The Psychology of Happiness: Understanding Our Selves

The Psychology of Happiness: Understanding Our Selves

The Psychology of Happiness: Understanding Our Selves

The Psychology of Happiness: Understanding Our Selves

Synopsis

"The Psychology of Happiness" penetrates to the heart of the subject of human happiness in a deep yet simple manner. The work offers a variety of techniques, questionnaires, and guidelines for creating happiness and covers a variety of psychological issues.

Excerpt

Happiness exists within us. We cannot experience it, however, as long as we are searching for it outside of ourselves. When we are unable to manifest that to which we are attached or addicted, our minds experience pain, fear, jealousy, self-rejection and even anger.

CAPTURING MONKEYS WITH BANANAS

The following true facts about how monkeys are captured in Africa, India and South America will allow us to understand the power of attachment.

A narrow-neck bottle is tied to a tree. A banana (or some peanuts) is placed in the bottle. The monkey sees the banana and very intelligently manages to squeeze its hand through the bottleneck and slip its fingers around the banana.

When it tries to pull its hand out in order to eat the banana, it won't come out because its hand, which is now holds the banana in the form of a fist, cannot pass through the narrow bottleneck. It pulls and pulls, but cannot get its hand out. It sees the trapper approaching him and tries to get away, but cannot, because its hand is wrapped around the banana and thus unable to get free from the bottle.

Although it is obviously going to suffer under the hands of trapper, and the bottle and the banana are the cause of its demise, it never crosses its mind to let go of the banana so it can extract its hand and be free.

The monkey literally becomes attached to the banana, and the banana, which was previously a potential source of happiness, has become a source of its suffering.

We are like those monkeys. We have a variety of “bananas” in our lives to which we are attached, and although they create much suffering for us, we cannot allow ourselves let go of them.

TYPES OF ATTACHMENTS

The words addiction and attachment refer to any object, person, experience, role, quality or even idea that we believe we cannot be happy without. Unhappiness ensues when we do not have that particular thing we are attached to. We also experience unhappiness when, although we have what we want, we fear that we will lose it. For example, we might fear losing our love partner to someone else, or losing our health or money.

We might be addicted to: receiving other people's attention, being accepted, being loved exclusively, being cared for and protected by others, possessing power over others, being rejected, pursuing professional success, being the prettiest or the smartest . . .

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