Art · The Creative Process: Artists, Curators, Museum Directors Talk Art, Life & Creativity podkast

The Pursuit of Happiness - JEFFREY ROSEN - President & CEO of the National Constitution Center

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What is the true meaning of the pursuit of happiness? What can we learn from the Founding Fathers about achieving harmony, balance, tranquility, self-mastery, and pursuing the public good?

Jeffrey Rosen is President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, where he hosts We the People, a weekly podcast of constitutional debate. He is also a professor of law at the George Washington University Law School and a contributing editor at The Atlantic. Rosen is a graduate of Harvard College, Oxford University, and Yale Law School. He is the author of seven previous books, including the New York Times bestseller Conversations with RBG: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law. His essays and commentaries have appeared in The New York Times Magazine; on NPR; in The New Republic, where he was the legal affairs editor; and in The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer. His latest book is The Pursuit of Happiness: How Classical Writers on Virtue Inspired the Lives of the Founders and Defined America.

"I love Bernstein's excitement in talking about how he says, for Beethoven, was he the best harmonist? No. Was it his orchestral abilities? Absolutely not. It was just that each note that he chose was exactly the right note to follow the note that proceeded it as if he had 'a private telephone wire to Heaven' and that he was channeling the note that created and mirrored the divine harmonies of the universe.

And it was so striking to see John Adams compare the harmonies of a great piece by Handel to the harmonies of the State. And harmony is truth, which is reason, which is the Divine, according to the classical authority. And we have not only a right, but a duty to live according to reason in order to align ourselves with the divine harmonies of the universe.

Recently, I've started writing songs, and there's just something about the golden hour of the sunrise that waits for us each day. And whatever else is going on in the world or in our lives allows us to recommit to and experience once more the glorious beauty and harmony of the universe.”

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