Tested

The happy man is the man who lives objectively, who has free affections and wide interests, who secures his happiness through these interests and affections and through the fact that they, in turn, make him an entity of interest and fondness to many others. To be the recipient of affection is a potent cause of happiness, but the man who demands affection is not the man upon whom it is bestowed. The man who receives liking is, speaking generally, the man who gives it. But it is useless to attempt to give it as a calculation, in the way in which one might lend money at interest, for a calculated affection is not honest and is not felt to be so by the beneficiary. What then can a man do who is doomed because he is enclosed in self? So long as he continues to think about the causes of his unhappiness, he continues to be self-centred and therefore does not get outside it. It must be of genuine interest, not by simulated interests adopted merely as a medicine. Although this difficulty is real, there is never the less much that he can do if he has rightly diagnosed his trouble. If for instance, his woe is due to a sense of depravity, conscious or unconscious, he can first influence his conscious mind that he has no reason to feel sinful, and then proceed, to plant this rational conviction in his unconscious mind, concerning himself meanwhile with some more or less neutral activity. If he prospers in dismissing the sense of immorality, it is possible that genuine unbiased interests will arise spontaneously. If his trouble is self-pity, he can deal with it in the same manner after first persuading himself that there is nothing extraordinarily unfortunate in his circumstances. If fright is his worry, let him drill exercises designed to give bravery. Courage has been recognized from time immemorial as an important virtue, and a great part of the training of boys and young men has been devoted to producing a type of character capable of fearlessness in battle. But moral courage and intellectual courage have been much less studied. They also, however, have their technique. Admit to yourself every day at least one painful truth, you will find it quite useful. Teach yourself to feel that life would still be worth living even if you were not, as of course, you are, immeasurably superior to all your friends in virtue and in intelligence. Exercises of this kind protracted through numerous years will, at last, enable doing, might free you from the empire of fear on a very large scale.​​

Leave a Comment