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Author Topic: Do you agree with Thoreau?  (Read 23744 times)
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« on: May 23, 2006, 05:26:43 pm »

Thoreau said: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." What do you think? (Choose up to three)

I've spent an entire week on this message board, and the only thing I haven't done is to create a poll. So, here's my poll on a question I've been pondering for years. Thank you for your vote and thoughts. Front-Ranger
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2006, 05:40:17 pm »

I think most people have lots of ups and downs in the course of their lives, little moments of happiness and sorrow jutting out from a level field of day-to-day equilibrium. Lots of people do lead lives of quiet desperation, but I don't think they're representative of the majority of humanity.

Scott
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2006, 07:43:16 pm »

IMO in order to lead lives of quiet desperation, the mass of people need to aspire to something else.  The majority of the world's population live in circumstances that do not lead them to aspire to do anything but survive.  Once that is accomplished on a regular basis, unless outside forces intrude, most don't aspire to do anything much but what they know.

Only civilizations/societies wealthy enough to have their population granted leisure time enable them to think of situations and lifestyles other than simply getting by.
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2006, 05:44:29 pm »

No optimists among us???
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2006, 06:24:13 am »

Let me just quote Pink Floyd in "The Dark Side of the Moon":

Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way

I lived in England for a year, and can see where that came from, but that was the end of the 80's and 10 years into Thatcherism, so that was not surprising!
Yeah, I'd go for "ups and downs". We are happier than we could ever hope to be, at SOME moments. Unless you are a Buddhist or other meditative person, in which case you have worked on feeling happy in any situation. But there're few of those around.
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2006, 09:49:59 am »

Hmmm, this is tricky.  Does whether or not you personally identify with the notion of "men lead lives of quiet desperation and struggle" play a part in whether you think the "the mass of men" do?  I think so, and few really feel they get there, or as I prefer to say: just about everyone is searching for something but few know what it is that they are searching for.  Ergo, the majority are desperate on some level.

Phew! That's depressing!  I do have faith that we are getting better at knowing our path though, our presence here is proof of that! Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2006, 12:23:13 pm »

I don't know how it is elsewhere, but the sheer number of seemingly well-adjusted folks in this country who are desperate for relief from their pain can be measured in anti-depressant prescriptions.  And it's even tricker when you are someone who has achieved the "American Dream" - when you have every expected measure of success, and still you are unhappy in the intangible and desperate way that burrows deep into your soul and reminds you that you have not yet found meaning... 
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2006, 12:44:50 pm »

Well Celeste, I am and am not surprised; I am because in France we are always told that we are the world's n#1 consumers of anti-depressants. And I am not, because indeed (material) "success" as we think of it here (so called industrialized / developped countries) is certainly no guarantee of happiness.
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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2006, 02:23:50 pm »

Reading through contributors' comments here, I was just trying to remember what country I once read had the highest suicide rate in the world (suicide often being attributed to depression)--I think it was Hungary. Now, that was some time ago, so I don't know if it would be accurate today.

Material success and comfort are certainly no guarantees of happiness. Brokeback Mountain illustrates that through the depiction of Jack and Lureen's compromised marriage. And we know that Jack would have given that up in a heartbeat to make his life with Ennis, even if their home had been the tiniest and loneliest of trailers.

On another tangent, has anyone else noticed that we tend to reify and privilege moments of happiness as indicative of how life should be or somehow really is, while moments of depression or horror tend to be treated as problems to be overcome? I have sometimes wondered, in my more philosophical moods, if sorrow and horror might not be more accurate or appropriate responses to our world, and that we might willfully overlook this because the emotional burden is too overwhelming to bear. In my level-headed frames of mind, I tend to see the world as a neutral plane onto which we project our biases, fears, and desires, and that life is really neither "good" nor "bad", but simply what we make of it. But I think it's quite telling of what kind of creatures we are that we tend to shun sorrow and horror in the pursuit, sometimes blindly, of whatever we perceive to be joyful or comfortable.

Scott
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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2006, 08:09:32 pm »


On another tangent, has anyone else noticed that we tend to reify and privilege moments of happiness as indicative of how life should be or somehow really is, while moments of depression or horror tend to be treated as problems to be overcome? I have sometimes wondered, in my more philosophical moods, if sorrow and horror might not be more accurate or appropriate responses to our world, and that we might willfully overlook this because the emotional burden is too overwhelming to bear. In my level-headed frames of mind, I tend to see the world as a neutral plane onto which we project our biases, fears, and desires, and that life is really neither "good" nor "bad", but simply what we make of it. But I think it's quite telling of what kind of creatures we are that we tend to shun sorrow and horror in the pursuit, sometimes blindly, of whatever we perceive to be joyful or comfortable.


