There have been a multitude of self help books on Happiness, but like diet books they don’t work, because they misunderstand the solution. A few of the most well known include; popular psychology, wellness, self satisfaction, biology changes by beliefs, genetic, Christianity, Buddhism, enlightenment, spiritualism, etc. While happiness, like love means different things to different people, it can be separated into two types; external and internal.
The external approach is essentially the credo of the advertizing industry that ‘things and conditions’ will make you happy. But this can’t be true for more than momentarily, because conditions are always changing. Consequently the external approach is destined to failure as the pleasure of today becomes the pain of tomorrow. Sadly, the external method is the common pursuit, and cause for untold human suffering, as we try to buy happiness.
The other type of happiness is internal, and therefore relatively independent of changing conditions. This type is called natural or genetic happiness, and it is self evident. To experience internal happiness, all you have to do is a good deed or an act of compassion. While internal genetic happiness sounds appealing, there is a limiting genetic obstacle in our genome. Evolution, for understandable reasons, prioritizes our primitive survival genes at the top. Since survival means competition for resources [think caveman genes], it limits altruistic acts. Unfortunately this priority still exists, as you can see by the ‘caveman mentality’ of our world today. The only solution is to turn off our caveman genes to unblock our happy genes that motivate altruistic acts.
While this may sound unrealistic, evolution has provided such a solution when it gifted us with an optional conscious mind. Our conscious mind, a later adaption, is a creative and altruistic mind, and when we are in our conscious state our ‘caveman’ unconscious mind is inoperative. It may well be that the plan of evolution is in the process of converting ‘survival of the fittest’, into ‘survival of the compassionate’.
However, for those of us who are impatient, is there a much faster practical way? For more details on ‘A course in natural happiness’ contact me.
James D Baird PhD