A Literary Technique

Stream of Consciousness writing is a bit complicated, as it is supposed to be the unspoken thoughts and feelings that an author has about their characters without resorting to an objective description or the diverse thoughts and feelings that a character would normally encounter.  It is writing without regard to a logical argument.  The writer utilizes the Stream of Consciousness technique to reflect all the forces, external and internal, influencing the psychology of a character at a single moment.  It can be defined as a mode of narration that undertakes to capture the full spectrum and flow of a character’s mental process, in which sense perceptions mingle with conscious and half-conscious thoughts, memories, feelings and random associations, thus creating the impression that the reader is gaining intuition by eavesdropping on the flow of conscious experience in the character’s mind.  Many writers use this technique to capture the true nature of reality, which is said to be the essence of our existence and to get direct access to the thoughts of characters, the inner workings of the human mind.

The flow of thoughts in the conscious mind is difficult to capture, since the ordinary person’s mind jumps from one event to another, but this free association writing allows the author to jump from one thought to another without any indication of a change in the topic.  Stream of Consciousness writing should flow like a river or a stream going seamlessly from one thought to the next.  You do not have to stick with the original topic, as rivers and streams being fluid in nature are known to change course over time.  As perception shifts the writer shapes new thoughts and if research is not allowed these thoughts tend to become incoherent.  There is no agreed upon precise definition for the term “Stream of Consciousness” and no consensus has been arrived at as to how it is best used.  I often see this as being a series of disjointed and rambling thoughts or fragments that by nature of the process lack correct punctuation, favoring a looser, more incomplete style.  I have a difficult time with this type of writing and I find it to be pretty intimidating, as my writing background stems from research and I always break Rule Number One on Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ Stream of Consciousness Saturday.  I think that my brain just works differently from others.

Stream of consciousness is often non-linear in a few key ways that define the style, as it does make use of unusual syntax and grammar, associative leaps, repetition, and plot structure.  A nonlinear plot structure might move forward and backward in time.  Story plots usually include four elements, those being exposition which is the information needed to understand a story, complication the catalyst that begins the major conflict, climax the turning point in the story that occurs when characters try to resolve the complication and resolution which is the set of events that bring the story to a close.

Like Rats From a Sinking Ship

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark as my posts are losing viewers.  I had 77 Views last Sunday and then it dropped down to 52 Views for Monday and again on Tuesday I had 52 Views and Wednesday I had 55 Views but yesterday on Thursday I only had 39 Views.  The problem with these statistics is that many of the views were from my older posts and it made me think that my current posts might be stinking up the place.  I originally figured that it might have all started with my Saturday 05/13/18 post ‘Eating Each Other is not a Sustainable Food Source’ which was about cannibalism, which is an odd topic, and this only got 5 Likes.

My post yesterday on 05/17/18 ‘How To Make Your Vagina Taste Good’ for the Daily Prompt was the most disappointing for responses in a while, as it only got 7 Likes and 12 Views.  I read that some women feel embarrassed or ashamed, and some are even afraid, of their lady bits down there, so maybe this was not the best topic for a post.  It is not like my readers are leaving in droves and I may be a bit premature in worrying about this, but it seemed like some of my readers did abandon me and it made me wonder if my writing is failing or falling short of the high mark that I try to set.  I write for my own enjoyment and not to please my readers, but I do pay attention to statistics.

Perhaps I need to pick some new topics, so I am open to suggestions.  I always felt that I am versatile enough to write on any topic and I do love trying to explain things.  Another failed post that I recently wrote on 05/14/18 titled ‘Building Blocks’ for Let it Bleed only got 3 Likes, so I guess people are not really interested in learning about the Standard Model for particle physics.  Maybe that was too deep for most readers.  My other recent posts, ‘A Flawed Theory’ that was about phlogiston got 9 Likes, ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’, got 12 Likes, my Cartoon ‘One-Liner Wednesday Proposed Logo’ got 10 Likes, a rhyming poem ‘Deep and Profound’ got 9 Likes and ‘The Copernican Principle’, which was philosophical got 11 Likes.

I will keep making posts as I am driven to write, but I am open to suggestions if anyone wants me to research a specific topic. I enjoy getting comments, so if you have something to say, I would love to hear it.

