by James D. Baird, PhD with Laurie Nadel, PhD
Everyone seems to have their own idea of the meaning of happiness. The reason that there are so many opinions on the meaning of happiness is that happiness is an umbrella term. Like the word beauty, it is in the ‘eye of the beholder.’ But remember that a subjective word is simply a signpost that points the way. We can talk about and study the word happiness, all we want, but we won’t really know what happiness means until we feel it.
In spite of subjective meanings, happiness can be classified into two major types, External or Natural, depending upon whether they are caused by external or internal sources. Since the great majority of people believe that happiness comes from external sources, we call that type Common Happiness. The type of happiness that comes from within us, we term Natural Happiness because it is independent of any outside influences. And further, it is experienced by all people, in all cultures, and consequently, it is genetic and results what we call our spiritual genes.