The happiness Formula

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The happiness Formula

Postby KwanSeum » Sun May 22, 2011 7:19 am

In the book called "The Happiness Hypothesis" by Jonathan Haidt he introduces the so called "happiness Formula".

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It claims that the happiness you experience (H) is determined by your biological set point (S) plus the conditions of your life (C) plus the voluntary activities (V) that you do. It follows then that it is necessary to find out what kinds of C and V can push H up to the top of your potential range and as a professional psychologist he advocates scientific methods to do this - so far so good!

He then goes on to claim that since there is scientific evidence that there are some/many conditions (C) and voluntary activities (V) that effect your happiness then Buddha and Epictetus were wrong because they said the way is to look within only. He then goes on to identify some conditions (C) that effect your quality of life such as "commuting, noise, lack of control, shame, relationships and finding flow".

Having then claimed that Buddha said "happiness comes only from within" he suggests improving Buddha's teachings by saying, "Happiness comes from within, and happiness comes from without". He continues that "the Western ideal of action, striving, and passionate attachment is not as misguided as Buddhism suggests". He then says "it is worth striving to get right relationships between yourself and others, between yourself and work, and between yourself and something larger than yourself".
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Re: The happiness Formula

Postby LastLegend » Sun May 22, 2011 7:30 am

If happiness depends on an external source such as material things, then without these there will be suffering and disappointment. In other words, he/she has no control over his/her happiness because it is dictated by an external source.
Last edited by LastLegend on Sun May 22, 2011 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The happiness Formula

Postby KwanSeum » Sun May 22, 2011 7:33 am

KwanSeum wrote:He then goes on to claim that since there is scientific evidence that there are some/many conditions (C) and voluntary activities (V) that effect your happiness then Buddha and Epictetus were wrong because they said the way is to look within only. He then goes on to identify some conditions (C) that effect your quality of life such as "commuting, noise, lack of control, shame, relationships and finding flow".
It seems Jonathan Haidt has misread Buddha big time. Buddha had lots to say about relationships, finding flow and about getting the conditions of our life right (C) and also the voluntary activities (V) that we need to be doing. For a start there are The Ten Meritorious Deeds which allow people to gain a happy and peaceful life and develop knowledge and understanding:

1. Charity
2. Morality / Taking Precepts
3. Mental cultivation / Meditation
4. Reverence or respect
5. Services in helping others
6. Transference of merits
7. Rejoicing in the merits of others
8. Preaching and teaching Dharma
9. Listening to the Dharma
10. Straightening one's own views
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Re: The happiness Formula

Postby ground » Sun May 22, 2011 8:58 am

LastLegend wrote:If happiness depends on an external source such as material things, then without these there will be suffering and disappointment. In other words, he/she has no control over his/her happiness because it is dictated by an external source.


If there were not the appearance of an "external external source such as material things" why would you ever think about it and their relation to happiness? How could you ever be able to find out about the great illusion of the thought "happiness" at all if this would not be appearing to be as it is appearing to be?

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Re: The happiness Formula

Postby ground » Sun May 22, 2011 9:08 am

The simile of this "happiness" is "cool water applied to an inflamed boil or carbuncle". As the temporary feeling fades, the pain reasserts itself.
What's the use of this?

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Re: The happiness Formula

Postby LastLegend » Sun May 22, 2011 10:20 am

I accept a conversation with you. I will try my best to understand what you say.

TMingyur wrote:The simile of this "happiness" is "cool water applied to an inflamed boil or carbuncle". As the temporary feeling fades, the pain reasserts itself.
What's the use of this?

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No use because attachment to not attaching to "neither happiness or pain" is still an issue. Why? Because attaching is a habit.

But where can dust alight if your mind is not attached to a single thing (mental activity)? Where can dust alight if your mind is not tied itself to a single thing? Where can dust alight if your mind has no attachment to creation (mental activity)? Where can dust alight if you have no intention to create?

Effortlessly is hard to maintain

In my mind the dust always alights. Therefore I will continue to practice.
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Re: The happiness Formula

Postby ground » Sun May 22, 2011 5:32 pm

LastLegend wrote:I accept a conversation with you. I will try my best to understand what you say.

TMingyur wrote:The simile of this "happiness" is "cool water applied to an inflamed boil or carbuncle". As the temporary feeling fades, the pain reasserts itself.
What's the use of this?

Kind regards


No use because attachment to not attaching to "neither happiness or pain" is still an issue. Why? Because attaching is a habit.

