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Definition of Happiness - What is Happiness?

Happiness is a conscious subjective experience of an emotion, or more precisely, a particular type of emotion or emotions.

 

OK, but: What does this mean?

 

 See: The Exact Definition of Happiness (pop up window)

 

...and find out why it's not the goal or purpose of life,

nor something you have to pursue. why? (pop up window)

 

Happiness is not the purpose of life!

You can certainly find a large number of proposed "definition of happiness" throughout human history. Often and commonly considered a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, satisfaction, pleasure or joy with a variety of philosophical, religious, psychological, spiritual and biological approaches to identify its source.

Here are some examples of what others have said about what is happiness:

"Happiness is man's greatest aim in life. Tranquility and rationality are the cornerstones of happiness." - Epicurus

"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence." - Aristotle

"Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness." - Sophocles

"Happiness is mostly a by-product of doing what makes us feel fulfilled." - Dr. Benjamin Spock

"Happiness is generally described as a sense of well-being or satisfaction with your life." - Modern Psychologists

Sigmund Freud believed that man is doomed to chronic unhappiness. Theodor Adorno believed that happiness is a mere temporary mental escape from misery. (Poor Freud and Adorno!)

 See more examples (pop up window) or go to Happiness Quotes page.

 

How could we define happiness?

Many consider that happiness cannot be defined; therefore, all talk about happiness is mere rhetoric, it can not be measured and that lasting happiness is not possible.

Since the word "happiness" has many different meaning and these meaning are often mixed up, the concept has a reputation of being elusive and is mainly associated with "quality of life" or "well-being." In this meaning, it denotes that life is good, but does not specify what is good about life.

Let's see what a definition really is, and how we could precisely define happiness:

A definition is a statement expressing, describing, explaining, or making definite and clear the essential nature of something.

A definition of happiness should, therefore, explain and make clear what the essential nature of happiness is.

None of the above examples really describes the inherent qualities or basic constitution of that something we call happiness. What is happiness then? The aim of life? The purpose of life? Tranquility? Wisdom? A by-product of doing something? Well-being? All of them?

In order to reach a more precise definition of happiness we have to establish something first:

Axiom: a proposition which doesn't need to be proved or demonstrated but considered to be a self-evident true that serves as a starting point from which other statements are logically or naturally derived. An axiom cannot be derived by principles or deductions, nor are demonstrable by mathematical means, simply because they are starting points; there is nothing else from which they logically follow. (e.g. "The whole is greater than the parts")

An axiom, or a self-evident assumption, is commonly used in all branches of science as "fundamental truths" from which other things are derived and understood.

Happiness, axiomatically speaking, IS an emotion. Which is a self-evident truth for all of us.  Being happy is to "feel a very pleasurable and characteristic emotion."

 

Happiness is NOT the goal or purpose of life, nor something you have to pursue.

                   why (pop up window)

Definition of Happiness

The following, therefore, could be a basic technical definition of happiness or explanation of what happiness is:

 

 

Happiness is a conscious subjective experience of an emotion, or more precisely, a particular type of emotion or emotions.

 

Don't be deceived. This is not as simple as it may sound.

Later, we'll reach to a more specific definition of happiness when we study what the essential nature of emotions really is.

 

       The Exact Definition of Happiness (pop up window)

 

We can all agree, axiomatically and by our own experience, that happiness is a conscious subjective experience of an "emotion" which produces certain mental and physiological sensations of "feeling good" to an individual.

This is not just a change of words. To understand what the essential nature of happiness is we must understand what the essential nature of emotion is. Just like to understand what "color" is we have to understand what "light" is.

A change of words is to say happiness is contentment, satisfaction, pleasure or joy - for ALL of them are some type of emotion.

There are many types of emotions, each producing certain mental and physiological sensations or "feeling" to an individual.

Other emotions, besides happiness and many more, are: Fear, Apathy, Grief, Sadness, Boredom, Enthusiasm, Exhilaration, Joy, etc, etc.

What is then the difference between, for example, fear emotion  and sadness emotion? Or between enthusiasm and apathy?

Or between the emotion of happiness and all other emotions? What is happiness that other emotions are not? - What is the true definition of happiness?

 

What is emotion?

The key to understand happiness resides in understanding what emotion is.

There is no other way.

This is a very good thing, because we will not only understand what happiness is but also what fear is or, what apathy or boredom is, and so on.

To know the essential nature of happiness - to completely define it - we need to study the essential nature of emotions.

So, What is Emotion?

Or, you may go to:

What is Energy?

The Purpose of Life

What is My Life Purpose?

The Meaning of Happiness

 How can I increase my frequency?

 

 

 


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