7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition)

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Auflage Truth engl. Januar We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights , that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Declaration of Independence , 4. July Happiness is not found in the content from the flow of life, but happiness is found in our attitude to what flows into our life. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness , and the word 'happy' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.

It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity. Answer by JN : It's a queer, interesting question. I would say the fundamental motivation for a human being, really, is meaning. Meaning, to have a meaningful life. That doesn't neccessarily require lots of pleasures and happiness. It can be very difficult, it can be very hard, it can be full of sorrow , but it may be so meaningful that it brings happiness in a very different sense. You wouldn't trade a life full of great meaning for a life of just pleasure. Insofar as happiness is a kind of pleasure one can never be satisfied with that, it's like a drug.

Pleasure is not meaning. Pleasure can be meaningful, but pain can be also meaningful. I hope that's not to paradoxical sounding. Introspective discussion on spirituality and wisdom with Jacob Needleman, Ph. Venn diagramm: Interaction of noradrenalin, serotonin and dopamine.

I think that as more people are liberated from the struggle for survival, you're going to have more people who have the luxury of seeking meaning, seeking a sense of purpose , a sense of transcendence. Look at the work of the Nobel-prize economist Robert William Fogel , talking about "the fourth great awakening. Others call it "meaning-want" — parts of the planet have gone from "material-want" to "meaning-want.

I think there's a certain luxury that comes from being materially well off that liberates people to seek something more. Interview with Daniel Pink danpink. June Literary quotes Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Scientists have been interested in happiness for a long time.

We show that happiness can spread from person to person to person in a chain reaction through social networks. James H. Intentional activities to boost happiness level. Changing one's intentional activities may provide a happiness-boosting potential that is at least as large as, and probably much larger than, changing one's circumstances.

Venn diagram on the four pillars constituting the meaning of life. Level Expression of happiness Legend 1. Immediate gratification Shallow short-term satisfaction 2. Gratification through achievement Short-term satisfaction based on work ethics 3. Gratification through contribution Service to others 4.

Happiness inducing habit 1. Express gratitude. Cultivate optimism. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. Practice acts of kindness. Nurture social relationships. Develop strategies for coping. Learn to forgive. Increase flow experiences. Commit to your goals. Practice spirituality. Take care of your body. August Avoid control. Exercise influence instead Embrace freedom From attachment to particular outcomes.


Avoid cynicism. Embrace possibility. Avoid manipulation. Embrace mindfulness. Avoid Pessimism. Embrace responsibility. Avoid distraction. Embrace silence. Avoid exclusivity. Embrace diversity. Avoid anxiety. Embrace mystery. Avoid aimlessness. Embrace hope. Avoid superiority. Embrace humility. Avoid inferiority. Embrace beauty. Avoid scarcity. Embrace justice.

Avoid selfishness. Embrace love. Focus on the positive. Acknowledge your state of mind. Accept your painful emotions. Accept your humanness. Learn to fail often. Do physical exercise regularly. Get four hugs a day, ideally twelve hugs.

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Simplify your life. Focus on what is most meaningful to you. Focus on what is most pleasurable to you. Focus on your strengths. Video sources featuring Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph. If you are unable to exercise and meditate in the morning, do it at night.


Pray to Him every day, 'Lord, even if I die, or if the whole world crumbles away, I am going to find time daily to be with Thee. September Nur noch zwei Wochen Die Tests verlaufen glatt. Einige Messungen sind notwendig. Erste Messungen sind abgeschlossen - wir sind hocherfreut. Heute haben wir die ersten Messdaten von unserem ADC gesehen. Alle weiteren Bauteile entsprechen unseren Erwartungen. Viele kleine Schritte und Redesigns sind wichtig. Mal abwarten, was kommt. In Wirklichkeit wurden all die Modifikationen nur exzellent getarnt. Es ist nicht so leicht, ein erfolgreiches Leben mit viel Freude und harter Arbeit kurz zusammenzufassen.

Unsere Kinder wuchsen heran und unser Haar wird jetzt ein bisschen grau. Heute Nachmittag besprachen wir einige Rohkonzepte, wie das erste Frontplatten-Design aussehen sollte. Hier sind sie! Die meisten Punkte von Uwes Leistungskatalog waren erledigt. Line-Ausgang zur direkten Aufnahme auf Band. Tolle Arbeit Sonny! Schnelle Entscheidungen erfordern nicht viele Worte.

Und da war die Idee geboren. Suchen Sie nach einer Verbindung zwischen diesen fantastischen Maschinen und der modernen digitalen Welt? Hier ist es! Sonny und Uwe sind seit vielen Jahren Freunde. Heinz D. Schultz Mr. Sonny Schneid Mr. Uwe Beis Mr. And this belief has undoubtedly prevailed, not only in political theory, but in actual practice. Ample evidence of this is to be found in most of the systems of political jurisprudence, in the more recent philosophical codes, and in the history of Constitutions generally.

