Psychology, Astrology & Happiness OR—Is Happiness just an Illusion?
Happiness has plagued humanity since the dawn of time, but to better understand it we must first examine it. To do that we must ask, does happiness really exist? Scientists always need proof of the existence of anything, so, can it be measured? Can it be observed?
Psychologists (scientists of the mind) have studied joy and happiness in great measure and they still haven’t got any idea of what it is. One psychological theory, the Social Learning Theory, states that happiness is a learned behaviour, we saw our parents laugh or smile so we learnt that to get attention and affection we should laugh and smile too. The more a baby smiles and coos the more positive emotional attention it gets in the form of more smiles and laughter.
Other psychologists stated that happiness was a Conditioned Response, the more we smiled as a child the more physical rewards we received, in the form of cuddles and food, which in turn made us smile again. Much like the above theory but with a touch of Pavlov’s Dog. This theory can be applied in reverse, the more depressed a parent the more a child would frown.
Another theory is that happiness is a Socially Desired Behaviour and thus was learned at the dawn of humanity. Those members of the tribe who learnt to smile the quickest were rewarded the most by other tribal members, those that wanted attention soon learnt to smile too. You can just imagine our young Neanderthal male smiling grandly to attract the attentions of any nubile young lady walking past. Things haven’t changed in two millions years.
Other theories started at the opposite end of the joy spectrum. One psychologist said that the baring of teeth was a natural sign of warning and aggression, get any closer and you will be bitten. Therefore smiling and baring of the teeth was a thing that had to be eliminated from human behaviour before it would be accepted as a sign of peace and joy, not a popular theory as can be imagined.
One group of early psychologists, the Old Wives Tales Society, said that smiling was just a sign of intestinal ruptures – of stomach pain and gas. Freud even had a go, he said that when people smiled it meant that they were thinking of sex, and he was probably right. Bill Gates proposed that happiness was a computer in every home in China and Richard Nixon said that joy was not getting caught, well he was right too. On our own shores John Howard described happiness as a mandate for the GST, but he was wrong on that one!
What does a Psychological Astrological Scientist say that happiness is?
We look for happy signs, like Leo, Gemini, Sagittarius, Libra and Taurus – they all have characteristics of joy at their core. We seek them on the Ascendant, on the Fire house cusps and loaded with happy planets. Now don’t be down hearted if you are a Capricorn, they have other qualities, and besides you probably have some of these other aspects, so read on.
We all think that we have happy planets, and we do, but it is in varying measures. For instance astrologers often say that a Leo shines in the dark – the sun can be seen shining from their every orifice, while Venus, the planet of relating and friendship, is happiest of all when sitting in his light.
Other happy aspects in your chart are having the Sun or Venus in a Fire house (1st, 5th and 9th) because that will make for a positive outlook on life. Gemini, they talk so much and enjoy sharing that they too get a mention. This is especially so if Venus is in this sign, but it is not so good if Gemini sits on the Ascendant, this makes the person worry, too much chatter in their heads. Taurus, well they are just happy because they really know how to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh so much more than the rest of us. Look for a fat guy and you see a Taurean waiting to burst forth. Libra is there because they know how to be beautiful and beauty leads to rich boyfriends and that leads to happiness (or so the TV tells us).
What about relationships, what astrological planets makes for a good relationship?
Mercury is the talking planet, if you find someone with the same interests as you then you are connecting at a Mercurial or mind level.
Venus is the social planet, if you find someone who enjoys the same social scene as you, like going to rage parties, then your Venus is compatible.
If you find someone who enjoys the same games as you then your Mars is probably linked.
If you find someone who enjoys the dogs, the gee gees or any form of gambling then look for a commonality with Jupiter.
And if you find someone who enjoys lots of sex, call me – oops, sorry, I mean… it’s the planet Pluto and a nice aspect with Venus in the 8th house of sexuality and ecstasy, it sure makes for a good sexual experience. Actually, while I am on the subject, in my marriage counselling experience I must say that sex is one of the biggest reasons for marriage breakups. Men, in general need it every three days regardless, and women after watching Richard Gere in ‘Pretty Woman’. So if your marriage is on the rocks you might want to do the act and not think about it so much. There is, of course, much more to relationships, but that’s another article.
People who are happy have other qualities too, besides planets and signs. They have things like success, and successful people attract other successful people. Now money doesn’t make you happy (despite what the TV shows say), but buying food and keeping the wolf from the door sure does. The lesson of poverty went out the door when the church preached that good Christians shouldn’t ask their landlord for affordable rent, because the church was the landlord! Yes, money has long been maligned.
So what is success and how do I reach it?
Successful people are often happy people and have been studied by unsuccessful people for the simple fact that success and joy are common human desires. And, along with success comes the cool money, fast car and your hot lover, or so the story goes.
Studies into success, particularly by Neuro Linguistic Programing (NLP) developers Richard Bandler and John Grinder, found that people who were successful had certain mental qualities that unsuccessful people didn’t have. And what were those qualities?
Happy people and successful people didn’t pay much attention to their failures or their losses. Instead they had great big mental images of their successes and goals. Unhappy people and unsuccessful people paid too much attention to their failures and losses. The simple conclusion was that if we pay attention to our successes we become happy and successful.
It was eventually found to be all in the mind. If we create mental pictures, images and sounds of our joyful experiences then we ‘feel’ joyful. If we create unpleasant images, feelings and sounds we would naturally begin to feel miserable. Talk to someone who is enjoying life, their successes and plans, it is positive and gives a clear image of success, you feel excited just by listening to them. Listening to unhappy people is depressing. If you have spent any time with a depressed person you will know exactly what I am saying, you become depressed too.
If you want to become more successful and happier then try practicing the making of images, feelings and sounds from your happy, successful memories. The more attention you pay to your successes and the less you pay to your failures and losses the happier you will become.
This exercise comes from NLP (Anthony Robins ‘Unlimited Power’):
2) Make the image as clear as you can, as bright as you can and as colourful as you can.
3) Move it close to you, in-your-face close.
4) Now add feelings of excitement and joy, really feel it, don’t just pretend, do it and feel it in your body.
5) Now add sounds, the sounds that you hear when you achieve this joyful moment. Add the words that you say to yourself as you experience this happy moment.
6) Bask in the glow of this moment, soak it up like a sponge, like sitting in the sun in winter.
7) Now ‘anchor’ this feeling of joy so that you can recreate it at will. At the peak of the experience clench your right fist and say strongly to yourself “YES”. Do this 6 times.
To keep joyfulness firmly in your subconscious, each time you experience success clench your right fist and say “YES” – for example when overtaking a little old man on the road on a Sunday, or when your mother-in-law can’t make it for her annual three month sleepover, or when you jump a puddle without landing in it, you know what I mean. The more times you practice this simple exercise the stronger your happiness muscle becomes. Why not try it and see what a difference it makes.
Noel Eastwood This article appeared in Harald Tietze’s Health For All newsletter # 9.
Last updated on December 10, 2017 at 7:36 am. Word Count: 1647