Theme for October 2014 ~ Pursuit of Happiness


Theme for October 2014 ~ Pursuit of Happiness

We’ll be working with a process by Max Rivers – see: Heart’s Desire (for steps)


Happy Iranians – Original uploaded Iran version

Iran, the Thinkable Ally

Free to Be Happy |


Garry Wills’ classic 1978 book on the Declaration, Inventing America, puts it well: “When Jefferson spoke of pursuing happiness,” wrote Wills, “he had nothing vague or private in mind. He meant public happiness which is measurable; which is, indeed, the test and justification of any government.”

According to historians of happiness and of Aristotle, it was an ultimate good, worth seeking for its own sake. Given the Aristotelian insight that man is a social creature whose life finds meaning in his relation to other human beings, Jeffersonian eudaimonia — the Greek word for happiness — evokes virtue, good conduct and generous citizenship…


(LIST5 Great Thinkers on Finding Fulfillment)


1.  behavior showing high moral standards. “paragons of virtue”

synonyms: goodness, virtuousness, righteousness, morality, integrity, dignity,rectitude, honor, decency, respectability, nobility, worthiness, purity

2.  (in traditional Christian angelology) the seventh highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy.


In Memoriam of the exuberant Persophilia of
Retired Lt. Col. John F. Hillen Jr.:

Excerpt:  “…In 1974, he received a master’s degree in Middle East studies from George Washington University, and he became fluent in the language and culture of Iran before his deployment there.

Col. Hillen, who had been a senior parachutist, taught Iranian airborne and infantry troops military strategy and tactics…”


Quiz: Can You Read People’s Emotions?

How well do you understand others’ emotional states?

  • Es-Usted-Feliz
    Above and Below: Alfredo Jaar
    Studies on Happiness, 1981
    Santiago de Chile, public intervention
    Courtesy the artist, New York

Alfredo Jaar and the Happiness of Chile | The Los Angeles Review of Books

Alfredo Jaar and the Happiness of Chile

by Caille Millner

Alfredo Jaar wants to know: “Are you happy?”

December 8th, 2013



He’s standing next to a newsstand on a busy street in Santiago de Chile, talking to people as they rush by. At first you try to avoid looking at him, worried that he might be a beggar or something worse. For years it’s been too dangerous to talk to strangers. You never know who they might talk to next.

Yet as you walk by you notice that he is standing in front of a large white chart and it catches your attention. The chart is gridded with black squares and studded with small white pins that represent percentages. Above the grids are precise numbers and you can’t help but pause; it is a surprise to see something so careful and scientific in the middle of a busy, trash-strewn street in Santiago, above all next to a newsstand plastered with so many ugly tabloid pictures.

It reminds you of the public surveys you took when you were studying sociology at the university, before the junta took over, back when students could still work on anything they wanted. The man looks like a student, too, with his shaggy hair and his blue jeans. You hesitate, overcome by memory. Then the man asks you a question. “¿Es usted feliz?”

Are you happy.

Frightened, you look at him. Does he know who you are? Will he report you to someone? But as you look at his face — it is an intense, open face — his eyes begin to seize up, and you know that he too is afraid.

You glance back at his chart. For the first time you notice that it’s decorated with a small graphic of a colorful rainbow. The rainbow has been cautiously measured and rigidly drawn, and for some reason the sight of it breaks your heart — to think that this poor student has to demonstrate his innocence in this way. That he has to be afraid to ask even the most simple, childish questions. But of course you know why he should be afraid, and so you turn to him and say what he already knows must be a lie.



Chile was not a happy country in June 1980, when the Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar began taking public surveys for his Studies on Happiness project. Once South America’s most stable democracy, for nearly seven years the country had been in the grips of a military dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet. It would be another full decade before Pinochet was peacefully ushered out of power… (continues)



This entry was posted in Activism, Art, Arts & Literature, Giraffe Consciousness, What's Up Next? and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s