The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Is Sadness the Default Emotional State for Every Being and Happiness a Temporary Sensory Plane on Which All Try Hard to Be and Maintain Being There?

Or, Is Sadness the Permanent Emotional State in Which Every Being Exists and Happiness Only a Temporary State of Mind or Emotion—the Ultimate or Ideal Feeling which We Try Hard to Possess But Never Will?

In June 2004, my friend writer Andrea Duerme and I had a ponderous chat, which delved chiefly on one concept of SADNESS; that is, "Sadness is the default emotional state in which all beings exist."

From the discourse, we were able to draw some insightful statements worth pondering and considering.

Take note, however, that our intent is NOT to claim the ideas we drew as absolute truths but to present them statements as ONLY additional points to ponder. For, in the end, each of ourselves remains to be the conjuror of our own beliefs and the makers of our own decisions. In short, everything we learn from others should be only valid points to consider and not absolute truths to believe in.

For, according to the Austrian-born philosopher Paul Feyerabend (1924–1994), "science [as well as philosophy] is always revolutionary, since what drives scientific research is the competition provided by a plurality of alternative theories"; and

as in "Invictus," by the British poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903):

Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

Here are the general statements drawn from the insightful discourse, as itemized by Andrea. And after each item I inserted the actual portion of the chat trail from where it originated:

1. Since humans constantly try to "find" or "attain" happiness, the state of happiness is foreign to the natural human state.

"...human beings are naturally and normally despondent...happiness is the state which needs pain and effort in order to be attained, whereas sadness is the state where we always are...."—eLf

2. The happiness that humans believe to find are and will always be temporary since nothing can ultimately and permanently keep them happy, considering their complexities and everchanging needs and desires.

"...humans are too complex to find a kind of happiness that will satisfy them completely."—A.D.

3. If humans have indeed been born sad, then safe it is to state that 'sadness' is the neutral plane onto which they gravitate after experiencing a 'happiness high.'

"...or is sadness only the default state from where every being strives to escape?"—eLf

4. Whether they realize it or not, humans find more substance in sadness than in happiness, for sadness is the feeling that naturally resides within themselves.

"Happiness is just like a leisure trip; to be sad is to be home."—A.D.

5. Sadness is the default state and the starting point of human existence, and the fragments of circumstances that make humans happy are only a means of temporary escape from this state.

"...happiness often arises after bouts of pain and suffering...thus, every being is after all naturally sad."—eLf

6. Since it is not lasting, happiness could then be measured not by its longevity but by its frequency (or the number of times it existed in one person's lifetime.)

"...happiness isn't measured by its longevity; it's measured by how many times it came our way."—A.D.

7. Struggling to achieve a state of happiness is a way of feeling active or alive.

"People keep on working to attain that feeling of being happy because it eliminates the feeling of being stagnant."—A.D.

8. Most of the time, a human's experience of happiness is exaggerated by the intensity of his/her anticipation of that particular experience.

"the happiness that people attain every now and then are actually fueled by illusions of its intensity."—A.D.

I am ending this article with a theoretical answer to the probably universal

"Why do we always find ourselves more expressive (and as poets, more prolific) when we are sad than when we are happy?"

"We find so much more meaning in sorrow because that's our natural state. Happiness is just like a leisure trip. To be sad is to be home." For, if happiness is indeed humankind's default state, why then are we always in pursuit of it—and of ways to make life better for all of us?

– June 2004, while listening to "The Skyscrapers of St. Mirin" by Close Lobsters (What Is There to Smile About?; 1988, Enigma Records)


  • At Saturday, February 26, 2005 7:39:00 AM, Blogger vayie said…

    I asked that to a friend and she said that sadness might really be the default emotional state. But that's kinda...sad.

  • At Sunday, February 27, 2005 5:43:00 AM, Blogger Free Ezine Articles said…

    hmmm I agree with sadness as the default emotional state but it will also be affected and depending on the environment you grow, live and mature.

  • At Sunday, February 27, 2005 1:38:00 PM, Blogger eLf ideas said…

    The very reason that to achieve and maintain humanity is indeed a feat, because we should always be persevering in trying to be happy, as well as to be kind and good at all times--just a little ripple in our characters slips us back to the default state--evil and sadness.

    In view of this we should always be on guard of each of our own characters--how we think, treat others, and consider everyone and everything around us.

    Life is indeed a struggle...a never-ending struggle to achieve humanity.

  • At Monday, February 28, 2005 5:58:00 AM, Anonymous subwater said…

    ... and the default direction of life is ... death.

    but, why stick to defaults when you can customize and have options?

    btw, i have a two year old son, and his default emotional state is "exploration and joy" ... have we adults changed our default? when? ... i'm trying to reprogram mine :)

  • At Monday, February 28, 2005 12:31:00 PM, Blogger eLf ideas said…

    Nice to read that your two-year-old-son's default state is exploration and joy. I think it has something to do with having a parent like you.

    I, too, have always been living my life by my own customized ideals.

    Good luck!


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