— 279 —
Wrong Judgment of what is necessary to our happiness.       §68. All Men desire Happiness, that’s past doubt: but, as has
been already observed, when they are rid of pain, they are apt to
take up with any pleasure at hand, or that custom has endear’d to
them; to rest satisfied in that; and so being happy, till some new
desire by making them uneasy, disturbs that happiness, and shews
them, that they are not so, they look no farther; nor is the will
determined to any action in pursuit of any other known or apparent
good. For since we find, that we cannot enjoy all sorts of good, but
one excludes another; we do not fix our desires on every apparent
greater good, unless it be judged to be necessary to our happiness:
If we think we can be happy without it, it moves us not. This is
another occasion to Men of judging wrong, when they take not that
to be necessary to their Happiness, which really is so. This mistake
misleads us both in the choice of the good we aim at, and very often
in the means to it, when it is a remote good. But, which way ever
it be, either by placing it where really it is not, or by neglecting the
means, as not necessary to it, when a Man misses his great end
Happiness, he will acknowledge he judg’d not right. That which
contributes to this mistake is the real or suppos’d unpleasantness
of the actions, which are the way to this end; it seeming so
— 280 —
preposterous a thing to Men, to make themselves unhappy in
order to Happiness, that they do not easily bring themselves to it.
Locke Hum II, 21, §68, pp. 279-280