Happy = Insane
An autumnal friend of mine says that flowers smell rotten. She says that music designed to celebrate is sad. She says that the search for fulfillment ruins your life and that happiness is hell. For her, someone happy is someone who decides to stop suspecting, someone who assumes that the world is the way she wants it to be and not the way it really is: a real shit.
There is no such thing as getting what you want. There is no such thing as what we want, only what is there. Even if we achieve what we want, what is there does not look like what we want. What there is looks like what there is.
It is true that coffee spills easily, that the package of tobacco filters opens in the backpack, that avocado ruins a pair of pants. Living with your back to the truth is just a decision. Life can be that awful but denying it doesn’t make it any better. This is an avoidance reflex.
A person on public transport can be drawn like this: headphones, sunglasses, bent neck and eyes on the phone screen like Narcissus. Will evasion be necessary to withstand reality? Is evasion happiness? Our reality, not being able to pay our rent, not having free time, bearing with a jerk who has a videoconference in the subway, being afraid, etcetera; our reality apparently does not please us. Are we going to do something to change it or will we give ourselves up forever to narcotics? How about a life with a little less anesthesia? What would happen? What there is looks like what there is and it doesn’t change no matter how much we stubbornly deny it.
My friend and I have decided to defeat happiness and respect desire as a driving force without enslaving ourselves to it. Our conformity, our aspiration is based on finding or having found a garden, a terrain, a field of action. That place to return to, invented, discovered by oneself, should be enough for us. To that place, to that private and personal homeland we must return when we are infected by the disease of the search for fulfillment. “You have lost your way, go back to the source!”, we say to each other.
My friend and I gave up the idea of being happy, in principle to resist living numbed. If we stop being numbed and trade avoidance for nonviolent confrontation perhaps then we can begin to talk about that small decision to face the experience of living within the truth, within what is there and then not what we would like there to be. And that’s where this complaint comes from, that’s where this joyful apology for unhappiness comes from.
It is in the course of the search for happiness that we find unhappiness. The key to happiness may be to be happily unhappy, to somehow cheat it. I wouldn’t wish happiness on anyone.
Here is a short video of Marshall Mcluhan for you. Watch the video, but read his books.