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ascendant606

Intelligent people and unhappiness

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What is happiness? Often times what we perceive as happiness are things that are necessary for survival. Food, jokes (which are a sign of one’s intelligence, which is important for survival), reproduction, love and companionship all make us happy. But why then is it the most intelligent people that are the least happy? Could it be that we are flawed in the sense that were are too intelligent for our own good to the point of causing inner turmoil and distress, leading to depression and suicide? Could that be the reason for few people having high cognitive functions? Could it be we intelligent people are actually so intelligent it makes us less functional and capable human beings? Think of it this way: If we are so intelligent as to question everything, and we question questioning things like I am right now, would we live a day if we were in pre-historic times? There is a saying that everyone resists change, but that is an eternal paradox within itself. If we question whether or not we need to change, and question if the changes Mother Nature is gradually doing is right, then how can we be sure what is wrong or right? We question things that are indefinite, things that we cannot be sure about and change is one of those things. We will be forever questioning whether or not we should change, because we will question change, then question questioning change, then question questioning questioning change. It never ends, it’s like trying not to be mainstream in high school. Inadvertently if you try to be not mainstream in high school and everyone else tries to not be mainstream as well, then you will inadvertently be mainstream by not being mainstream. This is the same with change and any life decision. People that are less intelligent do not have these same questioning thoughts, and easily choose to embrace or block change making them more adaptable and easier to survive; ergo making them happier.

But why do we want to survive? Are we being somehow tricked into living? Or is it that the reason intelligent, questioning people are not happy? Because we question and doubt even our most fundamental instincts and question questioning those. It gets to the point where you need something to take your mind off of thoughts like this, for me its reading. But this just gives me more thoughts, making me question even more things so I turned to music. But then that just brings up the question of why do I like music. It’s like an eternal circle of questioning and doubting. Maybe that’s why intelligent people aren’t as happy as others. Happiness is dependent upon comfort for most people, and what makes us comfortable? Food, relaxing and other things that we find comfortable often times are an extension of the very topic of survival we were discussing earlier. When you are relaxing, more times than not it is because you have done everything your mind thinks has to be done to survive. That’s why we crave relaxation, because we feel happy and ready to face whatever we need to face in life because we have completed all tasks needed for survival. When we intentionally relax without finishing our daily needs for survival, it is not near as enjoyable as your mind will keep thinking of the thing that you neglected to do. This is important, because this shows with too many thoughts in your head you often times do not feel content and comfortable, and this is part of what makes you happy. More intelligent people often times find it near impossible to stop thinking sometimes with their questioning and etcetera, leading them to feel less content; ergo making them less happy.

On a physical level however, an intellegent person may be able to make more money, giving them more possesions and wealth but is materlistic happiness really worth anything if you aren't mentally happy?

Do you agree?

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Life is suffering. We are always a little uncomfortable, have aches and pains and itches all the time, we worry and fret and grieve and lose our tempers. We lose face or money, we become addicted to things, we get fat or have pimples or gray hair or no hair. Our children disappoint or disobey us, our country does stupid things and the wrong candidate wins the election. Then to top it all off our ball team has a lousy season.

You know something, nevertheless we generally are happy. Why we should be is a mystery but there it is.

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I think intelligence is something separate from thought. We can question everything in the manner you state, but is that effort really related to intelligence? In a way it is, as you describe, as a function of being more aware of indefinite imponderables, but this is mere intellectualizing. I think intelligence is more than that.

Intelligence is seeing clearly what is. When we see clearly what is, we see clearly the status of all these questioning thoughts. We put them in their own category, so to speak. We recognize them for what they are. Just questions.

(I really don't like the word 'happy', it's sort of a frivolous word with many personal definitions. I'd rather use delight or joyful or wisely content with one's self.)

Anyway, happiness may be a condition that is also not related to thought. Someone who realizes what their intelligence actually is would automatically become 'happy'. This may sound like a bold statement, or a presumptuous one, but when we are quietly fully aware of the present moment, what is is just what is, and this is enough for us, and we smile. I think this kind of silent alert attention is our intelligence. This is our happiness.

