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  1. #1
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Post Blissful ignorance and happy society? The contention of the mind and emotion.

    Happiness, a localized and highly subjective perspective area of positive emotions, a naturally evolved psychologic barrier, shielding against collective negativity and distress?

    An item of manipulation for wielders of power, tunneling perspectives to idealistic arguements, conquering minds and votes for infuelnce and dominance?

    Or a random occurance of no specific significance, guiding people towards blissful and ideal futures, encouraging us to strive for prosperity and peace?

    Should we strive to find the complete answer, risking getting our minds stuck on a dominant negative aspect ruining out personalities and identities. Or should we let it rest, smile at what we have and live on as we do.

    Would you question your happiness at the risk of losing it? Can you be skeptical when it goes against our very emotions and feelings? Would you make your mind accesible to manipulation, or would you retain a level of defensiveness and doubt to protect yourselves from that?

    Is it possible to stay happy, if you are being skeptical of those very emotions? If not, is it worth it?

    What are we happy about, and what should we be happy about?

    Unanswerable questions drive me... they drive me nuts! Is that which is considered healthy as this society, also fundamentally healthy? Psychologically speaking, how many barriers should we uphold, and how many should we tear down.

    Is the existance of naivety essential to preserve our identity, or can we truely live, qualitatively, without?



    From a psychological point of view, how should I deal with the above contention? Or perhaps not deal with it at all?

    Thoughts?
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  2. #2
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    You kinda have to define the default or starting point for society as a whole: As a social phenomenon, is happiness viewed as something to be attained or something to be lost? IOW, is the average fellow basically unhappy and working toward a happier future, or is he basically happy and trying to ward off disaster/fear/anxiety, etc. that would leave him less happy?

    You might want to look up "positive psychology" at Wikipedia. It's the arm of psychology dealing with how to lead a happier or more satisfying life (and the implications thereof).

  3. #3
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Thinking about this subject is by far my most favorite passtime activity.

    It's one of those things where the right and the wrong are so very influenced and dominated by our own emotions, that any and all discussion and rationality seem insignificant in contrast. This interests me greatly as an INTP. But also frustrates me knowing that, as an INTP, I will never reach a conclusion that I would feel at peace with.

    My main concern however is where it leaves me. What is the best way for me to deal with this phenomenon, and how do I prevent it from overshadowing my life, whilest my gut instincts want it to overshadow my life.

    Thanks for pointing me out to positive psychology. I will take some time to wade myself through that.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    Thinking about this subject is by far my most favorite passtime activity.

    It's one of those things where the right and the wrong are so very influenced and dominated by our own emotions, that any and all discussion and rationality seem insignificant in contrast. This interests me greatly as an INTP. But also frustrates me knowing that, as an INTP, I will never reach a conclusion that I would feel at peace with.

    My main concern however is where it leaves me. What is the best way for me to deal with this phenomenon, and how do I prevent it from overshadowing my life, whilest my gut instincts want it to overshadow my life. [...]
    On a purely personal level, I would say pretty much the same thing that you did. INFPs are all about self-analysis and maximizing their potential. Deciding what constitutes personal happiness and fulfillment is necessarily going to be a big part of that.

    FWIW, I find it helps me (on a purely personal level) to keep a multi-page mission statement taped to a kitchen cabinet and to read/skim it daily or even a couple times a day. It helps keep me focused on a set of personal goals over the long-term (as opposed to flaking out and merely reacting to circumstances or according to moods). It also serves as a long-term inventory: do the goals listed in the mission statement really make me happy? Which ones do I really achieve, and which ones remain pie in the sky? Which ones do I enjoy achieving, and which ones are a struggle? And what should I do about it?

    I find it makes me a lot more productive over the long-term. And that, by itself, is a revelation, i.e., that greater productivity is a source of personal satisfaction/happiness. And so on. Lots of ways a good mission statement can be used, in the sense of measuring and inventorying the self.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    [...] Thanks for pointing me out to positive psychology. I will take some time to wade myself through that.
    Lots of good starting points there. For example, starting from a purely personal and practical viewpoint, Seligman’s research points out quite a few specific ways we can increase our personal happiness. You can pick and choose among them and see if they really work for you as well. Good luck!

  5. #5
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Wow, this is going to be so individualized/personal. On topics such as this, I tend to not want to say anything, just because what I have come to believe/think may not be applicable or acceptable to someone else; or even possible for them to utilize if they have a totally different cognitive frame of reference. [if that makes sense]

    But, I'll just say where I'm at. I think what I struggled with for a number of years was a recognition that I would never be happy 100% of the time. That there would always be disappointments down the road, that bad things would happen, that I'd get stressed out now and then, that I'd become confused/aimless now and then, that I'd have to continuously, throughout life, revisit various things and maybe shift course based on new learnings and needs. That I was never going to reach some 'epitome' of happiness, in other words - that it woud never be a constant, and that the nature of it prevents it from being a constant. This bogged me down for a while. It should also be said though that I was fighting/resisting this notion - I didn't like it. I didn't like this reailty.

