Friday, 25 September 2009

An enigmatic state?




















Happiness. Contentment. Joy. Pleasure. These are words we throw around, but I wonder if rarely do we really think about them and mean them? Understand them? Feel them. Is it a matter of subjectivity or perspective. In part I think yes, but I also believe in general terms the measure is the same yardstick of feeling. Of emotion.

Moannie and I were recently talking about the value of these words. Of how we of course aspire and hope. To feel them. The real deal.

We dribble out these words about how happiness is all we want to feel. For ourselves. For our children. For mankind. Humanity. But it is I feel an elusive state . A state of mind that is transitory at best. Not available by request. It does not keep us alive. Though these states do nurture and nourish us. Keep us on track. A carrot to keep us on the road of hope.

I do not believe that happiness is a state of mind. I believe that happiness is a momentary state. More slippery than many its contemporaries. Mithering about the lack of happiness in our lives, like feeling regretful is not purposeful nor is it aspirational. It cannot be brought about by desire. It just happens. It is the purist of emotions. An undiluted mix of pleasure & joy.

Contentment is a state of mind, for me. Attainable. Brick by brick we can build ourselves a warm blanket of contentment, safety and security. It is personal. A matter of perspective.

Joy is an emotion we can experience by recall. Of memory. Sparked by music, a song, a letter, a moment past. We can relive. By choice. At our own request.

Pleasure is immediate. Pleasure is Food. Art. Books. Physical. Family. Breathing life. Different pleasures for us all. Pleasure can be cultivated. Seeded. Ploughed and harvested. Replanted. Bought or home grown. Borrowed. Bought. Given away.

A droplet of contentment, a rash of happiness, a storm of joy, a blanket of good fortune or a flush of pleasure.

I wonder which state do you yearn for?


moment by moment.

31 comments:

  1. That's it cherie touts, you grasped it, almost, rather in the way that happiness is an elusive state-a will o the wisp moment. We pursue it relentlessly, becoming depressed when it eludes us, forgetting that Happiness is a word that defines, joy, contentment,delirium,beatitude,blessedness, bliss,cheer,, delight, and all the alphabet to well-being.[according to my Dictionary] so that if one is feeling any one of these emotions, by definition, one is happy.
    How exhausting.

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  2. One without so many full stops, perhaps?

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  3. Anon- if that is a comment on my style of talking, as I write like I think. Talk. Then fine. Tant pis!

    Contentment in my writing.Is mine alone. Not in comments left without the bravery of yourself.

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  4. I strive for peace of mind - whatever that is!

    One thing about happiness. It makes me energetic and it makes me want to share.

    Very deep post girl. Very deep.

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  5. Smashing post. You have a lovely way with words.

    Equilibrium. Being at one with the world, content with my lot, not chasing that which I can't have and being content with what I do have.

    Walking along the river bank with my dearest friend, watching the sunlight sparkle on the water. I said "I cannot imagine being happier than this moment". A fragment. Momentary happiness.

    Pleasure is immediate and reading this post today has given me a small burst of it. The joy will be returning to re-read it and passing it on to others.

    Mad x

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  6. MBNAD- thank you for those words...I am just writing lots of posts to drafts, whic are my thinking really....just a plethora of thinking...whats with this do you reckon? and just like to share it.. it amazes me that anyone understands my posts let alone agrees with it. As with MR/MRS ANON...thank you.

    I do get pleasure from this blog and my fellow bloggers who share also...

    AIMS..yes l think YOU have nailed it, lots of words for peace of mind, as MOannie says if only for a willo wisp of a moment..

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  7. Anons are sad creatures with no real life so they drop stink bombs in others' comment boxes ...pathetic

    AND I love how you write, I feel as if we are chatting ...

    Me, I wish for fulfillment and I get it every time I reach for my camera .. I just hope the results are pleasing to others as much as they are to me

    Have a great weekend, Saz!

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  8. We did it again! Okay, what will it be the third time dear??

    Happiness, I agree, is a fleeting thing. Such a loaded word, almost like "love." For me, it's best to keep my striving down in the manageable range of "serenity." Kind of like what others have said here--it's more like a lack of striving, a willingness to accept life on life's terms and live the serenity prayer, "accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

    Striving actually keeps me separated from what's in front of my nose.

    Loved your post, of course. Thank you so much, fellow traveler.

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  9. Saz, me again...just visited your photography on Red Bubble. Outstanding and lovely! Such wonderful work. I'm impressed with your compositions not using cropping. Lovely and varied and showing your artist's eye.

    xo

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  10. A beautifully written and thought-provoking post. xxx

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  11. Thoreau is mostly right, I think. However, our bodies/minds can be trained to react in good ways or bad ways, to some extent. Just the mere act of smiling (whether you really feel like it or not) will sometimes make you feel a bit happier than you were before.

