26 Jun Did Buddha get it wrong?
The writers of happiness books – the serious writers, that is – are churning out works based on some pretty solid research. There is even a name for this group: “Positive psychologists.”
They are an upbeat bunch and I love them. They turn my brooding soul away from the pangs of intellectual melancholy and maintain a place in my heart as well as on my bookshelf.
What’s more, in the great sport of the media interview, they deliver. They tend to be great performers: Martin Seligman, Dan Gilbert, Sonja Lyubomirsky, to name a few. So, too, in his own way, is the wise and giggly Dalai Lama, whose The Art of Happiness was a best seller. When he is on tour, His Holiness can fill stadiums.
But in this group there is no one more chipper than Jonathan Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom. I heard him on the CBC’s Tapestry not long ago. He set my feet dancing, which was a good way to start the summer.
Haidt teaches at the University of Virginia where he researches happiness and instructs his undergraduates how to live a good life (according to the evidence). He also maintains a very friendly website.
But you know when a happiness guy is really good at what he does when he can criticize the Buddha in the nicest possible way and get away with it.
To read more of this happiness and positive psychology article, titled “How Buddha got it wrong” – click here