OlioHouse | Happiness & Hedonism Weekend

None at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sat, Jun 29 at 2 p.m.   |   90 minutes

Come up to OlioHouse with philosopher Skye Cleary to explore the existential nature of happiness and the role it plays (if any) in living authentically and meaningfully. “Happiness,” Simone de Beauvoir writes, “is like a butterfly whose brilliant colors are tarnished as soon as they are touched.”

Is happiness the goal of life? Is there a secret to it? Is it a choice? How can we be happy when our world is filled with suffering and life is fleeting? Is mindfulness the key to overcoming anxiety? Is worrying about the past and the future holding us back? Or is focusing on the present an indulgence that distracts us from living deeply? And what about hedonists? Do they have more fun not worrying about these issues?

Some philosophers thought they knew the secret to happiness. Émilie du Châtelet, for example, proposes that achieving happiness is not so hard, but the problem is that takes most people a really long time to figure it out. Albert Camus suggests that happiness can’t be rushed—it requires a great deal of patience and willing. Some argue that, like searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, happiness is a fickle and receding goal. “Happiness,” Simone de Beauvoir writes, “is like a butterfly whose brilliant colors are tarnished as soon as they are touched.”

At this OlioHouse weekend, we will explore the existential nature of happiness and the role of happiness in living authentically and meaningfully. We will visit ideas from Jeremy Bentham’s Hedonic Calculus, a formula for evaluating pleasure and pain; Émilie du Châtelet’s Discourse on Happiness, on the sources of happiness; and Albert Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus, about finding happiness when the world seems bleak. Hot 'Camus' Toddies will be served all night.

Schedule of the weekend:

​2pm: Arrive at OlioHouse for lunch

3pm: ‘Happiness and Hedonism’ Skye will lead an olio exploring the existential nature of happiness. We'll look at a host of different philosophies around the idea of happiness and decide whether it is actually a goal we're comfortable with.

4:30pm: Free time to explore Wassaic, hike and or swim!

6pm: Workshop: Searching for Authenticity – in small groups we will go through a list of questions meant to spark meaningful connections around the topic of what it means to live authentically.

7:30pm: Dinner at the Lantern Inn

10pm: Late night Water Coloring Class led by artist, Meredith Stein



Yoga and Breathwork Meditation

*We are all sold out of beds for the weekend but you can still grab a day trip and enjoy all of Saturday's activities*

Teacher: Skye Cleary
Venue: OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

What is Think Olio?

Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

Scenius Membership

If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info

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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.