Pallasmaa & Gilbert

Pallasmaa & Gilbert - Stumbling on Happiness: Immune to...

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Stumbling on Happiness: Immune to Reality By Mia Jamilano Professor Hand Expository Writing 101 4 October 2011 As mere human beings, we only want what is best for us. With that being said, we tend to tweak the reality of a situation to seem more pleasant than it actually is. Daniel Gilbert mentions this observation in his chapter, “Immune to Reality.” Gilbert states, “When we cook facts, we are
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2 similarly unaware of why we are doing it, and this turns out to be a good thing, because deliberate attempts to generate positive views contain the seeds of their own destruction” (Gilbert 134). When unfortunate events occur, our psychological immune system begins to cook facts and shift to a more positive standpoint. If we are incapable of changing the experience, we search for ways to alter our views of the experience. A comparable approach of how we alter our insight of the world is found in Juhani Pallasmaa’s book, “The Eyes of the Skin”. Pallasamaa discusses our perception of reality through the guidance of the five human senses. Similar to “cooking facts” is when we use particular senses to help adjust the reality of our misfortunes and mishaps. Early into the text, Pallasmaa states, “Already in classical Greek thought, certainty was based on vision and visibility” (Pallasamaa 283). We rely on our senses, such as vision, to reassure us that the humiliating situation isn’t as awful as it appears. Furthermore, our senses shape our perception of the world by rationalizing and accommodating to our own needs and wants. Whether we like to admit it or not, but our psychological immune system works as a defense mechanism. We only accustom and familiarize ourselves at states, in which we feel the most comfortable and at ease. As much as we attempt to keep an open-mind, our comfortably is always the more approachable route we take in any given circumstance. Gilbert enforces this realization when he stated, “To maximize our pleasures and minimize our pains, we must be able to associate our experiences with the circumstances that produced them” (Gilbert 143). Our perception of the world is best understood when we are surrounded by those familiar pleasures. Acquainted memories are easy to recall through the assistance of our senses. For instance, Pallasmaa said, “Only sensations such as the olfactory enjoyment of a meal, fragrance of flowers, and responses to temperature are allowed to draw collective awareness to our ocular
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Jamilano 3 centric and obsessively hygienic code of culure” (Pallasmaa 283). We are then able to associate
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This note was uploaded on 03/07/2012 for the course 830 201 taught by Professor Leyton during the Fall '08 term at Rutgers.

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Pallasmaa & Gilbert - Stumbling on Happiness: Immune to...

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