But I want to amend it. While it's mostly a function of the mind, there are genetic components that underly the phenonomen, as well as life experiences, and the natural up and down cycle we all go through and some environmental aspects. Is there a set point of happiness? Yes, I think there is. But accidently or deliberately, this set point can be changed.
Also, when I say happiness. There are many subjective states I am talking about, each one of them slightly different than one another.
For example, Mettā (loving kindness), is much different than Mudita (alruistic joy). Specically, one is just a lovey feeling, the other is more a joyfilled experience. For both of them there can be an object one is centered about. In other instances, it can be all pervading. But even these words are not very good at describing the sensations. If anything, these words describe a pure sensation that is very hard to achieve. In more common examples, it's very hard to distinguish one from the other, a single word such as "excitement" is slightly different than the word, "thrilled'. Thrilled feels slightly heavier and thicker, and less lofty, but both can be considered energy states (where one has abundant "energy" to do whatever). I wonder if it applies to different people in the same fashion.
Anyway, even though those things are important, I go back again to the exctasy example persued in the other blog post.
Would such an example be desirable?
Desire is also a function of the mind. If this hypothetical drug removed the notion of desire, then yes, it would be desirable.
Is it possible to be too happy?
It depends on the goal. There are those who are a 10 on a scale of 10, and these people tend to make less money, and are less "successful" in job endeavors then their slightly less happy counterparts. But it's also a question of desire. If one is that happy all the time, then will you desire any other motivations?
But anyway, there is much to be learned from other sensations besides the positive ones. Since such a device is unfeasible in the real world, we still will have negative and neutral sensations.
There are many interesting tricks you can do to manage negative sensations. Merely focusing on them, tends to make most of them manageable, the pain still exists, but the suffering is gone. Or you can reframe them. Many times the sensation is ambigious, and takes the context of whatever you say it is. Other times, the only thing one can do is let the mind wander, and give up all need for a specific concentration (this is useful when the actual concentration is very hard to do, namely in the "dark night" state) .
I find it interesting that our technology allows us to essentially predict to a fairly high accuracy what diseases we will get. Not only that, but laymen can now purchase a large scan of the genome, which pinpoints known at-risk areas.
While I don't suggest to the masses to use this technology just yet, since it's just come out, and it's accuracy, cost and scan depth are not very high, this is an interesting development.
Even without DNA sequencing, I find the parallels between my family and I astounding.
Again, this leads to the question: What if I had different genes, which predisposes me to different attitudes, actions, and diseases. Would I even be thinking about these things? Would this writing exist? I doubt it.
Our memory is but a log of what we did in the past.
But it's very prone to error.
But if our recollection of the world is flawed, how do we know that anything really happened?
We get false memories. We interpret things differently from others who where there. If we write about an event, and read it in the future, it takes on the qualities of the writing, opposed to what might actually have happened.
What if we instantly forgot about everything right after we experienced it?
I feel like I'm in a dream. A copy of a copy of a copy. Even when I'm awake.
There is a glaring flaw within my idea of self education, which I've only lightly touched on before now.
Simply put: How can you teach self-education to an unwilling crowd? Answer: You can't, the same way as you can't effectively teach anything to an unwilling crowd. This is the basis of my idea on self-education in the first place.
While the resources are ever present, someone that simply does not want to learn new things will not take the initiative to do so.
That's why with this blog it is my goal to raise the awareness, not to instill upon you a need to do anything.
While I might think it prudent to do these things, for I think I can glimpse the future of the world and how certain things might become irrelevant, perhaps others might not agree.
On a side note: There are numerous paths to success, perhaps a way that differs from mine is equally correct.
I've been muddling around with various ideas on this topic for a couple years now, and I've written a lot on the topic, but none of it has come to light yet. This will be a continuing series with a topic that is very dear to me.
I see the education system as a flawed being, as a math teacher who I talked to recently said: it's meant for the average person, whereas the very intelligent and those who lack mental faculties miss out. In this post, I will present the solution, whereas I will focus on the problem as I see it more closely in future posts.
I say that this system does not even effectively even teach the average student.
By calling technology to our aid, students can throw off the shackles of this beast and become self enlightened.
Anyone these days can get a world class education, with just a computer, the internet, and some time.
Do you want to learn from some of the greatest schools in the world?
Welcome to MIT Open Course Ware, with videos, lecture notes and much more.
Neophyte: "But my Teacher says the internet is riddled with misinformation and porn" Answer: There is tons of misinformation on the web (and porn, but that's a topic for another day), and it's important to get a perspective. A common way of weeding through the bullshit is to find two completely opposing arguments, and dissect them, and finding which one strikes the bullshit meter the most. Another tip would be looking at more reputable sites. One that comes to mind is:
Which is acting as a peer reviewed site based on wikipedia.
The next problem that might come up is:
I'm overwhelmed with information. How do I organize it? Again, technology comes to your aid. With RSS (Rich Site Summary) feeds, not only can you get continued updates of topics that are important to you, but you can get them directly from the source. News gathering has been put into the hands of the people.
I was just going to write a piece on the orders of logic, and how certain logical conditions do in fact supersede one another. But, I just came across a piece that rocked me to the core. This is almost exactly what I've been trying to formulate with my postings. It's beautiful.
You don't want to read this Blog. I will insult your intelligence, your mother, your sexuality, and even what species you belong to. And yes, this is a thinly veiled attempt to get you curious, but don't worry, this Blog certainly won't be understood by a mindless monkey such as yourself. ... and yet you will read this Blog anyway. Idiot.