This book has been divided into two parts: (a) The causes of unhappiness and (2) The causes of happiness. To this: chapter number9 1) what Makes People Unhappy? Can be reviewed as an outset to the book.
I have targeted at collecting together particular observations which are excited by what I expect is ordinary sense. … It is in the way that majority people who are unhappy could get happy by well exertion that I have studied this book in page no.11. “What do you think of this belief?” Could many unhappy people become happy by well-directed effort?
Part a : The causes of unhappiness
1. What Makes People Unhappy?
“My objective is to recommend a cure for the normal usual unhappiness from which most persons in polite states suffer, and which is all the more insufferable because, having no clear exterior reason, it seems inexorable. I trust this unhappiness to be mostly owing to erroneous views of the world, erroneous morals, erroneous habits of life, leading to the devastation of that usual enthusiasm and appetite for conceivable things upon which all happiness, whether of men or of animals, eventually depends.”
2. Byronic Unhappiness
“It is usual in our day, as it has been in so many other stages of the world’s history, to assume that those among us who are sage ample have perceived through all the zests of prior times and have developed conscious that there is nothing left to animate for: I do not myself trust that there is any grander sagacity in being unhappy. The intelligent man will be as happy as conditions permit, and if he discoveries the inspection of the universe aching beyond a topic, he will consider something else instead. I desire to motivate the reader that, whatsoever the influences may be, cause places no restraint upon happiness.”
In this chapter Bertrand Russell shades a dreary image of the businessman so passionate by contending with other businessmen for triumph that the rest of life passes him by. “Triumph can only be one constituent in happiness, and is too extremely acquired if all other constituents have been sacrificed to gain it.
4. Boredom and Excitement
In this chapter, we have arisen to associate Boredom with unhappiness and excitement with happiness, but Russell claims that boredom and excitement method a distinct axis totally, having slight connection with happiness. “Running away from enemies who are trying to take one’s life is, I imagine, unpleasant, but certainly not boring. … The opposite of boredom, in a word, is not pleasure, but excitement.” Pages 48 to 49 The misperception of excitement and happiness, and the flight from boredom that it involves, is a chief cause of unhappiness. The cure is to explain oneself to bear boredom without running from it.
This chapter is nearly about disquiet. Bertrand Russell trusts that such physical exhaustion as people feel in the commercial world is generally vigorous, and that only “nervous fatigue”, affected mostly by disquiet, is really unhelpful to happiness. Russell trusts most disquiet could be eluded by learning nice rational habits, by rejecting to over-estimate the importance of potential failures, by taking a superior perception, and by fronting worries directly.
In this chapter: “If you wish glory, you may envy Napoleon. But Napoleon envied Caesar, Caesar envied Alexander, and Alexander, I challenge say, envied Hercules, who never existed. You cannot therefore get away from envy by means of triumph alone. … You can become away from envy by adoring the choices that come your way, by undertaking the work that you have to do, and by eluding contrast with those whom you conceive, maybe quite falsely, to be more privileged than yourself.”
7. The Sense of Sin
In this chapter Traditional belief, in Russell’s opinion, has burdened us with an austere ethical code that will make us unhappy if we keep it (by rejecting us enjoyment in life) and also if we break it (by affecting us blame). The only clarification is to cause this ethical code out of our unconscious, and change it with a code less inimical to human happiness.
8. Persecution Mania
This is absolutely the most humorous chapter of the book, as Russell uses his comic fun to puncture human arrogance. “My determination in this chapter is to recommend some common images by means of which each individual can identify himself the basics of persecution mania (from which almost everybody suffers in a larger or less degree), and having identified them, can eradicate them. This is an essential part of the conquest of happiness, since it is quite incredible to be happy if we feel that everybody ill-treats us.”
9. Fear of Public Opinion
In this chapter,” limited people can be happy unless on the entire their way of life and their viewpoint on the world is accepted by those with whom they have societal relations, and more especially by those with whom they live.” Luckily the recent world offers us some choice about where we live and who our colleague will be.
Part b: The causes of happiness
The second part of Conquest is not as well exciting as the first. Not only is this segment shorter than the first, but Russell has more of a propensity to ramble. These rambles can be charming, but they are usually not very explanatory. I am left with the impression that the causes of happiness remain furtive to Russell. Once the problems to happiness are disinterested, happiness just happens — somehow.
