It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Discuss morality and ethics in this message board.
Featured Article: Philosophical Analysis of Abortion, The Right to Life, and Murder
User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 4729
Joined: January 20th, 2007, 6:24 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Diogenes the Cynic
Contact:

It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Scott »

I think we can agree that preferences merely reflect subjective opinions. With that forewarning, I humbly submit the following for your consideration:


It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

It is preferable to live one day with true contentment than live a thousand discontent years.

It is preferable to live honestly in heaven for one day than live in a nightmarish hell for a thousand years.

Is preferable to live spiritually free for one day than to live as a spiritual slave--feeling like a prisoner in one's own body--for a thousand years.

It is preferable to be content than comfortable.

It is preferable to be embrace discomfort than to be a comfort addict.

It is preferable to escape the comfort zone than become its prisoner or slave.

It is preferable to unconditionally love the grass beneath your feet than to always see the grass on the other side as greener, greener meaning more worthy of love or more conducive to true content inner peace (e.g. "once I make a million dollars, then I will finally be happy"; "once I reach my goal weight, then I will finally be content").

It is preferable to live free and die sooner than live longer as a slave, whether a slave to other humans or a slave to addiction, money, or comfort.


Do you agree?
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
User avatar
Count Lucanor
Posts: 1440
Joined: May 6th, 2017, 5:08 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Umberto Eco
Location: Panama
Contact:

Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Count Lucanor »

Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm
It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Do you agree?
With this, as with all the other similar aphorisms, I'm a bit confused: if I have a lifespan of exactly 1,000 years and one day of those years I live with inner peace, it is automatically understood that the rest, that is, 999 years and 364 days, I'm without inner peace. I get it that one good day is better than none, but what happens if that one day is right at the beginning of the 1,000 years period. Not much of a difference in how bad things turn out.

Notwithstanding that I could have a lifespan beyond those 1,000 years, which would make the one day among the 1,000, a day of less relative value.
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm
It is preferable to be content than comfortable.
Many times comfort is a condition for our contentment.
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to be embrace discomfort than to be a comfort addict.
That's disputable. Can the "comfortable addiction" to potable water be always less preferable than the discomfort of drinking contaminated water all the time? "Oh, well..." you might say, "that's not a disposable habit, but a necessity", but I would say the line that separates habits from necessities is a fine one and keeps moving.
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to escape the comfort zone than become its prisoner or slave.
As explained above, it depends on which comfort zone we are talking about.
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to unconditionally love the grass beneath your feet than to always see the grass on the other side as greener, greener meaning more worthy of love or more conducive to true content inner peace (e.g. "once I make a million dollars, then I will finally be happy"; "once I reach my goal weight, then I will finally be content").
It is a good thing to be humble and grateful for what you have, but ambitions are not necessarily bad. The whole idea of progress, of moving forward to better states of your existence, implies the engine of unfulfilled desires and ambitions. A natural, healthy sense of envy, is required for this. My brother, who is now a famous local cartoonist, used to show his drawing skills very early in childhood. I wanted so much to imitate his success with other kids, so I eventually kind of followed his footsteps and learned to draw fairly well myself. I don't think this was a bad kind of envy and negatively affecting my inner peace. I can draw now and I always thank him for that.
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to live free and die sooner than live longer as a slave, whether a slave to other humans or a slave to addiction, money, or comfort.

Do you agree?
I do agree with this.
Ecurb
Posts: 1052
Joined: May 9th, 2012, 3:13 pm

Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Ecurb »

Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to live free and die sooner than live longer as a slave, whether a slave to other humans or a slave to addiction, money, or comfort.

Do you agree?
I do agree with this.
A great many people who were actually slaves disagreed. They continued on as slaves instead of risking their lives by rebelling or making a run for it. It seems to me that preferring to live free and die sooner instead of living longer as a slave is mere posturing. It pretends to courage and idealistic nobility, but it denigrates the courage and nobility of actual slaves who made a different choice. The grave is a fine and private place, but neither freedom nor slavery call it home.
Tegularius
Posts: 391
Joined: February 6th, 2021, 5:27 am

Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Tegularius »

It all depends on what the individual considers worse than death. It's a matter of measuring pain, physical or mental, against that which annuls it completely and for all time; the most personal and complex choice one can make especially when calculating its effect on others repealing the desire to conclude oneself as cowardly. That to me would be the real signature of courage especially where the default solution would be so easily in one's grasp.
The earth has a skin and that skin has diseases; one of its diseases is called man ... Nietzsche
User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 4729
Joined: January 20th, 2007, 6:24 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Diogenes the Cynic
Contact:

Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Scott »

Hi, Count Lucanor, thank you for your reply!
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to live free and die sooner than live longer as a slave, whether a slave to other humans or a slave to addiction, money, or comfort.

Do you agree?
I do agree with this.
I hope you don't mind my quoting your post out of order. Nonetheless, I am glad you agree with that particular sentence. To me, as I meant them, all seven of the sentences in the OP starting with "it is preferable to" each mean essentially nearly the same thing. So overall I optimistically suspect you agree with my intended meaning in each of the seven sentences, even though you have some thoughtful comments and concerns regarding some of the others, which I am happy to receive and eager to address below.

Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm I'm a bit confused: if I have a lifespan of exactly 1,000 years and one day of those years I live with inner peace, it is automatically understood that the rest, that is, 999 years and 364 days, I'm without inner peace. I get it that one good day is better than none, but what happens if that one day is right at the beginning of the 1,000 years period. Not much of a difference in how bad things turn out.
Perhaps we can conclude that 2 days of inner peace and 999 years and 363 days of discontent/unpeace would be roughly twice as desirable as only one day in a thousand years, roughly speaking.

