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Happiness index and its efficiency

What is happiness?

Generally, happiness is the perception of human being towards the quality of life. Happiness depends on multiple factors which varies from person to person. The context of this article is to explore happiness and multiple factors benefiting individual as a whole.

Cause of happiness

Physical satisfaction: Adjustment to climate, surroundings, and individual living conditions.

Needs fulfillment (both primary & secondary): Primary as hunger, thirst, shelter, sex. Secondary as education, achievement, profession, business, social support, family background, motivation, etc.  

Goal accomplishment: includes both short term goal and long-term goal.  

Good social connection: friends circle, peer groups, social media activity.  

Supportive family: family cooperation in education, career and life partners.   

Emotional wellbeing: emotionally satisfied and not affected by any mental and psychological disorders.  

Growth of conscience: ability to choose between right and wrong.  

Correlation of happiness with wealth

Happiness doesn’t depend on wealth. People nowadays accumulate a large amount of wealth and still feel empty from inside-out. It is a common belief that desires are met when the money source is accurate. In real world, money can’t buy happiness. It could only help to reach the stage of happiness. The real happiness is the state of mind.

Happiness and meaning of life

Life could be enjoyed only when it is well understood. The life definitions by others couldn’t help to secure a good life. It is only by the self-effort that a true meaning of life is explored. Meaning of life is determined by individual’s mentality, attitude, expressions and values it denotes to other beings. The factor of stable life is achieved when a person is fulfilled in his achievements and maintain a proper balance in between needs and desires.

Happiness and needs

A minimalist with least needs could be happier than a materialist with excess of needs. The idea is very clear- needs doesn’t determine happiness. Needs only keep you well composed and not well disposed. To be inclined well in life, one needs to throw the unnecessary likeliness towards the outer pleasure. In case, the inner pleasure is given value than a person is both happy and satisfied.

Happiness and values

Inner happiness results into morality, morality results into conscience, conscience results into good thoughts, good thoughts result into resourceful action, and action brings fruitful result. We see happiness creates a chain of goodness. The values of truth, morality, justice is always complementary to happiness.

key variables of a happiness index

GDP per capita: The wealth of a country is related to its happiness index.

Social support: it is defined by responsiveness of people to help someone in problems.  

Healthy life expectancy: Average number of happy years a child is expected to live.

Health infrastructure: In a situation of pandemic, the most important worry for people is a proper health infrastructure provided by their country. Health providing resources should be abundant in a country to help its citizens in timely needs.  

Freedom to make life choices: Are you satisfied with the daily choices you make in your life? Freedom to choose make sure that you are responsible for your choices and not dependent on others.

Generosity: It is measured by people’s interest in charity and support.  

Perceptions of corruption: It is determined by depths of corruption rooted in a country.  

Unexplained happiness: other endless causes for happiness like people interest, fashion, lifestyles, music choice, connectivity, welfare.  

Other factors to explain happiness index

Sustainability– It is the factor which gives attention to future needs and manage consumption statistics of present days.

 Risk analysis and management– we need to calculate the future risks and show preparedness. Like disaster management, health insurance, accident insurance, and other safety causes.   

Dignity of labor– Each work is important and each carries equal values. The cleaning staffs, mining workers, construction staffs need to be treated according to labor laws. They are liable for the fair treatments, paid holidays, sick leave, adequate and timely wages.  

Trust & Cooperation– we need to trust our neighbors and cooperate well with the surrounding developmental activities.

Stress management– Stress is the main cause for unhappiness. When one could manage to reduce stress in life, the happiness factors would automatically reach high.

Changing mentality– We need to change our mentality and cultivate the values of acceptance and love.

Generating awareness– one needs to keep pace with the world by being aware on different issues of life.  

Happiness in profession– we should be happy and satisfied in the work we choose for living. It doesn’t matter how much we are earning in a particular work. The thing which really matters is we are enjoying the work processes or not.

Deconstruction of old values– As we step in future, we should drop down some of the values of past so as to accept the newest and healthiest values of future.

Non-judgement in appearance– when we judge others based on appearance, we miss the real values which defines a person.

Spirituality– the cultivation of spirituality within could give effective results to achieve inner happiness.

There are numerous approaches for calculating the happiness index. Drop your own suggestions in the comments area so that we could create a comprehensive lists for the calculative theory of happiness index.

Maya- The unknown Ruler

“We run towards illusionary happiness, the materialistic life. We should know that real happiness is within us. We just need to identify it.”

