In Pursuit of Unhappiness: Reflections on Suicide
Ramin Jahanbegloo
140 x 216 mm
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In today's world, happiness and wellbeing are often dictated to us by the State or by mass culture and shallow, consumerist and false modes of being. Not to be happy is, by definition, to be marginal, a misfit and a dissenter. In such a world, unhappiness becomes the forbidden universe of those for whom it is an act of dissent against the normative collective experience of conformism, contentment and mediocrity. It also exhorts us to closely examine the meaning of happiness. The pursuit of unhappiness, then, is to confront life in its totality, and presents an alternate horizon of truth, meaning and value for human beings, says renowned philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo.

Life is a beautiful adventure which deserves to be lived for its own sake, fully and well; but a life full of pain without an exit door is a dark and lonely prison. Suicide, rather than being an act of despair or hatred of life, is the ultimate act of human freedom and agency by which individuals have shown that they control their destiny, and opposed the tyranny of power, be it of society or the State. This freedom belongs to those who have the courage to live an ‘examined’ life, and strive to preserve their marginality, integrity and autonomy.

In a violent, indifferent world without God and without hope, suicide offers the fragile mortal grappling with meaningless suffering a mode of transcendence and immortality, and freedom from the fear of death, which is, as Montaigne said, 'the origin of another life…'

Ramin Jahanbegloo, one of the world's leading political philosophers and most widely-read authors, is Professor and Vice-Dean, Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Peace, O. P. Jindal Global University, Sonepat, India.
I Introduction: Why Suicide?
II Philosophical Suicides
III Suicide and Modernity
IV Poetry and Suicide: Paul Celan
V The Aesthetics of Suicide: Yukio Mishima
VI Conclusion: The Pursuit of Unhappiness
1. Book review | Published in the Bhartiya Samajshastra Sameeksha an international journal in Hindi by the Indian Sociological Society (ISS), Volume 8, Issue 2, December 2021.
2. Madness and Watching: Ramin Jahanbegloo and "Thoughts on Suicide" (English translation followed by the original text in Persian) | Published in Kayhan London, 25 November 2021.
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