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Finding Happiness by Virginia Murphy-Berman

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CHAPTER 14

The Dream of Permanent Happiness: The Cultivation of Letting Go

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

—Alan W. Watts

Abstract

In this chapter the concept of letting go is discussed. Letting go, as we are using it in this context, refers to the releasing of the false hope of achieving a state of permanent, constant happiness. All things, no matter how wonderful, change over time, and we are wired to eventually adapt to whatever is and then move on to seek something even better. This phenomenon produces a “happiness-is-always-just-around-the-corner” effect that keeps us going and going. We can learn, however, how to get off this path by accepting and embracing the impermanence ...

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