Monday, July 26, 2010

challenging assumptions

Is it possible to be as happy when in want as when without?  I've asked only one other person this question, and she gave me an enthusiastically affirmative response without hesitation.

7 comments:

Aratina Cage said...

I'm not sure how to answer, but "no" is on the tip of my tongue. Being in want certainly increases anxiety.

Keir said...

"No" is the appropriate answer, if people are rational. But people are irrational. And so too are their perceptions of what they want and need. They get what they want and are no happier than before. They decieve themselves and those around them. (I might even say I hate people, though I am one myself.) There is irrationality in my desires; should I trust them? Despite what I experience as want, there is no reason for it to preclude the possibility of happiness.

Only loosely related, read Asimov's short story The Last Question. It's good.

Aratina Cage said...

I think I just experienced a brief moment of happiness despite it all with Prop 8 being struck down by a federal court.

Keir said...

When we live in a world with unjust laws and criminal behavior, how can there ever be complete happiness? There is still a lot to want for! It is good to see that some things are changing, like the legality of Prop 8 in California. But I guess that battle isn't over yet.

I do feel like I have everything I could ask for, or expect to get, though. Indeed I am quite satisfied. Yes, it would be nice if... (insert something here). But if I don't get it I will manage just fine. What is left now but to prepare for retirement, my long term survival plan? I don't want to get there and realize I never thought of it before, like the guy I saw at the clinic in his 60s who said he was scared to retire. If there's anything I want at this moment, it is more rest and less work.

Aratina Cage said...

I do feel like I have everything I could ask for, or expect to get, though.

That is unfortunately something I have never felt.

Keir said...

What about the time you fell in love? Or experienced something truly amazing? Or felt you had acheived or accomplished something remarkable? These are the moments I feel that I have everything I could ever ask for. If I think about it too much, then I see what I am missing, but it's all relative.

Aratina Cage said...

These are the moments I feel that I have everything I could ever ask for. If I think about it too much, then I see what I am missing, but it's all relative.

OK, in the moment, yes, but time has a way of dismantling that illusion in me.