“Life is like music for its own sake. We are living in an eternal now, and when we listen to music we are not listening to the past, we are not listening to the future, we are listening to an expanded present.”
~ Alan Watts
Throughout history, man has been offered the following alternative: be “moral” through a life of sacrifice to others—or be “selfish” through a life of sacrificing others to oneself. In The Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Rand blasts this as a false alternative, holding that a selfish, non-sacrificial way of life is both possible and necessary for man.
The Virtue of Selfishness is a collection of essays presenting Ayn Rand’s radical moral code of rational selfishness and its opposition to the prevailing morality of altruism—i.e., to the duty to sacrifice for the sake of others.
In “The Objectivist Ethics,” Rand gives an outline of her code of rational selfishness, and of her argument establishing it as the only objective, fact-based moral code in human history. In the course of the essay, she raises and answers a fundamental and fascinating question: Why does one even need a morality?
In essays including “The Ethics of Emergencies,” “The ‘Conflicts’ of Men’s Interests,” and “Doesn’t Life Require Compromise?” she raises common ethical questions, shows how altruism has crippled people’s ability to approach them rationally, and explains how her moral code provides a solution to them. In “Man’s Rights” and “The Nature of Government” she applies her ethics to formulate the basic principles of her political philosophy, while rejecting the altruistic doctrines of “rights” to health care, employment, etc.
After hearing the beautiful piece of wisdom in the video below, what more can be said on the apparently futile pursuit of happiness?
Petrea King, founder and CEO of The Quest for Life Foundation, argues the pursuit of happiness is making us all miserable. “Happiness is found in the present moment,” she says. “That’s where life is, love is.
The pursuit of happiness is one of the unalienable rights enshrined in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. But is our relentless striving to feel good no matter what actually making us miserable? Would we be better to accept that life comes with good times and bad, and make peace with that?
This IQ2 debate, held in Sydney in March 2010, pits those who believe that happiness is a worthwhile goal that can be found in pleasures material and social, against those who hold that people should abandon unrealistic goals and seek quiet comfort within. – Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Petrea King is the Founding Director and CEO of the Quest for Life Foundation and practices as a counsellor, inspirational speaker and workshop leader in the field of holistic health. She is the author of several books including Quest for Life and Your Life Matters.
Here is a nice little parable of wisdom for those who think that having a huge amount of possessions, being wealthy, having high position and owning many businesses equates to one enjoying life to the full and attaining happiness.
Heed the lesson of the following story well…
Lovely story this from off the BBC News website…
Canadian couple give away millions in lottery winnings
A Canadian couple who won $10.9m (£6.7m) in lottery winnings in July say they have given away $10.2m of the prize to groups in their community.
Allen and Violet Large said they were plain country folks who needed no more than “what we’ve got”.
The two said they had donated about 98% of the cash after helping their family.
The elderly pair gave the money to churches, fire departments, cemeteries, the Red Cross and hospitals, where Ms Large has undergone cancer treatment.
“We haven’t bought one thing. That’s because there is nothing that we need,” Mr Large, 75, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Mr Large, a retired welder from Canada’s Nova Scotia province, added that he and his wife were quite content with their 147-year-old home and everything else they already owned.
“You can’t buy happiness,” he said.
Who says there are no contented and simple living human beings in today’s world which is mostly pervaded with superficiality and materialism?
I’m just wondering, would you have done the same?