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Great thoughts, I agree with the "living in the moment" idea you brought up. Maybe I should rephrase intellgence as thoughtfullness, the definition of intellegence itslef could be its own forum due to the many ways to interpert it. In order "live in the moment" so to speak, it requires you to stop questioning things, so would the answer to being content with oneself (happy) be to push your thoughts aside and just focus on the physical things around you? The reason I correlate thoughts and happiness together is because I find it hard to be happy when you can't stop thinking of things, espicially when they are grim. The easiest way to stop thinking I suppose would be to occupy yourself. I find it is not the bad things in life that reduces my happiness, but rather the realization of the bad things people are willing to do to others. Another solution might be to just be content knowing that people will do bad things no matter how I try to prevent others from doing them, but why will they do it when they know it will make another less "happy"? To make themselves happy? These people probobly don't suffer from these thoughts, so are they more happy because they suffer from less thoughts of morality?

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This has already been proven to be a very dated theory. There is no correlation.

It's not because you overthink things you are suddenly more intelligent. Maybe even the contrary, because you tend to get stuck in pointless thoughts and become a slave to your emotions instead being able to control yourself and the direction of your life.

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Life is suffering. We are always a little uncomfortable, have aches and pains and itches all the time, we worry and fret and grieve and lose our tempers. We lose face or money, we become addicted to things, we get fat or have pimples or gray hair or no hair. Our children disappoint or disobey us, our country does stupid things and the wrong candidate wins the election. Then to top it all off our ball team has a lousy season.

You know something, nevertheless we generally are happy. Why we should be is a mystery but there it is.

I do not disagree with this, I would just mention that although the reality of life can be harrowing/suck at times, it is also wonderful at times. The sense of accomplishment that would come from losing lots of weight, the sense of intimacy that would come from cultivating a quality relationship, The joy of child like wonder and curiosity, falling in love. I am going to find happiness in different ways than you are certainly, but never the less life has a duality.

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I don't know why, but I think it has something to do with enjoying life.

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I don't know why, but I think it has something to do with enjoying life.

Can you expand on your meaning here. I am interested in your thoughts.

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As a Buddhist I am supposed to say that life is a b**** and then we die. That's kinda the theme I took earlier this evening, but obviously I'm happy. Most Vietnamese are -- by my observation happier than most Americans -- at least in terms of smiles and hugs and laughs.

I went to the neighborhood temple this Tet to make my annual contribution. As I gave the old monk my envelope he starts laughing. I think it had to do with the trouble I had getting on my knees and then getting back up again and how solicitous the people around me were, seeing my situation. You old idiot, he is thinking. You know we don't demand that you do that, so why do you? Pride? Oh well . . ..

Of course I just guess, but this sort of living experience makes me happy.

Normally I have my children, my friends, my music, my cats and dogs and fish (oh, and now a couple of Australian budgies my grandson brought over a few days ago, with huge floor-to-ceiling cage for them to fly around in).

Since I've been laid-up I have a lot of free time and spend it on the computer talking with good people like you. That also makes me happy.

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I do not think it is intelligence in and of itself that leads to unhappiness. I think it is much more dependent on your environment and the people you surround yourself with. If you are intelligent and you find yourself constantly surrounded by fools- that may make you unhappy (it would me) because you are unable to have deep and thoughtful conversations with the people around you. This in turn can make you feel isolated and alone which does make you unhappy. But if you are intelligent and you are surrounded by intelligent people who you can have deep and interesting conversations with then you will probably be happier. I think that a lot of intelligent kids who find themselves surrounded by morons in the public school system, and a school system which does not challenge them tend to be more unhappy than their peers, and they cannot usually change their situation.

In my opinion it (happiness) has a lot more to do with the people you surround yourself with, and the way in which you chose to look at the world, than your intelligence level.

