Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happiness, Really?

A couple of years ago I did a session on Happiness.  The intent was to talk about Happiness from the standpoint of understanding how Happiness flows from a person's getting their lives in order, forming right relationships with others, with themselves, aligning their goals with their abilities and resources, etc.  Essentially, I wanted the discussion to be an introspective on how a soul lives a Right Life to achieve Right Balance.  There are lots of parts to this, and I wanted to let the discussion range freely, touch on many aspects of the Human Condition, and examine each of our lives to tease out some aspect that might help us create a condition of Greater Happiness.

Somewhere in the discussion something went terribly wrong.  My idea of Happiness was kicked under the bus and I was confronted with the notion that Happiness, actually, was just Right Brain Chemistry, nothing more.  Take a pill and Happiness happens, regardless of anything else. Lithium, Prosac, and who knows what else are all that are really necessary for Happiness, and there is no functional difference between a chemically induced Happiness and whatever a Genuine Happiness might be, if it even exists.  Genuine Happiness may just be a state where brain chemistry is exactly the same as Happiness achieved through modern chemistry, and if this is so, why are we talking about this?

This idea was not unknown to me, but seemed to fly in the face of what BQ was all about.  If philosophical issues could be reduced to the level of simple medical chemistry, in this case, what does that do to the concept of personal responsibility for your actions, and ownership of your condition?  

I've thought about this quite a lot in the time since, and I think it needs to be revisited but with enough background and context to make the discussion productive for all involved.  Think about this and we will get bak to it again.