A Life That Satisfies: Free Your Self by Choice, Commitment, and Cooperation

A Life That Satisfies: Free Your Self by Choice, Commitment, and Cooperation

by Will Crichton


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A Life That Satisfies: Free Your Self by Choice, Commitment, and Cooperation by Will Crichton

What is the good life? East meets West in search of an answer to this question in this highly engaging book. Starting with advice from ancient Buddhist teachings for self discovery, Canadian philosopher, Will Crichton, blends this advice with very Western notions of what it means "to be" and to have a "self." He reaches a view of self that informs us what we are looking for, how to find it, and how to change what we find.
Crichton establishes a convincing case for accepting satisfaction as a supreme criterion for a good life. Thus, the good life is A Life That Satisfies. He shows how we can lay claim to satisfaction even in the face of life's unpleasant exigencies, including losses ordinarily linked to depression. The more typical life goals of pleasure and happiness can not serve this central role in our lives.
The book is a celebration of a life policy that leads to "A Satisfying Life;" a policy that includes individual freedom and commitments along with voluntary social cooperation. He names this policy "Cooperative Individuality."
His summary of the meaning of Cooperative Individuality is "[It] means living uniquely but not alone. It means being literally, not just metaphorically, a part of a larger individuality. It means grasping the opportunity to share in a creative enterprise in which, far from losing your individuality, you will create it in the shared process of creating those many larger individualities, for there are many levels of community. It means being the design, the shuttle, and the thread in a developing fabric in the creation of which your freedom and your security are the same thing. For, your true security can only consist in making your place in that fabric a sure one. Your place is your individuality as a threefold self, and that is your freedom."
Of particular interest to psychologically-minded readers will be Crichton's tour of many of the life policies that injure our lives and maim our selves. Alternatively, an intact threefold self includes the balanced presence of our self as an agent of choice, our self as commitments, and our self that is made up of externalities that we call parts of us.
Using the intact threefold self as a benchmark for healthy functioning as a person, he elaborates the many characteristic ways that we fall short of finding that benchmark. Numerous alternative but common life policies produce imbalances in our life functioning. No claim is made that this catalogue of misguided life policies forms a taxonomy of personality types or pathologies. However it could easily serve counselors and their clients by pointing out useful directions for healing wounded selves. It shows them neglected parts of their threefold self that may need their attention.
All together this is a truly big little handbook for attempting to live a life worth living.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780982623213
Publisher: Voluntary Living Press
Publication date: 05/28/2012
Pages: 136
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.29(d)

About the Author

Will Crichton was Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at The University of Toronto teaching philosophy for many years. He authored Foundations for a New Civilization and co-authored a translation of Rilke's The Duino Elegies. He received his PhD in philosophy from The University of Michigan. Born August 30, 1928 in Toronto, he died December 5, 2002 in Toronto.

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