If your goal is to maximize your happiness and joy in life, you must embrace the extremes (in the dark ends).
Let me explain:
If I were never depressed, how could I know what happiness is?
I am very grateful for the moments of depression in my life. Why? Without ever experiencing depression, how could I understand joy?
Why eliminate pain and suffering?
What is ‘happiness’? It seems one of the practical notions in Chinese (幸) is:
Opposite of death.
To be “happy” (or fortunate) is simply to be alive.
Perhaps we should simply be grateful to be alive — first step of happiness.
The highest highs, the lowest lows.
An idea from Nietzsche (Joyful Wisdom) is this:
By lowering our susceptibility to pain (Stoicism), we also lower our susceptibility for the upper-bounds of happiness.
Therefore in some ways, I wonder:
If you desire to reach a new apex of happiness in life, you must allow yourself to go into the deepest and darkest depression.
You feel a higher upside with a lower downside
Why am I so happy and optimistic? Because of my dark past.
Because I have experienced so much pain and suffering as a young child (and have survived), I have experienced “post traumatic growth”.
You can never truly appreciate your body without a crippling injury or infection.
For example when I first had to use crutches in college after a severe ankle injury, I truly appreciated my legs and the ability to walk by a factor of 1000x.
Why do you desire to maximize your joy or happiness?
For myself, I’m interested in maximizing my personal joy and happiness because I feel it is a new road or a new plane of existence. I’m fascinated:
What are certain states of human consciousness we have yet experienced?
This is why I love powerlifting so much — to me, powerlifting is applied zen meditation, except 100x more badass.
With powerlifting, the moment I attempt a new PR and push through — I enter a new level of human existence. My brain goes blank. All that is in action is my body, muscles, and gravity.
Yet to powerlift (deadlift, squat) is insanely difficult. Yet it’s endlessly fascinating and very fun.
But contrary to the passive pleasures of the average American (sitting at home, watching Netflix, pornography), powerlifting seems “hard”.
But perhaps the best pleasures, joys, and happiness in life are the challenging, difficult, and interesting!
Should we maximize our dissatisfaction in life?
In order to have a higher high, and a higher satisfaction and joy in life, should we also strive to maximize our dissatisfaction?
What is the pragmatic use of happiness?
Do we seek happiness for happiness sake as old Aristotle told us in his ‘Ethics’ book?
The happier I am, the more I produce creative art works.
For me, the ultimate end is to disappear entirely into my creative working. To suspend my ego and self, and to just flow the work.
Why I like spreading joy and happiness with others
What do I consider the purpose of my life?
Empower myself to the max, and empower others to the max.
And perhaps to do this, we need to embrace ALL aspects of existence, including the horrible, terrible, cruel, and unjust.
Philosophy by KIM
Dictate your meaning and purpose in your life with ZEN OF ERIC:
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