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Over simplification does not help solve the problem.

I wasn't offering a step by step solution, but merely a general recommendation, which I believe still a worthwhile one. How one deals with the challenges of doing that, and there are many, is up to the individual.

The pursuit of happiness has been distorted...happiness is not to be "pursued" but never caught until we die...our happiness is there to be chosen. While we are alive to appreciate it. Not saying it is always an easy choice but it IS a choice.

There is a subtle oversimplification implicit in your critique of western religion. You imply that religions foster guilt and hold out happiness as something only to be found in the afterlife.

What you do not see that Christianity suggests that that there is earthly happiness (obtainable but temporal, imperfect, transitory) and eternal happiness (also obtainable but perfect and everlasting). My suggestion in my original post was about seeking the first kind. No one comes here to hear me overtly to convert anyone to the second kind.

Christianity, however, suggests that you seek both.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. . . .But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Monotheistic religions actually make this more difficult by assigning guilt to our thoughts...which are not us.

You have only one half of the equation. A feeling of guilt found in falling short of an ideal is always to be followed by forgiveness and healing--divine forgiveness as well as self forgiveness. There is a great deal of happiness to be found there--both the temporal--the here and now-- and the eternal, the salvific, leading to a perfect reunion with the divine.

Christianity recognizes that our thoughts are precisely who we are, both good and bad ones, and it offers to us the ability not to linger on guilt over our failings but to seek forgiveness and then let it go. It is actually the main point of the religion and quite liberating.

Monotheistic religions need to more actively incorporate this into their practices. If they did you might actually find people like me in their churches again.

You expect the Church to conform to your beliefs. Yet, your beliefs about the church or religions are imperfect as demonstrated by your incomplete picture or understanding of its notions of happiness. Perhaps you are blinded by the animus you hold against it, which is born from the fact that the Church won't be what YOU want it to be.

Should the Church conform to your will, or strive to conform what it believes is the best understanding of God's?

This is interesting.

According to "The 10 Happiest and 10 Unhappiest Professions"


Top Occupations in Job Satisfaction

#1 Clergy 87.2%
#2 Firefighters 80.1%
#3 Physical Therapists 78.1%
#4 Authors 74.2%
#5 Special Education Teachers 70.1%
#6 Teachers 69.2%
#7 Education Administrators 68.4%
#8 Painter, Sculptors, Related 67.3%
#9 Psychologists 66.9%
#10 Security & Financial Services Salespersons 65.4%

Occupation and overall well-being

#1 Business Owner 72.5
#2 Professional 71.5
#3 Manager/Executive 70.9
#4 Farming/Forestry 67.8
#5 Sales 67.6
#6 Clerical 66.1
#7 Construction 65.0
#8 Installation 64.4
#9 Service 64.0
#10 Transportation/Manufacturing 62.6/62.1

"So from what we have seen, it is not money or promotion that create happiness in the workplace, but rather control over one's own workspace and recognition of the nature and value of one's work."

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