LITERATURE + LECTURES
The Pursuit of Happiness (Thursdays)
October 6 - October 20, 2011
The Jung Center of Houston presents The Pursuit of Happiness. This lectures series by Jerry Ruhl, Alejandro Chaoul, and Adam Brownstein explores the paradoxical role of happiness in our lives. Three Thursdays: Oct. 6, 13, 20, 7:30 - 9 pm.
What makes us happy? For the ancient Greeks, happiness was a gift of the gods. With the coming of early Christianity it became a promise of the world to come, a reward for virtue upheld through this “vale of tears.” Today we often think of happiness as a natural right, an earthly possibility and even an entitlement or obligation. We tend to look for something or someone on the outside to make us happy. In this series, we will examine the notion of happiness from the perspectives of depth psychology, Buddhism, and positive psychology.
Allowing the Whole: Happiness and Depth Psychology
Jerry Ruhl, PhD
Thursday, Oct. 6 | 7:30 pm
The more we pursue happiness as a conscious project, the more it seems to elude our grasp. It is the tragedy of our times that no matter what we achieve, how much money we earn, or how many blessings come our way, more is never enough. This program will apply depth psychology to explore an alternative path: Happiness is not about getting and spending, not dependent on events in the outer world. It is an inner peace that requires full embrace of what “happens.” Life is a complex of inexorable opposites—day and night, birth and death, happiness and misery. Can you allow the whole instead of insisting that life be a certain way?
Happiness as a Skill: Understanding Pleasure, Suffering and Meditation
Alejandro Chaoul, PhD
Thursday, Oct. 13 | 7:30 pm
It is easy to understand how anger can afflict us, but what about our attachment to pleasurable things? From a Buddhist psychological perspective, we need to overcome the emotions that we experience as afflicting. "Everyone wants happiness, nobody wants to suffer." This simple statement of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama can have profound implications when we try to put it into action. Pleasure is quite different than happiness. This class will explore these themes and also give an opportunity for self-exploration from the first-person perspective, using methods for dealing with afflictive emotions, such as using an antidote, using the emotion as a catalyst, or letting it be free, like a snowflake dissolves in water.
The Happiness Paradox
Adam Brownstein, MEd, LPC-Intern
Thursday, Oct. 20 | 7:30 pm
Everyone wants to be happy. And it seems given that certain things will make us happy: A good marriage. Success and wealth. Health and a long life. A rich creative life. Yet recent research in the field of positive psychology is increasingly demonstrating that happiness is not the result of these endeavors, but is actually a necessary precondition.
From the standpoint of positive psychology, happiness is not only the goal, it is also the cure. Join us for an evening looking at the newest research in the field of positive psychology and discover methods demonstrated to deepen our sense of happiness, purposefulness and meaning, and decrease depression and anxiety.
Adam Brownstein, MEd, LPC-Intern, is a psychotherapist with the non-profit Center for Creative Resources, where he works with children and adults. He has trained at Depelchin Children's Center's Child Trauma Program.
Alejandro Chaoul, PhD, Tibetan scholar holding academic posts with the McGovern Center for Humanities Ethics and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's Integrative Medicine Program. He has studied with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.
Jerry Ruhl, PhD, is a Jungian-oriented psychologist, executive director of The Jung Center, and author, with Robert Johnson, of Balancing Heaven and Earth, Contentment and Living Your Unlived Life.