The solution is to gradually become free of societal rewards and learn how to substitute for them rewards that are under one's own powers. This is not to say that we should abandon every goal endorsed by society; rather, it means that, in addition to or instead of the goals others use to bribe us with, we develop a set of our own.
People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.
It is how people respond to stress that determines whether they will profit from misfortune or be miserable.
Those who seek consolation in existing churches often pay for their peace of mind with a tacit agreement to ignore a great deal of what is known about the way the world works.
We cannot deny the facts of nature, but we should certainly try to improve on them.
There are two main strategies we can adopt to improve the quality of life. The first is to try making external conditions match our goals. The second is to change how we experience external conditions to make them fit our goals better.
Pleasure is an important component of the quality of life, but by itself it does not bring happiness. Pleasure helps to maintain order, but by itself cannot create a new order in consciousness.
Entropy is the normal state of consciousness - a condition that is neither useful nor enjoyable.
Repression is not the way to virtue. When people restrain themselves out of fear, their lives are by necessity diminished. Only through freely chosen discipline can life be enjoyed and still kept within the bounds of reason.
Without the capacity to provide its own information, the mind drifts into randomness.
People without an internalized symbolic system can all too easily become captives of the media.
A person who forgoes the use of his symbolic skills is never really free.
It does not seem to be true that work necessarily needs to be unpleasant. It may always have to be hard, or at least harder than doing nothing at all. But there is ample evidence that work can be enjoyable, and that indeed, it is often the most enjoyable part of life.
A joyful life is an individual creation that cannot be copied from a recipe.
As long as we respond predictably to what feels good and what feels bad, it is easy for others to exploit our preferences for their own ends.
A self that is only differentiated - not integrated - may attain great individual accomplishments, but risks being mired in self-centered egotism. By the same token, a person who self is based exclusively on integration will be well connected and secure, but lack autonomous individuality. Only when a person invests equal amounts of psychic energy in these two processes and avoids both selfishness and conformity is the self likely to relect complexity.