But I think most of the value of realizing the preference--if one shares it--does not require getting in the weeds mathematically. That is, assuming that most of the value comes from realizing through the illustrative example that no amount of discontent longevity is worth giving up one iota of inner peace. In other words, according to my subjective preferences, any time spent living with inner peace is preferable to increasing longevity by getting time with inner peace. In other words, death-avoidance has no inherent value that can match the value of inner peace (a.k.a. contentment). In yet other words, even the slightest time spent with inner peace is infinitely more valuable than any amount of death-avoidance or longevity.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm Notwithstanding that I could have a lifespan beyond those 1,000 years, which would make the one day among the 1,000, a day of less relative value.
I agree.

However, the comparison I had in mind was living one day with inner peace, and then dying, versus living 1,000 years without even a single day of inner peace, and then dying.

Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to be content than comfortable.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm Many times comfort is a condition for our contentment.
I disagree if you are using the words, namely contentment, in the same way I use the words, which is not something I expect or require.

I use the term contentment as interchangeable with inner peace.

However, I would agree with what you say if you are using the word "contentment" to mean something like 'emotional highs' or 'fleeting above average happiness', such as the rush an alcoholic gets when taking a drink, the rush a sex addict gets when having a sexual affair, or the multiple days of exceptional temporary excitement someone experiences after winning the lottery.

I agree that those kind of fleeting emotional highs are associated with comfort and are the kind of things I have in mind when speaking of comfort.

Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to be embrace discomfort than to be a comfort addict.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm That's disputable. Can the "comfortable addiction" to potable water...
Sorry, I wasn't more clear: I meant addiction to comfort not comfortable addiction.


Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to unconditionally love the grass beneath your feet than to always see the grass on the other side as greener, greener meaning more worthy of love or more conducive to true content inner peace (e.g. "once I make a million dollars, then I will finally be happy"; "once I reach my goal weight, then I will finally be content").
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm It is a good thing to be humble and grateful for what you have, but ambitions are not necessarily bad.
I agree. That's why I use the word preferable. It's also preferable to me to save one human than save one non-human animal life, but both have value to me, even if one may be infinitely more valuable. Needless to say, when presented with two good choices, one can have a preference. I don't personally believe in evil, so I don't believe in the concept of the lesser of two evils, but I do believe in the concept of choosing the greater of two goods. :)

To your wise point, I suspect having and chasing goals may at least in certain circumstances be required for inner peace (a.k.a. contentment). For example, when I am suffering discomfort on the treadmill, I do so because it brings me inner peace, such that I am content while suffering discomfort on the treadmill, not just after but during. Achieving the long-term goal is not a necessary means to contentment (such that I couldn't be content until after the goal is eventually complete in the future), but rather the act of working towards the goal brings me inner peace in itself.

Once I reach that goal, I will set new ones. In that way, there is always more grass to seek. Inner peace (a.k.a. contentment) is about enjoying the endless journey itself, not something obtained by reaching a destination.

Perhaps the greater irony is that even if I do not achieve the goal, I will still (in theory) be content during the goal-chasing and during the later failure. For instance, as long as I play the cards the best I can, I will still be content and in a way consider myself a winner even if I lose the poker game.

(That is all in theory. This guy Scott that I call me is actually just human, and very far from perfectly implementing these ideas in practice. So, in practice, it is all much fuzzier and messier, and as a human I am a hypocrite in all sorts of ways.)



Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm The whole idea of progress, of moving forward to better states of your existence, implies the engine of unfulfilled desires and ambitions. A natural, healthy sense of envy, is required for this. My brother, who is now a famous local cartoonist, used to show his drawing skills very early in childhood. I wanted so much to imitate his success with other kids, so I eventually kind of followed his footsteps and learned to draw fairly well myself. I don't think this was a bad kind of envy and negatively affecting my inner peace.

[Emphasis added.]
Yes, I generally agree. That's a good example of how desire, ambition, and endless work can be compatible with inner peace.

The philosopher Albert Camus famously wrote, "one must imagine Sisyphus happy."

I think chasing greener grass can be compatible with inner peace (a.k.a. contentment). In fact, in certain circumstances and senses, it--meaning the act of chasing greener grass like a dog chasing a ball--could be a necessary condition for inner peace for someone in a life at a time.



***
Ecurb wrote: April 1st, 2021, 8:49 pm
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to live free and die sooner than live longer as a slave, whether a slave to other humans or a slave to addiction, money, or comfort.

Do you agree?
I do agree with this.
A great many people who were actually slaves disagreed. They continued on as slaves instead of risking their lives by rebelling or making a run for it.
Hi, Ecurb, thank you for your reply!

If we judge people by their behavior under the (presumably false) assumption they are not hypocrites, meaning their ideals match their behaviors, then I think it is safe to conclude that the vast majority of humans who have ever lived do no share any of the seven preferences I stated in the OP, neither in practice nor in claimed conceptualization.

In that way, inner peace may not be common. Similarly, desperate death-avoidance may be common. Discontentment may be common.

Ecurb wrote: April 1st, 2021, 8:49 pmIt seems to me that preferring to live free and die sooner instead of living longer as a slave is mere posturing.
I can agree if you inject the word usually in between the word is and the words mere posturing.

But surely there are also many examples of courage and of people living up to Emiliano Zapata's claim, "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!"

Such courage may be the minority, but that is far different than being non-existence. Some very courageously disobedient criminals are named in the topic, Who is your favorite criminal from history?

To your point, in my other topic Man Is Not Fit to Govern Man, I wrote, "I can tell you what I will or would do, and only time and happenstance will tell if my answer is honest and true... When I am given the choice to commit murder for a Nazi to prove my loyalty, and thereby live another day, or have myself and my whole family murdered by the Nazis as punishment for my peaceful civil disobedience, I must choose whether I will murder one to save multiple including myself or die as a defiant free stubborn peaceful man. Live as a murderer or die? If that choice is presented to me, I choose death, or at least I hope to have the courage and self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom) to honor the promise."

To repeat, only time and happenstance will tell.

If I fail to honesty adhere to the preferences in the OP, countless others have already stuck to the behavior diet and proven it is possible for a human to be courageous, brave, and spiritually free (a.k.a. self-disciplined). Even if I fail, others have already succeeded, and surely many more will succeed.



