Thursday, April 24, 2008

Joy vs. Happiness

There's a lot of talk on the blogs I typically read regarding happiness. As far as I'm concerned, happiness is merely life satisfaction. That can make happiness a problem, because if you're satisfied, you don't want to change anything. It also seems a poor replacement for joy, something which many people seem to try to avoid. The problem with joy is that it's overwhelming and hopeful and beautiful, while happiness seems closer to kitsch (Milan Kundera said kitsch portrays a world without shit; this is to be compared to postmodern art, which portrays the world as nothing but shit). Strict moralists want a world of kitschy happiness; postmodernists want a world of shit. Beauty is the recognition that the world is both simultaneously. When you can witness such beauty, that is what brings you joy.
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