Saturday, September 26, 2020
10:13 PM (GMT +5)

Go Back   CSS Forums > CSS Optional subjects > Group V > English Literature

English Literature Notes and Topics on Eng.Literature here

Reply Share Thread: Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook     Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter     Submit Thread to Google+ Google+    
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old Saturday, January 11, 2020
MuneezaRafiq's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 61
Thanks: 14
Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts
MuneezaRafiq is on a distinguished road
Default Bertrand Russell - The Conquest of Happiness (concise notes in bullet form)

Part I: Causes of Unhappiness
Ch 1: What makes people unhappy?

 The causes of these various kinds of unhappiness lie partly in the social system, partly in individual psychology -- which, of course, is itself to a considerable extent a product of the social system.
 I believe this unhappiness to be very largely due to mistaken views of the world, mistaken 'ethics, mistaken habits of life, leading to destruction of that natural zest and appetite for possible things upon which all happiness, whether of men or animals, ultimately depends. These are matters which lie within the power of the individual.
 Sources of Russell’s own unhappiness in the past: meditating on my sins, follies, and shortcomings. I seemed to myself a miserable specimen. Self-absorption is the problem.
3 types of self-absorbed persons: the sinner, the narcissist, and the megalomaniac. The cure to self-absorption is to turn your attention to the external world, to friends, and state of the world.
Narcissist feels the need to be admired and loved. Vanity, when it passes beyond a point, kills pleasure in every activity for its own sake, and thus leads inevitably to listlessness and boredom. Often its source is diffidence, and its cure lies in the growth of self-respect.
Megalomaniac seeks to be powerful and to be feared. Alexander the Great was the greatest conqueror known to fame; he decided that he was a god. Was he a happy man? His drunkenness, his furious rages, his indifference to women, and his claim to divinity, suggest that he was not.
 Usually the megalomaniac, whether insane or nominally sane, is the product of some excessive humiliation. Napoleon suffered at school from inferiority to his schoolfellows, who were rich aristocrats, while he was a penurious scholarship boy.
Drunkenness is temporary suicide; the happiness that it brings is merely negative, a momentary cessation of unhappiness.
Ch 2: Byronic Unhappiness
 It is common in our day, as it has been in many other periods of the world's history, to suppose that those among us who are wise have seen through all the enthusiasms of earlier times and have become aware that there is nothing left to live for. The men who hold this view are genuinely unhappy, but they are proud of their unhappiness, which they consider to be the only rational attitude for an enlightened man.
 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
 The man who acquires easily things for which he feels only a very moderate desire concludes that the attainment of desire does not bring happiness. To be without some of the things you want is an indispensible part of happiness.
 Love a source of delight, but its absence is a source of pain. Love is to be valued because it enhances all the best pleasures, such as music, and sunrise in mountains, and the sea under the full moon. A man who has never enjoyed beautiful things in the company of a woman whom he loved has not experienced to the full the magic power of which such things are capable.
 Literary coteries have no vital contact with the life of the community, and such contact is necessary if men's feelings are to have the seriousness and depth within which both tragedy and true happiness proceed.
 To feel tragedy, a man must be aware of the world in which he lives, not only with his mind, but with his blood and sinews.
Ch 3: Competition
 Struggle for ‘life’ or success. What people fear when they engage in the struggle is not that they will fail to get their breakfast next morning, but that they will fail to outshine their neighbours.
 Such a person knows nothing about the lives of his children and his wife. He is engaged in a race that has only the grave as the end goal.
 The root of the trouble springs from too much emphasis upon competitive success as the main source of happiness.
 Unless a man has been taught what to do with success after getting it, the achievement of it must inevitably leave him a prey to boredom.
 The trouble arises from the generally received philosophy of life, according to which life is a contest, a competition, in which respect is to be accorded to the victor. This view leads to an undue cultivation of the will at the expense of the senses and the intellect.
Ch 4: Boredom and Excitement
 One of the essentials of boredom consists in the contrast between present circumstances and some other more agreeable circumstances
 The opposite of boredom, in a word, is not pleasure, but excitement.
