I've lived in a community for the past five years that holds an inherent hostility toward the concept of happiness.
These statements are common:
"God has not called us to be happy, He's called us to be obedient."
"The world tells us to do whatever it takes to be happy, and that leads to nothing but destruction!"
and my personal favorite:
"Anyone can be happy, but only Christians have joy!"
By favorite, I mean it makes me want to throw furniture.
I genuinely don't understand why people don't simply do what they want and choose to be happy. There is this spiritualization of unfortunate circumstances, of suffering, and of being in distress and being broken that simply doesn't make sense. If God is truly the creator of humanity, then why must we be miserable to live how he created us to?
And again, to the forefront of the conversation comes depravity. The constant fallback of the religious person that brings forth excessive amounts of guilt in the name of spirituality. Think about it: if everything wrong in the world, if everything we do wrong is because of our depravity, and if we are terminally broken, then there is always something for us to feel guilty about. Because we're depraved, and can do nothing right.
It is at this point that the redeeming power of Christ is brought into the conversation, but if that is so, then why speak of depravity at all? If Christ has truly made us holy and able to do right, then why are we talking about how we're unhappy because of our depravity?
There is no question, at least in my mind, that humanity is broken in some way. In fact, ironically enough, religion is the first thing I think of when I think of how broken humanity is. We sense that there is a God, and then destroy ourselves trying to reach out to Him. And then we complain about being broken. What insanity!
The question, then, is must we remain broken? Is the solution to all of this fervent prayer about everything we don't really know the answer to, or should we move forward and do what we want to do, and truly "Love God, and do what we will?"
Furthermore, why is it that Christians claim to be so entirely special, and then do nothing but demonstrate how confused and messed up their "special knowledge" makes them? It seems to me that over-spiritualizing things and being so against "the world" does nothing but allow us to live functionally with some degree of calm, most of the time, while masking over the real problem: we're not thinking about anything we do.
What if happiness is something God wants us to have? What if, if we live how we're made to, that will make us happy?
What if the problem isn't happiness, it's how everyone thinks of it? The religious person abuses himself, the religious rebel indulges in simple pleasures mindlessly, and both are mastered by something unworthy. We've ceased to be self-aware critical thinkers and have become dependent on organizations, people, or substances to dictate who we are. How sadly pathetic. And then I'm asked why I oppose structuralism.
I propose that it's silly to be anything but a unique individual, and in being a unique individual we will find happiness, because that is what we are made to be. In doing this, we will not align completely with any organization or become entirely devoted to or mastered by any one thing, except for one: the Truth. In Truth, there is happiness.
But I'm just an idealist. Welcome to my blog. Enjoy Cognitive Dissonance.