THE FORUMS

January 18th, 2017
MEGAPOST: Happiness is your default state
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#61
Hamlet

Hamlet

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Join Date: 12/08/2008 | Posts: 589

Thanks for the bump.

It's fun to reread this stuff from 5 months ago. Although I have gained quite a few insights since then. As I said, that was a snapshot of my headspace at the time. I'm no longer of the "fuck all goals" persuasion. I do believe some goals are useful, but not in order to bring about happiness. Happiness should still be there regardless, as I wrote in the OP. But that stuff was written in the middle of summer, with few worldly obligations weighing down on me. I pretty much did whatever I wanted with my days - met girls, stayed in bed, wandered around town. Pretty chill.

Unfortunately, the rest of the year isn't always so chill. Sometimes you gotta roll out of bed at 6AM and scamper off to work, even though the flat is fucking cold and your bed is really warm and cozy. Sure - it would be great if you were motivated by an intense desire to SEIZE THE DAY every day! But sometimes reality isn't quite that romantic. And you can either lie there and try to muster a great sense of adventure for your Monday morning routine - or you can just bite the bullet and get up, boil the kettle, and do your pushups. Just kidding, I don't do pushups in the morning. But you ge the point. Shit needs to get done.

I'm working in telemarketing right now, and I've learned a lot about sales (especially similarities with game). I have daily sales quota that I have to reach and after an initial honeymoon period on the new job, I hit a rough patch for 3 weeks that almost led to my getting fired. However, I told myself: "No way am I quitting now. I know I have what it takes to get good at this" and I worked my way out of the slump. I'm now at a consistent level where even on a bad day I reach my target. On a good day I crush it. This feels really good, and I don't believe it's all about ego validation. It's also about realising your potential. I wrote in another post that life is a play with forms and you are the vehicle that Consciousness uses to experience the world. Well, not reaching your potential is like driving around in a Ferrari all your life but never taking it past 50 mph. What's the point of having a Ferrari? It's made to go fast. Drive a Peugeot if you're just looking to go from A to B. Same with the human mind/body. If you just want to survive and replicate, you can do that as a bacteria. But we want greater things in life because hell, that's what God made us for. This has nothing to do with that default state of happiness. Happiness is there, like pleasant music streaming out of your car stereo. Happiness just keeps us from killing ourselves. Driving the damn thing is up to us.
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#62
insideasd

insideasd

Senior Member

Join Date: 07/16/2007 | Posts: 275

Yeah I like your original post. What needs to be realized that pursue your goals and pursue them fully but not with the neuroticism of wanting to reach a happy googoo super fun future place but to already enhance your beautiful life.

The neurotism takes you away from now and the present becomes a stepping stone to some ideal place which might never be that ideal. Most of us are stuck in place between feeling good now or feeling good when we are 'that person'.

Take action but with joy and enthusiasm not with neuroticism and frustration. 'Do without doing'.
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#63
Gseus

Gseus

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Join Date: 09/04/2008 | Posts: 915

I've got to say, I don't quite get that. Sounds like you remember that you once understood and felt100% what you wrote in the OP, but can't really feel it any more. Let's see...
Hamlet wrote:

It's also about realising your potential. I wrote in another post that life is a play with forms and you are the vehicle that Consciousness uses to experience the world.
So you are the vehicle of consciousness. Which means that your potential is unlimited and undefined, completely open.

Well, not reaching your potential is like driving around in a Ferrari all your life but never taking it past 50 mph. What's the point of having a Ferrari? It's made to go fast. Drive a Peugeot if you're just looking to go from A to B. Same with the human mind/body. If you just want to survive and replicate, you can do that as a bacteria.
But who is there to define that "point", that purpose? The others? No. You? How do you determine if you have reached your potential? 

But we want greater things in life because hell, that's what God made us for.
Humans built the Ferrari to drive fast. By that analogy, god made you to serve a certain purpose. Did he really? Which one is it? To reach your potential? And why should you care?

This has nothing to do with that default state of happiness. Happiness is there, like pleasant music streaming out of your car stereo. Happiness just keeps us from killing ourselves. Driving the damn thing is up to us.
Of course it has to do with that state. "Happiness is your default state" basically is the realization that nothing will make you more complete. There are no things that we _must_ do. Not even continue living or replicate (what a rediculous purpose that would be...). Which puts an end to the endless race of "I must get there in order to be loved/serve my purpose", which ALWAYS is just a different way of saying "I'm not good enough yet.".
I think the problem with Ecky is that he didn't go all the way, at least, the last part is very hidden in his books. He saw that you are complete. And his conclusion was "okay now I can sit around in bliss all day, that's what it's all about, isn't it? I discovered that it's all meaningless on the long run, so why bother?" This is neglecting one side of the coin, the world of form, with eternity being the other.

