Today’s Recommendation:
A Radical Approach to Happiness

The Joy of Not Thinking:
A Radical Approach to Happiness
by Tim Grimes
★★★★ 1/2

When I was sixteen, I had a mental breakdown. It happened while I was on vacation in the Caribbean with my family. I’d been reading an old Zen book, and it did me in. I’d experienced some strange mental states before, but this was different. As I read this book, death moved to the foreground of all my thoughts—and then stayed there. I found myself in a tropical paradise, terrified. Living seemed too cruel to carry on with. Buddha had said all life was suffering and all that meant was that everything was hopeless. There was no way out. Escape was impossible. When you looked at things soberly, it was obvious. Life, inevitably, was really just suffering and death.

I kept this anxiety to myself as best I could. There was nothing to say anyway. No one could help. I was helpless, mortified, but aware that I was unable to do anything about it. The stress began to wear on my body. It felt worse and worse. I would have killed myself right there if death didn’t scare me even more than life. I reasoned if I killed myself at least this particular suffering would be over.

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