Critique of Happiness

Previously I wrote on happiness in regard to Pessimistic theory, which is still being developed in terms of metaphysics, epistemology, ontology, and teleology. Upon further reflection my postulate on happiness was purely one dimensional, namely that happiness is occupational and is subjective. What is further is that objective happiness could not exist due to the object of happiness always being an occupation of the mind. It should be noted that this capacity is derived purely from the external, the external world and external objects. However upon reflection there does indeed seem to exist a happiness that is objective and it is internalized and autonomous, independent of external stimuli. Thus it is not an artificial preoccupation. Furthermore what I demonstrate here is only an unfinished half of the overall whole in regard to happiness and unhappiness alike. At this level happiness could be broken down and classified into two divisions.

Subjective Happiness
Objective Happiness

First let us begin with subjective happiness and establish the context for which it is used. Subjective happiness is a form of a posteriori happiness that is brought on by objects and events externalized from the self. The object of happiness is merely doing nothing more than occupying the mind, temporarily warding off boredom and stagnation. One could view this through such artificial distractions as consumerism and trivial material interests. Arthur Schopenhauer asked “What is boredom but the feeling of the emptiness of life?” And by that account what could be any more empty or shallow than the rallying around the artificial distractions that pervade society? Moreover Bertrand Russell exemplified this external preoccupation in his Principles of Social Reconstruction, “It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.” However there are certain peculiarities that arise out of the external that become passions and things of great motivation such as one’s reason to live, which become internalized and contribute to will. Which ultimately brings us to objective happiness.

As has been stated beforehand I wrote that objective happiness could not exist as happiness always seemed to be manifested in occupation, i.e. artificiality; the object of happiness merely infatuates the mind otherwise being subjugated by boredom. However there does seem to exist an objective happiness via an autonomous internalization that is independent of external stimuli. It is in this way a priori and is not preoccupied. Briefly in other words it could be said genuine happiness comes from within. Contrastingly out of the external there develops certain peculiarities that add to the autonomous will and ultimiately become internalized. These peculiarities arise a posteriori. The passion evoked within the musician, the desire shared by two lovers, a mother or father and the love toward their offspring, the innovative spirit that drives man to advance in the realm of science, and one’s aim to live are all examples of peculiarities of the external that become internalized, ingrained.


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