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Jonathan Haidt looks at many dimensions of happiness. As an atheist this book has contributed in making me more tolerant of religion as we all use metaphor to understand the world and give meaning to our lives and argues that it has been intertwined with our evolution. He draws on the relatively new branch of psychology, Positive Psychology which is about aligning your life to you strengths. He looks at culture, religion, work, love and treats them with some science and treats psychology with some metaphore to integrate them into the Happiness Hypothesis. 

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Loved this book. Started practicing meditation due to its advice.

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chapter 1: the divided self
we are divided souls, in a number of ways.
1. mind vs body: our organs are very often not in our control e.g. the gut has a vast nervous system that is quite independent
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2. left brain vs right brain: Michael Gazzaniga's work on split-brained people and how if you show an object to the left vision field, the patient cannot verbally identify the object but can match the shown object correctly (a picture of what was shown) with their left hand, they were able to. The usual confabulation experiments where the left brain rationalizes what the right brain is doing.
3. new vs old: how mammals have grown the neo-cortex around the old limbic system. Emotions are still integral to human functioning; Antonio Damasio's research on patients with damaged orbitofrontal cortex (and therefore impaired emotional lives) being unable to make rational decisions.
4. controlled vs automatic processes.
the metaphor of the rider and the elephant. "an emotionally intelligent person has a skilled rider who knows how to distract and coax the elehpant without having to engage in a direct contest of wills."
"Our minds are loose conferderations of parts, but we identify with and pay too much attention to one part: the conscious verbal thinking."
 

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Unique way of identifying happiness.

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