Fondazione Zoé

Thoughts on happiness in three acts. Here is the first…


prof. Carmelo Vigna

Common sense always contains the discussion of happiness. If it is named in many, even strange situations, this is because common sense does not know where to find it. In this way, at least, it can console itself in pretending to have found it.

We imagine our happiness as a measure of our desire. If we desire small things, we content ourselves with imagining a small amount of happiness; but this is not so if we desire great things.

Being happy means losing track of time. Indeed, we only say we have been happy for a short time when we are no longer happy. Therefore happiness desires eternity. It has experimented with it at least for a time.

Happiness is not dependent on what we possess, even if we have long desired a possession; it depends instead on the way in which we possess this possession. Because of this we can be happy always, or never, independent of what we possess.

We can find happiness as much in giving as receiving. It is more difficult to find happiness in receiving even though it seems the opposite. Indeed, when receiving we are gratified but brought back to a state of neediness; when giving, although stripped of possessions, we hold dominion over things. 

 

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