Sunday, 19 October 2014

Byronic unhappiness

The Conquest of Happiness, Bertrand Russel: Chapter 2
The man who acquires easily things for which he feels only a very moderate desire concludes that the attainment of desire does not bring happiness. If he is of a philosophic disposition, he concludes that human life is essentially wretched, since the man who has all he wants is still unhappy. He forgets that to be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness. 
In the second chapter, Russel talked about some philosophers who take unhappiness as something natural that men of higher order have. He believed that reason does not stand in a way of happiness. There's indeed a way to be chart a life based on wisdom and still be happy. There are those who think life is the same thing over and over again, wake up in the morning, go to work, do what needs to be done and go back to one's family. He argued that life exist of vast unexplored areas. 
Go out into the world; become a pirate, a king in Borneo, a labourer in Soviet Russia; give yourself an existence in which the satisfaction of elementary physical needs will occupy all your energies. 
What Russel said is right. The world is not limited to just ourselves and our surrounding. When we feel bored with our life, there are always things that we can do. We can learn foreign languages, take up classes to improve ourselves, travel abroad to see the world out there or immerse ourselves in the writing of the men since time immemorial. We should not limit ourselves to self-imposed imaginary limits. Go out and explore!

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