Maya is a cosmic illusion. It’s a magic we generally fail to identify. We are known to be in illusion from the past to present days.
Maya is not an ordinary kind of illusion. It decieve us of reality and make us see what it wants us to show. Due to Maya, it’s difficult to recognize the truth and our life is affected a lot. It’s just because of Maya that we are blind despite having eyes, deaf despite having ears and mute despite having mouth.
Maya cover the reality/ the truth in such a way that we see illusion but believe it to be reality. Maya is just like a mirage which shows water in desert.

Life on Earth isn’t real but a divine Leela.

If everything is illusion, then what’s reality? Where is truth?
This is the major metaphysical problem in philosophy. What we consider reality, isn’t true in real. Reality is completely different from what we see around.

Today’s perspective:  Influence of ‘Maya’ in our Life

Today our world is most badly affected by Maya. I will put forward the daily life examples which would make it easier to understand the concepts:
Today we give time to technology & work so much, that we forget to give time to our own family, people, and even to self.
We won’t skip a day browsing Instagram, Facebook, twitter and we rarely get time to read the artistic writings and noble works of writers.
Today communication & transport has turned much easier due to technology, but we don’t prefer going to our village and spending time with our relatives.
Today the right means of living is broadcasted everywhere on TV, Internet, and social media. Still, our country is fighting cancer, HIV and another deadly disease.
Because of Maya, the loyal & poor people are ignored; whereas corrupted & rich are celebrated.
Today the royalty is measured by dressing & styles, and not by knowledge & beliefs. And the blame goes to Maya.
Our country is badly affected by the illusionary power of MAYA. Our life is threatened for its true essence. We focus our major part of life in building a happy house, and suddenly the disaster comes, and everything is destroyed.

How could we avoid falling in the trap of Maya?

“We run towards illusionary happiness, the materialistic life. We should know that real happiness is within us. We just need to identify it.”
There are so many limitations in people’s thinking & beliefs. Despite all these drawbacks, our country prospers because it values the talents and keeps on pushing the poor to live a life of comfort & respect.
The reason is explicably called as the self-power. Maya despite being so powerful & outreach, couldn’t affect the soul which could differentiate between the reality & fake.
In today’s world, if we identify the reality & fake,  then we are untouched by the mischief of Maya.
WE are humans, a masterpiece with errors. So, we shouldn’t be afraid of errors but should do our tasks with great pride and interests. Whatever will turn wrong could be blamed to Maya.”
Despite having the influence of Maya, an illusion, if we try to manage our life positively & logically, we can avoid getting affected by Maya.

Philosophical perspectives: Understanding Maya

1. Maya projects illusion and Maya conceals the truth. Maya stops us from achieving God’s realization and self-realization. It’s because of Maya that we are drowning in the sea of ignorance. We can’t see the island of truth. We are an intelligent being. But, we feel like most ignored.
2. Maya creates the materialistic desires in us. It’s the materialistic desires which make us do work or activity. Since childhood, we want to grab the thing we see. We are running for fake happiness only to be realized at the end.
The secret of the universe couldn’t be explored because we are troubled by Maya.  Modern science is exploring the universe and has been true in finding some deep truth. But still, it hasn’t found the absolute truth. It’s because of Maya we couldn’t reach to the absolute truth. The more efforts we put to get the truth, the bigger the problems turn.
3. The most important question which arises in understanding Maya:
If Maya is projecting illusion everywhere, then what about our own world? Does the world really exist? Or it is just the projection of Maya? Vedanta Philosophy explains that world doesn’t exist in reality. It exists only in relation to our mind. It’s same as per the definition given by popular Greek philosopher Descartes. I think; I exist. And therefore, I exist; the world exists.
Since our world has got both positive and negative phenomenon. And so, our world couldn’t be defined as completely real. Our world has got both optimistic & pessimistic thing. Our world seems hopeful and disaster at the same time. The dual nature of the world couldn’t be accepted in the theory of absolutism. Because of the duality of the nature of this world, philosophers and scientists have declared it as unreal and geared up to search the real world. Or the world which has got complete truth and no falsehood. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been possible to reach the truth despite persistent efforts.
4. Spirituality claims that realism is all inside us. There is no way we could find it at another place. While spirituality is exploring the inner life, scientists are making an effort to find reality outside.
Conclusively, no satisfactory results have been found. And all is blamed to the unknown ruler- the Maya which deceives us in a way that no-one could explore the reality. If we fully understand Maya, we would be successful in identifying and judging reality.
When we know the reality, everything changes, and we feel peace.
Therefore, let’s start getting unaffected by the materialistic life and focus on the true, spiritualistic, valuable, and genuine development of the self.
I hope you like the summary on ‘Maya’. Though there are many concepts related to Maya, I tried to finish it in reference to our actual life. Thanks for your continuous support. 🙂

