December 24th, 2002

Vexen Crabtree 2015

Search for Happiness

Read essay online and leave comment here

Some excerpts:

When the truth is dangerous, is it more worthwhile to hide the truth? If ignorance is bliss, and those of Orwell's 1984 are truly happy, how is it that we think truth should be revealed even when they make people unhappy? Truth isn't inherent in happiness and vica versa: Who is better, they who promote truth over happiness, or happiness over truth? In society, in general, I would say that philosophers, mystics, materialists and freethinkers have pursued truth despite the danger to happiness, and the masses nearly always (sometimes ignorantly) pursued happiness whether or not they are also pursuing truth. The adoption of doubt as a central tenet causes the above questions to become mute, as will be shown.

[...] Colin Wilson's The Outsider concludes that those who are made unhappy through the search for truth are reconciled with happiness through peak experiences, random moments of happiness to which they hold on to and keep in their minds, and therefore that those who are naturally happy, such as me, are those who generate peak experiences. For me, these can include random solitary walks through London, computer games, online debates, creating web pages... these things also are what I consider to be some of the best reasons for my life, simple as they are.[...]

What are your peak experiences and points of life?