The Happiness Purpose: If I had to design a new religion this would be it
By Edward de Bono

I really love this book by Edward de Bono. It provides many challenging perspectives on what religion can and should do for a person, and dares to suggest an improved "meta-system."

And don't look for absolute truths here. De Bono scorns such statements. Instead he suggest we strive for "proto-truths," which may be no less true, but as the term implies they are also easily discarded when better truths are discovered.

And the ideal of love is replace with respect, a more achievable, if not useful goal.

As for God, such an entity/force is not denied but instead de Bono's religion focuses on the capacities of the human mind as god. Fascinating arguments. Surprisingly inspiring stuff--even in de Bono's usual dry prose. Sadly, the book is out-of-print. So here are some highlights.

Quote from prologue

The proposed religion is based on the belief that the legitimate purpose of life is happiness and the best foundation for happiness is self-importance.

The happiness purpose is to be achieved through the use of thinking and humour and dignity.

The ideal of love is to be replaced by the more reliable practice of respect.

The new religion may be used as a framework or as a philosophy. It may be used as a way of living or away of looking at things. The new religion may be used on its own or in conjunction with any other religion.

Unlike some others, the new religion focuses on the positive aspects of man's nature.

It may of course be that 'religion' is the wrong word.

Table of Contents

Part One: Nature

The world may need a new religion simply because it intends to find one anyway.
Religion and Change
A religion that changes is dissapated and one that does not becomes unusable.
A meta-system provides a reason for doing something that does not lie in the immediate situation itself.
Elements of new meta-systems
We call it the happiness religion because it recognizes happiness as the legitimate purpose of man's existence
God, belief and meta-systems
The belief base of the new meta-system is the self-organizing principle as applied to the patterns of human perception.
A proto-truth is usable and believable -- but only if you are prepared to change it for a better one.
The mind of man as God
Men's mind creates the perceived world in which he has to live as surely as God created the external world.

The Biodic Symbol (Biodos)
Life-space and Self-space
Activity and Achievement

Part Two: Application

Applied thinking
Life-space care
Self-space care
Happiness profiles

Part Three: Action

Action steps
Transition steps

Part Four: Network


The Happiness Purpose by Edward De Bono

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