The industry to create happiness and positive thoughts is a large industry whose value is estimated at 11 billion USD per year. This industry has helped create the illusion that happiness is an attainable goal.
Chasing the dream of happiness is an American-style concept that is exported throughout the world through pop culture.
Unfortunately, this hope is not in accordance with the reality of life. When we succeed in meeting all our material and biological needs, sustainable happiness will remain theoretical and difficult to understand the goal.
Abdurrahman III, Caliph of Córdoba in the tenth century, experienced this. He was one of the most powerful men of his time, had military and cultural achievements, and gained worldly pleasure from two harems. However, towards the end of his life, Abdurrahman III decided to count the number of days he felt happy. He counted there were only 14 days.
Happiness, according to the Brazilian poet, Vinicius de Moraes, is “feathers that float in the air. He flies fast, but not for long. ”
“Happiness only real when shared”
Happiness is a human invention, abstract ideas that do not exist in real human life experiences.
Positive and negative feelings do exist in the brain, but continued happiness has no basis in biology. In my opinion, ironically, this fact is actually something that is happy.
Humans are not designed to be happy, or even satisfied. Instead, we are designed primarily to survive and multiply, like every other creature in the world.
Nature prevents the emergence of satisfaction because satisfaction will reduce our awareness of the threat of survival.
In fact, evolution has prioritized the development of the frontal lobes in our brain (which gives us the ability to decide and analyze very well) rather than developing the natural ability to feel happy.
Certain brain areas and circuits have neurological and intellectual functions. But, happiness cannot be found in brain tissue; happiness is just a neurological basis.
Even experts in this field argue, the inability of nature to eliminate depression in the evolutionary process is because depression plays an important role in difficult times.
(Though depression is detrimental in terms of survival and reproduction.)
Depressed individuals will be helped to break away from risky situations and situations that are clearly unfortunate. Deep thinking that occurs during depression also helps solve problems during difficult times.
Today’s global industry of happiness is rooted in the law of Christian morality. We are told that the unhappiness we experience is caused by our moral deficiencies, for example, because we are selfish and materialist.
We are asked to achieve a good psychological balance by rejecting, letting go, and withholding desires. In fact, these methods are only looking for bidders; we don’t have the innate ability to enjoy life constantly. In these ways, we console ourselves by saying that unhappiness is not our fault. Whereas unhappiness stems from our natural biological design; unhappiness is in our blueprint.
Those who agree that the moral path is the right path to happiness reject the shortcut to happiness through the help of psychotropic drugs. George Bernard Shaw said: “We do not have the right to enjoy happiness if we are not able to create happiness; just as we are not entitled to enjoy wealth if we are not able to produce wealth “.
Well-being seems to be sought; this is to prove that welfare is not natural. The characters in the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley live happily with the help of “soma”, a drug that makes them obedient but peaceful.
In the novel, Huxley implies that free humans must be tormented by difficult emotions. If the choice is emotional torment or peace in silence, I think people will choose the second.
But “soma” is not real; so the problem is not because achieving soothing satisfaction through chemicals is against the law, but because it’s not possible.
Chemicals change the state of mind (sometimes it can be useful), but because happiness cannot be linked to specific functional patterns of the brain, happiness cannot be made chemically.
Our feelings are mixed, not clear, messy, tangled, and sometimes contradictory; just like our lives. Research has shown that relative positive and negative emotions can appear side by side in the brain. This model shows that the right hemisphere of the brain tends to process negative emotions, while the left handles positive emotions.
So it should be remembered, that we are not designed to be happy constantly. Instead, we are designed to survive and reproduce. Because of this difficult task, we are destined to keep on trying and struggling, seeking satisfaction and security, resisting threats and avoiding pain.
Emotions compete with one another and bring pleasure and pain side by side; this model is more suitable to the reality of our lives.
Pseudo-happiness that industry is trying to sell is not right for us. In fact, regard pain, no matter how small or large, as something abnormal or disease, it will foster feelings of weakness and frustration.
“There is no such thing as happiness” might sound negative. But, at least we know that dissatisfaction is not due to our failure.
If we are sometimes unhappy, it is not a deficiency that must be overcome immediately, as recommended by “happy science teachers”. That uncertainty is what makes us human.