10. Is Happiness Still Possible?
In this chapter, “Necessary happiness depends more than anything else upon what may be called a open curiosity in persons and things. The kind of interest in persons that makes for happiness is the kind that likes to detect people and finds desire in their individual qualities that wishes to afford opportunity for the interests and desires of those with whom it is carried into connection without craving to achieve power over them or to safe their keen admiration. The person whose behavior towards others is sincerely of this kind will be a source of happiness and a receiver of mutual kindness. To like many people impulsively and without exertion is perhaps the utmost of all sources of personal happiness.”
In this chapter we can say that Zest is the x-factor that reasons us to be concerned in life. Russell has slight to say about what zest is or how to get it. He does claim against those who would diminish zest by claiming that it is a mark of grander perception not to be interested in rude or undemanding subjects. “All disillusionment is to me a sickness which is to be cured as soon as conceivable, not to be observed as an advanced form of perception. Suppose one man loves strawberries and another does not; in what reverence is the latter grander? There is no abstract and careful proof that strawberries are good or that they are not good. To the man who likes them they are good, to the man who hates them they are not. But the man who likes them has a choice which the other does not have; to that range his life is more pleasant and he is well modified to the world in which both must animate.”
Here “the first main causes of dearth of zest is the feeling that one is abhorrent, whereas conversely the feeling of being valued helps zest more than anything else does .Unfortunately, seeing the significance of affection to happiness, this chapter is almost totally expressive rather than inflexible. Russell defines the sorts of affection and assesses their effects, but gives little guidance about how to either give or acquire advance eminence class affection.
13. The Family
In this chapter “Of all the associations that have arisen down to us from the past none is in the present day so unsystematic and disrupted as the family. Love of parents for children and of children for parents is capable of being one of the greatest sources of happiness, but in fact at the present day the associations of parents and children are, in nine cases out of ten, a source of unhappiness to both gatherings, and in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred a source of unhappiness to at least one of the two parties. This miscarriage of the family to provide the necessary gratifications which in principle it is proficient of yielding is one of the most deep-seated causes of the dissatisfaction which is predominant in our stage.
Here we can say that that “If work should be positioned among the causes of happiness or the causes of unhappiness maybe be observed as an unsure query. Russell seats it among the causes of happiness for a number of motives:
1. It passes time.
2. It offers a chance for achievement.
3. The work itself may be motivating.
15. Impersonal Interests
Here positive interests are dominant to a person’s formations of his/her life: career, household, and so forth. In this chapter Bertrand Russell declares the value of having safeties that are not dominant, that have no influence on the main matters of life. Such diversions and pastimes serve two commitments:
(a) They offer a spurt from greater doubts, and confuse the conscious mind so that the unconscious can work prolifically toward a resolution. (b) They hand over a reserve pool of interest in life, so that if adversity or a series of disasters abolish the pillars that care our dominant interests, we shall have the probability of rising new essential interests.
Moreover, this chapter comprises an essential peripheral debate of “greatness of soul”. We can briefly explain that “According to Aristotle, integrity, in a competent sense, is the key entity of immensity of soul because it is the supreme peripheral good.
16. Effort and Resignation
In this chapter What Russell calls resignation is more generally denoted to these days as approvals. The question deliberated in this chapter is mainly: Should we attempt to change the world or take it the way it is? Russell takes a middle situation, coarsely equivalent to the Tranquility Prayer.
17. The Happy Man
In the last chapter Bertrand Russell comes back to his key point: consideration should be absorbed outward, not inward. “It is not the nature of most men to be glad in a jail, and the appetites which locked us up in ourselves establish one of the worst types of prisons. Among such appetites some of the shared are terror, envy, the sense of sin, self-pity and self-admiration. In all these our needs are involved upon ourselves: there is no actual interest in the external world, but only a concern lest it should in some way hurt us or flop to feed ourselves.
In conclusion, I would say that the conquest of happiness helps everyone to be the happiest person alive. But for those occasions of darkness when pessimism terrorizes to engulf us, it also rediscover the happiness of human adherence, bounty and creative benefaction to the world. The pursuit of happiness is strangely compelling to the human being and the art to be happy. This book helped me in understanding this significant skill.