Archive for happiness

Sensible Sensuality, Rather Than Asceticism

Posted in Health & Fitness, Pagan, Philosophy, Religions, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2017 by Drogo

Sensuality vs Asceticism, a Subjective Dichotomy

Sensualists, or heathen hedonists as some prefer, believe that it is natural and good to satisfy ourselves. Sensuality in moderation means being in harmony with compassion and passion; but in the extreme a voracious hedonist will pay for their excess if their addictive craving hurts others and toxins result in abundance. Sensuality simply means receiving pleasure from our senses, as a natural and healthy practice for happiness.

Ascetics are religiously dogmatic abstinence purists, that view all indulgences as wrong. How one defines indulgences as abuse rather than satisfying means to temporal ends, determines how extreme their discipline. For example, if a person is hungry should they eat until they are full, or always eat the smallest possible amount? In Christianity the concept of Sin is used, to incite guilt and punishment for breaking the ascetic rules. In Buddhism, monastic obedience to the rules often uses similar corporal punishment, without having their own word for what essentially amounts to the same thing as “sin”. In monasteries asceticism goes beyond self-discipline, as hierarchy must maintain ordered control, for the rules to mean anything.

There are spiritual arguments for both Life paths, however some of us are biologically inclined and nurtured towards one way more than another. Some of us see nothing wrong with basing our lives around caring for sexual beings and accepting that sexuality is not only a biological instinct but also when respectful and compassionate is one of the highest pleasures. Others reject mammalian nature due to abuse, manipulation, and suffering caused by desire and attachment. To mentally abstain from sexuality can be easy for those with strong reptile instincts, but as might be the case for most who repress feelings, our neocortex uses a function Freud called the super-ego to deny our more id and ego impulses. In a similar way, some people believe we should express ourselves to be healthy, while others have believed we should suppress ourselves to be healthy. Most reasonable people use moderation rather than extremes, which ever label they use to describe themselves. Sensualists can have a pleasurable happy sufficient life, without being ruined by hedonistic uncontrollable urges; just as Ascetics can participate in common life, without starving or forcing others to starve by abstaining from compassion. Sensible satisfaction is a key to common happiness.

“Fill your belly.

Day and night make merry.

Let days be full of joy.”

– Siduri to Gilgamesh

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[note: will add hunter-prey, abuser-victim dichotomy complexity later, this essay assumes healthy sexuality, not abuse which can make asceticism much more appealing as defense for victims that view anyone who enjoys sex, like Dr. Ruth, as a predator or sick pervert, only one step removed from a molester. Connect to Epicurus.]

Some Thoughts on Appearance

Posted in Health & Fitness, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2016 by Drogo

For those that are too hard on themselves, but are able to be good to others; be content that you are ok as you are now. Growth and death are natural organic processes, that will happen with or without our conscious help. This is the mystery of internal will-power and external ‘higher’-powers. The secret to this mystery is if we are empathetically connected with life around us, our subconscious will do the hard work for us, of growing our mind ; it comes with open expanded awareness. Winning or losing need not disrupt our peace of mind and happy contentment, that we can already have; in part by our ability to be good to others, because other people may want to return our favors in order to keep receiving from us or reward us for giving. Not all promises can be kept, however. Therefore, self-generated happiness is critical to sustained contentment and joy.

Take time out to smile for yourself.

Many of us spend hours working on how we look, or thinking about how we look, or worrying about how we feel about how we look to others. All of that matters less than who we are to ourselves, and who we are to people that love us for who we are.

The cover of your book may look good, but the real book is in the inside content. People may judge your book on your cover, and may even buy it because of the cover art; however it is the people that love the book because you wrote it that matters most, even if there is no cover.

How we find success and happiness

Posted in Psychology, Religions with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2014 by Drogo

We can only truly be happy the more we take steps to become closer to our spiritual source in the Universe. The closer we go towards one-ness and unity. It can be done through the purest forms of religion, although the organized structural part of it may take us away at times. I mean, through religion people have the opportunity to connect to their personal source of consciousness whether they realize it or not. Religion can be a tool to get to more consistent achievement, satisfaction, and joy. However, once ‘there’ in our spiritual hearts, religion can become a concrete form of rigid dogmatic belief, which often has been used to create personal guilt, neighborly strife, foreign persecution, and World conflict.