-Einsteinium

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What is happiness? Often times what we perceive as happiness are things that are necessary for survival. Food, jokes (which are a sign of one’s intelligence, which is important for survival), reproduction, love and companionship all make us happy. But why then is it the most intelligent people that are the least happy? Could it be that we are flawed in the sense that were are too intelligent for our own good to the point of causing inner turmoil and distress, leading to depression and suicide? Could that be the reason for few people having high cognitive functions? Could it be we intelligent people are actually so intelligent it makes us less functional and capable human beings? Think of it this way: If we are so intelligent as to question everything, and we question questioning things like I am right now, would we live a day if we were in pre-historic times? There is a saying that everyone resists change, but that is an eternal paradox within itself. If we question whether or not we need to change, and question if the changes Mother Nature is gradually doing is right, then how can we be sure what is wrong or right? We question things that are indefinite, things that we cannot be sure about and change is one of those things. We will be forever questioning whether or not we should change, because we will question change, then question questioning change, then question questioning questioning change. It never ends, it’s like trying not to be mainstream in high school. Inadvertently if you try to be not mainstream in high school and everyone else tries to not be mainstream as well, then you will inadvertently be mainstream by not being mainstream. This is the same with change and any life decision. People that are less intelligent do not have these same questioning thoughts, and easily choose to embrace or block change making them more adaptable and easier to survive; ergo making them happier.

But why do we want to survive? Are we being somehow tricked into living? Or is it that the reason intelligent, questioning people are not happy? Because we question and doubt even our most fundamental instincts and question questioning those. It gets to the point where you need something to take your mind off of thoughts like this, for me its reading. But this just gives me more thoughts, making me question even more things so I turned to music. But then that just brings up the question of why do I like music. It’s like an eternal circle of questioning and doubting. Maybe that’s why intelligent people aren’t as happy as others. Happiness is dependent upon comfort for most people, and what makes us comfortable? Food, relaxing and other things that we find comfortable often times are an extension of the very topic of survival we were discussing earlier. When you are relaxing, more times than not it is because you have done everything your mind thinks has to be done to survive. That’s why we crave relaxation, because we feel happy and ready to face whatever we need to face in life because we have completed all tasks needed for survival. When we intentionally relax without finishing our daily needs for survival, it is not near as enjoyable as your mind will keep thinking of the thing that you neglected to do. This is important, because this shows with too many thoughts in your head you often times do not feel content and comfortable, and this is part of what makes you happy. More intelligent people often times find it near impossible to stop thinking sometimes with their questioning and etcetera, leading them to feel less content; ergo making them less happy.

On a physical level however, an intellegent person may be able to make more money, giving them more possesions and wealth but is materlistic happiness really worth anything if you aren't mentally happy?

Do you agree?

My personal opinion is that our mode of existence is out if sync with nature. As a species our intelligence has takeing us out of Nearly everything we evolved for, and has enslaved us To unimportant things.

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1. What is happiness? Often times what we perceive as happiness are things that are necessary for survival. Food, jokes (which are a sign of one’s intelligence, which is important for survival), reproduction, love and companionship all make us happy. But why then is it the most intelligent people that are the least happy? Could it be that we are flawed in the sense that were are too intelligent for our own good to the point of causing inner turmoil and distress, leading to depression and suicide?

2. Could that be the reason for few people having high cognitive functions? Could it be we intelligent people are actually so intelligent it makes us less functional and capable human beings? Think of it this way: If we are so intelligent as to question everything, and we question questioning things like I am right now, would we live a day if we were in pre-historic times?

3. But why do we want to survive? Are we being somehow tricked into living? Or is it that the reason intelligent, questioning people are not happy? Because we question and doubt even our most fundamental instincts and question questioning those. It gets to the point where you need something to take your mind off of thoughts like this, for me its reading.

4. On a physical level however, an intellegent person may be able to make more money, giving them more possesions and wealth but is materlistic happiness really worth anything if you aren't mentally happy?

Do you agree?

I dont agree. Depression is a mental illness it isnt caused by a persons intelligence levels.

Answers to the above selected points -

1. Happyness and unhappyness are not real things because they have no material existance. They are simply ways of thinking with the person who suffers from depression having dark-negative thoughts. In psychology they cure depression by teaching a person correct ways of thinking and its called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

2. The problem isnt how intelligent the mind is its the type of perceptions you allow yourself to have. Anybody can ground themselves in dark-negative thoughts and lead themselves into the abyss. People that do havent learnt to manage their own perceptions so they need teaching it with CBT.

