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What Is The Meaning Of Happiness

Tina S
Tina S
Feb 10, 2010
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Psychology


 

Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy. A variety of philosophical, religious, psychological and biological approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.

Happiness and unhappiness are opposite sides of a judgment about your situation. If you judge your situation as bad for you, that's unhappiness. If you judge a situation as good for you, that's happiness.

It is on account of this that whenever we think of happiness and welfare, it is considered desirable to lead a life of attachments, work hard, grow more food and develop industries and science. The country will prosper by all these and all will be happy. Ideals are talked of and it is said that a day will come when everyone will have nutritious food to eat, clothes to put on according to variations of seasons and modern residence with all scientific facilities and then all will be happy.

Some thinkers go ahead and say "Happiness does not lie in objects of enjoyment; happiness or unhappiness lies in imagination". To prove their belief they give examples like the one following: 

“A man has a two-storey house; on the right is a five storey building and on the left a cottage. When he sees right, he feels unhappy and when he sees left he feels happy. As such happiness does not lie in possession of sensory objects, but in imagination. They advise people to look towards those, who have fewer possessions and be happy. If you look towards people having more wealth and possessions, you will always be unhappy.”

Scientists have focused their work mostly on the judgment definition.  They prefer to study things that are stable over time: if feelings were used, the research would be all over the place.  Also, judgments are a higher-level definition; judgments can tell you about feelings, but feelings can’t tell you about judgments.  

Even though happiness is perhaps one of the most important things in life, science still can not explain much about it.  Its concept itself is elusive. 

Is it an idea, emotion, virtue, philosophy, ideal, or is it just programmed in the genes?  There is no agreed upon definition for it, yet  still everyone seems to be selling happiness these days - drug dealers, pharmaceutical companies, Hollywood, toy companies, self-help gurus, and, of course, Disney, creator of the Happiest Place on Earth. 

Can happiness really be purchased? Is happiness achieved by maximizing pleasure, earning fame and fortune, or living a life of unlimited leisure?  

The Christian idea of happiness was based on a reported saying of Jesus,

“And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” (John 16:22)

The Christian idea of happiness was developed over the centuries and, in turn, rested on a theology of sin, which, as St. Augustine explained in The City of God, taught that because of Adam and Eve’s original transgression in the Garden of Eden, true happiness was “unattainable in our present life.”

In Catholicism, the ultimate end of human existence consists in felicity (Latin equivalent to the Greek eudaimonia), or "blessed happiness", described by the thirteenth-century philosopher-theologian Thomas Aquinas as a Beatific Vision of God's essence in the next life. According to Augustine's Confessions, he lived much of his life without God. He sinned much and recognized his sinfulness. As a youth, he sinned for its own sake, and later, in the pursuit of a perceived good. When he lost a dear friend to death, it troubled him a lot, and he turned to God for answers. He turned to God to find true happiness and was converted to Christianity. He found that true happiness can only come from a relationship with God and appreciating God's creation for His sake, not its own.

The young want to be that popular pop idol, the old dream of winning the jackpot.  We often seek happiness by removing all stress, sadness, and irritations. 

For some, happiness lies in mood-altering therapies.  Eva Moskowitz, a historian, gives some idea of the American obsession with the gospel of therapy: “Today, this obsession knows no bounds…there are more than 260 [different kinds of] 12-step programs in America.


Aristotle stated that happiness is the only thing that humans desire for its own sake, unlike riches, honor, health or friendship. He observed that men sought riches, or honor, or health not only for their own sake but also in order to be happy. Note that eudaimonia, the term we translate as "happiness", is for Aristotle an activity rather than an emotion or a state.

Happiness is characteristic of a good life, that is, a life in which a person fulfills human nature in an excellent way. People have a set of purposes which are typically human: these belong to our nature. The happy person is virtuous, meaning they have outstanding abilities and emotional tendencies which allow him or her to fulfill our common human ends. For Aristotle, then, happiness is "the virtuous activity of the soul in accordance with reason": happiness is the practice of virtue.

How can we find it where it is not possible to have it at all. For example, consciousness is an attribute of the soul, and can be found in the sentient soul only, not in inanimate entities. Likewise happiness is also an attribute of the soul, not of inanimate beings.

 Happiness can, therefore, be had in the soul only, not in inanimate objects like human bodies. This soul does not know itself and is, therefore, wandering with wrong faith; in the same manner this being attempts to find happiness in non-self objects and that is the root cause of his unhappiness. The direction of the search for happiness itself is wrong. When the direction is wrong, the present state will also be full of unhappiness. For getting real happiness, we have to see within, to know our own being, for our happiness lies in ourselves. The soul is a depository of eternal bliss, full of everlasting joy. Therefore, those, in pursuit of happiness should turn their efforts towards their inner beings. Those looking for happiness elsewhere will never get it.

Real happiness is a matter of experience, not of speech, not of demonstration. It can be had only by being introvert, cutting ourselves from all the non-self entities and being one with our soul itself. 

Since the soul is full of happiness, experience of the soul is the experience of happiness. Just as one cannot achieve the soul without experience, in the same manner one cannot get real happiness without the experience of the soul.

We can define momentary happiness as pleasant feeling or the subjective experience of well-being. Long term happiness then corresponds to the preponderance of pleasant feelings over a prolonged period. This corresponds to the degree to which people feel satisfied with their life as a whole. Though not exactly the same, this sense of happiness is nearly synonymous with life-satisfaction, quality-of-life, or even "self-actualization"

Happiness is clearly correlated with the presence of favorable events (such as promotion, marriage, etc.) and the absence of troubles or bad luck (such as accidents, being laid off, conflicts, etc.). These events on their own signal the success or failure to reach one's goals, and therefore the control one has. Happiness is no mystery.  Most people are quite clear about what happiness is, and can easily describe how happy or not they are.  Most people also consider happiness their most important goal in life.  Happiness definitely rules!

Besides all, no people are truly happy in the earth. No one can be satisfied with their existing position, with their current recourses. Even no one may not know what they actually want for their life.

 

Keywords: happiness,life,satisfaction,real,Christianity, philosopher,pleasure,John 16:22,enjoyment,actualization,feeling,state,mind,unhappiness,imagination,love,judgment,pursuit of happiness,God.


Comments on this article


Zakir, Hossain , ConveyLive.com, Photos, Picture, Album

Zakir Hossain : Some people don’t deserve to be happy.

Feb 11, 2010 at 08:14 PM, Thursday  

Tina, S , ConveyLive.com, Photos, Picture, Album

Tina S : Who are you to judge this?

Feb 12, 2010 at 12:09 AM, Friday  

Tina, S , ConveyLive.com, Photos, Picture, Album

Tina S : Who are you to judge this?

Feb 12, 2010 at 12:11 AM, Friday  

Zakir, Hossain , ConveyLive.com, Photos, Picture, Album

Zakir Hossain : I'm not judging this for anyone particular, but people who cause grief to others and jealous, I believe don't deserve to be happy.

Feb 12, 2010 at 10:27 AM, Friday  

Zakir, Hossain , ConveyLive.com, Photos, Picture, Album

Zakir Hossain : I'm not judging this for anyone particular, but people who cause grief to others and jealous, I believe don't deserve to be happy. In The Holy Al-Qur'an, Chapter 02 and verses 05-18 (Al-Baqara [The Cow]), it says, 02.005 They are on (true) guidance, from their Lord, and it is these who will prosper. 02.006 As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe. 02.007 Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur). 02.008 Of the people there are some who say: "We believe in Allah and the Last Day;" but they do not (really) believe. 02.009 Fain would they deceive Allah and those who believe, but they only deceive themselves, and realize (it) not! 02.010 In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: And grievous is the penalty they (incur), because they are false (to themselves). 02.011 When it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth," they say: "Why, we only want to make peace!" 02.012 Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realize (it) not. 02.013 When it is said to them: "Believe as the others believe:" They say: "Shall we believe as the fools believe?" Nay, of a surety they are the fools, but they do not know. 02.014 When they meet those who believe, they say: "We believe;" but when they are alone with their evil ones, they say: "We are really with you: We (were) only jesting." 02.015 Allah will throw back their mockery on them, and give them rope in their trespasses; so they will wander like blind ones (To and fro). 02.016 These are they who have bartered Guidance for error: But their traffic is profitless, and they have lost true direction, 02.017 Their similitude is that of a man who kindled a fire; when it lighted all around him, Allah took away their light and left them in utter darkness. So they could not see. 02.018 Deaf, dumb, and blind, they will not return (to the path). So, therefore, I believe that no one shall attain happiness while being jealous, harmful and witchy to others.

Feb 12, 2010 at 10:31 AM, Friday  

Tina, S , ConveyLive.com, Photos, Picture, Album

Tina S : I'm so tired..sorry can't read your so long comment..

Feb 12, 2010 at 11:53 AM, Friday  

Tina, S , ConveyLive.com, Photos, Picture, Album

Tina S : If you wrote this for particular one then first try to follow Al-Qur'an then tell others about it. If any person who don't correct but tells others to be correct then it sounds really funny..

Feb 12, 2010 at 11:56 AM, Friday  

Tina, S , ConveyLive.com, Photos, Picture, Album

Tina S : Very valuable speech and thanks for it. May Allah bless you as you follow His speech. But sometimes jealous is not harmful. Love and jealously live together.

Feb 13, 2010 at 01:23 AM, Saturday  

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