Happiness

I don’t understand happiness. There’s really not much else to state other than that, as any explanation I give is just going to be more convoluted, and more guessing. I suppose that’s really the best that I can offer to myself, though. Essentially everything I believe is a guess that I’ve, at least to some extent, dedicated myself to as some form of truth.

If I really had to take a guess, I’d say that happiness isn’t a definable term. I’d say happiness is more of an opposing force to other emotions than anything even remotely tangible through explanation. I don’t consider myself a happy person. I don’t believe in depression as a clinical issue, but simply another emotion. I’m not depressed, either. I’m not content, or apathetic, empty, full. Honestly, I don’t think I’m much of anything at any given time, and perhaps that lack of a term to express my overall feelings is what makes things so difficult for me to pen.

I’m fairly positive I was happy at some point in my past, but I can’t remember any specific moment. I suppose that’s a lie, as I recall individual times where I can say that I wasn’t sad, which means I technically may have been happy. If that’s the best of what I can consider, though, then I think it’s too generalized to be genuine.

The more I consider the idea that the meaning I’ve given to my own life, through a wholly existentialist view point, being to doubt everything and fight against the concepts of absolutes and universals, the more I think I’ve actually unraveled an ability to ever truly understand something. I don’t think it’s impossible to understand something like happiness, and I would never say that it hasn’t been defined correctly elsewhere. I think that, by doubting so much, I’ve actually made it impossible to define anything I feel, because anything I attempt to define I instantly rebuke. I debate myself over every decision and every consideration to such a point that I’m in a constant argument over every question and every statement.

As per dictionary.com, happy is “characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy”. What the fuck does that even mean? Pleasure? Contentment? Joy? None of those are genuine things, they’re subjective possibilities. I could easily claim that at any given moment I am feeling joy, pleasure, or contentment. When I cook, I feel a sort of serenity, but I wouldn’t call it happiness. I think that an act of distraction shouldn’t be a course of happiness.

Really, though, maybe that’s what it is. Maybe happiness isn’t an actual thing, but rather a manner of saying that you’re simply distracted from something that you wouldn’t equate to happiness. Right now, I have no idea what I’m feeling, but the act of writing this is a distraction from concentrated thoughts as I’m pushing thoughts out into visible words rather than holding them inside and mulling them over. Am I happy right now because I’m distracted? Is watching an interesting movie something that makes you happy, not because it’s interesting in and of itself, but because that interest allows you to forget a negative feeling?

There are many different ways to express emotions and feelings without just blurting it forward. For the longest time, I felt music was the best expression of this. I still think music has the potential to express so much with so little, and it’s one of the few beliefs I have that I honestly don’t think I’ll ever lose over the course of my life, despite my incessant doubting of everything around me.

Recently, though, I’ve decided that the best form of emotional expression is actually comedy. In this particular point, I mean stand-up comedy, though I feel it could easily extend to comedy of all forms. The type of comedian I tend to lean towards is the self-deprecating, excruciatingly open type. The comedians who lay everything out in front of themselves and their listeners, essentially begging to be judged. What else is there to do? What is funnier than misery, especially if you can react to the reflection within yourself? The pain of someone in front of you, who grasps the same pain you feel and has found no proper response to it other than to marginalize it and laugh at the absurdity of it, I think that anyone who has lost faith in emotion can connect to that.

The humor in self-deprecation isn’t in the act itself, it’s in the realization that it’s funny in the sense that it’s brutal. It’s pure honesty. Everyone hates themselves. Nobody can define love, but hate seems so inherently easy to define. Of course, that’s a fallacy, as hate is as undefinable as love, but negativity always seems more tangible. It may as well be a physical object that as a people we all wear alongside our clothes, showing off to everyone who is willing to look our way. Comedians are of the same flock, but instead of just wearing their pain, they scream at you to look at it, to examine it, to connect with it and to find some sort of release and solace in the fact that you’re not alone.

Music challenges you to find your own meaning and connection to it, but comedians put the connection in front of your face and beg you to grab onto it and help them pull it away.

When I see comedians who seem chipper and happy, I’m pushed away by it. I think they have a place as much as the darker comics, but they come from an angle that doesn’t appeal to me. Whereas the type I like put their pain forward and howl outward for anyone to grip on to it, the happy-seeming comedians attack from the angle of a differing distraction. Rather than asking you to ignore your pain by examining their pain, they ask you to hope for something other than pain by reflecting on their own distractions. The things that distract them from pain, something one might define as happiness by result, they put forward and douse the audience in, trying the bury the pain that way. I suppose it’s viable, but when I see a chipper comedian, I just see someone too scared to express their pain to others.

