“When we walk like we are rushing, we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth…Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”—Thich Nhat Hanh (via fulmoun)
Psychologists and philosophers have identified many roads to happiness. Each of us use different ones or a combination at different stages of life. Which are paths are you taking?
Hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure. Here, happiness comes from obtaining pleasure and avoiding pain. Pleasure can include eating, drinking and sex, as well as the pleasures of the mind and spirit, such as moral and ethical acts or worship and other pursuits. Proponents of this approach include Hobbes, de Sade, and the Nobel-prize winner Daniel Kahneman.
Eudemonia happiness comes from a life that actively expresses virtue and excellence, with a sense of meaning and purpose, and with a concern for others. People who pursue eudaimonic happiness aspire to do good and make a difference. The resulting sense of fulfillment is also called flourishing. The eudaimonic view of happiness was proposed by Aristotle.
Flow or autotelic happiness comes from living a fully engaged life. This active pathway to happiness leads to joy by filling life with just the right amount of challenge for one’s skill when doing what you do best. Flow happiness is enhanced by deep involvement in valued activities and by access to resources such as money, a good social network and intelligence. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a proponent of flow happiness.
Chaironic happiness comes from a sense of being blessed and feeling grateful. Chaironic happiness is sense of awe and oneness with God, nature, spirit or a higher power. This kind of happiness depends on an attitude of openness, on being mindful and attuned to transcendental encounters.The chaironic view of happiness was explored by philosophers and scholars ranging from Thomas Aquinas to Freud.
“I cannot understand anti-abortion arguments that centre on the sanctity of life. As a species, we’ve fairly comprehensively demonstrated that we don’t believe in the sanctity of life. The shrugging acceptance of war, famine, epidemic, pain and lifelong, grinding poverty show us that, whatever we tell ourselves, we’ve made only the most feeble of efforts to really treat human life as sacred.”—Caitlin Moran (via earthwards)
“I want to write a sad poem but I’m not sad.
I am less than sad. Negative sad. I am looped
television laughter. I move through the trail
cloaked in bath water & the water never gets cold.
I shouldn’t be sad or sleep all day, I should lie
under the floorboards of our wagon, tell the spiders
to mind their distance, just swallow the poison.
i want to wrestle the bear that haunts your dreams
& eats our children. They are beautiful children,
in their hiking boots, climbing hills like they’ve
done this before, like they know why we sleep
on top of each other, so preious all of us humming
last spring. I want to lust for lust & your tongue
over my shoulder blades, but all I can think about
is building a snowman with your face on its white
frame. Your teeth look the best when you’re naked.
I close my eyes, count to ten thousand. I close my
eyes & forget why I closed my eyes. On the trail
everything smells green. You tell me I always want
to smell naked. A thief comes in the middle of the night,
leaves wild fruit, a note that says he found God
in a Wal-Mart parking lot. When we’re older I’ll lock
the front door of our house so tight the calcium
in our bones won’t be able to get out.”—“The Oregon Trail is undergoing photosynthesis,” Gregory Sherl (via clavicola)
“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”—John Burroughs (via lucifelle)