Well said Scott. I think it was David Duchovny talking about a meeting with his psychologist in which he lamented how down he was.  The doctor asked him if he was sad all the time.  He replied no.  Was he happy all the time?  And he also replied no.

The doctor pretty much made him come to the conclusion that his emotional state was fleeting and was supposed to be.  He wasn't supposed to be happy or sad all the time.

In fact, IMO, I think as people we should run in a kind of emotional/mental 'neutral' state most of the time.  Joy and sadness being extremes of this state based on our environment and experiences.

It's alright to 'just be OK'.
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2006, 03:57:17 pm »

Hmmm. The results of this poll and your comments, dela, have made me think about the subject of happiness more. I started keeping a happiness log, and, while it is too early to tell for sure, I have learned that I am happy a lot more than I originally thought. However, when moments of unhappiness come, they tend to overshadow and block out the happiness, the way a cloud can block out the infinitely more powerful rays of the sun.

I found out some interesting statistics courtesy of our wonderful Internet: "The average American is only 69 percent happy, and happy only 54 percent of the time (Seligman, 2002).  Also, at any given time, one in every four Americans is suffering from mild depression (Seligman, 1994).  While the happiness level of over one quarter of the American population falls between 57 and 71 percent, and 8 percent are even less than 57 percent happy, one fifth of Americans are over 85 percent happy." This comes from http://thehappinessshow.com/HappinessResearchStillNeeded.htm. Also they say, "Nigeria is now the happiest nation in the world, followed by Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, and Puerto Rico, with the U.S. ranked 16th."
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2006, 08:18:41 pm »

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I have learned that I am happy a lot more than I originally thought. However, when moments of unhappiness come, they tend to overshadow and block out the happiness, the way a cloud can block out the infinitely more powerful rays of the sun.

Front,

Do those moments of unhappiness overwhelm the happy times because YOU let it or is the unhappiness - when it happens - desperate life/death/clinical and thus overwhelming?
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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2006, 11:49:46 am »

I suspect the latter. The primitive part of the brain seems to respond more intensely to threats and bad things. There has been research that asked children about their earliest memories and children seem to remember bad things that happen to them much more than good things. But also, a person's orientation, whether an optimist or a pessimist, is a factor on differing perceptions of happy and sad. We all know curmudgeons, those who respond negatively to neutral happenings or even positive things, and pollyannas, who have the opposite view. Another way of putting this that has to do with the movie is, which do you prefer, tragedies or comedies? Brokeback Mountain is a tragedy but many people respond to it because it "hurts so good." It's not as black and white as that, I know.
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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2006, 01:59:38 pm »

I'm a joyful optimist despite having plenty of hurt in my own life. I do believe we are happier then we could ever imagine. Even though I've been backstabbed by friends recently, I felt that I have to live and understand how beautiful life really is.
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« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2006, 10:48:07 pm »

Giancarlo that was positively Felliniesque!
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« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2006, 04:20:22 pm »

Ii found another quote attributed to Thoreau:

"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success."
– Henry David Thoreau

Does the 'leap in the dark' part remind anyone else of Jack?
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2006, 02:08:05 pm »

The "leap in the dark" part does, but not the "to our success" part. That's a really wonderful quote though, Lynn.

I find it sadly ironic that Jack, who broke free of the crushing poverty and hypocrisy of Wyoming and became a successful and well-off salesman with an intact family was lamenting near the end of the story that "Nothing ever came to my hand the right way." Success certainly does not automatically bring happiness, it's true.
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2006, 02:30:00 pm »

The "leap in the dark" part does, but not the "to our success" part. That's a really wonderful quote though, Lynn.

I find it sadly ironic that Jack, who broke free of the crushing poverty and hypocrisy of Wyoming and became a successful and well-off salesman with an intact family was lamenting near the end of the story that "Nothing ever came to my hand the right way." Success certainly does not automatically bring happiness, it's true.

I completely agree, FrontRanger.  My reading was that the 'success' is by no means a guarantee, but that the leap is necessary to have a shot at the success...I guess it is that willingness to take the leap that reminds me so much of beloved Jack.  And why I want to be more like Jack.

The 'nothing ever came to my hand the right way' always makes me sad...it's a reminder for me that how you get where you want to be is as important (or more) than the destination.
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« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2006, 12:58:38 am »

After all this time...I ain't found somethin else to believe in...

Most people DO think that lives are passed in quiet desperation...according to this poll! According to this poll, Thoreau was right! But, he didn't have the Internet, and we do! So now, we can complain as much as Jack does about our lot. Maybe it will do as much good as Jack's complainin did him, but at least it led him to companionship, and believe me, U can withstand a lot more if it's a "we're all in this together" type of an unsatisfactory situation!!
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« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2006, 03:41:26 pm »

"One thing all happy people share is that they all had taken a very significant risk in their lives." - Gail SHeehy, Passages

I just thought this was an interesting quote.
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« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2006, 08:49:20 pm »

"One thing all happy people share is that they all had taken a very significant risk in their lives." - Gail SHeehy, Passages

I just thought this was an interesting quote.

It is interesting.  I'm not sure I buy it though.  I keep thinking of people in very small villages now and in the past...who never did anything really 'risky'.  They planted their crops and lived quiet lives out in the middle of nowhere and were farmers/herders like their father's father's father.  Were none of them ever happy because they led peaceful but mundane lives?
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« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2006, 08:58:11 pm »

I think that depends on how you define happiness. One of the chapters in my book is called The Pursuit of Happiness, and the meditation actually distinguishes actual happiness from contentedness. Happiness lacks, as the philosophers say, a teleological identity. We use the word frequently but noone can really agree on what it is.
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« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2006, 04:31:17 pm »

THere's a new book called "Stumbling on Happiness" that looks very interesting and that I am planning on acquiring on this subject:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1400042666/104-7623137-7140759?v=glance&n=283155
It goes into the surprising origins of happiness.
And guess who wrote it, a man by the name of Daniel ! (Gilbert)
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« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2006, 11:32:18 am »

I find myself ruminating over the pursuit of happiness again (or as my husband would say, I'm going through pms) and find this question and the discussion again very relevant. I would like to discuss this some more in preparation for our winter solstice celebration, whatever and whenever it might be.

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« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2006, 11:21:17 pm »

I find myself ruminating over the pursuit of happiness again (or as my husband would say, I'm going through pms) and find this question and the discussion again very relevant. I would like to discuss this some more in preparation for our winter solstice celebration, whatever and whenever it might be.



Isn't happiness relative?

During the holiday season, ones thoughts turn to family and loved ones.

I think it was Jeff in another thread who mentioned how he likes to keep on the positive side of the holidays as he is a single gay man whose family is long gone or distant and to linger on thoughts of his situation would be negative and counterproductive.

I have tons of relatives.  None I consider close.  My family isn't Norman Rockwell and is never going to be.  Almost any large family gathering has a cloud hanging over it - relatives who have secrets, who have led double lives, long standing and unending feuds, things unsaid, hidden away and simmering.

Once my mother passes away, it will not pain me to move out of state and away from these people and never see them again.

I've just come in from hanging out with a friend of mine.  We went to go see a new house she is leasing, dinner and a movie.  This will be her 5th Xmas away from her family.

She has a choice of spending Xmas with her family or spending it alone. 

Due to her family history, she chooses to be alone, though that hardly brings her any joy.  But she chooses it because at least it causes her little pain.

Sometimes joy is defined as the absence of pain.

Her home life was a psychological and sometimes physically abusive mind fuck as a child.  We sat together listening to Xmas music and she recalled how one particular carol brings up childhood memories because her step father and grandfather were beating her with belts while it was playing in her home. 

Currently her mother and father, step father et al live very comfortably in the river of Denial and wonder why my friend doesn't visit her family more often as family is so important and she's just ruining it for everyone else.   Angry

She lives two states away from her nearest relative.

We discussed if it was better to spend Xmas alone because you had no family you wished to be around or if it was worse to spend time with your family at Xmas knowing it will never be the wonderful loving occasion full of fun that you so dearly wish it to be.

We didn't have any answers.

So we both choose to be happy in ourselves as best we can, knowing that no one outside of us is ever going to bring joy to us.

My father and my aged cat died in the same year during the holiday season.  Around this time of year, since it is Solstice and I'm a theist, I think about death and rebirth and the afterlife.  You always hear and want to believe stories of going on after death and the joy it will bring when you 'meet loved ones' who have passed before you.

At this point in my life, I wonder who that might be.