    Now that I've said that, I'm going to seem to contradict that. Once I realized this - accepted that half of life, and half of reality, was rather unpleasant, or at the very least had unpleasant aspects to it, and that pain/unhappiness/dissatisfaction/boredom was just as much a part of the reality of life & existence as happiness and joy and peace and contentment, the negatives ceased to have as much force/power. I also came to view it as my ultimately having the control/power to Choose which aspects to hone my energies in on. Yes, to recognize these negatives - not to deny them, and to integrate their reality into my life and what life is all about - but to... simply acknowledge them but let them go too. Yes, they're a part of it. They're not the only part though. There's a whole other set of data points/possibilities too. Which would I rather devote my mental energies towards? This idea, along with my realization that for *me* at least there wasn't going to be some pinnacle I'd reach, but that it would be a lifelong finetuning and readjusting of needs/wants.. helped me become a happier person overall. (Of course one has to check in with oneself too to understand what one DOES want out of life! - even if it's just a starting point, and what you want for the now.)
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  6. #6
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    Wow, this is going to be so individualized/personal. On topics such as this, I tend to not want to say anything, just because what I have come to believe/think may not be applicable or acceptable to someone else; or even possible for them to utilize if they have a totally different cognitive frame of reference. [if that makes sense]

    But, I'll just say where I'm at. I think what I struggled with for a number of years was a recognition that I would never be happy 100% of the time. That there would always be disappointments down the road, that bad things would happen, that I'd get stressed out now and then, that I'd become confused/aimless now and then, that I'd have to continuously, throughout life, revisit various things and maybe shift course based on new learnings and needs. That I was never going to reach some 'epitome' of happiness, in other words - that it woud never be a constant, and that the nature of it prevents it from being a constant. This bogged me down for a while. It should also be said though that I was fighting/resisting this notion - I didn't like it. I didn't like this reailty.

    Now that I've said that, I'm going to seem to contradict that. Once I realized this - accepted that half of life, and half of reality, was rather unpleasant, or at the very least had unpleasant aspects to it, and that pain/unhappiness/dissatisfaction/boredom was just as much a part of the reality of life & existence as happiness and joy and peace and contentment, the negatives ceased to have as much force/power. I also came to view it as my ultimately having the control/power to Choose which aspects to hone my energies in on. Yes, to recognize these negatives - not to deny them, and to integrate their reality into my life and what life is all about - but to... simply acknowledge them but let them go too. Yes, they're a part of it. They're not the only part though. There's a whole other set of data points/possibilities too. Which would I rather devote my mental energies towards? This idea, along with my realization that for *me* at least there wasn't going to be some pinnacle I'd reach, but that it would be a lifelong finetuning and readjusting of needs/wants.. helped me become a happier person overall. (Of course one has to check in with oneself too to understand what one DOES want out of life! - even if it's just a starting point, and what you want for the now.)
    I totally get where you are coming from. And I know the same attitude works for a lot of people. And works very well. But it has a pitfall, much like the pitfall I am facing with my own happiness.

    In a sense, your attitude of acceptance, can also be treated as a method of defeatism. You had unreasonable ideals about a perfect world, and once you cast aside those unrealistic ideals and focused on the reality in front of you, you ultimately became a happier person. But at the same time, you give up striving for those perfect ideals. Ofcourse that's a good thing, because having unrealistic ideals will never yield positive results, and in itself can be considered a stupid way to live. Still, one wonders, what is ultimately the importance of realistic ideals, and was it really worth shedding the unrealistic ideals for?

    For me, I am not an unhappy person, I am happy by being the questionaire that I am. I don't want to commit myself to any conclusion I don't support both rationally and emotionally, and would rather keep that subject open and influencable. But then in a sense, my actual happiness is far different from the potential happiness I would experience if I would close some subjects of thought. If I did face defeatism on unanswerable subjects and pointless discussion. I could potentially focus a lot of my energies on things that may hold actual productivity in my life, as opposed to pondering about something that I know holds no fruitition. But is that a life that would truely make me happy? Can I really just close myself off from subjects like that and be done with it? Or do I need these questions like a person needs oxygen to breathe?

    Is ignorance really bliss, if the ignorance is forced upon myself, untrue to myself?