How To Make Your Vagina Taste Good

Women have been told that their confidence in bed and in other social situations will improve if they can get rid of vaginal odor. As long as you’re healthy, your vagina will smell and taste perfectly fine.  It’s not supposed to smell like roses or taste like candy, as women should smell like women.  The taste down there will vary based on a number of things including the type of soaps you use, hygiene practices, natural bodily secretions, arousal fluids, sweat and diet.  It’s okay for your cooter or hoo-hoo to have a little flavor and even if your lover says that it smells like tuna, as long as it tastes like chicken everything is fine.  Even healthy vaginas have bacteria in them, but changes in the balance of the different kinds of bacteria in your vagina can lead to bacterial vaginosis (BV), which results in discharge and a fishy smell.  Vaginal discharge is perfectly normal as it serves an important housekeeping function ensuring your vagina is clean and preventing infection.

Hippocrates who is sometimes referred to as the Father of Medicine because of his observations and study of the human body, maintained that the key to good health rests on having a daily aromatic bath and scented massage.  Hippocrates is thought to be the first to recommend vaginal rinsing or douching as a method of curing vaginal infections.  Women douche to rinse away blood after a menstrual period, clean their vagina after sex, wash away semen to prevent pregnancy and to reduce odors.  The word douche is French for shower and means to wash inside the vagina with water, or a mixture of water and vinegar, water and baking soda, or water and iodine.

Douching or feminine wash products were originally sold using the line of logic that the vagina is dirty and smelly, and in order to be a clean and obedient wife, you must regularly purge your feminine parts and today sixty-seven million women in the US still douche, using brands like Massengill and Summer’s Eve.  Douching seems to be more common in America and in particular among adolescents, African-American women, and Hispanic women.  For at least 100 years, there have been conflicting views on the benefits or harm in douching.  Although there is a broad consensus that douching should be avoided during pregnancy, there is less agreement regarding douching for hygiene and relief of vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina that can result in discharge, itching and pain) symptoms.  Many women say that the reason that they douche is because they like that clean feeling that they get from it.

It is probably a good idea to make sure your vagina smells and tastes if you think that you might be engaging in sex.  Oral sex is fun and it plays a significant role in many relationships, and what would foreplay be without this.  A woman’s mind should be free from worries of how her vagina tastes when her partner is going down there.  The best tips for making your vagina smell good are to avoid eating sugary stuff and make sure that you are drinking a lot of water.  Conclusive evidence has not been reached on whether or not regular use of douche products are good or bad for a woman’s health yet.

A Flawed Theory

When humans first learned about fire, it allowed them to cook food, get warm and be protected from wild animals, but people knew very little about the process of combustion till the Scientific Revolution.  Progress was limited because people in these days considered measurement to be unimportant.  By 1700, combustion was assumed to be the decomposition of a material into simpler substances. People saw burning substances emitting smoke and energy as heat and light.  To account for this emission, scientists proposed a theory that combustion depended on the emission of a substance called phlogiston, which appeared as a combination of energy as heat and light while the material was burning which was not able to be detected beforehand.  An extraordinary stupid theory called phlogiston which is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and weightless substance, became the new explanation of why flammable materials burned.

The phlogiston theory was used to explain many chemical observations of the day.  For example, a lit candle under a glass jar burned until the surrounding air became saturated with phlogiston, at which time the flame died because the air inside could not absorb more phlogiston.  There never was a widespread coherent theory of phlogiston.  The word is based upon a Greek word used by Aristotle in his writings on matter.  The Greeks thought that phlogiston was released by the combustion of flammable matter and the respiration of living organisms.  These processes formed phlogisticated air, which was absorbed by plants.  They said that charcoal was the residue that was left from a burning process, which was almost pure phlogiston. They thought that when burned with a metal’s calx (a powdery metallic oxide formed when an ore or mineral has been heated), it would be restored to its compound state.  Thus rusting iron was slowly releasing phlogiston and so returning to its elemental state.

German chemist Johann Joachim Becher (1635–1682) brought the term “phlogiston” into use among European chemists in the middle 1600s, which he formulated in an attempt to explain such processes as rusting and combustion. Becher suggested metals and minerals were compounds which, when burned, released terra pinguis (fatty, flammable earth) into the air.  This left behind the metal’s true form, the calx, composed of terra lapida (body – stony earth) and terra mercurialis (weight and color – mercurial earth).  Becher believed substances to be composed of three earths, the vitrifiable, the mercurial, and the combustible.  He supposed that when a substance burned, a combustible earth was liberated.

