The Science of Happiness
Berkeley University of California
Week 1 > Philosophical and Spiritual Views on Happiness
Confucius, 2500 years ago
What does it mean to be happy? To lead a virtuous life
an illustrative quote that really gets to the heart of the philosophy of Confucius and jen: A person of jen or humanity who finds happiness and brings it to others, brings good of others to completion and does not bring the bad in others to completion.
Happiness is some sense has an outward orientation in enhancing the welfare of others.
The Dalai Lama is part of a broader tradition in Buddhism that many of you have probably heard about where they talk about the state of peacefulness and contentedness and happiness, sometimes called nirvana.
The pathway to the state of happiness or nirvana really starts from the recognition, the first noble truth, that there are a lot of difficulties in life, there is a lot of suffering.
The second noble truth is that we suffer because of illusions, because of grasping for things that might not bring us happiness because of certain types of ignorance, that we find nirvana and happiness and peacefulness when we detach from these clinging tendencies and grasping.
practical recommendations in Buddhist philosophy that get us to this state of detachment or nirvana. Things like practicing equanimity and calmness or things like kind speech
Lao Tzu, the great Chinese philosopher, and his influential book, Tao Te Ching.
the Taoist tradition: happiness is often paradoxical. The meaning of life may not be necessarily grasped by your rational mind, you have to experience it, let it unfold.
The Eastern mindset, that you might find in China for example or Japan, is a little oriented more towards happiness as relational as connection, community, or duty.