-oil smelling garage 8 hours a day and for 40 to 50 years. A happy (drunk or enlightened) person would say: “That isn’t life! That’s insane!” 
  • If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in. 
Bill Hicks 

Humans are essentially social and symbolic animals, who need most of all connection, care and recognition of others, which implies that small acts of kindness, for example a smile or a gesture of recognition, are the building atoms for tiny feel good instants of everyday life. Feeling isolated and lonely is for most humans like taking the bullet train to a station called Depression. 

Coming back to the concept of “happiness”, whenever your read or hear about this word and about joy as well, remember the last sentence of the next quote: 
  • There are thousands of books on happiness, and most of them start by asking what happiness really is. As readers quickly learn, this is approximately equivalent to beginning a pilgrimage by marching directly into the first available tar pit, because happiness really is nothing more or less than a word that we word makers can use to indicate anything we please. 
Daniel Gilbert 
Stumbling on Happiness 

Let’s say that the word happiness is, as all other feeling concepts of the human species, a very extensible term that has vastly disparate meanings for different people. In general human mammals use this word for describing something that feels good to them, which can go from momentary to persistent, from peaceful to ecstatic to blissful and something in between or far above. They also use it in relation to an external event, for example in the meaning of a happy coincidence or a turn of fate (luck, happenstance) that promotes good feelings in life. In the former meaning the term happiness (joy) denotes an internally felt state, in the latter, however, an external favorable event. In any case the meaning of the word happiness isn’t fixed somewhere, it’s just a word we use to indicate to others that life is good, may be in this moment or in life in general, depending on our communicational context and our intentions. 

 Rule of thumb # 3 
  •  For a large class of cases of the employment of the word ‘meaning’—though not for all—this word can be explained in this way: the meaning of a word is its use in the language. 
L. Wittgenstein 
PI 43 

So it seems that the “meaning” of the word happiness is how we use and describe it in everyday language games. 

We celebrate life through happiness, through feeling good. We affirm what suits our needs. When we define something as beautiful or right, it ultimately means nothing more and nothing less than that it is the way we like it. 

With happiness, people might be talking about how they feel in the present moment, or they mean a more general sense of how they feel about life. Some people just use the word “happiness” as state of being where they are experiencing more positive emotions than negative ones. Because of this large semantic extension of “happiness”, psychologists and other mind interpreters prefer to use the term 'subjective well-being' when they talk about states of happiness. 

As happiness is a very personal feeling (as all feelings), here’s your task: 

 • What exactly means happiness for you? 
 • What kind of people (events, things) make you happy? 
 • What are you going to do with that knowledge? 

If you don’t know whether you are happy right now and what makes you happy, don’t worry, you are happy already – you only don’t know it! Just wait until the next tooth ache appears and you will realize that before the onset of this unimaginable pain you were perfectly happy, and now you only want the pain to disappear to be happy again, you only want to come back to that normal state of ordinary homeostasis!  

The surprising science of happiness - Dan Gilbert 

5 - When do we need joy/happiness? 

I say the more the better, but only in secure environments, because it makes you stupid! Happiness is not very helpful in dangerous situations or for solving the pressing problems of everyday life, like working in a job you don’t like, paying bills, dealing with an angry boss, etc. 

Psychology textbooks say that humans have a base line of feelings, that means we have a default mood for normal life events, which can go up (joy) or down (sadness) in relation to certain events, but after a while our feelings will come back to its default setting. 

Again, as with all the other feelings, joy and/or happiness is a very subjective affair, that means the same action or situation may make you happy and another one may feel sad. It depends how each of us interpretes the situation, and that again depends on a lot of other factors (genes, family influences, childhood traumas, social environment, consumption of drugs, etc.), which we don’t control and of which we are not even aware. 

Positive experiences as well as losses can shift your emotional base level, but even when you win big in the lottery of liife, sooner or later you tend to return to your individual emotional base line, that is your day to day mood, which may be somewhere on a spectrum from 0 to 10, like from desperate numbness to exuberant joie de vivre. 

