October 30, 2007

The Law of Happiness

Filed under: accountability,anarchism,free love/ radical love,happiness,nature — polywog @ 11:13 p10

This is from The Demonstrator, a publication by the anarchist colony in Puget Sound (Washington) –1903

Happiness is a habit encouraged by constant effort and subject to growth similar to other habits. Let anyone determine to find some enjoyment every day, and it will not be long until each hour of the day will be brightened by some pleasure which might otherwise be lost.

There can be no dreariness enter into that soul which has learned to admire and appreciate the beauty and charm of common things. The imaginative man will gaze enraptured at the gorgeous tints of the sunset, and something of its beauty and grandeur will leave its impress upon him. He finds a subdued delight in contemplating the graceful foliage and sombre hues of the forest; its stillness invites his confidence, its sympathy enfolds him with all the abandon of an old-time friend or kindred soul. The sea whispers to him tales of long ago, it soothes him with the calmness of its content, and invigorates him with the fury of its storm. He is elated with gladness by the gleaming of the wave. The mountain-top, picturesque, snow-crowned, imposes upon him something of its majesty and splendor. He is thrilled by the music and melody of the birds. The sunshine cheers him on his way. Flowers blossom at his feet and their fragrance fills him with delight.

Nature compensates anyone who loves her. Whoever becomes enthralled by her beauty, entranced by her manifold charms, intoxicated by her loveliness, sublime in all its diversity and magnificence, will be rewarded not alone by the comfort which this worship brings but also by the upbuilding within himself of that refinement of character which must inevitably correspond to the emotion he feels.

Man’s highest happiness will be found in the realm of his affections. He will be happy just in proportion as he recognizes and appreciates the good qualities in others, also as he correctly estimates his own qualifications.

We get all the love and affection we deserve, and no more. Let us take an inventory of ourselves. If we are lacking in beauty, in bravery, in good health, just to that extent will we be deprived of the admiration which these things bring. If we are deficient in honesty, sincerity or kindness, we must forfeit just that much of the regard and esteem of others. We are doomed to disappointment when we attempt to obtain one tithe of love or affection which is not our just due. Hypocrisy triumphs only over hypocrisy. Pretence wins only pretence. Passion excites and inflames passion. Deception is nourished only by deception; it can’t thrive on any other diet.

The desire of exclusive possession, the commonly accepted definition of love, is narrow and selfish, it partakes always the nature of bargain. It enslaves the one who feels it as well as the other held in bondage. We grasp at the substance and cling to the shadow. Bright fires of hope are reduced to ashes of despair.

Genuine love is unselfish, it feels a willingness to devote a lifetime to promote the happiness of its object. Intelligence increases its intensity. It is subject to no conditions except spontaneity and freedom. It is debarred neither by deformity, disease or old age. Its generosity scales all heights, and reaches all depths. In forbearance and forgiveness it is boundless as the sea. Such a love has never failed to find a hearty response. It can not fail. It is just as certain as that the warmth of the sunshine will germinate the seed within the soil.

Finally, to sum up in a few words, our happiness depends, largely, on our ability to reason, and to rightly interpret the true relation of cause and effect in all its bearings upon human life.

John J. Lason


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