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HAPPINESS AND THE MEANING OF LIFE Print E-mail
Life – Consciousness

vounoMan's central problem
What are the reasons that make man seek for something different from what he is experiencing? The main factor is his yearning for greater happiness. Happiness is the fruit of our consciousness and of the conditions of life. The feeling for happiness which our self develops and the conditions of life shape a constant quest and change.[1]

However, over and beyond man's individual yearning for happiness and its social terms, there is also the inner evolutionary predisposition to development of every form of life and consciousness. It is the latter, perhaps, which endowed man with the experience of the need for happiness.
What is greater happiness?
Each person defines happiness differently for himself. In this way the social range of approaches to happiness, which, however, does not completely fulfil individual needs for happiness, arises.

Happiness is the greatest requirement of man
Inability to realise happiness has two causes:
The first - which appears insuperable - is fear of annihilation of the self and of its relations in the face of the biological transience of conscious life.[2]
The second cause has to do with poverty of consciousness, egoistical fixation of the consciousness and its perverseness.
Thus, happiness is approached as a competitive vital space, and, in this way, it is poisoned at its social and psychological foundations. In reality, the egoistical approach to happiness is an approach to unhappiness, in spite of all the fantasies which suggest the contrary. Egoism is grounded in experiences of psychological 'constriction' and 'impoverishment', and, in its turn, maintains social and inner tensions and conflicts.

Human relations and happiness
Individualism lacks biosophy and precludes correct human relations. How are we to feel happiness realised if we do not achieve correct relations? Individualism provokes enmities, albeit concealed, and maintains images of enemies. Hostility and competition are a false and contradictory need of personality.[3]
Deep down, we all need relations of companionship and the security which these provide. But absurd competitiveness operates as one aspect of the tendency to self-destruction.
The biosophical emphasis of all religions is upon love, not as an emotion but as an attitude and awareness of life, just as the ideological invocation of brotherhood or comradeship, aims at the cessation of hostility and of individualism. Society itself is structured on the idea of common benefit, no-harm between human beings, on terms of pragmatism.
The problem is that society, just like its education, has not succeeded in touching upon the deeper ignorance and mentality of egocentrism. Thus, the impoverished consciousness of the egocentric Ego functions as a hard core of perpetuation of the non-transmutable and of tragedy.
The social tension of competition - in which the complicity of everyone is a given - heightens the crisis. The only hope remains the rejection of egoism through its exhaustion. In a strange way, when man lives egocentrically, he is deprived of inner development and deadens the inner feeling for life.
The reason this happens is that the egocentric person on the one hand seeks to assert himself in society, and, on the other, feels the constant need for a 'mirror'. He himself is a mirror for the discovery of how he is seen by those who surround him and lives in accordance with his image. This syndrome often takes on extreme pathological forms in which we can see tendencies towards harsh self-destructiveness and criminality. The intermediary mass states are no less dangerous and distressing.[4]

The necessity for spiritual rebirth
From this whole situation, and, particularly, from the tensions of life in the present age, the necessity for spiritual rebirth emerges. Without the spiritual rebirth of man, not only is the age deprived of the wealth of human powers, but man himself is unable to realise his happiness.
Here we would draw attention to something which has been observed many times: even the inability to accumulate 'goods' and power does not deliver us from tragedy or, at least, does not ensure the inner experience of happiness. The role of consciousness is decisive, because it is with this that the personality experiences happiness or unhappiness.
The non-existence of an inner feeling for life, the self, and others is a basic source of difficulties and unhappiness. What we call 'the meaning of life' is an increasingly important contributor to a sense of plenitude and happiness in everyday existence. Hypocrisy becomes ever more vain, tiring, and repellent. A significant number of people are looking for the inner dimension of happiness and it is here that hope for the future is to be found. When the absence of an inner feeling for life begins to become wearisome, the road to inner abundance starts out.[5]

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[1] Bergson, Henri, Creative Evolution [Greek edition], Polis publications.
[2] Zisis, Ioannis, Fear of Death, Appropriation - Ownership and Their Transcendence.
[3] Fromm, Erich, Essays: Mαn - Wolf or Sheep?
[4] Rattner, Josef, Mass and Individual Paranoia [Greek Edition]
[5] Moutsopoulou, Ioanna, The self-knowledge meaning of happiness and human relations – Redefinition of love, desire and freedom.

Ioannis Zisis, writer

 
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