Demotivator of the Day- Happiness is a delusion

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going sane.jpg
Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips is interviewed by The Guardian- some quotes below;

"A culture that is obsessed with happiness must really be in despair, mustn't it? Otherwise why would anybody be bothered about it at all?"

"It's become a preoccupation because there's so much unhappiness. The idea that if you just reiterate the word enough and we'll all cheer up is preposterous."

"I don't want happiness to be part of the currency," he sighs, "but by that I don't mean that I want people to be miserable, but I do think that if you have a sense of reality you are going to be really troubled. Anybody in this culture who watches the news and can be happy - there's something wrong with them.

"The cultural demand now is be happy, or enjoy yourself, or succeed. You have to sacrifice your unhappiness and your critique of the values you're supposed to be taking on. You're supposed to go: 'Happiness! Yes, that's all I want!' But what about justice or reality or ruthlessness - or whatever my preferred thing is?" ..

"It's very simple. The reason that there are so many depressed people is that life is so depressing for many people. It's not a mystery. There is a presumption that there is a weakness in the people who are depressed or a weakness on the part of scientific research and one of these two groups has got to pull its socks up. Scientists have got to get better and find us a drug and the depressed have got to stop malingering. The ethos is: 'Actually life is wonderful, great - get out there!' That's totally unrealistic and it's bound to fail."

Related;
The New Statesman Profile - Adam Phillips
Excerpt from ‘Going Sane-Maps of Happiness’ by Adam Phillips

2 Comments

Adam Phillips wrote a very silly book called On Flirtation where he claimed to be able to cure depression by extracting vowels, consonants or syllables from the words uttered by the patient and creating new meanings out of them. The guy is either a liar or a fool.

Emma Eckstein and your point is?

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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on July 26, 2006 10:40 PM.

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