Is happiness possible? If so, is it a goal worthy of pursuit?
Asking because an annoying busybody told me I ought to love myself the other day and I generally disagree with the sentiment. People shouldn't strive to love themselves and human beings are, on the whole, inherently unloveable. The only thing that matters is subsuming oneself in pursuit of one's ambitions. It seems futile to me to strive simply to "be happy".
Happiness as a goal doesn't work in my opinion. Happiness is a consequence of your life. If you have no idea what makes you happy, then what are you to do? Look for things that you enjoy, and eventually you will achieve happiness I think, although it's hard to say 'now I am happy'.
Maybe it will take a while before you feel this way, I know I'm not happy at the moment (well a bit but that's because of the bottle of wine) and it takes a lot of work to achieve true happiness.
But happiness as a goal, no, because it's not a clear goal.
Also, loving yourself is something that has to be taken carefully. Narcissism is a negative quirk, but confidence isn't. Confidence is also a way of 'loving' yourself because you trust that the decision you make is the right one. Loving yourself 'because you should love yourself' is not good because it will hold you back in your development.
Generally this is what I think. If happiness can be found, I think it's best found as a secondary result of doing something else. Pursuing writing and being happy when one has made progress in honing one's skill as a writer, or pursuing knowledge and feeling happiness as a result of broadening one's understanding; that seems to me to be the only "pure" type of happiness, a happiness that is not dependant upon the whims of other people or upon the transient "having a good time".
I am fond of Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, Seneca, and stoicism in general, but I don't know enough about philosophy to seek out further reading material.
Is self-love really necessary to one's development as a human being?
And how can you say humans are inherently unloveable if you post a picture of a beautiful artpiece (even though it might be pic unrelated in your post)? That is also made by humans, don't you like it? Everybody has good and bad qualities and sometimes I feel the same as you do, stupid shit people do makes me wonder but then I look at something like pic related and think everything will be alright. That's the crazy part, the good and bad things humans are capable of.
Agreed. So why seek to avoid suffering? Surely it is better to accept suffering, in order to refrain from flinching away from the demands of life.
This is where I suppose I struggle to see the difference between narcissim and confidence. If confidence is founded upon nothing but love of the self, it seems indistinguishable from narcissism to me. I will concede that a difference may exist, but I cannot locate it.
Well if that is your definition of happiness, who can say otherwise? If you think (like I do) that happiness comes from your own development and growth then you should pursue it like that. Some people get happy from going to the gym, others from painting.
But should you define a 'pure' happiness if it's subjective? Could you define an objective way of describing happiness that counts for everyone?
Well, yes, it's beautiful, but I didn't choose that picture for aesthetic reasons.
>apollo pursuing daphne
>she turns into a tree
>pursuit of pleasure: futile
>however the god wears laurels ever after
But confidence isn't purely based on love for oneself (I think), confidence grows from experience while narcissism can exist without experience. Confidence also includes knowing to see when your way is not the right way and using that to grow as a person. Placing yourself above others just because you think you are better is narcissistic, not a sign of confidence (although false confidence can get you in such a position).
I don't think it's possible to define happiness in the way that you suggest, because I don't think objectivity is possible. Certainly any man may be happy, wherever he finds his happiness; a beggar in the street may be happy, or a mother, or a poor man.
But to be content with oneself and one's circumstances in life is something I don't think I want.
I wish to pursue improvement and continuous self-betterment without ever becoming satisfied with myself, without ever looking around and being content with my achievements for more than a brief moment of self-congratulation.
To me this seems like the ideal. Whether or not I enjoy myself a great deal in the pursuit of that ideal is meaningless to me.
kek. Thanks for that.
I'm a little bit less confused now than I was when I started this thread. I think my acquaintance and I must have different ideals and different definitions of happiness. It is for the best that we disagree with each other, but I could not see why.
The Buddhists, the stoics and Schopenhauer came closer to answering the question of human happiness, in my opinion. But it turns out that to be happy is not what you would think initially at all. To be happy is a serious business!
I wish you all the best in your pursuit of improvement if that is the goal you aim for. It sounds like Da Vinci!
But I do think it's important that you enjoy yourself on this journey, because improving yourself in fields you enjoy is, I think, a key way to happiness. Working away without a sense of enjoyment will leave you empty.
As last thing I want to give you a recommendation: watch the documentary about Senna (2010). He had a kind of similar approach to ambitions as you do. Even if you don't like Formula 1 it's still a great movie (documentary actually but it feels like a movie with typecasted villains and everything).
Daily reminder that true happiness is independent of the laws of cause and effect (therefore it is necessarily arational) and must be a choice made within the confines of your self-referential unity.
Looking for happiness in materialism is like looking for food in a gun shop.
This. It's impossible to maintain a conversation with philosophical illiterates still asking questions that were answered thousands of years ago. "But what if what makes you happy doesn't make me happy? It's all like, subjective". Any conversation on the subject should begin with Aristotle and either affirm or refute him, but not ignore the really elementary questions he treats of so as to not waste unnecessary time. "B-but what if what makes Aristotle happy doesn't make me happy? Isn't he like, an old dude?" Then you're helpless.
>Is happiness possible? If so, is it a goal worthy of pursuit?
Who came up with the expression "the pursuit of happiness"? You can only pursue something that is outside of you. Happiness is not chased, the hardest thing is to stop chasing it and to realize it is within you and you have everything you need. Sounds like some mindfuckery a zen master would say but its true
pursuing happiness is happiness, if ur happy with ur lot then u slothful, if u striving to follow ur calling then u doing gods work and u feel good, if u want to live a good life don't turn to some asian death cult, turn to jesus
What would make you happy? The pursuit of knowledge and self-improvement, like you said? If so, why aren't you pursuing knowledge right now? What's stopping you? Are you content to be "comfortably neutral?" What's the difference between contentment and happiness? Etc.