We know we can go into churches, books, hearts, and minds to find success and happiness. Since we know where to go to seek happiness all the discussion is about HOW to get there. Artists reach points in their performances where they cease to be operating as an individual, and reach a higher place of being (consciously and sub-consciously) while playing their music. Athletes get to a place where they let go of their conscious efforts, and operate as if their sport is being done for them. Striving to get to this place where we feeling immense union, love, and harmony can be done through numerous ways in the human experience. The true key to happiness is to pursue a path that will be able to bring you there (rather than away). Your investment must become deeply committed.

Secondly, in our need to return to one-ness, we can be lead to oppose separate-ness, or experiences that further create individualism. Wars, fighting, violence power struggles, control all are experiences because of separation. Therefore, as a way of ‘how’ to proceed towards success and happiness is to invest your life energies into the opposite from that which sets us ‘apart’. Involvement with peace making, environmental stewardship, conflict resolution, physical, emotional and energy healing, music & all art forms are all meaningful operations that lead towards greater happiness and success.

None of us live in a vacuum, and we certainly are individuals capable of either self-awareness or selfish greed, or both; we can change our minds and act against our best interests even during the course of a day. The 3rd dimensional material world and ego-mind play out here. We all have the choice to live in suffering, or to move towards union with a source. I think we must consider shifting our lives and activities away from ego-dominated selfish pursuits or single-minded competitive aspects; but more-so to meaningful unifying humanitarian measures to further our collective existence together.

written by Sir Jeffy the Spiritual Psychologist

edited by Drogo Empedocles

Ultimate Responsibility

Posted in Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , on February 25, 2014 by Drogo

Many people believe that we are entirely responsible for our own lives, happiness, and everything that happens to us. “No Excuses!”

I can think of a few excuses; like torture and illness. But yeah if we dont kill ourselves asap, then everything that happens to us is on us i guess…  since our brains make effects. Interconnectedness certainly plays a part too though….

I am not entirely convinced that we are ultimately responsible for everything we experience, but we certainly have some control in some areas; yet NO CONTROL in other areas.

Clues to Happiness

Posted in Medical, Philosophy, Spiritual with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2013 by Drogo

Here are some Psychological and Chemical Clues to Happiness

Think of something that makes you happy, so much that it feels real as a meditation.

Missing a friend is an uncomfortable feeling, like a missing connection in a machine; it messes with our functioning. So feel those good feelings that they make you feel, even if it makes you cry. Do not be afraid of your own feelings.

Now let’s think about the Emotional ‘Heart’ aspects of our brain / body:

Adrenalin (Epinephrine) – neuro-transmitter hormone that stimulates body functions like heart-rate, blood-pressure, and metabolism. Adrenalin is released by stress and causes the emotion fear. It can also aid in memory retention. ‘Adrenalin junkies’ may be addicted to the endorphins simultaneously released.

Endorphins – neuro-transmitter chemical produced by the brain during exercise, pain, eating spices, sex, and the ‘feeling’ of ‘love’. The exhilaration produced can be beneficial for happiness, pain-relief, and further enhance love as euphoria.

Dopamine – neuro-transmitter chemical that sends ‘reward’ signals between nerve cells during pleasurable and painful activities or thoughts. Dopamine has prime roles in reward-motivated behavior, excitement, hormone production, and nervous-system dexterity / agility (‘motor-skills’). Dopamine also affects blood vessels, kidneys, pancreas, digestive-system, and the immune-system.

Dopamine-activating stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamine, and meth-amphetamine amplify the effects of dopamine. Conversely, many anti-psychotic drugs act by suppressing the effects of dopamine. Drugs that act against dopamine are anti-nausea agents.

Oxytocin – neuromodulator hormone in brain and blood. Causes complex emotions of trust, attachment, euphoria, and morality. Produced by sexual/reproductive activities and compassionate exchanges like hugging.

