When insanity, and its religious counterpart, is removed from the discussion, we are left with the above “Human Nature” graphic. We now have only the real, and its rational counterpart, as the focus of our discussion. We will now study these and learn how properly functioning human beings deal with one another right here on earth.
This altered structure permits us to more closely examine the nature of human nature for the specific purpose of understanding happiness and that upon which its continued existence depends.
If one were to closely investigate the above graphic, one would find that the real alternative is the basis of ethics and that the rational alternative is the basis of morality.
Further investigation of it would reveal that only ethical persons do act properly, and only moral persons can achieve happiness.
Under the laws of human nature, and therefore under the principles of ethics, is where we talk about survival—personal survival. To survive means to remain a living being, to remain alive. Notice that survival does not and cannot include death. This is because to die is to fail to survive death.
Like eternity, survival is not a time-sensitive idea. Survival does not mean some kind of temporary existence; it means permanent existence. To survive death means to not die, ever! But notice how this seems to contradict that which one sensually knows to be the case. Let me emphasize that the contradiction only seems to exist. The evidence is otherwise.
Survival is an idea based on the more fundamental idea of eternity. Eternal survival is the denial of a time element with regard to one’s personal existence. The eternal survival of self is an idea based in what one already knows to be the case but may not have thought about. I am going to uncover and resolve that thinking failure—the failure to identify and describe what is sensually known to be the case about the eternal nature of one’s own survival.
When we focus on the needs of our own physical existence, as the beasts do, we are constrained by what is available to our sensual observation. And we observe that individual human persons do die. I do not dispute this observation. It is a good, true, and valid observation. Individual humans do die. All humans will eventually die. All animals will eventually die. All plants will eventually die. I cannot and do not, and therefore will not, dispute this observation.
To discuss the issue of social happiness—with social happiness being the epistemological advancement on the idea of personal survival—we must move the discussion from the real to the ideal, from the physical to the rational, from the objective to the conceptual, from sensual knowing to rational understanding, from personal selfishness to social capitalism, from timed existence to eternal existence, from knowledge to intelligence.
As previously discussed, social happiness is the epistemological concomitant of personal survival. Where survival is a word based in the eternal nature of physical reality, happiness is a concept based in the rational nature of human intelligence. Where survival involves knowing that one’s person exists, happiness involves understanding what the existence of one’s person requires for it to always remain in existence. The consequence of knowing what one’s existence requires is called survival; the consequence of understanding what one’s person requires is called happiness. Survival is physically potent, where happiness is intellectually potent. One cannot be separated from the other.
To explain the requirements of happiness requires one to understand the relationship between behavior and consequences, between acting as a beast and acting as a human, between acting religiously and acting rationally. Where acting rationally (in accordance with the laws of nature) involves reason, acting faithfully (in accordance with the dogmatic laws of religion) involves emotion.
Achieving happiness requires reason, not emotion. Emotion will get in the way of one’s achievement of happiness. To achieve happiness, one must be able to understand that there is an alternative to death and that one is able to experience that alternative. But to stop here is to fail. One must actually do that which is a requirement of one’s happiness; otherwise one will not experience it. One must behave consequentially; one must purposefully create the consequence responsible for describing what human happiness is and requires. This requires one to think about what the requirements of achieving happiness are and then put into action those virtues required to bring about a happy experience.
I am frequently asked, “Do you believe you are going to die?” I respond with “No! I know I am going to die.” But this is, of course, not a completely accurate response. And the reason for this is that knowing is a sensual response between two things when at least one of these things is a brain. In other words, I have not sensually witnessed my own physical death. Therefore, the claim “No! I know I am going to die” is not based on what I know to be the case. The accurate way to respond to such a question would be: “No! I understand that one day I will die.”
However, when one understands that one’s personal physical death does not—as if by the law of necessity—require that one’s living existence ceases to exist, this understanding will have an evolutionary effect on the way one thinks and therein on the way one behaves. This is saying that, when investigating human happiness and what it requires, one cannot be limited by what is sensually available to one’s brain. It must also include that which one’s mind rationally understands to be the case. When investigating happiness, the requirement is to understand why properly functioning human beings must act in the ways they do.
We need to understand the intellectual nature of human nature rather than just knowing that human beings do exist. Once we understand why properly functioning humans must act in the ways they do, we can begin to understand what human happiness is and that upon which its continued existence depends.
Intelligence is not a concern for what exists; intelligence is concern for what its existence is. Similarly, happiness is not concern for knowing that one exists, rather it is concern for understanding what one’s existence is and what it requires to remain what it is—that is, for it to remain in existence forever.
You and I and they do exist. That is what we need to be talking about. What is that? It is the existence of their living existence. More specifically, it is the existence of one’s own living existence and what that requires of one for it to remain in existence forever.
Existence is a concept created to describe a certain kind of idea. Existence, then, is not real—it’s ideal. Existence is not physically potent and therefore cannot be a known. The existence of existence must be—it can only be—understood. Existence is an intellectual abstraction. Like all intellectual abstractions, the existence of existence was abstracted from that which exists in a sensually knowable way.
One cannot go to a market and purchase a pound of existence. Existence does not exist in that kind of way; it does not denote a real physical something. Existence is reality idealized, rather than known. This makes existence an intellectual something as opposed to a real something. Existence denotes the existence of the absolute nature of physical reality. Existence is not what it is but that it is. Existence conceptualizes the absolute nature of physical reality into the abstract nature of rational intelligence. Existence exists as an idea within rational intelligence, not as a something within physical reality.
Existence is what knowledge is the epistemological concomitant of.
