Is the basis of human nature based on the search for happiness or are we primal beings content on animal instincts?
What do you think?
To try and summarise the extent of the complex nature of human beings as existing either one way or another is rather vacant in how we live our lives. At the core, it does enable us to question are we searching for happiness or trying to fulfil basic instinctual needs?
Personally, this is a question I can’t answer, and I am not sure on what may be right or wrong. I can only absorb from my own perspective, when there is so much more I have yet to see. My unclear opinion considers both sides. Happiness does appear to be a constant search for people in life, but on the other hand there seems to be a continual emphasis on a physical desire and aggression amongst some in the world. Perhaps these two work together, one fighting the other until the victor decides what path we will take, or maybe we just exist as we are and are not as complex and important as we think?
Happiness means something different to all of us. Laughter, family, friends and doing what we love. I know many people that strive to have this feeling and even personally want to have a great deal of happiness in my life. It seems like such a pure and uplifting way to give life with more meaning. But how, if happiness is what we are all striving for, how do people kill, abuse, hurt and abandon others? Is it a lack of happiness that they experienced, an event or trauma that blocked the chance of a balance existing or clouds blocking out the sun of what they are entitled too, or perhaps even a tradition of happiness being oppressed by generations of hate burned into the mind?
Primal, animal instincts. Depending on your religious/scientific association on the evolution of life this idea may be irrelevant or a clear understanding of how human behaviour occurs. We are constantly shown in the news and media images of violence, the pecking order, sex and reminds of what is either right or wrong, left or right wing, be in the pack or out of it. But, could this really be how on a very basic level we function. Instead of happiness are we searching for a desire to possess, hunting for what we want from one moment to the next, or long term protection for our pack?
I wish that the true measure of our nature was to absorb happiness, perhaps the optimistic view. Do I believe that this is the way we are? I can’t answer yes or no, because I am divided between how I feel and how some of the world is shown to us, but then what we can see can be filtered, washed down, with the truth sometimes distorted. I want to say yes, but a part of me feels conflicted with the logical idea that we may rely more on a primal need. How then does a spiritual connection interact with this idea, perhaps it is connected with a way for happiness to reach us on a different enlightened level.
Perhaps if I reflect on this idea during the week and see how my thoughts have changed on next thinking Tuesday I will also have a greater respect for my own ideas.
In posting this entry I have not meant any disrespect to those with religions views, I respect all people and simply wanted to share my muddled thoughts on an issue.
Human nature is a bit difficult to sum up in words. 😛 Your thoughts weren’t muddled, just spread out!
I really believe that we are born with a simple kind of happiness, and this changes with the experiences we have. There are some people that are naturally unhappy, though, and then there are those, despite any traumas, that have a very light-hearted nature.
I also think, and this is a bit hard to explain, that a number of us are kind of “fed” certain things in our lives. A bit like religion and parents’ personal views, we sometimes grow up with them, and even take on some of their habits. I myself can’t really answer why, when we strive for happiness and contentment, people hurt others. I guess, like I said above, some people are just born the way they are, or they’re taught it.
Also: thank you for this. This kind of puts things I’ve been thinking about in perspective; it seems ironic my own friends do this for me, instead of myself, when I’ve been thinking about it for so long. 😛 I want to marry your mind! ♥
@Tess, Thank you for sharing your opinion as well, it’s interesting to hear what other people think as well. 🙂
Kay, you can have it if you like, it gets a bit clunky in my head sometimes. Evil brainz. :'(