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The search for the ideal sense of happiness is a question of one’s own morality.

For
generations, man has tried to discover the purpose of existence within the realms of the living
world. Such human emotion such as happiness is easily explained by the mere use of the physical
and symbolic languages that represents laughter to show to others the sense of satisfaction or
delight. The genuine essence of such emotion is the central notion of Egoistic Hedonism.
Egoistic Hedonism, by definition is the absolute search for self-satisfaction, regardless of
the means to attain it. That said, the ego or the known self of an individual is key to this, since, as
by natural instinct of survival, happiness is attained from the attainment of the basic needs to the
completion of the hierarchy of needs by Maslow. Humans by nature and by instinct, like animals,
insects, and other living things are self-serving, thus the Darwinian principle of Natural Selection.
As societies grew in various regions since the stone, bronze, and iron age, more and more senses
and essences for the ultimate happiness fueled tribes to go against one another, for the public to
rebel against tyrants and for tyrants to continue their tyranny to achieve their sense of completion
or contentment out of pride, the lust for power, and the obsession to leave a lasting mark on history
for future generations.
One such notable search for pleasure came from Friedrick Nietzsche in his work Pursuit
of Happiness, he stressed that in order for one individual to attain happiness, one has to undergo
the process of experiencing pain and suffering on order to achieve it. This is morally present in
today’s society in more ways than one. The fact that a majority of individuals seek happiness
through many means is suffering in one form, as they would have to give something in order to
receive in return. One such occasion is the vanity of humanity in today’s society in which in order
to achieve a certain level of societal and social acceptance, one explicitly and implicitly accepts
the need to throw away his or her moral standards and sometimes their dignity to perform tasks in
order to satisfy the fickle wants of society, however, it may or may not have any value to you, yet
you feel satisfied. Although Nietzsche deny such need to provide others with pleasure, the fact that
you have provided pleasure through pain – regardless of physical, mental, emotional, or
psychological means to seek satisfaction is hedonism. But then again, Nietzsche’s ideas are radical,
confronting and not for everyone. But if we choose to, we can each in our small way create a life
story in which we are the receivers of pleasure through pain. We can work on our character and
our choices to transcend limiting expectations and beliefs, and rise above the apparent chaos and
meaninglessness of life.
Reflecting on Egoistic Hedonism enabled me to understand as to why individuals such as
myself would go so far as to seek favors in order to attain happiness regardless of what they feel
or the number of time and moments that will be lost to them, so long as my needs and wants are
attained – which was elaborated by Hobbes in Leviathan, stating that people are motivated by the
desire for gain, for security, and for their own glory. That said, the notion of Kapal ng Mukha and
Utang na Loob felt by myself when dictating what I want from someone reflects Machiavelli’s
hedonism in which people will do what is right out of compulsion, and that generally, given the
chance, will do what they want for themselves. In my experience, I have been egoistic in my pursuit
of happiness, albeit it may be a miniscule amount since I live in the now and would rather focus
on the potential wants of my psyche and morality, thus I exemplify Egoistic Hedonism. However,
it contradicts certain levels of morality that was imparted to me as a young one.
These self-serving and selfish actions are not easily accepted by those who have been
heavily influenced by Eastern Philosophies and beliefs. From the ideals of Indian Caste System
and the Chinese Confucianism to Japanese Taoism, the focus is more on the effects of the actions
of oneself to others and how he or she will be reflected by society once the individual is at its end.
Filipino values of hospitality, gratitude and mutual respect are easily explained by these eastern
values, but has a different take in the eyes of the west.
Now, basing the Filipino moral values with the western ethics, the fact of self-service is in
stark contrast to the aforementioned since Filipino values are catered to the level of
interdependence and that the western morals are based on individuality. This conflict of
interdependence (the state in which one’s moral is focused on the pleasure of others) and
independence (the state in which the self is the central figure) can easily be expressed by the
presence of what we call the conscience or the conflict of what is morally correct and incorrect.
Individualists such as Machiavelli, Nietzsche, and Epicurus would claim that it is necessary to
disregard the senses of those who are outside of your personal circle to gain what is rightfully
yours, and on the other hand, moral teachings from home and church will conflict these as the
ideals prove indecent.