the Set Point & Happiness Terrorism
they talk about the set point, those professors, professors on happiness. it consists of 50% dna, 10% outer circumstances, and 40% free will- free will to change our view on life.
basically. we have a 40% impact on our mood, our feeling, our general existence, and how it is experienced.
so basically, we have so much power to affect our lives.
now, why the hell are there so many unhappy people in the rich world- for example sweden- and so many accepting, peaceful, strong and calm people in the poor world, for exmample india?
the media in sweden is packed with stories about the suffering of the people. depressions and sadness, loneliness and apathy. and still, we are one of the richest and fairest countries in the world, pretty much free from corruption, pretty much providing basic needs for everyone who wishes to be provided for. and yet- so much unhappiness, so much non-contentedness of life. suffering. psychologists and therapists are having plenty of clients, and the pharmaceutical companies are making big money from all the pills being so liverally prescribed by doctors to the depressed and sad people.
the streets of india are packed with poor people. people missing limbs, mothers, food and shelter. people spending every moment trying to survive. cold at night, wrapped in thin blankets, sleeping with the rats and dogs, not knowing whether they will wake up again. and yet- so much joy, so much acceptance, so much strength. power inside a thin little malnourished body, a spark of life, a feeling of wanting to survive, of wanting to go on.
when we have to spend each day fighting for survival, there is no time to feel depressed, sad, or lonely. there are more urgent matters to tend to. the basic necessities need to be fulfilled- before that, there is no space in life to think further.
for the swede, life is provided for already. everything is organised, there is plenty of food and water- just open the tap or the fridge and it is there, abundantly, for us. we do have time and space to think about the rest. we want something more. some meaning. we want constant happiness, like the type we are force-fed on TV and through commercials and happy endings and ever-afters. because this, my life, can surely NOT be IT? surely, there must be more to life? i thought i was supposed to be eternally happy!
happiness has become the norm that we expect to live by.
so why don't we appreciate all the wonderful things that we have? why can't we be happy with all this hot water and fresh food that we have? why are we so unhappy? most people living on the streets of india would kill for our lives. why don't we realise that?
the economic development of the human soul is tearing us apart. it brings us to a state of constant dissatisfaction. when we don't have to go out and get it, we settle into a routine of being comfortable with what we have- and yet- we want more. but of course, we never want less. we always want to keep holding onto what we already gained. we will not give up what we already have.
i heard this professor speak on the radio about the "set point". a human brain has a set point, to different degrees. it is about how fast we get used to a higher standard in life- and how quickly we take it for granted and start to desire more.
we may long for a certain thing in life; like a car. when we get the car, finally, we feel happy, we love it, it makes us smile... but after a certain period of time, the set point has neutralized the happiness and the car has become an everyday object, only now being a comfort, taking us to work and back. it no longer brings instant joy. and we are already on the lookout for another car, bigger and better and flashier.
the buddha talked mostly about the human condition being a state of suffering, due to our constant desire for more in life. i guess this is the same thing as what the modern scientists call the set point of the brain. always on the lookout for more; and when we get more, we are never satisfied- we go look for even more, and yet more again. a constant hunt for more, desiring more and new and different and fresh.
the search for more, the desire for more than we already have. the human state- probably the reason for us still being here, and so many of us, at that. our constant drive ahead for more, more and more.
finding the beauty on this path, through this forest of life, is hard...but it surely has to be the meaning of life? to stop and enjoy the longing, see the poetry in the unknowing, create art from our desires.
"only unfulfilled love can be romantic"