Saturday, January 03, 2009

Love and happiness versus lust


Two recent studies reveal that a majority of American women are finding the holy grail of happiness more elusive. Researchers were startled to find that women now report less happiness than in the early 1970s; and where they once indicated greater levels of happiness and life satisfaction than men, that's now reversed.

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There isn't a minute to spare: She must whisk her daughter to preschool, make a meeting in San Francisco, use her lunch hour to retrieve her daughter and a nanny and deposit them at home, then return to work until almost dark, whipsaw back home, throw together a quick dinner, hang out to play with her daughter, tuck her into bed, then crash -- and, with luck, get sufficient sleep to do it all over again when her alarm rings the next morning.

Alternet


We have a culture war: the left says the individual is all; the right says that context, like culture and religion, are important. (As a reformed leftist, I have to say that my goals as a leftist -- treat everyone fairly -- are best accomplished through rightist means, especially since most people including those who you want to help have no idea what will help their situation and will often violently oppose the only change that will help.)

But I think we can all agree: the modern lifestyle is crazy, and not only bad for women, but for men also. People now work all of the time, and still don't have enough quality time for their families. In addition, they are usually so tired and burnt out that they reward themselves with little uplifts, like alcohol and television, that distract them further from reality.

What can we learn:


She said that most people think what they feel in the first flush of a relationship is love. It isn't. It's infatuation. You can only talk about loving somebody when you've lived with them for 10 years, with the smelly socks and the quarrels. Only then will you know what you mean when you say you love them.

The Guardian


Love and happiness are the opposite of infatuation.

Infatuation can be with money; with a person; with an idea. What differentiates it from love is depth. Infatuation is when something appears to be exactly as it describes itself, and so seems so self-sufficient you wish you could borrow that great simplicity from it.

Love means accepting something -- a person, an ecotype, a country, a species, an idea -- warts and all, and loving it for the properties which being more central to its core outshine the rest. Love and happiness, the opposites of infatuation, bring depth to life and help us avoid distracting ourselves from the obvious: the modern lifestyle is death.

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Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

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