What is eudemonic happiness? How eudaimonia is the ultimate pursuit of Wisdom? Dive in to know more.
Happiness is a very complex emotion. Some seek it while others already have it. Yet it never seems to be enough. We desire more every time we experience it but do not want to be satisfied.
Most importantly, when we consider a million ways to attain happiness, it just seems to be a normal desire to be in harmony with our lives.
For instance, I longed for happiness when I was a teenager. As with all teens of my age, I was very frustrated with many things affecting my lifestyle. It was difficult for me to make sense of what lacked in my life that could impart the true happiness I desired.
Like me, many people long for permanent happiness and desire to be satisfied with life.
But, as always, there is something we are missing between the lines of happiness and wisdom. Yes, wisdom is related to one’s degree of satisfaction and influences it to a great deal.
But, it is not necessary to be wise to attain true happiness, right. Well, there is another type of happiness or a different type of emotion, which is called eudaimonia or eudaimonic happiness, and it is the bridge between true happiness and wisdom.
This type of emotion is very similar to happiness, yet it is long-lasting and permanent. In other words, it is complete harmony with one’s life events.
So, let us discuss how eudaimonia is the ultimate pursuit of wisdom.
What is the significance of eudaimonic happiness?
To understand the significance of eudaimonia, we have to first understand what it actually means.
Eudaimonic happiness or eudaimonia is the happiness attained by deriving meaning and purpose to life without seeking temporary pleasure.
In other words, eudaimonia is the ultimate happiness and harmony that one achieves when he realizes the meaning and purpose of life.
Now, I understand that this goes more into philosophy, but that is the foundations of eudaimonia. It doesn’t seek temporary happiness about which we will discuss later in this article.
To realize the significance of eudaimonia, we need to remember that we have a certain set of principles and beliefs that are consistent. When a person lives by these qualities of self, he establishes an inner harmony that results in eudaimonia.
Now, it doesn’t mean that we should all embrace this inner harmony, but if we do, we might feel at peace with ourselves. In other words, we attain the true qualities of internal happiness.
So, we have discussed the significance of eudaimonia. Now, let’s discuss the role of eudaimonic happiness in influencing our perception.
What is the role of eudaimonic happiness in influencing our lives?
Eudaimonia is an old term that was founded by many philosophers like Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates. Since then, it has been prevalent for many years and has stood the test of time.
The idea of eudaimonic happiness seems irrelevant in the present, but still, many people desire to live by the code. They still want to live and accept their true self.
For instance, Plato believed that a cunning person, doubtful of his true self, can never attain eudaimonia as he doesn’t seek true meaning and purpose. However, a person who finds meaning and significance lives in harmony and attains eudaimonic happiness.
Likewise, Aristotle also believed that our degree of eudaimonia depends on the results or the destination. A person who realizes his true meaning and significance ultimately comes to a conclusion or result, which is consistent to the end of his days.
In this way, he attains the ultimate satisfaction or happiness in life. His concept of ultimate satisfaction is what we call today eudaimonia. Aristotle laid the foundation of eudaimonia and shaped its modern understanding.
Therefore, we can say that eudaimonic happiness influences our life spiritually and existentially, to accept the reality of one’s own happiness.
Now, that we have discussed its influence on our lives, let’s discuss what is the difference between hedonic and eudaimonic happiness.
What is the difference between hedonic and eudaimonic happiness?
In the first section, we discussed something called temporary happiness. Now, I think we all know to a certain extent what this temporary happiness is. We center our lives around it most of the time.
You might have guessed it until now if you live by it. It is the temporary pleasure or excitement which leads to this kind of happiness. It is, however, very short-lived and doesn’t care much about internal peace.
Generally, it manifests in the form of pleasure and excitement over certain parts of life.
For instance, when a child gets a treat, he experiences happiness. But, his happiness is very short-lived and centers around pleasure and excitement, which makes him satisfied. He would probably not even remember why he won a prize years later.
So, this hedonic happiness is very different from eudaimonic happiness, which depends on the meaning and purpose of life. In fact, these both are opposites.
One thing to remember is that both focus equally on refining human experiences. So, none is better than the other. They both have different roles to play in our lives.
Now, it’s time to discuss how eudaimonia is the ultimate pursuit of wisdom. So, follow me along in the next section.
How eudaimonic happiness is the ultimate pursuit of wisdom?
Until now, it has been a brief journey towards understanding eudaimonic happiness. We have gone through a lot of details regarding its significance, influence, and differences with hedonic happiness.
But, here we will find out whether eudaimonia can bring wisdom and knowledge in our lives.
Well, to start with, I would like to consider the same philosophers about whom we discussed in the previous section. Now, who is wiser than a philosopher himself, right.
Both Plato and Aristotle emphasized eudaimonia’s approach towards a meaningful life. However, they also believed that this type of happiness is not attained very easily.
In other words, one has to be authentic to himself enough to experience the full potential of eudaimonia. In fact, this is where the foundation of wisdom lies. The basis of wisdom is self-acceptance and tranquility that motivates a person to strive for an authentic life.
Wisdom demands authenticity and introspection. However, to be authentic, we have to first experience and accept the deepest and darkest layers of our personality. Hence, it is important to adhere to our true self and experience eudaimonia. It is only then that we attain a wise mind and inherent wisdom with it.
To sum up, eudaimonia is the source of all that we desire if we are in the pursuit of wisdom and meaning of life. Embracing our inner self is the only way to seek what we desire.
As a result, it is important to stay true to ourselves, no matter the circumstances, to reach the highest state of existential understanding.