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Friday, May 26, 2017

True Happiness (part 8): Concluding Thoughts On The Subject

The past few days we have given thought to the subject of "happiness" based on Book 3 of Boethius' "Consolation of Philosophy." At this point one begins to wonder if it is possible for man to find happiness at all. Wealth is powerless to deliver on it's promises; honor and fame not only borrowed but are also not universally recognized; and the only land a man truly possess is his burial plot.

But have all these desires and seem to experience something called, "happiness."

"Waiting For Godot" by Samuel Beckett
If we step back and consider true happiness, we realize we find it at that moment when all things are balanced together, a unified whole. This returns us to the definition of happiness Lady Philosophy offers at the very beginning: "a state which is made perfect by the union of all good things."

Let me illustrate:
  • One person is happy to sit on the couch and drink his tea. 
  • Another person is happy to sneak up and pouring boiling water over the head of the first person. 
  • The second person may think himself to be happy but in fact he is not because there is no unity of good between the two people. 
  • Additionally, think about what kind disunity must have occurred within the second person to think of such a horrible act. 
Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? How about Hot Water Challenge which has happened on purpose or as a prank that nearly kills a victim?

This is not a purely theoretical illustration but the principle occur in real life in the forms of how we relate to others daily. The principle shows in the way we drive, in how we wait in line, in how we shop, at our jobs, when we play. Our state of happiness shows in the way we strive for the unity of good things with others. Peace is evidence of happiness.

The telling feature of true happiness centers on UNITY OF ALL GOOD THINGS. The short list we considered these last few days fail at delivering happiness simply because they are fractured from the unity of all good things. They cannot be isolated as the sole source of happiness. There must be a UNITY OF ALL GOOD THINGS.

In closing there might be considered another word here for happiness (I wish I knew the original word translated into English as "happiness" in Boethius): contentment. If one is content, then all good things are kept in balance.

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