Hi! I wanted to share two short extracts from Irvine's "A Guide to the Good Life". But before that, I wanted to talk about a little incident that happened to me yesterday. I know for a fact that if I'm working at my computer for more than 40 minutes (I always use a cronometer), I'll start to crave for instant rewards (such as the picture of a beautiful woman). Why? Because one of my main triggers has always been exhaustion. So what do I do when that happens? I get up and I turn the PC off. But what happens if the "bad" feelings continue (exhaustion, sadness), when you're most prone to enter into a dangerous area of craving for stimulation? Yesterday, based on my recent readings, I forced myself to smile. I wasn't feeling particularly happy nor did I have a concrete reason to smile (example: having heard a joke), but nonetheless, I used my muscles and I sustained a smile as long as I could. Not long afterwards, I began to feel much better. None of my externals had changed, but my inner emotional state did. I no longer wanted to look at pictures. "What about anger and lust?" The same principle applies: when you're feeling "bad", represent the character of "good": force yourself to change your facial expression, your voice, your movements. That's when Seneca and the buddhists come into action. But before going there, please watch this TedTalk video of seven minutes about the power of smiling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9cGdRNMdQQ On overcoming lust: As it so happens, Buddhists recommend the use of this same analytic technique. When, for example, a man finds himself lusting after a woman, Buddhists might advise him to think not about her as a whole, but about the things that compose her, including her lungs, excrement, phlegm, pus, and spittle. Doing this, Buddhists claim, will help the man extinguish his lustful*feelings. If this doesn’t do the trick, Buddhists might advise him to imagine her body in the various stages of decomposition. On anger: When angry, says Seneca, we should take steps to “turn all [anger’s] indications into their opposites.” We should force ourselves to relax our face, soften our voice, and slow our pace of walking. If we do this, our internal state will soon come to resemble our external state, and our anger, says Seneca, will have dissipated. Buddhists practice a similar thought-substitution technique. When they are experiencing an unwholesome thought, Buddhists force themselves to think the opposite, and therefore wholesome, thought. If they are experiencing anger, for example, they force themselves to think about love. The claim is that because two opposite thoughts cannot exist in one mind at one time, the wholesome thought will drive out the unwholesome one. Thank you for reading. Galaxim.