Happiness: A Theory — Gate Crashing

If the universe doesn’t care that we are here, yet we are sufficiently sapient to meditate on the question, then the door is open for inflated self-importance, or metaphysical angst over our supposed abandonment.  The very mirror neurons that allow us to posit selves in others appear easily susceptible to recruitment for creative notions about what other, larger self or selves there might be.

In the world of mental health, there is much to be said for valuing oneself, without regard to any supposed lack of love from any anticipated quarter.  A healthy narcissism breeds, among other things, an enhanced possibility of finding desired companionship.  Put differently, we are more likely to be attracted to those who portray themselves as worthy of attraction.  Recognizing that we deserve love whether or not there is sufficient supply appears to be an important ingredient of happiness.

Similarly, if we just happen to be here, it seems possible that we may transcend our inclination to grieve over our orphan status, and, instead, view ourselves as party crashers, uninvited guests, sampling what is before us with the relish of those who appreciate their good fortune, and are determined to make the best of it.

The evidence suggests that we may, indeed, be in such a position.  There is beauty in things that just happen to happen.   If we view our own lives as unfolding works of art, refrain from insisting on how the works unfold, and strive to appreciate what happens next, we may increase our happiness.


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