Happiness vs Joy

Have you ever pondered the difference of certain words often used interchangeably? Or, what that difference, or obfuscation of difference, might mean?

There seems little doubt the art of subtlety is being systematically erased from human consciousness.

One coy glance to move a man, or your entire derrière in the air?

If this is a natural phenomenon resulting from the rise of systems thinking, or a top-down control mechanism, or desensitization gone amok, or devolution, or democratization, I can only speculate. And stay open to suggestions.

But I do find it to be a personal goal and an evolutionary imperative that we don’t let subtlety die in the nebulous gray zone.

I kind of relate it to the difference between American cheese and aged chèvre. And the difference between emotions, feelings and sensations.

Our culture has become increasingly sensationalized. It’s become a gamers’ world of goal-oriented stimulus that must be fed on a constant basis.

Fleeting hits of happiness have all but replaced the finer nuances of lasting joy. Considering absurd comments like Hilary Clinton’s ‘Americans have a happiness deficit’ I can’t help but consider the context conspiratorially. She is not blind, or dumb. So she must be bullshitting on the commands of her handlers.

Do a quick search on ‘Americans and Happiness’ and it’s clear this relationship is not only Big Business, but Big Science, as well as Big Politics.

“Further complicating matters has been the bias critics have shown when examining happiness. Sociologists have viewed happiness through the lens of society, psychologists the mind, physicians the body, preachers one’s faith, politicians the government, and so on. This has made the field a jumble or hodgepodge of viewpoints, more so I believe than most other subjects. As well, all sorts of experts have attempted to control or take ownership of happiness in America in some way, this too contributing to the scattered nature of the subject. Businesspeople, government officials, and religious leaders have seen themselves as arbiters of happiness and have assumed responsibility for delivering it to Americans in order to solidify their own power. Likewise, politicians from each persuasion have often claimed to be the greater instrument of happiness than their competitors, making it appear that the emotion can be bestowed rather than earned.” The (American) Pursuit of Happiness | Psychology Today

Is happiness an emotion? Indeed, it is not. Joy is an emotion. Happiness is a mood. A sensation. Have any of the mainstream consensus trance defenders bothered to notice that?

Joy is bound to life itself, its opposite is pain. Together they create a kind of ‘trauma bond’ that keeps us engaged and inquiring incessantly into others and the world around us. It comes from the well-spring of the eternal natural world. Or, God, if you prefer.

Happiness is a day at the games or a fine concert or great sex. I’m not knocking it! I’m just saying, there’s far more to life than that, and if you can’t taste the difference between American cheese and aged chèvre, then perhaps you should not be speculating on the condition or the ills of the American culture.

%d bloggers like this: