Friday, February 23, 2007

Barbarism and the Pursuit of Happiness

I just used the word "barbarism" in a myspace wall post, and, in the interest of properly maximizing the word's utility, i must harp on it a few sentences longer. The term is robust hyperbole, since its essence implies something much more brutal, even primordially cruel, than the contexts in which we generally refer to something being barbaric. Mosh pits are "barbaric;" east coast-west coast rap wars are "barbaric;" even certain automated kitchen events, if performed either upon or in the presence of a fetus, are "barbaric."
And that's all I have to say about that, but it got something imposing off my chest.
I was reading chapter 9 of Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning," and he made an interesting insight into attaining happiness. He said that the "pursuit of happiness," per se, is futile, since happiness is not something that can be achieved independently. In this way, it is not like wealth, status, relationships, etc. Happiness, rather, is the naturally-occuring by-product of fulfillment and purpose. Finding a purpose, Frankl said, especially a purpose in which one can lose oneself and aid others, will beget happiness.
That, to me, is a comforting notion--we can all take a deep breath, relax, and stop pushing towards happiness. No more unhappiness over not having hapinness. Happiness is an independently operating entity that will either manifest or not, regardless of how hard we wish it to be so. All we've got to do is be good people, try to help others occasionally, and happiness will occur. And, if it doesn't, we can take our anger to Vienna and kick Viktor Frankl's ass.

Stay hope-inducing, inventor of logotherapy,
MC man's search for ultimate breeding

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