Throughout human history, many people have reflected on the concept of happiness. Have you tried it before? During my research, I realized that thinking about happiness (in the philosophical sense of the term) is a difficult task because you don’t know exactly what to look for.
So it is legal for any thinker to ask … What should I focus on and what concepts should I consider when studying happiness? Well, to start thinking about any concept, you have to ask yourself about everything that is not that concept. And even more so if we are dealing with the slippery concept of happiness.
So I did, and I was hoping that, as in a windy process, in which the straw is separated from the grain by throwing the mixture into the air, the breeze would sweep away the bálago (i.e. all what is not happiness) and what interests us, the grain (happiness), would fall into the basket (my mind) leaving it finally uncovered to be processed (analyzed).
What is happiness?
The first mistake is to assume that the social imagination of “happiness” is correct..
When we think of “happiness”, we think of very colorful and bright images of people doing activities in which they seem to have fun, in which these people are free: photos of smiles, of rainbows, of clown nose and crying laughing emoticons. I invite you to take the test, stop reading, and type the word “happiness” into the Google Images search engine. What does this research tell us? Exactly what I described, and if that wasn’t enough, we come up with concepts that could (or should) be related, such as friend, day, birthday, love, family, wedding, Coca-Cola, and a long list. others.
And isn’t that happiness? In part yes, but it also means in part no. That is why we must not let the media or “whatever else says” make us believe that we can only be happy on sunny days, on our birthdays or when we drink Coke.
Since we have been using reason, humans have been using concepts to understand the world, And happiness is just another concept. Has anyone noticed that each company modulates concepts to their liking and convenience ?.
I write all this to make you see that behind the smiles there are tears, that after every day comes the night, and that, hidden under the window of “perfect happiness”, there are many interests that our company has no interest in admitting. Even though it’s now that I realize, the opposite of happiness is unhappiness, and nothing else.
So I suggest that we doubt everything we think we know about “happiness”. if we haven’t thought about it before because it leads us to a confusion which besides the mixing of concepts leads us to live a life of searching for something, we don’t even know what it is.
This is how I sort of unraveled the concept of happiness, in one of my nooks and crannies in the mountains, talking to my uncle when I realized (well, he realized) all of this and the idea. that I called: unhappy joy and happy sadness. I present this idea because I believe that it needs to be clarified once and for all to be sad does not mean to be unhappy. They are parallel concepts that make no sense to compare because they are just not part of the same plan: the first is an emotion and the second is a feeling.
Sadness and unhappiness: a fundamental distinction
Too often, and even more so in psychology, these are confused with the concepts of emotion and feeling, which we could understand with examples like different things: when I walk on the mountain with my dog and see a snake, an intense mental state. occurs in us which arises spontaneously in the limbic system (in charge of emotions) which makes us react with surprise and fear; two fundamental instinctive and adaptive emotions (universal, animal and human) which, in practice, have allowed our species to survive to this day.
When we finish the walk and leave Simba (my dog) home alone, he will feel sad (another basic emotion) but never unhappy, because unhappiness is a feeling that is different from the emotions in which it is achieved by conscious evaluationIn other words, subjecting this emotion to a thought. And that’s something only humans are doing right now, thanks (or unfortunately) to the development of the prefrontal cortex, we use reasoning which, through symbols and meanings they lead our minds to create more complex concepts that animals cannot understand, because until now they have not needed them.
This is why joy is universal but happiness is subjective. We all feel the same, but we don’t all think the same way about how we feel. You understand now?
Ultimately, a person can be very happy but unhappy. This false “good” that we ourselves call would be a good example. And at the same time, a person who, by some unpleasant external event, may feel sad at some point, will be confident that his inner happiness remains in the face of adversity.