KtB Makes the NYT Happy


The New York Times‘s Happy Days blog is featuring us today in their “Worth a Read: Editor’s Picks” section. They’ve picked out Ted Weinstein’s “Ways I Have Been a Bad Meditator” and the letter to the editor on “Indian Pelagianism.” But you probably already knew that Buddha-killing is the one, true way to happiness.

Also, be sure to check out Simon Critchley’s “Happy Like God” at Happy Days this week.

Rousseau asks, “What is the source of our happiness in such a state?” He answers that it is nothing external to us and nothing apart from our own existence. However frenetic our environment, such a feeling of existence can be achieved. He then goes on, amazingly, to conclude, “as long as this state lasts we are self-sufficient like God.”

God-like, then. To which one might reply: Who? Me? Us? Like God? Dare we? But think about it: If anyone is happy, then one imagines that God is pretty happy, and to be happy is to be like God. But consider what this means, for it might not be as ludicrous, hybristic or heretical as one might imagine. To be like God is to be without time, or rather in time with no concern for time, free of the passions and troubles of the soul, experiencing something like calm in the face of things and of oneself.

I heard him give a pretty disappointing talk about Levinas a few months ago, and he was getting all curmudgeonly about Obama around the election, but this piece is a real winner.

Nathan Schneider is an editor of Killing the Buddha and writes about religion, reason, and violence for a variety of publications. He is also a founding editor of Waging Nonviolence. His first two books, published by University of California Press in 2013, are God in Proof: The Story of a Search from the Ancients to the Internet and Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse. Visit his website at The Row Boat.