Serotonin –  neuro-transmitter chemical in the digestive-system (bowels), nervous-system (CNS), and circulatory-system (blood platelets) derived from tryptophan and melatonin. Serotonin affects healing, happiness, and contentment. Serotonin also affects alpha / beta behaviors, and ‘flight-or-fight’ responses in complex ways.

Psychedelic drugs mimic Serotonin as ‘agonists’. Anti-Depressant drugs alter Serotonin levels.  Thus there are spiritual, medical, and psychological therapeutic aspects to Serotonin.

Melatonin – chemical endocrine hormone preservative that protects DNA, and is an anti-oxidant sleep-aid. Melatonin production is derived from tryptophan, produced by the pineal gland in the center of the brain, and released by visual darkness. Melatonin is also found in herbs like fever-few and saint-Johns-wort; vegetables like rice and corn; and fruits like cherries and grapes .

Melatonin controls our internal ‘circadian’ clock rhythms, including being awake and asleep. There-fore Melatonin is beneficial for over-all good health and long-life. It is used to treat diseases, depression, and insomnia. Regular restful periods of sleep are important to cleanse the brain of toxins that accumulate during conscious activity, and thus prevents related illness like Alzheimers.

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Vow of Happiness

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Economics, Education / Schools, Psychology, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by Drogo

For some, an alternative way of life is better than a conventional way of slavery. Different ways of life fit different needs and circumstances. Often ‘regular’ jobs do not cut it for imaginative free-thinking free-spirits. Sure some people are lazy, and do not want to do anything, not even for themselves. However there are many people that do plenty of work for free, or very little pay; but they are happier than working at something they do not like, or for someone they do not like. The most expensive college is not the answer, nor is the highest paying job; since colleges get you in massive debt most of the time, and you could spend your whole life trying to hunt down the ‘highest paying miracle job’, and never be happy with what you have.

Therefore I welcome others to try to not bully other people ‘to try and get a better job’, ‘go back to school to get a better job’, or not even acknowledge that people have jobs at all; when in fact they often do have jobs. Jobs and careers are not always conventional, and some of us want human rights like a living wage for being who we are warts and all. If you can pay your bills, or have them covered by a benefactor, and you are not hurting anyone, and you are best fitted for doing work that does not pay very much; that is ok. In fact it might even be good, and life fulfilling. If people get high paying jobs, good for them; but if they do not want to do so for various reasons, perhaps they should not; and I say stop pressuring them, and check your own stress.

When looking for happiness, find satisfaction with your achievements; your highest status is your most humble. Zen will reduce complexity to a oneness with singular and collective identity. As the Dalai Lama says in ‘Looking for Happiness’, “I am a simple Buddhist monk; no more, no less”. While he may be exaggerating the simplicity of his ‘being’ in reality, his rationality often focuses on reducing the stress and burden of riches and power, by realizing that most people are happier with less; which tends to lead to advice for giving up responsibility which distracts from spiritual service. Buddhism often encourages us to ‘let go’ of burdens we carry, when they are too heavy.

Dean Hsu-Jen Huang at SCAD told me the tale of the monk and his apprentice who helped a woman across a river. The apprentice felt his master held the woman inappropriately. In response the older wiser monk said “I left the woman at the river. Why do you still carry her?” In other words, “I put my mental baggage down a while ago; why do you still cling to that problem?”

Take a vow of happiness; no matter poverty or wealth.

3times_buddhas

Signs of Success

Posted in Spiritual with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2013 by Drogo

(Inspired by working with the Harpers Ferry Healing Arts Clinic in 1994)

* Successful Happiness *

Smiling, Snickering, or even Laughing.

Thinking and acting like a child, without being childish.

Reducing fear, anger, and conflict in general.

Enjoying as many moments as possible.

Appreciation for as much as possible.

Accepting rather than Judging.

Connectedness with Nature.

Contentment with People.

Sustainable feelings of Love.

Less worry.

(This is was written by Drogo Empedocles for Creative Commons)

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