The Conquest of Happiness (Routledge Classics)

The Conquest of Happiness - Bertrand Russell Let's just say lately I've been picking up books that are easy enough to read, but still carry a bit of substance. This would translate into easy philosophy, and though I know it's judged for it's lack of seriousness, I think some authors are still able to pull through.

Russel Brandt was not a philosopher. He was a scientist, predominantly a mathematician. He proves (really obviously) that any educated, intelligent human being can be a philosopher, if he so desires. It's not hard because for a mentally brilliant man questioning the world comes as part of the instruction manual.

Now, this book was written in the 1930, so you can really feel his world in his book. He was a rich, white, intelligent scientist who was well known and respected for his work, and his contacts were always the same kind of people as himself. Of course it affected his views on the world. He was profoundly discriminating on women and poorer social classes, but it didn't affect his thinking process in a measure where he wouldn't be able to understand certain concepts.

His basic idea is simple - happiness comes from the inside and is influenced in great measure by our views on life. It is a thought process that only later can be turned into emotion - happiness is a formula, not an idea. And it can be solved by eliminating trivialities and concentrating on what's important for the individual.

I didn't expect to like this so much. Didn't expect it to be something that I agreed with. But I do. I do think happiness is a state of mind and resembles an equation you can solve if you think about it.

As far as the writing goes, it's simple and poignant. It's clear and shows through an ordered, calculated mind, which i appreciated.

If anything, this is a good lecture for processing your own happiness.