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Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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15 Mar 2019, 6:00 pm

So, I was wondering about this while in a bath. It's related to the spectrum, of course, since 'auto-' means 'self', and so, alone... now while most autistic people seem fine in a world of their own as I've observed once... being stuck in between is, to say the least, annoying, isn't it?

I keep thinking it's impossible... joy alone perhaps, sure... what is happiness, though? Mutual joy? If so, someone else is a necessity? Or can joy by itself, alone (like, say, while watching certain anime), transform into happiness? Even then it's temporary, I think... which is what joy is and so I wonder if it can ever 'transform' at all...

Honestly, I often repeated certain words to myself, and I generally hate repetition, at least when done by others, but "I hate my life" seems to pop up in certain situations... perhaps not now, while 'chemical' 'defences' are 'up' and appropriate music is on... but happiness? I feel a tinge of hunger e.g. which obviously means my temporary situation isn't perfect and so can not transition into 'happiness' (if that is defined by such perfection?) - but, no, actually... my relationship wasn't perfect, the person wasn't perfect... yet I felt happy. So, perfection not required? Which makes happiness slightly more achievable, but...

After experiencing it... what so many songs are written about, and poetry... not to mention scientific studies of how love works, where it does seem to actively alter hormones... could one of those be happiness? Or perhaps a combination, kind of like the brain and all its neurochemistry gives rise to consciousness, but only in collaboration?

Of course, if collaboration is explicitly required... if happiness is an 'emergent' quality... is it impossible alone?



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15 Mar 2019, 6:31 pm

Yes.


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15 Mar 2019, 6:49 pm

I don't want to shove my personal ideology down everyone else's throat. I think connection with other people is necessary for happiness for me. But it's certainly possible that some people don't need it.


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blazingstar
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15 Mar 2019, 7:05 pm

^^^ I didn't mean to imply that relationships and connections with others weren't important or valuable. Just that one can experience happiness alone.


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Prometheus18
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15 Mar 2019, 7:24 pm

Although I think friendship is an important factor in happiness (not romantic or sexual relationships, which are directly contrary to happiness), I don't think it's impossible to be happy without friends.


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Das Glück gehört denen, die sich selbst genügen. Denn alle äußeren Quellen des Glückes und Genusses sind, ihrer Natur nach, höchst unsicher, misslich, vergänglich und dem Zufall unterworfen.
- Arthur Schopenhauer


karathraceandherspecialdestiny
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15 Mar 2019, 8:14 pm

Some people seem to think that life experiences don't matter if they are not witnessed by another person--that nothing you do or feel is "real" unless someone is there with you to witness it, but I've never understood this perspective. I'm always there, I witness it, so my experiences and feelings are real to me. I don't need the presence of another person to legitimize my own experience. I enjoy my own life in my own company.



Prometheus18
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15 Mar 2019, 8:21 pm

karathraceandherspecialdestiny wrote:
Some people seem to think that life experiences don't matter if they are not witnessed by another person--that nothing you do or feel is "real" unless someone is there with you to witness it, but I've never understood this perspective. I'm always there, I witness it, so my experiences and feelings are real to me. I don't need the presence of another person to legitimize my own experience. I enjoy my own life in my own company.


Thanks for posting this. I actually found it rather moving.


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L'enfer c'est les autres.
- Sartre

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
- Henry David Thoreau

Das Glück gehört denen, die sich selbst genügen. Denn alle äußeren Quellen des Glückes und Genusses sind, ihrer Natur nach, höchst unsicher, misslich, vergänglich und dem Zufall unterworfen.
- Arthur Schopenhauer


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15 Mar 2019, 8:32 pm

I can be perfectly happy alone. Give me good books and my dog, and I'm golden.

Of course, everyone is different whether they are autistic or not.



Uhura
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15 Mar 2019, 10:03 pm

I need much more time alone than even others on the spectrum. I am happiest alone. Yet at the same time I do like quiet activities as long as they are short and I have time afterward to sleep. It contradicts. I am happiest alone and have the most energy alone, yet also feel guilty not serving so need to have at least quiet activities alone.

