Happiness 17

What is happiness? Happiness is not the absence of pains: on the contrary, we experience both pain and pleasure, and yet neither of these are always present. It is the fact that there cannot be anything in us which does not desire what is desirable. If we could do nothing to obtain happiness, but only by virtue of something else, such as virtue or truth, we should not find happiness. That which is not always there is not happiness, and the absence of this absence is happiness.

But the Stoics would tell us that there are two things which constitute happiness, or that one of these exists in us as a consequence of the other, and that it is this which is always there as a consequence of the other. But if we believe in the existence of the former, then it must be so that this is a pleasure. The truth will then appear to us as true because we have a right to expect such a thing. The truth is true because we have the only power to judge of its truth.

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