Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happiness is the by-product of a life

John Stuart Mill wrote: happiness is the by-product of a life, not something that can be pursued head on. ‘The only chance is to treat, not happiness, but some end external to it, as the purpose of life.’ He advised giving up the habit of scrutinising your life to see whether your enjoyment of it is rising or falling, for only then might you have the chance to ‘inhale happiness with the air you breathe, without dwelling on it or thinking about it, without either forestalling it in imagination, or putting it to flight by fatal questioning.’ ...happiness becomes a primarily concern in a society that can't cope with being frustrated, though frustration should be a right prior to the right to pursue happiness, since without frustration there is no passion, and passion is beyond mere happiness. - Mark Vernon

1 comment:

  1. Okay, well, a person that wants to dwell on their life... on a past? as you say, might need to do that instead of such great spontaneity as suggested that brings unhappiness, too. To quote Hamlet further, from a previous post, which is also the AA motto, "...and above all else to thine own self be true"...