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2015 April

EUDAIMONIC

“I just received the following note from one of our Inner Circle members.  Below the note is my response.”

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Mike,

I came across this word so I looked it up and found this link.
I thought you might find it interesting. We have talked about well-being and happiness.
One issue mentioned is self-report which is an issue in much of research.

John

http://www.positivepsychology.org.uk/pp-theory/eudaimonia/34-the-concept-of-eudaimonic-well-being.html

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Mike’s response:

This has been around as authentic happiness research introduced this concept years ago as of the ways in which happiness can be described.

It’s like a term used in development called maieutics.

Until you get deeper into things with nuance, you don’t need words…or people like to invent new words to describe similar things…;) or…

mike

6 replies on “EUDAIMONIC”

Thanks for sharing this piece, John. I enjoyed it. Particularly the parts about personal growth and transcendence.

Growth and personal life changes are not always experienced as pleasant. Researchers found that even positive subjective changes can decrease positive affect. For example, one study has established that therapy clients who perceived more improvement in their functioning reported more depressive symptoms and lower levels of self-acceptance, but more personal growth at the same time. This is because any change is associated with loss, even if what is lost is an unproductive or even negative pattern. Carl Rogers, one of the fathers of humanistic psychology, observed that people who made real progress towards what can be considered ‘a good life’ would typically not regard themselves as happy or contented. He writes: ‘The good life is a process, not a state of being’.
When psychologists try to measure growth, they often look to what extent individuals are open to experiences or to what extent they are interested in learning. Yet, if we apply common sense, it becomes quite clear that openness to experience is needed not only in order to grow but also to experience pleasure, which is a facet of hedonic well-being. Whilst interest in learning may be a very important aspect, it is hardly a sufficient indicator of human development. So how do we know whether the process of development is taking place; whether we are actually growing?

Transcendence is related to dedication and commitment to something or somebody else but oneself. It is also strongly related to finding meaning in one’s life and acting in accordance with this meaning. However, this meaning is necessarily related to transcending the personal (without losing oneself) for the sake of something larger than oneself (it can be children, meaningful work, the wider community, or a spiritual pathway). Transcendence thus leads to some external utility of one’s life, through objective life results or virtuous living.

Alicia

Carl Rogers, one of the fathers of humanistic psychology, observed that people who made real progress towards what can be considered ‘a good life’ would typically not regard themselves as happy or contented. He writes: ‘The good life is a process, not a state of being’.

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This is pretty BS and a good reason BS is the dominant force in society today.

My grandparents lived a really good life…and I growing up spoiled @BS because of it often said…”my grandparents knew how to suffer and be happy…” Or so it looked at the times from my BS Carl Rogers playbook of sorts.

When I started to study poverty…

My old feelings of those thoughts of my grandparents “suffering” re-emerged and I began to see the difference @F-L-O-W.

While we are surely NOT going to be happy as defined by all the current models, some will be happy and not be happy at all…however in general, if you are on point @F-L-O-W….

All these things that we have to endure in this process don’t necessarily mean the kind of sacrifice the assumptions of BS dictate…like a meaning of life…like hope…a conjuring @BS that is the elixir of suffering dictated by meaning of life dictates…

What if there is no “meaning of life”…

Would it be so bad if people were people in all their manifest destiny and that was the meaning…no meaning just life?

When I start to “see and hear” that there are “standards” around the way we are “supposed” to be and absent that standard or deviance dictates our lives are not meaningful because we are not suffering enough (which provides fodder for the eastern religions at least) and a reason to turn our eyes away from those endowed differently and muddle through our “meaningful” existence…I just wonder whose path we are on…

All of the psychology I can see has been coopted by BS…and while no one is going to start ripping out the foundation any time soon, the reasons we do what we do are leading exactly to what is emerging now…and you have to wonder…is this the meaningful life running its program @BS…

And should we buy-in to this program…

mike

“What if there is no “meaning of life”…

Would it be so bad if people were people in all their manifest destiny and that was the meaning…no meaning just life?”

Appealing. And hard to imagine me, personally, able to put a halt to the constant improvement- and meaning-seeking. Not a generalization to others’ drivers. It’s like breathing for me. Perhaps I’ve been HAD by BS. Perhaps that part of what’s natural for me is well-aligned to BS (and incredibly annoying to some because I don’t spend “enough” time in presentiments and appreciation).

Alicia Parr

There is “kind of” another angle here, so I think…

If building a meaningful and all that jazz is cool for you…its @F-L-O-W…

But it doesn’t mean I will be or others will be…so if your meaningful life leads to the establishment of a “standard” meaningful life…that’s more than likely @BS

Not sure folks grasp what I’m nuancing here…

mike

Mike,

What you say makes sense to me—meaning can be personal and should not be
projected on people or society as a whole.

Alicia,

With the research on the benefits on meaning, it might be a loss if there were no meaning.
However, I think meaning is such a personal thing that most people could find it or make up something.

John

The idea I was projecting;) is related to the idea that there must be meaning in life ascribed to some principle and that the same principle of their being “no-meaning” of life would be in evidence, but we don’t consider it given the unfamiliarity.

mike

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