****
Tegularius wrote: April 1st, 2021, 9:22 pm It all depends on what the individual considers worse than death. It's a matter of measuring pain, physical or mental,
Hi, Tegularius, thank you for your reply as well!

For you, it may be merely a matter of pain and pain-avoidance. If so, you wouldn't be alone. Many humans do seem to be driven primarily by comfort/pleasure seeking and by extension pain/discomfort avoidance.

For me and some people, contentment is preferable to comfort. I often embrace discomfort and pain. For instance, I love the pain of working out hard in the gym, or when my wife plucks my facial hair. There are much less painful and quicker ways to shape up my beard line, but I let her pluck it because I enjoy the pain. I see it like a spiritual practice, similar to what I do for my muscular strength in the gym, but for my mind instead. I occasionally like to beat up my body and ego a little bit to help underline the fact that I am not it, and its pain is not mine. It keeps it in line. Like many wise people have said, the mind (and body) makes a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. Sometimes I give it the carrot; sometimes I give it the stick, if not just to make sure we both remember I--the spirit--am the boss.

But as you wisely say, it all depends on what the individual considers. It depends on one's personal subjective preferences. I would rather contently choose to embrace discomfort and tons of pain with inner peace rather than avoid pain or discomfort by sacrificing inner peace. Other people prefer to choice pain-avoidance and/or increased longevity to inner peace.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Nick_A
Posts: 3051
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Nick_A »

“Man is a being in search of meaning.” ― Plato.

Hi Scott
It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

It is preferable to live one day with true contentment than live a thousand discontent years.
Is the desire for contentment with what the world provides the same as the need for human meaning the world cannot provide?
"...It is not for man to seek, or even to believe in God. He has only to refuse to believe in everything that is not God. This refusal does not presuppose belief. It is enough to recognize, what is obvious to any mind, that all the goods of this world, past, present, or future, real or imaginary, are finite and limited and radically incapable of satisfying the desire which burns perpetually with in us for an infinite and perfect good... It is not a matter of self-questioning or searching. A man has only to persist in his refusal, and one day or another God will come to him."
-- Weil, Simone, ON SCIENCE, NECESSITY, AND THE LOVE OF GOD, edited by Richard Rees, London, Oxford University Press, 1968.- ©
Simone wasn't interested in becoming content with life in the world. She needed to experience human meaning and meaning can only be experienced by opening to consciousness above Plato's divided line rather than arguing opinions normal for cognition below Plato's divided line.

These people are very rare but they do and have existed. I believe their influence is necessary if our species is to consciously evolve.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
evolution
Posts: 957
Joined: April 19th, 2020, 6:20 am

Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by evolution »

Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm I think we can agree that preferences merely reflect subjective opinions. With that forewarning, I humbly submit the following for your consideration:


It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

It is preferable to live one day with true contentment than live a thousand discontent years.

It is preferable to live honestly in heaven for one day than live in a nightmarish hell for a thousand years.

Is preferable to live spiritually free for one day than to live as a spiritual slave--feeling like a prisoner in one's own body--for a thousand years.

It is preferable to be content than comfortable.

It is preferable to be embrace discomfort than to be a comfort addict.

It is preferable to escape the comfort zone than become its prisoner or slave.

It is preferable to unconditionally love the grass beneath your feet than to always see the grass on the other side as greener, greener meaning more worthy of love or more conducive to true content inner peace (e.g. "once I make a million dollars, then I will finally be happy"; "once I reach my goal weight, then I will finally be content").

It is preferable to live free and die sooner than live longer as a slave, whether a slave to other humans or a slave to addiction, money, or comfort.


Do you agree?
But they are just internal feelings/emotions, which just come and go, and sometimes come and go many times in just one day.

No one lives with just one emotion for one day, and never without that emotion for the rest of their life.
User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 5577
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by LuckyR »

Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm I think we can agree that preferences merely reflect subjective opinions. With that forewarning, I humbly submit the following for your consideration:


It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

It is preferable to live one day with true contentment than live a thousand discontent years.

It is preferable to live honestly in heaven for one day than live in a nightmarish hell for a thousand years.

Is preferable to live spiritually free for one day than to live as a spiritual slave--feeling like a prisoner in one's own body--for a thousand years.

It is preferable to be content than comfortable.

It is preferable to be embrace discomfort than to be a comfort addict.

It is preferable to escape the comfort zone than become its prisoner or slave.

It is preferable to unconditionally love the grass beneath your feet than to always see the grass on the other side as greener, greener meaning more worthy of love or more conducive to true content inner peace (e.g. "once I make a million dollars, then I will finally be happy"; "once I reach my goal weight, then I will finally be content").

It is preferable to live free and die sooner than live longer as a slave, whether a slave to other humans or a slave to addiction, money, or comfort.


Do you agree?
Well it is all relative. If someone in the first person never experienced inner peace, then they would not miss it. That is from their perspective life without inner peace would be routine and average, normal if you will. They would be happy to get to live for a thousand years whereas their contemporaries would die at 100 years.

OTOH, if someone experienced inner peace for one day, they would crave it for the rest of their days. Thus however long they lived, one year, fifty years or a thousand years, they would miss that inner peace and be miserable.

Sounds counterintuitive, but it is well established that bronze medal winners are much, much happier than silver medal winners, because (like this case) happiness is gauged relatively, not absolutely.
"As usual... it depends."
Belindi
Moderator
Posts: 3993
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 2:11 pm

Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Belindi »

I support the cause of medically-assisted dying so I believe that some ' discontents' make living any number of years or hours intolerable. However I also believe that a bovine contentment is not consistent with human intellect. So circumstances alter cases.
User avatar
Count Lucanor
Posts: 1440
Joined: May 6th, 2017, 5:08 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Umberto Eco
Location: Panama
Contact:

Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Count Lucanor »

Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 9:51 pm
But I think most of the value of realizing the preference--if one shares it--does not require getting in the weeds mathematically. That is, assuming that most of the value comes from realizing through the illustrative example that no amount of discontent longevity is worth giving up one iota of inner peace. In other words, according to my subjective preferences, any time spent living with inner peace is preferable to increasing longevity by getting time with inner peace. In other words, death-avoidance has no inherent value that can match the value of inner peace (a.k.a. contentment). In yet other words, even the slightest time spent with inner peace is infinitely more valuable than any amount of death-avoidance or longevity.
As most sensible people, I tend to favor balance, which requires weighing up all the pros and cons of the many situations one faces in life, looking at all the nuances. Life is never really like the extreme case that the aphorism entails; there will be a fair amount of both situations: inner peace and lack of it. The real value of longevity will be measured by this balance. If life is a struggle, like climbing a high, dangerous mountain, it will take many sacrifices, pain, general discontent to reach the top. But once there, one may enjoy a state of inner peace that comes from the achievement and the new point of view one has gained. The inner peace then, is directly linked to the struggle. Which means, discontent and inner peace do not represent absolute values, but relative values.
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 9:51 pm
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to be content than comfortable.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm Many times comfort is a condition for our contentment.
I disagree if you are using the words, namely contentment, in the same way I use the words, which is not something I expect or require.

I use the term contentment as interchangeable with inner peace.
In Spanish, contento means a temporary state of happiness or satisfaction. Since I was not sure about the English meaning of content, I looked it up in a dictionary first and I found that it was fairly the same meaning. And so I answered accordingly: comfort is many times a condition we impose on ourselves for being able to have temporary states of happiness or satisfaction. It is true, however, that humans can accommodate to almost any conditions, as harsh as they can be. Even in the filthiest of dungeons, one might find that preferable spot where one lies in comfort, and then perhaps a moment for being content.
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 9:51 pm However, I would agree with what you say if you are using the word "contentment" to mean something like 'emotional highs' or 'fleeting above average happiness', such as the rush an alcoholic gets when taking a drink, the rush a sex addict gets when having a sexual affair, or the multiple days of exceptional temporary excitement someone experiences after winning the lottery.

I agree that those kind of fleeting emotional highs are associated with comfort and are the kind of things I have in mind when speaking of comfort.
Actually, I don't see much difference, except perhaps in what is the time period for the state of comfort and the state of contentment. It is possible to have short-term states of comfort and contentment, and long-term ones. In any of those cases, my claim stands: many times comfort (short-term or long-term) is a condition for our contentment (short-term or long-term).
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 9:51 pm
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to be embrace discomfort than to be a comfort addict.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm That's disputable. Can the "comfortable addiction" to potable water...
Sorry, I wasn't more clear: I meant addiction to comfort not comfortable addiction.
Well, I guess that if any state of comfort becomes so indispensable that it actually hinders you from adapting to the variable conditions of everyday life, then that is a problem. If not being able to enjoy a pool in your backyard makes your life miserable, you have a big problem with your priorities in life.
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 9:51 pm To your wise point, I suspect having and chasing goals may at least in certain circumstances be required for inner peace (a.k.a. contentment). For example, when I am suffering discomfort on the treadmill, I do so because it brings me inner peace, such that I am content while suffering discomfort on the treadmill, not just after but during. Achieving the long-term goal is not a necessary means to contentment (such that I couldn't be content until after the goal is eventually complete in the future), but rather the act of working towards the goal brings me inner peace in itself.

Once I reach that goal, I will set new ones. In that way, there is always more grass to seek. Inner peace (a.k.a. contentment) is about enjoying the endless journey itself, not something obtained by reaching a destination.

Perhaps the greater irony is that even if I do not achieve the goal, I will still (in theory) be content during the goal-chasing and during the later failure. For instance, as long as I play the cards the best I can, I will still be content and in a way consider myself a winner even if I lose the poker game.

(That is all in theory. This guy Scott that I call me is actually just human, and very far from perfectly implementing these ideas in practice. So, in practice, it is all much fuzzier and messier, and as a human I am a hypocrite in all sorts of ways.)
From Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset:
Genuine vital integrity does not consist in satisfaction, in attainment, in arrival. As Cervantes said long since: “The road is always better than the inn.” When a period has satisfied its desires, its ideal, this means that it desires nothing more; that the wells of desire have been dried up. That is to say, our famous plenitude is in reality a coming to an end. There are centuries which die of self-satisfaction through not knowing how to renew their desires, just as the happy drone dies after the nuptial flight. Hence we have the astonishing fact that these epochs of so-called plenitude have always felt in the depths of their consciousness a special form of sadness.
Belindi
Moderator
Posts: 3993
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 2:11 pm

Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Belindi »

When one is ready to fall asleep one's "Wells of desire " have "dried up". Or, to rephrase, "one's brain waves and neurotranmitters have altered".
User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 4729
Joined: January 20th, 2007, 6:24 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Diogenes the Cynic
Contact:

Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Scott »

Hi, Count Lucanor,
Count Lucanor wrote: April 2nd, 2021, 2:16 pm
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 9:51 pm
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to be content than comfortable.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm Many times comfort is a condition for our contentment.
I disagree if you are using the words, namely contentment, in the same way I use the words, which is not something I expect or require.

I use the term contentment as interchangeable with inner peace.
In Spanish, contento means a temporary state of happiness or satisfaction. Since I was not sure about the English meaning of content, I looked it up in a dictionary first and I found that it was fairly the same meaning. And so I answered accordingly: comfort is many times a condition we impose on ourselves for being able to have temporary states of happiness or satisfaction. It is true, however, that humans can accommodate to almost any conditions, as harsh as they can be. Even in the filthiest of dungeons, one might find that preferable spot where one lies in comfort, and then perhaps a moment for being content.
It sounds to me like neither the dictionary definition of the English word 'contentment' that you saw nor the meaning of the Spanish word 'contento' match what I mean by the word contentment. In this case, nirvana or enlightenment might be a better word. Sorry for the confusion


Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 9:51 pm However, I would agree with what you say if you are using the word "contentment" to mean something like 'emotional highs' or 'fleeting above average happiness', such as the rush an alcoholic gets when taking a drink, the rush a sex addict gets when having a sexual affair, or the multiple days of exceptional temporary excitement someone experiences after winning the lottery.