However, with continuous and long-lasting influences, your individual emotional base line can change permanently. But to increase your base line mood, so that you feel more content and happy in life, will take time, energy, and some emotional work. Keep in mind also that the feeling of happiness cannot increase endlessly, since when you are too happy, you’re not aware of all the not so good things that may happen, and being too carefree definitely doesn’t help you in keeping up with your responsibilities in daily life. 

Rule of thumb # 4 

• Feelings of happiness have a natural ceiling or limit. 
Feelings of unhappiness can get from bad to worse to “there’s no bottom!” worst (and maybe ever further!). 

6– Evolutionary aspects 

The primer purpose or mission of your brain is to keep you alive, to help you survive in all kinds of environments and circunstances. That means that your brain is always scanning the environment for things that could endanger you in some way or another. And there are million ways of something might get wrong, but only a few ways that everything works perfectly as planned. Given these facts, joy and happiness are rare and time limited moments of life, since human mammals are programmed by evolution in such a way that they become more aware of what is not working, what is wrong, or the things they don’t like, because these so-called negative circumstances could endanger their survival, so they have to take care of them, contrary to what is right already, which doesn’t need any fixing. 

However, pleasant sensations ensure that all kinds of animals continue doing the things which help them to survive and reproduce: when thirsty, they search something to drink; when hungry, they look for something to eat; when they want a mini-me, they look out for moving bodies somehow resembling their own bodyshape, and preferably (but not always!) of their own species, etc. 

Being thirsty is a sensation that prompts us to drink something so that we feel better. Pleasant sensations say, acording to the not existing plan of evolution, that there is nothing to worry about, that we don’t need anything in the moment, and that there is no reason to do anything, just relax, take it easy and enjoy the present moment. 

Happy: Enjoying life in the here and now, celebrating it with your Higher self who appreciates the tiny things and fleeting moments, while dancing to the spirit of ethereal soundwaves. 

6.1 – Chemicals involved 

If we believe neuro-endocrinologists and similar scientists of our interior communication flows, then joy, happiness and all other feelings are chemically created in the still legal drug factory of our brains and bodies. The main drugs (hormons, neurotransmitters and endorphins) involved in our feelings of joy and/or happiness (and for love as well): Dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin and many others which scientists are still not very sure about. 

Neuroscientists also write and we know from experience that eating sweet food makes us fell good. In this case the brain releases the more dopamine the more calories we consume, especially if these calories come disguised in sweetness, like chocolate, ice-cream, cheese cake and other caloric tsunamis that induce us to eat more and more (even when not feeling hungry). 

By eating these “comfort foods” our primitive brain chills out and enjoys life. Again, it’s a short term happiness, the long term effects on the body are quite visible after a while and in the long run it has serious side effects. But then again, a lot of the things which will make you happy are illegal, forbidden, cost a lot of money or make you fat! 

Some chemical formulas of the CHNO product line inside your body that give you a boost of good feelings: 

Dopamine - C8 H11 N O2 

Serotonin - C10 H12 N2 O 

Oxytocine - C43 H66 N12 O12 S2 

Below some chemical formulas of CHNO products from outside of your body which may give you good and some even better feelings than your base line mood. Some of these products are legal, although they are bad for your health, while others are illegal. 

What is legal and illegal in one region and at one point in time isn’t illegal in another region or in the same country at another point in time, e.g. Laws of Prohibition during the beginning of the 20th century in the US. 

 • In general, the trap of all these products, legal or illegal, is that the stronger their mood improvement in the here and now, the greater the collateral damages in years to come! 

Sugar – Glucose - C6 H12 O6 Sucrose - C12 H22 O11 

Chocolate – C7 H8 N4 O2 

Cheesecake - depends on ingredients 

French fries – C3 H5 N O 

Cola extract - C30 H32 N8 O10 (Ingredient of Coca Cola)  

Alcohol –Ethanol C2 H5 O H 

Cannabis – C21 H30 O2 

Morphine – C17 H19 N O3 

Cocaine -   C17 H21 N O4 

LSD -         C20 H25 N3 O 

Remember, some 'things' are more efficient than others to transport you to a  more pleasant state of being, although not permanently:

For a rat in a box, chocolate increases the basal output of dopamine in the brain by 55 percent, sex by 100 percent, nicotine by 150 percent, and cocaine by 225 percent. Amphetamine, the active ingredient in the street drugs “speed,” “ice,” and “shabu” as well as in medications like Adderall that are used to treat attention deficit disorder, increases the release of dopamine by 1,000 percent. By this accounting, one hit off a meth pipe is equal to ten orgasms.
Anna Lembke
Dopamine Nation

7 – Happiness or Joy is useful for 
  • To enjoy life. 
  • To lknow whom or what you like most. 
  • To appreciate the here and now. 
  • To take things with a pincel of lightness. 
  • To know what you like and what makes u happy (careful, what makes u happy now, doesn’t mean it will make u happy tomorrow!) 
  • To know who you are and what defines u. 
  • To find your path of least frustration in life and to follow it. 
  • To maintain and enjoy relationships. 
  • To have inner peace for a short while. 
  • To be oblivious of the problems in your life. 
  • To be oblivious of the problems of other people. 
  • To be oblivious to the “serious” problems of the environment you inhabit. 
  • To get addicted to that feeling and trying to push it with the help of some chemical friends (artificial mood boosters). 
  • To search for happiness all the time and forgetting that happiness most of the time just happens. That’s why it’s called “happy-ness”. Search for it and you’ve lost it already. 
  • Others: … 


 • The most important “things” in life are not “things”. 

Rule of thumb # 5 
  • Happy moments can turn into pain, given time. 
Matt Haig 
The Midnight Library 

8 – Forms of happiness

Psychologists differentiate (some get paid for this!) between eudaimonic happiness which they connect to a sense of purpose or a meaning in life, and on the other side what they label as hedonic wellbeing or happiness, which we put in action every day when we buy something with the aim of “self-gratificaction” (from chocolate, pizza, oreo buiscuits to a new car and more expensive still). 

For most authors happiness includes different emotions which make us feel content in the moment or also more general in life. So happiness may include emotions of amusement, contentment, serenity, pride, optimism, love, excitement, gratitude, awe, and some more. That looks fine and neat on paper, but you have to identify what your feeling feels like and you have to label these feelings, which in reality is somehow more difficult than explained in theory with lineal words on all too patient paper. 

Still other psychologists write that happiness has different levels, which go from immediate gratifications (think ice-cream), to passion (think your hobby), to purpose (think serving others), up to the ultimate good ( = think of nothing in particular and of the void in general!), a concept invented in Ancient Athens by Plato 2400 years ago. 

Another important aspect of happiness is, mostly written about it in the media, that happy people have fuller hair, better teeth, healthier pets, they earn more money, live longer, have a bigger house and all the good things nice, beautiful and honest people tend to have (in all the movies of Bolly-, Holly-, Lolly- and Nollywood). 

But then again, other stories and researches just say the contrary: the so called successful people aren’t happier than the ones labelled as losers. Happy to read that, since I’m not all too sure to which category I belong! 

To find out what makes other people happy, just look and watch real people in action, see life unfolding before your eyes, watch kids playing and talk to the rich and the poor. Have a look at the statisics: Depression and suicide rates, drug consumption, etc. 

But then again, what seem to make others happy, doesn’t mean it will make you happy as well. So you have to find out for yourself! 

Whenever you read about all the benefits of happiness, organic food and a healthy lifestyle, and also about the dangers of consciouness altering liquids for your body-mind unit, reflect on what the French Renaissance writer Francois Rabelais wrote already in the 16th century: 

  • There are more old drunkards than old physicians. 

Temporary conclusion: 
  • There are a dozen of things, people and situations that can make you happy, and a zillionfold more which can make you unhappy. So choose well!

That question that you ask yourself without answering 
Inside you is the answer to know 
You are the one who decides the path to choose 
There are many good and bad things, choose well 
That your future is formed based on decisions 
And we want to make you happy with this song 

 And there you are, you 
 And there you are, you 

 Some more useless advice: 

1 – Don’t compare yourself and your (un)happiness to others! What makes somebody else happy doesn’t mean it will make you happy. 

2 – Figure out what you enjoy in your life, like events, moments, actions and people. That may take time. In general, the first hundred years are the most difficult, but don’t despair, afterwards it will get easier.  

