Originally posted by Doward
[b]Orders of happiness is somewhat ambiguous is what I was getting at
I disagree. A slight disclaimer here: The actual qoute should be ""it is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied". I shortened it for expedience, though that was likely a mistake.
Happiness can be di ...[text shortened]... type of happiness, the animal pleasures and appetites have less of an impact and seem petty.[/b]
For the most part, I agree with this. I'm the first to talk out against people getting caught up in useless things (e.g. feeding the flesh desires), materialism etc. Living in the san francisco bay area, a lot of hearts around here are cold, and the social structure (culturally, economically/financially, and even infrastructure wise) keeps us penned up like cattle. People keep their head down, focused on their bank account, or smart phone, or going to some club to indulge on substance abuse and impersonal intimacy.
I had a conversation with a group of friends where I told them a brief outline of an idea for a self sustainable community. Capitalistic economics tend to be based on exploitation. While we go parading around the streets in our shoes sewed up by some poor suffering kid who's wages go to a corrupt government, and we keep other people responsible for our essentials on the lower end of the totem pole, we have choices about how we want to live. My drummer tells me, "What if I just want to have fun? It's not like I'm directly and personally keeping someone down. My motives are good and all, all I want to do is go to bars and see the ladies"
"Well then, you just aren't aware of the footprints you're leaving and you're confining yourself to a limited form of pleasure. I can't really consider you sentient, either- you're just another sheep in the herd not thinking and unaware" - of course a lot of my response is definitely calling myself out.
Either way, the happiness I do find through spiritual, intellectual, scientific etc means are just further aspects of my flesh desires. Who I am doesn't respond to NASCAR, baseball, fancy clothes and cars, but I respond to sutras, philosophies, music etc. It's all transient either way. You can have your existentialist background, but I think the truest fulfillment of it if how are you going to apply it across all the menial tasks? How are you going to gain the intellectual happiness from the everyday, materialistic things people do around you? Or are you going to make the distinction- afraid to make the mud in sculptures? See the potential that everything has- it's all in front of us.