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SLP and science of happiness

Course description

In this course, we will look at how we can use contemporary research on well-being and happiness to deepen our understanding of the somatic-linguistic practices (SLP), such as inquiry and focusing on the felt sense of joy, peace, vitality, grounding, compassion, love, etc., we use to access and explore the realm of essence.

Contemporary research on well-being and happiness has identified a number of common human biases that make us bad at predicting what will make us happy. You may have a sense that certain things make you happy even though they do not and that other things will not make you happy even though empirical evidence shows that they do. Such misconceptions about what makes us happy lead us both to make poor life-choices that negatively impact our mood and to double down on these poor life-choices in order to remedy our poor mood. This creates a negative spiral that is invisible to us due to our misguided ideas about what will make us happy.

Recognising concrete negative spirals and the misconceptions about reality which produces them is a central theme in essence work as well as in personal development in general. In essence work, they are often referred to as “issues” or “veils”. In psychoanalysis, these spirals are referred to as “neurotic needs” (Karen Horney). In the Enneagram and in the Christian tradition, they are called “vices”. In Buddhism, such spirals are seen as concrete examples of the ignorance about the nature of reality that gives rise to attachment and hate – which in turn reinforces the ignorance about the true nature of reality.

Thus, the results of contemporary research on well-being and happiness can be useful to us on two levels. On one level, these results offer very concrete suggestions for how we can go against our faulty intuition and make better life-choices that will increase our general well-being rather than undermine it. On another level, these research results can help us detect some of the veils that prevents us from perceiving essence in the present moment.

Course literature

You will receive the literature as PDF’s when you sign up for the course. You are not required to read all of the literature, but it will enhance your learning experience.

Learning objectives

  • Knowledge about contemporary research on well-being and happiness.
  • Apply this research in your personal work with essence.
  • Critically reflect on the juxtaposition of the research on well-being and happiness and the somatic-linguistic practises you use in your personal work with essence and thus deepen your understanding of both.

Course assignment

In connection with the course, you are encouraged to complete a personal assignment based on the research that is covered in the course and write a short essay about your experience that you can share with the group and receive supportive feedback on. Participation in the course assignment is voluntary.