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Joan Chittister sees happiness differently. To her it is not a by-product of wealth or success but, rather, a personal quality to be learned, mastered, and fearlessly wielded. Happiness, she says, "is an organ of the soul that is meant to be nourished." In these pages Chittister develops “an archeology of happiness” as she conducts a happiness “dig” through sociology, biology, neurology, psychology, philosophy, history, and world religions. Sifting through the wisdom of the ages, Chittister offers inspiring insights that will help seekers everywhere learn to cultivate true and lasting happiness within themselves.
the way we allow ourselves to become. What is even more important to the present study of happiness is the consciousness that none of the disciplines dismiss the impact of the relationship between the brain and the environment in the pursuit of happiness. The thoughts we think color the way we see life. The emotions we cultivate in ourselves have a great deal to do with the way we live with others. The way we feel about things determines the way we respond to them. The man who takes a drink when
an illusion, impossible. Something we’ve made up to avoid admitting the basic tragedy of life. And yet, the idea of happiness clings to humanity across the centuries like a tenacious angel in the dark. The early philosophers all believed that happiness was the natural end of life — one way or another — but that the gods had a final say in it. Luck and chance played a part, even for Aristotle, who conceded that no one could control the externals of life but that all of us could control
relinquishing judgmentalism, on keeping our hearts straight and our minds clear so that we are not overwhelmed by confusion or negativity or meaningless distractions. We are to be single-minded, intent on the things that really matter in life. 8. Right concentration requires the serious seeker to bring a wholesomeness of mind and openness of heart to the continuing attempt to walk the path with total consciousness of life as it is and life as it must be. * * * The Eightfold Path is a blueprint
people as well as the call of the prophets, up to and including Jesus, to Christianity. It is at once an old call and a new call to the people of the book — to all those for whom the Judeo-Christian scriptures are central. Its single purpose is to call the monotheistic religions of Abraham back to a more pristine acceptance of the scriptures. To those to whom the revelation of monotheism had been given — but had been allowed to grow dry and dull over the centuries — Islam was a new call to Jews
“enoughness” — other than have it — is unclear. Surely simple subsistence is not enough. Though we have some basic information about what makes life livable, for more understanding of what really makes people happy, makes life worth living in the midst of its stresses and strains, we need to look elsewhere. Science gives us a clue: the human being is not simply an eating/sleeping/laughing machine. We are not neutral in our approach to life. We have feelings and tastes and desires and the need to