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Old 09-20-2011, 09:38 PM
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River River is offline
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Location: NM, USA
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Since ancient times myriad philosophers, psychologists and spiritual teachers/guides have
warned against the notion that happiness is pleasure, and most of them have good points, but they aren't arguing against what I'm arguing for. They generally argue along lines which abstract from bodily sensation in the present. So they'll say "Seeking after pleasure won't make one happy". This has a valid truth in it. One seeks happiness because one has not got it, and so long as one is seeking one is sort of "elsewhere," and thus not present and thus not happy (because all happiness is in the present). They will also say that one can, say, have lots of passionate sex and eat really delicious foods, etc., and still be quite unhappy. This can be due to an addictive kind of attachment to these pleasures which transform pleasure into displeasure. Dope fiends are rarely happy for long!

A basically happy person doesn't depend on a certain defined and narrow set of experiences in order to have the pleasure of enduring happiness. Rather, the basically happy person takes pleasure wherever it is available, which it usually is -- provided the skills of--and commitment to--happiness are present.

Crucially, the basically happy person has generally learned how not to make him/her
-self unhappy, and chosen to do so with commitment and gentle determination. This is done by making a study of one's habits of making one's self unhappy. When we see (and eventually see through) our happiness-killing habits, without identifying with these, they naturally fall away all on their own.

When we treat ourselves with kindness, compassion, friendliness, tenderness, self-loving..., we're always with a dear friend who provides us with what we really need. And from this place of happiness we have so much more to give to others, which arises naturally from this state.

===

For a convincing description of happiness as pleasure, see:

http://www.amazon.com/Pleasure-Zone-.../dp/1573241504
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Last edited by River; 09-20-2011 at 09:51 PM.
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