Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How Do You Feel Now? The Truth About Feelings

A man who lost his iPad has been receiving pictures that have been taken on it since the tablet went missing.

The woman now in possession of the iPad has been taking silly photos of herself, seemingly unaware that the tablet's real owner Allen Engstrom is able to see the images on his iPhone, thanks to iCloud.

The iCloud feature syncs data across more than one Apple device. Engstrom has been posting the pictures on his Facebook and Twitter pages to entertain his friends and followers, but also in the hope that someone will recognise the woman and help him get his iPad back. He told KTHV: "I have no problem with putting it on Facebook, because hey, it's fun for me and it's apparently fun for a lot of other people and there's always the chance that someone will say, 'hey, I know who that is'."

Engstrom added: "It's been a continuing fountain of entertainment for me. It's just like I'll wake up one day and they'll be new pictures there and I'm like, 'oh my gosh, she has no idea'."He stated that his name and email address are engraved on the back of the tablet so the current owner can't have mistaken the iPad for her own. The woman's pictures have gone viral on the internet, with many offering to help keep an eye out for the culprit.

For a moment, I felt an odd hint of irritation, because it's very annoying when people steal other people's property. But even through that, I recognized that she was just trying to improve her position in life in some tiny way, and that’s what she came up with at that split second. Snapping away like a photojournalist while a large portion of the online community laughed at a byproduct of a tiny thread of her overall life’s work — her own personal pursuit of happiness. I wonder how she feels now.

You could say that the pursuit of happiness ultimately drives everything we do, no matter how dumb those things are. This is a peculiar fact of life for our species: well-being is what we all want and need, yet it’s so delicate and fickle and overall we are often embarrassingly bad at achieving it.

And so people do the stupidest things in the pursuit of happiness. Buy homes they can’t afford. Get into dangerous relationships. Spend thousands at KFC. Hoard so much useless junk in their houses that they can’t appreciate any of it. Rob people in the traffic. Blow up churches. Go abroad. Go to law school when they don’t want to. Drink and drive. Fight people at bars. Go on Jerry Springer. Let talents stagnate and dry up. Amass insurmountable debt. Live exactly like their parents did, and shame others for being different.

We have a way of evaluating everything that happens, and every possession we acquire, in terms of what feelings we believe are promised by a given thing or event. The material event and the feelings that event represents are not the same thing. But we forget that all the time. 

All we ever seek, and all we ever avoid are feelings. They seem to constitute the only useful product of all material transactions between humans and their environment. Just like your body can’t use the food it eats for energy until it’s turned to glucose, we can’t really make use of the things we seek until they deliver certain feelings. Feelings are the currency of human experience. It appears they are the only real incentive.

...But there is a spirit in man and the inspiration of the almighty giveth them understanding

The English word "inspiration" is used only once in each testament. The one time it is found in the Old Testament is in Job 32:8 where a young man, named Elihu, made the above statement. But there is a spirit in man - This evidently refers to a spirit imparted from above; a spirit from the Almighty. He had said, in the previous verse, that it was reasonable to expect to find wisdom among the aged and the experienced. But in this he had been disappointed. He now finds that wisdom is not the attribute of rank or station, but that it is the gift of God. All true wisdom, is from above; and where the inspiration of the Almighty is, no matter whether with the aged or the young, no matter how hard the circumstances surrounding a thing may seem- there is a specific required understanding.

Every horrible story in your newspaper is somebody seeking a feeling they think will bring them closer to happiness — or more often, take them farther from unhappiness. Because attachment and devotion to feelings leads to suffering. They believe that a particular change in the material world is what they want. A bigger car. A law degree. A slimmer wife. A richer husband...lest I forget...An iPad

Why are we so prone to this mistake? Because we’ve been given a powerful tool that we don’t know how to use yet. 

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