Study of all these "Why" will yield only one reason for each and every actions and feelings in our life and that is, we are in constant pursuit of happiness. In different ways and from different perspectives, writers Robert Thurman, Malcolm Gladwell and Jean Twenge try to suggest paths towards a better and happy self or according to Thurman "selflessness" (461). They all in their own unique understanding of the words "happy" and "reality" try to suggest paths that will make this world a better place to live. However, what is crucial to this understanding is the fact that peace should rest not only in this world but also within ourselves, inside our mind, to make this universe a real happy place. The pursuit of happiness becomes meaningless without a clear understanding of the word "happy" and the state of happiness. Oxford Advanced American Dictionary defines the word "happy" as "feeling or showing pleasure" and ergo, happiness is a state of mind that is pleased or satisfied. This satisfaction or pleasure in life can come from thousands of different things. Different people can derive happiness from different actions or situations. While some might feel happy when praised at work, others might feel happy sitting on a couch and watching television. Some might find happiness in helping others, while some are happily oblivious. However, most of the time, happiness is related to some"thing" that is considered extrinsic and corporeal. This dependence on something external makes the state of happiness transient and thus unhappiness is born. It is the sense of deprivation, or alienation that makes people unhappy. From childhood we are reared as a subject, Self, as mentioned by Jean Twenge in "An Army of One: Me" and everything surrounding us is object. It is this distance and disconnectedness between the subject and the object that makes us crave for it and eventually become happy or sad. The feeling of achievement boosts our Ego or Self and makes us feel happy as does failure to make us unhappy. If we ponder on these two words, we will find that we are constantly in a state of contest with others and within ourselves. It is this contest that makes us unrest, gives birth to negativity and ultimately leads us to chaos. Robert Thurman in his essay "Wisdom," tries to provide a holistic view of happiness and proposes its readers to reach a state where their acquired happiness is not transient. He suggests finding happiness through the path of self-realization following the Buddhist philosophy of "selflessness" and "interconnectedness" of the whole universe. As suggested by Thurman, Buddhist psychology, unlike Western psychology, helps "somebody who feels they are somebody become nobody" (461). Here it is important to understand that the state of being "nobody" does not bear a negative connotation. When we reach the state of "nobody" we essentially leave behind the idea of a concrete self. Thurman says, "you become the type of somebody who is over the idea of conceptually fixated and self-created "self" " (462). He calls it a "pseudo-self" (462) that is weak. In today's world, where tremendous amount of emphasis is put on who we are and on what we are, if we come to a realization that all we are is a constantly changing, permeable self that takes shape according to situation then we would be able to curb out all negative feeling within us for
English _: Section _ Date_ Assignment _ (Thurman, Twenge, and Gladwell) Name_ (Final Draft) Filling The World With Happiness "Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men,is he who would conquer just one — himself" - Gautam Buddha, Dhammapada, v…
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