“Give yourself the space to be who you are. Give others the space to be what they are. And if others do not give you the space to be who you are … give them the space to not give you the space to be who you are, and give yourself the space to be who you are.”— Tenshin Reb Anderson
A typed note that Wallace left in his papers laid out the novel’s idea: “Bliss — a-second-by-second joy and gratitude at the gift of being alive, conscious — lies on the other side of crushing, crushing boredom. Pay close attention to the most tedious thing you can find (Tax Returns, Televised Golf) and, in waves, a boredom like you’ve never known will wash over you and just about kill you. Ride these out, and it’s like stepping from black and white into color. Like water after days in the desert. Instant bliss in every atom.”more...
“Harry, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just … let it happen. Could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or … two cups of good, hot, black coffee.”
— FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper
Nothing says Buddhism like raising a child. To cherish what has already changed as you look upon it. To hold most tightly what you must most let go.more...
The findings suggest that happiness is not a “feelgood” luxury, but is essential to people’s wellbeing. What is more, happiness can also extend across an entire nation, with people in “happy” nations being more likely to have pro-democratic attitudes and a keenness to help others.You don’t say. But wait, there’s more:
“Almost always it has been assumed that things that correlate with happiness are the causes of happiness, but it could be just the opposite — that those things tend to be caused by happiness,” said Professor Ed Diener from the University of Illinois, another author on the paper.Now this is interesting. I read a Zen book a while back that stressed the point that, in any causal situation, the effect is also a cause, and the cause is also an effect. (There’s a whole big Zen-ish rant on the inherent bogosity of all dualistic models I could spin out right here, but I shan’t.) So, what does happiness bring ya?
“There was strong evidence that happiness leads people to be more sociable and more generous, more productive at work, to make more money, and to have stronger immune systems,” said Prof Lyubomirsky.So let’s see. Be happy, stride right on out into the universe and create your own reality, and you have a good chance of finding yourself in good health, living well? Actually, that sounds about right. Good work, science!
© 2012 Matthew Newton, published under a Creative Commons License.