David Worboys – Oh, happy days!

Feelings of happiness can arise from seeing our team win

In the UK, after Brexit and many years of government ineptitude, there is not enough money. But these problems pale into insignificance with the global issues confronting all of us. Concerns about climate change, artificial intelligence, transgender, wars, famine and drugs raise the question: can we be happy on Earth? And how should we define “happiness”.

The joy at acceptance of a marriage proposal or passing an exam is a kind of transitory happiness. Likewise, delight at the birth of a baby and the kindness of another person.

A life of comfort (financial security, physical health and freedom), enjoyment (food, sex and material possessions), experience (art, travel and activity) and opportunity (charity and self-development) may bring satisfaction and gratitude but not true happiness.

The purest and most enduring happiness tends to be contentment or peace of mind, preferably in a  loving environment. When we die, we are at peace – likewise, when we sleep. It is only when we awaken that we are aware of having had a dream. Whilst asleep we lose the five senses, because we don’t need them. So, do we experience in sleep a blissful reunion with departed loved ones in a heavenly world, of which we have no recollection upon awakening? Does anybody really know?

For Christians, there is comfort in belief in life after death. This belief cannot be substantiated – it can only be sensed. It is in human nature to dismiss as invalid anything lacking hard evidence. This means that our existence tends to be dominated by reason (by thought) to the exclusion of sensing.

Body and mind are a temporary expression of ourself, without which the spirit could not progress. Extinction of species is a vital part of evolution. The same applies to the extinction of a corporeal existence on Earth.

The soul departs from its body in preparation for its next phase of advancement. We don’t actually know this, but either we sense it or we don’t. When called to leave our terrestrial shell, we should reflect on our sins of thought, word, deed and neglect. We don’t know what awaits us.

It is said that classical music bypasses language and reason and goes straight to the soul. In the same way, so does our sense that we are something more than ephemeral, perishable bodies. Without water, air and sunlight there would be no life. Without space there would be no objects. Without silence there would be no sounds. And without our connection to the universal energy we would not exist.

Given the blessings of reasonable physical and mental health, during our first forty years our greatest asset is youth. Thereafter, our greatest asset becomes time.

During youth, happiness derives from perceived “success” and having fun. As we age, we can find deeper happiness in appreciation of the wonders of nature, our planet and the universe, together with the kinder side of humanity. Beethoven conveys this in his Sixth and Ninth Symphonies.

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Written by

David Worboys

Offering a unique insight into everything from politics to food to sport, David is one of the Euro Weekly News´ most popular columnists.