Monday, March 26, 2018

Happiness and Depression

Happiness and Depression

“Pleasure may come from illusion. But happiness can come only of reality.” Chamfort

“The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure but to avoid pain.” Aristotle

Depression is mental pain. To overcome depression is neither using medications to numb the pain in the brain, nor to use distractions to avoid the pain. The only way to avoid depression is to understand how and why you might have your depression in the first place, and then use your mind to avoid the pain.

We all want to become happy; without happiness, human existence may become worthless and meaningless. In the human quest for happiness, many choose to avoid unhappiness with distractions—such as going on a vacation, throwing a party, buying an expensive dress, if they have the money; or simply taking alcohol or drugs. But avoiding unhappiness is self-delusional, an unrealistic approach to attaining happiness.

It is important to know the difference between happiness and pleasure.

Pleasure is having fun at a party, the excitement of new experiences, the thrill and passion of sex, or the delights of a fine meal. They are all wonderful life experiences to be cherished and cultivated by any individual, but they are only life pleasures, not human happiness.

But all our wonderful life experiences are only to be enjoyed, and then to be let go of, just as a delicious meal is to be enjoyed, savored, and then to be digested, and ultimately eliminated from the body. Therefore, any life pleasure is fleeting and must be so—if it is to continue to please again in the future.

Happiness, on the other hand, may be less fleeting and more enduring than pleasure; but, still, happiness never lasts forever because nothing in life is permanent, and every thing remains only with that very moment, whether it is happiness or pleasure.

Happiness and pleasure are life experiences to be enjoyed, cherished, and remembered—but they do not last forever. So, you need human wisdom to understand depression and happiness.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

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