The Different Levels of Joy and Grief – Happiness and Suffering

I find that there are three levels of joy and grief. Two of them are mental, and one is physical. Each of the levels are dependant on one another but may exist independently and do not rely on one another to exist. For example, you may experience joy whilst being in physical pain.

The three levels of joy and grief I define in this text are upper, lower, and physical.

Level 1: physical pleasure and pain

This is the lowest form of both pleasure and pain. It is most easily found in the form of pain. If you stub your toe or cut yourself you may feel physical pain. Physical pleasure (on the other hand) is much more difficult to accomplish but you may find it in things like sex or getting rid of discomforts such as the feeling of jumping into a cold pool after sweating your ass off in 40 degrees and hot sunshine.

Although most physical pleasure and pain go away quickly, usually within a week or two, you may also suffer physical trauma in which the pain is just part of life. With this pain, you usually get used to it and while it may always be in the background, it doesn’t control your actions as much as a contemprorary and sharp pain may.

Level 2: lower joy/pleasure and grief/suffering

This is when you’re happy or sad in the moment. You may experience such things while having fun. It makes you happy, but doesn’t give you a fundamental joy within life. The events that give you lower pleasure are also those that you look forward to on a day to day basis and can be much clearly defined than higher pleasure. When someone makes you laugh, you are likely experiencing lower pleasure.

Lower pain is much harder to define because lower grief, pain, sorrow, or suffering is much more influencial onto your higher pain/pleasure than happy things that you see in the now. Examples of lower pain may be losing in a videogame or seeing something sad, that doesn’t affect your fundamental relationship with life.

These feelings are usually only skin deep and can quickly wash away to see one’s real, higher, or true feelings.

Level 3: higher pleasure and grief/suffering

This is what defines your personality, charter, and your subconscious. These feelings are those that you feel as a fundament, no matter what situation you’re in. A fundamentally happy person may see a objectively bad situation and try to find the good in it, even when it’s outweighed by the bad. He also doesn’t let the bad draw him down.

You could see it as the situation of the optimist and the pessimist. While the optimist may see the good in life and seeks possible win/win outcomes of the situation, or practices Proactivity, the pessimist looks at a situation that may even be good and seeks the bad within it. A fundamentally happy person will seek to see the pleasure which he may take away from a situation, or practice optimism, while a fundamentally sad person has to strain in order to find the pleasure and beauty in life.

For one to be fundamentally happy, or rather content, one must first see both the good and the bad. If one only looks at the good, then one may spiral into a depressive state when faced with a truly grim situation. It is for this reason that if you want to achieve higher pleasure, you must first acknowledge the true suffering and pain within life. 

How do we find higher pleasure? How do I become happy?

There is not a comprehensive or objective answer to that question

Being happy all the time is irrational 

One cannot be happy always. Life is just a series of disappointments created by us seeking more than what we can have or achieve. BUT if we got everything that we ever wanted, we would also be sad becasue it would strip the meaning from life.

Even when you feel like you’re fucking up everything you can in life, remember that everything is temporary and circumstances will change. You must always have this constant change in mind. When you are at the top of the world as well. Eventually you will get off of your high and things will become mundane as they always were and always will be. Do not take your life for granted. Go to sleep with a smile on your face and hope for better in the future. You might even wake up tomorrow to see another day. 

Life is suffering, but you can be at peace with that suffering and see the beauty within the shadow.

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