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Ch. 4 - The Faults of Others 
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Post Re: Ch. 4 - The Faults of Others
geo wrote:
Haidt has mentioned somewhere that CBT and meditation can take away our suffering, in essence make us more even. But this takes away our intense joys as well. I've heard that anti-depressants help stabilize your mood in much the same way. Clinically depressed people at times feel a manic joy that some say is almost worth the periods of depression. I find that so interesting that Haidt's three methods for increasing happiness—CBT, meditation, and Prozac—must alter our brain chemistry in similar ways.


It does kind of seem that way, but it also seems that a lot of people who are serious meditators (based on reading about and seeing interviews with Buddhist monks in particular) are also quite happy. I suppose it's possible that they are not hitting the "peaks" of happiness but are just cruising at a lower level.



Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:06 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 4 - The Faults of Others
Dexter wrote:
geo wrote:
Haidt has mentioned somewhere that CBT and meditation can take away our suffering, in essence make us more even. But this takes away our intense joys as well. I've heard that anti-depressants help stabilize your mood in much the same way. Clinically depressed people at times feel a manic joy that some say is almost worth the periods of depression. I find that so interesting that Haidt's three methods for increasing happiness—CBT, meditation, and Prozac—must alter our brain chemistry in similar ways.


It does kind of seem that way, but it also seems that a lot of people who are serious meditators (based on reading about and seeing interviews with Buddhist monks in particular) are also quite happy. I suppose it's possible that they are not hitting the "peaks" of happiness but are just cruising at a lower level.


Did you see the video in Wright's Buddha course where he asks a Buddha monk if he had ever reached a state of total enlightenment? The guy starts laughing and can't seem to stop.

By the way, my wife corrects me on my statement above. Mood swings are usually associated with a bipolar condition. And so people with bipolar disorder are sometimes resistant to taking medication because it eliminates the highs as well as the lows. Depressed people are just depressed.


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Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:43 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 4 - The Faults of Others
I did see that video. Wright commented that while the monk may not have reached Nirvana, he was certainly happy. Have you looked at Wright's "office hours," by the way? He talks about what some of the students have been discussing in the forums. It's a good feature, and Wright has a very nice touch as an everyman sharing what he knows and what he doesn't. He's as everyman as you could expect a Princeton prof to be, anyway.

One view of Bipolar disorder, the former manic depression, is that artists and creative people have been afflicted with it, the high phases accounting for their tremendous creative energy. It was once thought that schizophrenia gave people access to similar abilities, but now that disease is seen as strictly debilitating, having no "upside."



Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:17 am
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