 Excitement has been desired especially by males. The chase was exciting, war was exciting, courtship was exciting.
 We are less bored than our ancestors were, but we are more afraid of boredom. We have come to know, or rather to believe, that boredom is not part of the natural lot of man, but can be avoided by a sufficiently vigorous pursuit of excitement.
 As we rise in the social scale the pursuit of excitement becomes more and more intense.
 A life too full of excitement is an exhausting life, in which continually stronger stimuli are needed to give the thrill that has come to be thought an essential part of pleasure.
 The capacity to endure a more or less monotonous life is one which should be acquired in childhood. Modern parents are greatly to blame in this respect; they provide their children with far too many passive amusements, such as shows and good things to eat.
 A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy can live.
Ch 5: Fatigue
 Purely physical fatigue, provided it is not excessive, tends if anything to be a cause of happiness; it leads to sound sleep and a good appetite, and gives zest to the pleasures that are possible on holidays. But when it is excessive it becomes a very grave evil.
 Nervous fatigue is common in advanced communities. Working hours, constant noise and presence of strangers, hurry to get to work, fear of being fired. Fatigue is due to worry. Worry could be prevented by a better philosophy of life and a little more mental discipline. Shut out the ordinary troubles of ordinary days except when they have to be dealt with. Nothing is so exhausting as indecision. The result of all this is that when sound success comes a man is already a nervous wreck, so accustomed to anxiety that he cannot shake off the habit of it when the need for it is past.
 It is amazing how much both happiness and efficiency can be increased by the cultivation of an orderly mind, which thinks about a matter adequately at the right time rather than inadequately at all times.
 A great many worries can be diminished by realizing the unimportance of the matter which is causing the anxiety.
 Worry is a form of fear, and all forms of fear produce fatigue. Another source of fatigue: excitement.
Ch 6: Envy
 Envy is one form of a vice, partly moral, partly intellectual, which consists in seeing things never in themselves, but only in their relations.
 Of all the characteristics of ordinary human nature envy is the most unfortunate; not only does the envious person wish to inflict misfortune and do so whenever he can with impunity, but he is also himself rendered unhappy by envy. Instead of deriving pleasure from what he has, he derives pain from what others have.
 Merely to realize the causes of one's own envious feelings is to take a long step towards curing them.
 Unnecessarily modest people believe themselves to be outshone by those with whom they habitually associate. They are therefore particularly prone to envy, and, through envy, to unhappiness and ill will.
 To find the right road out of this despair civilized man must enlarge his heart as he has enlarged his mind.
Ch 7: The Sense of Sin
 The word 'conscience' covers as a matter of fact, several different feelings; the simplest of these is the fear of being found out. Closely allied with this feeling is the fear of becoming an outcast from the herd.
 The sense of sin has its roots in the unconscious. Infantile moral teachings play a big role.
 If a child has been conventionally educated by somewhat stern parents or nurses, the association between sin and the sex organs is so firmly established by the time he is six years old that it is unlikely ever to be completely undone throughout the rest of his life.
 Whenever you begin to feel remorse for an act which your reason tells you is not wicked, examine the causes of your feeling of remorse, and convince yourself in detail of their absurdity.
 I am not suggesting that a man should be destitute of morality; I am only suggesting that he should be destitute of superstitious morality, which is a very different thing.
Ch 8: Persecution Mania
 We are all familiar with the type of person, man or woman, who, according to his own account, is perpetually the victim of ingratitude, unkindness, and treachery.
 The trouble, in fact, is a difficult one to deal with, since it is inflamed alike by sympathy and by lack of sympathy. The person inclined to persecution mania, when he finds a hard-luck story believed, will embellish it until he reaches the frontier of credibility; when, on the other hand, he finds it disbelieved, he has merely another example of the peculiar hard-heartedness of mankind towards himself.
 Persecution mania is always rooted in a too exaggerated conception of our own merits. We think we have no faults.
