in Religion
Accepting the Truth
Is happiness possible if there is no hope of getting what you believe you want?

[Read more about Life]

Buddhist Scriptures (Penguin Classics) / Paperback

Every once in a while, I get the idea in my head that I'd like to have a particular thing or do a particular activity and each time that I have endeavoured to have the thing or do the activity, it's not as much fun as I thought it would be.

What is it that you believe you want? What is it that you believe would make you happy? People have lot's of answers to this question. Some people talk about money, relationships, careers, status or the respect and recognition of their community. Some people talk about achievements. They say, "When I climb this mountain or win this competition, happiness will manifest itself." But is that true?

When have I ever been "happy"?

The "happiest" I've ever been was during the worst time in my life. I was the saddest when I was the happiest. How does that make sense, right?

I started college when I was 18 years old. I lived in the dorms. I had 8am classes that I attended in jeans and a hat. I worked at the student union. I invested a lot of time in the computer lab, putzing around with VAX/VMS and Unix. And, in the midst of that, I learned something called HTML. Once I saw HTML, it was only a matter of time. Somehow, I managed to leave college and join the professional world.

It would be 11 years before I'd return to college, but I returned and I completed my degree. I walked away from a successful business as an independent Web Developer to invest two years in completing my bachelor's degree in Philosophy and Law.

My degree was conferred in February 2008. At that time in my life, I could barely lift my head from the pillow of my bed. I was crying everyday, dwelling on every sad event and memory of my life. I was recovering from a horrible relationship and in the midst of the death of the "old me" that preceded the birth of the person I am today.

I cried all day, everyday whilst being the happiest I've ever been. I achieved my goal. I'd joined the fraternity of college graduates.

Could I be happy if I had not graduated? I don't know. I just know that graduating required experiencing the events that caused the darkness and tears and I believe it's worth it.

What do you believe that you want? Would it make you "happy"? Do you know what "happiness" is?

Wikipedia said:

Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (they have died), or because they never had such functions and are classified as inanimate. Various forms of life exist, such as plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria. The criteria can at times be ambiguous and may or may not define viruses, viroids, or potential synthetic life as "living". Biology is the science concerned with the study of life.

There is currently no consensus regarding the definition of life. One popular definition is that organisms are open systems that maintain homeostasis, are composed of cells, have a life cycle, undergo metabolism, can grow, adapt to their environment, respond to stimuli, reproduce and evolve. However, several other definitions have been proposed, and there are some borderline cases of life, such as viruses or viroids.

Abiogenesis is the natural process of life arising from non-living matter, such as simple organic compounds. The prevailing scientific hypothesis is that the transition from non-living to living entities was not a single event, but a gradual process of increasing complexity. Life on Earth first appeared as early as 4.28 billion years ago, soon after ocean formation 4.41 billion years ago, and not long after the formation of the Earth 4.54 billion years ago. The earliest known life forms are microfossils of bacteria. Researchers generally think that current life on Earth descends from an RNA world, although RNA-based life may not have been the first life to have existed. The classic 1952 Miller–Urey experiment and similar research demonstrated that most amino acids, the chemical constituents of the proteins used in all living organisms, can be synthesized from inorganic compounds under conditions intended to replicate those of the early Earth. Complex organic molecules occur in the Solar System and in interstellar space, and these molecules may have provided starting material for the development of life on Earth.

Since its primordial beginnings, life on Earth has changed its environment on a geologic time scale, but it has also adapted to survive in most ecosystems and conditions. Some microorganisms, called extremophiles, thrive in physically or geochemically extreme environments that are detrimental to most other life on Earth. The cell is considered the structural and functional unit of life. There are two kinds of cells, prokaryotic and eukaryotic, both of which consist of cytoplasm enclosed within a membrane and contain many biomolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. Cells reproduce through a process of cell division, in which the parent cell divides into two or more daughter cells.

In the past, there have been many attempts to define what is meant by "life" through obsolete concepts such as odic force, hylomorphism, spontaneous generation and vitalism, that have now been disproved by biological discoveries. Aristotle was the first person to classify organisms. Later, Carl Linnaeus introduced his system of binomial nomenclature for the classification of species. Eventually new groups and categories of life were discovered, such as cells and microorganisms, forcing dramatic revisions of the structure of relationships between living organisms. Though currently only known on Earth, life need not be restricted to it, and many scientists speculate in the existence of extraterrestrial life. Artificial life is a computer simulation or man-made reconstruction of any aspect of life, which is often used to examine systems related to natural life.

Death is the permanent termination of all biological functions which sustain an organism, and as such, is the end of its life. Extinction is the term describing the dying out of a group or taxon, usually a species. Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of organisms.

- So sayeth Wikipedia, 09/02/2019 19:56:49

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