Biological Clock and Happiness

I think this biological clock keeps us together and lets us live as long as we do and therefore we fundamentally dislike it. My guess is, it originates from the equilibrium time scales of the various chemical reactions of life or something of that sort.

The description of the happiest moments of our lives always, irrespective of country and culture, come with a line to the effect that '.....wish it never ended.' It may be said casually, but unlike a lot more of these phrases, I believe there's always some element of truth in this one.

The reason anything ends is ultimately controlled by our individual biological clocks. When we are happy, we loose track of the clock. Then, how about, loosing track of the clock makes us happy? If you can do anything to loose track of the clock, you'll feel happy. I'm using 'the clock' purposely to distinguish it from mere time. Loosing track of time is very physical, in this case superficial is probably the right term whereas loosing track of the clock has a biochemical origin and mechanism. I think, although I can't meditate for any significant length of time, meditation would achieve something like this.

So, shutting down the process that keeps us alive makes us happy. Being happy is basically dying.
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I had taken this post down for a while, because I had trouble defending it with a friend. Her point was that my usage of the term 'happiness' was too unscientific to the extent of being irresponsible. To which I sort of agree. I have no intention of corrupting this one sane thing left in our lives.

But today (August 15), I find Jonah Lehrer has written about our compulsion with electronic information and links Emily Yoffe's writeup on Panksepp's work. And, in Yoffe's commentary I find reference to ' our internal sense of time' in the context of an emotional state that Panksepp describes as 'Seeking'.

Comments

Surya,

Yoffe definitely has "seeking" wrong.

These is an elightened tradition, running down millenia, that anticipates and explicates the core issue here.

The concepts of time-information and knowledge-joy are "conjugated" ones. Like position and velocity. Hence, the teleological explanation of time (or timelessness) is intertwined with the acquisition of information-- both of which are unique in that they have an assymetric axis. Information flows from future to past, as does time. Similarly, knowledge and joy are intertwined in that they both attend the increase in the chances of survival of a species.

Now, the secular, or over arching, indeed the "grand unifying" concept is of conciousness.

Which, as a wise one as yourself probably knows all about ;)

I have discussion of this on my blog in case you have found your sea legs since landing in CA!
Sandip said…
In Panksepp's work I found the like-want cycle interesting. Every 'like' event generates a 'want' response on which we act. If our action generates another 'like' event, we feel happy, pleaseure, joy or whatever, experiences varying in timescale.

The reason I leave these links is so that I have a reference as to what made me think in these terms; not in the more technical sense of a citation. Plus, thus far no one read this stuff :)
You mean so far no one commented on this stuff ;)

Again, with "like <--> want" we are operating within the confines of causalty.

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