If you don't ever feel close or are close to anyone in this life, you wonder how any afterlife will be any better.  So you choose to make yourself happy in this life and not worry about anything else, but I can't say that 'happiness' is the giddy joy everyone thinks of when they hear that word.
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« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2006, 07:34:32 pm »

Del, I just read through your post, and I realize how lucky I am to have family members with whom I am close, who I know love me and who I love. There is definitely dysfunction in my family (what family isn't at least a little dysfunctional?), but there's enough sanity and compassion there to instill in us a sense of shared community and destiny.

I think there's a difference between happiness and contentment. Happiness isn't merely the absence of pain or sorrow--to my mind, there's a connotation of exaltedness, a joy that transcends the everyday (though everyday pleasures can be the source of much happiness). I'm not even sure that happiness, in the sense that I'm thinking of it, is an emotion that could be sustained on a regular and frequent basis. It is like little refreshing sips of nirvana in a world enmeshed in suffering, or, less dramatically, complacency. Contentment is often good enough, and is definitely worth striving for. Perhaps true happiness can be our enduring lot when we are free from the material constraints of our bodily existence. It's an interesting, perhaps even comforting thought.

What is happiness? What is love? How is a life well lived to be measured? These are ostensibly simple questions which are truly confounding, and lie at the very heart of what it means to be human. 
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« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2006, 10:10:15 pm »

Del, I just read through your post, and I realize how lucky I am to have family members with whom I am close, who I know love me and who I love.

You are very fortunate.

Quote
I think there's a difference between happiness and contentment. Happiness isn't merely the absence of pain or sorrow--to my mind, there's a connotation of exaltedness, a joy that transcends the everyday (though everyday pleasures can be the source of much happiness).   I'm not even sure that happiness, in the sense that I'm thinking of it, is an emotion that could be sustained on a regular and frequent basis. It is like little refreshing sips of nirvana in a world enmeshed in suffering, or, less dramatically, complacency.

I agree completely.  Perhaps the wording in my post wasn't as precise as it should have been.   Tongue

Quote
Contentment is often good enough, and is definitely worth striving for.

I think it must be.

Quote
Perhaps true happiness can be our enduring lot when we are free from the material constraints of our bodily existence. It's an interesting, perhaps even comforting thought.

It is.  That's how I deal with it.  I think of the most perfect life I ever wanted and that's what I look forward to having.

Quote
What is happiness? What is love? How is a life well lived to be measured? These are ostensibly simple questions which are truly confounding, and lie at the very heart of what it means to be human. 

Well said.
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« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2006, 12:19:56 am »

my favorite quote that explains happiness:

What is happiness? To have achieved one's longings, yes.But also when all one's mind and body are stretched to breaking, when one hasn't a thought beyond what to do next moment; one looks back after, and there it was."

I think sometimes happiness is not something we live in but what we remember? A culmanation of experience??
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« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2006, 09:38:19 am »

That's beautiful, Jess. Who wrote it, do you recall?
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« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2006, 09:56:17 am »

Mary Renault
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« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2006, 02:34:22 pm »

She is quite a wise woman!

I am reading a book called The Celtic Book of Living and Dying, which has a relevant story in it. The young hunter Peredur came upon an extraordinary tree one day--one side was leafy and green, while the other side was engulfed in flames. He reflected upon the tree's symbolism. Nearby was a man who showed Peredur three roads: one led to a quiet night's sleep, the second to a feast, and the third to a fearsome monster. Peredur chose the third road.
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« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2007, 07:44:03 pm »

This just in:

Happy people are healthier, according to Scientific American

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=000B8074-2527-1264-980683414B7F0000
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« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2007, 11:38:07 pm »


  I do think that most people lead lives of quiet desperation.  They live a
life in fits and jerks.  It has some good parts, and some not so good.
We can only hope to have the joyful times at least equal the sorrowful.
We know that no one can hope to be happy all the time.  Also have to
understand that we should not have to endure constant pain. 
  I wish everyone health and joy and pain, in fair measure...

                                                          janice
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« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2007, 11:52:49 pm »

I'm not the most philosophical person in the world (I'm not even sure if I can spell it) but I think most people have ups and downs in their lives, just like Ennis and Jack.
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« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2007, 12:50:59 pm »

I still side with the view that most people have their ups and downs, but I have this suspicion that I can't quite shake that it would be better to never have existed in the first place--the painful moments can be so agonizing, and I'm not sure that the happy or pleasant episodes balance them out enough. One joyous moment can dispel all this, of course, only to return when the happiness has dissipated.

