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Analysis Of Happy Like God By Jane Kenyon

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Suppose I started this off automatically with a clear definition over what happiness really is. It would result in a highly unlikely answer simply because everyone’s perspective on happiness would be different and could not be accounted to be true for everyone. According to Jane Kenyon’s poem, Simon Critchley’s critique, Douglas Preston’s encounter with the famous religious and political figure Dalai Lama, and Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi’s theory, each hold a different view on what happiness really means and why it is such a concern to people.
Jane Kenyon in her poem Happiness published in Poetry magazine (February 1995), writes, “There’s just no accounting for happiness, or the way it turns up like a prodigal who comes back to the dust at your
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In “Happy like God”, New York Times, May 25 2009 he writes, “However frenetic our environment, such a feeling of existence can be achieved and as long as this state lasts we are self-sufficient like God.” Critchley is stating in his point of view that happiness is living in the moment and a feeling of existence and losing track of time. When he refers to being “self-sufficient like God” he means to be like God is to be without time and not worry about the troubles we hold and suggests to experience calmness instead. This is supported when Critchley writes, “I think that happiness is the feeling of existence, this sentiment of momentary self-sufficiency that is bound up with the experience of time.” Critchley quotes the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein in Tractatus that “The eternal life is given to those who live in the present.” As well as quoting poet Walt Whitman in Leaves Of Grass, “Happiness is not in another place, but in this place…not for another hour.. but this hour.” Considering these two quotations they both suggest that one can truly live an “eternal life” if one focuses on where they are at right now and focuses solely on the present and not worry about the future in the sense that time should be lived in the moment. Critchley is really praising the virtues of the solitary person’s happiness in his…show more content…
Csikszentmihalyi is a social scientist who came up with the theory that consisted of a flow chart that acts as a “magnet” for learning by developing new levels of challenges and skills that helps with personal growth. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi became interested in the search for what kept people happy even after the World War when he was growing up and came up with this theory of flow. He writes that flow is whenever one gets involved in something so deeply that nothing else seems to matter that one loses track of time. It isn’t until after being so in tune to what we’re doing that one realizes they were happy in that point of time. For example, Csikszentmihalyi says, “ When we are in flow, we are not happy, because to experience happiness we must focus on our inner states, and that would take away attention from the task at hand.” Messing up the “flow” would mean if one were to stop during a basketball game while being in “flow” one would be distracted and could even mess up during the game by being out of tune. “One can be happy without experiencing flow” is also something he adds on to this idea and he states and explains that it isn’t until after the task is completed we can look back at what happened and be happy for the experience on what has happened. Some of the sources to happiness listed would be playing a musical piece, tennis, chess, weaving
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