I agree that those kind of fleeting emotional highs are associated with comfort and are the kind of things I have in mind when speaking of comfort.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 2nd, 2021, 2:16 pm Actually, I don't see much difference, except perhaps in what is the time period for the state of comfort and the state of contentment. It is possible to have short-term states of comfort and contentment, and long-term ones. In any of those cases, my claim stands: many times comfort (short-term or long-term) is a condition for our contentment (short-term or long-term).
Let me rephrase without the word 'contentment' which we use very differently. What I meant to express is this: External comforts (e.g. wealth, a soft bed, receiving a great bottle of wine, being dealt lucky cards in a game poker, etc.) cannot be a condition for inner peace.

Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 9:51 pm
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to be embrace discomfort than to be a comfort addict.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm That's disputable. Can the "comfortable addiction" to potable water...
Sorry, I wasn't more clear: I meant addiction to comfort not comfortable addiction.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm Well, I guess that if any state of comfort becomes so indispensable that it actually hinders you from adapting to the variable conditions of everyday life, then that is a problem. If not being able to enjoy a pool in your backyard makes your life miserable, you have a big problem with your priorities in life.
I agree, but I wasn't referencing an addiction to a specific comfort (e.g. a pool) but rather addiction to comfort itself.

You wisely referenced balance in your posts. And I not only think it is wise to accept or even seek a balance between comfort and discomfort, but more importantly I believe that such yin-yang-like balance between comfort and discomfort strongly tends to be unavoidable, for many reasons, some of which stem from laws of nature and math (e.g. the average day is inexorably only average).

Addiction to comfort would thus entail attempting to break that balance, in a presumably impossible way. In analogy, it is like trying to get all yin with no yang, or trying to have all birth with no death. Such a person might imagine the concept of hypothetical heaven as a place where there is only comfort and no discomfort, only birth and no death, only up and no down, only pleasure and no pain, only possession and no inevitable loss, only yin and no yang.

Inner peace could thus be described in part as loving the inexorable balance, instead of futilely chasing absurdities and fighting inexorable reality.



Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 9:51 pm Once I reach that goal, I will set new ones. In that way, there is always more grass to seek. Inner peace (a.k.a. [nirvana]) is about enjoying the endless journey itself, not something obtained by reaching a destination.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm From Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset:

Genuine vital integrity does not consist in satisfaction, in attainment, in arrival. As Cervantes said long since: “The road is always better than the inn.” When a period has satisfied its desires, its ideal, this means that it desires nothing more; that the wells of desire have been dried up. That is to say, our famous plenitude is in reality a coming to an end. There are centuries which die of self-satisfaction through not knowing how to renew their desires, just as the happy drone dies after the nuptial flight. Hence we have the astonishing fact that these epochs of so-called plenitude have always felt in the depths of their consciousness a special form of sadness.
Yes, that is a great quote. It beautifully expresses what I was meaning to say. Thank you so much for sharing!



***

Hi, LuckyR,
LuckyR wrote: April 2nd, 2021, 2:38 am If someone in the first person never experienced inner peace, then they would not miss it.
I don't think that's the case.

I think people seek inner peace even if they have not experienced it.

I think people seek nirvana even if they have never experienced it.

I think people seek enlightenment even if they have never experienced it.

I think people seek spiritual liberation even if every single day of their lives that they can remember was spent feeling like a prisoner in their own body and/or a slave to their seemingly insatiable body or ego.

I think people seek freedom even if they have never been free.

I think people seek spiritual awakening/lucidity even if they have never experienced it.

I think people seek truth even if they never experience it and even if they believe everything they have ever believed and currently believe is false. Even if they worry reality is completely and utterly unknowable, they still seek to know it.

I humbly suspect the natural aforementioned types of seeking without having seen would not be so true of philosophical zombies, and thus I suspect such tendencies (e.g. longing for spiritual liberation) are heavily related to consciousness itself. Indeed, logically speaking, it is odd to think of a creature longing for free-spiritedness or displaying free-spirited behavior if the creature lacks a spirit (i.e. consciousness) to free.

LuckyR wrote: April 2nd, 2021, 2:38 am Sounds counterintuitive, but it is well established that bronze medal winners are much, much happier than silver medal winners, because (like this case) happiness is gauged relatively, not absolutely.
I agree that certain types of so-called 'happiness' (namely comfort, bodily pleasure, and fleeting emotional highs) are inherently relative to averages and also eroded by adaption. Thus, they strongly tend to be balanced in a yin-yang way, in some ways inexorably so. I think that idea you wisely point out is the usual intended meaning in common wisdom such as, the higher one climbs, the further you inevitably you falls.

However, those kinds of so-called 'happiness' are not what I refer to when I reference inner peace, spiritual liberation, contentment, enlightenment, or nirvana.

Inner peace is not affected by externals such as which medal one is awarded or whether or not one wins a million dollar lottery.

In some ways at least, inner peace is by definition stoic.

If the experience of yin-yang-balanced so-called happiness (namely comfort, bodily pleasure, and fleeting emotional highs) are like a roller coaster of ups and downs that net to zero (i.e. the roller coaster ends where it begins), then one's level of inner peace is something that is had in equal measure on the ups and the downs. By definition, it is had in equal measure when one wins the gold or the bronze or no medal at all. By definition, it is had in equal measure upon the pleasing birth of a new baby or the displeasing death of a beloved parent. By definition, it is had in equal measure whether one wins the lottery by sheer luck later today or one's house burns down causing one to go financially bankrupt. It is had in times of outer peace and outer war. It is had just the same when one is given a Trojan horse as when later soldiers jump out of the horse and start the stabbing and slicing.