We are, as far as we know, the only animals conscious of our own mortality. That seems like such a cruel burden to bear.
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« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2007, 12:57:47 pm »

 Cry Cry FRiend, I'm not going to disagree with you. Sh*t, that's hard.

Maybe that's why we venerate the place where we can live like the animals, unaware of our own mortality:

Quote
There were only the two of them on the mountain flying in the euphoric, bitter air, looking down on the hawk's back and the crawling lights of vehicles on the plain below, suspended above ordinary affairs and distant from tame ranch dogs barking in the dark hours.

This is almost a Buddhist thought, where we can be freed from suffering by letting go of desires for earthly things, love, happiness, health, and all of that that separates us from the animals...

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« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2007, 01:18:03 pm »

Yes, the Buddha taught that desire is the root of all suffering. By this train of thought, Ennis and Jack suffered out of their love for one another--and yet that is precisely what gave their lives (and their story) meaning. It really is such a dilemma.

Abhinavagupta taught that all experience is willed into being by the Divine Self--we actively create all our existence, but our conscious mind has been sent into forgetfulness so as not to impede the play (the literal translation of the Sanskrit lila). Here, suffering and pleasure, and everything in between, is part of a grand cosmic ritual wherein God experiences God, through us. Nothing is out of place, and everything is holy. Whenever we think differently, we are letting the illusion veil our view.

There is some kind of austere comfort to be gleaned by both these approaches. Lucretius, the poet of the De rerum natura, has also been cited as a guide in "austere compassion" in suggesting how his fellow humans approach their suffering and eventual death.
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« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2007, 04:23:58 pm »

That is really beautiful and inspiring...

Don't you just love Buddhism? It gives you the key to free yourself from all crippling desire for material things and experiences...but if you want to f**k your way to paradise, that's okay too!!

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« Reply #38 on: April 04, 2007, 11:28:26 pm »

When I compare my life to that of the previous generation, I am glad that I disregarded the advice of my mother and went my own stubborn way. I've enjoyed, if not happiness exactly, a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. But most of the radical decisions I've made were early in adulthood, and then I became a stander, waiting out any intolerable situations until they finally changed for the better.

What I would like to experience more of is not happiness per se, but a sense of bliss. Happiness to me means contentment, but bliss is more akin to joy. More bliss in my life is what I aspire to, and I think I know how I can get it. The times in my past when I've truly known bliss have been when I connected on a very deep level with another person. I've known it with my son and daughter, with my partner, teachers, and friends. And the more you experience, the more you want to experience.

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« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2008, 10:30:53 am »

Jack was happy on Brokeback Mountain and he knew it. Late in his life he said, "I did once" meaning that he had a better idea about him and Ennis prolonging their happiness and living a sweet life. But Ennis, even though he was so happy he felt he could paw the white out of the moon, didn't believe he deserved the happiness and impulsively rejected it. Later, he realized what he was missing, and wrote "You bet" to Jack, paving the way for the reunion. Then he slipslid back into self-denial and punishment, which meant Jack had to be dragged into it as well. Jack went to his grave believing that Ennis would wise up and embrace happiness. Ennis was only able to achieve that release in his dreams, to the end of his life.

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« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2008, 10:35:19 am »

Merci Front-Ranger!

I am glad that you remind me of this:
      Jack was happy on Brokeback Mountain and he knew it. Late in his life he said, "I did once" meaning that he had a better idea about him and Ennis prolonging their happiness and living a sweet life. But Ennis, even though he was so happy he felt he could paw the white out of the moon, didn't believe he deserved the happiness and impulsively rejected it. Later, he realized what he was missing, and wrote "You bet" to Jack, paving the way for the reunion. Then he slipslid back into self-denial and punishment, which meant Jack had to be dragged into it as well. Jack went to his grave believing that Ennis would wise up and embrace happiness. Ennis was only able to achieve that release in his dreams, to the end of his life.

         

.........

Does this happen to all of us, in one way or another... in life ??


Au revoir,
hugs!
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« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2008, 01:43:09 pm »

Very interesting!


Keep care !

Hugs to you and to all too!!  Happiness to all... every day!!
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« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2008, 04:09:52 pm »

I think one person mentioned bliss.If you have ever really experienced your own personal bliss,which you have then let go,life can get pretty tough.
You either spend it in despair at the foolishness of your actions.Or in a constant search to discover it again.I think it must therefore be dependant on whether you have ever really achieved such happiness/bliss.
17ish years ago I would have said I was pretty content in all areas of my life.Then comes along love, at completely the wrong time,lingers for 15 years and is finally let go.
With that comes the upset.If I had never had that glimpse of how life could be,I probably would still be fairly content now.
So I think it is a case of what you have never had you do not miss, and therefore are reasonably content with life.
It all seems to boil down to comparisons.Either emotionally comparing what you once had with what you now have.Or comparing what you have in terms of wordly goods in comparison to others.
If you have nothing to compare with,I don't think you can be miserable.