To answer the question-We can be happy alone, yet also need to help and serve others in one way or another.



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15 Mar 2019, 10:43 pm

As you virtually live in another reality it seems it would be a waste to answer you. These psychological things plainly have loose bonds. Who told you there was hope of happiness with another? You begin your argument it seems on an alien premise that you accept is true. I might ask the opposite, except I think it a poor question. Very many are together. Yet to ask what you have and not at all question the opposite is to say, "Many others do it, and so it must be good." If you only find happiness among others you would not understand much that I wrote. Find a wife and a thatched hut and have ten children. Do I think common persons are happy? I think they are, in their way.



karathraceandherspecialdestiny
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15 Mar 2019, 10:46 pm

Uhura wrote:
To answer the question-We can be happy alone, yet also need to help and serve others in one way or another.


This is very true--I wish I could find a way to serve my community better, but it's hard to get one's foot in the door if you don't already have the right social connections. Part of the problem is also not knowing how I can best serve, based on what I'm good at and what I'm not good at. I've tried a few avenues over the years but I just don't seem to find a fit anywhere. I don't want to be completely alone all the time, it's not like that...but at the same time if there's a social niche for me somewhere I can't seem to find it.



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16 Mar 2019, 11:50 pm

Humans tend to be pack/herd animals so our well being - happiness often requires another being. That being doesn't have to be a romantic partner, a family member, or even human. I believe we can find a contented happiness on our own, in fact it's a healthy practice to be able to be on your own and be happy. But because as fore mentioned, we are pack animals, I would really question our ability to be happy if we were to be completely without interaction with other life forms.

Many of us do have that pack craving, craving for a connection and without it it's hard to feel completely happy. But there are those that are much more self fulfilled so their need of others is minimal. For them, only the occasional interaction is enough so for those types being happy alone is easier. People's minds are complex, and what each person needs will vary. But it's entirely possible to be happy alone.


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karathraceandherspecialdestiny
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17 Mar 2019, 12:21 am

Prometheus18 wrote:
karathraceandherspecialdestiny wrote:
Some people seem to think that life experiences don't matter if they are not witnessed by another person--that nothing you do or feel is "real" unless someone is there with you to witness it, but I've never understood this perspective. I'm always there, I witness it, so my experiences and feelings are real to me. I don't need the presence of another person to legitimize my own experience. I enjoy my own life in my own company.


Thanks for posting this. I actually found it rather moving.


My inspiration was Thoreau (specifically "Walden", which I've read several times now), and as you've quoted him in your signature I imagine that means you've read him too.

"Economy" literally changed my life--I simplified my life because of that chapter alone. So much profundity packed into such a slim volume. Thoreau is also one of the reasons why I am a writer, and why I write non-fiction.

"Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispenable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind."

"None can be an impartial or wise observer of human life but from the vantage ground of what we should call voluntary poverty. Of a life of luxury the fruit is luxury, whether in agriculture, or commerce, or literature, or art...To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, not even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live, according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically."



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17 Mar 2019, 3:59 am

I believe that "happiness" is something fleeting, something that never sticks all that long. I think that most people's minds are in one kind of "neutral state", not happy or sad, most of the time, yet it can slip to sadness or happiness for a while if something bad or good happens. How long the person stays happy or sad depends on how good the thing was... of course, depressed people are people who've somehow fallen to the sad state and have trouble with even returning to the neutral state, much less visiting the happy state. I also believe that life is about trying to remain in that neutral state (without falling to the sad state) and reaching for those fleeting happy feelings.

And yes, I do think that the happy feelings can be reached alone. Not all kinds of happy feelings, but some, and if those ones are enough then there's absolutely no trouble even if you don't have anyone by your side.



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17 Mar 2019, 12:17 pm

Yes, happiness can be achieved alone. My dream right now is to move into an apartment that I can afford on my own so that I can live alone. I like visiting my family and hanging out with them from time to time, but I need a lot of time alone because people wear me out. I think I'm truly happiest when alone.


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