German chemist Georg Stahl (1660–1734) further articulated the phlogiston theory in the early 1700s and he renamed the Becher term “terra pinguis” to “phlogiston”.  Phlogiston was the postulated substance of fire, the active principle of acids, and the driving force behind chemical reactions.  According to this theory, the air has an ability to absorb only a limited amount of phlogiston.  When the air becomes phlogisticated, it supports neither burning, nor breathing.

Daniel Rutherford (1749-1819) a Scottish physician, chemist and botanist is famous for his discovery of nitrogen gas and working with thermometers.  In 1772, Rutherford trapped a mouse in a confined place and he observed that once the air ran out the mouse died.  Rutherford then burnt a candle in the rest of the air.  When the flame also died out, he burnt a piece of phosphorous in the container till it stopped burning.  This air was then passed via a solution that absorbed the rest of the carbon dioxide. Rutherford had removed oxygen and carbon dioxide from this air mixture.  He named the remaining, isolated gas as noxious air or phlogisticated air, which we call Nitrogen today.  He believed that this gas was given out by the mouse while it was breathing, as when the air could hold no more phlogiston, the mouse died.

Joseph Priestley (1733-18-4) was an English chemist who is known for discovering oxygen gas and being the man behind the discovery of carbonated water.  After Rutherford’s work, Joseph Priestley obtained a reddish powder when he heated mercury in the air.  He assumed that the powder was mercury devoid of phlogiston.  But when he heated the powder, an unexpected result occurred, where Metallic mercury along with a gas that allowed a candle to burn, formed.  Following the phlogiston theory, he believed this gas that supports combustion to be “de-phlogisticated air.”  Priestley conducted an experiment by focusing the Sun’s rays on a sample of mercuric oxide. He first tested it on mice, who surprised him by surviving quite a while entrapped with the air, and then on himself, writing that it was “five or six times better than common air for the purpose of respiration, inflammation, and, I believe, every other use of common atmospherical air.”  In this oxygen gas a candle burned extra brightly and a mouse lived twice as long as it would in ordinary air.

In 1789, Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794) a French scientist published a famous treatise on Chemistry, which amongst other things, demolished the then prevalent phlogiston theory of combustion.  In place of phlogiston theory, Lavoisier proposed the first reasonably sensible scientific interpretation of heat and this became central to the 18th-century chemical revolution.  Lavoisier’s caloric theory was accepted because it was inherently simpler than the phlogiston theory.  The crudest version of this idea says that the phlogiston theory unnecessarily complicated things by postulating the existence of phlogiston which was an unobservable substance.  The rationality of the phlogiston theory was very thin, and as stated in Occam’s razor, simpler is always better.  Lavoisier arrived at a attractive new hypothesis about the composition of water, namely that it was a compound of oxygen and inflammable air, or hydrogen as it is now known, not an element as the ancient Greeks and phlogiston theorists had assumed.

The Copernican Principle

Life demands very particular conditions which are quite difficult to meet, even though Nicolaus Copernicus said that the Earth is not located at the center of the solar system, we’re not located at the center of the galaxy, and we’re not located at the center of the universe and we have no special qualities whatsoever, as Earth is only a mediocre planet!  The Copernican Principle went further saying that there are no special parts of the universe, everything is the same everywhere (up to statistical variation).  This may not sound like a particularly important principle, but it’s actually vital to the history of science, because it represents a fundamental philosophical change in how intellectuals dealt with humanity’s role in the universe, well at least in scientific terms.  Copernican Principle advocates have been claiming that just about every other body in the solar system (including the Sun) is able to harbor intelligent life, but today, we know that this is not the case.  There is also widespread doubt that even the simplest kinds of life, such as bacteria, could exist anywhere else in the solar system.  Just because the Earth is not the physical center of the universe does not mean that it is an ordinary planet, as the necessary conditions to support life are so rare that they may only exist for Earth.

The Goldilocks Zone or circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ), refers to the habitable zone around a star where the temperature is just right, being not too hot and not too cold for liquid water to exist on an planet.  Mercury and Venus were thought to be too hot and Mars and the outer planets were thought to be too cold to support life as we know it.  Only Earth is just right for life, in fact it is perfect having liquid water, a breathable atmosphere, and a suitable amount of sunshine.  Originally we determined that the Goldilocks Zone was a remarkably small region of space not even including the whole Earth.  Scientists felt that all life was confined to certain limits, being no colder than Antarctica (where penguins survive), and no hotter than scalding water (where lizards live in the desert), no higher than the clouds (birds), and no lower than a few miles deep (where microbes endure).  However, recently our knowledge of life in extreme environments has exploded.  Scientists have found microbes in nuclear reactors, microbes that love acid, and microbes that swim in boiling-hot water.  Whole ecosystems have been discovered around deep sea vents where sunlight never reaches and this emerging vent-water is hot enough to melt lead, so the Goldilocks Zone is bigger than we thought.  This new expanded Goldilocks Zone corresponds roughly with the orbit of Venus and just beyond the orbit of Mars being able to support life. However, because of planetary/atmospheric dynamics, liquid water cannot exist on either Venus (too hot due to a runaway greenhouse effect) or Mars (inadequate atmosphere due to lack of mass to hold onto it).  Venus and Mars both at one time did have liquid water and Mars may still have some subsurface water.

Climate models suggests that if our planet were just a little closer to the Sun, a runaway greenhouse effect would render it uninhabitable.  If our planet were to receive about one-tenth more solar radiation than it does now, water vapor would trap more heat and more water would evaporate, boosting the greenhouse effect and thus trapping even more heat.  The average distance from the Earth to Sun varies by over 3 million miles, during its orbit each year, but Earth is on the inner edge of the Goldilocks Zone and we don’t need our planet getting any hotter.

The more that we learn about our universe, the more non-special our location seems to be. The Earth is orbiting an ordinary star in an ordinary galaxy.  The reason the Copernican principle works is that, out of all the places for intelligent life to exist, there are only a slight few special places and many more non-special places.  So we are probably more likely to be in one of the many non-special places.

Stones of Bethel

Jacob found this place with the two stones just before the Sun set.  He was tired and he used one of the stones as his pillow.  He remembered his grandfather Abraham telling him a story about these two rocks where he pitched his tent with his wife Sara and his nephew Lot and his wife Edith and they built an altar there, so they could worship the Lord.  Jacob had a vivid dream that night, which he thought was a holy vision about a stairway to heaven and angels were ascending up and descending down on it.  Jacob decided to name the rock that he slept on and he called it Eben Shetiyah, because he felt that it was connected to the core of the Earth.

Jacob had escaped his brother Esau, but he still had a long 550 mile journey ahead to reach the city of Haran, where he could see the well that his mother used to draw water from.  His uncle Laban lived there with his wife, his concubine and his daughters.  Jacob knew about sheep and he hoped that he would be welcomed here.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo, Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter, Thursday Photo Prompt: Fallen

Eating Each Other is not a Sustainable Food Source

I detest cannibals because I find them to be repulsive, but my research lead me in this direction when I was trying to use the word skewed.  I am probably going to lose all of my readers after this post, but here it goes and anyways a fellow has to eat and besides that starvation is a strong motivator.  Surprisingly there are no laws against the consumption of human flesh.  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not have a listing for cannibalism, however eating human flesh and afterbirth is mentioned in the Bible.  Some people derive sexual satisfaction from fantasizing about and consuming humans.  Human flesh has been described as tasting like pork and it is felt that the brains and the muscles are the best parts to eat.

The earliest hominids may have become cannibals due to hunger, figuring that if grandpa dies, that’s a free-meal.  To eat or to be eaten, that is the question that every cannibal faces along with the best way to cook each body part.  The Donner Party was a group of American pioneers who set out for California in a wagon train in May 1846.  They were delayed by a series of mishaps and mistakes, poor timing, terrible advice, really bad weather and they had to spent the winter of 1846–47 snowbound in the Sierra Nevada, which was one of the most brutal winters on record.  The pioneers were forced to spend five months hunkered down in makeshift tents and cabins with almost no food or supplies.  When they ran out of food they ultimately resorted to feeding off the flesh of their dead companions and family members in order to survive.

Surrounded by death following a 1972 plane crash in the Andes mountains, four survivors made agonizing decision to eat the dead.  Roberto Canessa said that he will never forget making that first incision as that became the end of his innocence. Roberto was a 19-year-old medical student travelling to a rugby match with his team, one of the 45 people on board.  Twelve people died in crash and six more met their maker over the next few days.  It was Friday the 13th when the Uruguayan aircraft carrying the rugby team and their friends and family went down in the mountains in Argentina, near the border with Chile.  The descent into cannibalism was the hardest to endure, but they made that decision feeling that they had to eat something or else they would become too weak to recover from starvation.

