Friday, March 15, 2019

The Seven Hindrances To Happiness

Humans seem incapable of being happy, as in being totally happy.
There will always be something on our mind making complete contentment impossible. It might be something to do with: children; older parents; money; sex; love; career or health. Those seven topics, either directly, or indirectly, cover all the possibilities capable of causing concern. If we needed to reduce the number then we could perhaps consider listing “children” and “older parents” under the one heading of “dependants” but somehow the number seven seems more mystical than six and might even have a direct biblical connection. So, let’s stick to our seven main topics for the moment, if only to avoid an additional period of non-happiness where we worry about whether there are six or seven main topics.
It has to be admitted that there will be certain periods, of indeterminable duration, when people/they/you/me will discover the bliss of pure unadulterated happiness. These infrequent times will rarely exceed twenty-four hours, at which point one of the seven will return, usually with a bang, to remind us that happiness is not our normal state. The above brief period of happiness might have even just been thrown in to the mix, through a trick of our devious sub-conscious, just so we can be aware of what we’re missing.
When we’re younger we naively think that as we grow older and are in charge of our own lives we’re going to experience true everlasting happiness. Sadly this never turns out to be the case. All we really discover is how much we should have enjoyed the relative happiness of our childhood because those years will never ever prepare us for what will be thrown at us in our later years. Nor should they prepare us; we all need the calm before the storm
The big news, the big secret no one ever lets you in on, is that you are never ever going to arrive at the point where you will wake up one morning and discover the grass isn’t, in fact, greener elsewhere. You know, where you arrive at a point literally, physically, mentally or spiritually where nothing will concern you. A place where there will be no dog-do lurking in the shadows of the trail ahead of you. In other words when you reach a point where your own personal nirvana will have arrived.  You’d hoped it would be a place where you could relax with your true love; read books; listen to music; go the cinema (this one is the reason why a desert island would never work for me); go for long walks through stunning soulful country; reflect on just how miraculous and marvellous a creation the human body really is; and, finally: appear on Desert Island Discs describing your own personal heaven to the world.
Spoiler alert: It’s never going to happen.
Humans are incapable of being happy (all the time).
We’re not wired to be that way, and if we were I fear we’d realise it was, plain and simply, just boring? Personally I’m not sure I one hundred percent subscribe to this theory. I think this particular notion is a fail-safe which has been wired into our systems just so we don’t get too preoccupied about not being happy all the time. Maybe it even frees up more time for us to worry about the big seven issues.
Some people sadly get bogged down with the lack of everlasting happiness to the extent that they will try and rid themselves of this niggle. They will consider absolutely anything to permanently expel the sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, voices responsible for their anxiety.  
Occasionally I have to consider the extremes some humans are prepared to go to in order for them to try to reach their own particular prefab nirvana.
This is the stage I reach every time I embark on writing a new murder mystery.
The point where I start to examine what some characters would be prepared to do, in order to put everything out of their consciousness. Everything that is apart from their own misguided selfishness and preoccupation with a state of permanent happiness. Put another way, study their endeavours to reach a state where some of their worries will not “do their head in.”    
A state we all know just doesn’t exist.  

Talking of the above, I continue working on the eleventh Christy Kennedy mystery, Departing Shadows; reading the 2nd Volume of Kenneth Womack's incredible Sound Pictures: The Life of  Beatles Producer George Martin, the later years, 1966 to 2016; going to the cinema - my favourite of last year was, by a million miles was Clint Eastwood's The Mule and yet it didn't get nominated for a single Oscar (I bet the real story behind the omission would make an Oscar winning movie, well then on second thoughts, perhaps not) and, attending concerts, the recent highlights being Joan Baez at the Palladium and the multi talented Paul Carrack on brilliant form at Guildford Live.
Until the next time...