Perspective On Suffering

Suffering and sadness are necessary for a wholesome life, along with positive experiences.

While practicing being in the present can help us reduce anxiety and depression, we need the ‘counterbalance’ of the other extreme emotions to feel alive.

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Self Improvement

blogs.scientificamerican.com

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Intense experiences of both kinds, good and bad, are helping build meaning in life to the same degree, and are complementing each other, according to research.

If a person has mostly good experiences, or mostly bad ones, his life cycle, in a way, is still incomplete. To truly get the meaning of life, both negative and positive life experiences are required.

The Basic Error Of Science

... has always been viewing of the subject or object in isolation. In most fields of study, things are treated as separate from each other. Objects are dissected and analysed by breaking them down to atomic levels. For Example, the mind is treated as separate from the body.

This ‘Divide and Rule’ is visible in the research of emotional valence, where positive experiences are pitted against the negative experiences, with an inherent bias.

These new findings on the synergy of good and bad experiences in our lives go against our usual ways of ‘compartmentalized’ thinking and give us a glimpse of the integrated and dual nature of reality.

They also explains why we seek out unpleasant, or even dangerous experiences, like watching horror movies, going on thrilling rides which can be risky, or just being exhausted.

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RELATED IDEAS

Two central motivations in life: happiness and meaning

Happiness and meaning are two main motivations in life. Research suggests that happiness and meaning are strongly correlated and often feed off each other.

But, an increasing body of studies shows that there are trade-offs between pursuing happiness and pursuing meaning in life. For example, in parenting; parents often report that raising children increased meaning but decreased happiness. Revolutionaries often suffer through years of violence for a larger purpose that can bring great satisfaction and meaning.

Happiness

Happiness is when a person feels satisfaction, contentment, and elation in their life. It is a fulfilling feeling to have despite it having varying definitions.

The term is generally used to explain one's present moment or how they feel about their life in a broad sense. Psychologists see it as a 'subjective' emotional state of a person's well-being. It focuses on our personal feelings in the existing moment.

Meaning in Life
  • Many of us struggle with finding meaning, as we are busy with our daily work and distractions.
  • Meaning in life provides us with the purpose of getting up daily, energized and pepped up about the day, being productive in whatever we do.
  • Meaningful lives lead to happiness.

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