On Happiness

We can surely say that happiness either exist or does not exist. Philosophically treated, happiness either the life of wisdom (Stoics’ definition) or the ideal of imagination (Kant’s definition). Not choosing any side prematurely, we should at least go with Kant against the conventional image of happiness as the pile of things quenching all the physical need of the man.

Living through external, ever in the quest for wealth, honor, and sensual pleasure (Spinoza’s three types of affects), people are running into the abyss of non-being. To find a way out, we should reconsider our concept of knowledge and its practical aspects. Knowledge is not a dead thing that only applies onto externals. It is the most useful thing (if the word thing can be used here at all), which can lead us to the sanest life. And that life with the unity of thinking and action we could call the genuine happiness.

Plotinus on Ugliness of Self-Ignorance


We often try to justify our activities. Especially nowadays, if we study philosophy, we want to explain the goal of philosophy to ourselves and others. But do we really need anything more than this – ‘We ourselves possess beauty when we are true to our own being; our ugliness is in going over to another order; our self-knowledge, that is to say, is our beauty; in self-ignorance we are ugly.’ (Plotinus. Enn. V.8 / The Heart of Plotinus: The Essential Enneads. p. 186).