Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Conquest Of Happiness by Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
[Image courtesy University of Louisiana College of Liberal Arts]
I continue to be amazed by Bertrand Russell's writings. Here is how he analyzes unhappiness and boredom in human life -

"A rich man may, and often does, feel that all is vanity, but if he should happen to lose his money, he would feel that his next meal was by no means vanity. The feeling is one born of a too easy satisfaction of natural needs. The human animal, like others, is adapted to a certain amount of struggle for life, and when by means of great wealth homo sapiens can gratify all his whims without effort, the mere absence of effort from his life removes an essential ingredient of happiness..".

I picked up this book on a recent trip to my favorite used book store in downtown Mountainview. The book is signed by one Lauren in the year 1979. It is a Liveright Paperbound Edition, dated from 1971. Not only the content but the physical book itself is a historical delicacy for me. The preface features a poem/quote by American poet Walt Whitman. Read it
here. Absolutely delighful!

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