The Dalai Lama once wrote that the object of human existence was to be happy. This sounds extremely glib as happiness in the popular imagination is a feeling and in the words of the song 'the greatest gift that we possess'. On the other hand, von Hugel wrote 'Religion has never made me happy; it's use shutting your eyes to the fact that the deeper you go, the more alone you will find yourself' This small masterpiece by the late Fr Herbert McCabe of the Dominican order steers a steady course between these two extremes. We feel instinctively that human beings are designed to enjoy themselves and to be happy and yet we are told that suffering is good for the soul. In the Catholic tradition the true object of human existence is the vision of God and thing less than this will ever make us truly happy. Fr McCabe explores much deeper issues. Is happiness a pleasure or a pain? You hardly kw. Certainly it is t a comfort for comfort spells security and happiness can take you out of yourself to a degree where all security is left behind. Behind a feeling of exultation, you can sense the flame of incandescent terror. This short book is entirely original and will further enhance McCabe's posthumous reputation.
Herbert McCabe was a Dominican Friar and theologian of outstanding originality who died in 2001. He was deeply influential on phlisophers such as Anthony Kenny and Alasdair MacIntyre and poets and writers like Terry Eagleton and Seamus Heaney.