It’s that time of year when there is much wishing one another a “Happy New Year”.
But how does one become “happy”?
According to the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus the path to happiness requires just three things: friends, freedom and thought (an analysed life).*
Epicurus is also associated with the early development of the scientific method insisting that nothing should be believed except that which is tested through direct observation and logical deduction.
*from the DVD ‘Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness’ by Alain de Bottom http://www.alaindebotton.com/philosophy.asp
Photograph of rocks at Alexandra Bay, Noosa National Park, Australia, taken in November 2008 by Jennifer Marohasy.
Geoff Brown says
Happy New Year, Jennifer and friends of the blog!
Happy New year Jennifer and all her contributors to the blog.
Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”
and my best wishes to Geoff, Janama and everyone else who reads and contributes so much to this blog for a new year with time for reflection, many friends and much freedom.
Louis Hissink says
Happy New Year Jennifer,
And how does one become happy? I suppose happiness occurs when one is content, but an unhappy man chasing happiness will never become happy, because in the here and now, he isn’t and in the effort of trying to be something he is not, will remain unhappy.
Interesting you note Epicurus’s role in the development of the scientific method. Plato, and his successor Socrates, insisted that truth lies within us, rather externally. Aristotle also lived at the same time as Epicurus and was in all likelyhood his teacher, and disagreed with his teacher, Plato, insisting that truth lies outside ourselves and can be discovered using our senses.
Happy New Year Jennifer and all
My favorite definition of happiness (source unknown) is:
“Happiness comes not come from getting what you want, but rather from wanting what you’ve got”.
Helen Mahar says
Happy New Year to everyone, and the best of good fortune in the coming year to all. Some will need it.
Peter’s definition is pretty close to my own view of happines, but better put.
It follows that otherwise contented people can be made very unhappy by others seeking to, or depriving them, of what they have. My condolences and sympathy to Victorian Timber workers.
good to see Dr Roy is starting the year with a laugh.
Louis Hissink says
How to be happy?
“This is because in a perfectly free market everyone is “doing” things that they love to “do” and receiving receipts from the market – for the moment, dollars – for their service to the market. Spending our most valuable and ever-depleting resource – time – doing the things that we love to do, is the key to happiness and success. If you doubt this, find the increasingly rare person who is so happy with their job that they say “I would to this job for free.”
Rest of article http://www.lewrockwell.com/butler-b/butler-b10.html
Dennis Webb says
This blog provides me with a chance to think about issues, freedom to express my opinion, and friends. But I am not sure that it makes me happy.