But where can dust alight if your mind is not attached to a single thing (mental activity)? Where can dust alight if your mind is not tied itself to a single thing? Where can dust alight if your mind has no attachment to creation (mental activity)? Where can dust alight if you have no intention to create?

Effortlessly is hard to maintain

In my mind the dust always alights. Therefore I will continue to practice.


Hmh ... I have difficulty to understand you.

Actually my "cool water applied to an inflamed boil or carbuncle. As the temporary feeling fades, the pain reasserts itself." is a quote from Lamrim Chenmo chapter about "suffering of change".

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Re: The happiness Formula

Postby LastLegend » Sun May 22, 2011 5:46 pm

Sorry lol I read you wrong.
Sorry KwanSeum for hijacking your post.
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Re: The happiness Formula

Postby ronnewmexico » Sun May 22, 2011 7:11 pm

On improveing what the Buddha stated...

depends on who the buddha was addressing that too. Could it be improved to those who that was spoken to at that time and place...no.

On happiness, a dictionary definition states....happiness results from the posession or attainment of what one considers good.

I'd guess contentment more refers to this thing spoken about in Buddhism at a ultimately considered level. A peaceful kind of happiness in which one rests without desires the dictionary goes on to explain. .

So due to linguistic differences or translation difficulties we have a mistaken apprehension. Like the eskimos having many many kinds of ice to describe the thing of ice which in english is one word attempting to make conclusions may be difficult.

Happiness...compassionate result gives happiness to humans always. Part of what we are. Ultimately however while we remain compassionate always(I personally contend) with our awareness whenever and however we reincarnate such may not be present always. The requirement of compassionate result.
Buddhism in some forms may be speaking beyond the simple state of being human. Since this is a general forum part I feel safe in saying that.
Some put a heirachy to it of sorts. Humans being here on the ladder others being there or there. All it seems is not necessarily heirachial. All equally have composite result and dependent origin. What brings happiness to one in one place may not to another in another place. So the ultimate goal or final consideration may not be classical happiness as dictionary defines but if a word could be put to it..... contentment at all levels and realms.

To restate compassion is always present with awareness. Happy result.....perhaps that is just humans and some others not all beings to which that brings happiness..

If my findings were that there were to be found things that were smaller or larger then oneself, I would find no logical consistancy in my thinkings on these things and they would rightly be called beliefs. Such is not the case nothing smaller nor larger is to be found. I find it it is part of me and I of it, anything i may perceive or know of's existance.
So....this is eternalism or some may say absoluteism. In such terms things may be improved on. But I accept not those terms.
Sure we should work on things to bring happiness...we are human we will be sad if not found to do those things. But the Buddha when asked what he was after enlightenment did not state...a happy human....he stated something to the effect of....awake.
So that view to my opinion expressed by the persons equation is the product of quite limited thought. Humans are not all that be.

To put this thing in perspective HHDL states in the introduction to the Bardol Theodol....

"Now as to the nature of the actual preparation itself, this will depend on each individual's depth of spiritual aspiration.
For example, if an individual is simply seeking a favourable rebirth as a human being, there is no need to engage in a sophisticated meditative path related to the processes of death and rebirth. Simply to live a virtuous life is seen as sufficient
."

This writer is putting this solely in a human context. Such is true in the immediate but will not provide for full liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
So one will be humanly happy and be rebirthed again....human subject to human constraints of happiness.
But some Buddhist perspective is beyond that. Perhaps a very very small minority but neverteheless may be found that other.
Buddhism without beliefs, (perhaps that name has already been coopted). Eventually over a billion or so lives of being human the human state itself must become less than desired despite its nuances and composite nature of multiplixity. Some are not there.....yet. More power to them....be happy as human....it will not last. But they don't know that, so for now be happy. Continue attaining happiness. A billion or so eons from now you too may be asking....how may I escape this thing, finally and completely. Till then enjoy your various birth deaths and all the rest that ensues as being human.
At some level to some as Buddhist or those useing that as tool this furthur goal is necessary....end rebirth entirely.

Others they seek human heavens...which is fine, nothing wrong in that. It is all depending upon what one is aspiring to. If completely happy human life is desired one will certainly find that as a function of effectively perceived human compassion. If one tires of being human itself..well then beyond that is required. Both may be found in Buddhist teachings. Both e qually valid as to completeing or attaining their respective goals.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: The happiness Formula

Postby muni » Mon May 23, 2011 10:22 am

Contentment.

"Earth provides enough to satisfy everyones' need but not everyones' greed". Mahatma Ghandi.
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