"How can one person be more real than any other? Well, some people do hide and others seek. Maybe those who are in hiding - escaping encounters, avoiding surprises, protecting their property, ignoring their fantasies, restricting their feelings, sitting out the pan pipe hootchy-kootch of experience - maybe those people, people who won’t talk to rednecks, or if they’re rednecks won’t talk to intellectuals, people who’re afraid to get their shoes muddy or their noses wet, afraid to eat what they crave, afraid to drink Mexican water, afraid to bet a long shot to win, afraid to hitchhike, jaywalk, honky-tonk, cogitate, osculate, levitate, rock it, bop it, sock it, or bark at the moon, maybe such people are simply inauthentic, and maybe the jacklet humanist who says differently is due to have his tongue fried on the hot slabs of Liar’s Hell. Some folks hide, and some folk’s seek, and seeking, when it’s mindless, neurotic, desperate, or pusillanimous can be a form of hiding. But there are folks who want to know and aren’t afraid to look and won’t turn tail should they find it - and if they never do, they’ll have a good time anyway because nothing, neither the terrible truth nor the absence of it, is going to cheat them out of one honest breath of Earth’s sweet gas."
"Mihály Csíkszentmihályi says “we do not understand what happiness is any better than Aristotle did.” His studies of “optimal experience” led to the idea of “an active state of flow,” in which a challenging skilled activity, with clear goals and unambiguous feedback, enables concentration to the point of loss of consciousness of self and time. Such autotelic (done for their own sake) activities are common in sports, music and the arts, but rare when we’re passive. Similarly, Martin Seligman distinguishes the raw feelings of easy pleasures from earned “gratifications,” which are the longer-lasting rewards of flow-like activities.
Nouns like “happiness” and “well-being” seem too static. Verbs reflecting the required cyclical activity would fit better. Sadly the verb “happies,” used in Shakespeare’s sixth sonnet, is obsolete. “Well-doing” is more precise than “well-being”. And “flourishing” is fitter than “being happy."