Happiness – a theory

It seems to me that everyone should spend at least some time developing a personal theory of happiness. There are very few things we do the motivation for which can not be reduced to seeking happiness. The better we understand what makes us happy, the better a chance we have of being happy. We frequently view happiness as a state we will achieve after some external event occurs. Sometimes we posit external events, or other people, as sources of our unhappiness. Far more likely, it seems to me, is that we become happier as we acknowledge the relatively infinite potential we have here and now to be happier. Because the human brain is not a truth-seeking device as such, we must examine the evidence with caution, as we attempt to discern what, in any given day, has made us most happy, and proceed from there.

One potential component of a personal theory of happiness is a willingness to do wrong. Hauser, in Moral Minds, supplies the following quote:

“What is termed sin is an essential element of progress. Without it the world would stagnate, or grow old, or become colourless. Through its intensified assertion of individualism it saves us from monotony of type. In its rejection of the current notions about morality, it is one with the higher ethics.” –Oscar Wilde


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