In the summer of 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer was on probation after serving time for fondling a young boy, but his overworked probation officer never visited his Milwaukee apartment.  Police were called when a 14-year-old boy tried to escape Dahmer’s clutches, but Dahmer convinced officers that the boy was an adult and the situation was a lover’s quarrel.  They left the boy, who did not speak English, in Dahmer’s hands and he was never seen alive again.  Dahmer began to dabble into cannibalism and he would store body parts in his refrigerator to feed on later.  When another victim, Tracey Edwards ran screaming from Dahmer’s apartment, police investigated and found a house of horrors.  In Dahmer’s apartment were body parts belonging to 11 people.  Some were found in the refrigerator and freezer, some packed into a barrel of acid, and some were dried and cleaned to be souvenirs.  Over the course of more than 13 years, Dahmer sought out men, mostly African-American, at gay bars, malls and bus stops, lured them home with promises of money or sex, and gave them alcohol laced with drugs before strangling them to death.  He would then engage in sex acts with the corpses before dismembering them and disposing of them, often keeping their skulls or genitals as souvenirs.  In 1994, Christopher Scarver a prison inmate bludgeoned Dahmer to death with an iron bar.

Cannibalism is a huge taboo, as the very idea of people eating each other is so abhorrent to us that we usually prefer not to think about it.  Freud wrote a contentious book “Totem and Taboo”, where he presented the idea that all religion stems from a primordial murder.  He talks about this primal, savage tribe where a violent and cruel father drove his sons away so that he could keep all of the females for himself.  The banished brothers joined forces and worked together to kill the father.  To celebrate the accomplishment of their task the brothers threw a feast and ate their murdered father.  This cannibalism was an attempt by the sons to identify with a father who they feared and yet envied.

What kind of rules and regulations always govern cannibal society and cannibal behavior?  I just watched the movie Red Dragon the other day and Hannibal Lecter came off as being rather sophisticated, although he is also a ruthless and heartless bastard.  In times of desperate hunger people are sometimes driven to eat other humans and when hunger reaches an emergency state, this measure might be understandable and even forgivable.  Cannibals have a skewed sense of logic as their humanity has been stripped away from them.  Eating human flesh is morally wrong, but once skewered, lumps of human meat are sprinkled with meat tenderizer they can then be cooked on a BBQ.  The human flesh can be fastened to a skewer by the cannibals, so they could toast the various human parts just like they were using a kebab.

Do You Suppose We’ll See Some Wild Animals?

On their way to Oz, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and Dorothy all join hands and skip together while singing ‘We’re Off to See The Wizard’.  They enter a thick forest which immediately spooks and frightens Dorothy, so she says, “I don’t like this forest.  It’s dark and creepy.  Do you suppose we’ll meet any wild animals?”  Worried that they will be attacked, the Tin Woodsman predicts the dark forest will be filled mostly with lions and tigers and bears.  The scarecrow points out, “it’s probably going to get darker before it gets lighter.” The tin man is somewhat calm in proclaiming some of the wild animals they may see because the heart knows it is safe and that love conquers all fear, so the light will dispel the darkness.  However, we cannot change what we do not acknowledge.

As they march along the twisting road, fearfully repeating the phrase “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”, which rapidly gains speed, a ferocious-looking Cowardly Lion with a matted mane and two tiny ears bounds into their path with a strange roar, “Rrowrrrr!” Both the Tin Man and the Scarecrow back away and are cowering on the ground.  Then, the lion stands on two feet and challenges them with his two paws, and his brave elongated words.

Lion: Put ‘em up, put ‘em uuuuuup!  Which one of you first?  I’ll fight ya both together if you want.  I’ll fight ya with one paw tied behind my back.  I’ll fight ya standin’ on one foot.  I’ll fight ya with my eyes closed.  (To the Tin Woodsman) Oh, pulling an axe on me, hey? (To the Scarecrow) Sneakin’ up on me, hey?  Why, gnong-gnong!
Tin Man: Here, here.  Go away and let us alone!
Lion: Oh, scared, huh?  Afraid, huh? (To the Tin Woodsman) How long can you stay fresh in that can?  Ha-ha-ha-ha.  Come on, get up and fight, ya shivering junkyard.  (To the Scarecrow) Put your hands up, ya lopsided bag of hay.
Scarecrow: Now that’s getting personal, Lion!
Tin Man: Yes, get up and teach him a lesson.
Scarecrow: What’s wrong with you teachin’ him?
Tin Man: W-w-w-ell, I hardly know ‘im.

