Search For Happiness : The Ancients Before Christianity

908 Words Oct 20th, 2015 4 Pages
Search for Happiness: The Ancients before Christianity The ancient people’s ideas of happiness are surprisingly common to today. In the writings of Seneca, stoicism is shown in their joy through philosophy and the present life. Happiness to them is internal. “The Bhagavad Gita” shows that happiness is found in Brahman. This is achieved through reincarnation. Confucius shared the ideas of Taoism that happiness is in unity. The ways to achieve unity are filial piety, education, and ritual according to Confucius’ “Analects.” Homer shows in The Odyssey that happiness lies in family and home.
Seneca says that happiness comes from philosophy and therefore is in the present life. “...no man can live a happy life, or even a supportable life, without the study of wisdom; you know also that a happy life is reached when our wisdom is brought to completion, but that life is at least endurable even when our wisdom is only begun.” (Epistles Book 1, XVI) Because happiness comes from the mind, material things only distract from that internal happiness.
“The Bhagavad Gita” is the story of the prince Arjuna. He is in the middle of a war, and he realizes that the opposing side is filled with his family and friends. He begins to question that the point of the warring is. He says, “... how can we be happy if we kill our kinsmen?” (Bhagavad Gita, pg. 2) The avatar Krishna advises him. Krishna’s body is inhabited by the Brahman. The Brahman is the the full atman/spirit that true happiness…
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