3. Why the doubt? Intelligent people dont doubt themselves people who have problems in the way they think doubt themselves. You've identifed your problem as being the way you think without realising it.

4. You dont acquire happy because it has no material existance. If you try to acquire it by gaining wealth, power, love or material possessions then you'll never find it. You need to look inwards not outwards and see its the thoughts you allow yourself to have which make you unhappy. By only allowing yourself to have thoughts which make you feel good then you find happyness.

Sometimes snapping someone out of depression is hard because they are so locked into their dark-negative thoughts they cant break them. If thats you then you need to see your doctor.

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As a Buddhist I am supposed to say that life is a b**** and then we die. That's kinda the theme I took earlier this evening, but obviously I'm happy. Most Vietnamese are -- by my observation happier than most Americans -- at least in terms of smiles and hugs and laughs.

I went to the neighborhood temple this Tet to make my annual contribution. As I gave the old monk my envelope he starts laughing. I think it had to do with the trouble I had getting on my knees and then getting back up again and how solicitous the people around me were, seeing my situation. You old idiot, he is thinking. You know we don't demand that you do that, so why do you? Pride? Oh well . . ..

Of course I just guess, but this sort of living experience makes me happy.

Normally I have my children, my friends, my music, my cats and dogs and fish (oh, and now a couple of Australian budgies my grandson brought over a few days ago, with huge floor-to-ceiling cage for them to fly around in).

Since I've been laid-up I have a lot of free time and spend it on the computer talking with good people like you. That also makes me happy.

Aww this is awesome, so you find happiness in the everyday moments. I can relate, I just got home from a hike (7 miles) mountain muddy trails, it was pouring rain, right by the ocean, cold, muddy as heck, but amazing. I shared in this with my best friend and we both described it as fun.

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Life is how you perceive it, live it, react to it. Doesn't matter if your smart or dumb to feel happiness or sorrow its up to you how you write your own chapter in the book.

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I dont agree. Depression is a mental illness it isnt caused by a persons intelligence levels.

Answers to the above selected points -

1. Happyness and unhappyness are not real things because they have no material existance. They are simply ways of thinking with the person who suffers from depression having dark-negative thoughts. In psychology they cure depression by teaching a person correct ways of thinking and its called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

2. The problem isnt how intelligent the mind is its the type of perceptions you allow yourself to have. Anybody can ground themselves in dark-negative thoughts and lead themselves into the abyss. People that do havent learnt to manage their own perceptions so they need teaching it with CBT.

3. Why the doubt? Intelligent people dont doubt themselves people who have problems in the way they think doubt themselves. You've identifed your problem as being the way you think without realising it.

4. You dont acquire happy because it has no material existance. If you try to acquire it by gaining wealth, power, love or material possessions then you'll never find it. You need to look inwards not outwards and see its the thoughts you allow yourself to have which make you unhappy. By only allowing yourself to have thoughts which make you feel good then you find happyness.

Sometimes snapping someone out of depression is hard because they are so locked into their dark-negative thoughts they cant break them. If thats you then you need to see your doctor.

I'm not actually depressed myself, and I agree with a lot of what you said. Perception does have a lot to do with whether or not people are able to find joy in their life, and my personal motto for life is that you cant be happy unless you let yourself. This goes for pretty much anything. My line of reasoning before is that "intellegent" people are more likely able to perceive things in a varity or ways, and those perceptions of the world can be negative, and like you mentioned it can be hard to break people out of those dark thoughts.

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It's bull. People just take all of the negatives of life way to hard and waaaaay to personally then when their life does suck most of them do not even want to admit that fact and if they do are too lazy or scared to change it. People in general also have a habit of placing expectations that are unrealistic and get disappointed when they don't pan out.

I'm actually happier when I question things. That means I'm going with my nature to actually learn more about the world around me. I never lost my wonder and curiosity of the world from when I was a child, didn't let the world beat it out of me.

My problems are not depressing anymore. I see them as a real life puzzle that I need to solve. I turn my problems in to a game and compete against myself. You would be surprised at what you can accomplish and how much your life can change for the better when you do so. When I can't, I let it go. No point on lingering on things that you cannot change.