A Rebel in the Age of Intolerance

Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) was an Italian philosopher who lived in the wrong time period, as the people of his day were still repeatedly attempting to establish a connection between spiritually-based knowledge and modern scientifically-based astronomy.  Planetary spirits like angels and archangels and angel’s wings were used to explain the movements of the cosmos.  Ancient man thought the stars were pinpoints of light that rotated slowly around the Earth.  Copernicus placed the Sun in the center of the universe instead of the Earth, but he retained an outer sphere of fixed stars at the edge of our solar system, just like the Ptolemaic universe.  Bruno conceived a bold concept of a universe extending outward infinitely, containing suns without end, with each perhaps racing through space with its own family of planets.

The first person known to suggest that the Sun is a star (or, conversely, that stars are Suns) was Anaxagoras, around 450 BC.  Around 220 BC, this was suggested again by Aristarchus of Samos, but this idea did not catch on.  Titus Lucretius Carus a Roman poet and philosopher in the first century BC suggested the concept of an infinite universe, but he had no notion that the stars were suns.  Lucretius argued that the universe is infinite consisting of infinitely extended space and an infinite number of atoms.  He said that our world was not formed around a spherical earth, itself located at the universe’s centre.  Parallax is the apparent change in position of objects due to a change in observation location.  The ancient Greeks claimed that if the Earth is moving around the Sun then the stars should shift their positions due to this orbital motion (called stellar parallax), but the stars didn’t shift, or the shift was not noticeable because these stars were much further away than anyone realized.

In 1584, Giordano Bruno used his daring and perceptive insights into reality when he asserted that the stars were just like our Sun, but they were so far away that their apparent displacement due to the Earth’s revolution about the Sun could not be detected.  Giordano Bruno decided that if the Earth is a planet just like many others, and that it does not make sense to divide the Universe into a sphere of fixed stars and a solar system.  He said that the Sun is a star, that the Universe is infinitely large, and that it contains many worlds.  He was condemned by both the Roman Catholic and Reformed Churches for his rebel views.  In 1600, Giordano Bruno was declared to be a heretic and he was burnt at the stake, for asserting that the Sun is a star, among other things.  Bruno should be honored for introducing the immense universe to the world which he did before the telescope entered into modern astronomy.  Bruno gave us countless billions of suns shining across space from incredible distances, a universe in which both Earth and Sun shrink to insignificant size and importance.

Psychology of Happiness

Happiness is a state of mind, thus even a totally miserable person experiences a certain level of happiness.  What goes up, must come down, so our states of being (Emotions, Motivations, Perceptions, Feelings) are bound to change over time.  Most people experience different shades of contentment, delight, exhilaration and ecstasy.  Pleasure is a momentary physical state of being, where happiness is more psychological, joy is soul based and beyond joy there is bliss.  A person may derive pleasure from sex, or quenching any bodily desire such as food, drugs, alcohol or achieving the need for money or power.  Pleasure comes from positive experiences and with good things that happen.  A person may experience momentary feelings of pleasure, while still suffering from anxiety, depression and stress.  The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’”

Researchers have classified happiness into two different elements, those being either hedonic or eudaimonic.  These schools of thought are largely attributed to the Greek philosophers Aristippus and Aristotle, respectively.  Hedonic happiness involves increased pleasure and decreased pain.  It is centered around a person’s current feelings and their emotional state.  Positive emotions include feelings of pleasure, joy, curiosity, pride, awe, and excitement, while negative emotions include feelings of anger, shame, guilt, stress, or sadness.  Hedonia is what we take from the world to be happy and we call this pleasure.  Eudaimonic happiness revolves around a person’s satisfaction with their life.  It is more reflective of their life experiences and actions.  Irrespective of their current state of emotions.  Purpose and meaning in life, flourishing, growth, and self-actualization are all concepts that are related to, or a part of, eudaimonic happiness.  Eudaimonia is what we give to the world, it is how we have prospered, what makes our lives worth living and this is what gives us happiness.

People often confuse happiness with pleasure, thinking that happiness is the maximization of pleasure, and some imagine that true happiness consists of an interrupted succession of pleasurable experiences. They are simular in certain aspects, because we can make a correlation between them, but happiness consists of much more than just having positive feelings. In order to achieve long term happiness, you must begin a personal journey of realizing what is meaningful to you in your life, and then you need to formulate a plan on how to achieve this.  Happiness is a combination of being satisfied and feeling good.  Laughter can go hand in hand with happiness and when laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases their happiness.

Watch this if you want a laugh!