I was venting cathartic during lunch break today.
Earlier I told someone else I was “plagued by cynicism.”
Randomly manic and mean, I couldn’t shut up. Rabbling the rouse, all morning.
We were eating and I launched into a spiel.
Why do we work? We emjoy being slaves. We want to be controlled by stuff. We work like dogs so we can afford more shit, and we buy more shit so we can feel pigeonholed into working more more more in order to maintain that parasitic relationship with our illusions. We seek the stress of feeling trapped by the heavy hands of ownership and obligation. We aren’t happy unless we are indebted. We crave responsibility. We lust after enslavement to purchased burdens. We love being buried! We believe this is fulfillment but ultimately how can we be happy this way? How, I repeated. How???
She looked at me blankly and as she often does, interjected contrary reasoning.
Maybe they are happy she ventured. Maybe people like feeling stressed. To them, perhaps this bullshit is all worth it. Maybe they enjoy the challenge. The debt, working long stressful hours…maybe this is how they define happiness.
I thought about this.
Of course, she was correct. Happiness is only as clear to ourselves as the end of our nose is. Happiness is such a fluid, personal concept that no good can come of trying to deconstruct anyone’s but our own. How can we possibly presuppose that another person is not happy simply because they choose to live a life that would make us horribly unhappy? Conversely, many ambitious, type-A, high striving people probably infer I’m unhappy because of my slacker, low-stress, fuck-it-all attitude. I personally have very little that most ambitious, materialistic people would value. They must think I’m very unhappy. Yet, I believe I am more happy than they, but how can I know this?
My idea of happiness is that state of freedom from “externalities.” In this manner of thinking, I am happy. Externalities, if you become too engorged with attaining them, become shackles, decidedly a symbol of “non-freedom.” Freedom is not being able to do anything you want; freedom is being able to not do anything you don’t want to do.
If people want to trade their life in for consumer products and contracts, that’s their right, but I don’t see how this brings happiness. Happiness is an “internality.” When the focus on happiness is channeled through externalities, it is not happiness; it is merely egotistical appeasement.