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Course Description

Do you ever wonder if what you do really matters one way or another? Why do material acquisitions and power not bring happiness? How is one to reconcile the teachings of ancient wisdom and religious traditions with modern science? Using Jonathan Haidt's book, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, we will explore together what clinical research has shown about our rational and not so rational behaviors. We'll learn about the sources of meaning, why too many choices can lead to unhappiness, and how a different attitude changes everything. We’ll explore examples of the positive uses of adversity, see the biological roots of hypocrisy, and come to understand why virtue is its own reward. We’ll do exercises to experiment with Haidt’s findings and gain actual experience in knowing that what we do matters. Class members are asked to journal on out-of-class-experiments and participate in class discussions.

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