I can’t fault them. Why would they want to? Why would anyone want to admit that they’re not happy? People listen to comedians to forget that they’re not happy. Honestly, I don’t believe that anyone is happy, but I guess I really don’t even know what happy is.

Advertisements

I am God: Intro

Religious and non-religious people alike tend to have a problem with the statement “I am God.” Generally it’s because of a misunderstanding of the statement itself. I’ve referred to myself as “God” for nearly as long as I can remember, and honestly, when I first started doing it, I did it solely to annoy people who were religious. I’ve always had a mean streak to me that relishes in the pain of others, and one of the most painful things for someone to feel is a doubt in their own beliefs caused by an opposing belief in another person. Over time, though, the meaning changed for me, as I actually started to think about how things are for me, and how I perceive my life around me.

I am my own God. I am the God of my life. I have faith in myself, not an outside source, as I believe that when a decision is placed in front of me, I’ll make the choice that is necessary for me. Whether the effect is pleasure or pain, it’s what I need to feel at that point. I don’t believe in fate or destiny, and therefore when I make a decision, I don’t believe I’ve always been ordained to make that decision, but at that specific moment and time when I made a decision, I made it because that was what I needed to make. Sometimes I need to hurt, so I hurt myself through my choices – consciously or otherwise. The two sides of a coin is a reflection of all things. If I don’t feel pain, I’ll never appreciate pleasure.

As my own God, it is in my control how I feel and how my life plays out. There are outside sources, being other people, or even the living environment, but my perception of what is thrown towards me in that scenario is my control over myself. It’s within my power to decide how I should feel about any given thing. While society has given a definition to what is good and bad, my personal definition is not bound by that. However, while I am God, I’m not a god. It’s not within my present power to defy the limits I’ve put on myself.

Things like telekinesis and telepathy I find to be well within the realm of power of any human being, but it’s nothing I expect to witness within my lifetime. I feel that I’ve placed a limit on my own growth, though I obviously can’t explain that exact reason why, or else I’d be able to get past it. My theory is that I’m scared of evolution of the self. If I gain too much, maybe I’ll come too close to the apex of what I’m capable of accomplishing. To put it in simpler terms, I mentioned to a friend that I want there to be secrets held from me in every friend that I have. If I know everything, then I’ll lose interest in the person.

Acceptance

Acceptance is a confusing animal. When I think of acceptance, I generally sway to an idea of being able to entertain the beliefs of others, though the term itself can go very far beyond that range. For today’s purposes, I’m going to try my best to stick to that initial idea of mine, however (and undoubtedly fail miserably; expect multiple addendum “acceptance” posts in the future). Acceptance is a good thing in ephemeralism, because it allows for the inevitably of untruth. As I can’t prove or disprove anything, it’s within my best interest to accept that any idea, belief, theory, etc. is as likely to be as true or false as anything I believe.

Religion is brought to mind when acceptance is considered, and it’s doubtful that such a connection will change any time soon. Religious acceptance is interesting to me. On the whole, I don’t agree with religion as an actual institution. I have no issues with the idea that people have faith, though I personally hold only faith in myself, but having something to hold on to in order to get you through an otherwise pointless life is definitely not a bad thing. The concept of God or a god isn’t problematic in and of itself. I follow the theory of ancient astronauts more than any other possibility, but that particular point is meant for a future rambling. There is no way to prove the existence of gods in any religion, but there is no way to prove that they don’t exist. Many people would say that if you can’t see it, then it isn’t real. A friend of mine brought up a point that one of his classmates once said with a “signature grin” that since he has never been to China, and has only seen it in pictures, videos and maps, that China doesn’t actually exist. In other words, since China had never physically been in front of him, to him there was a distinct possibility that the maps, pictures, and so on were all creations and not real representations of a place. I agree and disagree.

China, as a physical object, is there. I don’t need to stand on it to believe it is a land mass. However, the borders themselves are man-made, and therefore not technically real things. The actual extent to which China exists in size as a physical object is questionable, but the land itself is not. The point I would bring to this student is that, while I can certainly accept the mindset that the only things that exist are things you believe exist (or nothing exists in truth at all, if he happens to be a bit more solipsistic about it), in my own mind, there’s just no actual reason to dispute the existence of a country.

