It is Matthieu Richard – more or less. A buddhist monk is the happiest man in the world. By brain scans measurements, when Matthieu goes into meditation – his brain lights up and releases endorphins. His brain has an abnormally large capacity for happiness.
We’ve found it. Now we know that we can become happier in the long run with meditation. So now, why isn’t everyone meditating? Do we even want long term happiness? We’d rather do something that gives us pleasure in the short-term.
Some of the other things mentioned behind his happiness were – social relationships, altruism, kindness, and cohesion.
I find the idea of labeling more interesting. Labeling a certain behavior as “good” and labeling an individual as a good person or good man. Could labeling a person and elevating his stature make him/her more altruistic. If this is true then we’ve got no choice but to label everyone has good – but then eventually the person being buttered catches the game.
Social relationships only depend upon how common are the goals of the society. This is why poor people get closer to each other and richer folks don’t want to be with them. The goals, objectives, conversations are all different. But deeper still, we all have a capacity for obtaining pleasure in life. Receiving pleasure and sharing it with others. That is what binds us, but even that can get dried up after a while.
Kindness is a sort of choice that people have to do certain things. Rejection of the kindness – is the one thing that stops someone from being kind in the first place. Because rejection creates social outcasts, and combined with a love for one another – can create expectations. Expectations that inhibit the entire spectrum of the human game. There is anger, violence, and lust – all emotions that would “supposedly” have to be subdued in order to be kind to one another.
Cohesion. Cohesion lasts as long as you don’t have empathetic burnout. Too much of work to be done (in terms of being kind, being helpful,etc. ) and you have a society that retracts into its shell. There isn’t a hero in the world that has been able to cohesively determine the future of a nation ever since the beginning of time. Evolutionaryily speaking, we are born to take care of ourselves first and others second. Although, this has been debated in the case of a mother saving her child fro drowning or having super-human strength to save her child. But all of this is a mental program and code that can take a few mechanisms to self-correct itself. There are good people and bad people, and happy people and sad people. And then there are just people. People that play either game without a label or two.
Mattheiu then proposes that individual change is possible via 20 minute mindful meditation for 4 weeks. This has been scientifically tested and the results have been interesting. (watch his TED Talk).
What he is basically proposing is that we can change ourselves. Now, our basic fear around this is that we aren’t really able to accept the fact that someone (apart from nature or god) is changing us. We aren’t used to judging our own states very well, and now we have to intervene in our own processes.