 Another not uncommon victim of persecution mania is a certain type of philanthropist who is always doing good to people against their will, and is amazed and horrified that they display no gratitude.
 The first is: remember that your motives are not always as altruistic as they seem to yourself. The second is: don't over-estimate your own merits. The third is: don't expect others to take as much interest in you as you do yourself. And the fourth is: don't imagine that most people give enough thought to you to have any special desire to persecute you.
Ch 9: Fear of Public Opinion
 Very few people can be happy unless on the whole their way of life & their outlook on the world is approved by other people.
 If a man is once launched upon the right career and in the right surroundings, he can in most cases escape social persecution, but while he is young and his merits are still untested, he is liable to be at the mercy of ignorant people who consider themselves capable of judging in matters about which they know nothing, and who are outraged at the suggestion that so young a person may know better than they do with all their experience of the world.
 One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
 Fear of public opinion, like every other form of fear, is oppressive and stunts growth. It is difficult to achieve any kind of greatness while a fear of this kind remains strong, and it is impossible to acquire that freedom of spirit in which true happiness consists.
 The only ultimate cure for this evil is, however, an increase of toleration on the part of the public.
Part II: Causes of Happiness
Is Happiness Still Possible?

 Happiness is of two sorts. Perhaps the simplest way to describe the difference between the two sorts of happiness is to say that one sort is open to any human being, and the other only to those who can read and write i.e. of the heart and head. E.g. the happiness of an uneducated gardener at chasing after rabbits.
 The difference made by education is only in regard to the activities by which these pleasures are to be obtained.
 Men of science quite frequently remain capable of old-fashioned domestic bliss. The reason for this is that the higher parts of their intelligence are wholly absorbed by their work. In their work they are happy because in the modern world science is progressive and powerful.
 The pleasure of work is open to anyone who can develop some specialized skill.
 Belief in a cause is a source of happiness to large numbers of people. Not so very far removed from the devotion to obscure causes is absorption in a hobby.
 A friendly interest in persons, the kind that likes to observe people and finds pleasure in their individual traits will be a source of happiness. The same idiosyncrasies which would get on another man's nerves to the point of exasperation will be to him a source of gentle amusement. He will achieve without effort results which another man, after long struggles, will find to be unattainable.
 The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.
Zest
 What hunger is in relation to food, zest is in relation to life. Some people eat food with a sense of duty, some are epicure who think food is not cooked well enough, some find every meal a bore, some are gormandizers who fall upon the food eagerly, and finally there are those who begin with a sound appetite, are glad of their food, eat until they have had enough, and then stop.
 Life could never be boring to a man to whom casual objects offer a wealth of interest.
 The more things a man is interested in, the more opportunities of happiness he has and the less he is at the mercy of fate, since if he loses one thing he can fall back upon another. Life is too short to be interested in everything, but it is good to be interested in as many things as are necessary to fill our days.
 To those who have zest, even unpleasant experiences have their uses.
 In women, zest has been greatly diminished by a mistaken conception of respectability. For women as for men zest is the secret of happiness and well-being.
Affection
 One of the chief causes of lack of zest is the feeling that one is unloved, whereas conversely the feeling of being loved promotes zest more than anything else does.
 It is affection received, not affection given, that causes this sense of security, though it arises most of all from affection which is reciprocal.
 Affection received has a twofold function. We have spoken of it hitherto in connection with security, but in adult life it has an even more essential biological purpose, namely parenthood.
 The best type of affection is reciprocally life-giving; each receives affection with joy and gives it without effort, and each finds the whole world more interesting in consequence of the existence of this reciprocal happiness.
 There is another kind of affection in which one sucks the vitality out of the other, such people use others as means to their own ends.
The Family
 Affection of parents for children and of children for parents is capable of being one of the greatest sources of happiness, but in fact at the present day the relations of parents and children are, in nine cases out of ten, a source of unhappiness to both parties.
 Two causes have combined to make women feel parenthood a burden far heavier than it was ever felt to be in former times. These two causes are, on the one hand, the opening of careers to single women; on the other hand, the decay of domestic service.
