I have been working on a new and expanded edition of my book. It is just about ready for publication on Amazon.com.
The new edition contains additional works of art, a more in-depth analysis of the modern thinkers, and an interesting and refreshing discussion of the road to happiness as seen through the lenses of the major religions. The book addresses much of the feedback that I have received from readers since the publication of the first edition.
The new edition will be available in about 1-2 weeks.
I have decided to take advantage of the latest technology and incorporate the main elements of my book into a series of videos. Below is the first in a series of six videos describing the book, Happiness: Cashing in Life’s IOUs, and how best to find your road to happiness.
The video is an introduction to the other five videos that will be made public over the next several weeks.
The videos are also part of the first step of the 3-Step Program described by clicking on the tab, 3-Step Program, on the menu above. The first step is to watch the six videos. This step will acquaint you with the ideas and fine arts found in the book.
These “silent movie” videos are free to watch. The first video is about 2 minutes in length.
Enjoy the video.
This video doesn’t exist
I would like to turn to the great masters of the fine arts to further explore the achievement of happiness: Maslow’s final level of his hierarchy of needs, Csikszentmihalyi’s forging a unity with universal values, and the ability of Campbell’s hero to go back and forth between the everyday world and the spiritual world. I would like to focus first on the individual and then later turn to the flourishing of society.
The fulfillment that is encountered upon reaching happiness is a completion of one’s destiny or mission in life. The life that is experienced by those in true happiness is one free from all fears and human desires, competitiveness, striving, fatigue, and personal ambitions.
Let’s look at one master of the art world.
The Agnew Clinic
(Eakins, 1889, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia)
This is a work showing in stark gruesome realism the mastectomy of the woman lying on the operating table and the surgeon/instructor standing to the left. It depicts the surgeon as the teacher/hero to those in the surgical circle as well as the stands. He is self-sufficient and independent from the others in the painting. He is able to go back and forth from the relaxed and fulfilled world of an esteemed teacher to a noted surgeon (depicted with scalpel in left hand) in the everyday world of medicine.
Not one character in the painting is looking directly at the surgeon/teacher – it is as if he is not present. But the viewer sees him as one that is confident, free of all desires and ambitions, and fatigue-free and alert to his surroundings and duties. He is free to go from the everyday world to the spiritual world (in which he is seen standing) at his discretion. The surgeon/teacher has no need of attention or praise from others – he is above all that and perhaps witnessing peak experiences.
More great art to come
In my previous post I discussed the “prose” or ideas of the three segments of the triangle – ancient philosophers, modern “positive” psychologists, and a mythologist. This triangle is a very good starting point for finding happiness, and the basic skeleton of my book. But it is only two dimensional. Happiness is so important that a third dimension is needed.
The masters of the fine arts supply such a third dimension. They turn the triangle into a pyramid. They provide depth to the human experience. They are self-actualized artists that convert human experiences into artworks that each of us can learn from. These same artists provide the much needed verification of the road to happiness that the thinkers on the triangle instruct us is the road to fulfillment. it is this verification that gives us the comfort to move forward in life.
For example, this masterpiece by Renoir represents the pinnacle of the enjoyment of being with others. This work of art demonstrates what the thinkers believe is needed along the road to happiness – a sense of belongingness and a place among friends and in society. Renoir has captured this in a beautiful depiction of the enjoyment of simply being with others. With the achievement of such belongingness in society, each of these individuals is prepared for the next stages of life that move them closer to happiness.
Luncheon of the Boating Party (Renoir, 1881)
The pyramid of ideas or “prose” coupled with the “art” now gives us a very rich three dimensional representation of the road to happiness. But there is one dimension missing – the vehicle for traveling through the three dimensions. This vehicle will be discussed in the next post.
My book, to be published shortly, is all about the road to happiness, which we are all looking for.
The book gives each of us three vantage points for reaching happiness: 1) intellectual ideas, theories, and research from great thinkers, laying out the roadmap for all of us to use, 2) works from the masters of the fine arts that validate the roadmap of the thinkers and inspire all of us forward in life, and 3) the vehicle within each of us that is needed to travel the road with the map in hand and inspiration by our side.
The classicists, especially those studying the myths, do a good job of explaining how to find happiness based on the adventures of past heroes. But they are vague as to what needs to be done to prepare for the adventure. They are very good at locating the road around the corner leading to the blue horizon, but are vague as to how to get to the corner to begin the adventure.
The classicists discuss the myths in great detail and with great insight. But they are very vague as to what is needed to prepare for the adventure. My book has the answer.
More to come.