Philosophers through the ages have always maintained that emotions should be worked through then discarded, the passions of the mind and flesh controlled.
I don’t think emotion should be disregarded, but balanced, like a good wine, a fine meal or a symphony, each emotion has its place.
But due to media indoctrination, which always seems to sell us the assured happy ending, we demand to be happy all the time, we strive only for happiness and joy , then we are angry and sad when this is not the truth of our lives.
So we are essentially sad at the inability of our emotions to maintain the constant stream of happiness that we see as our right. But as my wise child recently said ’you need the tears in your eyes to see the rainbows’
The more intensely you have felt the slow dull pain of sorrow, the higher you will get on happiness and also, the fewer stimuli you will need to feel happy. But if you are constantly happy you will soon take your state of being for granted and will need bigger and better happy jolts to make you feel happy high you crave. Which is possibly why extreme sports are so popular.
Why we are happy and sad, is more difficult.
I get sad at the oddest times. A memory comes to me of standing in a huge electronics store in Antwerp surrounded by plasma screens, cameras, music systems and digital toys of every description. People all around buying stuff that they hope will make them happy, and the tills ring ting ting . In the middle of all this wild purchasing a documentary was playing on every television screen, hundreds of repeated images of a dazzling white polar bear on a small float of ice, drifting on the deep blue sea. As I watched the camera panned away and away and away and as the polar bear become a small white dot in the middle of the sea, his fate was clear to me, due to our insane chasing of happiness in shops, he would drown. Sadness overwhelmed me, tears rolled down my face and I felt like a complete twit while all round the people were buying their daily dose of happiness.
Knowing too much, seeing too far is a constant source of sorrow, the world is not on the whole a happy place, so that occasional moment of true joy is certainly worth the work… but does it take work to make us happy?
No. It is being open to the moment, not to let the sorrows of the world overwhelm your ability to be happy. Happiness lives in the million small moments of everyday. Chasing happiness is like chasing an orgasm it doesn’t work, you have to be open to the experience and it will come to you. If you are open to the possibility of finding happiness it will always come to stab a light into the dark of whatever sorrow you might be feeling. You just have to decide to be happy for that little light, and not say; oh it such a small insignificant light, because then that little light will surely go out.