Happiness Or Meaning: Asking For Help.

Posted: March 2, 2015 in Freud
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In writing a book on Depression I have been comparing ancient wisdom – that of Buddhism, Bushido and Red Indian philosophy, with current wisdom from the last 100 years. The following section, compares the quest for happiness (Freud) with the search for meaning (Frankl). At this point, I turn the draft over to you for feedback. Sometimes the best ideas are yours as they rebound back at you. Please use the comment bar below to offer your response.

From Chapter Two:

Sigmund Freud is called the father of modern Psychoanalysis. For our purpose I will centre on one of his theories, that concerning itself with the pursuit of happiness. Without burdening the argument with detail, the drive to be happy can be compared with the drive for meaning as argued in our next section.

His idea was that we all crave happiness and to achieve this we strive to surround ourselves with the factors that contribute to that feeling. Sounds very buddhist so far. The cessation of suffering and the creation of enjoyment.

At this point the determining factor is whether we are measuring longevity of life or happiness. Obviously different. As the late Spock wanted, his wish was for us to ‘Live Long And Prosper. Not just to live long, but to prosper. Prosperity means to grow. Not just financially but in all areas. Spriritually, financially, intellectually.

A little known fact is that Freud died by euthanasia, a result of inoperable cancer from smoking. He was given doses of morphine and died on the 23rd of September in 1939. His vast intelligence told him that there is a point after which there is no point.

To put a spin on this, your meaning in life can be the quest for happiness. And, you may gain happiness in life in your quest for meaning.

But lets not get confused. In kindergarten terms, if you are happy, a long life is good. If you are miserable, you don’t really care. If you have meaning in your existence, you hope for more time to achieve your goals.

So far, we see that a mixture of happiness and meaning is key.


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