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How to Be Happy

The basic question addressed by religion is not “Does God exist?” but rather “How can we find eternal happiness in the world as given?” Religion is a recipe for dealing with life and succeeding. By “eternal happiness” I do not mean happiness in some afterlife, but rather a form of this‐worldly happiness that exhibits long‐term stability, continuity, endurance, and impregnability, therefore cutting through waves of vicissitude. We had better worry a little about the nature of this world “as given.” Traditional religious language speaks of the world as fallen, implying that there🔒

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Peter Bien, a member of Hanover (N.H.) Meeting, is emeritus professor of English and Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College and clerk of the Pendle Hill Publications


Posted in: April 2001, Features

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