Philosophy has a wide range of applications towards thought. I prefer pushing it towards the metaphysical, but there are some that may very well work off of tangibility like he did. Let me pause here and focus a bit on a term I’ve used in both this post and the one before it now: solipsism. I’m going to run with my personal definition of it, being that a solipsist is someone that believes the only thing that truly exists is the self. So if I were a solipsist, then the only thing that exists in the universe is my own mind, and everything I see, feel, experience, etc is all a creation in my own mind. That’s a lackluster definition, but as this post isn’t about solipsism, I don’t want to go too in depth.

For a brief moment in the past I wondered if I was a solipsist, though I quickly determined that I wasn’t. I actually can’t find much fault with the assumption that I am the only thing that actually is real, and everything around me is a figment of my imagination, but I honestly felt it was just too ridiculous. Not in the sense that it’s impossible, but simply improbable. The mind is a fickle thing, to be sure, but life itself is a short-lived, treacherous span. I’ve always been under the impression that there is much more bad to life than good, and I just don’t find it probable that my mind is so cruel as to enact a veritable tortuous existence. As a result, I believe that people are real as much as I am, and the flow of ideas between the lot of us is genuine.

I would, however, never tell a solipsist that he is wrong. Likewise, with that student, I could never tell him that he is wrong, and that China most certainly exists. To me, China is a real thing, and I accept the man-made borders as real enough to not disregard. To him, though I suspect he was simply being a bit of a cunt to my friend, China may really not exist if he has not personally stood upon its lands. And even then, there is no guarantee that if he traversed every inch of what is considered China that he would even accept that it was real at that point.

Acceptance is what allows me to consider an idea like that and smile, not sardonically, but with a shrug of “perhaps.” An ephemeralist is always going to be the hardest person to argue with about anything simply because, well, an ephemeralist will never have an argument. What you believe is what you believe, and as it’s true to you, it is as probable as anything an ephemeralist may believe. Acceptance of other theories is the real cornerstone of ephemeralism, as ephemeralism may as well be the culmination of all possibilities and probabilities. As nothing is real but everything could be real, nothing is true but anything could be true, nothing exists but everything may exist, nothing is right but anything might be right, acceptance of other ideas is the only possibility that remains.

Brief Introduction

Philosophy is always an interesting subject to take on, as everyone inherently is worried about contradicting themselves. I’m not too terribly concerned with that. Not because I don’t expect myself to do it, but because I know I will, and that’s because I have no overlying philosophy or understanding of how everything is in regards to myself. I can find something to be morally wrong at one moment, but from a different perspective, or in a repeat situation some years later, I find it right. Even a span of a few minutes can make me change my mind. As a result, if I had to classify my overall philosophy, it’d be one based on change. There are plenty of things I can refer to myself as when it comes to already-established theories and ideas, such as a relativist, or a nihilist, or just an existentialist. All of that is true and untrue at the same time, as none of it explains everything that I feel or believe. So, for the sake of ease of understanding, I’m going to refer to my overall philosophy from here on out as ephemeralism. That is, nothing lasts forever. Things change, including meanings, definitions, and explanations. A word today won’t hold the same weight for me as it does a minute from now, an hour from now, a day from now, a week from now, etc etc ad nauseam. Ideas, beliefs, knowledge, experiences, understandings, and theories are all transitory. There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, I think it’s the only way to view existence – if not fully proven by my own desire to embrace such a concept.

If someone were to ask me what ephemeralism really means, then I would say that ephemeralism is an acceptance that there is no truth, nor untruth. Nothing is guaranteed in any understanding, nor any supposed knowledge. Everything is a perception, and being that perceptions are subjective, there is no such thing as permanence. No one is right. No one is wrong. Nihilism may move it further in order to state that it’s because there is simply nothing in the first place to be right or wrong, but while I agree with some tenets of concepts such as nihilism and solipsism, I’ve come to decide that people do in fact exist, and while there is no such thing as a universal truth, there are certainly perceived truths.

Ephemeralism likely comes off as a lazy type of way of viewing the world. I have no genuine argument against that. You could call it the ultimate wishy-washy way of seeing things, and that wouldn’t be wrong. I see it more as a way of accepting that there’s always a potential explanation that you haven’t considered. The world was once flat, but then it was round. Such is the way of things.