The Spirit of Happiness: Discovering God's Purpose for Your Life

The Spirit of Happiness: Discovering God's Purpose for Your Life

by T. Byram Karasu M.D.


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In the course of our lives, we struggle to establish careers and relationships that we hope will infuse us with a sense of purpose. While important titles, wealth, power, and possessions may represent a life that is successful in the eyes of others, pursuit of these achievements prompts us to seek more of the same again and again. However, it is only through a fundamental understanding of faith in God that we can discover His purpose for each of us in life, and can in turn pursue a meaningful existence and achieve lasting happiness.

In his authentic and profound book The Spirit of Happiness, Dr. T. Byram Karasu explores the psychological barriers that prevent so many of us from allowing faith to become an integral part of our lives and from becoming truly serene and fulfilled human beings.

We all experience many difficulties and conflicts in our daily lives, meeting challenges at work and in relationships, suffering through illness, losses, and failures, feeling anxious, depressed, or simply empty and purposeless. If we view such ordeals through the wisdom of the Holy Bible, which Dr. Karasu presents to us here as the ultimate self-help book, we can learn to understand and identify with God's Holy Purpose. Psycho-spiritual exercises, including meditations and affirmations based on God's word, are placed at the end of each chapter to help focus the reader's spiritual intention and lead the way to a more joyful and rewarding existence.

Beautifully written and deeply moving, The Spirit of Happiness begins where most self-help books end.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416598725
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 04/14/2008
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

T. Byram Karasu, M.D., is the Silverman Professor of Psychiatry and University Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Psychiatrist-in-Chief of Montefiore Medical Center. He is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including the seminal Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders and The Art of Serenity, a New York Times bestseller. He is editor in chief of the American Journal of Psychotherapy and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Karasu is a scholar, renowned clinician, teacher, and lecturer, and the recipient of numerous awards. He lives in New York City and Connecticut.

Read an Excerpt


The Bible on My Mind: Chapter and Verse

...eternal filled with all fullness of God.

Eph. 3:11, 19 (NIV)

I have practiced psychiatry for the last thirty-five years. I have written many articles and books about psychological care and sought out factors that might help people to be happy. I've studied the works of many psychologists and philosophers, and I have read the popular books that explore sources of happiness and the meaning of life. They deliver advice on self-actualization, success at work, relationships, marriage, world views, and philosophies of living. The proliferation of these "self-ultimacy" books validates my conviction that the answer to the human dilemma can't be found in the realm of the mind. The works of secular gurus demonstrate again and again that making the mind of man its own center generates only personal confusion, unhappiness, and communal disorders.

In my book The Art of Serenity, I identified six tenets of soulfulness and spirituality as the basic requirements for happiness: The Love of Others, The Love of Work, The Love of Belonging, Believing in the Sacred, Believing in Unity, and Believing in Transformation. I emphasized that a secular person may cultivate these extraordinary tenets, but it will be difficult to maintain them without divine inspiration.

This book begins where The Art of Serenity ended, with the belief in and the love of God. This book will guide you to the next and final step: to become godly.

To believe — to have faith — in God means trusting that there is a reason for the existence of everything in this world and beyond, and that there is meaning in its mystery. It means believing that there is a Holy Purpose. To be godly means to resonate with God's Holy Purpose, to bring all your personal and mundane purposes under its umbrella. If you not only have faith, but also become godly, you'll be a recipient of God's help, friendship, and boundless generosity in every aspect of your life.

In this book I use the Bible as the only source of reference. Throughout the centuries, men of wisdom have praised the Bible's guidance for truthful living; its cheerful urgings of love and compassion; its eternal lessons of serenity amidst the tribulations and adversities of the world; its tender teachings of the mysteries of life. As Heinrich Heine says in Ludwig Boerne (1840), "Great and wide as the world, rooted in the abysmal depths of creation and rising aloft into the blue mysteries of heaven...sunrise and sunset, promise and fulfillment, birth and death, the whole human drama, everything is in this book. It is the Book of Books, Biblia."

I am not a man of the cloth, merely a student of the human dilemma. Any theologian who reads this book will easily see the hand of a layman at work and I hope will forgive any of my shortcomings. With that proviso, I will present how you can find God's Holy Purpose and become godly. I will describe what godliness means in all aspects of your life, ranging from your career to relationships with your spouse, children, friends, and colleagues, and even strangers.

Only by being godly can you be strong and successful, find joy and happiness, and live an extraordinarily meaningful existence while leading an ordinary life.

Copyright © 2006 by T. Byram Karasu

Table of Contents



The Bible on my mind: Chapter and Verse

Chapter I: God's Holy Purpose

Chapter II: Man's holy purpose is striving to be godly

Chapter III: Striving for godly success

Chapter IV: Striving for godly strength

Chapter V: Striving for a godly marriage

Chapter VI: Striving for a godly family

Chapter VII: Striving for godly friendships

Chapter VIII: Striving for a godly community

Chapter IX: Striving for godly harmony

Epilogue: I believe in God, therefore I am

Key to Biblical Abbreviations

Citations for Chapter-Opening Quotations

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