I mean to reflect on happiness for the human being which means a bodily being and not a disembodied spirit (angelic being).
On the assumption that the human being is the creature in the middle, part soul and part body, internals and externals must be considered for the production of happiness in this earthly life. But, one can still make a judgment of value between the two. Both are necessary, but the proper hierarchical rank of the two is also necessary.
Without food and shelter and friends life cannot continue. We are social animals. But without a properly ordered soul excessive accumulation of earthly goods or social status is meaningless for happiness. Or at least this is my bet.
A bet it must be for earthly accumulation can do much to obscure the visibility of the disordered soul. The disordered soul living in earthly poverty tends to show itself rather easily. But, the disordered soul which is at the same time successful in the accumulation and preservation of earthly wealth is more difficult to verify.
The problem is that there is nothing inherently evil about earthly accumulation though it can be evil. And there is nothing inherently evil about earthly poverty though it can be evil. But it seems to me that there is an on average relationship between soul status and body/property status. When soul status is bad it will be much easier to verify when earthly status is bad than when earthly status is good.
In my moments of failure I am tempted and sometimes aim in the direction of blaming my lack of satisfaction or happiness on a lack of earthly accumulation. But then I remind myself that earthly accumulation is no protection against dissatisfaction.
Earthly accumulation may provide obscurity to the visibility of the soul’s disorder from the third-person perspective, and earthly accumulation may provide more ready distraction from the first-person perspective. But, neither equate to soul health. Virtue is what is wanted.
In my moments of progress I remember that virtue is first, and soul health will enable me to endure poverty or riches well. Hierarchically, it is first. Approaching earthly accumulation or loss with a healthy soul is in some sense all that matters.
I take a moment, and I let my mind’s eye wander over the large mansion, peering into room after room, finding one inhabited by a human soul. But is it happy in its mansion? How does it feel? What stress, anxiety, loneliness, anger, lust, jealousy might or might not rage? What disorder is or is not present? It is hidden from my eye (third-person perspective). But it is not hidden to he who endures it (first-person perspective). I leave him to it.