 A woman who does take the plunge finds herself, as compared with the women of former generations, confronted with a new and appalling problem, namely shortage and bad quality of domestic service.
 Too often through the mere performance of necessary duties such women become wearisome to their husbands and a nuisance to their children. When the evening comes and her husband returns from his work, the woman who talks about her day-time troubles is a bore, and the woman who does not is absent-minded.
 Parents are no longer sure of their rights as against their children; children no longer feel that they owe respect to their parents. The virtue of obedience, which was formerly exacted without question, has become unfashionable.
 Parental affection is a special kind of feeling which the normal human being experiences towards his/her own children, but not towards any other human being.
 It is in times of misfortune that parents are most to be relied upon, in illness, and even in disgrace if the parents are of the right sort.
 The primitive root of the pleasure of parenthood is two-fold. On the one hand there is the feeling of part of one's own body externalized, prolonging its life beyond the death of the rest of one's body; on the other hand there is an intimate blend of power and tenderness.
 If you feed an infant who is already capable of feeding himself, you are putting love of power before the child's welfare. In a thousand ways, great and small, the possessive impulse of parents will lead them astray, unless they are very watchful or very pure in heart.
 A woman who has acquired any kind of professional skill ought, both for her own sake and for that of the community, to be free to continue to exercise this skill in spite of motherhood.
Work
 Work, therefore, is desirable, first and foremost, as a preventive of boredom. Second, it gives chances of success and opportunities for ambition.
 When work is interesting, it is capable of giving satisfaction of a far higher order than mere relief from tedium. Skill and construction make work interesting.
 A man who runs three-mile races will cease to find pleasure in this occupation when he passes the age at which he can beat his own previous record.
 Nothing can rob a man of the happiness of successful achievement in an important piece of work.
Impersonal Interests
 One of the sources of unhappiness, fatigue, and nervous strain is inability to be interested in anything that is not of practical importance in one's own life. The result is excitability, lack of sagacity, irritability, and a loss of sense of proportion.
 Watching games, going to the theatre, playing golf and reading are activities that do not require will and quick decision.
 The world is full of things that are tragic or comic, heroic or bizarre or surprising, and those who fail to be interested in the spectacle that it offers are forgoing one of the privileges that life has to offer.
 Even in the most fortunate lives there are times when things go wrong. At such times a capacity to become interested in something outside the cause of anxiety is an immense boon.
Effort and Resignation
 For all these reasons, happiness must be, for most men and women, an achievement rather than a gift of the gods, and in this achievement effort, both inward and outward, must play a great part.
 Effort is needed to work for a living. Marriage is a matter in regard to which effort may or may not be necessary. The amount of effort involved in the successful rearing of children is so evident that probably no one would deny it.
 Resignation has a part to play in the conquest of happiness. Many people get into fret or a fury over every little thing that goes wrong, and in this way waste a great deal of energy that might be more usefully employed.
 Resignation is of two sorts, one rooted in despair, the other in unconquerable hope. The first is bad; the second is good.
 Worry and fret and irritation are emotions which serve no purpose.
The Happy Man
 Happiness, as is evident, depends partly upon external circumstances and partly upon oneself.
 Where outward circumstances are not definitely unfortunate, a man should be able to achieve happiness, provided that his passions and interests are directed outward, not inward.
 It should be our endeavour therefore, both in education and in attempts to adjust ourselves to the world, to aim at avoiding self-centered passions.
 The happy man is the man who lives objectively, who has free affections and wide interests.
__________________
"All I know is that I know nothing." - Socrates
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to MuneezaRafiq For This Useful Post:
rashidiqbal92 (Saturday, January 11, 2020)
  #2  
Old Saturday, January 11, 2020
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 30
Thanks: 10
Thanked 14 Times in 10 Posts
rashidiqbal92 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuneezaRafiq View Post
Part I: Causes of Unhappiness
Ch 1: What makes people unhappy?

