The Methodology for Happy


“It is not possible to live happily if one does not lead a beautiful, righteous and wise life, or to lead a beautiful, righteous and wise life if one is not happy.”  Epicurus (341-270 B.C.)

To be happy, is it better to take care of others first or to put yourself first?

Ethically, what is the answer to that question?

From what I understand the role of ethics from a Buddhist perspective is to free all beings, including oneself from momentary and longterm suffering and to foster the ability to help others to do so.

In other words, if ethics is the science of happiness then here is some of the methodology.

  • False beliefs produce unnecessary pain; among them, that the gods will punish us and that death is something to be feared.
  • There are necessary and unnecessary desires. Necessary desires, like wanting to be free from bodily pain, help in producing happiness, whereas unnecessary desires, like desiring a bigger car or a more luxurious meal, typically produce unhappiness
  • The aim is not the positive pursuit of pleasure but rather the absence of pain,  which is freedom from all worry
  • Happiness is not a private affair: it can be more readily achieved in a society where like-minded individuals band together to help inspire one another’s pursuit of happiness

This is just a top of my head/bottom of my inkwell kind of posting.

12 thoughts on “The Methodology for Happy

  1. I had to think about this one overnight, which is the sign of a great post and comments and also that it was too late for me to get my brain into gear.
    From my experience, happiness isn’t something you can or should necessarily pursue as an end in itself but is an outcome or by-product of the journey.
    Having a reason to live, a sense of meaning or purpose has been shown time and time again to help people overcome enormous suffering and hardship and yet find contentment. This is where helping others seems to come into it. You hear of parents experiencing the heartbreak of losing a child and channelling that loss into preventing other families from going through the same thing.
    When you are looking out instead of looking in, you also realise that you are not the only one experiencing suffering and loss and with any luck, you will also see those who have risen out of the ashes to give you hope. On the other hand, if you just focus on your own grief, you can sink real quick.
    What I have also found though is that people need acknowledgement of their troubles before they can move on…either by themselves or someone else. Otherwise, metaphorically speaking, the thorn is still stuck in their foot.
    These are things I have picked up living with a severe life-threatening illness. I am a mother of young kids who thank goodness aren’t as young as they were and it had been an incredible ordeal at times not knowing if I was going to pull through. My love for them and their need for me has fueled my fight and now I’m back in remission. Not bad after 10 years.
    xx Rowena


    • Thanks Rowena for sharing such refreshing and honest insight. I too could sleep on this and respond and rationalize – however, if you don’t mind I am going to just enjoy your comment, pick up little pieces of learning from it, nod my head from time to time and think “yep, I totally agree” alternating with “I can empathize”. The great thing about writing about the journey of life is to get it out of my mind and for the experience to just be and this is a great way for me to reconnect with what really matters and what is just noise. Thank you so much again for a brilliant perspective. Wishing you wellness. pleasant surprises and laughter. xx Harlon

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A post like this is good for putting suppositions in plain view, so we can react to them and then wonder why we react as we do. Do we agree or disagree? And why? I find I learn a lot like that, and this post gave some wonderful reflective opportunity.

    Hope you are well, Harlon!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Michael, glad you had a bit of a “time out” with this. I wrote it upon reflecting on some writing about ethics, so I tried to put together what I think I got out of it – so it is very much open to interpretation and then the interpretations of our interpretations. 🙂 Peace, Harlon

      Liked by 1 person

  3. From personal experience, we need to take care of ourselves and love ourselves before we can do the same for people. Our own happiness radiates into the lives of others, without working at making them happy….if that makes sense? ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Makes sense to me – I wrote this in response to something I had read which I sort of agreed with and sort of different so I wanted to see how it would come out if I took my spin on it. Maybe this post should have ended up on the editing room floor but what I did take out of it, and that I am questioning and applying in my life is; in order to love another, I should be able to love myself first. Peace, Harlon

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, you’re right, self-love is the priority. I had to learn that after 40 years, and it’s made life so much better. I woke up this morning and decided that I am going to go on a ‘spiritual journey’, an awakening. I believe it is the next phase in my healing ♥ xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello gorgeous,

    I will have to think about this post; I am just not sure what I think/feel about it.

    In the third paragraph an IS is missing after the IT. I would put a colon before the bullets and end each bullet with a semi colon which is the old fashioned way.

    I have not uttered a word to anyone today – no interactions with any humans. Did pass a few people on my walk but it is very rare for anyone to say anything to a stranger on the street (I also might be a little scary in the daylight attired in a black long overcoat). Spent quite a bit of time today puttering around the house which is one of my favourite things to do. I am starting to prepare for the painting next Saturday and have been moving around some pictures.

    Let’s talk tomorrow night. I should be home at 9:00 pm at the latest. If there are any changes I will let you know. If we are feeling a little crazy we could Skype. I am wondering if Skype will work when I am on my VPN; I think it should but not entirely sure.

    I am currently listening to Beyonce and was quite pleased that my love song (from one of those crazy quizes on Facebook) was *Crazy Love.*

    Hope you sleep well, my sweet.



    On 6 March 2016 at 00:08, A Patient Voice wrote:

    > Harlon posted: ” “It is not possible to live happily if one does not lead > a beautiful, righteous and wise life, or to lead a beautiful, righteous and > wise life if one is not happy.” Epicurus (341-270 B.C.) To be happy, is it > better to take care of others first or to” >

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think we must start with ourselves. To be happy we have to like ourselves. Once we achieve that it’s so much easier to like others and be happy with them and make them happy too. As we make others happy we become happier and the world improves by being a happier more helpful place.
    We need to learn to appreciate, enjoy and celebrate the differences between us and stop fearing them so that we are happy in the company of all and not just those like ourselves.

    Liked by 2 people

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