***

Hi, Nick_A,
Nick_A wrote: April 1st, 2021, 10:40 pm “Man is a being in search of meaning.” ― Plato.
Great quote!

It reminds me of these two quotes from Friedrich Nietzsche :
Friedrich Nietzsche (On the Genealogy of Morals, page 120) wrote:
Man, the bravest animal and most prone to suffer, does not deny suffering as such: he wills it, he even seeks it out, provided he is shown a meaning for it, a purpose of suffering.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Twilight of the Idols, “Maxims and Arrows” § 1.12) wrote:
He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.


***
Nick_A wrote: April 1st, 2021, 10:40 pm "...It is not for man to seek, or even to believe in God. He has only to refuse to believe in everything that is not God. This refusal does not presuppose belief. It is enough to recognize, what is obvious to any mind, that all the goods of this world, past, present, or future, real or imaginary, are finite and limited and radically incapable of satisfying the desire which burns perpetually with in us for an infinite and perfect good... It is not a matter of self-questioning or searching. A man has only to persist in his refusal, and one day or another God will come to him."
-- Weil, Simone, ON SCIENCE, NECESSITY, AND THE LOVE OF GOD, edited by Richard Rees, London, Oxford University Press, 1968.- ©
I am not a theist, at least that is in the sense I do not believe in an external god or anthropomorphic god. But yet Simone Weil's words above resonate deeply with me, which wisely may be the main point of them. In fact, replace the word "God" with capital-G "Grace" and I can simply agree with the words. On that point, I would be interested in your thoughts on my short piece, What Grace Means to Me
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
User avatar
Count Lucanor
Posts: 1440
Joined: May 6th, 2017, 5:08 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Umberto Eco
Location: Panama
Contact:

Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Count Lucanor »

Scott wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 1:46 pm
It sounds to me like neither the dictionary definition of the English word 'contentment' that you saw nor the meaning of the Spanish word 'contento' match what I mean by the word contentment. In this case, nirvana or enlightenment might be a better word. Sorry for the confusion
Scott wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 1:46 pm Let me rephrase without the word 'contentment' which we use very differently. What I meant to express is this: External comforts (e.g. wealth, a soft bed, receiving a great bottle of wine, being dealt lucky cards in a game poker, etc.) cannot be a condition for inner peace.
OK, I get what you mean now. The terms you include this time (nirvana, enlightenment, ying-yang) place your previous ideas in context. They imply notions of transcendence and states of mind devoid of constraints of a mundane reality. My own philosophical journey has put me in a position of rejecting such notions: I'm all for immanence, instead of transcendence. For me, any form of spirituality is necessarily intertwined with the mundane aspects of existence, which are found in nature and social interactions. For, me there's no possibility of independence of the self from these constraints, and there cannot be an absolute, pure state of the self, which is somehow implied in those doctrines of estrangement.
Scott wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 1:46 pm I agree, but I wasn't referencing an addiction to a specific comfort (e.g. a pool) but rather addiction to comfort itself.
I suspect our differences here have less to do with things being specific, and more with the distinction between concrete and abstract and the problem of universals. I'm also sort of a nominalist, and always refer to concrete things, so in this case is all about concrete, but also diverse, states of comfort, which will necessarily point to specific situations in people's lives. We will talk about comfort in general, but it cannot be a fixed thing, and one can certainly not be addicted to a general thing, to a mere abstract concept which vaguely attempts to express the commonalities of the specific cases of comfort.
Scott wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 1:46 pm You wisely referenced balance in your posts. And I not only think it is wise to accept or even seek a balance between comfort and discomfort, but more importantly I believe that such yin-yang-like balance between comfort and discomfort strongly tends to be unavoidable, for many reasons, some of which stem from laws of nature and math (e.g. the average day is inexorably only average).

Addiction to comfort would thus entail attempting to break that balance, in a presumably impossible way. In analogy, it is like trying to get all yin with no yang, or trying to have all birth with no death. Such a person might imagine the concept of hypothetical heaven as a place where there is only comfort and no discomfort, only birth and no death, only up and no down, only pleasure and no pain, only possession and no inevitable loss, only yin and no yang.
Again, I suspect that our different philosophical approach is playing us a game here in the meaning we give to words. By balance I don't mean a distinct universal, but a general concept to broadly describe the situation to which one arrives after averaging the specific cases of comfort or discomfort, along a spectrum. This is relevant in the sense that I don't have any problems with seeking peak experiences of mundane life, which might be considered "unbalanced", and in fact I might find undesirable to live a life without those peak experiences, but what counts as balance is that you don't stay around the same position within the spectrum of possibilities. It is about moderation and control, while not denying yourself a rich (in terms of experiences) and fulfilling life. I believe in deepness in life, but some particular type of immanent deepness:
Oh, those Greeks! They knew how to live. What is required for that is to stop courageously at the surface, the fold, the skin, to adore appearance, to believe in forms, tones, words, in the whole Olympus of appearance. Those Greeks were superficial—out of profundity. And is not this precisely what we are again coming back to, we daredevils of the spirit who have climbed the highest and most dangerous peak of present thought and looked around from up there—we who have looked down from there? Are we not,precisely in this respect, Greeks? Adorers of forms, of tones, of words? And therefore—artists?Nietzsche, The Gay Science.
Scott wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 1:46 pm Inner peace could thus be described in part as loving the inexorable balance, instead of futilely chasing absurdities and fighting inexorable reality.
As you can see now, inner peace means something different to me. It's not a nirvana, a definite state to which one arrives, but a rational account one makes at any given point of life, by comparison of the desired conditions vs the actual conditions, and the level of satisfaction and lack of worries this account produces. If one is satisfied with how things are going, one is encouraged to settle in these conditions, to conform to them, to live in the "comfort zone", which as we have talked about, has its pros and cons. One of the cons is that it can lead to boredom and to that lack of desire that Ortega y Gassett talked about, forcing us to constantly redefine what our inner peace requires.
User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 5577
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by LuckyR »

Scott wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 1:46 pm
***

Hi, LuckyR,
LuckyR wrote: April 2nd, 2021, 2:38 am If someone in the first person never experienced inner peace, then they would not miss it.
I don't think that's the case.