The introduction of these principles has given a new form to the study of politics as is shown for instance by so many recent financial and legislative theories , and has produced many new departments of administration, as boards of trade, finance, and national economy. But, however generally these principles may be accepted, they still appear to me to require a more radical investigation; and this can only proceed from a view of human nature in the abstract, and of the highest ends of human existence. The true end of Man, or that which is prescribed by the eternal and immutable dictates of reason, and not suggested by vague and transient desires, is the highest and most harmonious development of his powers to a complete and consistent whole.

Freedom is the grand and indispensable condition which the possibility of such a development presupposes; but there is besides another essential,—intimately connected with freedom, it is true,—a variety of situations. Even the most free and self-reliant of men is thwarted and hindered in his development by uniformity of position. But as it is evident, on the one hand, that such a diversity is a constant result of freedom, and on the other, that there is a species of oppression which, without imposing restrictions on man himself, gives a peculiar impress of its own to surrounding circumstances; these two conditions, of freedom and variety of situation, may be regarded, in a certain sense, as one and the same.

Still, it may contribute to perspicuity to point out the distinction between them. Every human being, then, can act with but one force at the same time: or rather, our whole nature disposes us at any given time to some single form of spontaneous activity. It would therefore seem to follow from this, that man is inevitably destined to a partial cultivation, since he only enfeebles his energies by directing them to a multiplicity of objects.

But we see the fallacy of such a conclusion when we reflect, that man has it in his power to avoid this one-sideness, [12] by striving to unite the separate faculties of his nature, often singly exercised; by bringing into spontaneous co-operation, at each period of his life, the gleams of activity about to expire, and those which the future alone will kindle into living effulgence; and endeavouring to increase and diversify the powers with which he works, by harmoniously combining them, instead of looking for a mere variety of objects for their separate exercise.

That which is effected, in the case of the individual, by the union of the past and future with the present, is produced in society by the mutual co-operation of its different single members; for, in all the stages of his existence, each individual can exhibit but one of those perfections only, which represent the possible features of human character. It is through such social union, therefore, as is based on the internal wants and capacities of its members, that each is enabled to participate in the rich collective resources of all the others.

The experience of all, even the rudest, nations, furnishes us an example of a union thus formative of individual character, in the union of the sexes. And, although in this case the expression, as well of the difference as of the longing for union, appears more marked and striking, it is still no less active in other kinds of association where there is actually no difference of sex; it is only more difficult to discover in these, and may perhaps be more powerful for that very reason.

If we were to follow out this idea, it might perhaps conduct us to a clearer insight into the phenomena of those unions so much in vogue among the ancients, and more especially the Greeks, among whom we find them countenanced even by the legislators themselves: I mean those so frequently, but unworthily, classed under the general appellation of ordinary love, and sometimes, but always erroneously, designated as mere friendship. The efficiency of all such unions as instruments of cultivation, [13] wholly depends on the degree in which the component members can succeed in combining their personal independence with the intimacy of the common bond; for whilst, without this intimacy, one individual cannot sufficiently possess himself, as it were, of the nature of the others, independence is no less essential, in order that the perceived be assimilated into the being of the perceiver.

This individual vigour, then, and manifold diversity, combine themselves in originality; and hence, that on which the consummate grandeur of our nature ultimately depends,—that towards which every human being must ceaselessly direct his efforts, and on which especially those who design to influence their fellow men must ever keep their eyes, is the Individuality of Power and Development.

Just as this individuality springs naturally from the perfect freedom of action, and the greatest diversity in the agents, it tends immediately to produce them in turn. Even inanimate nature, which, proceeding in accordance with unchangeable laws, advances by regular grades of progression, appears more individual to the man who has been developed in his individuality.

He transports himself, as it were, into the very centre of nature; and it is true, in the highest sense, that each still perceives the beauty and rich abundance of the outer world, in the exact measure in which he is conscious of their existence in his own soul. How much sweeter and [14] closer must this correspondence become between effect and cause,—this reaction between internal feeling and outward perception,—when man is not only passively open to external sensations and impressions, but is himself also an agent! If we attempt to confirm these principles by a closer application of them to the nature of the individual man, we find that everything which enters into the latter, reduces itself to the two elements of Form and Substance.

The purest form, beneath the most delicate veil, we call Idea; the crudest substance, with the most imperfect form, we call sensuous Perception. Form springs from the union of substance. The richer and more various the substance that is united, the more sublime is the resulting form. A child of the gods is the offspring only of immortal parents: and as the blossom swells and ripens into fruit, and from the tiny germ imbedded in its soft pulp the new stalk shoots forth, laden with newly-clustering buds; so does the Form become in turn the substance of a still more exquisite Form. The intensity of power, moreover, increases in proportion to the greater variety and delicacy of the substance; since the internal cohesion increases with these.

The substance seems as if blended in the form, and the form merged in the substance.

Was du wirklich brauchst, um glücklich zu sein

But the force of the generation depends upon the energy of the generating forces. In the vegetable world, the [15] simple and less graceful form of the fruit seems to prefigure the more perfect bloom and symmetry of the flower which it precedes, and which it is destined gradually to unfold. Everything conspires to the beautiful consummation of the blossom.

