It seems that everybody knows what is the happiness,but has different
views about the happiness.Is the happiness all the pleasures of life?
Most people often think :NO MONEY,NO HAPPY.
MONEY,in this world,is all-powerful.It seems that everything depends on MONEY.
It seems that everybody needs MONEY to be HAPPY.Everybody could have money.
But everybody desires to be rich or to become millionaire.With a lot of money,
most people believe that life could be enjoyed fully.Most people have even
learned that the goal of life is all the pleasures!
Plato,a great Greek philosopher,argued that all people desire happiness.
But the problem is how to make happiness.So it is the question about the
knowledge of happiness.
Can we be (really) happy without knowing what is the happiness?
According to Plato,the happiness is the natural consequence of a healthy soul.
He further claimed that because moral virtue makes up the health of the soul,
all people should desire to be virtuous.People sometimes do not seek to be
virtuous,but only because they don’t realize that virtue produces happiness.
For Our Lord Buddha,the happiness is the pre-end of desires,the pre-end of
craving for life.Our Lord Buddha claimed that « When heart has fewer desires,
we have happiness.When desires end,we have peace.»
For Socrates,one of the greatest Greek philosophers,the happiness is simply
the question of justice.It’s not the question of power neither of pleasures.
Anyone who did not commit injustice,is happy.Our objective of life is
« to not commit injustices».
It does not suffice to wish:It is to know.To learn to be just is to be not
unjust.That’s a simple learning,the pratical learning to know about the
justice and the injustice,in order to be just.
To show you his idea above,please read the below dialogue between Socrates
and a man whose name is Pôlos:
Pôlos: But,Socrates,to refute you,it is no good seeking the ancient history!
The events of yesterday and before yesterday suffice amply to prove your error,
and to show that a large number of people committed injustices and live in happiness.
Pôlos: you see the king of Macedoine Archelaos,son of Perdikkas?
Socrates:No,But I heard of him.
Pôlos:Is he happy or unhappy,to your mind?
Socrates:I don’t know ,Pôlos.I din’t meet him yet,that man.
Pôlos:What?If you have met him,you would know?And otherwise,you don’t know?
So now,don’t you know if he is happy or not?
Socrates:Of course not,by Zeus!
Pôlos: Well,Socrates, even the for the great king of the Persian Empire,
you will say that you don’t know if he is happy or not?
Socrates:And I will tell you the truth.Because I don’t know if he got
a good education,neither if he is just.
Pôlos:What? all the happiness are thus there!
Sorcates:As what I told you ,Pôlos.I assure to you that the good men
who knows what is the good,are happy;and those who are unjust and vulgar are unhappy.
Pôlos: So,in your logic,Archelaos is unhappy?
Socrates: If he is unjust,yes,my friend!
But everything is pain, this is the starting point of the Buddhist doctrine.
The birth is suffering, aging is suffering, death is suffering,
grief, lamentation, suffering, sorrow and torment are
pain, union with what we hate is suffering, separation from what we love
is suffering, not getting what one desires is suffering.
So, human life is full of inevitable sufferings.Nobody can escape
the sufferings.The suffering itself comes from the impermanence
According to Soren Kirkegaard,the greatest philosopher of Denmark,
human life is not designed for pleasure.He told us,yet in the time
given to each of us for our own existence, we strive for happiness
in order to escape anxiety and the deep hopeless depression which is
despair.But there is no escape-no matter how pleasurable and comfortable
we make our lives in order to hide from the truth.For the truth is,
Kierkegaard insists,that all of us live anxiety and despair.This is the
universal human condition.We suffer from anxiety even when we are not
aware of it.,and even when there is nothing to fear,nothing in the
objective world to feel anxious about.This is because at bottom,says
Kierkegaard,our anxiety is not objective at all,it is subjective anxiety-
it is the universal fear of something that is nothing,it is the fear of the
nothingness of human life.
Anxiety pervades the works of Soren Kierkegaard(1813-1855),one of the
forerunners of existentialism,who lived out his short life in Denmark
in the first half of the nineteenth century.
“I stick my finger into existence-it smells of nothing.where am I ?
What is this thing called the world? Who is it who has lured me
into the thing,and now leaves me here? Who am I?How did I come into
the world? Why was I not consulted?
For Kierkegaard,the meaninglessness of my existence fills me with
anxiety and with despair, a sense of hopelessness and deep depression.
The life of modern man is lived in despair,he says,and there is no one
who does not have anxiety in the face of his existence.A year before
he died,Kierkegaard summed up the agony of the beginning and end of life:
“Hear the cry of the …mother at the hour of giving birth,see the
struggle of the dying at the last moment: and say then whether that
which begins and that which ends like this can be designed for pleasure.“
So,For Kierkegaard ,the happiness does not exist because human life is lived
in anxiety and despair.Human life would be happy if it could escape
all sufferings,anxiety and despair.We will not have a happy life while
our life could not escape the sufferings.
That is why Lord Buddha set out to find a way to escape from the
sufferings of human life.And what He found is the eightfold path,along
which one must practice right belief,right intention,right speech right
action,right livelihood,right effort,right thinking and right meditation.
The Buddha belived that if one followed these rules,his soul woild be finally
be freed of the bondage of rebirth and would enter Nirvana.Nirvana,according
to the Buddha,cannot be defined but it is the final result of the end of
all earthly desires when the soul finds perfect peace.