The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

“We are like the proverbial drunken man looking for his car keys under the street light. (“Did you drop them here?” asks the cop. “No” says the man, “I dropped them back there in the alley, but the light is better over here.”) Because we can see only one little corner of the mind’s vast operation, we are surprised when urges, wishes, and temptations emerge, seemingly from nowhere. We make pronouncements, vows, and resolutions, and then are surprised by our own powerlessness to carry them out. We sometimes fall into the view that we are fighting with our unconscious, our id, or our animal self. But really we are the whole thing. We are the rider, and we are the elephant. Both have their strengths and special skills.”

– Jonathan Haidt, THE HAPPINESS HYPOTHESIS: FINDING MODERN TRUTH IN ANCIENT WISDOM