Lestat Lesson #1
“To be this happy is to be miserable, to feel this much satisfaction is to burn.”
Happiness is fleeting, so don’t waste your time trying to capture it.
Surely, there is no greater feeling than that of being happy.
Feelings of joy are only emphasized after periods of great duress; like you get a really awful grade on a test and you feel like crap, but then you come home and you find out that Tom Cruise has left his wife for you….okay, that’s stretching it, but you get the point.
In any case, it feels great to be happy, that’s the whole point of happiness. However, happiness can be terribly distracting, especially when there’s a lot of it.
What I mean is that when things are really going well, we tend to get all caught up in the moment, and forget about the rest of life.
Then, we get hit with a streak of bad luck, and we feel like the entire world has been turned upside down.
Points of extreme despair are merely increased by points of great happiness. Meaning, that if you’re having a particularly great day (and I mean really good) and all of a sudden something awful happens, you’re going to feel a hell of a lot worse than if something bad in and of itself had occurred.
My point is this, being at the top may feel completely wonderful, but once you’re there, there’s nowhere to go but down, and believe me, you will go down eventually.
The collective human intelligence has evolved to the point that we know nothing lasts forever, no matter how much we may wish the opposite. The same goes for happiness.
To be sure, happiness is a truly wonderful state of mind, but since we know that this feeling won’t perpetuate, the benefits of said happiness are greatly reduced.
In this way, the pursuit of happiness is truly futile because even if one were to attain it, it’s not like you can keep it locked in a box and make it last forever.
The crux of Lestat’s statement is this:
Happiness and sadness exist within one another, we cannot truly experience periods of great happiness without periods of great sadness to balance them out.
We need to experience one in order to know what the other feels like.
To be this happy is to be miserable because there is no possible way it can last, and knowing that beforehand truly makes one want to burn, as it were, because it makes us feel like there’s no point to any of it.
Anybody who says they’re always happy is kidding themselves, and not only are they kidding themselves, they’re also boring.
Happiness is boring because without a little darkness mixed in to balance the scales, the peak feelings level off and we become indifferent to it, and yeah, we get bored.
I may sound cynical, but don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you not to be happy, I’m just saying not to waste your life chasing after the impossible dream, the perfect life, because there is no such thing.
Take life as it comes, the happiness and the sadness, and don’t dwell too much on either end of the spectrum, and you’ll be much better off for it.
For more perspective on this topic, I suggest listening to the Our Lady Peace song “Happiness and the Fish”, available on the album Happiness Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch.