In the academy, the study of “happiness” has been going on at least since Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” (below). One of the conclusions is that “a sense of meaning and purpose is the single attitude most strongly associated with life satisfaction.”
But the academy is afraid of another research finding which is that people of “spirituality” ( what Tillich and his followers defined as “a search for meaning, for unity, for connectedness, for transcendance, for the highest of human potential”) have a higher degree of “life satisfaction” then pure materialists. Materialists believe the masters of the Universe can control events–can make self-filling prophecies. They believe we are all little libertarian, self-centered, welfare seeking biologies.
Then comes a week like this week, when we realize we are not really Masters of the Universe.