Finding True Happiness: Satisfying Our Restless Hearts (Happiness, Suffering, and Transcendence)
One of the hottest topics in contemporary culture is happiness. The explanation for this current fixation seems to lie in the contrary phenomenon unhappiness. Despite the fact that we have tremendous access to every imaginable form of entertainment, we experience a pervading sense of insecurity, emptiness, and malaise amid sporadic peak experiences.
Finding True Happiness attempts to provide a way out of this personal and cultural vacuum by helping people to identify and then reach for happiness. As Aristotle noted 2,400 years ago, happiness is the one thing we can choose for its own sake everything else is chosen for the sake of happiness.
After an exhaustive investigation of philosophical, psychological, and theological systems of happiness, Fr. Spitzer developed the Four Levels of Happiness, which he based on the classical thinkers Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas; the contemporary philosophers Marcel, Scheler, Buber, Ricoeur, and Jaspers; and the modern psychologists Maslow, Frankl, Erikson, Seligman, Kohlberg, and Gilligan.
Finding True Happiness is both a philosophical itinerary and a practical guidebook for life s most important journey from the mundane and the meaningless to transcendent fulfillment. No other book currently available combines such breadth of practical advice and such depth of philosophical, psychological, and spiritual wisdom.
"One of the most dangerous and destructive illusions of the modern era is the notion that individuals are entirely free to choose what will make them happy. Fr. Spitzer shows that there is a genuinely objective dimension to human happiness, and that some approaches to life are simply incapable of actually bringing about the happiness that human beings desire. He offers a timely explanation of the routes that are really productive of fulfillment and true happiness."
- Fr. Joseph Koterski, S.J., Professor of Philosophy, Fordham University
"All who are interested in true happiness and finding it will find this book a very valuable contribution to their search. Spitzer identifies many practical steps for finding the happiness that so many find illusive. I especially admired his rationale for the validity and importance of his highest level of happiness, that which is found in our experience of the transcendent. I recommend that all examine his brilliant summary of evidence for transcendence --and for its fundamental contribution to happiness. This is a book to read and ponder."
- Paul Vitz, Ph. D., Institute for the Psychological Sciences