 Since this video is not available outside of its original platform, here the link for watching it in youtube:

If and when you watch this video, you can observe and learn how our thoughts influence our motor skills and at the same time you see a master of reframing and changing the state of mind of another person: 

First situation, near the door: she wants to quit and is already at the door when he asks: “Is it any fun?” 
 “I wanted it to be!” and she comes back … 

Last situation, rehearsing a tune together: she’s nervous and not in her highest state of internal resources, so he asks some questions which change her mindset from trying too hard consciously to a flow state of mind where she doesn’t think of her action anymore and thinks of something beautiful instead. 

The unfolding process of changing her internal resources from negative to positive goes like this: 
“When you look at the mirror, what do you like best about yourself?” 
“My hair!” 
“Because my father says it reminds him of a sunset.” 
“Play the sunset.” … 

9 - Shadow side of happiness or joy 

In its shadowy expression, joy is self-deception and self-slander. The famous rose-colored glasses lull us into honey-sweet illusions. We imagine we are on pink clouds when actually nothing is beautiful or even right. Here joy becomes a cloak for everything we don't want to see. 

Since anger and criticism have a bad image in nearly all cultures, many people have developed the habit of interpreting things as correct and good which actually are neither. To really lead an authentic life we have to accept our feelings as they come, the happy ones and the sad ones too. We appreciate the sunny weather much more because sometimes it rains and it’s cold. And nature and life in general need all kind of weathers and we need all our feelings to stumble and float through life. 

But still, if we lack happy moments in our life, if we all too seldom interpret “that is right” or “that is beautiful”, life will be almost unbearable. We become disgruntled, lousy, complaining spirits who are a burden for themselves and others. 

10 – How to increase your joy meter

The happiness and joy advice industry is big business, especially in the USA and Western Europe, where people have one of the highest standards of living in the whole world and in all human history. Despite that, depression, legal and illegal drug consumption and suicide rates are also one of the highest in these so called developped countries. It seems that all the books, videos, workshops and talks about happiness only show that there is no much happiness or joy around. Just try to find somebody today with the real, innate or acquired “joie de vivre”. 

Despite all that, here are some rules of thumb for increasing your joy or happiness meter: 

  • First you have to identify what you really like and love in your life, something that gives some meaning to your experience. 
  • Don’t read so many books (I’m talking to myself here), real joy is something you don't know until you've experienced it. Or as somebody said: 
 “Knowledge is learning something everyday. 
Wisdom is letting go of something everyday.” 
  • Lower your expectations in relation to what should happen and what not. When your expactations match or are exceeded by reality, then you may feel happy. 
  • Do things you like doing and which, once finished, leave you in a better and more energetic emotional state than before. 
  • Keep and maintain social contacts with friends, family and other people. Social relations are good for your body and mind, they keep you (nearly) sane (depends heavily on the kind of people you relate to! There are always some people you should avoid!). 
  • Move closer to your work: Studies show that people suffer when they have to commute long distances every day and waste time in traffic jams. 
  • Do something with your body, for example, cook for others, take a walk, exercise, clean the garage, work in the garden, hug somebody you like or love and more, etc. Your body needs movement and the more physical energy you spend the more the brain releases dopamine and you will feel happy. If you don’t feel happy against all odds, at least you will feel tired which makes for a good nights sleep! 
  • Try to maximize moments of the so-called flow: These are moments in which you completely forget time and space around you and get absorbed in what you are doing at that exact moment. Many experience this feeling of happiness while doing something they love to do, they have freely chosen and they are completely immersed in the experience! 
  • New situations and experiences: In general, humans get used to new objects very quickly. So instead of buying an expensive smartphone (a good show-off gadget), an expedition to the outer provinces of the Universe or a painting course can be more stimulating and satisfying for yourself. 
  • Reframe negative thoughts, that means, change your perspective. For example, instead of thinking that you lost all your money in a bad investment, you can be happy that you don’t have to worry anymore of how to spend this money. That saves a lot of time and energy! 
  •  If you like music, just listen to the sounds that improve your mood. There should be zillions of audible airwaves around, and some are just right for you. 
  •  Comparisons: Although for you it seems impossible for you and me (and it surely is!), but there will be always somebody younger, more beautiful or handsome, richer, more creative, etc than you and me. Comparing yourself to other people wont boost much your happiness level, so surfing facebook and other social media platforms aren’t really good for being satisfied with your life, since somehow in social media it looks like that everybody lives in a big mansion with swimming pool in the most expansive avenues of Hollywood, except you and me! 
  • To have a look and taste for the all so obvious absurdities of life is a good source for humor and laughter which will make you feel lighter in a flash. Laughter moves a lot of face muscles and increases the dopamin level as well (or so some scientists say!). 
  • Keep a gratitude diary: before going to sleep write down all the things you can be grateful for, like for life in general and the tiny little things from today in particular. Keep writing everyday and one day in a week you read all the entrances again. It makes you aware of the ephemeral beauty which is all around you. Just look at it and appreciate what you see, becaus where you put your attention, there is your life! And sometimes when you are in a certain situation, your perspective shifts and a magic moment happens, where you see something with a different mindset, as beauty is an interpretation of your mind, and not what your eyes see. 
  •  As we carry her back to the gurney she is calm, no longer shaking, and she grips my arm tightly as the others dress her. ‘Merci!’, she says. She pulls me close and smiles. ‘Merci!’ Her eyes are pale grey. Before I saw only the ugliness of age: wrinkles, fat, wasting muscles, dwindling limbs. Now I see kindness, love, laughter, and I’m struck by her beauty. I wonder who she is, what she has done in her life, who she has known. What it’s like to be so close to death. 
Jo Marchant 

