SAN FRANCISCO, May 5, 2015 – Happiness is one of the most discussed topics in our culture — Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner declared he has found happiness during his controversial transgender conversion in a nationally televised interview last week; the United Nations declared an International Happiness Day in response to the immense popularity of Pharrell Williams’ hit song “Happy”; and numerous articles about finding happiness have appeared in print and online publications in the past month alone, including in TIME Magazine and on the Huffington Post.
Despite the fact that we have tremendous access to every imaginable form of entertainment, we experience a pervading sense of insecurity, emptiness and malaise amid sporadic peak experiences. In his latest book, FINDING TRUE HAPPINESS, Father Robert Spitzer, S.J., attempts to provide a way out of this personal and cultural vacuum by helping people to identify and then reach for happiness.
After an exhaustive investigation of philosophical, psychological and theological systems of happiness, Spitzer developed the “Four Levels of Happiness,” which he based on the classical thinkers Plato, Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas; the contemporary philosophers Marcel, Scheler, Buber, Ricoeur and Jaspers; and the modern psychologists Maslow, Frankl, Erikson, Seligman, Kohlberg and Gilligan.
FINDING TRUE HAPPINESS offers wisdom and gives advice to help readers move through the four levels of happiness:
Level #1: Physical-material happiness — coming from sensory pleasure and material goods.
Level #2: Ego-comparative happiness — coming from achieving, winning, status, popularity, intelligence, power and control.
Level #3: Contributive happiness — coming from making a positive difference to family, friends, community, church, God’s kingdom, society and culture.
Level #4: Transcendent happiness — coming from participation in our ultimate dignity and destiny through the loving God — in prayer, service, spiritual learning, spiritual wisdom and living in God’s presence.
Watch the “Are you happy?” promotional video that coincides with the launch of the book: https://youtu.be/_SYzU2kT0lA.
Spitzer’s material on happiness has been tested before no less than 800 audiences, with over 250 presentations by Spitzer himself. The audiences were diverse — high school and college students, church audiences, professional audiences in business and government, and faculty in higher and secondary education.
“Even in the darkest hours, happiness is available to us; it is always a choice,” says Dean Koontz, New York Times No. 1 bestselling author. “In our culture — riddled with cynicism, nihilism, envy and anger — recognizing that this choice exists is difficult. With reason, with the logic of both the mind and the heart, Robert Spitzer not only convinces us that happiness is within everyone’s grasp but also shows us how to seize it. This is an intelligent, warm, and life-changing book.”
For more information, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Fr. Robert Spitzer, please contact Kevin Wandra (404-788-1276 or [email protected]) of Carmel Communications.