What is Real "Happiness"? (The Real and Phony)

Our search for the definition of real happiness

"No man chooses evil because it is evil;
he only mistakes it for happiness."
-Mary Wollstonecraft

article by LiveReal Agent Mary

We spend our lives searching for it. We have the "right" to the pursuit of it, not the finding of it. There are plenty of "phony" kinds around, so a "real" kind must exist somewhere. But what is it?

What Is Real "Happiness"?

A) It is "IT".

B) It is a pint of Haagen Daaz Peanut Butter Chocolate ice cream.

C) It's what we're all searching for.

D) It's something we all already have.

E) It's something that, in a way, we're all searching for, and we all already have, simultaneously.

F) It's something that's always around the corner. When you're 9, it's turning 10; when you're 14, it's turning 16; when you're 16, it's turning 18; when you're 18, it's turning 21 . . . working/retired, retired/working, single/married, married/single, and so on, and so on.

G) It's getting what you want.

H) It's wanting what you have.

I) It's being free of wanting itself.

J) Warm, fresh, Krispy-Creme Doughnuts.

K) Warm, fresh, Krispy-Creme Doughnuts . . . that are free, have no fat, no calories, and you can eat as many as you want without throwing up.

L) It's something you'll have once you find that perfect guy or girl, fall in love, and live happilly ever after. (Meaning, "later").

M) It's something you'll have once you finally get rid of that #!@$&!& @*#$&@ you're with now.

N) It's something you once when you have enough money, status, fame, power, or respect.

O) It's a process of accumulating more and more and more pleasure or fun experiences.

P) It's something that you get when you finally enough cool clothes.

Q) Euripides: "Happiness is brief. It will not stay. God batters at it's sails."

R) It is something that is temporary, brief, momentary, a flash in a pan, here and gone.

S) It is a permanent state of being, or one that transcends time.

T) It's something that's pointless to think about.

U) It's something that's absolutely crucial to think about - because otherwise, you might just miss it.

V) "Happiness is like peeing your pants: Everyone can see it, but only you can feel it's warmth." - unknown

W) "Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so." - Robert G. Ingersoll

X) "Happiness is having a scratch for every itch." - Ogden Nash

Y) It's the reason why we're here.

Z) Aristotle: "...happiness is the highest good, being a realization and perfect practice of virtue, which some can attain, while others have little or none of it..."

AA) It's generally something that single people think married people have; married people think single people have; working people think retired people have; retired people think working people have; employees think bosses have; bosses think employees have; poor people think rich people have; sick people think healthy people have, young people think old people have, old people think young people have, and so on, and so on . . .

BB) It's the absence of suffering.

CC) It's something that includes, contains, gives meaning to, and therefore transcends suffering.

DD) It's something that you'll have when all your dreams come true.

EE) It's something that comes through facing reality.

FF) It's something that's different for everybody; it's a personal, subjective thing, in ways, like "art."

GG) It's something that's basically the same for everbody - i.e. gravity - like "science."

HH) It is both an art and a science.

II) I don't know.

JJ) It's something you learn more about as you go through life.

KK) It's something you know a lot about when you were very young; but as you grow older, less.

LL) It's something that's out of your control - determined by such factors as genes, brain chemistry, etc.

MM) It's something that's in your control - and can be influenced by, for example, involvement with such cool web sites, like this one we ran across: LiveReal.com.

NN) "Happiness is good health and a bad memory." - Ingrid Bergman

OO) It's something that you experience through having the right, or best, or most appropriate, or proper sex life.

PP) George Washington: "Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected."

QQ) Benjamin Franklin: "The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself."

RR) It's a by-product of doing what you are here to do.

SS) "The surest way to happiness is to lose yourself in a cause greater than yourself." - Unknown

TT) It's a quality that comes through making the right choices in forming your character in the right way.

UU) Og Mandino: "Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself." ("within you"? OK...but how to find what is "within"?)

VV) Mohandas Gandhi: "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."

WW) It's something that is experienced when there is a freedom from or transcendence of "ego."

XX) It's the state of things when you realize and live the right "relationship" to "God."

YY) Victor Hugo: "The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved -- loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves."

ZZ) Sophocles: "Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness." (so then, how do you become "wise"?)

AAA) It's something you've already found.

BBB) It's something you haven't found yet.

CCC) It's something that you haven't found completely yet, but you feel like you're getting closer...

DDD) It's something that you've never found completely yet, and you always feel like you're getting closer to...

EEE) It's something you experience through truly knowing who you are.

FFF) John Lubbock: "Happiness is a thing to be practiced, like the violin." (and how?)

GGG) "Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you." - Nathaniel Hawthorne

HHH) "That is happiness: to be dissolved into something complete and great." - Willa Cather

III) "There is no joy in smallness. Joy is in the the infinite." - Chandogya Upanishad, 7.23

JJJ) Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov: "When you meet with pleasant conditions in life, savour them, but do not linger. And when life imposes difficult conditions on you, do your best to endure them until the bitter end. You will say: ‘But why should we cultivate difficult conditions?’ It is not a question of cultivating them, but of simply facing them so that you learn to become an adult. Children only like what is pleasant and sugary… like the little girl who said in her prayers: ‘Lord, let daddy, mummy and my little brother be healthy… and put vitamins in sweets and not in spinach.’ That’s children for you! Unfortunately vitamins will never be found in sweets, just as spiritual vitamins will never be found in comfort and pleasure, but instead in work and difficulties. Only a true adult is capable of finding the richness and depth concealed in every test, in every bitter experience. On the other hand, prolonged joy and pleasure serve only to chloroform people, keeping them weak and far from the truth."

KKK) Jed McKenna: "Suffering just means you're having a bad dream. Happiness means you're having a good dream. Enlightenment means getting out of the dream altogether."

LLL) It's something you're here to discover...

MMM) All of the above.

NNN) None of the above.

OOO) Some of the above.

PPP) Other ____________________________.

Your Answer: ________.

When you finish your quiz, please pass your papers to the front.

(Please note:
You will probably be graded, but may not be;
we're not sure when, how, or if you'll ever find out what your grade;
and we might know who will or won't be grading your papers,
but then again, we may be wrong.)

Appendix I

“Life's splendor
forever lies in wait
about each one of us
in all its fullness,

but veiled from view,
deep down, invisible, far off.
It is there, though,
not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf.
If you summon it by the right word,
by its right name,
it will come.”
- Franz Kafka

. . . so if the above is true, and Mr. Kafka is correct... then what is it that keeps "life's splendor" "veiled" from view, deep down, invisible, far off"?

- or in other words,
why do we suffer?

- and what can we do about it?

Appendix II

"Why do you need to meditate?

To know yourself.

Why do you need to "know yourself"?
Because what you are at present -
what you think you are -
is not yourself.

That's why you, and most people -
are never really content for long:
you know, unconsciously,
that you are not yourself."
- Barry Long

If you liked this, check out:

Why Do We Suffer?

Why Are So Many Young Americans "Unhappy"?

Our Current State of Psychological Health, at a Glance

Why Are We Here?

Why "The Pursuit of Happiness" is Sometimes Doomed

There's "The Pursuit of Happiness," But Do We Ever Catch It?

The Search for "IT"

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