'Sustainable Hedonism'

Sustainable Hedonism: A Thriving Life that Does Not Cost the Earth
Lelkes, Orsolya. 2021. Bristol University Press.

The premise of this book is that it is possible to “find a life strategy that is both joyful and does no harm to others and does not endanger our future on this planet.” The author calls this sustainable hedonism. The author is a former head Economic Research at Hungarian Ministry of Finance and starts the book with a critique of the current economists view of the world where consumption is good and status is achieved through material possessions. That not only does excessive consumption harm the planet and creates inequalities in society it does not make us happy.

The book then delves into what the Greek philosophers, particularly Aristotle, had to say on happiness and the different types of hedonism. “The hedonism of Epicurus characterised by awareness and self restraint, which may also call ‘conscious hedonism’, is echoed in mindfulness today.” A self assessment chart is provided to asses the reader’s own life in terms of flourishing. The author is now a psychodrama coach and the final section of the book looks at how psychodrama can help on achieve a ‘flourishing life’ via what the author calls ‘Theatre of the soul.’

This was a fascinating book which I think I will come back to for ideas on how to ‘flourish.’

There are a couple of reviews online,

The author also has a website: https://lelkes.at/en/orsolya-lelkes/

This review was first shared with the PBCC community.

David Dibben
David Dibben
Software developer of electromagnetic simulation systems