Banana cake, happiness and paradoxical concepts.

 “Every man alone is sincere, at the entrance of a second person hypocrisy begins.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 So I was going to go on a little about hypocrisy, because until just lately I thought that not only was I surrounded in it, but also I was guilty of it. However after researching it a little I was pleased to come up with another excuse entirely for my seemingly hypocritical ways.

The event which started me out on the hypocrisy trail was a friend suggesting that some advice I was giving meant that happiness is important to a child, but to an adult it was merely an optional component to life. I agreed, calling myself a hypocrite and laughing it off.

It got me to wondering what else I had been hypocritical about, and I decided that reading some of my older posts would certainly give me brilliant insight to such a query. So I sat eating my banana cake and reading my blog and it dawned on me, much of what I say is indeed, *gulp* hypocritical (shh, I wouldn’t want anyone else to find out!). In some I talk about being you, no matter what others think, and then I go on to rave about being image bound. In some I talk about power sliding through supermarkets to the disgust of the more respectable patrons, and in others I complain about the oppression of rules that we impose on ourself. All very hypocritical, spouting ideals and views and then returning weeks or days later just to go on about something completely contradictory. Even my banana cake suddenly seemed hypocritical – let’s eat banana cake, it’s healthier than chocolate… never mind the sugar content, it’s made with fruit.

I don't care if banana cake is hypocritical or paradoxical, it's yummy.

Then other things around me started taking new meaning and screaming hypocrisy, the fact that intolerance is usually intolerated mainly by those who claim to have perfect tolerance, the times we tell our children it will all be okay, when in fact we are sure it probably isn’t, and eventually I got to thinking on the old ‘Liars Paradox’ – that is, if a liar says, “I will always lie to you,” are they then telling you the truth, proving that their statement is a lie, in which case, it could actually be the truth?

So I started turning all the seemingly hypocritical issues into victims of paradox. The friend whose only promise is that he will never make a promise, the absolute statement, ‘there are no absolutes’, and the fact that to feel trapped by your own rules means you must wish to break them, and if they are your own rules that you break, are you really breaking them in the first place?

“What everyone wants from life is continuous and genuine happiness.” – Baruch Spinoza

After stumbling into the “Land of Paradoxical Concepts” (Ooh, now there’s a land I pay money to visit… We could have the “Catch 22 Rollercoaster” that just keeps going round and round and round, the “Tower of Zeno’s Paradox” where you never reach the top because you must always go halfway there, then half of that half, then half of that half again… okay who’s with me?? Lets start building…) I picked up the topic of happiness which I had swatted into the ever-growing pile of hypocrisy I seemed to own, and I began to think on it in paradoxical terms rather than hypocritically.

The Paradox of Hedanism puts forward the idea that we can not obtain happiness by chasing it, the only way happiness will come to us is if we busy ourselves with other tasks, and let it fall in our lap.

In regards to children being happy, they are able to be, because they do not understand feelings entirely, they do not understand pain and suffering in others, so they go about gaining their happiness however it presents itself. For and adult however the whole concept is slightly more complex.

Being that we are able to feel and understand suffering in others, we are unable to be happy unless those around us are happy, and in many cases, the only way we can make them happy is to give up our own desire for happiness and be completely selfless.

Be selfish and unhappy? Or selfless and happy? By being selfish, will you actually find happiness because you will have what you want, or will the eventuation of your wishes make you unhappy for the fact that others will be unhappy with your selfishness? Paradox.

And I could go on… I could talk about the man who believes that everyone should be able to understand the viewpoints of others, yet is unable to understand why someone else may not, I could talk about the fact that in some instances relevant information may be overlooked because the relevance of such information does not become clear until after the information is available, I could talk about an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object – but I wont, because I feel better now.

I am not a hypocrite, but merely a lesson in paradoxology. It may afflict my brain with constant merry go rounding, it may force me to disagree with myself at times, but at least I believe what I say, even if it is sometimes different to yesterday… and that ain’t such a bad thing… right?

 

 

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~ by Alissa Anderton on June 7, 2010.

One Response to “Banana cake, happiness and paradoxical concepts.”

  1. firtsly, you state the old ‘Liars Paradox’ – that is, if a liar says, “I will always lie to you,” are they then telling you the truth, proving that their statement is a lie, in which case, it could actually be the truth?
    a few years ago i was thinking about writing a comic strip type thing. in this first one the main character introduces himself to one of the other lead characters and the dialogue was ” hi, im jim the pathological liar” the other person says “suuuuure you are” and that was it.
    secondly,, a guy here in adelaide has bred a paradox alibno python its an alibno with a couple of small black splotches on it

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