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The Happiness Hypothesis - read intro online

#129: Mar. - May 2014 (Non-Fiction)
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geo
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The Happiness Hypothesis - read intro online

For fence-sitters, here's an outline of Haidt's book. This link includes the complete introduction and a few chapters, including the first chapter.

http://www.happinesshypothesis.com/chapters.html

If you're going to buy the book on Amazon, please use BookTalk's links . . .

Kindle:
amazon.com/Happiness-Hypothesis-Finding ... =&qid=

Paperback
amazon.com/gp/product/0465028020/ref=as ... ktalk08-20
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LevV
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Re: The Happiness Hypothesis - read intro online

"We might have already encountered the Greatest Idea, the insight that would have transformed us had we savored it, taken it to heart , and worked it into our lives"

This sentence from Haidt's introduction to The Happiness Hypothesia" gave me cause to pause. I thought about my seven or eight hundred mostly nonfiction books in my library and how much of that knowledge I have absorbed and retained. I know it is a very small fraction of the information in those texts and I'm sure I have slid over and forgotten hundreds of great ideas. A reason Book Talk is so great is that it provides an opportunity to savor, take to heart and work into our lives the ideas of a few special books each year.

With "The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom" (I think the subtitle should have been the main title), Haidt has done the heavy lifting for us. He tell us he has read dozens of the great texts from the past two thousand years, chose ten Great Ideas and fit them together into a coherent whole around happiness and the meaning of life. I have read the book once and I know there is plenty to savor and work into our lives.

I look forward to the discussions.
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Re: The Happiness Hypothesis - read intro online

LevV wrote: With "The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom" (I think the subtitle should have been the main title)
I agree, his editor probably told him to get the word "happiness" in there.

After having been educated without ever really being exposed to Eastern philosophy, I've been trying to remedy that a little bit, so I think Haidt's book is going to be great for that.
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Re: The Happiness Hypothesis - read intro online

I'm about to start reading The Happiness Hypothesis. It's on my Kindle and ready to go.

I would suggest we don't really need a discussion leader. But if anyone wants to start us up on any given chapter, please feel free. This book looks good.

By the way, Haidt has given some TED talks and he also was interviewed by Bill Moyers. Sp there's a lot of stuff online if anyone wants to get to know the author first. He's certainly an interesting guy.
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Re: The Happiness Hypothesis - read intro online

Geo had said he might be interested in Coursera, and Dexter had said he was interested in finding out more about Eastern religion. I came across a Coursera titled "Buddhism and Modern Psychology," taught by none other than Robert Wright of Princeton. It starts Mar. 20. Sorry if the last thing you need is another intriguing possibility for spending your time!

https://www.coursera.org/course/psychbuddhism
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Re: The Happiness Hypothesis - read intro online

I'm definitely interested. Thanks for posting this, DWill. "Buddhism and Modern Psychology" sounds like a fantastic combination! Maybe we should get a discussion group on BT. We could use the chat room.

Robert Wright himself. He's the man!
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Re: The Happiness Hypothesis - read intro online

I will definitely check out that course. I'll admit, I've started a few Coursera courses, and never finished one -- it's hard to keep up. The good thing is, if you register you can always go back and watch the videos. But I think if you're not registered, you can't go to courses that are not currently running.
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Re: The Happiness Hypothesis - read intro online

I'm trying an experiment here due to my library having this book only on CD. Believe it or not, I've never listened to a recorded book, finding that my kind of attention isn't well suited to the format. Without any convenient means of going back to passages, I'm not sure how well I'll do.

The Intro does reveal that "Happiness Hypothesis" is part of Haidt's design. The only other comment I have on this part is that I'm not sure I agree with Haidt that our science can help us be more happy than we were able to be without it. The wisdom of the ages plus the contributions of science add up to a more powerful package, according to him. I'm just not sure this is really so.
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Re: The Happiness Hypothesis - read intro online

DWill wrote:I'm trying an experiment here due to my library having this book only on CD. Believe it or not, I've never listened to a recorded book, finding that my kind of attention isn't well suited to the format. Without any convenient means of going back to passages, I'm not sure how well I'll do.

The Intro does reveal that "Happiness Hypothesis" is part of Haidt's design. The only other comment I have on this part is that I'm not sure I agree with Haidt that our science can help us be more happy than we were able to be without it. The wisdom of the ages plus the contributions of science add up to a more powerful package, according to him. I'm just not sure this is really so.
Hey, I own the book and love to listen to recorded books. I think we could make some kinda deal that would suite us both. Whata ya say?
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Re: The Happiness Hypothesis - read intro online

Does Haidt ever define "happiness?" I'm not sure he does.
Oops, I see that he does delve into the meaning of happiness here in the intro. One dimension of happiness is interconnectedness.
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Re: The Happiness Hypothesis - read intro online

Also in this intro, I really liked his remarks about our embarrassment of riches, as far as material available to us to delve into in our search for "answers." That's true, being overwhelmed by information and being distracted so much gets greatly in the way of--if you want to call it this--enlightenment.

Another good thing was a generalization he made that I think we might all agree is a true universal: "that there is a vertical, spiritual dimension of human existence. Whether it is called nobility, virtue, or divinity, and whether or not God exists, people do perceive sacredness, holiness, or some ineffable goodness in others, and in nature."

"Vertical" makes me thing of the word "transcendent," the quality that is often chosen to describe this religious/spiritual dimension. Whatever we say we believe, or however we say we experience the world, we're all talking about this vertical dimension in our lives. It's common ground and I like it.
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Re: The Happiness Hypothesis - read intro online

My previous post may come across as very "random." In fact, it was a followup to another post that apparently didn't quite make it and now it's gone forever. I can't remember what it was about.
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Re: The Happiness Hypothesis - read intro online

lots of "why's" in intro promised to be discovered, interesting...
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Re: The Happiness Hypothesis - read intro online

Hi. if anyone is interested, I just posted a video book review of "The Happiness Hypothesis" yesterday. Here is the link if you're interested... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC-z0pwBzEE
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