World history of happiness under the direction of François Durpaire

- through Sophie Solere

Published on

In these times of confinement where our vision of happiness is questioned both individually and collectively, it is fascinating to immerse ourselves in this magnificent World History of Happiness, which shows us to what extent man has never stopped looking for a way to sublimate his passage on Earth and to overcome the vagaries of existence. They never respond to our desires. They transcend them and teach us to turn to a deeper peace.

Are we on Earth to be happy? The world history of happiness, designed under the direction of François Durpaire, offers us a masterful response from Cro-Magnon man to the present day. More than sixty historians, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists deliver answers that enlighten us on the deep aspirations of humanity.

Through this journey to the heart of happiness, we discover that man has never stopped looking for it without really achieving it, but his quest shapes his life in infinite forms. This book takes us back to the source of happiness. To its etymology first, which reveals to us that this word comes from “bon eür”. “Eür” comes from the Latin “augurium” which designates the support granted by the gods to an initiative. If, indeed, in all the spiritual traditions, the divine borrows a great part in the happiness of the men incompatible with the rejection of the gods; nowadays it has become a science, a market, a fashionable theme. This journey is fascinating, but is it really the sign of an evolution? These groundbreaking happiness sciences appear to be rational restatements of traditional wisdom themes. We would hide the spirituality behind the science. The meditation advocated in all these currents is no longer spiritual but scientific: it heals, soothes and heals. It is no longer a question here of beliefs, but of efficiency in terms of the techniques adopted towards a well-being. THE Dalai Lama has approached scientific studies to prove what tradition has been talking about for centuries: harmony, appeasement, meditation and benevolence are the basis of lasting and collective happiness. It is no longer a belief, it is a fact. It remains for everyone to take the path closest to them without modeling their life on a fashion, but on an inner coherence.

Traditions may have already said it all: when the being is appeased, everything else flows from it, work, relationships, community. This does not prevent trials. We are simply better equipped to cross them. Catherine Barry, in her very beautiful text dedicated to happiness according to Buddha, reminds us of this indeed. She points out that Buddhist meditation invites us to accept the present moment with joyful benevolence without rejecting anything. We would be a pile of clay to knead to transform ourselves. Aren't we here at the heart of a universal and eternal vision of happiness, declined in multiple forms? Catherine Barry reports the sentences of the Dalai Lama whom she interviewed: "If you have inner peace and peace of mind, nothing can disturb your existence and you will be fully happy, whatever the circumstances".

We discover through this work that even the traditions and the philosophical currents which encourage to benefit from the earthly goods and to enjoy life first in reality aspire to a higher harmony, free from external events.

The world history of happiness ends with an ecology of happiness. The return to a wisdom of the earth is the sign of a return to the source.

photo of author

Sophie Solere

Sophie Solère is an economic and social journalist who has been interested for years in the environment and interdependence. She works for Buddhist News, a media platform dedicated to Buddhist spirituality and wisdom. By practicing yoga and meditative dance, Sophie discovered the power of spiritual journeys, which offer so many paths to (re)find yourself. She is dedicated to sharing inspiring stories and valuable advice on spiritual practice and the environment with Buddhist News readers.

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