I Am Happy Man, Part III: Post-Happiness

The topic of happiness and how we become happier, how we reach happiness, and how we deal with happiness, has been on my mind a lot recently. So much so, that I woke up in the middle of the night to a vision, the vision was a scale, a scale of happiness. This happened maybe last week. I scribbled down this scale and I have since refined it (sort of). I’m not declaring that this information has any basis on science, it doesn’t, not at all. There are no controlled experiments to test, nor do I have the resources to pull of a test if one existed. This is merely the brain-fart ramblings of a “theory” that I’m working on. You’re probably working on it too. If the goal in life, some might say, is to be as happy as possible, then you’re definitely thinking about this stuff as well. Even if it’s in a different way, we all work out these existential questions at some point. We have to. Doing so gives life credence, in my opinion.

This is a 15-point scale. +7 is the happiest you have and will ever be, maybe you’ve reached it already, maybe you never will, and maybe you will get there several times in the course of your life. 0 is normalcy or sadness. I’m working under the pretense that the majority of human beings are born pessimistic, not depressed but not naturally happy. It is my opinion that the current state of the world backs this up. -7 represents the moment when one considers suicide. Again, this may never happen or it may happen several times (I’m still working on a construct that will differentiate between contemplating suicide and the act itself, perhaps a -7A and -7B). Here is the full scale:








The majority’s trip through this scale is very slow, skipping mania as they work through the stages very delicately. Mania +/- 1 exists to explain bi-polar disorder. Those afflicted with bi-polar disorder cannot function on this level. They are either at once on the + side or entirely on the – side, though much of this is perhaps a self-inflicted dilemma.


A and B Happiness are the two initial stages of feeling good about oneself. They are periods of intense growth and change. Passage through these stages might be quite swift as the individual works their way toward a consistent state. Consistent state on both sides of the scale is a very long period. Consistent state in happiness involves a lot of self-discovery and enlightenment. Some may never reach this phase and others may never leave it once they get there.

Post-happiness is the acceptance of life on earth. This stage might be accompanied by subtle feelings of depression. This can only be achieved later in life and the experience might be extremely fleeting. Moments of clarity and the absence of a fear of death might describe this stage. It is extremely rare for an individual to spend a prolonged period of time feeling post-happiness. If they do it could lead to a steep and accelerated trip back down the scale.

Death-happiness is associated with the “seeing the light” phenomenon or literally dying. It is the moment of closure that comes with death, the feeling that accompanies passing onâÂ?¦to wherever one is going. The movie “Flatliners” touched on the living’s fascination with this stage.

The highest state of happiness is Euphoria (or +7). This is the highest form of happiness and it is normally extraordinarily short, and in some cases could be accompanied by a drastic and harmful slide back down the scale. Drugs might lead to Euphoria, but they are also normally followed by withdrawal symptoms that could send the user to a -6, or even a -7, at an extremely unhealthy rate.


Projected Happiness (-2) describes the state of delusion when one is caught up in how he wishes his life would be and not any real steps toward improvement of it. This is a fairly common feeling and by itself it is not dangerous, however this mentality can lead to drug abuse and higher stress levels.

That brings us to Stress-happiness. This stage is personified by an individual who, still very much at a -2, creates unnecessary stress to make up for wasted potential and feelings of inadequacy. It is very common for people encompassing these two segments of the depression scale to “trick” themselves into thinking they are happy and leading a fulfilling life; this is a mask. If and when this mask is dropped, the individual will have reached his consistent state.

Much like the consistent state of the + side, the depression scale’s middle state is vast, possibly lasting years or even decades at a time. Perhaps a much larger facet of the population exists in this state then we could ever imagine.

Through either fear, extended drug use, extreme stress or a host of other elements, the individual could possibly fall out of his/her consistent state and into the stage of Blind-happiness. Blind-happiness is responsible for the majority of crime, especially violent crime, drug-related crime. Most addicts exist in this state, though they are capable of bouncing all the way to Euphoria and possibly down to a -6 or a -7 in very short periods of time.

-6 represents Depression: the moment when physical pain accompanies sadness (i.e., heartache, gut-wrench). Pharmaceuticals can be used to combat this in individuals without drug addictions, but that is not the only way. The human is and should be capable of traveling back up the scale by way of his own volition.

Suicide (-7) is the most extreme degree of depression; the self-explanatory moment when despair takes over and the individual no longer wishes to be alive.

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