  • Physical exercise every day is ideal for the release of endorphins from your brain, which will make you feel happier than before. The first day is difficult, but if you stay with doing the exercises every and each day during one to two months it will become a habit and then you can’t stop anymore. Start slowly or join a group of people. 
  • Do a Good Deed. When you do something nice for someone else, you feel joyful because you helped someone and that shows you’re a good person. And in general you feel good when your actions in the outside world matches up to your imagined “ideal” of yourself. There is no “cognitive dissonance” anymore. 
  • To resume: Think about the things, situations and people that make you feel happy every day, and try to do them or hang out around them. Think about what made you happy as a kid! 
  • Others for you: 

Most common and mainstream pitfalls while searching desperately for happiness:

  • For those that don’t know, a human is a real bipedal lifeform of mid-range intelligence, living a largely deluded existence on a small water-logged planet in a very lonely corner of the universe. … 
  •  Oh, and let’s not forget The Things They Do To Make Themselves Happy That Actually Make Them Miserable. This is an infinite list. It includes – shopping, watching TV, taking the better job, getting the bigger house, writing a semi-autobiographical novel, educating their young, making their skin look mildly less old, and harbouring a vague desire to believe there might be a meaning to it all. 
  •  Yes, it is all very amusing, in a painful kind of way. 
Matt Haig 
The Humans

But anything they made you dream of
And all the things they made you buy
The whole business with our happiness 
is nothing but a lie
But where do I get, tell me where do I get
What i really need
But where do I get, tell me where do I get
What i really need

Q+A  section: Money can make you happy or not?
  • Some say that money doesn’t make you happy. 
  • Others say that money doesn’t make you happy, but it helps. 
  • Still others suggest that if money doesn’t make you happy, then you probably aren’t spending it right. 

Personal comment: 

In case you are confused and don’t know what’s true for you in relation to money, try to live a week without money in any of the big cities of this world! Good luck! But remember to choose a country where it’s not too cold at night! 

The biggest roadblock to happiness seems to be being trapped, that means being in a situation you don’t want to be in, but there doesn’t seem to be a way out. So avoid being trapped by something or somebody at all costs, and avoid it where and when you can, since it's not a comfortable place to be, as any tiger caged in a zoo might tell you.

Here’s the advice of a more or less trapped mother to her daughter:
  •  After my father passed away, my mother was left to raise three children and spent years simply trying to get by….
  •  My mother understood first-hand how horrible it feels when you’re trapped by your circumstances, basing each decision on what you have to do instead of what you want to do, and she wanted to protect me from such a fate. ‘You always need to have just enough money to say, “Screw you!”’ she advised. That way, I would never have to stay in a job I hated or in a relationship that wasn’t working for me because I didn’t have the financial resources to make a move. 
Susan David 
Emotional Agility 

What also may make some or a lot of us happy but we shouldn’t show it all too obviously

 • Gossip: Talking about others can make you feel better (especially if you find something to criticize!). 

