HAPPINESS


Time and space furnish successive chains and eventually fulfil
happiness;
I am speaking now, not of the goodly gratifications of sense or everyday tastes, which are common enough,
But of that condition when a man can say to himself, I feel perfect bliss,
Exquisite state of feeling of happiness, carrying me in its placid extasy,
I have no desire ungratified.

Pure happiness appears to be the ultimate resting place and point of all things, the meaning of all things,
The eternal tendencies of all toward happiness make the only point of sane philosophy.
Seeing all tend eternally toward happiness,
That sweet morsel we so much prize,
Whatever comprehends less than that is of no account.

Here is the core of life, namely happiness,
I think it pervades the air, waiting at all times,
We need only to be rightly tuned and conditioned,
In order that it flow into us, like one river into another.

Now it flows into us, we are rightly charged,
Happiness, knowledge, not in another place but this place, not for another hour but this hour—
Happiness, the meaning of all things,
Which whoever hears me let him or her set out in search of this day.

There is no life without satisfaction; what is the earth? what are body and soul without satisfaction?
Love, and ambition, and intellect, and wealth—fountains whence, in youth, we expect the future years to draw so much of this happiness—as their fruition comes, does not disappointment also come?
After all that physical comfort and luxury, with mental culture, and political freedom, can accomplish, man, elevating to the spiritual plane where he belongs, at last finds, and there only finds, a satisfaction worthy of his highest self—and achieves happiness.
I cannot define my satisfaction, yet it is so.

In the fact of life itself, discover and achieve happiness,
Be happy going forth, seeing all the beautiful perfect things,
With being suffused night and day by wholesome ecstasy, surpassing all the pleasures that wealth, amusement, and even gratified intellect, erudition, or the sense of art, can give.

But I tell you, you cannot be happy by others, any more than you can beget or conceive a child by others,
One who depends mostly on others for his or her happiness, will never have any at all.
He happy in himself, or she happy in herself, is happy.

The mind, that strange, unfathomable essence, is the main spring of our happiness—
Preserve a cheerful mind, cheerfully tallying life,  with pleased spirit and pleased manner.
Cheer! Cheer! Is there anything better in this world anywhere than cheer—just cheer? any religion better? any art?
Cheerfulness overarches all, like a sky.

To be free, to walk where you will—to be free from care, too—not to have your soul pressed down by the weight of horrible odium or disgrace; not to have a dreadful punishment hanging over you—O, that is happiness.

We fell to talking about the general lack of buoyant animal spirits. “I think,” said Mr. M., “that in all my travels, and all my intercourse with people of every and any class, especially the cultivated ones, (the literary and fashionable folks,) I have never yet come across what I should call a really gay-hearted man.” It was a terrible criticism—cut into me like a surgeon’s lance. Made me silent the whole walk home.
I want my friends, when writing about my poetry, to present its gay-heartedness as one of its chief qualities.

What is happiness, anyhow?
Is this one of its hours, or the like of it—so impalpable—a mere breath, an evanescent tinge? I am not sure—so let me give myself the benefit of the doubt;
Yes, as far perhaps as it falls to mortal lot, I enjoy happiness here.
Mostly owing to these skies, I have had some wondrously contented hours—may I not say perfectly happy ones?—as happy as a clam at high water (as they say down on old Long Island)—embodying the sentiment of perfect happiness in myself, body and soul being all right, regardless of whatever may happen.

Who has been happiest? O I think it is I!
I think no one was ever happier than I,
I think whoever I see must be happy,
It seems to me that everything in the light above must be happy.

NEXT: Joy