It can be said that existence exists and that knowledge is what that existence is. Knowledge is what the existence of the absolute nature of physical reality is. Knowledge is physical existence conceptualized into a rational idea. Where existence denotes the physical nature of reality, knowledge denotes the rational nature of existence. Knowledge moves the physical nature of absolute existence into the rational nature of abstract existence. Knowledge is that audio/visual symbol the human mind created to denote that what one requires to understand what the abstract nature of human happiness is—does exist. What is it? It is the existence of one’s own living person.
The issue boils down to this: Every living organism will eventually die. But does that, as if by the law of necessity, demand that its living-existence has gone out of existence? The evidence is clear, and the answer is no. What is the evidence supporting such a claim? It is the living-existence of you and me and them!
Consider this: If it is true that every person preceding you has died, in the sense their living-existence has gone out of existence, then how do you explain your living-existence? If their living-existence has actually gone out of existence, why are you still here? Where do you think your living-existence actually physically came from?
A theist will tell you that your living-existence exists because of the miraculous powers of their God-being. But your mind understands this is not the case. Your mind understands that you have parents and that it is their actions, as properly functioning living beings, that is responsible for your living-existence. Your mind understands that your living-existence is not different from that of your parents. Your mind understands this, but it may not as yet have thought about the enormous implication this will have on your intelligence, and thereby on your religion, once your mind does begin to think about it.
When your mind begins to understand that your living-existence does exist and that there is a way in which you can cause it to continue to exist—even beyond your own personal lifespan—this understanding will set your mind free of the mystical influence religious belief may now enjoy over its rational operations.
Acknowledge this: Unlike the knowing function of your brain, the understanding function of its mind, called thinking, does not proceed automatically. Thinking (the virtue of understanding) is that mind function that must be done—it must be volitionally engaged. If your mind is to ever begin to think, you are the one who must cause it to do that. I can’t cause you to think; no one can. That is your responsibility. It is your intellectual responsibility as a properly functioning human being to think about what you are, where you are living, and what these require of you.
To survive means to do that which your nature as a living being requires of you. A person living alone on a deserted island can be considered a properly functioning human being, but he cannot be considered a rational functioning member of society. Recall that it is the natural consequences resulting from one’s social interactions that determine whether one’s actions are rational or not.
In other words, our island dweller can only do that which is required to live throughout a normal lifespan. He cannot do that which is required for his living-existence to survive beyond his own physical death. He can benefit from his selfish actions, but he cannot profit from the living-existence of his own person. This is because a profitable social interaction is not available to him, and this is because he is the only person living on that deserted island.
Personal production is the fundamental requirement for the continued existence of one’s living person. The law of fundamentality applied to one’s personal existence states that personal production is that ethical act upon which the continued (eternal) existence of one’s living person depends. To be considered personally productive requires that there is another with whom one has been socially engaged. Personal production is the difference between ethical selfishness and moral capitalism. Personal production is the difference between living properly and surviving happily.
Do not become confused by what is being said here. This is not saying that people who do not, for whatever reason, have children cannot be considered to be functioning in a proper human way. That would be an absurdity. What is being said here is that they cannot be considered to be happy about that.
The contrary of happiness is sorrow. It is not possible to experience sorrow in the absence of a real cause of it. As happiness is an intellectual abstraction, so is sorrow. Since happiness and sorrow are intellectual abstractions, then, they are not sensual knowns. What they are—what their true meaning is—can only be understood.
Like all intellectual abstractions, that which is responsible for their existence is sensually known to exist. Recall that knowing is that automatically occurring sensual response between two objects when at least one of these objects is a brain. These types of automatically occurring sensual responses are more properly called “instinctual reactions.” Like all non-human animals, instinctual responses to pain and pleasure are also requirements of human survival. Humans are animals after all. Within the mind function of the human brain a painful physical experience is the responsible cause of the concept of sorrow and a pleasurable physical experience is the responsible cause of the concept of happiness.
When I watched my daughter Kristin being born that made me happy, very happy. I didn’t care why. Being happy does not need to be understood or explained. This is because happiness is the natural and normal intellectual state for rational human beings.
But: When I watched her die all the rules changed. I needed to understand that. It wasn’t something I wanted to do. It was something I had to do. I had no option as to how I responded to watching my baby die. The issue was, either understand it or go insane. Going insane is the intellectual equivalent of physical death. This remains the most serious issue I have ever faced. I cried every single day for 20 years before I got to a place where I understood just what the hell had happened to me—personally. I am not happy about what I discovered. But I do understand it. I understand why the pain is so overpowering and why it will never go away and why I do not what it to go away.
Happiness is not real; it is ideal. Happiness is not something one can go to a market and purchase a gallon of. Happiness is not a something that exists in a physical kind of way. Happiness is an intellectual abstraction and as such, it is the fundamental conceptual creation of the human mind. Happiness is a necessity of proper human existence.
Happiness is an idea abstracted from what is understood to be the case. When one understands, one is not only able to act in a personally productive way, but one has done so. The natural result is intellectual happiness. Intellectual happiness is the fundamental consequence of personal production. It is the understood existence of one’s self that is the standard of one’s happiness. Happiness is described as being the proper state of intellectual existence for human beings. Happiness, then, is a rational idea rather than an emotional [instinctual] reaction. Again; happiness is created; it is not experienced.
Happiness does not occur automatically just because one has done whatever one damn well pleases. Happiness is the natural result of a specific kind of human act, the purposeful production of self. And that purpose is called happiness. Notice how personal happiness cannot be achieved via hope, religious or otherwise; it can only be achieved via the fundamental selfish act, the purposefully selfish (capitalistic) production of self.
The tragedy is that many people are happy and don’t know it. And many people claim to be happy and have no idea what it is they are talking about. The greater tragedy is that many people deserve personal happiness but are unable to achieve it. My own daughter Kristin is an example of this.