Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Rafa Euba Blog - You Are Not Meant to Be Happy

 So Stop Trying


Our brain doesn’t know how to be happy, or even content. It simply lacks the genetic instructions to carry out that task. It knows how to do a million other less important things, from writing a letter to maintaining our balance; from appreciating the music of Bach to smelling a rose, but if you ask the brain to be happy, it simply doesn’t know how to respond.

Psychology Today

22 comments:

Andrew Anderson said...

Otoh, ... godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

Peter Pan said...

Even Oscar the Grouch was happy.

jrbarch said...

It would be hard to find an article replete with even more ignorance of the human condition. It reflects the status of academia around this world perfectly. And yet the basics are simple:

We are human beings
We have a heart, a mind and a brain
Never ever get the three mixed up
The brain is made of dirt
No one knows how the mind exists, but it is not dirt
The nature of mind is that it can never be content – it is mercurial, restless; it never settles – it always has more questions than answers
It is an organ within which reality may be reflected - but most of the time it is obscured by imagination; dreaming
Society is the result of imagination
There is a wave in the mind called ‘ego’ – the ‘I’ – out of ignorance people chase it and try to fulfil it
Read again about the nature of mind
The most important faculty you have is your heart
The heart is not your mind and the mind is not your heart – never get the two (or three) mixed up
The heart is where your courage resides
The heart is where your integrity resides
The heart is where your clarity resides
The heart is where your intelligence resides
The heart is where your love resides
The heart is where your hope resides
The heart always has more answers than questions
And most importantly – never ever forget this – the heart is where you reside
The self
Not the ego
The self
You
The consciousness
You
The one who wants to be happy
And within that consciousness, if you know how to look (and this can be taught) can be found the SELF
This is what you have been made for
This is what you can do well
You are the drop within the Ocean and the Ocean is the drop within you. This is magic
Happiness is the state of being when the heart knows the self and the self knows the Infinite
It is the ‘I’ that can never be happy
The self can be full of it - to the brim
It made Kabir dance and laugh and sing and write down poetry. It makes Tom Hickey smile
If you think you are a psychiatrist, then of course you cannot be happy. You will write books about it
Why do you think babies smile and children laugh and play
It’s simple because we are simple

Mind screws things up royally because it hasn’t got a clue.
So, you can read books like the psychiatrist has written or you can learn to read the book of your own heart.
Q.E.D.

Peter Pan said...

You are not meant to be happy, yet everyone has experienced happiness.

Happiness is Kaivey as he tends to his Twitters.

It's 1992 and someone is happy :)
It's 1967 and someone is happy (:

Mike Norman said...

"everyone has experienced happiness."

Maybe, but only for brief periods. Happiness is an illusion. No one is happy. It's bullshit.

Peter Pan said...

You can't deny that everyone experiences happiness, so you come up with an unrealistic standard?

How would you describe your default emotional state?

Ahmed Fares said...

The Germans have a saying, "Worries are like fish—the big ones eat the small ones."

As soon as we solve big problems, the smaller problems start to surface. It's a never-ending list.

Do you know who's not worrying about small problems today? The people in Texas.

jrbarch said...

”Happiness is an illusion. No one is happy. It's bullshit. “

Many people will say that – because that is their experience.

We are experiencing machines
All day long, we do nothing but experience, experience, experience, experience
What is it that we would like to experience?

7.8B people on the planet and not one can tell another what to experience
Each person’s experience is unique

For me, there is something in my heart that makes me happy
For no reason
Science and logic will say ‘this cannot exist’...

I (concurring with many others throughout human history) say It is a state of being – a pulse of energy to put it in modern terms
It is as present as the sun in the sky - as constant; far more powerful and far more real
It is an experience

Mind can go up and down
Mind has no knowledge of this experience
Mind is not the only thing you can know things with

It is in the province of the heart

This experience too exists as well as the happiness is an illusion experience


Both are truth

Tom Hickey said...

Speaking from experience, observation and study, human experience cycles between the physical duality of pleasure and pain on one hand and the psychological duality of happiness and suffering on the other. Some people get more of one than the other in life or in particular periods, while others's experience is fairly balanced between the two.

There is another possibility, however, that can co-exist with the alternation of pleasure/pain and happiness/suffering and is not overshadowed by these dualistic forms of experience.

It is called "bliss," but a words cannot capture it. It is a a unique state that can be be continuous or temporary or vary in intensity (peak/trough) or be stable at a constant level. It is non-ordinary and therefore has been termed "transcendental." It has no opposite and it is either present or absent in one's life, although it admits of degrees if present.

Reports of this are found in the wisdom literature of the world, as well as accounts of how to gain it. Psychologist Abraham Maslow investigated this phenomenon and wrote several books about, characterizing it as "peak" (and valley) or "plateau."

I have found it worth while looking into and have devoted a good deal of time to it through various practices over many decades. It is both within and without and can be found in many ways.

Matt Franko said...

Tom, I think it’s just further demonstration that this paradoxical or dialogic methodology that most of mankind seems to be trapped in doesn’t work... when something doesn’t work, you have to make an adjustment (verb) leading to correction (noun)...

This is the way that everything works... you have to make an adjustment in the face of failure...

If you keep doing the same thing in the face of failure , thinking it’s going to turn out differently , some have called that insanity... may not be insanity but it is manifest failure...

