Existential Psychology

Happiness And Freedom

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Without the felt sense of freedom or at the least the active striving towards it happiness is impossible. But a strange shift has happened in our modern world, which is that with anonymous authority largely taking the place of authoritarian control most of us consciously consider ourselves to be free while in actuality we’re unfree.

This is because our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are determined by the super ego, by the instillation of norms and values meant to insure the continued smooth functioning of the society in which we find ourselves. Our values are not our values, our beliefs are not our beliefs, rather these values and beliefs are introjected into us from a very early age so that as adults that which we believe to arise from within has actually been implanted from without.

Until we break through that wall of super ego, until we critically analyze our beliefs and values, our perceptions, our theories about what we should be like, what others should be like, what the world should be like, we remain slaves to an invisible gigantic machine and as such happiness eludes us.

We rationalize our unhappiness on many different grounds and continue our desperate efforts to achieve happiness through the routes invisible authority, the very authority that enslaves us, promises will result in fulfillment and happiness. Competition, domination, wealth, power, prestige. These entities become our religions in that they are the objects of our devotion and provide the orientation for our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

The path to liberation, and with it happiness, starts with the question, “What’s really right for me, for my growth and self-actualization, rather than what anonymous authority has always told me, what parents, teachers, politicians, and society have always told me is right for me? What is the message from myself to myself telling me who I really am that I have been ignoring?”