Tag Archives: fulfillment

Book’s Summary in Images – Part 3

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.

Three Dimensions of Book

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 by Renoir

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.

Book’s Summary in Images – Part 2

In my previous post, I mentioned that the format of my book relies on four dimensions.

The first two dimensions are the ideas of four ancient philosophers, two “positive” psychologists, and one mythologist, Joseph Campbell.  These great thinkers provide the structure to the book – what I call the “prose” portion of the Prose/Art Exposition.

First Two Dimensions of Book

Basically, these three segments of the triangle tell us that we are all motivated instinctively to achieve happiness in life or, at least, “self-actualization,” which I consider to be a fancy psychological word for happiness.  We are all motivated to try and reach happiness; but, as these great thinkers mention, most of us don’t reach happiness in our lives for a number of different reasons.

The great thinkers also tell us that there is a progression that we all must follow.  This progression, which differs among the thinkers, is basically: a need for food, shelter, and warmth, followed by safety and education, social interactions, exposure to many and varied risks, and if successful, finally a state of happiness.  Along this progression each of us will need to acquire certain cardinal virtues to withstand the many risks in life and succeed in our own adventures towards happiness.

This triangle of seven great thinkers is all that is needed to set the stage for what each of us needs to do.  However, each of us needs inspiration to trust the great thinkers and get going on our own personal rad to happiness.

Up next, the great artists.

Book’s Summary in Images

If you are still thinking about buying my book, I thought it might be helpful to explain the structure of the book using three images.

I think that my book can best be described as one operating in four dimensions.  The first two dimensions, forming a geometric plane, are the ideas presented by the ancient philosophers and modern thinkers.  The ancient philosophers provide the base of the triangle.  Two modern “positive” psychologists provide one side of the triangle and the works of Joseph Campbell regarding the myths of the world provide the other side of the triangle.

First Two Dimensions of Book

However, the above is only two dimensions and doesn’t do the subject of happiness any justice.  If you add the viewpoints of the masters of the fine arts, you get a much more three dimensional perspective.  Now, the attainment of happiness becomes much clearer.

Three Dimensions of Book

However, there is one thing missing – the means of climbing to the top of the pyramid and the achievement of happiness.  For finding the means to reach the top, a fourth dimension is needed – a set of stairs.  The means for climbing the stairs is the entrepreneur within each of us.  The traits of the entrepreneur propel each of us upward along the stairs to the very top of the pyramid; the very top is where happiness resides!

Fourth Dimension of Book

The Natural – The Movie (Part 4)

Continuing with my last post, Roy has earned four cardinal virtues, but one remains: love of neighbor.  Without this last virtue, Roy will not be able to achieve happiness.

Roy has accepted the adventure, has fought many trials to secure the boon, avoided many temptations and, through his concern for the welfare of his community, has approached the threshold of the return back to the everyday world.  But he still needs to be brought over the threshold with the help of others.  As depicted in the movie, Roy is batting in the bottom of the ninth, with two strikes: he is at the threshold looking for the help he needs to bring the boon he has captured to society.  The help he needs is to win the game – the boon would be delivered to society and he would achieve the happiness that has eluded him all his life.

Roy’s high school sweetheart is the one to bring him back across the threshold.  She tells him that the son that she has brought with her to Roy’s last game is also his son.  She has kept this a secret from him but she decides at the last moment that Roy must know the truth.

It is this love for Roy, as well as her son, that pulls Roy across the threshold – he hits the final pitch for a game winning home run.  It is at this moment that the boon of a pennant win is delivered to the Knights.  It is also at this moment that Roy achieves happiness.  He never hits another pitch, her never plays in another game. The pennant is delivered to the team, and the community flourishes.  Roy is reunited with his high school sweetheart and his son, living on a farm where he grew up.  Happiness is finally realized – for the entire Roy Hobbs family.

Great movie!

The Natural – The Movie (Part 3)

Continuing with my last post, Roy is now a regular player for the Knights, thanks to his wisdom and courage to recognize and seize the opportunity to play for the team, an opportunity that would normally only go to young players with well-known prospects.