The dialogic method is a manifest FAILURE.., yet probably HALF the academe still trains people to use that methodology...

Which I guess is better than before 1860 when ALL the people were trained by the academe In That methodology...

We seem to be only half way thru this current war...



Matt Franko said...

Tom, you are either grasping for straws that somehow the dialectic method is somehow going to end up working out (against all current evidence) or should consider that your consciousness is beyond the current era...

It may well be that your consciousness is beyond the current era but imo you’re going to still have to discard the dialectic method to get further along... because it manifestly doesn’t work....



Matt Franko said...

Tom , you put in A LOT of time and energy training in the dialogic method to get your degree.... A f_cking LOT...

The cognitive effects of that are mostly permanent... can be overcome but with just over as much energy it took to get there...

Tom Hickey said...

Matt, one doesn't get beyond thought to the nature of consciousness by thinking. Thinking has to get very refined and then stop.

"Yoga (unified awareness beyond dualism of subject and object) is the cessation of mental activity." Patañjali Yoga Sūtrāni, 1.2 (my translation). This is the experience of "pure consciousness," the nature of which is bliss.

Patañjali's view is representative of the wisdom traditions on this.

One has to lose one's (false) self to find one's (real) self. There are many means and while thinking can be helpful in some of these means, it is not necessary, and at some point thought must be transcended to even taste the nature of consciousness itself.

One of the means that involves using thought lies in inquiring, who am I (really)? This way, called "self-inquiry, was given by Ramana Maharshi. This recalls the dictum of the Delphic oracle to know oneself. It doesn't mean psychological introspection.

The means are many and varied, and every individual is unique. The challenge is to adopt the means most suitable for one's disposition and life situation.

My point is simply to report that there is something beyond the duality of pleasure/pain and happiness/suffering that is worth pursuing.

As Sufi master Bayazid al-Bistani reportedly said, "What we speak of is not found by seeking, but only seekers find it."

Tom Hickey said...

Oops, should be "Bistami."

Andrew Anderson said...

Funny how Tom is enamored of the philosophies of countries that have been left far behind, materially, by the West.

I think Tom ignores that a single, random, high energy cosmic ray, for example, could render his "lofty" thinking entirely void. Otoh, the God of the Bible remains faithful regardless.

Peter Pan said...

1. Mike "mental game/seal team six" Norman believes happiness is illusionary bullshit.

2. Anti-natalists posit that life is objectively shitty, except that most people don't perceive it that way due to cognitive biases.

3. The bliss seekers.

I'm in camp #2.

jrbarch said...

Consciousness belongs in #3 but because of mind, we think we belong in the other two.

'The fish is thirsty in the Ocean: every time I hear that, it makes me laugh.' [Kabir]

jrbarch said...

Consciousness belongs in #3 but because of mind, we think we belong in the other two.

'The fish is thirsty in the Ocean: every time I hear that, it makes me laugh.' [Kabir]

Peter Pan said...

Who told you that fish are thirsty?

jrbarch said...

Who told you that fish are thirsty?

Well, there’s a $multi-trillion industry out there (advertising) that exists because of it. Kabir knew it. Everyone knows it. I don’t really understand why it is not obvious to you PP?

For me, the thing to understand about happiness is that it already there inside of you. You are the radio dial and you just have to turn it a little, to tune in. Happiness exists independently of anything in the outside world, or the mind. Everyone tries to be happy by achieving something on the outside. Doesn’t work. Or with the mind. Doesn’t work. Because happiness is there, already, inside of you. Why should you search for something that is not lost? Why struggle to attain something you already have? You just need a way of getting back in touch with it – that’s all. That’s actually quite simple: the understanding is the hard part.

Have been thinking about Matt’s viewpoint re dialogic and scientific method, hypothesis, and logical process:

For me, happiness has other names (as I listed above): viz - clarity, serenity, intelligence, being, love, will, and consciousness – the self.

The self uses the mind as a multi-faceted tool and organ of vision. Mind is an ‘eye into the world’ and a screen on which can be cast the intelligence of the self - regarding the inner world and the outer world. Note the intelligence is in the self; not in the mind. We can rearrange images on the mind, but it takes intelligence to create them and weave them into a pattern.

Read the Mahabharata and the optimal tool is dialogic – you ‘extract’ what is being communicated from the story. It is a wonderful exposition of happiness in the inner world and drama in the outer. It doesn’t matter if Hanuman lifts mountains – the idea of strength is communicated. It’s a story like humans have told sitting around campfires for millennia. It’s what you extract from the story is important – how it touches your heart, your imagination; as well as your mind.

The scientific method (tool) is used to examine matter.

So for me, both of these tools are useful to the self; but of course you should not be using a hammer to undo a screw. Is that fair enough Matt?

And of course a human being is a whole: politics, religion, economics, science, arts, and organisation, all come from the same source. A broad development is advantageous.

But anyway – happiness is something to feel; not talk about. And it already exists inside of you – it is at the very center of the thing we call consciousness. You have to be still, to feel it. Then it will light your day...

Andrew Anderson said...

Who told you that fish are thirsty? Peter Pan

Excellent question.

Peter Pan said...

Sometimes ordinary people leading conventional lives come to the realization that they are living the life they want to live. From that point onward, they are happy.

And sometimes, children commit suicide.