Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Happiness vs/ Joy

Although often used interchangeably, happiness and joy are not the same thing. We get happiness when some measure of our desires have been satiated. In a way, this is much like an addiction to drugs. There is no end to the things we can desire, hence full happiness is always out of our reach.

Joy, on the other hand, comes when we perceive that great, eternal force, which is at the heart of everything that exists in in the universe. To experience joy, we need only look within ourselves, others or anything else that matters to us. Happiness, like a carrot on a stick, might always be just out of reach, but the source of joy is always with us and can never be taken away.

In our previous story, about harmony through conflict, being unhappy was robbing my attention to the point that only the joy of being a resident kept me from all out war. If I had fought to keep things that made me happy, it would have soon erroded my ability to find inner joy. Neither fight or flight (moving to another sim) was the joyful answer, so I looked for a solution, within.

I knew, at higher elevations and other places on the sim, there was less lag, but also the view out my windows would be lost. I built a platform, 1000 meters above my house and found it to be lag free. To provide a view, I walled it with scenic prims, which I could put any picture I wanted on. They are transparent from outside and scenic inside. Next, I moved my house and all of the furniture to the new location. I even added a gazebo, with a campfire and comfy chairs.

Now, I have the same home, with a view that is even better than what I had on the ground and much less lag. On the ground, I get an average of 0.7 FPS (frames per second), which is like watching a slide show. Now my FPS is between 10 to 20 times faster. That's better than any other place I've seen in SL. So now, I still live in the same house, on the same lot, but without the things that took away from happiness and joy.

To help remind me of this solution, I have added two prims behind my desk. Outside the window, a prim has the texture of a castle, built on higher ground, overlooking a beautiful view. To the left, there is a photo of the leaning tower, which was made straight by hanging the frame tilted. These two symbols will always remind me that, when things aren't going in a happy direction, the answer lies within me.

Joy and happiness restored, having solved my conflict, I wanted to share my joy with my neighbors below. Instead of leaving my hilltop lot bare, I planted a grove of palm trees. I placed two chairs, overlooking the best view on the sim. The cross is a double symbol. It is a tombstone, marking the death of conflict and a reminder that joy is found by looking within to the eternal great powers that even the smallest bit of dirt contains.

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