State Machines and Happiness

Published by Tor Rønnow on

Being a computer geek, professionally, I work with data. A very common thing in a computer system is the maintainance and changes of STATE. If you replace the word “computer” in the last sentense, you have a perfect description of a woman. LOL. Ok, let’s just say: a human being. This post is on some thoughts on the keeping of the Human State … of Mind and on the pursuit of Happiness. Issues that matters to us all every single day.

Ok, let’s start by understanding what STATE can be. As for the Human Life we can define three states:

L1. Unborn
L2. Living
L3. Dead

I will not go into discussions whether there are more states than these, ie. if the is a L4 for Heaven or whether we repeat cycles L1-L2-L3-?-L1-L2-L3. What should be of some importance to you is your current state L2. We all tend to forget the fact that our days in L2 are finite. We DO enter state L3 at some point, beyond which all other states, issues, wealth and worries do not seem to follow us. So be grateful for your L2-state every day, do good and useful things, love someone, love yourself. You only have so many days.

Love yourself. Often we do not. We are unhappy because the outer world does not mirror our expectations. So why do we act like insects when things don’t fall out perfect for us ? We should be better than that ! Insects are driven by chemical substances, pheromones, and are as similar for many other dynamics in Nature forced into a stimulance-response pattern, attack or retreat. We Humans are a bit more subtle, we have a million different states for our mood, mind and feelings, so why not refine their usage a bit ? Anyways, let’s list a few core states:

C1. Hungry
C2. Sleepy
C3. Afraid
C4.Feeling Safe
C5. Aggressive
C6. Horny

You might think that most men just go for C1 and C6, but truth is that we could list tons and tons of additional states here. You see, the states are actually not so important, well, at least not if you have the luxury to get food and water every day. What really is interesting are the MECHANISMS that set our states. Are you happy because of something in the “outer” world or because you choose to yourself ? Do you need outer proof in order to feel happy or can you be “just happy”. Analyze what really makes you happy. Is it Money, is it your Partner, your Kids, your Family, your Friends ? And does the lack of these make you unhappy ? If so, why ?

There is a lot to be said about our states and it is a very complex matter. First of all, please realize how quickly your state may change. You hear a piece of music that reminds you of your Childhood or a lost love… and your state changes. You scent the fresh-cut grass cycling home from work… and you are back to the summer holidays in School. You hear dissonant violins in a horror movie… and are scared as hell. Oh yes, the media and movie guys know how to manipulate your states. The question is: do you ?

Surely, the Human Psyche is playing tricks on us. You see, we might think that we have narrowed down a certain state and why and why not we are in it… only to find (later in Life) that the REAL determining state is a completely different one. You could for instance again and again choose partners that leave you and put you in a sad state.. only to realize that the real state triggering this is your own state of being in/handling loss to which you are familiar and feel safe in. Or you might eat too much food making you feel happy for a short while… but actually being escaping the real issue you have: the lack of self love. Or just love. Thinking about it, I consider Love/being loved to be the universally one true state we all long for.

I’ll write more about “State Management” later.. also with respect to Running. Meanwhile, ask yourself some questions.

What state are you in now ? And why ?

Categories: Spirituality

Tor Rønnow

Marathon-runner since 2004. Doctorate in Organic Chemistry 1994. Book Author 2010.