• Do the philosophers know what happiness is?
• Do the spiritual
• Do you?
• Get some practical pointers here on Philosophy Happiness.
Many of the great philosophers (all the way back to
Aristotle, and probably long before that, too) have grappled with the concept of
Is it 'the good life', is it 'joy' or is it a state of
Is it a permanent long-term condition or a fleeting short term one?
How does it relate to satisfaction - and to spiritual enlightenment?
Aristotle on Happiness
Greek philosopher Aristotle (Aristoteles) lived from 384 B.C. to 322
B.C. and had a profound impact on Western science and philosophy.
(Aristotle was taught by Plato, who in turn was taught by Socrates).
Aristotle wrote many things on happiness and the ‘worthwhile
life’, and one of his assertions is that happiness and the
worthwhile life is one of our main driving forces - in some ways the
primary one. If a person gets clear on his or her values, the most
important one, the top priority, will reveal what this person
considers a worthwhile life - the happy life.
is an end, not a means to something else, he claimed. Since e.g.
money is just a means, having money does not make you happy.
Furthermore happiness must be pretty much self-sufficient, stable
and independent of the happenings of life: When you are happy,
you're happy, and not afraid, not even of loosing your happiness.
(If you were, you wouldn't be happy!)
Aristotle on the Worthwhile Life
To Aristotle the happy life is a life that has activity that we are
good at and which is important and worth doing.
He pointed to
three kinds of life that might make you happy: a life of pleasure, a
life ofpolitics (public service), and a life of study. In the
Eudemian Ethics (a treatise), he states that the happy life must
combine the features of all three (pleasure, public service and
Yes, Aristotle was a wise man. Even though he lived
more than 2.300 years ago, his texts are still being read and his
thoughts and conclusions are still relevant today.
Where to Look for Answers
Another question is this: Apart from the founding fathers of western
thought (like Aristotle), is it even important to check out the
opinions of the philosophers throughout the ages - or is it perhaps
more interesting to look at the people who are alive today and
Well, happiness is an experience,
it's not something you 'think' or 'philosophize'. So I would
recommend asking the modern day experts in happiness:
Wise Modern Teachers Talk about Happiness
What follows are a handful of modern teachers and their messages
regarding happiness, etc. If you want to know more about them
(through their websites), you can click on their names:
will tell you that if
you are totally present here and now you will be feel totally alive
and happy. This is true.Byron
will tell you that if you examine all your thoughts and
let them go, you will end up feeling totally alive and happy. This
is also true.Neale Donald
will tell you that God is not judgemental, but rather
unconditionally loving, and also that you and God are one and the
same, and therefore you can safely let go and let God. He will also
state that you can replace the word 'God' with the word 'life' if
will tell you that
if you stop judging everything and instead completely relax your
ego, you will end up feeling totally alive and happy. Again, this is
Countless other teachers have countless other bids,
many of which are quite valid and true.
If you want to know more, here is
some suggested reading, based on the teachers I have mentioned
The Power of Now and A New Earth
Tolle. He has written more books, but those are the two most
important ones, I think.
Loving What is: How Four
Questions Can Change Your Life
by Byron Katie describes her
simple process for dealing with thoughts. She calls it the Work.
She, too, has written more books, but the first one covers it
nicely.Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue:
Books 1 and 3
by Neale Donald Walsch. He has written MANY more
books and done other materials, some of them absolutely great, but
those two cover the basics.Let Yourself Go
audio-book/audio-course by Arjuna Ardagh. He has written printed
books as well, but this audio-course is nice; both basic and more
The CDs Who Are You?
Strategies of Ego by Gangaji are examples of the her teachings. You
can also get both DVDs and printed books with her, but personally, I
like to hear her lovely, calming voice, so the audio recordings
appeal to me.
The soon-to-be-published book Let Go and
Come Home: 10 Steps on the Fast Track to Happiness and Inner Peace
by Soren Lauritzen is my own quick course in understanding the
basics and using my method the Let Go Method. It will soon be
available both as printed book [LINK] and e-book [LINK].
I am also preparing a special report called Feel Truly
Alive! - Happiness, Wholeness and Coming Home Made Easy [
in which I will give you some easy to use tips and techniques for
attaining that experience that all people desire deep down.
The Funny Thing Is ...
... we all know what happiness is. We have all experienced it, at
least in glimpses, because it's part of our most basic nature.
Happiness is in fact one of the experiential 'faces' of our own
basic nature (other 'faces' include inner peace, unconditional love,
feeling whole, etc.).
Since happiness feels so good,
obviously we want to experience it a lot, i.e. long term rather than
When we only experience happiness fleetingly and
not on a more permanent basis, it's because we let something get in
the way - like clouds blocking the sun. That something is fear.
Fear blocks out happiness in precisely the same way clouds block
the sun. When we feel fear, we start to think that we must defend
ourselves - our defensive mechanisms come into play - particularly
our ego, and those mechanisms see to it that we do CONTINUALLY DO
NOT experience our true nature.
Happily (!) there are ways
out of that mess. If you haven't already read them, I would
'mother-page' of this one (Happiness)
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