John Dewey “Common faith”

American philosopher John Dewey (1897), in “My Pedagogic Creed,” concludes with these words:

“I believe, finally, that the teacher is engaged, not simply in the training
of individuals, but in the formation of the proper social life.
I believe that every teacher should realize the dignity of his calling; that
he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of proper social order
and the securing of the right social growth.
I believe that in this way the teacher always is the prophet of the true
God and the usherer in of the true kingdom of God. (p. 95)”

The teacher is a prophet, a social servant; apart from teaching and following her duties, she must be an expert in managing and ordering the social life of an individual. According to Dewey, a man is never known by the recognition he has collected in his lives but by the contributions, he has made to society. One must be engaged in contributing to what one knows throughout one’s lifetime. Social struggle is a process of human betterment.

John Dewey ‘spirituality’

The major role of Dewey was to seal the gap between ‘Traditional organized religions’ and ‘Major advances in science’. He produced the concepts of spirituality which would help to maintain the balance between religions and science. The main idea of Dewey was to guide people the true concepts of ‘religions’ (he meant ‘spiritualism’) which is all in us but, we are diverted by the different norms of religious sects and cultures.

Dewey Rejection of ‘supernatural’

John Dewey rejected the ‘concept of the supernatural’ in religions. He affirms that there is nothing such as supernatural. Whatever is there could be observed and confirmed. Belief in the supernatural is the ancient human inabilities to understand the natural phenomenon. Whatever couldn’t be understood has given the name of ‘act of supernatural entity’. In today generations also, whatever phenomenon science is incapable to define is termed the ‘causation of God’.

In his contributions to the symposium “Religion and the Intellectuals” in The Partisan Review (Dewey, 1950), he projected his disbelief in the supernatural substances. The only solution to embrace spiritual qualities is to reject the concepts of ‘supernatural entities’.

Dewey’s meaning of religious

The true meaning of religions according to the point of view of Dewey is “sense of the whole”. The good relationships among individual and community are considered as the true meaning of religions. Organized religions institutions have missed the true meaning of religions and always bragged about the doctrines, theory, religious faith.

In ‘common faith’ (Dewey 1934) Dewey mentioned clearly about the wholeness of religions in maintaining relationships with others in the best possible ways. In this book he has written the four major concepts:

  1. The knowledge is unified-  Forms of knowledge shouldn’t be separated from one another. The religions and science should be considered as the same. One could only ‘experience’ the wholeness and oneness of all the knowledge. The individual should search for religions in every set of experiences.
  2. Knowledge is democratic– knowledge is public and everyone can reach out for it. It doesn’t matter what method you are implying in search of truth, what matters is the inquiry of truth.
  3. The pursuit of moral ideals requires moral faith– faith is the commitment to moral principles and ideals of the society that always works for the improvements of the society. The faith in religions is, therefore, important because it helps in self-improvements.

While you still feel a sort of ‘atheist’ in accepting religions, you could anytime refine your beliefs on the actual definitions of “being religious”.

Webster(2009) summarized religions as “religion is not something that people should have but should become like the way of living.”

4. The authority of moral ideals is explored by inquiry– Every moral ideal should be for the benefit of society. If an idea is stated in doctrine, but the society doesn’t feel secure by following it, then, the ideal could be eradicated and altered for the sake of society.

John Dewey has shared in his writings the benefits of ‘experiences’ in life. We all should have experiences to inquiry the truth of knowledge at its best.

“Experience gives meaning to existence” – John Dewey

Dewey is confident that the method of inquiry would give meaning to life and refine knowledge which isn’t possible without the self-experiences. The ‘experiences’ also leads to the development of moral values in life.

To summarize, acceptance of orthodox and standardized religious hierarchy isn’t needed for spreading the concepts of morality instead ‘wholeness of knowledge’ and ‘understanding democracy’ is the sole requirements for the ignition of ‘religious beliefs’.

The religion is realizing the perfect state between actual and ideal.  Humans have always looked for the problem-solver, the ultimate helper. But, he has not tried fully to solve his problems on his own. We should search for the moral ideals in our real lives instead of expecting some supernatural power to come and cherish our life.

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