From a physical standpoint, feelings of bliss, happiness have a lot to do with physical structures in the brain.
-But it isn't so simple to say a specific chemical causes happiness. It has more to do with the release of what causes distress, what prevents happiness- which is found in the mind. I don't know if you've ever fainted before, but there is a condition in which one is, without the mental processes. It is bliss when one arises from that state and recognizes how blissful that was. It is bliss in that state but no mind to say "ah this feels good".
About being productive members of society. Someone who has gained insight into Internal Happiness is more likely to be productive and spread peace then someone plagued by their own suffering.
Whatever doubts that prevent one from being in bliss, thinking it is not possible, those are the thoughts that need to be discarded.
At 2/7/13 12:37 AM, Kwing wrote:
From a physical standpoint, it's true. Our bodies have the necessary chemicals for us to experience happiness. Drugs like ecstasy can cause the brain to release those chemicals (although pretty soon your body will run out of them).
From a social and intellectual standpoint, though, we are conditioned to believe that happiness has to be earned, that we need to desire something, then pursue it, and finally acquire it in order to feel happiness. In many cases, it's not just HOW we want but also WHAT we want that is chosen for us. A few generations ago, it was standard for you to take on the profession of your father, and it isn't uncommon for people to want to do that simply because it's what they're taught to want.
Pardon my redundancy, but we are conditioned for our happiness to be conditional. That's what makes us 'productive' members of society.