I think people seek inner peace even if they have not experienced it.

I think people seek nirvana even if they have never experienced it.

I think people seek enlightenment even if they have never experienced it.

I think people seek spiritual liberation even if every single day of their lives that they can remember was spent feeling like a prisoner in their own body and/or a slave to their seemingly insatiable body or ego.

I think people seek freedom even if they have never been free.

I think people seek spiritual awakening/lucidity even if they have never experienced it.

I think people seek truth even if they never experience it and even if they believe everything they have ever believed and currently believe is false. Even if they worry reality is completely and utterly unknowable, they still seek to know it.

I humbly suspect the natural aforementioned types of seeking without having seen would not be so true of philosophical zombies, and thus I suspect such tendencies (e.g. longing for spiritual liberation) are heavily related to consciousness itself. Indeed, logically speaking, it is odd to think of a creature longing for free-spiritedness or displaying free-spirited behavior if the creature lacks a spirit (i.e. consciousness) to free.

LuckyR wrote: April 2nd, 2021, 2:38 am Sounds counterintuitive, but it is well established that bronze medal winners are much, much happier than silver medal winners, because (like this case) happiness is gauged relatively, not absolutely.
I agree that certain types of so-called 'happiness' (namely comfort, bodily pleasure, and fleeting emotional highs) are inherently relative to averages and also eroded by adaption. Thus, they strongly tend to be balanced in a yin-yang way, in some ways inexorably so. I think that idea you wisely point out is the usual intended meaning in common wisdom such as, the higher one climbs, the further you inevitably you falls.

However, those kinds of so-called 'happiness' are not what I refer to when I reference inner peace, spiritual liberation, contentment, enlightenment, or nirvana.

Inner peace is not affected by externals such as which medal one is awarded or whether or not one wins a million dollar lottery.

In some ways at least, inner peace is by definition stoic.

If the experience of yin-yang-balanced so-called happiness (namely comfort, bodily pleasure, and fleeting emotional highs) are like a roller coaster of ups and downs that net to zero (i.e. the roller coaster ends where it begins), then one's level of inner peace is something that is had in equal measure on the ups and the downs. By definition, it is had in equal measure when one wins the gold or the bronze or no medal at all. By definition, it is had in equal measure upon the pleasing birth of a new baby or the displeasing death of a beloved parent. By definition, it is had in equal measure whether one wins the lottery by sheer luck later today or one's house burns down causing one to go financially bankrupt. It is had in times of outer peace and outer war. It is had just the same when one is given a Trojan horse as when later soldiers jump out of the horse and start the stabbing and slicing.
We are both correct. True, folks will seek improvements as you noted, yet I am also correct that you cannot miss what you have never experienced. And just as everyone seeks riches, the average person is not crushed that they are not wealthy, whereas a wealthy person who is now poor has additional psychological issues that the always poor do not.

As to the effect of a brief, one time exposure to a tremendous positive followed by the "seeking" you correctly catalog (that never is satisfied) in addition to the "missing" that I referenced, that sounds like psychological torture of an exquisitely twisted sort.
"As usual... it depends."
User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 4729
Joined: January 20th, 2007, 6:24 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Diogenes the Cynic
Contact:

Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Scott »

Count Lucanor wrote: April 4th, 2021, 1:24 pm For me, any form of spirituality is necessarily intertwined with the mundane aspects of existence, which are found in nature and social interactions.
Yes, I agree. It is like that for me too.


Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 12:54 pm It is preferable to be embrace discomfort than to be a comfort addict.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm That's disputable. Can the "comfortable addiction" to potable water...
Scott wrote:Sorry, I wasn't more clear: I meant addiction to comfort not comfortable addiction.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm Well, I guess that if any state of comfort becomes so indispensable that it actually hinders you from adapting to the variable conditions of everyday life, then that is a problem. If not being able to enjoy a pool in your backyard makes your life miserable, you have a big problem with your priorities in life.
Scott wrote: April 1st, 2021, 9:51 pm I agree, but I wasn't referencing an addiction to a specific comfort (e.g. a pool) but rather addiction to comfort itself.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm one can certainly not be addicted to a general thing, to a mere abstract concept
Can one be addicted to gambling?

Can one be addicted to a toxic abusive romantic relationship?

Can one be a sex addict?

Is being addicted to sexual gratification possible but being addicted to comfort not possible?

In one sense, everything is an abstract concept. Abstractness may simply be an aspect of thinghood.

Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm This is relevant in the sense that I don't have any problems with seeking peak experiences of mundane life, which might be considered "unbalanced", and in fact I might find undesirable to live a life without those peak experiences, but what counts as balance is that you don't stay around the same position within the spectrum of possibilities. It is about moderation and control, while not denying yourself a rich (in terms of experiences) and fulfilling life.
Yes, I agree with this too. :)
Count Lucanor wrote: April 1st, 2021, 7:46 pm As you can see now, inner peace means something different to me. It's not a nirvana, a definite state to which one arrives, but a rational account one makes at any given point of life, by comparison of the desired conditions vs the actual conditions,
When you speak of "desired conditions" versus "actual conditions", are the "conditions" you refer to outer things (i.e. externals) such as how much money one has or whether one is standing in a cold rain versus in a warm comfy house or such?

To me inner peace is inherently by definition something that is independent of externals and thus theoretically invincible to outward changes in circumstances, analogously comparable to concepts like confidence, stoic-ness, and gracefulness.

In other words, inner peace is an intrinsic quality like confidence not an extrinsic quality like wealthiness.



