Happiness does not consist in pastimes and amusements but in virtuous activities.
The question of “what is happiness?” has eluded most scholars and sages since the beginning of time. In my own personal quest for happiness and the eluding comprehension of what it is, I have always enjoyed the Aristotelian concept of Happiness- as it seems to make more logical sense.
Perhaps happiness is not something that is attainable all of the time. Sometimes, for whatever reason, you wake up and it’s just not there. Logically, it should be; if your life is viewed as a whole and one took into account everything that currently is and has been great. How fortunate we have been to be so abundantly blessed with the things we have had, currently have, and the masses of opportunities available to us.
In the day and age of science and medicine to keep us healthier, and prolong our lives and health- we should be a happier society.
In the age of information to keep us better educated and informed- we should all be happier.
In the day and age that we celebrate the most social freedoms we ever have in history, we should be a happier society.
But what keeps us from a permanent state of happiness?
Perhaps it is not meant to be. Or perhaps- the term of what happiness means is not actually what we all think it means. The current concept may be inaccurate, or at the very least, misunderstood.
The translation of Happiness in the Greek Language is Eudemonia.
The word actually translates in Greek to “Human Flourishing”
Etymologically, it consists of the words "eu" ("good" or “well”) and "daimōn" (a type of supernatural being/the spirit of man/infinite spirit).
As “Eu” is taken from the meaning “GOOD”- one has to consider what “the good” is.
In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle states that eudemonia is the highest good for human beings. The goal of life and the attainment of happiness lie with living a flourishing and virtuous life. Living such a life will have been considered at the end of one’s life- as have lived a happy life. This thought suggests that happiness is not a “thing” to be chased after moment and may not be a feeling to be possessed - but an end result of living a good/virtuous/flourishing life that one can look back at an be proud of.
Now this may be a program I can get behind- doing “good” just so happens to lead (most people) to feeling of happiness almost instantly. Doing good is gratifying- and should be- as long as the good was done in and of itself and for the sake of good. Doing good for the sake of an ulterior motive is not really doing good. So if one leads a “good” and virtuous life- by choosing good and virtuous acts- it may lead to more feelings of momentary happiness and end in Eudemonia at the end of life.
Eudemonia//Happiness//according to ancient Greeks:
Personal growth (intellectual cultivation/spiritual growth), human flourishing, purpose in life, positive relations with other, adhering to civic duty, Golden Rule for the highest good, honesty, being a person of Virtue, displaying generosity, practicing forgiveness. Displaying kindness, living in truth, being loyal, justice seeking, progressive self development and assistance of helping others develop to their fullest potential (when that help is wanted), being trustworthy, and being ethical in all circumstances.