Monday, April 5, 2010

A Short History of Happiness

Creating a healthy happy world is a worthy pursuit which we all have a stake in. It’s something academic colleague Dr. Mike Pratt has been working on to evolve Peak Performance theory. This week I have three posts based on Mike’s recent work, and for starters here’s some historical ground from the deep delvers:
  • BC 384-322: Greek Aristotle strikes it long and deep: “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
  • BC 341-270: Greek Epicurus hits the pleasure button (Epicureanism), and gets tagged as a supporter of hedonism. To his credit, he said you have to draw the line somewhere.
  • On sweeping levels, Buddhism and Islam develop powerful paths to happiness.
  • 13th century, the Italian Roman Catholic priest Thomas Aquinas weighs in with: “Every man necessarily desires happiness.”
  • 1711-1776: the Scot David Hume high five’s Aristotle’s view.
  • 1776: The American Declaration of Independence includes the pursuit of happiness as an unalienable right.
  • 1748 – 1832: Englishman Jeremy Bentham defines happiness as pleasure and the absence of pain. An advocate of utilitarianism, he describes natural law and natural rights as “nonsense upon stilts.”
  • 1806 – 1873: John Stuart Mill works up utilitarianism with Jeremy, and focuses on actions that generate pleasure. He says OK to different types of pleasure, and pumps ‘higher pleasure’.
  • 1818 – 1883: Karl Marx sees happiness as the ultimate destination, achieved through crashing the lead vehicle.
  • 1844 – 1900: Friedrich Nietzsche says happiness is something for British Shopkeepers. Ronnie Barker’s sitcom alter-ego, the grocer Arkwright, to double negative, wouldn’t disagree.
  • 1879 – 1955: Albert Einstein compares moral aims like well-being and happiness to the ambitions of a pig.
  • 2000 – 2010: Happiness gets pondered, indexed, studied, measured, blogged and tweeted about. Stand by for more.


Lily said...

Let us share the truth of Happiness

Natural laws

Human laws change over time to meet changing needs. Law makers need long terms perspectives to guide the society for long term growth. God’s laws (natural laws) which keep the nature in order, provide crucial insgith for our long term growth.
Wise and successful people (e.g. Plato, Lao Tzu, Isaac Newton, and Thomas Edison) pursue the lead of Natural Laws, the truth! By global consensus, I Ching (Book of Change), the Chinese classic known for its profound wisdom, has the best collection of natural laws. However, this precious wisdom has never been accessible to the general public.
Succeed Naturally, the I Ching Way is a breakthrough in I Ching publications, an easy-to-follow guidebook that offers insight into a different way to manage life issues: through the authentic wisdom and natural laws of I Ching.
Natural laws operate to maintain the order of the cosmic reality, and reflect the interaction of the cosmic flows, the physical environment, and our human response. Without the help of the right cosmic flow, you may work very hard but remain in an a endless circles.
THE TRUTH OF UPS AND DOWNS, COSMIC INEQUALITY, discusses a procedure to map out our personal cosmic energy. Only the truth can set us free, leading an error-free life!

Anonymous said...

Did any women have anything to say?