 • Schadenfreude: being happy when somebody more intelligent and beautiful or handsome has bad luck in one or different of her/his actions. From the German language: Schaden (harm) and Freude (joy), which translates as the joy you feel of the bad luck or damage of somebody else. But you feel that way only if the other person has a higher status than you and/or is well known to you or the general public. 

 • Buying luxury goods: Still, an expensive item which is clearly visible and you can carry it around or it carries you around (Rolex, iphone, designer clothes, Ferrari) is a perfect legal way to make others envious, which is one of the hidden pleasures of buying expensive and useless stuff. The same goes for travelling to exotic places, where you get bitten by a zillion mosquitos, but you show your friends in Facebook, Instagram, Snapshot, and all other social media platforms that this vacacion was the best and most wonderful in all your life! That others envy you means that you are very rich or powerful or important! There’s pleasure and happiness in that too! 

 • Doing things which are dangerous and/or forbidden, like parachuting, winggliding, driving too fast, climbing skyscrapers, etc. 

 • Giving orders to others, and knowing that they will obey you. Again, this shows that you are an important and powerful animal of the human species. It seems one of the biggest pleasures for human mammals, sonce nearly everybody tries to become a “leader”, but only a few succed. 

 • Others things u can do or have which may make you happy (write your personal choices): 

11 – Two examples of joy or happiness in literature and/or real life 

  • Although Bertha Young was thirty she still had moments like this when she wanted to run instead of walk, to take dancing steps on and off the pavement, to bowl a hoop, to throw something up in the air and catch it again, or to stand still and laugh at—nothing—at nothing, simply. What can you do if you are thirty and, turning the corner of your own street, you are overcome, suddenly, by a feeling of bliss—absolute bliss!—as though you’d suddenly swallowed a bright piece of that late afternoon sun and it burned in your bosom, sending out a little shower of sparks into every particle, into every finger and toe? Oh, is there no way you can express it without being “drunk and disorderly”? How idiotic civilization is! Why be given a body if you have to keep it shut up in a case like a rare, rare fiddle? 
Katherine Mansfield 
Bliss, and other stories 

  • Just now (but this cannot last, she thought, dissociating herself from the moment while they were all talking about boots) just now she had reached security; she hovered like a hawk suspended; like a flag floated in an element of joy which filled every nerve of her body fully and sweetly, not noisily, solemnly rather, for it arose, she thought, looking at them all eating there, from husband and children and friends; all of which rising in this profound stillness (she was helping William Bankes to one very small piece more, and peered into the depths of the earthenware pot) seemed now for no special reason to stay there like a smoke, like a fume rising upwards, holding them safe together. Nothing need be said; nothing could be said. There it was, all round them. 
Virginia Woolf 
To the Lighthouse 

12 - Coda 
  • Interpretation: That is correct. I like that. I want this moment to last forever. 
  • Mission: Appreciation in the here and now. 
  • Shadow: illusion, denial.
  • Goal: Nirvana, Doksha, Bliss, ... 
  • Energy level: high 

What they sing, “C’est la vie” is not at all the totality of life, it’s just a small and fleeting part of it, and, as you can observe in the clip, being young, healthy and beautiful helps a lot in connecting, singing, flirting and dancing with others. 

Enjoy it while you can, since it will pass by very fast and it will end always much too early: C’est la vie! The passing of happy moments leaves an immense narcistic wound, which impulses us to ask: 
What was that? 
When was it? 
Will it come again? 
If so, when?

PS:  How to simplify life
 A last advice given to me by some special friends who have a relatively small brain and therefore they don't overthink things all too much, which leads them to an uncomplicated lifestyle and less headaches compared to the human happiness seekers who rely on their big brains by leading a chaotic life while trying to find joy and bliss somewhere somehow:

  • A lizard approaches life with a very simple decision model: When he sees something bigger than himself, he runs. When he sees something smaller than himself, he tries to eat it. If he sees something about his size, he tries to mate with it.
Loretta Graziano Breuning
Habits of a happy brain

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