 The causes of these various kinds of unhappiness lie partly in the social system, partly in individual psychology -- which, of course, is itself to a considerable extent a product of the social system.
 I believe this unhappiness to be very largely due to mistaken views of the world, mistaken 'ethics, mistaken habits of life, leading to destruction of that natural zest and appetite for possible things upon which all happiness, whether of men or animals, ultimately depends. These are matters which lie within the power of the individual.
 Sources of Russell’s own unhappiness in the past: meditating on my sins, follies, and shortcomings. I seemed to myself a miserable specimen. Self-absorption is the problem.
3 types of self-absorbed persons: the sinner, the narcissist, and the megalomaniac. The cure to self-absorption is to turn your attention to the external world, to friends, and state of the world.
Narcissist feels the need to be admired and loved. Vanity, when it passes beyond a point, kills pleasure in every activity for its own sake, and thus leads inevitably to listlessness and boredom. Often its source is diffidence, and its cure lies in the growth of self-respect.
Megalomaniac seeks to be powerful and to be feared. Alexander the Great was the greatest conqueror known to fame; he decided that he was a god. Was he a happy man? His drunkenness, his furious rages, his indifference to women, and his claim to divinity, suggest that he was not.
 Usually the megalomaniac, whether insane or nominally sane, is the product of some excessive humiliation. Napoleon suffered at school from inferiority to his schoolfellows, who were rich aristocrats, while he was a penurious scholarship boy.
Drunkenness is temporary suicide; the happiness that it brings is merely negative, a momentary cessation of unhappiness.
Ch 2: Byronic Unhappiness
 It is common in our day, as it has been in many other periods of the world's history, to suppose that those among us who are wise have seen through all the enthusiasms of earlier times and have become aware that there is nothing left to live for. The men who hold this view are genuinely unhappy, but they are proud of their unhappiness, which they consider to be the only rational attitude for an enlightened man.
 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
 The man who acquires easily things for which he feels only a very moderate desire concludes that the attainment of desire does not bring happiness. To be without some of the things you want is an indispensible part of happiness.
 Love a source of delight, but its absence is a source of pain. Love is to be valued because it enhances all the best pleasures, such as music, and sunrise in mountains, and the sea under the full moon. A man who has never enjoyed beautiful things in the company of a woman whom he loved has not experienced to the full the magic power of which such things are capable.
 Literary coteries have no vital contact with the life of the community, and such contact is necessary if men's feelings are to have the seriousness and depth within which both tragedy and true happiness proceed.
 To feel tragedy, a man must be aware of the world in which he lives, not only with his mind, but with his blood and sinews.
Ch 3: Competition
 Struggle for ‘life’ or success. What people fear when they engage in the struggle is not that they will fail to get their breakfast next morning, but that they will fail to outshine their neighbours.
 Such a person knows nothing about the lives of his children and his wife. He is engaged in a race that has only the grave as the end goal.
 The root of the trouble springs from too much emphasis upon competitive success as the main source of happiness.
 Unless a man has been taught what to do with success after getting it, the achievement of it must inevitably leave him a prey to boredom.
 The trouble arises from the generally received philosophy of life, according to which life is a contest, a competition, in which respect is to be accorded to the victor. This view leads to an undue cultivation of the will at the expense of the senses and the intellect.
Ch 4: Boredom and Excitement
 One of the essentials of boredom consists in the contrast between present circumstances and some other more agreeable circumstances
 The opposite of boredom, in a word, is not pleasure, but excitement.
 Excitement has been desired especially by males. The chase was exciting, war was exciting, courtship was exciting.
 We are less bored than our ancestors were, but we are more afraid of boredom. We have come to know, or rather to believe, that boredom is not part of the natural lot of man, but can be avoided by a sufficiently vigorous pursuit of excitement.
 As we rise in the social scale the pursuit of excitement becomes more and more intense.
 A life too full of excitement is an exhausting life, in which continually stronger stimuli are needed to give the thrill that has come to be thought an essential part of pleasure.
