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The universal human drive for instinctual gratification that Freud identifies with happiness is doomed to frustration. The external world not only fails to conform to our desires for uninterrupted immediacy, but the requirements of civilization also prohibit the very primal behavior ... that would allow for gratification.

DEAL WYATT HUDSON, Happiness and the Limits of Satisfaction

Happiness has been so degraded by its identification with well-feeling that one can appear spiritually callous in rising to its defense. Some of the prophets who warned against the pursuit of psychological happiness have been made welcome, even if their warnings were not heeded for long. One has only to draw a line from Augustine through Luther and Pascal, to Kant and Kierkegaard, to Reinhold Niebuhr and Karl Barth to be reminded of how much respect this dismissal has been afforded. They are heralded for their tough stance against worldliness and an unwillingness to conform to the spirit of the age. In short, they refused to be assimilated for the sake of temporal fulfillment.

DEAL WYATT HUDSON, Happiness and the Limits of Satisfaction


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