    It's like my narcissism is the fuel for my happiness, and I am wondering if it's a clean fuel, good for the environment. Which is kind of ironic, not to mention a pretty lame metaphor.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  7. #7
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    In a sense, your attitude of acceptance, can also be treated as a method of defeatism. You had unreasonable ideals about a perfect world, and once you cast aside those unrealistic ideals and focused on the reality in front of you, you ultimately became a happier person. But at the same time, you give up striving for those perfect ideals. Ofcourse that's a good thing, because having unrealistic ideals will never yield positive results, and in itself can be considered a stupid way to live. Still, one wonders, what is ultimately the importance of realistic ideals, and was it really worth shedding the unrealistic ideals for?
    Hmm... I'm not sure I agree that I gave up on 'perfect ideals'. What's the point of having a supposed Perfect Ideal (say, an emotional state of perpetual and constant happiness?) if it's not even possible to begin with? One reason people experience the emotional highs - happiness, other things - is because they are in contrast to the emotional lows. They become more powerful and 'high' simply because there is an opposite emotion that also exists in our range of emotions. If there weren't the negative, the positives wouldn't even be 'positive' - they'd be neutral, or baseline, or.. I dunno.

    I guess I don't feel like I gave up on anything? I feel like I'm incorporating the negatives in my worldview, but not letting them have undue power.

    I should also say that I am NOT satisfied with being dissatistifed/unhappy. And I WILL reach that state time and time again in the future, I suspect. But that will then my cue to revisit things, and work towards moving myself/life in a direction of overall happiness. So it's not like I'm complacent... it's something I always have to keep a handle on. I do continuously strive for a life that will make me happy, and I don't settle for less. But my definition of happiness must factor in the Fact that negative emotions/times in life are, well, a fact of life.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  8. #8
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Well, you are incoorperating negatives in your worldview, where you first wanted to exclude them completely, but ofcourse that proved to be impossible, leaving you overall more unhappy. So what I was trying to say, is you gave up on trying to exclude them, and thus in a sense trying to give up on an ideal in which those negatives do not exist?

    The power of happiness seems infinite, yet to rationally experience it, is quite the undertaking.

    By creating contrast, you are able to see the power in the things that are important to you. And therefor experience the happiness it gives you. This I often do as well.

    What I wonder is how important that power is, if taken for granted.

    I am healthy, strong, still in my early years, owner if an intuitive mind filled with ideas to the brim, in that contrast I should consider myself to be one of the happiest people on the planet. And I often do. But what meaning does it have, if I don't question that happiness with the tools I have at my disposal? What power does it still hold if I am to just accept that happiness and move on from there. And am I entitled to my happiness if I don't do anything with it? Which leads one to wonder, what can we do with actually do with it?

    My mind and emotions are at constant war. Pew pew, kaboom, bang! With a big grin of satisfaction.

    Happiness is one of the most elusive concepts my mind wants to grasp. I experience it, I feel it, but I can't for the life of me understand it.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  9. #9
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    Well, you are incoorperating negatives in your worldview, where you first wanted to exclude them completely, but ofcourse that proved to be impossible, leaving you overall more unhappy. So what I was trying to say, is you gave up on trying to exclude them, and thus in a sense trying to give up on an ideal in which those negatives do not exist?

    The power of happiness seems infinite, yet to rationally experience it, is quite the undertaking.

    By creating contrast, you are able to see the power in the things that are important to you. And therefor experience the happiness it gives you. This I often do as well.

    What I wonder is how important that power is, if taken for granted.

    I am healthy, strong, still in my early years, owner if an intuitive mind filled with ideas to the brim, in that contrast I should consider myself to be one of the happiest people on the planet. And I often do. But what meaning does it have, if I don't question that happiness with the tools I have at my disposal? What power does it still hold if I am to just accept that happiness and move on from there. And am I entitled to my happiness if I don't do anything with it? Which leads one to wonder, what can we do with actually do with it?

    My mind and emotions are at constant war. Pew pew, kaboom, bang! With a big grin of satisfaction.
    Happiness is one of the most elusive concepts my mind wants to grasp. I experience it, I feel it, but I can't for the life of me understand it.
    Ah. Thanks for adding more thoughts. Those are good questions! I see now what you're saying. I dunno... as you said in the beginning, there isn't going to be a single answer. And I don't have one right now as I'd have to think about this some more.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  10. #10
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    I rarely worry about happiness, either to increase it, or to preserve it. Instead I focus on being creative, successful, fulfilled, challenged, enlightened, amused, etc. etc. Happiness is frequently a by-product of these, and when it is not, the results are still more than satisfactory.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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