QOTD #4 - Happiness - Augustine

October 2008 ยท 1 minute read

Thus happiness is known to all, for if they could be asked with one voice whether they wish for happiness, there is no doubt whatever that they would all answer yes. And this could not be unless the thing itself, signified by the word, lay somehow in their memory. –Augustine’s Confessions Book X

What I find fascinating here is that Augustine is describing the pursuit of happiness as the pursuit of a memory. It’s a state of being we are trying to get back to. A state we are rarely at but always long for. A place we remember.

Can we say that all of life’s pursuits are in search of a memory? Since how could we pursue something we have no knowledge or experience (memory) of? Are we always trying to regain the bit of paradise, joy, happiness we once experienced? And once we attain it, seek it again and again?