That which first shoots forth from the little germ is not nearly so exquisite and fascinating. But destiny has not blessed the tribe of plants in this the law and process of their growth. The flower fades and dies, and the germ of the fruit reproduces the stem, as rude and unfinished as the former, to ascend slowly through the same stages of development as before. But when, in man, the blossom fades away, it is only to give place to another still more exquisitely beautiful; and the charm of the last and loveliest is only hidden from our view in the endlessly receding vistas of an inscrutable eternity.

Now, whatever man receives externally, is only as the grain of seed. It is his own active energy alone that can convert the germ of the fairest growth, into a full and precious blessing for himself. It leads to beneficial issues only when it is full of vital power and essentially individual. The highest ideal, therefore, of the co-existence of human beings, seems to me to consist in a union in which each strives to develope himself from his own inmost nature, and for his own sake.

The requirements of our physical and moral being would, doubtless, bring men together into communities; and even as the conflicts of warfare are more honourable [16] than the fights of the arena, and the struggles of exasperated citizens more glorious than the hired and unsympathizing efforts of mere mercenaries, so would the exerted powers of such spontaneous agents succeed in eliciting the highest and noblest energies.

And is it not exactly this which so unspeakably captivates us in contemplating the life of Greece and Rome, and which in general captivates any age whatever in the contemplation of a remoter one? Is it not that these men had harder struggles to endure with the ruthless force of destiny, and harder struggles with their fellow men? Every later epoch,—and in what a rapid course of declension must this now proceed! It is in this we find one of the chief causes which render the idea of the new, the uncommon, the marvellous, so much more rare,—which make affright or astonishment almost a disgrace,—and not only render the discovery of fresh and, till now, unknown expedients, far less necessary, but also all sudden, unpremeditated and urgent decisions.

For, partly, the pressure of outward circumstances is less violent, while man is provided with more ample means for opposing them; partly, this resistance is no longer possible with the simple forces which nature bestows on all alike, fit for immediate application; and, in fine, partly a higher and more extended knowledge renders inventions less necessary, and the very increase of learning serves to blunt the edge of discovery.

It is, on the [17] other hand, undeniable that, whereas physical variety has so vastly declined, it has been succeeded by an infinitely richer and more satisfying intellectual and moral variety, and that our superior refinement can recognize more delicate differences and gradations, and our disciplined and susceptible character, if not so firmly consolidated as that of the ancients, can transfer them into the practical conduct of life,—differences and gradations which might have wholly escaped the notice of the sages of antiquity, or at least would have been discernible by them alone.

To the human family at large, the same has happened as to the individual: the ruder features have faded away, the finer only have remained. And in view of this sacrifice of energy from generation to generation, we might regard it as a blessed dispensation if the whole human species were as one man; or the living force of one age could be transmitted to the succeeding one, along with its books and inventions.

But this is far from being the case. It is true that our refinement possesses a peculiar force of its own, perhaps even surpassing the former in strength, just in proportion to the measure of its refinement; but it is a question whether the prior development, through the more robust and vigorous stages, must not always be the antecedent transition. Still, it is certain that the sensuous element in our nature, as it is the earliest germ, is also the most vivid expression of the spiritual.

Whilst this is not the place, however, to enter on the discussion of this point, we are justified in concluding, from the other considerations we have urged, that we must at least preserve, with the most eager solicitude, all the force and individuality we may yet possess, and cherish aught that can tend in any way to promote them. I therefore deduce, as the natural inference from what has been argued, that reason cannot desire for man any other [18] condition than that in which each individual not only enjoys the most absolute freedom of developing himself by his own energies, in his perfect individuality, but in which external nature even is left unfashioned by any human agency, but only receives the impress given to it by each individual of himself and his own free will, according to the measure of his wants and instincts, and restricted only by the limits of his powers and his rights.

From this principle it seems to me, that Reason must never yield aught save what is absolutely required to preserve it. It must therefore be the basis of every political system, and must especially constitute the starting-point of the inquiry which at present claims our attention. Keeping in view the conclusions arrived at in the last chapter, we might embody in a general formula our idea of State agency when restricted to its just limits, and define its objects as all that a government could accomplish for the common weal, without departing from the principle just established; while, from this position, we could proceed to derive the still stricter limitation, that any State interference in private affairs, not directly implying violence done to individual rights, should be absolutely condemned.

If it restricts its solicitude to the second of these objects, it aims merely at security; and I would here oppose this term security to every other possible end of State agency, and comprise these last under the general head of Positive Welfare. Further, the various means adopted by a State, as subservient to its purposes, affect in very different measure the extension of its activity.

It will be evident, that it is single actions only that come under political supervision in the first of these cases; that this is extended in the second to the general conduct of life; and that, in the last instance we have supposed, it is the very character of the citizen, his views, and modes of thought, which are brought under the influence of State control. The actual working of this restrictive agency, moreover, is clearly least considerable in the first of these cases, more so in the second, and is most effective and apparent in the last; either because, in this, it reaches the most copious sources of action, or that the very possibility of such an influence presupposes a greater multiplicity of institutions.

But however seemingly different the departments of political action to which they respectively belong, we shall scarcely find any one institution which is not more or less intimately interwoven, in its objects or its consequences, with several of these. We have but to notice, by way of illustration, the close interdependence that exists between the promotion of welfare and the maintenance of security; and further, to remember that when any influence affecting single actions only, engenders a habit through the force of repetition, it comes ultimately to modify the character itself.

