• Gitonga
    50
    The only way to be truly happy is to get what you want otherwise you're just living in self denial. It's how we've evolved. Happiness is a reward mechanism for when we do something to aid our survival which is the only reason you can never be happy permanently.

    But Buddhism is False in their approach. Let us use cleanliness as an analogy for happiness. You have to shower everyday in order to be clean but that doesn't mean cleanliness doesn't exist and the Buddhist advice would be to not bother showering at all.

    This is in reference to how Buddhist say no matter how much material you get you'll never be fully happy so stop chasing material.

    We humans are not designed to let go of our desires that's like pretending to be full when you're hungry...We have to constantly eat to survive just because you can't eat once and be full doesn't mean you should stop eating all together.

    The only time you can be content when you don't get what you want is when your mind is fully convinced it's completely unattainable for you to achieve for example no one is upset that they won't live 300 years because they know it's not possible.

    So instead of pretending to be satisfied with the little you have, strive to achieve and get more.
  • praxis
    2.4k
    So instead of pretending to be satisfied with the little you have, strive to achieve and get more.Gitonga

    That sounds like a bad habit to me, and bad advice to reinforce it.

    You are a victim of cultural conditioning.
  • Gitonga
    50
    I said pretending, if you're not pretending then it's fine but what I mean is that if you truly desire something and think you can achieve it then by all means go for it. Why hold back?
  • Wheatley
    1.1k
    So instead of pretending to be satisfied with the little you have, strive to achieve and get more.Gitonga
    Good advice for people who are not well to do, and have lots of potential. Bad advice for spoiled rich kids.
  • Gitonga
    50
    I said strive for achievement and to get more that doesn't mean mooching off of your parents it could mean surpassing them in terms of their success.
  • Wheatley
    1.1k
    I agree with your thesis then.
  • praxis
    2.4k
    what I mean is that if you truly desire something and think you can achieve it then by all means go for it. Why hold back?Gitonga

    The topic is about happiness, isn't it? Granted there's an amount of satisfaction that can be gained in merely pursuing a goal, of any sort, and achieving it.
  • Baden
    10.6k
    I desire some heroin. Who'd have thunk it was so easy. Happiness here I come. :party:
  • A Seagull
    523
    I desire some heroin. Who'd have thunk it was so easy. Happiness here I come. :party:Baden

    And what about tomorrow?
  • Baden
    10.6k


    Tomorrow, I'll realize happiness is neither about desire nor suppressing desire but self-knowledge and will.
  • Gitonga
    50
    Self knowledge is not enough to bring happiness! What if you "know" that you have amazing athletic potential? In such case happiness would come from realising your potential rather than simply knowing you have it
  • Baden
    10.6k

    self-knowledge and will.Baden
  • Banno
    8.3k
    You are a victim of cultural conditioning.praxis

    :grin:

    He's yet another budding John Galt.
  • unenlightened
    5k
    The only way to be truly happy ...Gitonga

    As long as one wants to be happy, one is unhappy. Rather as one can want a bath anywhere except in the bath.
  • Isaac
    2.5k
    Happiness is a reward mechanism for when we do something to aid our survivalGitonga

    What makes you think this is the case?
  • TheMadFool
    6.2k
    Happiness is a reward mechanism for when we do something to aid our survival which is the only reason you can never be happy permanently.Gitonga

    The idea behind Buddha's philosophy, if we could call it that, is not to seek permanent happiness but to find happiness in the permanent. I initially thought Buddhism was hedonistic in character - making a big deal of life being suffering and being all about finding an exit strategy from this suffering, which in effect makes it hedonistic in nature.

    This, it seems, is holding the wrong end of the stick. Buddha was simply not satisfied with the ephemeral, the fleeting, which basically includes everything; He probably thought it foolish and even extremely dangerous to allow our happiness be linked to, what Buddhist's term, the impermanent - something which he, in his wisdom, realized is bound to fail. Isn't it obvious then that the Buddha would've sought something eternal - that which doesn't change, that which always remains the same? Now if that eternal something could be found, and if you can make that eternal something the cause of your joy, it would, in Buddha's eyes, do the job.

    Notice here that Buddha is not seeking happiness per se but that something, eternal in nature, that, in his eyes, would be something to be happy about. Happiness here is like love, you can be happy as you can be in love but Buddha didn't just want to be happy, he wanted the perfect thing to be happy about, just as [some] women don't just want to be in love, they want Mr. Perfect to be in love with.

    Perhaps I digress.


    We humans are not designed to let go of our desires that's like pretending to be full when you're hungry...We have to constantly eat to survive just because you can't eat once and be full doesn't mean you should stop eating all together.Gitonga

    The only time you can be content when you don't get what you want is when your mind is fully convinced it's completely unattainable for you to achieve for example no one is upset that they won't live 300 years because they know it's not possible.Gitonga

    As you can see, from above, Buddha wasn't free from desire - he desperately wanted a permanent outpost, as it were, for his happiness. It follows then that Buddhism isn't about letting go of desire, all desire, because the Buddha had one and because it's impossible to free oneself from desire.

    So instead of pretending to be satisfied with the little you have, strive to achieve and get more.Gitonga

    Strive alright but for the metaphorical Mr/Ms Perfect is what Buddhism recommends.
  • Baden
    10.6k
    "Happiness" is a stupid word anyway and should never be used in any context requiring thought. Just say "pleasure", "self-esteem", "satisfaction", "euphoria", or any other word that's actually meaningful enough to have a discussion over.
  • praxis
    2.4k


    That’s an odd take on Buddhism, a basic tenet being that everything is impermanent.
  • 3017amen
    1.9k


    You have already received many good responses to your concern. I'll only add that the concept of inner peace and joy, can come from an interminable love for thyself, the world (nature), and other people.

