Happiness! Often pursued – rarely achieved. In an inverse mechanism that would make a fairy snuff it if you don’t believe in her, happiness seems to dissolve into sparkling dust and vanish like an old-fashioned vampyr when exposed to UV-rays the second you become too sure of it.
Maybe we are clinging on to something we have trademarked and labelled happiness, but truely, what we have created and given that name to is clinging on to life by the skin of its modern vampire teeth. Or maybe it is a new frankensteinesk creation. It seems to survive in the sun, looking youngish and kind of attractive, stitched together losely, but with an unhealthy pallor if you care to take a closer look.
The quote “If you’re happy and you know it you’re unusual” is not taken from the book but from one of these postcards that don’t attribute sayings to anyone or frequently or interchangeably attribute bonmots to one of the handful of witty forebears. Wilde, Churchill, and I am sure you can think of one or two more – usually male examples. Nietzsche, not exactly a poster boy for uninhibited joy, considered pain and suffering to constitute part of the deal that is life. Rather than postponing the end of suffering to the postmortal stage he aspired to ‘rise above’ tribulations that make you suffer during your lifetime. The world would be a poorer place if more people took that view. Poorer from the point of view of carpenters and the furniture industry, for the lack of self help shelves in book stores, libraries and the homestead. With no books of the genre being printed or downloaded, and less of the international purchasing power being spent on such publications, courses and further related articles to lead you on the path to empowerment, enlightenment and merciless self-improvement, how much unhappier would humankind really be?
We don’t know. And you won’t after you have read Will Ferguson’s book, because what he describes are the repercussions of the first truly effective self help book being written – and it is wreaking havoc! The entire human civilization may be at stake, and WHO is Tupac?