Recently my friend writer Andrea Duerme and I had a ponderous chat, which dwelled 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 the 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.
For according to Paul Feyeraband (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 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 can only arise out 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 question "Why do we always find ourselves more expressive (and as poets, more prolific) when we are sad than when we are happy?" Answer: "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 happiness--of ways to make life better for all of us?
- June 2004; Surrey, British Columbia, Canada While listening to "The Skyscrapers of St. Mirin" by Close Lobster ('What Is There to Smile About?,' 1988, Enigma Records)