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    #1

    live with ourselves

    Hi

    If we were happy we would be able to live with ourselves, to exist within our beings, rather than needing to constantly have our attention focused outside ourselves.


    --- Does it say that if we were happy we would know how to live with other people and exist withing ourselves rather than ...


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    #2

    Re: live with ourselves

    If we were happy we would be able to live with ourselves, to exist within our beings, rather than needing to constantly have our attention focused outside ourselves.


    --- Does it say that if we were happy we would know how to live with other people and exist withing ourselves rather than ...
    No, it means if we were happy we would know how to live with ourselves...not other people. Ourselves is being used as a reflexive pronoun here that refers directly back to the subject we.

    To (not) be able to live with oneself is an expression, more often used in the negative, in my opinion.

    If you say you can't live with yourself, in most cases you have done something to hurt someone and you're going to feel really bad for a long time; you're having a hard time forgiving yourself, and it will be quite a while until you will be able to enjoy any substantial degree of inner peace and contentment...at least until you've done something to make things right. For example:

    Susan and I had a terrible fight last night, and I said some very mean, hurtful things to her. I just feel awful. I've got to apologize, because if I don't I won't be able to live with myself.

    So in your sentence, the author is saying that if we were happy, we would be able to live with ourselves; we would be experiencing such joy and contentment that we would not feel the incessant need to focus our attention on other people and things, presumably in a vain effort to "find" happiness.

    Or something along that line.

    Hope this is clear.

    Greg
    Last edited by dragn; 01-Oct-2009 at 19:15.

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    #3

    Re: live with ourselves

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    Hi

    If we were happy we would be able to live with ourselves, to exist within our beings, rather than needing to constantly have our attention focused outside ourselves.


    --- Does it say that if we were happy we would know how to live with other people and exist withing ourselves rather than ...
    I think here the author means that if one were happy, he would be able to live with himself. That is the opposite of your first interpretation. That is, if a person were really happy, this person would not need to have his attention focused outside himself.

    But this is one possible interpretation, the one I prefer here. If you think about a collective consciousness, than you can say that human beings as a whole could be able to live ones with the others, as your interpretation seems to state.

    Again, the interpretation relies strongly on the context. And it is not possible for an author to write exactly his ideas in a sheet of paper, there will be always room for different interpretations.

    By the way, what are you reading/writing?


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    #4

    Re: live with ourselves

    I think here the author means that if one were happy, he would be able to live with himself. That is the opposite of your first interpretation. That is, if a person were really happy, this person would not need to have his attention focused outside himself.

    But this is one possible interpretation...
    ...and I'm reasonably certain it's the right one. I'm pretty sure this has nothing to do with anything so grand as collective consciousness or anything like that. It's just about people being truly happy. Nice and simple.

    Greg

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    #5

    Re: live with ourselves

    Hi guys
    thanks for the answers!

    how about "to exist within our beings"
    Is it possible to say it in a different way retaining the original meaning?

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    #6

    Re: live with ourselves

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    Hi guys
    thanks for the answers!

    how about "to exist within our beings"
    Is it possible to say it in a different way retaining the original meaning?
    I believe here the author is trying to rephrase himself for clearness.
    I mean, "to exist within our beings" is a rephrase of "to live with ourselves" (only in this present context) - the author feels he is trying to express something not so easy to understand, so he rephrases it.

    Some different ways to say "to exist within our beings" could read:
    - to be inside ourselves
    - to exist into ourselves
    - to concern within our own self

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    #7

    Re: live with ourselves

    It's a bit clearer now, but I always have problems with understanding this philosophical stuff.

    It's from the book "The Fall" by Steven Taylor.

    Take care

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