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  1. #51
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Question: How is happiness to be achieved.

    Hypothesis: Through acquisition of inner peace. We are more likely to remain happy if we maintain emotional composure. It is better to stay moderately excited for a long period of time than attempt to seek great excitement....

    ....If we are in control, it will be easier for us to elect how our inner world shall be maintained. In order to acquire such a control, man must be moderate in his passions.

    This is the doctrine famously championed by Aristotle earlier concerning the necessity of moderation. The more man focuses on dispassionate contemplation, the easier it will be for him to avoid strong emotions simply because he shall not focus on them at great length. He shall come to terms with his emotions by dispassionately analyzing them. Once they have been understood, they shall cease to have a force which could disturb his dispassionate contemplation and quest for emotional equillibrium.

    This is how man is to find peace in his inner life. The outer life, however, may prevent him from achieving this, as if there is not an orderly environment around him, he may not be in the position to pursue inner growth. An Ideal society need not necessarily be comprised of deep thinkers, but of individuals who prefer to handle things in a dispassionate way. Akin to what we may call individuals with a Thinking preferrence who use this faculty well habitually. Feelers are undesirable because their relationship to emotion is analogous to that of a magnet to metal. They shall spark passions in all of us rendering emotional equillibrium close to impossible.

    This is older and more universal even than 'The Philosopher.'

    Vairagya (dispassion) in the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras... these texts additionally speak of non-attachment to ephemeral things... but this is NOT advice amounting to not-feeling! It is an attitude of experiencing and enjoying but not become chained to one's pleasures or pains.

    The Buddha also counseled developing non-attachment, cleaving to the Middle Path, and ultimately achieving upeksha, or equanimity.

    __________________________________________________ ___________

    This entire set of philosophies, including old 'stotle, is all quite common-sense, I would dare say.

    The real question is HOW one develops it on a day-to-day basis. Indic religions counsel meditation and some additionally recommend devotion to a/the Deity. Following basic moral codes... same thing, pretty much, in Abrahamic traditions.

    The problem, in my opinion, is that everybody knows this and practically no one actually follows the path towards true equanimity.
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

  2. #52
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    I agree there is no way to entirely control them, but you can come as close as you possibly can to doing so by being dispassionate. If you let yourself experience them to the full, you shall be consumed by your passions. Inevitably, you must allow yourself to experience them to some degree, but only to the mere minimum.
    This, I think, is the most pithy answer to someone who says controlling desires is impossible:

    "He who, restraining the organs of action, sits thinking in his mind of the objects of the senses, self-deluded, he is said to be one of false conduct."

    Basically, just sitting in a room, chewing one's nails, and striving to resist urges, is the most destructive way of going about achieving equanimity.

    The point is NOT to "control" your desires...

    Some Gita verses:

    "He whose heart is not distressed in calamities, from whom all longing for pleasures has departed, who is free from attachment, fear and wrath, he is called a sage, a man of steady knowledge."

    Whoso, without attachment anywhere, on meeting with anything good or bad, neither exults nor hates, his knowledge becomes steady."

    It's about moderation, as Bluewing said.... the longing for pleasures departs... one does not wrestle it to the ground... the more you wrestle with your desires, the stronger and more resilient they become!

    Thus, the point is to LOSE one's desires.

    How one accomplishes this is a very personal thing. Some say meditation, learning about one's true self, is the best way of going about it. It's essentially cultivating awareness of oneself and the world, to learn what's really valuable, and move through life with greater calm and more understanding. Understanding breeds dispassion (though not, again, lack of passion, or non-feeling... it's a lack of attachment). Proponents of such a path include Vedantists and Buddhists, as well as Virtue-philosophers like Aristotle.

    Others go the opposite route, saying "Just indulge yourself! Be mindful of what you're doing, but go ahead, indulge your cravings! Once you've had your fill, are absolutely sated, you'll be alright... the desires will slough off like dead skin or a dried-up appetite." (folks like Osho Rajneesh) The problem with this latter idea is that desire is like the mythical Rakta-beeja (Bloodseed) demon: every time he was struck and bled, each drop of blood would transform into a whole new demon, and that demon when struck would also shed blood which metamorphosed into whole new demons, whereupon the process would continue the more the demons were struck at by conventional means.
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

  3. #53
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Review my exchange with cafe and Ivy on this matter please.

    Consistency should lead to emotional stability as a consistent lifestyle obviously tends to entail consistent emotions. The definition of emotional stability is consistency of passions.
    I read the exchange before, and I just read it again at your request to see if I had missed something.

    You speak as if someone being really excited and happy one day will result in them being extremely depressed the next day. Apparently this happens with you and the people you have observed. I can counter that this does not hold true for me, but it doesn't matter. These are all personal anecdotes which are strongly biased and will not lead to any acurate understanding of anything.

    Why do you choose to not incorporate the relevant science, psychology, into your perspective? By not doing so, you are coming across as only interested in your own thoughts rather than reality.

  4. #54
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    Vairagya (dispassion) in the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras... these texts additionally speak of non-attachment to ephemeral things... but this is NOT advice amounting to not-feeling! It is an attitude of experiencing and enjoying but not become chained to one's pleasures or pains.
    Yup. It's not about not-feeling at all.

    Like you said, experiencing and enjoying (or at least embracing, in the case of pain) your feelings... and then letting them go and not trying to maintain them past their allotted time.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #55
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilah View Post
    Extroverts will often tell introverts that they have a problem because they don't act like extroverts. Extroverts will insist that introverts cannot possibly have a happy and fullfilling life.

    This is the same thing except anti-extrovert instead of anti-introvert.
    lol
    `
    'Cause you can't handle me...

    "A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it." - David Stevens

    "That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is."

    Veritatem dies aperit

    Ride si sapis

    Intelligentle sparkles

  6. #56
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    Why do you choose to not incorporate the relevant science, psychology, into your perspective? By not doing so, you are coming across as only interested in your own thoughts rather than reality.
    This requires some very detailed research which I am not in the position to do at this point. Theory is most sound when supported by empirical research indeed. When it is not empirically supported, it is not 'proven', but we may have 'as of today' good reasons to believe in it. That is, if the theory is justified philosophically. Which in this case I believe it is in virtue of the very simple principle of all living things, namely that a more intense work load drains one's energy than the less intense. When this happens, we will simply have less energy to spare.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  7. #57
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    I am not interested and nor would I know how to obtain "happiness". Emotion is fleeting. I prefer to just exist comfortably. With little drama or major complications.

  8. #58
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minako-bot View Post
    I am not interested and nor would I know how to obtain "happiness". Emotion is fleeting. I prefer to just exist comfortably. With little drama or major complications. [Boldface added by Samuel De Mazarin]
    That's the whole point of this conversation. It just depends on how one defines "happiness"... one can be momentarily happy, or attain "true" happiness...
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

  9. #59
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    Why do you choose to not incorporate the relevant science, psychology, into your perspective? By not doing so, you are coming across as only interested in your own thoughts rather than reality.
    Uhmmm... you act as if psychology has somehow hit upon objective standards... that's not the case... also, I think what Bluewing is doing is exactly what good psychology, which developed from good philosophy, is all about... taking what little we know, making some assumptions (which are NECESSARY, because we aren't capable of starting from self-evident truths), and then trying to develop testable conclusions therefrom.

    Additionally, I would recommend that you read some Thomas Kuhn and learn about how the sciences, particularly the 'hard' ones like physics, chemistry, or biology, frequently undergo major revisions and reassessments, in fact, are constantly undergoing revision and reassessment, because we've not yet understood how the world works. One can argue with Kuhn's description of the situation, but he's hit upon something real: "paradigm shifts".

    Psychology is not a privileged science, insofar as one needs to learn the table of elements of the psyche or go to grad school to understand the basics of, say, quantum mechanics. Psychology is available to us all...

    One can, for instance, very easily, as a layman, discuss with as much specificity and insight as a psychologist whether or not eudaimonism is truly universal, viz. is happiness everyone's ultimate goal? Also, can 'happiness' be satisfactorily defined without resort to other, equally vague concepts? Or is it a primitive value which refers to experience, and thus does not submit to a truly 'scientific' and 'objective' analysis?

    __________________________

    Unfortunately, with the domination of the DSM-IV (and its earlier iterations), psychology in practice often resorts to: feeling depressed? try this pill! (wellbutrin, valium, etc.)...

    When it comes to talk therapy, a psychologist/psychiatrist often serves as little more than an 'objective' but intelligent sounding board... which a good lawyer, or a social worker, or a priest, could possibly do just as well.
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

  10. #60
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    [This quote has been redacted by Owl] (which are NECESSARY, because we aren't capable of starting from self-evident truths).
    What, if any, assumptions are necessary to speak of "truth"?

    What does it mean for something to be necessary? Is necessity relative, or does the concept of truth place restrictions on the concept of necessity? Is the concept of truth compatible with any set of assumptions, and, if so, can truth be opposed to truth?

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