 The capacity to endure a more or less monotonous life is one which should be acquired in childhood. Modern parents are greatly to blame in this respect; they provide their children with far too many passive amusements, such as shows and good things to eat.
 A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy can live.
Ch 5: Fatigue
 Purely physical fatigue, provided it is not excessive, tends if anything to be a cause of happiness; it leads to sound sleep and a good appetite, and gives zest to the pleasures that are possible on holidays. But when it is excessive it becomes a very grave evil.
 Nervous fatigue is common in advanced communities. Working hours, constant noise and presence of strangers, hurry to get to work, fear of being fired. Fatigue is due to worry. Worry could be prevented by a better philosophy of life and a little more mental discipline. Shut out the ordinary troubles of ordinary days except when they have to be dealt with. Nothing is so exhausting as indecision. The result of all this is that when sound success comes a man is already a nervous wreck, so accustomed to anxiety that he cannot shake off the habit of it when the need for it is past.
 It is amazing how much both happiness and efficiency can be increased by the cultivation of an orderly mind, which thinks about a matter adequately at the right time rather than inadequately at all times.
 A great many worries can be diminished by realizing the unimportance of the matter which is causing the anxiety.
 Worry is a form of fear, and all forms of fear produce fatigue. Another source of fatigue: excitement.
Ch 6: Envy
 Envy is one form of a vice, partly moral, partly intellectual, which consists in seeing things never in themselves, but only in their relations.
 Of all the characteristics of ordinary human nature envy is the most unfortunate; not only does the envious person wish to inflict misfortune and do so whenever he can with impunity, but he is also himself rendered unhappy by envy. Instead of deriving pleasure from what he has, he derives pain from what others have.
 Merely to realize the causes of one's own envious feelings is to take a long step towards curing them.
 Unnecessarily modest people believe themselves to be outshone by those with whom they habitually associate. They are therefore particularly prone to envy, and, through envy, to unhappiness and ill will.
 To find the right road out of this despair civilized man must enlarge his heart as he has enlarged his mind.
Ch 7: The Sense of Sin
 The word 'conscience' covers as a matter of fact, several different feelings; the simplest of these is the fear of being found out. Closely allied with this feeling is the fear of becoming an outcast from the herd.
 The sense of sin has its roots in the unconscious. Infantile moral teachings play a big role.
 If a child has been conventionally educated by somewhat stern parents or nurses, the association between sin and the sex organs is so firmly established by the time he is six years old that it is unlikely ever to be completely undone throughout the rest of his life.
 Whenever you begin to feel remorse for an act which your reason tells you is not wicked, examine the causes of your feeling of remorse, and convince yourself in detail of their absurdity.
 I am not suggesting that a man should be destitute of morality; I am only suggesting that he should be destitute of superstitious morality, which is a very different thing.
Ch 8: Persecution Mania
 We are all familiar with the type of person, man or woman, who, according to his own account, is perpetually the victim of ingratitude, unkindness, and treachery.
 The trouble, in fact, is a difficult one to deal with, since it is inflamed alike by sympathy and by lack of sympathy. The person inclined to persecution mania, when he finds a hard-luck story believed, will embellish it until he reaches the frontier of credibility; when, on the other hand, he finds it disbelieved, he has merely another example of the peculiar hard-heartedness of mankind towards himself.
 Persecution mania is always rooted in a too exaggerated conception of our own merits. We think we have no faults.
 Another not uncommon victim of persecution mania is a certain type of philanthropist who is always doing good to people against their will, and is amazed and horrified that they display no gratitude.
 The first is: remember that your motives are not always as altruistic as they seem to yourself. The second is: don't over-estimate your own merits. The third is: don't expect others to take as much interest in you as you do yourself. And the fourth is: don't imagine that most people give enough thought to you to have any special desire to persecute you.
Ch 9: Fear of Public Opinion
 Very few people can be happy unless on the whole their way of life & their outlook on the world is approved by other people.
