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Chatty, why the moon makes me happy?

Jie: Couple weeks ago, when I was walking in the forest, I suddenly saw a full golden moon just hanging in the sky. I was totally amazed by it. It is so big and bright, absorbing the energy and reflecting the absolut coldness, but incredible beauty. I forgot myself, totally following the moon just in order to capture the best sight. Of course, I failed. But after several weeks, the moment full of joy and some kind of satisfaction is still vivid in my mind. What is it and why?

ChatGPT: The experience of forgetting oneself and feeling happy and satisfied, especially in moments of awe and wonder like when gazing at the golden round moon, is often associated with a state of mindfulness or a heightened sense of presence. Several psychological and philosophical concepts can help explain why these moments are so rewarding:

  • Mindfulness and Present Moment Awareness: When you're fully absorbed in the beauty of the golden round moon, you are likely in a state of mindfulness. Mindfulness involves being fully present and engaged in the current moment without judgment. In these moments, your mind is not preoccupied with past regrets or future worries; instead, it is attuned to the beauty and wonder right in front of you.

  • Transcendence of the Self: Moments of awe, like those experienced when observing the moon, have been associated with a sense of transcendence. In these moments, individuals often report feeling connected to something larger than themselves. The ego or self-awareness may temporarily diminish, leading to a profound sense of unity with the universe.

  • Positive Psychology and Well-being: Positive psychology emphasizes the importance of cultivating positive emotions and well-being. Moments of awe, appreciation of beauty, and connection with nature are known to contribute positively to mental and emotional health. These experiences can elevate mood, reduce stress, and enhance overall life satisfaction.

  • Flow State: Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi introduced the concept of "flow," a state of deep concentration and complete absorption in an activity. When you're captivated by the beauty of the moon, you may enter a flow state, where the sense of time diminishes, and the experience becomes intrinsically rewarding.

  • Connection with Nature: Human beings have an innate connection with nature, and exposure to natural environments has been linked to improved well-being. The beauty of the moon can evoke a sense of awe and wonder, fostering a connection with the natural world. This connection has been shown to have positive effects on mood and overall happiness.

  • Gratitude and Appreciation: Moments of awe often lead to feelings of gratitude and appreciation. When you're awestruck by the golden round moon, you may feel a sense of gratitude for the beauty that surrounds you. Expressing gratitude has been associated with increased happiness and life satisfaction.

In summary, the experience of forgetting oneself and finding happiness and satisfaction in moments of awe is closely tied to being present, feeling connected to something larger than oneself, and appreciating the beauty and wonder of the world. These moments can contribute significantly to overall well-being and a sense of fulfillment in life.

photo by Jie Zhao

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