    (It's true. I thought it was a load the first time I heard it, but I really tried it and found that it works. It won't make you giddy with laughter, but it will make you at least a tad happier.)

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  12. Peace. That's what I want! Peace. I don't mean in the external world, I mean in the internal. Interesting post x

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  13. I'd settle for any of them right now.

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  14. I loved this post, thanks :-)

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  15. Contentment, because with contentment comes peace and joy.

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  16. Saz,

    This is such a thoughtful post...with your lovely words, you prod us all to consider those qualities of life which touch the deepest parts of our souls...I love this Saz. You are poet and philosopher both! I love this! And the words of Thoreau? Beautiful, as well! Thank you for sharing your heart!! It is a treasure! Much love to you~Janine XO

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  17. These are not words I throw around. My words sound more like groans and moans. I'm happy if I have a moment of not feeling bad.

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  18. For me, as it has always been - peace and love... and maybe a hug or two!!! Ah the joy of being a hippy!

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  19. I have met way too many people who always find a reason not to be happy, therefore it believe it is in our power to chose to be happy. I'd rather be happy about the fact that the sun is shining than about not being by the sea where I'd love to be right now. I have come to believe that is important to learn to compartmentalize, to take the moment of pleasure (look how the sunlight is streaming through my window!) than wallowing in what one does not have. The moment when we will not be able to chose will come anyway. Why not steal as much happiness as we can muster right now?

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  20. P.S.:
    Why not ignore Anons, for that matter?

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  21. Merisi- your words resonate around my mind...pure, worthy and thoughtful....thank you for sharing your thoughts...(and yes anon should be ignored, less energy spent the better)


    sally, sul, jo,eliza, kate, dary, pouty- thank you, we are all striving and do need peace, for contentment

    Janine- thank you indeed, you spend such kind words, I sent them right back at you!

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  22. Very inspirational and true~ Thanks for visiting and dropping a line! I'm looking forward to reading some more!

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  23. All of them, I am greedy to live it all, living for each brief moment of pleasure.

    However, with the great highs come the deep lows, so it seems that that is the deal.

    S x

    (love your post, it made me think)

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  24. THIS is such a rocking question!

    I just wrote last night a short poem about melancholy and I was happy for it. (HA!) I was glad that I was in a momentary dip. I saw it for what it was and welcomed it, for it is with the rise that we are granted significance. Tell me no one aspires to be constantly happy. That is just too darned sad.

    My son often gets into funks on the weekend when he reaches a dip. He lets it wash over him and take him and he gives up to it. "But I'm not having fun!" he complains. And I try to explain that no, he's not having fun. Life is not about only having fun. He's having a quiet moment. He should revel in it and when he has fun once again he'll notice just how grand it is.

    What do I yearn for? (Saz, you've got me all worked up this morning.) I've had contentment. I've had so much contentment and it is valuable but only contentment is a sad place to be. I need that storm of joy, as well, and am willing to ride out those dips of melancholy to get me there.

    Wonderful, wonderful you for writing this out!
    xo
    erin
    (PS. Happy day!)

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  25. Just read what Moannie wrote...or, er, her dictionary: delirium,beatitude,blessedness.
    How perfect.

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  26. I would like to have them all everyday in any order. I have found lately that I have been around too many negative people.And it bloody well rubs off.
    So i am back to finding joy in my big daughters phone calls.Pleasure in looking at the mountains ecstacy in taking my bra off
    Hapiness in my husbands bear hugs.
    and if I win the lottery -well thats a whole new level eh lol

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  27. Very well said and right on target: "Contentment is a state of mind, for me. Attainable. Brick by brick we can build ourselves a warm blanket of contentment, safety and security."
    I explore some ancient guidelines on how to add those bricks to build contentment in Journey to Joy. For more information, visit http://amzn.com/144218776X

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  28. What a lovely little post. If I wake up every morning I'm happy.

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  29. There's a quote, isn't there? I believe it's Nathaniel Hawthorne.

    “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you”

    I think most people waste their chance of a contented - and therefore ultimately happy - life, but actively pursuing happiness and neglecting everyday pleasures. By not enjoying the moment. By believing that 'something better' is just around the corner and everyone has it except themseves.

    Wise man, that Nat. ;)

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  30. ok, forgive me...the state i am in currently sort of added another ending to the uplifting quote (to the effect of the butterfly being marvelled over just as is smacked into the windshield of an oncoming car).

    but ultimately, yes...contentment is of greater value because it's a more deep seated thing not requiring momentary gratification. it carries through as an undercurrent on a bad day.

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  31. Simple pleasures sustain me, happiness is a state to live and strive for, living with cancer and a chronic illness I take nothing and no one for granted

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Thanks for stopping by!

Take the weight of your feet, draw up a chair and pour yourself a cuppa. Leave your troubles at the door and together we shall ride out the storms.
I will walk a while in your shoes...

Saz x