But, given the monumental success of Roy’s playing, the corrupt owner hires a beautiful woman to seduce Roy.  She is successful at first and the team starts to decline in the standings.  However, Roy’s high school sweetheart reads about Roy’s return to baseball and contacts him.  She is successful at pulling Roy away from the manipulating woman.  Roy is also offered a bribe to throw the game, but he declines the offer and tells the corrupt owner that he will do his best to win the pennant for the team.

It is at this moment in the movie that Roy exhibits the virtues of moderation and justice.  He is able to withstand the temptations of sex and money.  He is also determined to remain honest and bring the team out from under corruption and into the light serving as a role model for baseball.  Roy, ever modest, is very concerned for the welfare of the team and its impact on the community, especially the children who are devoted to the game, a game that must remain free from corruption.

In my next post, I will end by discussing the final virtue.

The Natural – The Movie (Part 2)

Continuing with my last post, Roy Hobbs returns to baseball after more than a decade in silence, joining a losing baseball team called the Knights.

It is due to the corruption of the owner of the Knights franchise that Roy is offered the opportunity to play baseball for the Knights.  He recognizes this opportunity to live a life in the future above his expectations of today.  He capitalizes on this opportunity and accepts the contract to play.  He is allowed to play because the corrupt owner is told by his scouts that Roy is washed-up and can no longer play the game (the corrupt owner wins total control of the team if the team does not win the pennant).

The manager is reluctant to put Roy in the game, but Roy is courageous to persevere and eventually his talent is displayed to the team and the manager.  Soon, Roy’s natural gift as a hitter propels the team forward in the standings and Roy’s natural abilities are infectious to the rest of his teammates.

It was during his journey, prior to arriving to play with the Knights, that Roy earned the virtues of wisdom and courage.  He displayed the wisdom to see the opportunity to pull himself out of the darkness of his life and join the Knights when offered the contract.  He displayed the courage to accept the contract, present himself – a middle-aged player of little note – to the manager, and withstand not being put into the game until his time to be rediscovered has arrived.

In my next post, more on the other virtues.

Need Your Help!

Over the past two months, a large number of you have downloaded my book.  If you have had a chance to read it, I would appreciate if you could leave a one or two sentence review on Amazon.com.

Simply click on the book’s cover to the right of this blog to get to the book page at Amazon.com allowing those who have downloaded the book to leave a review.

Thanks for time!

Virtue Ethics: Alisdair MacIntyre (Part 2)

In my last post, I mentioned that the philosophy of virtue ethics, as suggested by Alisdair MacIntyre sounds very reasonable, but it has drawn four main criticisms.  The four are: 1) it is a way of life that is self-centered, 2) it is a way of life lacking any guidance as to appropriate actions to reach happiness, 3) it is a way of life based on luck of one’s circumstances in life, and 4) it is unreasonable to suggest that in today’s world people should live in small communities as the means of achieving happiness.

Let me address each of these criticisms.  1) It may appear to be a self-centered way of life but, as discussed in my book, Campbell teaches that a call to adventure to secure a boon for the benefit of society is needed to reach happiness.  In addition, the virtues are needed to recognize the call, act on it, and be successful in the quest.  The virtues are needed to secure the boon and deliver it to society, which, is also needed for the individual to reach happiness.  This action is anything but self-centered and contributed to the flourishing of society.

2) there is no lacking of guidance.  Campbell is very clear as to the steps needed to accept the call, win the battles, and return with the boon intact.  The virtues are needed to take the steps needed to reach happiness and the flourishing of society.

3) Indeed, luck does play a part in life and for everyone, especially regarding one’s family and society.  A dysfunctional family and/or society will make it very hard for anyone to achieve happiness.  However, luck is not the only variable, one must also be willing to be involved with others, take risks, and develop the virtues so that when the call is sent, the adventure can be accepted.

4) I think that the best vehicle for a virtuous life is to harness the gift of the entrepreneur within each of us.  I agree that in today’s world it would be very difficult to lead a life as a member of a small Medieval group.  It is very appropriate to learn how to take risks, recognize opportunities, and take action to capitalize on those opportunities so that one’s future is live above today’s expectations.

This entrepreneurial approach prepares each of us through education, social interactions, and risk-taking, to apply our virtues in ways that enhance our happiness while helping society to flourish.