Happiness: The Feeling of Existence

Happy Like God
Gordon M. Grant, NY Times, May 25, 2009

Happiness is not quantitative or measurable and it is not the object of any science, old or new. It cannot be gleaned from empirical surveys or programmed into individuals through a combination of behavioral therapy and anti-depressants. If it consists in anything, then I think that happiness is this feeling of existence, this sentiment of momentary self-sufficiency that is bound up with the experience of time.

Profound. I think happiness is a “feeling of existence”.

Only an atheist can be truly alone. Solitude may, as Grant states, “be the key to being happy with others.” It is impossible for a theist to contemplate the mysteries of life, encumbered by the distractions of holy writ.

I digress.

For me, it is not so much the stillness of a lake (I tend to see lakes as decaffeinated seas), but rather the never-ending drone of the surf, sitting by the sea in fair weather or foul and feeling time disappear into tide, into the endless pendulum of the tidal range. At moments like this, one can sink into deep reverie, a motionlessness that is not sleep, but where one is somehow held by the sound of the surf, lulled by the tidal movement.

It’s great to be a Mainer.

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