Imagine a tree. It's first a seed. Then it grows, becomes enormous, beautiful, home to many animals and plants. Then it dies. From a human perspective, there was clearly a purpose: To grow, to let birds grow nests in it, to absorbe carbon dioxide out of the air and emit oxygen
.
But did the tree intent all that? All these great things that happened (in our eyes), that it lived up to his highest potential, that it lived for 500 years and reached a height of 60 meters? No, I don't think the tree cared at all. It just went with the flow.




I didn't write all that to argue. I think I wrote it because first, I felt the need to work with my own beliefs and experiences. As you see, I've been reading/listening to a lot of Alan Watts' speeches, they made a huge impact on me. And second because I wondered how you changed and I can see myself going back and forth like that all the time. Because the huge amount of inspiration I got from some of your posts, the way the words bypassed my head and went directly to my... well, heart, core, whatever... Made me feel like you had moments of enourmous clarity and wisdom.


edit: Just watched the Alan Watts video that you posted in this thread earlier, and he almost talks about the same stuff as I did, sorry ;) But this astonishes me even more to read about you current state...
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#64
yerai88

yerai88

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Join Date: 09/22/2008 | Posts: 141

“Crap, I tried so hard to BECOME someone that I forgot to just BE.”

wow
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#65
Alphaman

Alphaman

Member

Join Date: 06/15/2009 | Posts: 74

Good thing it was bumped
all I can say is "WOW"
you've explained the things that I am experiencing right now
a big thanks :D
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#66
Hamlet

Hamlet

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Join Date: 12/08/2008 | Posts: 589

@Gseus: I'm really happy you've connected so well with my writing. I'm not really rejecting anything in the OP. I'm just saying it captures one HALF of the argument. You said it yourself, Ecky is one side of the coin. But there is also another side.

If you've been following my thread on Big Mind, you'll know I talk about the triangle, where the left-hand corner is the Limited Self (form), and the right-hand corner is the Absolute Self (formless). The OP explores the right-hand corner of the triangle, i.e. the formless. What I said about goals occurs in the left-hand corner of the triangle, the Limited Self (also known as your Story). True happiness springs out of the right-hand corner of the triangle, regardless of whether the Story is a success or a failure. Happiness is detached from the Story. It's simply the joy of Life. The joy of feeling connected to Love. It's very important to feel this, otherwise you'll get sucked into the Story and start to look for happiness there. Then you'll start the endless chase towards fulfilment in the world of form. As you said, there is nothing we MUST do. Not even survive or replicate. I also wrote a post saying the Universe is meaningless. Once again, I was coming out of the right-hand corner of the triangle.

But when you read a field report from one of the advanced guys here on the forum, don't you feel really inspired? When you see a movie where the underdog comes out on top, aren't you touched in any way? When you watch a great a sports game, doesn't something connect within you? This all occurs within the world of form. The athletes don't just stand there on the field, indifferent to the ball because they're already happy. Tim doesn't just sit on a barstool ignoring the girls because he already feels good inside. Life isn't ALL about feeling a pleasant tingle. We are not reward junkies that only respond to pleasant sensations in our brain. Life doesn't stop at happiness. It may do so for a while, as it did with Ecky. Imagine looking for happiness all your life, and then suddenly finding absolute Bliss!!!! It would be amazing, and it would remove all your old motivations. No need to go the gym - you're already happy. No need to have a girlfriend - you're already complete. No need to get a job or earn money - you can live on park benches and feel blissful. But even Eckhart Tolle reached a point where he said: "Okay.. this is great... But is that it?" And then he suddenly felt the strong urge to move to the West Coast of North America. He didn't know why, he just had to do it. So he packed his bags, flew off to California, and wrote The Power of Now. Of course, his life was already complete. He didn't write The Power of Now to seek a sense of Self. And YET he felt a strong motivating force. What can motivate you if not the search for happiness? Well, he knew (or the Universe knew) that he had a great untapped potential. He could reach out to millions of people, but he was just sitting on park benches. This is not insignificant. He felt a DUTY to reach his potential. Not just to himself but to God. He found his outer purpose by tapping into his inner purpose. A New Earth talks about this. Inner purpose is on the right-hand corner of the triangle (formless). Outer purpose is on the left-hand corner of the triangle (form).

Human life is about reaching your potential in the world of form - your outer purpose. But only as a consequence of tapping into your inner purpose, which is connectedness with Being. Your outer purpose then is not intended to PROVIDE A SENSE OF SELF. No. You already have that. It's about exploring what it means to inhabit the human mind and body. By the end of it you can almost say: "Alright. I've explored every aspect human life. I've felt elation and sadness, success and failure, love and jealousy and all these things. There is nothing left to experience. I beat the game, and it was fun while it lasted. I'm ready to die now." Discovering your potential is about pushing the pedal to the metal on your Ferrari, slamming on the breaks, racing around the track. Until you do this you can't really know your vehicle or understand the track. Sure, you can reach enlightenment and then sit there. But you haven't really experienced anything new. You came from the formless and you went back to the formless. You might as well have stayed in the formless and never taken on the form of a human. Alan Watts says that life is a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing or dance as the music was playing. He didn't say "listen to the music until you become really spiritual, and then stop singing and dancing."

Feeling your default state of happiness does not imply shrugging your shoulders and saying: "I can't be assed" as soon as you're faced with a challenge. Rather, you face that challenge and live through it and come out on the other side with an epic story where you've sweated through it and explored a hitherto unknown aspect of the world around you. Regardless of whether you "suceeded" or "failed",  you'll have an awesome story to tell your children. Yes, this is a big point. You are not hinging happiness upon "success". In fact, even failure can be epic. You are not attached to the outcome. What you care about is making the experience awesome and inspiring.

Have you seen the movie Big Fish? 




In it, the main character Edward Bloom has lived a really exciting life, but like an old fisherman, he exaggerates the details of his adventures. This really annoys his son, who feels like he'll never know who his dad really was. The son is trying to DEFINE his father in terms of the Story. He's saying: "I don't know who you are unless you tell me the clear facts of your past." The father, on the other hand, has no need to define himself in terms of the Story. He was born with high self-esteem. He's been playing with form all his life, and always doing his best to reach his potential in everything he does. When he tells about his past adventures, his main concern is not to inflate his sense of Self (although it can easily be misinterpreted as such). Rather, his only concern is to tell an epic Story. If that means changing some facts - so be it! Note that Edward Bloom is an extremely compassionate and conscious fellow. And YET he loves adventure. Feeling happy doesn't mean the end of form. In fact, it's just the beginning. The moment you stop self-seeking you're ready to TRULY experience the world! It's the starting point of life.
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#67
Falsetto

Falsetto

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Join Date: 12/28/2008 | Posts: 344

 Dude... I love you! Thanks a lot for this
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#68

Humbert

Senior Member

Join Date: 01/10/2009 | Posts: 123

Crap, I tried so hard to BECOME someone that I forgot to just BE.”  this is the best post i've read in rsd ever. and this line has so much with my head its retarded. U know i used to think like this 2-3 years ago, in a pretty naive way. so many people wanted things like money and fame and id always be like why? why would i want to be famous? just so more people like me? what will that do? how does that really make me feel better? somewhere along the way i fell of my track. i started becoming needy, i started needing validation. i lost focus on the moment. so i started reading self help. happines is a defualt state is something that really clicked for me. but i dont know why it didnt always work. now i know. everytime you set a goal you try to reach it by focusing on the future. and most goals tend to have you focus on the future in order to live the present. this is impossible. how can you focus on something that doenst exist now in order to live in the now. 

also your travel section hit home with me. i just came back from a cool hang out at manhattan where i hung out with 2 friends i havent see in 4 months. most of the time i was tied up with self help concepts seeing if i was "in the moment" thinking about how i was breaking my comfort zone and how much more confident i would be from the exprience. what bull shit. the best times was when i let go and just lived. fuck becoming a better self. just be.

Thank you for writing this post. I have bookmarked it and everytime i feel like im caring too much about self help instead of focusing on what is i will come back and read.
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#69
Gseus

Gseus

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Join Date: 09/04/2008 | Posts: 915

@Hamlet: Thanks for your reply, cleared things up a lot.

What confused me was that I read so much of "You gotta...", "bite the bullet", "I have to reach...", "Shit needs to get done." in your post, and I asked myself, "who says so?". Because my biggest breakthrough while listening to Alan Watts (together with some of the releasing stuff) was to recognize that everytime I say "I must", there's something wrong. I want change in the future because I'm unhappy but I don't want to act now because I'm lazy because I'm unhappy. I'm disconnected from myself, resisting the situation.

That sounds like a load of bullshit, because, when the dishes are dirty, you gotta wash them. That's true. But it's just one way of looking at it. Let me propose another:

The dishes are dirty. I wash them.

Notice the difference? In the middle of the two sentences, compared to how most people think, there is something missing, the sentence "Therefore I must wash them.". And I think that this is where a sane and happy life begins.
Alan Watts mentions that this is described by the Daoist term "Wu Wei". Doing without doing. Or in RSD terms, being not doing.

When I read your reply though I was convinced that we're still both talking about the same thing. :)
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#70

subx

Trusted Member

Join Date: 09/18/2008 | Posts: 1248

fucken a, this summed up everything i was thinking about after going out friday night .......

i decided, fuck pickup! I'm going out to HAVE FUN and ENJOY myself and others.   which i felt there was less pressure and more fun, and things came easier.  but like... this mindset, i felt like drinking more cuz i didnt care, i was having a blast.  so i ended up getting too drunk and happy.

:)

how to balance this with goals?

my favorite from this post: 
Don’t be yourself. Don’t be your best self. FORGET THE SELF. It’s there, and it can’t be changed or improved. Stop worrying about the self and look AROUND! Live!
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