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Speaking as an Irish person who wants continued peace in NI.
I spent quite a few years in NI as a soldier during The Troubles.
First tour was 1989 at North Howard Street Mill, just off the Falls Road. It was a typical 'hiding behind walls in people's back gardens' kind of tour. Getting spat at, bricks chucked at us, p-checks, house searches, sitting for hours on cordons, the odd shooting or coffee jar bomb; it was a very archetypal NI tour. I loved it; I was only 19 years old.
Then I did two years with Force Intelligence Unit (NI) and worked in one of those 'funny sections' that did covert bomb disposal. It was a really facinating job and I met a lot of 'interesting people'. Some of the stuff Martin Dillon wrote about in his book "The Dirty War" was straight out of this unit.
My last two years there was in RAF Aldergrove. A boring office job, unfortunately.
I met and married a Carrickfergus lass too. She was very pretty, but was driven crazy (by me) fairly easily.
It sounds like a hung parliament from the early results
Yes, I agree, hang the ruddy lot of them.
I'd like to see a bit less politicking and a bit more governing.
In Buddhism, our original nature is Buddha nature. In Christianity (not in all schools) our original nature is sinful.
In the Old Testament Adam and Eve were created and lived in the Garden of Eden until they ate fruit from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Then they were cast out of the Garden of Eden.
Smarter minds than mine say this is an allegory for our dualistic minds that label things as 'Good' or 'Evil' (bad) and it's this mind that casts us out of the Garden of Eden (a metaphor for an enlightened mind state maybe?).
Buddha nature or sinful nature are - I would guess - empty of any inherent existence. Bad things don't happen to good people (or vice versa). What happens is that 'things happen to people' and our dualistic minds impute 'good' or 'bad' onto that event.
I think if we could see through this dualistic mind, then anger wouldn't be there because we wouldn't label things in a negative way (or positive).
Yet recently it occurs to me that this state is not dissimilar to drunkenness, in that the clear vision one has of things to be done
I guess it all depends on what our concept of happiness is. My old concept of happiness was (I think) euphoria, and in that state, I really identified with the way you described your concept of happiness.
I'm a (recovered) alcoholic, but euphoria could also drive me to drink; it was yet another feeling I couldn't deal with. I think there's some anxiety or something unsettling about being euphoric?
But nowadays, my concept of being happy is synonymous with feeling peaceful.
I don't like pain of any description. Personally, I'd prefer to think of psychological pain as a reminder that I'm often doing something wrong and see what I can learn from it.
And there are types of psychological pain that are perfectly natural to experience, such as the death of a loved one.
I think it's our relationship - how we handle that pain and how it affects us is the important factor.
For example, does it drive us to do unhealthy things (like drink or drug), or does it drive us to handle it in more healthy ways (like seeking out the company of friends or our spiritual circle for support)?
As a recovered alkie, I could not stand feeling the discomfort of any kind of psychological pain, which is probably why I drank the way I did. And when I got sober I thought the idea was to 'be happy' (not experience pain) so that I could remain sober.
But over the years (I'm a slow learner), I've learnt there's no avoiding pain, and I've somehow learnt to be okay, even when I'm not feeling okay.