There is nothing I detest more than the Western quest for "happiness". And this picture hereabove perfectly illustrates it. Yes, dogs are happy. They have no responsibility and all they do is pee up lampposts and smell other dogs bottoms. What sort of life is that? Fine for a dog maybe, but for a human it is a living hell. Or it should be.
Human beings are endowed with the superpower of sentience. To quote Captain Picard, "What Hamlet would say with irony, I say with conviction".
What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god!Yet it seems to be the ultimate pursuit of man to seek "happiness" and contentment. While that means different things to different people, as a whole we seem locked into the idea that happiness is universal and the substance of it is to be released from the obligations and burdens of humanity.
Just yesterday I overheard a man in the local pub telling the barman that his sole ambition was to retire to Torremolinos - to spend his declining years devoted to nothing. It has become a cultural norm to seek a bovine existence where one's thoughts are no more clouded than the family dog.
This to me is next to death. It might as well be death. It says that ones own personal philosophy is not to contribute to the advancement of the species, and instead to merely occupy the planet until ones life force is extinguished through frailty. It's like owning a supercomputer in order to play Minesweeper.
That would be forgiveable were we in a state of utopia where there is nothing left to be done, nothing left to be fought for and no more problems to solve. But we are not yet there and most likely never will be.
So abandon your pursuit for "happiness". Be proud that you wake up each day with an existential crisis, be happy that you are never satisfied, be gratified that the pursuit of things brings you no contentment. You can be happy when you are dead. The ultimate release of obligation.
For as long as your thoughts are clouded, for as long as you find no comfort in conformity, for as long as you see no honour in escape, it means you are making full use of your superpowers and you are contributing. Your every idea teased out through an agonising process of self-examination is a treasure, even if it's a bad idea - for every bad idea gets us closer to a good one - and good ideas are in short supply.
Do not envy the brainless beast. Envy the madman who is blessed with a torrent of ideas and a stream of overpowering images. For whom conformity is improbable. For whom shining trinkets for the flattery of ego bring no pleasure or momentary distraction.
Never be happy, never be content. Take time to enjoy the moments, and always pause for quiet reflection, but never seek obsolescence of the mind. Never seek a release from chaos. Be proud of your madness and cultivate your own insanity. Celebrate it, nurture it, enjoy it.
If your sole ambition is to be free of troubles inside four walls of your own, with no synapses firing for the advancement of man, then for you, a coffin is as good as a house.