Happiness, a temporary definition:
When basic survival needs can be taken for granted and there is a confident, relaxed sense that change can be easily accommodated.
In salad days, before I had heard the term “Snow Mexicans”
there were snow days and seasons somewhat related to the time of year
there seemed to be some hidden order to things, sensed below the level of awareness
conveyed and ingrained through the well measured time of public education
It came as a shock that time in the world at large was maleable, subjective yet absolute
the random impingement of events whilst being carried along
by the illusion of a continuous stream, ordered only in retrospect
Within the continuum, on closer inspection, there were gaps and leaps
Chutes and ladders, feedback loops and dead ends
there is some basic fault that separates the knowledge of generations
that perpetuates the same errors separated by epochs
the desire for what is not, and unwillingness to accept what is
or the lack of courage to create the imagined
“O, what a world of unseen visions and heard silences, this insubstantial country of the mind! What ineffable essences, these touchless rememberings and unshowable reveries! And the privacy of it all! A secret theater of speechless monologue and prevenient counsel, an invisible mansion of all moods, musings, and mysteries, an infinite resort of disappointments and discoveries. A whole kingdom where each of us reigns reclusively alone, questioning what we will, commanding what we can. A hidden hermitage where we may study out the troubled book of what we have done and yet may do. An introcosm that is more myself than anything I can find in a mirror. This consciousness that is myself of selves, that is everything, and yet is nothing at all – what is it?
And where did it come from?
— excerpt from the introduction to The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, by Julian Jaynes.