Hence, in view of this interdependence of political institutions, it becomes very difficult to discover a systematic division of the whole subject before us, sufficiently correspondent to the course of our present inquiry. But, in any case, it will be most immediately conducive to our design, to examine in the outset whether the State [21] should extend its solicitude to the positive welfare of the nation, or content itself with provisions for its security; and, confining our view of institutions to what is strictly essential either in their objects or consequences, to ascertain next, as regards both of these aims, the nature of the means that may be safely left open to the State for accomplishing them.

I am speaking here, then, of the entire efforts of the State to elevate the positive welfare of the nation; of its solicitude for the population of the country, and the subsistence of its inhabitants, whether manifested directly in such institutions as poor-laws, or indirectly, in the encouragement of agriculture, industry, and commerce; of all regulations relative to finance and currency, imports and exports, etc. For the moral welfare is not in general regarded so much for its own sake, as with reference to its bearing on security, and will therefore be more appropriately introduced in the subsequent course of the inquiry.

Now all such institutions, I maintain, are positively hurtful in their consequences, and wholly irreconcilable with a true system of polity; a system which, although conceivable only from the loftiest points of view, is yet in no way inconsistent with the limits and capacities of human nature. A spirit of governing predominates in every institution of this kind; and however wise and salutary such a spirit may be, it invariably superinduces national uniformity, and a constrained and unnatural manner of action. Instead of men grouping themselves into communities in order to discipline and develope their powers, even though, [22] to secure these benefits, they should forego a portion of their exclusive possessions and enjoyments; it is only by the actual sacrifice of those powers that they can purchase in this case the privileges resulting from association.

The very variety arising from the union of numbers of individuals is the highest good which social life can confer, and this variety is undoubtedly merged into uniformity in proportion to the measure of State interference. Under such a system, it is not so much the individual members of a nation living united in the bonds of a civil compact; but isolated subjects living in a relation to the State, or rather to the spirit which prevails in its government,—a relation in which the undue preponderance of the State element tends already to fetter the free play of individual energies.

Like causes produce like effects; and hence, in proportion as State co-operation increases in extent and efficiency, a common resemblance diffuses itself, not only through all the agents to which it is applied, but through all the results of their activity. And this is the very design which States have in view.

They desire nothing so much as comfort, ease, tranquillity; and these are most readily secured when there is little or no discordancy among that which is individual. It is to these alone we are to look for the free development of character in all its vigorous and multiform diversity of phase and manifestation; and, to appeal to the inner motive of the individual man, there can be no one, surely, so far sunk and degraded, as to prefer, for himself personally, comfort and enjoyment to greatness; and he who draws conclusions for such a preference in the case of others, may justly be suspected of misconceiving the essential nobleness of human nature, and of [23] agreeing to transform his fellow-creatures into mere machines.

Further, a second hurtful consequence ascribable to such a policy is, that these positive institutions tend to weaken the power and resources of the nation. For as the substance is annihilated by the form which is externally imposed upon it, so does it gain greater richness and beauty from that which is internally superinduced by its own spontaneous action; and in the case under consideration it is the form which annihilates the substance,—that which is of itself non-existent suppressing and destroying that which really is existent.

The grand characteristic of human nature is organization. Whatever is to ripen in its soil and expand into a fair maturity, must first have existed therein as the little germ. Every manifestation of power presupposes the existence of enthusiasm; and but few things sufficiently cherish enthusiasm as to represent its object as a present or future possession. Now man never regards that which he possesses as so much his own, as that which he does; and the labourer who tends a garden is perhaps in a truer sense its owner, than the listless voluptuary who enjoys its fruits.

It may be, such reasoning appears too general to admit of any practical application. Perhaps it seems even as though the extension of so many branches of science, which we owe chiefly to political institutions for the State only can attempt experiments on a scale sufficiently vast , contributed to raise the power of intellect, and collaterally, our culture and character in general.

But the intellectual faculties themselves are not necessarily ennobled by every acquisition to our knowledge; and though it were granted that these means virtually effected such a result, it does not so much apply to the entire nation, as to that particular portion of it which is connected with the government. Now, State measures always imply more or less positive control; and even where they are not chargeable with actual coercion, they accustom men to look for instruction, guidance, and assistance from without, rather than to rely upon their own expedients.

The only method of instruction, perhaps, of which the State can avail itself, consists in its declaring the best course to be pursued as though it were the result of its investigations, and in enjoining this in some way on the citizen. But, however it may accomplish this,—whether directly or indirectly by law, or by means of its authority, rewards, and other encouragements attractive to the citizen, or, lastly, by merely recommending its propositions to his attention by arguments,—it will always deviate very far from the best system of instruction.

For this unquestionably consists in proposing, as it were, all possible solutions of the problem in question, so that the citizen may select, according to his own judgment, the course which seems to him to be the most appropriate; or, still better, so as to enable him to discover the happiest solution for himself, from a careful representation of all the contingent obstacles.

