Sunday, October 16, 2016
As against the doctrine of original sin, I fully share the opinion of Matthieu Ricard and Buddhism: human nature is fundamentally good, and our hearts are designed to blossom in loving and giving. When we commit negative acts inspired by hatred, anger, and fear, we often have the impression of being, as it were, outside of ourselves: after all, when someone is furiously angry, we say they are "beside themselves." On the other hand, when we perform positive actions motivated by goodness, altruism and empathy, we feel that we are fully ourselves. This is because we are by nature fundamentally inclined to altruism. It is reactions to the vicissitudes of life that lead us to develop fear, anger, and even hatred. To escape these, it is often good to work on ourselves, our thoughts and our emotions. But nothing can replace the experience of being loved. Loving cures us of many of life's wounds: not only when we are loved, but also when we discover the treasures of goodness buried within our own hearts. We can then enter the extraordinary virtuous circle of life: the more we help others, the happier we are; the happier we are, the more we feel like helping others.
-Frederic Lenoir, Happiness: A Philosopher's Guide