Happiness

Blues Man

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There's been a couple threads lately that mention the happiness of people in different countries and I have been at odds with a couple people from other countries who post here on the validity of the metrics used by the organization that published this list in order of happiness.

My main criticism of this so called happiness scale is that the criteria are all based on external factors like what level of trust one has in a government or in some social institution or how much money a person makes. The assumption being that if a person doesn't fully endorse or trust his government then he cannot be as happy as a person that does.

So not only is the list arbitrary but it only reflects the author's of the study definition of happiness and that happiness is defines by external influences.

So, as you may know, I am a student and practitioner of Stoicism and Buddhism and these philosophies define happiness as a state of mind, an internal condition apart from the material world.

According to Epictetus: “The essence of philosophy is that a man should live so that his happiness depends as little as possible from external causes”.

Marcus Aurelius wrote that," The happiness in your life depends on the quality of your thoughts."

So these two Stoics would reject this happiness scale that relies on external influences to define happiness.


The Buddha stated:

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. It is founded on our thoughts. It is made up of our thoughts. If one speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows one, like a shadow that never leaves. "


Knowing and believing what these wise men have written on the meaning of happiness, I have no choice but to dismiss the validity of the "Happiness Report"
 

MisterBeale

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I completely agree with you, though with one caveat. I have studied Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and one of my specialties at Uni was philosophy.


IMO, Taoism is much closer to Stoicism than Buddhism is. Buddhism embraces suffering, whereas Taoism embraces harmony in thought (the path) with nature.


This is a typical spin influenced by Hinduism.

Just my take. The Way of Stoicism: How East and West Use Similar Principles for Virtuous Living.

What can we learn from the Vinegar Tasters?
 
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Blues Man

Blues Man

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I completely agree with you, though with one caveat. I have studied Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and one of my specialties at Uni was philosophy.


IMO, Taoism is much closer to Stoicism than Buddhism is. Buddhism embraces suffering, whereas Taoism embraces harmony in thought (the path) with nature.


This is a typical spin influenced by Hinduism.

Just my take. The Way of Stoicism: How East and West Use Similar Principles for Virtuous Living.

What can we learn from the Vinegar Tasters?
Thanks for the great links. I have of course come across Taoism but never spent much time on it

I'm always looking for more references and I'll admit I haven't looked too much at Taoism. I Stumbled across Marcus Aurelius as a teenager and most of my reading on Stoicism was mostly from Roman and Greek thinkers.

My exposure to Buddhism was not so much from a book but from a Buddhist monk I met in my mid 20's. He was a a real interesting guy and I incorporated a good bit of what he taught me into my personal philosophy.

I am looking forward to diving a little deeper into Taoism. Thank you.
 

Gdjjr

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I've believed, and acted, for years, on simple life philosophies- No.1, all men are created equal and have certain unalienable rights-

happiness comes from within, not from without,

respect is gained but not until self respect is learned,

be the change you want to see-

you can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been-

I admire stoicism, but, it ain't me- I'm an adamant sower of seeds. The seeds I sow are those of liberty, they will bear fruit-
 
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Blues Man

Blues Man

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I've believed, and acted, for years, on simple life philosophies- No.1, all men are created equal and have certain unalienable rights-

happiness comes from within, not from without,

respect is gained but not until self respect is learned,

be the change you want to see-

you can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been-

I admire stoicism, but, it ain't me- I'm an adamant sower of seeds. The seeds I sow are those of liberty, they will bear fruit-
I like to believe that if people would first master their own thoughts that we could all live in a better world
 

MisterBeale

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I've believed, and acted, for years, on simple life philosophies- No.1, all men are created equal and have certain unalienable rights-

happiness comes from within, not from without,

respect is gained but not until self respect is learned,

be the change you want to see-

you can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been-

I admire stoicism, but, it ain't me- I'm an adamant sower of seeds. The seeds I sow are those of liberty, they will bear fruit-

 

MisterBeale

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Epictetus was born a slave and influenced Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
 

Gdjjr

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Epictetus was born a slave and influenced Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
I was born more free than I am now, since becoming a slave to the fed reserve- then the US gov't became tyrannical and I influence a small circle of family and friends- LOL
 

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