Happiness is an Infinite Game


What is ambition, recognition? What do you desire? Will the things that make you happy now still make you happy in five, ten, fifteen years? We are of course here engaged in an infinite and open adversarial game, against an unknown and unseen opponent that is all of a reality – past, present and future – as all that we ourselves are not and is simultaneously also that future self of which we have only now the slightest intimation, regardless that we feel we know who we will be or become and orient ourselves toward it with some certainty. Notice here that our certainty in life is always somewhat – if subtly – removed from our selves as we currently are and is dissociatively asserted towards who we expect we will one day become. This is in no small part because it is never possible to truly contain one’s own identity in any shell or logical container of knowing or complete and consistent truth.

So, here we are – wilfully and as an embodied manifestation of personal freedom directed towards some unknown or even unknowable future state that upon arrival might remain as ultimately mysterious as that self and experience we currently inhabit but in orienting ourselves this way we provide ourselves a certainty that is otherwise unavailable. What is the point? It is that we can never be truly certain of who we now are or what might be the basis of our future happiness and yet – we are able to orient ourselves quite positively towards it. This is, then, and quite plausibly so, what a person’s happiness might only ever or demonstrably be: the perpetual orientation towards a future emotional or psychological state which never arrives but that in endless and open potential as possibility provides a vector or guiding light by which living experience might still find meaning, purpose, fulfilment.

Our happiness consists in a directed will or patterned, cognitive grammar as psychological continuity and orientation towards a future state that can (or at least may) never arrive but that in cherishing and celebrating as a possibility we might still project ourselves upon and through as an ascendant arc of living purpose and self-reflexive meaning.

If it were not that I might project even the possibility – however improbable – of future happiness upon this life, I should have no happiness at all. My happiness is precisely this orientation towards some future state that need never arrive but that in presenting itself to my imagination in this way provides sufficient shelter against the storm of this life.

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