David Naugle’s second chapter in his fine new book, Reordered Love, Reordered Lives: Learning the Deep Meaning of Happiness, is about Augustine.
Augustine lists the three causes of unhappiness and the one cause of genuine happiness.
What do you think of his breakdown? How about a concrete instance of each one?
Here they are:
1. Some people are unhappy because they cannot obtain what they treasure most. This person does not get what he or she most wants. They are unhappy because of what they lack.
2. Some people are unhappy because they have what they want but what they want cannot or does not make them happy. These folks love what they should not love.
3. Some people are unhappy because they have what makes them happy but they don’t value what makes them happy enough. They live an ironic life. They don’t love what they should.
4. Those who are truly happy — and he’s not talking about happy faces — are those who know the chief good of life and have it.