It will be evident, in the case of adult citizens, that the State can only adopt this negative system of instruction by extending freedom, which allows all obstacles to arise, while it developes the skill, and multiplies the opportunities necessary to encounter them; but, by following out a really national system of education, it can be brought to operate positively on the early training and culture of the young. We will take occasion, hereafter, to enter on a close examination of the objection which might be advanced here in favour of these institutions; viz.

But to continue: the evil results of a too extended solicitude on the part of the State, are still more strikingly manifested in the suppression of all active energy, and the necessary deterioration of the moral character. We scarcely need to substantiate this position by rigorous deductions.

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The man who frequently submits the conduct of his actions to foreign guidance and control, becomes gradually disposed to a willing sacrifice of the little spontaneity that remains to him. He fancies himself released from an anxiety which he sees transferred to other hands, and seems to himself to do enough when he looks for their leading, and follows the course to which it directs him. Thus, his notions of right and wrong, of praise and blame, become confounded. The idea of the first inspires him no longer; and the painful consciousness of the last assails him less frequently and violently, since he can more easily ascribe his shortcomings to his peculiar position, and leave them to the responsibility of those who have shaped it for him.

If we add to this, that he may not, possibly, regard the designs of the State as perfectly pure in their objects or execution—should he find grounds to suspect that not his own advantage only, but along with it some other bye-scheme is intended, then, not only the force and energy, but the purity and excellence of his moral nature is brought to suffer. He now conceives himself not only irresponsible for the performance of any duty which the State has not expressly imposed upon him, but exonerated at the same time from every personal effort to ameliorate his own condition; nay, even shrinks from such an effort, as if it were likely to open out new [26] opportunities, of which the State might not be slow to avail itself.

And as for the laws actually enjoined, he labours, as much as possible, to escape their operation, considering every such evasion as a positive gain. If now we reflect that, as regards a large portion of the nation, its laws and political institutions have the effect of circumscribing the grounds of morality, it cannot but appear a melancholy spectacle to see at once the most sacred duties, and mere trivial and arbitrary enactments, proclaimed from the same authoritative source, and to witness the infraction of both visited with the same measure of punishment.

Further, the injurious influence of such a positive policy is no less evident in its effects on the mutual bearing of the citizens, than in those manifestations of its pernicious working to which we have just referred. In proportion as each individual relies upon the helpful vigilance of the State, he learns to abandon to its responsibility the fate and wellbeing of his fellow-citizens.

But the inevitable tendency of such abandonment is to deaden the living force of sympathy, and to render the natural impulse to mutual assistance inactive: or, at least, the reciprocal interchange of services and benefits will be most likely to flourish in its greatest activity and beauty, where the feeling is liveliest that such assistance is the only thing to rely upon; and experience teaches us that those classes of the community which suffer under oppression, and are, as it were, overlooked by the Government, are always cemented together by the closest ties.

But wherever the citizen becomes insensible to the interests of his fellow-citizen, the husband will contract feelings of cold indifference to the wife, and the father of a family towards the members of his household. If men were left wholly to themselves in their various undertakings, and were cut off from all external resources, [27] save those which their own efforts obtained, they would still, whether through their own fault and inadvertence or not, fall frequently into embarrassment and misfortune.

But the happiness for which man is plainly destined, is no other than that which his own energies enable him to secure; and the very nature of such a self-dependent position furnishes him means whereby to discipline his intellect and cultivate his character. Are there no instances of such evils, I ask, where State agency fetters individual spontaneity by a too special interference? There are many, doubtless; and the man whom it has habituated to lean on foreign strength for support, is thus given up in critical emergencies to a fate which is truly far more hopeless and deplorable.

For, just as the very act of struggling against misfortune, and encountering it with vigorous efforts, tends to lighten the calamity; so do baffled hopes and delusive expectations aggravate and embitter its severity tenfold. In short, to view their agency in the most favourable light, States like those to which we refer too often resemble the physician, who only retards the death of his patient in nourishing his disease.

Before there were physicians, only health and death were known. Everything towards which man directs his attention, whether it is limited to the direct or indirect satisfaction of his merely physical wants, or to the accomplishment of external objects in general, presents itself in a closely interwoven relation with his internal sensations. Sometimes, moreover, there co-exists with this external purpose, some impulse proceeding more immediately from his inner being; and often, even, this last is the sole spring of his activity, the former being only implied in it, necessarily or incidentally.

The more unity a man possesses, the more freely do these external manifestations on which he decides emanate from the inner springs of his being, and the more frequent [28] and intimate is the cooperation of these two sources of motive, even when he has not freely selected these external objects. A man, therefore, whose character peculiarly interests us, although his life does not lose this charm in any circumstances or however engaged, only attains the most matured and graceful consummation of his activity, when his way of life is in harmonious keeping with his character.

In view of this consideration, it seems as if all peasants and craftsmen might be elevated into artists; that is, into men who love their labour for its own sake, improve it by their own plastic genius and inventive skill, and thereby cultivate their intellect, ennoble their character, and exalt and refine their enjoyments.

And so humanity would be ennobled by the very things which now, though beautiful in themselves, so often go to degrade it. The more a man accustoms himself to dwell in the region of higher thoughts and sensations, and the more refined and vigorous his moral and intellectual powers become, the more he longs to confine himself to such external objects only as furnish ampler scope and material for his internal development; or, at least, to overcome all adverse conditions in the sphere allotted him, and transform them into more favourable phases.

How strikingly beautiful, to select an illustration, is the historical picture of the character fostered in a people by the undisturbed cultivation of the soil! The labour they bestow on the tillage of the land, and the bounteous harvest with which it repays their industry, bind them with sweet [29] fetters to their fields and firesides. Their participation in the rich blessings of toil, and the common enjoyment of the ample fruits it earns, entwine each family with bonds of love, from whose gentle influence even the steer, the partner of their fatigue, is not wholly excluded.

The seed which must be sown, the fruit which must be garnered—regularly returning, as they do, their yearly increase—instil a spirit of patience, trust, and frugality. The fact of their receiving everything immediately from the hand of benignant Nature,—the ever-deepening consciousness that, although the hand of man must first scatter the seed, it is not from human agency that the rich repletion of the harvest is derived,—the constant dependence on favourable and unfavourable skies, awaken presentiments of the existence of beings of a higher order, now instinct with dire foreboding, and now full of the liveliest joy—in the rapid alternations of fear and hope—and lead the soul to prayer and grateful praise.

The visible image of the simplest sublimity, the most perfect order, and the gentlest beneficence, mould their lives into forms of simple grandeur and tenderness, and dispose their hearts to a cheerful submission to order and law. Always accustomed to produce, never to destroy, agriculture is essentially peaceful, and, while far beyond the reach of wrong and revenge, is yet capable of the most dauntless courage when roused to resist the injustice of unprovoked attack, and repel the invaders of its calm and happy contentment.

But, still, it cannot be doubted that freedom is the indispensable condition, without which even the pursuits most happily congenial to the individual nature, can never succeed in producing such fair and salutary influences. Whatever man is inclined to, without the free exercise of his own choice, or whatever only implies instruction and guidance, does not enter into his very being, but still remains alien to his true nature, and is, indeed, effected by [30] him, not so much with human agency, as with the mere exactness of mechanical routine.

The ancients, and more especially the Greeks, were accustomed to regard every occupation as hurtful and degrading which was immediately connected with the exercise of physical power, or the pursuit of external advantages, and not exclusively confined to the development of the inner man. Hence, many of their philosophers who were most eminent for their philanthropy, approved of slavery; thereby adopting a barbarous and unjust expediency, and agreeing to sacrifice one part of mankind in order to secure to the other the highest force and beauty.

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But reason and experience combine to expose the error which lies at the root of such a fallacy. There is no pursuit whatever, nothing with which a man can concern himself, that may not give to human nature some worthy and determinate form, and furnish fair means for its ennoblement. For it is the property of anything which charms us by its own intrinsic worth, to awaken love and esteem, while that which only as a means holds out hopes of ulterior advantage, merely interests us; and the motives of love and esteem tend as directly to ennoble human nature, as those of interest to lower and degrade it.

Now, in the exercise of such a positive solicitude as that we are considering, the State can only contemplate results, and establish rules whose observance will most directly conduce to their accomplishment. Never does this limited point of view conduct to such pernicious issues as in those cases where moral or intellectual ends are the object of human endeavour; or, at least, where some end is regarded for itself, and apart from the consequences which are only necessarily or incidentally implied in it.

This becomes evident, for instance, in all scientific researches and religious opinions, in all kinds of human association, and in that union in particular which is the most natural, and, whether we regard the State or the individual, the most vitally important, namely, Matrimony. Matrimony, or as it may perhaps be best defined, the union of persons of both sexes, based on the very difference of sex, may be regarded in as many different aspects as the conceptions taken of that difference, and as the inclinations of the heart, and the objects which they present to the reason, assume different forms; and such a union will manifest in every man his whole moral character, and especially the force and peculiarity of his powers of sensation.

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Whether a man is more disposed to the pursuit of external objects, or to the exercise of the inner faculties of his being; whether reason or feeling is the more active principle in his nature; whether he is led to embrace things eagerly, and quickly abandon them, or engages slowly but continues faithfully; whether he is capable of deeper intimacy, or only loosely attaches himself; whether he preserves, in the closest union, more or less self-dependence; and an infinite number of other considerations modify, in a thousand ways, his relations in married life.

Whatever form they assume, however, the effects upon his life and happiness are unmistakable; and upon the success or failure of the attempt to find or form a reality in union with the internal harmony of his nature, depends the loftier consummation or the relaxation of his being. This influence manifests itself [32] most forcibly in those men, so peculiarly interesting in their character and actions, who form their perceptions with the greatest ease and delicacy, and retain them most deeply and lastingly. Generally speaking, the female sex may be more justly reckoned in this class than the male; and it is for this reason that the female character is most intimately dependent on the nature of the family relations in a nation.

Now, how much such a being—so delicately susceptible, yet so complete in herself, and with whom therefore nothing is without effect—an effect that communicates itself not to a part only, but to the whole of her nature,—how much woman must be disturbed by external mis-relations, can scarcely be estimated. Hence the infinite [33] results to society which depend on the culture of the female character.

