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On Happiness
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Angelina



Joined: 09 Dec 2007
Posts: 1747
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:37 pm    Post subject: On Happiness Reply with quote

A French writer whose name I forget said "Le bonheur est un verbe qui se conjugue au passé (le souvenir) et au futur (l'espérance); il n'y a pas de présent."

Happiness is a verb that has a past tense (memories) and a future tense (expectations); there is no present tense.

In other words, when you're happy you don't know it. You just remember having been happy, or hope to be happy in the future.

How wise or true is this, do you think?
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Kerowyn
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:37 pm    Post subject: Re: On Happiness Reply with quote

Angelina wrote:
In other words, when you're happy you don't know it. You just remember having been happy, or hope to be happy in the future.

How wise or true is this, do you think?

I think it's very true. You don't appreciate it when you're happy. Or, as Jacqueline Dulac sings, "On devrait mourir quand on est heureux" - One should die when one's happy, then there isn't going any disappointment or let-down. But one doesn't die because one just doesn't know one's happy.

That also reminds me of Aragon's poem, that Brassens put music to, "Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux" (No love is happy, or There's no happiness in love, take your pick)

Music Sa vie, elle ressemble à ces soldats sans armes
Qu'on avait habillés pour un autre destin
À quoi peut leur servir de se lever matin
Eux qu'on retrouve au soir, désoeuvrés, incertains
Dites ces mots "ma vie" et retenez vos larmes
Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux Music

Music Le temps d'apprendre à vivre, il est déjà trop tard
Que pleurent dans la nuit nos coeurs à l'unisson
Ce qu'il faut de regrets pour payer un frisson
Ce qu'il faut de chagrin pour la moindre chanson
Ce qu'il faut de sanglots pour un air de guitare
Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux Music

I particularly like the last stanza, that for some reason Brassens skipped when he put the poem to music and sang it.
"Il n'y a pas d'amour qui ne soit à douleur
Il n'y a pas d'amour dont on ne soit meurtri
Il n'y a pas d'amour dont on ne soit flétri
Il n'y a pas d'amour qui ne soit fait de pleurs
Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux"

I'll come back with a translation later. For the time being, I know you speak French Angelina, so you can appreciate the relevance to the saying that you quoted.
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Bérénice



Joined: 16 Dec 2007
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Location: Across the Ocean

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:54 pm    Post subject: Oh gee, my friends Reply with quote

Isn't all this a rather pessimistic view of life and love - and happiness?

Don't forget the Pursuit of Happiness is one of mankind's inalienable rights, at least according to the American Declaration of Independence. If there's no happiness in the present and one lives only in the past or the future, life looks bleak, doesn't it? Pale sigh
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In a month, in a year, how will we steel our hearts
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LesBleus



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:01 pm    Post subject: Oh Gee indeed Reply with quote

Have we gone from "Food for Thoughts" to "Food for Depressing Thoughts"? confused *shakes head* and Rolling Eyes
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inkling7
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Joined: 01 Jun 2008
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Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:51 pm    Post subject: Happiness Reply with quote

Well I don't know about the rest of you but I know when I'm happy and that includes the time I am actually feeling happy..... super grin
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Angelina



Joined: 09 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Happiness Reply with quote

inkling7 wrote:
Well I don't know about the rest of you but I know when I'm happy and that includes the time I am actually feeling happy..... super grin

Then you are very wise. You know how to "Carpe Diem". Very Happy
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Lao Tzu



Joined: 28 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:14 pm    Post subject: On Happiness Reply with quote

Found on-line:
A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Happiness lies ahead for those who cry; those who hurt, those who have searched, and those who tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives.

"We don't always know what makes us happy." "We know, instead, what we think SHOULD. We are baffled and confused when our attempts at happiness fail... - Julie Cameron (whoever that is, but she confirms what Angelina said in the opening post of this thread.)
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Last edited by Lao Tzu on Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lao Tzu



Joined: 28 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: On Happiness Reply with quote

Kerowyn wrote:
That also reminds me of Aragon's poem, that Brassens put music to, "Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux" (No love is happy, or There's no happiness in love, take your pick)

This saying seems to confirm that:
Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear. Crying or Very sad

Hmmm. Does it always have to? confused
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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Location: Shuttling between France and the US

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:33 pm    Post subject: Re: On Happiness Reply with quote

Angelina wrote:
In other words, when you're happy you don't know it. You just remember having been happy, or hope to be happy in the future.

How wise or true is this, do you think?

As I said before as 'Kerowyn', I think it's very true, and Inkling7 is lucky to be able to know when she's happy and appreciate it.

Of course that depends on the kind of happiness. I did know that I was happy with my husband. But I'm also thinking that last summer, at around this same time, I was happier than I had any right to be so soon after his death (not deliriously happy, but content enough in the circumstances) and I didn't appreciate it. It's only now, looking back on "last summer's sweet mirage" (that's a quote from an Adamo song) that I realize what I've lost since then. Crying or Very sad
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Lao Tzu



Joined: 28 Sep 2005
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:40 pm    Post subject: Re: On Happiness Reply with quote

Wildflower wrote:
It's only now, looking back on "last summer's sweet mirage" (that's a quote from an Adamo song) that I realize what I've lost since then. Crying or Very sad

Hmmm... Are we talking emotional problems or health problems, or both? confused

We know you've been in hospital and that wouldn't make you terribly happy - are you in worse health this year than last? Or is it a more personal matter, as in "Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear"?
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