Saturday, February 02, 2008

Solzhenitsyn - the pursuit of happiness

Unnoticeably, through decades of gradual erosion, the meaning of life in the West ceased to stand for anything more lofty than the pursuit of “happiness,” a goal that he even been solemnly guaranteed by constitutions. The concepts of good and evil have been ridiculed for several centuries; banished from common use, they have been replaced by political or class considerations of short-lived value. It has become embarrassing to appeal to eternal concepts, embarrassing to state that evil makes its home in the individual human heart before it enters a political system. Yet it is not considered shameful to make daily concessions to an integral evil. Judging by the continuing landslide of concessions made before the eyes of our very own generation, the West is ineluctably slipping towards the abyss.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1983)


Anonymous said...

Solzhenitsyn became a thorough curmudgeon or sour-puss in his later life. Considered his horrible early life it is probably understandable.

Please find some references which point out that the PRIMAL URGE of ALL beings is to be ecstatically happy.


Plus two references on the unspeakably dreadul politics & "culture" created by a "civilization" based on the systematic suppression of the urge to HAPPINESS.


John said...

I think you're right on the pursuit of happiness. The problem is of course how you understand happiness.

And it's often well argued that if you pursue happiness in itself, you don't find it.

Solzhenitsyn was speaking of temporal happiness. I'd much rather be aiming for eternal, and I suspect that if Solzhenitsyn and John Piper sat down to talk about it, they'd end up not too far apart.