Happiness Is...

Happiness can be defined in terms of subjects and relations. There are five types of happiness. All examples of happiness fall into one of these five types.

  1. Primary happiness - occurs when subjects combine to form a relation. (The subjects must first be unrelated.) For example, a marriage.

  2. Secondary happiness - occurs when subjects combine into an existing relation. For example, a promotion.

  3. Tertiary happiness - occurs as the back and forth dynamic of two relations. For example, music or dancing.

  4. Leverage happiness - occurs when a related subject gets lowered. This causes the other related subjects to be increased even though nothing occurred with them. For example, a practical joke.

  5. Contentment happiness - occurs as a relative position in a relation. For example, standard or expectation.

The fourth and fifth types here are actually subtypes of secondary happiness but they are so common and important I like to list them separately. I’d like to also note that leverage happiness is extremely common but hardly ever acknowledged. It is critical to understand that it only works if the subjects are related.

Subjects and relations have the highest scope of all words. Only they are capable of this task. The word ‘object’ is also abstract but objects have no emotional ramifications. Objects and relations is engineering. The subject of subjects and relations is the first philosophy. At least it is supposed to be but it is not.


What if their “relation” is one of hatred?

I suspect the word “relation” isn’t sufficient to describe “happiness”.

Hate is extreme antipathy.
Love is extreme empathy (desire to support).

The greatest joy for a man is to defeat his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them all they possess, to see those they love in tears, to ride their horses, and to hold their wives and daughters in his arms.

Genghis Kahn

That doesn’t seem to change the issue. You make the assertion:
“1. Primary happiness - occurs when subjects combine to form a relation.”

You would have to specify what kind of relation, else any relation; love, hate, sex, business, chess opponents,… whatever would be “Primary Happiness”.

I don’t think that is your intent.

You’re right, that is not my intent. My intent is to establish the definition. Once the definition is established then the applications derive from that. There are only two possibilities (unless one chooses to use different words of course).
Either 1) happiness occurs when relations separate into subjects or 2) happiness occurs when subjects combine to form a relation. Ultimately though, the choice is yours. You can believe in whatever you want.

But you are still not specifying what kind of relation.

As we have discussed before, I define happiness and joy to be fundamentally the same thing;
“Perception of progress toward a desired goal”.

If something can’t perceive, it can’t experience joy or happiness.

Happiness is a great book or one by David Baldacci, :laughing: the sound of Debussy or Chopin playing my ears, my daughter’s safe and contented presence closeby and the tantalizing sound of the wind and the rain outside letting itself be known.

It doesn’t matter what kind of relation. All relations are composed of subjects. It’s not possible to think of an exception.

Perception of progress toward a desired goal isn’t good enough. It doesn’t explain leverage happiness (practical jokes). You need the concept of relation to do so. With relation you get more and less. Someone’s loss is another’s gain. That’s how leverage happiness works.

That’s nice but it’s not very philosophical.

So two people who hate each other and on the brink of murder or suicide are in the state of “Primary Happiness”???

Actually it does explain “leveraged happiness”, but isn’t relevant here.

You are also suggesting that no one can be happy alone.

Yeah, James is right. ‘Relation’ just describes the interaction between subjects. The nature of the ‘relation’ could be anything.

In common usage, ‘relationship’ has come to mean a romantic involvement. Maybe that’s where your idea originates?


Murder or suicide are separations from society. That would be unhappiness, or primary unhappiness.

If two people hate each other they are obviously not in a relationship. If they are, they shouldn’t be.

There are two things I’d like to add about this matter. The first has to do with depth. For example, was it a happy event that seal team six murdered Bin Laden? On the surface, no, it was not a happy event. On a deeper level though, Bin Laden represented the deaths of thousands of people and probably many more in the future. That is a greater unhappiness. Therefore, killing Bin Laden was the lesser of the two unhappy events. So, one has to take depth into account of many real life situations. That doesn’t disprove the definition for primary happiness. Another way to look at it would be if one had five diamonds and took away two of them, that doesn’t mean one plus one doesn’t equal two.

The other thing I’d like to contribute here is to remind us the definition of farther. There are four meanings of farther. The first has to do with proximity. The second has to do with procedures. A procedure is a relation in time. On can be farther along in a procedure than someone else. That has nothing to do with proximity. The third has to do with temperment. Two people in a fight are farther apart than those who are not, or two sides in a negotiation can be far apart, or two nations can be far apart in their relations despite their proximity. The fourth has to do with family. Cousins are farther than siblings, dogs are farther than apes. Again, nothing to do with proximity.

The definition for primary happiness is simple, real life is a bit more complex.

I don’t see how, “perception of progress toward a desired goal,” has anything to do with leverage happiness. To work toward a goal is to move forward in a procedure. One doesn’t move forward in a procedure if someone else moves backward in it.

That would be an example of contentment happiness. Everyone has their own level of contentment. When one says, “Are you happy?” it is the same thing as saying, “Are you content?”

In order for a relation to exist, any relation, there would have to be a combination. There is no other way. This is by definition. Therefore, I don’t need to specify what kind of relation. They all apply.

There are two kinds of relations according to the medieval philosophers. One is reducible relations and the other is non-reducible relations. What I mean by primary happiness would produce a non-reducible relation and secondary happiness would produce a reducible relation.

The suffix, “ship,” in relationship might have come from the meaning of ship as ships aren’t supposed to sink. Or maybe not.

Happiness is a feeling of indestructibility, of experiencing your beauty, its immortality in short intense words as ‘once more’ to all that life entailed.

A self-blessing.

Happiness is not philosophical - it’s psychological and physiological. It all happens within the brain.
But truth be told, at certain moments, there may not be a more logical seeking of truth than through the way in which i described above and one can also come to great wisdom through the inner experiences which come to one through, one’s child, chopin, the wind and rain and yes even David Baldacci. :laughing:

…the feeling that a resistance is being overcome.

In other words, happiness/pleasure/younameit is the discharge of energy. When energy turns against itself, that’s unhappiness.

It covers it pretty well, actually. In order to move forward you HAVE to push something else backward. That’s what it means to “overcome resistance”.

ie. “The inner perception of progress” (or “active hope”).