Squire and I are being more than a little in love with the Englishman in New York these days. For lots of reasons: Squire
mostly admires his unapologetic style; I'm mostly intrigued by his
clarity about adherence to manners being separate from adherence to
convention, because I find that an interesting place to put my brain.
"The essence of happiness is its absoluteness. It is automatically the state of being of those who live in the continuous present all over their bodies. No effort is required to define or even attain happiness, but enormous concentration is needed to abandon everything else."
I don't know if happiness is the most important goal; I used to think it was because I believed it was impossible to be perfectly happy when another person suffered. I now think it is possible for many people to be happy while smack in the face of extraordinary suffering and I've since modified my "most important goal" to "being good" which is simultaneously very sticky and difficult to grasp, but it keeps me busy doing and thinking and we like that much better than brooding, not that I manage to entirely avoid that. In any case, I think Crisp was interested in being good more than in being happy, because I find it too hard to believe that a self-aware human who wants to be happy voluntarily picks up the phone whenever it rings. I think a person who is AWESOME might do that, but I'm at babysteps right now: I'm working on not wanting to punch people. Abandoning the fear that people will be stupid or mean or whatever, and the resultant anger from that, is more concentration than I have; wanting to talk to them will clearly take a little more time.