The universal search for happiness

November 1, 2013 § 4 Comments

‘I was thinking of people who say that happiness is impossible on earth. Look how hard they  all try to find joy in life. Look how they struggle for it. Why should any living creature exist in pain? By what conceivable right can anyone demand that a human being exist for anything but his own joy? Every one of them wants it. Every part of him wants it.  But they never find it. I wonder why. They whine and say they don’t understand the meaning of life. There’s a particular kind of people that I despise. Those who seek some sort of a higher purpose or ‘universal goal,’ who don’t know what they live for, who moan that they must ‘find themselves.’ You hear it all around us. That seems to be the official bromide of our century. Every book you  open. Every drooling self-confession. It seems to be the noble thing to confess. I’d think it would be the most shameful one.’

- ‘The Fountainhead’ by Ayn Rand

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§ 4 Responses to The universal search for happiness

  • Istighraq says:

    Majority of people live like animals: eating , drinking, procreating and dying. Only few make the bold attempt of looking beyond the outer surface. This is like diving in an unfathomable ocean, risking your own freedom. Those who want to “find themselves” are not to be mocked in such “self-assertive way.” And all those who want to know themselves are not always in search of “happiness” either.

    “Whereas I think: I’m lying here in a haystack… The tiny space I occupy is so infinitesimal in comparison with the rest of space, which I don’t occupy and which has no relation to me. And the period of time in which I’m fated to live is so insignificant beside the eternity in which I haven’t existed and won’t exist… And yet in this atom, this mathematical point, blood is circulating, a brain is working, desiring something… What chaos! What a farce!”
    ― Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

    “Think back to your earliest memory. Now project forward to the day of your death. It is impossible to know when this will come, but it will.

    What you have just surveyed might be called your “self-span”, or the time when this entity you call your self exists. Either side of that, zilch.

    Which is very mysterious, and a little unsettling. Modern humans have existed for perhaps 100,000 years, and more than 100 billion have already lived and died. We assume that they all experienced a sense of self similar to yours. None of these selves has made a comeback, and as far as we know, neither will you.

    What is it about a mere arrangement of matter and energy that gives rise to a subjective sense of self? It must be a collective property of the neurons in your brain, which have mostly stayed with you throughout life, and which will cease to exist after you die. But why a given bundle of neurons can give rise to a given sense of self-hood, and whether that subjective sense can ever reside in a different bundle of neurons, may forever remain a mystery.”
    ― I am the one and only. Newscientist

  • Beautiful post. Happiness is so easy to find, you can find it in yourself :)

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