***
LuckyR wrote: April 2nd, 2021, 2:38 am Sounds counterintuitive, but it is well established that bronze medal winners are much, much happier than silver medal winners, because (like this case) happiness is gauged relatively, not absolutely.
Scott wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 1:46 pm I agree that certain types of so-called 'happiness' (namely comfort, bodily pleasure, and fleeting emotional highs) are inherently relative to averages and also eroded by adaption. Thus, they strongly tend to be balanced in a yin-yang way, in some ways inexorably so. I think that idea you wisely point out is the usual intended meaning in common wisdom such as, the higher one climbs, the further you inevitably you falls.

However, those kinds of so-called 'happiness' are not what I refer to when I reference inner peace, spiritual liberation, contentment, enlightenment, or nirvana.

Inner peace is not affected by externals such as which medal one is awarded or whether or not one wins a million dollar lottery.

In some ways at least, inner peace is by definition stoic.

If the experience of yin-yang-balanced so-called happiness (namely comfort, bodily pleasure, and fleeting emotional highs) are like a roller coaster of ups and downs that net to zero (i.e. the roller coaster ends where it begins), then one's level of inner peace is something that is had in equal measure on the ups and the downs. By definition, it is had in equal measure when one wins the gold or the bronze or no medal at all. By definition, it is had in equal measure upon the pleasing birth of a new baby or the displeasing death of a beloved parent. By definition, it is had in equal measure whether one wins the lottery by sheer luck later today or one's house burns down causing one to go financially bankrupt. It is had in times of outer peace and outer war. It is had just the same when one is given a Trojan horse as when later soldiers jump out of the horse and start the stabbing and slicing.
LuckyR wrote: April 4th, 2021, 2:00 pm We are both correct. True, folks will seek improvements as you noted, yet I am also correct that you cannot miss what you have never experienced. And just as everyone seeks riches, the average person is not crushed that they are not wealthy, whereas a wealthy person who is now poor has additional psychological issues that the always poor do not.

As to the effect of a brief, one time exposure to a tremendous positive followed by the "seeking" you correctly catalog (that never is satisfied) in addition to the "missing" that I referenced, that sounds like psychological torture of an exquisitely twisted sort.
Yes, I agree that in terms of comfort, emotional highs, bodily pleasure, and fleeting happiness, peak experiences of those types (e.g. a shot of heroin, winning the lottery, enjoying the honeymoon stage of a new romantic relationship, etc.) can ultimately be torturous since they inherently tend to be fleeting, fickle, and adaptive (i.e. relative to average, which results in insatiability and the sense that the grass could always be greener). That is why I reference addiction to comfort in the OP.

By definition, I define inner peace as something that is not that. Inner peace is by definition a non-adaptive intrinsic quality like confidence or gracefulness. By non-adaptive, I mean that by definition it does not have the quality of being self-referentially relative to average and thus being inherently insatiable in the way that bodily comfort and wealth-chasing are. Unlike the fleeting so-called happiness of comfort, emotional highs, and sensual/bodily pleasure, inner peace is not a roller coaster where ups entail downs or where one needs to keep chasing a high or fighting to delay or prevent the ensuing low.

Inner peace is not the absence of those things either. One with inner peace will presumably still experience the emotional highs of gambling, sex, or whatever and the emotional lows of hunger pain or of tripping on the sidewalk and face-planting into the cement. Inner peace (or its lack thereof) is simply a different conceptual dimension altogether, like height is a different conceptual dimension than weight, or sound is a different conceptual dimension than sight. Being tall (or short) does not necessarily imply being heavy or thin. One can be bright and quiet, bright and loud, or dim and quiet, or dim and loud; it's two different things. Inner peace is different than the so-called happiness of comfort, emotional highs, and sensual bodily pleasures. At any given time, one can be said to have/experience both, neither, the former but not the latter, or the latter but not the former.

Inner peace is not like the emotional high of a gambling win, a sexual orgasm, or a good's nights sleep in a comfy bed. It does not share the fleeting, adaptive, and addictive quality of comfort and bodily pleasure. Nirvana wouldn't be a super-high on that one conceptual dimension; it's not on that dimension at all.

Inner peace (or its lack thereof) can persist through the day-to-day and year-to-year vicissitudes of one's life. It can persist and tends to persist. Inner peace or its opposite seem to have an inertia in that way.

By being non-adaptive and non-addictive, inner peace is roughly speaking more like intelligence or confidence. The seeming gaining of it isn't so tied to the losing of it. In fact, the opposite seems to be the case. Unlike comfort and bodily pleasure, inner peace and spiritual liberation seem to have an inertia, rather than a yin-yang-balanced roller-coaster-like pendulum quality that gravitates towards net zero.

Albert Camus wrote, "One must imagine Sisyphus happy."
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Post Reply

Return to “Ethics and Morality”

Philosophy Books of the Month

The Biblical Clock: The Untold Secrets Linking the Universe and Humanity with God's Plan

The Biblical Clock
by Daniel Friedmann
March 2021

Wilderness Cry: A Scientific and Philosophical Approach to Understanding God and the Universe

Wilderness Cry
by Dr. Hilary L Hunt M.D.
April 2021

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute: Tools To Spark Your Dream And Ignite Your Follow-Through

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute
by Jeff Meyer
May 2021

Surviving the Business of Healthcare: Knowledge is Power

Surviving the Business of Healthcare
by Barbara Galutia Regis M.S. PA-C
June 2021

Winning the War on Cancer: The Epic Journey Towards a Natural Cure

Winning the War on Cancer
by Sylvie Beljanski
July 2021

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream
by Dr Frank L Douglas
August 2021

If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your Buts

If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your Buts
by Mark L. Wdowiak
September 2021

The Preppers Medical Handbook

The Preppers Medical Handbook
by Dr. William W Forgey M.D.
October 2021

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress: A Practical Guide

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress
by Dr. Gustavo Kinrys, MD
November 2021

Dream For Peace: An Ambassador Memoir

Dream For Peace
by Dr. Ghoulem Berrah
December 2021