 If a man is once launched upon the right career and in the right surroundings, he can in most cases escape social persecution, but while he is young and his merits are still untested, he is liable to be at the mercy of ignorant people who consider themselves capable of judging in matters about which they know nothing, and who are outraged at the suggestion that so young a person may know better than they do with all their experience of the world.
 One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
 Fear of public opinion, like every other form of fear, is oppressive and stunts growth. It is difficult to achieve any kind of greatness while a fear of this kind remains strong, and it is impossible to acquire that freedom of spirit in which true happiness consists.
 The only ultimate cure for this evil is, however, an increase of toleration on the part of the public.
Part II: Causes of Happiness
Is Happiness Still Possible?

 Happiness is of two sorts. Perhaps the simplest way to describe the difference between the two sorts of happiness is to say that one sort is open to any human being, and the other only to those who can read and write i.e. of the heart and head. E.g. the happiness of an uneducated gardener at chasing after rabbits.
 The difference made by education is only in regard to the activities by which these pleasures are to be obtained.
 Men of science quite frequently remain capable of old-fashioned domestic bliss. The reason for this is that the higher parts of their intelligence are wholly absorbed by their work. In their work they are happy because in the modern world science is progressive and powerful.
 The pleasure of work is open to anyone who can develop some specialized skill.
 Belief in a cause is a source of happiness to large numbers of people. Not so very far removed from the devotion to obscure causes is absorption in a hobby.
 A friendly interest in persons, the kind that likes to observe people and finds pleasure in their individual traits will be a source of happiness. The same idiosyncrasies which would get on another man's nerves to the point of exasperation will be to him a source of gentle amusement. He will achieve without effort results which another man, after long struggles, will find to be unattainable.
 The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.
Zest
 What hunger is in relation to food, zest is in relation to life. Some people eat food with a sense of duty, some are epicure who think food is not cooked well enough, some find every meal a bore, some are gormandizers who fall upon the food eagerly, and finally there are those who begin with a sound appetite, are glad of their food, eat until they have had enough, and then stop.
 Life could never be boring to a man to whom casual objects offer a wealth of interest.
 The more things a man is interested in, the more opportunities of happiness he has and the less he is at the mercy of fate, since if he loses one thing he can fall back upon another. Life is too short to be interested in everything, but it is good to be interested in as many things as are necessary to fill our days.
 To those who have zest, even unpleasant experiences have their uses.
 In women, zest has been greatly diminished by a mistaken conception of respectability. For women as for men zest is the secret of happiness and well-being.
Affection
 One of the chief causes of lack of zest is the feeling that one is unloved, whereas conversely the feeling of being loved promotes zest more than anything else does.
 It is affection received, not affection given, that causes this sense of security, though it arises most of all from affection which is reciprocal.
 Affection received has a twofold function. We have spoken of it hitherto in connection with security, but in adult life it has an even more essential biological purpose, namely parenthood.
 The best type of affection is reciprocally life-giving; each receives affection with joy and gives it without effort, and each finds the whole world more interesting in consequence of the existence of this reciprocal happiness.
 There is another kind of affection in which one sucks the vitality out of the other, such people use others as means to their own ends.
The Family
 Affection of parents for children and of children for parents is capable of being one of the greatest sources of happiness, but in fact at the present day the relations of parents and children are, in nine cases out of ten, a source of unhappiness to both parties.
 Two causes have combined to make women feel parenthood a burden far heavier than it was ever felt to be in former times. These two causes are, on the one hand, the opening of careers to single women; on the other hand, the decay of domestic service.
 A woman who does take the plunge finds herself, as compared with the women of former generations, confronted with a new and appalling problem, namely shortage and bad quality of domestic service.
 Too often through the mere performance of necessary duties such women become wearisome to their husbands and a nuisance to their children. When the evening comes and her husband returns from his work, the woman who talks about her day-time troubles is a bore, and the woman who does not is absent-minded.
 Parents are no longer sure of their rights as against their children; children no longer feel that they owe respect to their parents. The virtue of obedience, which was formerly exacted without question, has become unfashionable.
 Parental affection is a special kind of feeling which the normal human being experiences towards his/her own children, but not towards any other human being.