If it is not somewhat fanciful to suppose that each human excellence represents and accumulates itself, as it were, in some one species of being, we might believe that the whole treasure of morality and order is collected and enshrined in the female character. As the poet profoundly says,. If it were not superfluous, History would afford sufficient confirmation of the truth we would establish, and exhibit unmistakably the close and invariable connection that exists between national morality and respect for the female sex.

The manifest inference we would derive, however, from these considerations on the institution of Matrimony is this: that the effects which it produces are as various as the characters of the persons concerned, and that, as a union so closely allied with the very nature of the respective individuals, it must be attended with the most hurtful consequences when the State attempts to regulate it by law, or through the force of its institutions to make it repose on anything save simple inclination. When we remember, moreover, that the State can only contemplate the final [34] results in such regulations—as, for instance, Population, Early Training, etc.

It may reasonably be argued that a solicitude for such objects conducts to the same results as the highest solicitude for the most beautiful development of the inner man. For, after careful observation, it has been found that the uninterrupted union of one man with one woman is most conducive to population; and it is likewise undeniable that no other union springs from true, natural, harmonious love. And further, it may be observed that such love leads to no other or different results than those very relations which law and custom tend to establish, such as the procreation of children, family training, community of living, participation in the common goods, the management of external affairs by the husband, and the care of domestic arrangements by the wife.

But the radical error of such a policy appears to be, that the law commands, whereas such a relation cannot mould itself according to external arrangements, but depends wholly on inclination; and wherever coercion or guidance comes into collision with inclination, they divert it still further from the proper path. Wherefore it appears to me that the State should not only loosen the bonds in this instance, and leave ampler freedom to the citizen, but, if I may apply the principles above stated now that I am not speaking of matrimony in general, but of one of the many injurious consequences arising from restrictive State institutions, which are in this one especially noticeable , that it should entirely withdraw its active solicitude from the institution of Matrimony, and both generally and in its particular modifications should rather leave it wholly to the free choice of the individuals, and the various contracts they may enter into with respect to it.

I should not be deterred from the adoption of this principle by the fear that all family relations [35] might be disturbed, or their manifestation in general impeded; for although such an apprehension might be justified by considerations of particular circumstances and localities, it could not be fairly entertained in an inquiry into the nature of Men and States in general.

For experience frequently convinces us that just where law has imposed no fetters, morality most surely binds; the idea of external coercion is one entirely foreign to an institution which, like Matrimony, reposes only on inclination and an inward sense of duty; and the results of such coercive institutions do not at all correspond to the designs in which they originate. The solicitude of a State for the positive welfare of its citizens, must further be hurtful, in that it has to operate upon a promiscuous mass of individualities, and therefore does harm to these by measures which cannot meet individual cases.

In the moral life of man, and generally in the practical conduct of his actions in as far as they are guided by the same rules , he still endeavours to keep before his eyes the highest conception of the most individual development of himself and others, is always inspired with this design, and strictly subordinates all other considerations of interest to this pure and spiritual law that he has recognized. But all the phases of human nature in which it admits of culture, consist together in a wonderful relation and interdependence; and while their mutual coherency is more strikingly manifest if not really more intimate in the intellectual than in the physical world, it is infinitely more remarkable in the sphere of morality.

Wherefore it follows that men are not to unite themselves together in order to forego any portion of [36] their individuality, but only to lessen the exclusiveness of their isolation; it is not the object of such a union to transform one being into another, but to open out approaches between the single natures; whatever each himself possesses, he is to compare with that which he receives by communication with others, and, while introducing modifications in his own being by the comparison, not to allow its force and peculiarity to be suppressed in the process.

For as truth is never found conflicting with truth in the domain of intellect, so too in the region of morality there is no opposition between things really worthy of human nature; and close and varied unions of individual characters are therefore necessary, in order to destroy what cannot co-exist in proximity, and does not, therefore, essentially conduce to greatness and beauty, while they cherish and foster that which continues to exist without opposition or disturbance, and render it fruitful in new and more exquisite issues. Wherefore it appears to me that the principle of the true art of social intercourse consists in a ceaseless endeavour to grasp the innermost individuality of another, to avail oneself of it, and, penetrated with the deepest respect for it as the individuality of another, to act upon it,—a kind of action, in which that same respect will not allow us other means for this purpose than to manifest oneself, and to institute a comparison, as it were, between the two natures, before the eyes of the other.

This art has been hitherto singularly neglected, and although such neglect might borrow a plea, perhaps, from the circumstance that social intercourse should be a refreshing recreation, and not a toilsome duty, and that, unhappily enough, it is scarcely possible to discover in the common run of men an interesting phase of individuality, yet still it seems not too much to suppose that every one will have too deep a respect for himself to seek for recreation otherwise than in an agreeable [37] alternation of interesting employments, or still less to look for it in that which would leave precisely his noblest faculties inactive, and too much reverence for human nature, to pronounce any single individual utterly incapable of being turned to good account, or of being in some way modified by the influence of others.

He, at least, whose especial business it is to exercise an influence over his fellow-men, must not relinquish such a belief; and hence, inasmuch as the State, in its positive solicitude for the external and physical well-being of the citizen which are closely interwoven with his inner being , cannot avoid creating hindrances to the development of individuality, we derive another reason why such a solicitude should not be conceded to it, except in the case of the most absolute necessity.