    So if life and happiness is about all the possible relationships of Being, what greater relationship is there to Love?
  • TheMadFool
    6.2k
    That’s an odd take on Buddhism, a basic tenet being that everything is impermanent.praxis

    In a way the Buddha got what he wanted - he meditated furiously on impermanence and came to the conclusion that change is the only constant. Perhaps not, his desire to exit the causal web, cause being the engine of impermanence, and attain nirvana (extinguishment) - his hope was to transcend impermanence by extricating himself from the causal web and, in that, achieving something eternal.
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    983
    desiresGitonga

    He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.

    William Blake
  • A Seagull
    523
    Happiness" is a stupid word anyway and should never be used in any context requiring thought. .Baden

    Just because you don't understand the meaning of the word, it doesn't mean that no one does.
  • Baden
    10.6k


    The meaning of the word is the problem. You'd know that if you understood it.

    "The term happiness is used in the context of mental or emotional states, including positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. It is also used in the context of life satisfaction, subjective well-being, eudaimonia, flourishing and well-being."

    "...differing uses can give different results. For instance the correlation of income levels has been shown to be substantial with life satisfaction measures, but to be far weaker, at least above a certain threshold, with current experience measures. Whereas Nordic countries often score highest on swb surveys, South American countries score higher on affect-based surveys of current positive life experiencing.

    The implied meaning of the word may vary depending on context, qualifying happiness as a polyseme and a fuzzy concept."

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happiness#:~:text=The%20term%20happiness%20is%20used,%2C%20flourishing%20and%20well-being.

    Clearly, without qualification, the term is absolutely useless in terms of any serious analysis.
  • praxis
    2.4k
    In a way the Buddha got what he wanted - he meditated furiously on impermanence and came to the conclusion that change is the only constant.TheMadFool

    I hate to nitpick but he might have included stuff like time or gravity. Maybe he wasn't as observant as they say.

    Perhaps not, his desire to exit the causal web, cause being the engine of impermanence, and attain nirvana (extinguishment) - his hope was to transcend impermanence by extricating himself from the causal web and, in that, achieving something eternal.TheMadFool

    According to the doctrine, impermanence isn't the cause of suffering but ignorance. Ignorance of our true nature (emptiness). If we could realize our true nature or 'make emptiness real' then we wouldn't suffer, so they claim. That actually makes sense. For instance, a rock doesn't suffer when it's broken because it has no illusory sense of self that it wishes to sustain. For the rock, there's no before or after, no gain or loss, no cause or effect... nothing at all to stress over. People are not rocks, however, but a subdued sense of self definitely reduces existential anxiety and can lead to greater well-being.
  • Outlander
    342
    The only way to be truly happy is to get what you wantGitonga

    Right. And Buddhism instills contentness with only the essential. Food, water, shelter, etc.

    I am skeptical of Buddhism as some define it but there are philosophies of it that ring true.

    What was that zombie movie where the guy led all the remaining zombies into a room and detonated a grenade? He died truly happy, because he placed the happiness of others, humanity itself even, above his own petty understanding of his own. Was he or was he not a hero?
  • Pop
    202
    Yogic Logic:

    Happiness results from an enjoyment of life.

    Desire exists on a spectrum, with hate at one end and desire on the other.

    If you can hate that which you desire in equal proportion, then you effectively annihilate them both.

    This leaves you free to simply enjoy life.
  • Brett
    2.2k


    What if you desire that which you hate in equal proportion?
  • Pop
    202
    What if you desire that which you hate in equal proportion?Brett

    Your suffering is no more.
  • Brett
    2.2k


    Hatred might be a desire.
  • Pop
    202
    I suppose its not impossible, so it should be balanced with love.
  • TheMadFool
    6.2k
    I hate to nitpick but he might have included stuff like time or gravity. Maybe he wasn't as observant as they say.praxis

    I believe people don't exist in isolation although the Buddha did, quite literally, wander off into the woods to live as an ascetic for some years. The point being the Buddha was heavily influenced by the ideas of his time and at best could've only taken a few steps outside of the zeitgeist of his time and at worst could've only produced a mishmash of prevailing thought. The same applies to all those who stand out in their respective era - making only modest progress in actuality but the novelty blows everyone away. Buddha, at the very least, was ahead of the competition in many respects - his religion was based on years of experience and observation of human behavior, these then being analyzed with exemplary logical rigor, inferences were made and out came Buddhism. Buddhism opts for a reasoned approach, basing itself on not metaphysics but on the empirical - impermanence is its foundation and who, in his right mind, can deny the truth of the ever-changing nature of reality? Such simplicity with such profundity is missing even in the dominant faiths of present times. Doesn't this make the Buddha worthy of the adulation and respect he's afforded by both Buddhists and non-Buddhists?

    According to the doctrine, impermanence isn't the cause of suffering but ignorance. Ignorance of our true nature (emptiness). If we could realize our true nature or 'make emptiness real' then we wouldn't suffer, so they claim. That actually makes sense. For instance, a rock doesn't suffer when it's broken because it has no illusory sense of self that it wishes to sustain. For the rock, there's no before or after, no gain or loss, no cause or effect... nothing at all to stress over. People are not rocks, however, but a subdued sense of self definitely reduces existential anxiety can lead to greater well-being.praxis

    This doesn't make sense. I could know the entirety of Buddhist doctrine, be a bona fide master of the philosophy and yet be completely ignorant of spaceships and aliens. If ignorance per se were the problem I should end up suffering for this huge lacuna in my knowledge. This, however, isn't the case which proves that it's not ignorance in and of itself that's the obstacle but ignorance of certain truths, e.g. the four noble truths and impermanence, that lead to suffering.
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