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Meaning as the journey to happiness

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

It occurs to me that a lot of seeing meaning in life has to do with our life’s journey towards happiness. In order to get a good grasp on where we are going we need to understand where we have come from. It depends on our past experiences, the ambitions that we used to have and how we choose to fulfill them, the high points of our life up to now, our experience of peace, how we have chosen to relate to the simple pleasures. And then understanding how those experiences contributed to our happiness in the past, and what we can do to give meaning to the rest of our life’s path.

Of course our happiness is not entirely shaped by ambitions but our ambitions do shape what we do, and so it shapes our lives. Within your life you find the sources of your happiness. These can be simple, few or many. Being careful not to confuse happiness and pleasure, happiness can come from the tired feeling after a good workout or the satisfaction of completing a difficult task or seeing a loved one returning from a trip.

Anyway lots to think about...

Comments

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited October 28

    I don't think happiness can depend on exterior conditions. Reading your post in that context makes me feel that it must be the other way around with happiness as the journey to meaning.

    Shoshin1
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    So would you say that you are either happy or you are not, as a basic characteristic? Often enough I have heard people say of something that happened, that made me happy. I don’t expect them to stay happy because it does seem to be a feeling that comes and goes.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Life has no meaning of its own. Where is it written anywhere, that there has to be?
    People hope there is, people believe there is. But that's not the case.
    We Give Life Meaning.

    Ambition and meaning are not the same thing.
    Ambition is a Goal.
    Meaning is a fait accompli. It's either there, or it isn't, it's not a thing to come...

    @David said:
    I don't think happiness can depend on exterior conditions. Reading your post in that context makes me feel that it must be the other way around with happiness as the journey to meaning.

    Yes, I agree....

    Happiness and pleasure are two different things.
    Happiness is an inner, deep contentment.
    Pleasure - is Transitory.

    PLEASURE can come from the tired feeling after a good workout.

    This pleasure passes... as soon as we know we have to peel the potatoes, shell the peas, and take the chicken out of the fridge to stuff, butter it and truss it for roasting - even though we are tired, and we ache from our workout, and could do with just sitting down after a warm bath, with our dressing gown and slippers on, to binge-watch 'The Mandalorian'... But Happiness is knowing the resulting dinner will please the family, and so we are Happy and contented...

    or the satisfaction of completing a difficult task

    Until we have to do the paperwork that has to finalise the task, in order to catalogue it and finalise the job... which means we have to work overtime... But we know we are valued in our workplace, and we are a popular and reliable colleague, and so we are Happy and contented...

    or seeing a loved one returning from a trip

    Until we see the mess that is their dirty laundry, all packed up hurriedly and mixed with the still-clean stuff, which means in essence it's all dirty, and there's sand in the shoes, and a stale smell of old seaweed... But they're safe and sound, they're tanned and glad to be home, and they hug us and tell us they missed us, and so, we are happy and contented....

    See?

    David
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    So would you say that you are either happy or you are not, as a basic characteristic?

    I would say there are always enough conditions for happiness if we know how to see. Of course there will be sorrow from time to time but even then, if we have kept the wonder alive, there is always something going on that we can look deeply into thereby revealing everything else.

    I'm reminded again of the Zen story of the monk being chased by the tiger and finding himself in a position where his death will come at any moment. In that moment he sees a strawberry and how sweet it tasted.

    lobster
  • I would say meaning is a quality of awareness. Even if we feel everything is meaningless usually inherent in that is that we have a sense that it could feel meaningful but it just doesn't in that moment. But I don't think there is a particular meaning. Has to do with the skhandas and impermanence. Something impermanent cannot eternally satisfy meaning but that doesn't mean the awareness does not have a quality of satisfaction or meaning from time to time. So like dualistic vijnana has ultimately unsatisfying things like food or other pleasures even ideas. But non-dual Buddhajnanna has the nature of awareness and that is not lacking meaning. Here there is some controversy of whether there is an unconditioned nature of mind.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited October 30

    Here there is some controversy of whether there is an unconditioned nature of mind.

    There is no controversy in the unconditioned. Meaning no conditions, including those of arising or leaving.

    Happy now?

    To put it another way for us sweet fruity strawberries; When Mind has eaten itself, who chases the tiger?

    So in this sense meaning is indeed awareness. Ultimately without attribution or interpretation.

    ... meanwhile emptiness forms and form empties ...

    Jeffrey
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