Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Conquest of Happiness

In his famous book, The Conquest of Happiness, Bertrand Russell argues that the most fundamental way to attain happiness is to take genuine interest in other people and things.  Happiness requires a movement away from oneself, from the ego and its gratifications.

We live in a world which encourages infinite ego gratifications.  More than half of the advertisements are for products that promise to boost one's ego.  No wonder a lot of people remain unhappy.  Too many people are drifting if not sunk deep in the ocean of their own egos.  Social networks and other such platforms are, far from being agents of genuine camaraderie, tools for self-promotion.

Even gods have been enlisted, more than they were in history ever, in the perpetual aswamedha being performed by the ego.  Thus people attain remarkable success, positions and wealth using gods and cults. And remain unhappy!  The more perverse ones go to the extent of detonating bombs upon perceived threats to their egos.  They think happiness unlimited is awaiting them in some other world.

Russell was an atheist and a very rational thinker. Maybe a few Russells are the need of the hour.  The world stands in need of liberation from egos and their gods.


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6 comments:

  1. If only we can see the world through someone else's shoes, the way Harper Lee suggested, we might be able to absolve our destructive ego. Russell has been on my to read list and very soon going to pick up the book. Have a nice day

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  2. A simple path to happiness that is so difficult to take. Loved this.

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    1. Difficult simply because the whole human world is driven by insane greed which is actually projected as a virtue by Forbes etc.

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  3. Yeah there's no correlation between richness and happiness. How far you're able to shift your perspective to accommodate the others is a way to achieve that.

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