21 januari 2010


 GW - ... on that subject of happiness...


As his temper was naturally sanguine, he indulged it on this occasion, and his imagination worked upon a thousand concerns, to favour and support his expectations of meeting his dear Sophia in the evening.

    Reader, if thou hast any good wishes towards me, I will fully repay them by wishing thee to be possessed of this sanguine disposition of mind: since, after having read much, and considered long on that subject of happiness which hath employed so many great pens, I am almost inclined to fix it in the possession of this temper; which puts us, in a manner, out of the reach of Fortune, and makes us happy without her assistance. Indeed, the sensations of pleasure it gives are much more constant as well as much keener than those which that blind lady bestows; nature having wisely contrived, that some satiety and languor should be annexed to all our real enjoyments, lest we should be so taken up by them, as to stop from further pursuits.

    - Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Book Thirteen, Chapter 6

People live adrift an ocean of moods, tossed about by waves of feelings. Noone can control his emotions, but all may control their expressions and the beliefs that embed them.

Human happines depends mostly on mood. 

Everything a man is and may be depends on temperament: We all are creatures of our moods. The most important ability insofar as one's well-being is concerned is the ability to make and control one's moods.

And by far the most happiness is imaginary only, yet  not the less strongly felt for that.

See also Gibbon en het geluk  for Khalif Abdalrahman's ideas about the subject, with a note by Gibbon.

Maarten Maartensz

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