Monday, November 8, 2010

On Happiness

Original Posting

Everyone spends their life trying to avoid pain and pursue happiness. The perfect world would be a world full of many diverse pleasures, and pain (not just in a physical sense, but as everything that hinders our life of pleasure) does not exist or is at least brought down to its most most minimal point.

Is this true?

Is this really what we want?

Is this really the world that our common nature craves?

I don't think it is. I don't think that we want a world without pain. Not just because the existence of pain gives us an appreciation of pleasure, but because we were grown in a world with pain and suffering. It's what we crawled out of, it shaped our nature. To deny it would be to deny a fundamental aspect of life itself.

Life is happiness; life is also suffering.

Look at our art. When we are creative, what do we create? Do we create idealistic worlds of peace, harmony, and joy? No. We claim to want them, but we spend no time creating them. No, everything we create with a narrative (with the possible exclusion of bubblegum pop) always includes pain and suffering somewhere.

We grew up in it, we crave it.

I'm not saying we're all masochists or that we all want to sit around torturing ourselves. What I am saying is that any conception of a good life or a good world without suffering is a concept that doesn't understand human nature. It's listening to humanity's mouth rather than its actions.

We desire pleasure, fun, and joy; but deep down we wouldn't be happy without pain, suffering, and a little anguish.

So, if you are altruistically inclined, by all means work to make the world a more pleasurable place. Try to remove the pain in the world. But you better hope the pain isn't completely removable, otherwise you might go too far and fuck up the world.

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