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« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2008, 06:22:58 pm »

To be miserable or in bliss, both are happiness depending on the person or times ??
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« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2008, 11:39:17 pm »

To be miserable or in bliss, both are happiness depending on the person or times ??

I would go along partly with that.It is better to be miserable,for whatever reason,with the person you truly love.It is all relative.I would rather be in a tent with the great love of my life,than in a palace with someone else.
So I guess you can be miserable in one way,ie physically uncomfortable and lacking in material things,but blissfully happy,because next to you when you turn is your great love.

I have stayed in some of the best hotels in the world,but nothing and I do mean nothing compares to the night under the stars,with not even a tent,spent with  the person I have loved more than any other.
It is a complex thing,that we call happiness.But then humans are complex beings!!!!!!!
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« Reply #45 on: May 03, 2008, 08:12:52 pm »

Thoreau certainly led a life of desperation, and I agree with him on taxes.
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« Reply #46 on: January 04, 2009, 01:08:51 pm »

A new study of nearly 5,000 people finds those who are members of social networks, like BetterMost, are not only happier, but that happiness spreads from friend to friend, and to friends of friends!
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« Reply #47 on: August 12, 2016, 10:39:38 am »

Reviving a 10-year-old poll because. . .well, the subject is evergreen, isn't it? I came across this upward spiral of happiness recently. I think it makes a lot of sense. And, surprisingly, it begins with. . .sleep!

"Upward Spiral of Happiness"

Everything is interconnected. Gratitude improves sleep. Sleep reduces pain. Reduced pain improves mood. Improved mood reduces anxiety, which improves focus and planning. Focus and planning help with decision making. Decision making further reduces anxiety and improves enjoyment. Enjoyment gives us more to be grateful for, which keeps this loop of Upward Spiral of Happiness going. (Enjoyment also makes it more likely that we exercise and be social which makes you happier.)

 
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« Reply #48 on: September 01, 2017, 09:37:33 am »

“According to a study of 5,000 people by psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University, adults spend only about 50% of their time in the present moment. In other words, we are mentally checked out half of the time. In addition to measuring when people’s minds were wandering, the scientists collected information on happiness levels. They found that when we are in the present moment, we are also at our happiest, no matter what we are doing. In other words, even if you are engaging in an activity you usually find unpleasant, you are happier when you are 100% consumed in that activity than when you are thinking about something else while doing so.

Why does the present makes us happy? Because we fully experience the things going on around us. Instead of getting caught up in a race to accomplish more things faster, we slow down and are actually with the people we are with, immersed in the ideas being discussed and fully engaged in our projects.
By being present, you will enter a state of flow that is highly productive and will become more charismatic, making people around you feel understood and supported. You will have good relationships, which are one of the biggest predictors of success and happiness.”  "6 Secrets to a Happy Life" Time Magazine
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« Reply #49 on: December 01, 2017, 08:21:04 pm »

I don't agree that  "the mass of men" lead that type of life.

Sure everyone has their bad moments, but I don't believe that the majority is living a life of desperation.
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'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!
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« Reply #50 on: September 01, 2018, 10:52:05 am »

I posted this a year ago, and wanted to read it again.
“According to a study of 5,000 people by psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University, adults spend only about 50% of their time in the present moment. In other words, we are mentally checked out half of the time. In addition to measuring when people’s minds were wandering, the scientists collected information on happiness levels. They found that when we are in the present moment, we are also at our happiest, no matter what we are doing. In other words, even if you are engaging in an activity you usually find unpleasant, you are happier when you are 100% consumed in that activity than when you are thinking about something else while doing so.

Why does the present makes us happy? Because we fully experience the things going on around us. Instead of getting caught up in a race to accomplish more things faster, we slow down and are actually with the people we are with, immersed in the ideas being discussed and fully engaged in our projects.
By being present, you will enter a state of flow that is highly productive and will become more charismatic, making people around you feel understood and supported. You will have good relationships, which are one of the biggest predictors of success and happiness.”  "6 Secrets to a Happy Life" Time Magazine

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