Friday, February 11, 2005

Hey! Wake up! Happiness Is Fake?!!!

I had a very interesting conversation, the other day, with a friend who is a physician. His background is more in psychology since he majored in it in his undergraduate degree.

We started talking about a quote by Ummar Al-Khayam. The quote praises drinking and ultimately hedonism, for life has no purpose. The conversation somehow shifted, then, and we ended up talking about his depressed patients and the antidepressants they take. He said that the brain of a depressed person does not function properly, so antidepressants help take it back to normal. Part of what they do is to stimulate the brain and trigger happiness. The patient then would feel happy…happy... haaaaappy.

Well, here is the thing: If happiness could be triggered by chemicals (drugs) that one could take, what is happiness, then? What exactly is happiness? Is it an artificial feeling? Is it real? Is it fake?

Those are very important questions since they have to do with our fundamental understating of life and the real world that surrounds us.

To be honest, we did talk about some technical details and some other important topics that are related to it, yet we did not directly answer these questions. We did circle around the answer but we were not quiet there.

My doctor friend noted that this feeling of happiness that is triggered by drugs is only temporary. After their effect is gone, you're back to the harsh reality. I completely concurred with him on this. But could a substance that constantly stimulates one's brain and constantly triggers happiness exist? There could be, and science might suprise us one day with such a substance.

He noted, too, that if you give these antidepressants to a normal person, they are not likely to affect him/her. But we know that there are other substances that could affect even normal people.

Contentment and happiness are two different concepts, he noted. You can be content yet sad. The example he gave was: the loss of a beloved person. When you lose him/her, you could be content of what has happened yet sad (not happy). I think this is a good point, yet we're still circulating around the answer.

“What exactly is happiness?”… A question I need think about and ultimatly seek the answer for!


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