 It is in times of misfortune that parents are most to be relied upon, in illness, and even in disgrace if the parents are of the right sort.
 The primitive root of the pleasure of parenthood is two-fold. On the one hand there is the feeling of part of one's own body externalized, prolonging its life beyond the death of the rest of one's body; on the other hand there is an intimate blend of power and tenderness.
 If you feed an infant who is already capable of feeding himself, you are putting love of power before the child's welfare. In a thousand ways, great and small, the possessive impulse of parents will lead them astray, unless they are very watchful or very pure in heart.
 A woman who has acquired any kind of professional skill ought, both for her own sake and for that of the community, to be free to continue to exercise this skill in spite of motherhood.
Work
 Work, therefore, is desirable, first and foremost, as a preventive of boredom. Second, it gives chances of success and opportunities for ambition.
 When work is interesting, it is capable of giving satisfaction of a far higher order than mere relief from tedium. Skill and construction make work interesting.
 A man who runs three-mile races will cease to find pleasure in this occupation when he passes the age at which he can beat his own previous record.
 Nothing can rob a man of the happiness of successful achievement in an important piece of work.
Impersonal Interests
 One of the sources of unhappiness, fatigue, and nervous strain is inability to be interested in anything that is not of practical importance in one's own life. The result is excitability, lack of sagacity, irritability, and a loss of sense of proportion.
 Watching games, going to the theatre, playing golf and reading are activities that do not require will and quick decision.
 The world is full of things that are tragic or comic, heroic or bizarre or surprising, and those who fail to be interested in the spectacle that it offers are forgoing one of the privileges that life has to offer.
 Even in the most fortunate lives there are times when things go wrong. At such times a capacity to become interested in something outside the cause of anxiety is an immense boon.
Effort and Resignation
 For all these reasons, happiness must be, for most men and women, an achievement rather than a gift of the gods, and in this achievement effort, both inward and outward, must play a great part.
 Effort is needed to work for a living. Marriage is a matter in regard to which effort may or may not be necessary. The amount of effort involved in the successful rearing of children is so evident that probably no one would deny it.
 Resignation has a part to play in the conquest of happiness. Many people get into fret or a fury over every little thing that goes wrong, and in this way waste a great deal of energy that might be more usefully employed.
 Resignation is of two sorts, one rooted in despair, the other in unconquerable hope. The first is bad; the second is good.
 Worry and fret and irritation are emotions which serve no purpose.
The Happy Man
 Happiness, as is evident, depends partly upon external circumstances and partly upon oneself.
 Where outward circumstances are not definitely unfortunate, a man should be able to achieve happiness, provided that his passions and interests are directed outward, not inward.
 It should be our endeavour therefore, both in education and in attempts to adjust ourselves to the world, to aim at avoiding self-centered passions.
 The happy man is the man who lives objectively, who has free affections and wide interests.
what for are you preparing?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bertrand russell, english literature, essay, literature

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
PPSC one Paper Preparation Material all in one Monk Past Papers 25 Friday, July 17, 2020 10:57 PM
Solved Everyday Science Papers Dilrauf General Science & Ability 7 Sunday, December 01, 2019 06:28 PM
Repeated Questions of Agriculture Last Island Agriculture 6 Tuesday, January 31, 2017 06:30 PM
Theory of Ideas Khuram Discussion 2 Saturday, June 24, 2006 07:26 PM


CSS Forum on Facebook Follow CSS Forum on Twitter

Disclaimer: All messages made available as part of this discussion group (including any bulletin boards and chat rooms) and any opinions, advice, statements or other information contained in any messages posted or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not of CSSForum.com.pk (unless CSSForum.com.pk is specifically identified as the author of the message). The fact that a particular message is posted on or transmitted using this web site does not mean that CSSForum has endorsed that message in any way or verified the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message. We encourage visitors to the forum to report any objectionable message in site feedback. This forum is not monitored 24/7.

Sponsors: ArgusVision   vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.