Book 1 Identity and Values: Study Tools

Chapter 1 – Four Levels of Happiness

Vocabulary (click on the word for the definition)

absolute Truth

absolute Truth – All the correct answers to every single question that could ever be asked about anything and everything. Also called “perfect Knowledge.”


beauty – The harmony of form that stirs our hearts and lifts up our souls, such as when listening to a Brahms symphony, or looking at a magnificent cathedral or great work of art.

being with
being with– To be with others in empathy, focusing on others instead of ourselves.
common cause

common cause – To allow other people to share a common goal, rather than trying to do everything ourselves and get all the recognition for it.


contempt – to look at other people as if their lives are less significant than ours.

crisis – A turning point in a person’s life, characterized by emotional pain, distress, depression, or emptiness, and caused by letting a lower level of happiness get in the way of pursuing higher levels.

desire – An anticipation of something we do not yet have, which causes an emptiness inside and a yearning to be fulfilled. Every desire seeks fulfillment.

doing for

doing for – To do good for others. Doing something that benefits someone else.


dominant – most important, or highest priority.

draw (noun)

draw (noun) – Neither winning nor losing. Somewhere in the middle.


ego – Latin word for “I.” Refers to our self; especially our self-esteem or self-identity.


ego-gratification – Finding fulfillment through being successful, powerful, popular, or better than others.


empathy – To feel what someone else is feeling; to identify with or understand the situation of another person by “walking a mile in his shoes.”


external – Outside of ourselves.

Golden Rule

Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.


gratification – Satisfaction or fulfillment.


happiness – The fulfillment of a desire.

higher levels of happiness

higher levels of happiness – Experienced through the heart, intangible. They require more personal sacrifice, last longer, and are deeply fulfilling.

immediate gratification

 immediate gratification – To receive physical pleasure right away, without having to wait.


intangible – Something that cannot be perceived through the five senses. Instead, it could be perceived through the heart – like love.


justice – Goodness or rightness; giving someone his due, or giving somewhat what she is owed.


love – To desire the good for someone else so much that it becomes easier to do good for that other person than it is to do good for yourself.

low self-esteem

low self-esteem – A sense that we are no more valuable than things.

lower levels of happiness

lower levels of happiness – Tangible, require less personal sacrifice, don’t last very long, and are not deeply fulfilling.


materialism – Finding fulfillment through material possessions and physical things.

perfect Unity

perfect Unity – Feeling like we belong in the universe, like we are at home in the cosmos, like we are at peace with everything that exists. Also called “Perfect Home.”

perfect Beauty

perfect Beauty – Beauty in its purest, most perfect form.


purpose – The aim or goal toward which someone is striving. The reason for which something is done or created. We will view our purpose in life according to the desire that we give priority.


tangible – Can be perceived through the five senses.


transcendent – Beyond physical. It’s something that is really real, but we cannot see, taste, touch, hear, or smell it. Examples would be love, truth, or justice.


truth – What is really real. Whatever corresponds with what is real, is true. Whatever does not correspond with what is real, is false. Studying what is true and what is false is the foundation of both science and philosophy.

ultimate good

ultimate good – The highest good (or happiness) that a human being can achieve. “Ultimate Goodness” itself would be God.

uncaused Cause

uncaused Cause – A being that causes everything in reality to exist, but doesn’t itself require a cause. It is eternal. It did not need to be brought into existence by something else.


unconditional – Complete or guaranteed, with no conditions, limitations, or strings attached.


unity – Being at harmony with all that is. Feeling like we belong in the universe, like we are at home in the cosmos, and like we are at peace with everything that exists.

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