These, then, may constitute the principal hurtful consequences which flow from a positive solicitude of the State for the welfare of the citizen; and although they may be more especially implied in certain of its particular manifestations, they yet appear to me to be generally inseparable from the adoption of such a policy. But I took occasion at the outset to mention that the subject does not admit of any accurate division; and this may serve as my excuse, if much that naturally arises from the foregoing development of the argument, applies to the entire solicitude for positive welfare in general.

I have hitherto proceeded on the supposition, however, that the State institutions referred to are already established, and I have therefore still to speak of certain difficulties which present themselves in the very framing of such institutions. It is certain, then, that nothing would be more conducive to the successful issue of our present inquiry, than to weigh the advantages intended by such institutions against the disadvantages necessarily inherent in their consequences, and especially against the limitations of freedom which these consequences imply.

But it is always a matter of extreme difficulty to effect such a balancing of results, and perhaps wholly impossible to secure its perfect accuracy and completeness. For every restrictive institution comes into collision with the free and natural development of power, and gives rise to an infinite multiplicity of new relations; and even if we suppose the most equable course of events, and set aside all serious and unlooked-for accidents, the number of these relations which it brings in its train is not to be foreseen.

Any one who has an opportunity of occupying himself with the higher departments of State administration, must certainly feel conscious from experience how few political measures have really an immediate and absolute necessity, and how many, on the contrary, have only a relative and indirect importance, and are wholly dependent on foregone measures. Now, in this way a vast increase of means is rendered necessary, and even these very means are drawn away from the attainment of the true end. Not only does such a State require larger sources of revenue, but it needs in addition an increase of artificial regulations for the maintenance of mere political security: the separate parts cohere less intimately together—the supervision of the Government requires far more vigilance and activity.

Hence comes the calculation, no less difficult, but unhappily too often neglected, whether the available resources of the State are adequate to provide the means which the maintenance of security demands; and should this calculation reveal a real misproportion, it only suggests the necessity of fresh artificial arrangements, [39] which, in the end, overstrain the elasticity of the power—an evil from which though not from this cause only many of our modern States are suffering.

We must not overlook here one particular manifestation of this generally injurious agency, since it so closely affects human development; and this is, that the very administration of political affairs becomes in time so full of complications, that it requires an incredible number of persons to devote their time to its supervision, in order that it may not fall into utter confusion. Now, by far the greater portion of these have to deal with the mere symbols and formulas of things; and thus, not only men of first-rate capacity are withdrawn from anything which gives scope or stimulus to the thinking faculties, and men who would be usefully employed in some other way are diverted from their real course of action, but their intellectual powers are brought to suffer from this partly fruitless, partly one-sided employment.

Wholly new sources of gain, moreover, are introduced and established by this necessity of despatching State affairs, and these render the servants of the State more dependent on the governing classes of the community than on the nation in general. Familiar as they have become to us in experience, we need not pause to describe the numerous evils which flow from such a dependence—what looking to the State for help, what a lack of self-reliance, what false vanity, what inaction even, and want.

The very evils from which these hurtful consequences flow, are immediately produced by them in turn. When once thus accustomed to the transaction of State affairs, men gradually lose sight of the essential object, and limit their regard to the mere form; they are thus prompted to attempt new ameliorations, perhaps true in intention, but without sufficient adaptation to the required end; and the prejudicial operation of these necessitates new forms, new complications, [40] and often new restrictions, and thereby creates new departments, which require for their efficient supervision a vast increase of functionaries.

Hence it arises that in every decennial period the number of the public officials and the extent of registration increase, while the liberty of the subject proportionately declines. In such an administration, moreover, it follows of course that everything depends on the most vigilant supervision and careful management, since there are such increased opportunities of falling short in both; and hence we may not unjustly suppose the Government desirous that everything should pass through as many hands as possible, in order to defeat the risk of errors and embezzlement.

But according to this method of transacting affairs, business becomes in time merely mechanical, while the men who are engaged in it relapse into machines, and all genuine worth and honesty decline in proportion as trust and confidence are withdrawn. Admitting, in conclusion, that the actual necessity for occupations of this nature compensates, on the other hand, by many beneficial results, for the introduction of these manifold evils, I will not here dwell longer on this part of the subject, but will proceed at once to the ultimate consideration—to which all that has hitherto been educed is but the necessary prelude and preparation,—and endeavour to show how the positive solicitude of a State tends utterly to confound all just and natural points of view.

In the kind of policy we are supposing, then, men are neglected for things, and powers for results. A political [41] community, organized and governed according to this system, resembles rather an accumulated mass of living and lifeless instruments of action and enjoyment, than a multitude of acting and enjoying powers. In disregarding the spontaneity of acting beings, they seem to confine their view to the attainment of happiness and enjoyment alone.

7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition) 7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition)
7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition) 7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition)
7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition) 7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition)
7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition) 7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition)
7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition) 7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition)
7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition) 7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition)
7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition) 7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition)
7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition) 7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition)
7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition) 7 Schritte um glücklicher zu sein: Leichter Leben (German Edition)

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