People really need to lighten up and laugh a little more even if it is at themselves.

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Life is how you perceive it, live it, react to it. Doesn't matter if your smart or dumb to feel happiness or sorrow its up to you how you write your own chapter in the book.

Ah a personal experience here; one of my adopted sons went through a period in his extreme youth of living on the beach with little food and nothing but salty, sandy air (this was during the American War). Let me say that he is not too bright. No matter what we do he cannot learn to read. His spoken language is slow and limited.Still, people like him; he has no problem finding girlfriends (although families would not allow a marriage), he keeps a steady job as a security guard, and above all he is happy -- smiling and joking and getting drunk without getting out of hand.

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Ah a personal experience here; one of my adopted sons went through a period in his extreme youth of living on the beach with little food and nothing but salty, sandy air (this was during the American War). Let me say that he is not too bright. No matter what we do he cannot learn to read. His spoken language is slow and limited.Still, people like him; he has no problem finding girlfriends (although families would not allow a marriage), he keeps a steady job as a security guard, and above all he is happy -- smiling and joking and getting drunk without getting out of hand.

Sounds like he has found his niche in life. its a pity that some people are ignorant and wouldn't let him marry.
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I'm not actually depressed myself, and I agree with a lot of what you said. Perception does have a lot to do with whether or not people are able to find joy in their life, and my personal motto for life is that you cant be happy unless you let yourself. This goes for pretty much anything. My line of reasoning before is that "intellegent" people are more likely able to perceive things in a varity or ways, and those perceptions of the world can be negative, and like you mentioned it can be hard to break people out of those dark thoughts.

Wouldn't an intelligent person understand that their perceptions define their ability to find joy and happiness, and so consciously choose to develop and nurture positive perceptions? And wouldn't an intelligent person be aware of consequences of their actions, and so choose the action/behavior that would have positive consequences? Whereas an unintelligent person might be totally ignorant of the law of consequences or unable to learn from their mistakes, and so be continually trapped in a closed-loop circuit of misery? Anyhoo, any proof that intelligent people are less happy? That was the initial claim, put forward without any evidence to back it up.

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I know some rather dumb folks who are very unhappy. I know some rather smart folks who are very happy. And, I know the opposite as well. I suspect the happy/unhappy situation has more to do with life experiences, personality, and just plain luck.

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Wouldn't an intelligent person understand that their perceptions define their ability to find joy and happiness, and so consciously choose to develop and nurture positive perceptions? And wouldn't an intelligent person be aware of consequences of their actions, and so choose the action/behavior that would have positive consequences? Whereas an unintelligent person might be totally ignorant of the law of consequences or unable to learn from their mistakes, and so be continually trapped in a closed-loop circuit of misery? Anyhoo, any proof that intelligent people are less happy? That was the initial claim, put forward without any evidence to back it up.

Nice ideas, as for proof there is no hard evidence suggesting that intellegent people are more happy or more unhappy. This topic wasn't nessicarily to back any one side of the argument, but I am leaning twords intellegent people being less happy. Here's a quote: "Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.", Ernest Hemingway

To the second part of your statement about actions and consequences, I am not disputing that point nor have I ever. You are absolustely correct

To the first part of your statement about nurturing the good, there is more bad than there is good. We preveive less things as good than we do bad. When you see all the perceptions on things, you see more bad than you see good, hence making you unhappier because you see that there is more bad than good. Although yes, you would want to nurture the good perceptions, there are so many bad ones they are impossible to ignore, and can be overwhelming. Everyone has to understand the balance of things, and if you don't you are likely to be unhappy, you cant just foucus on the good otherwise it would lead you to make foolish desicions. The two ideas you presented don't work together very well, I see what you were aiming for but unfortunatly if you only see the good and act to make the good happen, you will inadvertenly cause something bad to happen do to the fact you only focus and nurture the good.

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BTW. I don't know about anyone else but the title was kind of bugging me (I fixed the spelling).

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BTW. I don't know about anyone else but the title was kind of bugging me (I fixed the spelling).

Thanks, I didn't realized I spelled it wrong.

I really wish this website had spell check

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:clap: the funniest things happen sometimes to bring a smile to peoples faces.
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