What is happiness? How do people find it? Is it worth looking for? Where would be a good place to start finding it? Why care about happiness at all? Can you be happy without G-d? Can you be happy with G-d? Is happiness an emotion, a choice, something else?
Today’s self help shelves are populated with books promising to get you happy. People take it for granted that they’re supposed to be happy. Entire countries have been established on the right of pursuit of happiness. Why do we need to chase it? What does happiness do for you, anyways?
Special guest Adam Kenigsberg joins us in the studio this podcast episode to discuss happiness and the best way to find it, although he is soon waylaid by Tzvi and Meir-Simchah wondering why happiness at all. A freewheeling discussion follows, exploring everything from religion to emotions to genes to the thrown condition to the point of life.
Maybe Happiness Isn’t About You
Ultimately, we discover that no one is just themselves, in the end. We aren’t nuclear selves – we are best seen as the nexus of the connections we create in our lives. In this sense, life is not a zero sum game. And what it means to be happy may just depend on how you see life in the first place.
Adam is a dear friend, and for those worried about the argumentative tone, we can assure you it is all in the spirit of “milchamto shel Torah” (the war between study partners searching for Truth). Tzvi would suggest that the happiest of people are the ones with proper debate partners, united in cause while divided in opinion. Other people might call him an argumentative sort who’d talk your ears off.
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