Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Chant Hare Krishna and Be Happy

Srila Prahbupada often said "Chant Hare Krishna and be happy." This points out the need for both spiritual and material advancement of consciousness. The article "So what do you have to do to find happiness?" explores happiness, largely from a biochemical perspective. It is a long article, and needs to be read with an open mind, which is to say, a mind that isn't prone to the "Aha" self righteous finger pointing of dogma. As it is long, I have excerpted a few tidbits:

"Their holy grail is the classification of strengths and virtues. After a solemn consultation of great works such as the samurai code, the Bhagavad-Gita and the writings of Confucius, Aristotle and Aquinas, Seligman's happiness scouts discovered six core virtues recognised in all cultures: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence. They have subdivided these into 24 strengths, including humour and honesty..."

"At the Royal Institution, Nettle explained how brain chemistry foils our pursuit of happiness in the modern world: 'The things that you desire are not the things that you end up liking. The mechanisms of desire are insatiable. There are things that we really like and tire of less quickly — having good friends, the beauty of the natural world, spirituality. But our economic system plays into the psychology of wanting, and the psychology of liking gets drowned out.' ..."

"In essence, what the biology lesson tells us is that negative emotions are fundamental to the human condition, and it's no wonder they are difficult to eradicate. At the same time, by a trick of nature, our brains are designed to crave but never really achieve lasting happiness..."


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