Joie de Vivre Medicine

In this blog-article, I will define the original meaning of concept “Joie de Vivre” (Section A). After briefly describing the French roots of the JDV experience (Section B), I will develop a new more comprehensive theory of JDV. (Section C) Thanks to this theory, I will subsequently be better able to develop a clinical handbook on the fundamentals of Happiness and Joie de Vivre Medicine.

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Section A

What is Joie de Vivre ?

Joie de vivre (JDV) is French for the “joy of living”. (1) Merriam-Webster defines it as “a feeling of happiness or excitement about life.”  and for the Cambridge dictionary, it is “ a feeling of great happiness and enjoyment of life”. (2)

Joie de vivre (JDV) is French for the “joy of living”. (1) Merriam-Webster defines it as “a feeling of happiness or excitement about life.” and for the Cambridge dictionary, it is “ a feeling of great happiness and enjoyment of life”. (2)

From this starting point, we need to determine what generally comprises this “joie de vivre” happening. It this phenomenon an emotion ? An attitude ? Is it part of the automatic central nervous behavior system ? Is it a feeling of wellbeing ? Is it happiness? Epicure-like pleasure ? Is it bliss or nirvana ? Is it mindful living? Is it carefree lifestyle? Is it “la mesure”, balanced living and s tress management ? Is it part of the cosmic “dark energy” dimension ? A dormant gene ? A shy neuropeptide ? An existential phemenology ? Is it that missing frequency that would help to better explain why the actual gravitation-based speed of our Galaxy’s stars are not consistent with the Universe’s total mass ? Is it Divine Grace ? A holistic-like Lifestyle ? Is it what the Germans call Schadenfreude ? (3) Or is it what the French call, “le i du verb aimer” (the dote on the i of the verb to love” ? (4) Or is it all of these characteristics plus other “je ne sais quoi” undetermined and mysterious pieces of phenomena ?

Distinguishing constituent elements of JDV

In this perspective, the Mayo Clinic attempted to define JDV’s cousin, happiness, the five following elements of which were determined by the Mayo Clinic’s expert doctors to constitute its hard core : 1). Devoting time to family and friends. 2). Appreciating what you have. 3). Maintaining an optimistic outlook. 4). Feeling a sense of purpose 5). Living in the moment. (5)

Concomitantly, different happiness think tanks had established indexes to attempt to measure a People’s general wellbeing level, a few elements of which are universal health coverage, equal access to fundamental freedoms, wealth, education and the like. (6)

To these lists can be compared the Longevity zones environmental and lifestyle characteristics, which usually included a mostly plant-based Mediterranean diet, an abundance of sun exposure, exercises in the form of dance and agricultural labor, reduced stress, a non polluted serene rural-village setting and social support. (6)

In addition, Research has distinguished extended health and lifespan personality traits, the essence of which have been classified according to these following traits: Agreeableness ((which includes optimism and a happy attitude, conscientiousness, extroversion and openness, all of which tend to foster a rich social connection network. (7)

Beside these more or less “official” published characteristics, there have been many individual definitions of what may constitute the JDV phenomenon. For example, author Jamie Callan highlights the “chosen attitude to excel in Life” element of JDV.

“Joie de vivre is an attitude. It’s a decision you make to live a life of joy. It’s an invitation to this dance called life. All you have to do is leave the door slightly ajar and listen for the music.” (Jamie Cat Callan, fromBonjour, Happiness!: Secrets to Finding your Joie de Vivre). (8).

For 20th century proponents self-actualization guru Carl Rogers, JDV is the rediscovery of what the latter called:

“…the quiet joy in being one’s self…a spontaneous relaxed enjoyment, a primitive joie de vivre”. (9)

For the 19 th century Emile Zola, who wrote a novel called “Joie de Vivre”, he characterized this happening as a quasi-permanent joy based on sacrificial, innocent and child-like behavior even in the midst of injustice and misery. (10)

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While for 21 st century Harriet Welty Rochefort,  Joie de Vie invites the French to fully be Carpe Diem, in the moment. In her words, she observed that the French, “… revel in the moment, appreciate the time spent in preparing a perfect feast”.

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And for painters Matisse and Picasso, both of whom painted “Happiness of Life” works, JDV was typically depicted as Garden of Eden scenes, where naked Demoiselles and Messieurs were playfully fused together amidst colorful backgrounds dominated by Nature, movement and light

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Picasso’s work, a parody of Henri Matisse’s celebrated work is often read as a celebration of peace. Henri Matisse’s lyrical work features nubile girls dancing and playing pipes in an idyllic setting as long, sensual curvaceous lines flow through the composition. Picasso’s copy is more overtly mythological, featuring with pipe-playing fauns and dancing creatures. However, he captures Matisses’s lyricism in the extended swirling lines of the figures, whose forms appear to grow organically like flowers moving upwards towards the joyful Mediterranean sun (11)

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Top, artist painter Tremblay paints his newer version of joie de vivre.

To better understand how JDV emerged upon the horizon of human consciousness, a brief dive in its History appears justified.

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Brief History of JDV

From a brief examination of the relevant data, the JDV phrase appears to have been used for the first time via the French author Fénelon in the late 17th century. (12) Before that, jurist and author Rabelais also depicted this “state of being” and lifestyle in his Pantagruel work, characterized by peaceful living, joy, heath and delicious food and general happiness. (13)

JDV as a coined phenomenon appears to have been brought into literary prominence only in the 19th century in 1857 by Michelet in his pantheistic work called “ Insecte”, wherein he contrasted the passive life of plants devoid of JDV with animal joie de vivre. (Source) (14).

Thereafter, on or around 1883, Emile Zola entitled his novel “Joie de Vivre” (See supra) and since, this phrase has traveled world-wide upon the Consciousness of many beings and gained momentum as a mode of life or lifestyle, evolving at times almost into a secular religion. (15).

In the early 20th century, Lacanian emphasis on “a jouissance beyond the pleasure principle”. (16) while Henri Bergson added a spiritual dimension to JDV that he phrased as “elan vital”. (17)

After the Second World War’s sacrifices, existentialism and human rights normative revolution. (18)

in the latter half of the century – a time when its emphasis on enthusiasm, energy and spontaneity gave it a global prominence with the rise of hippie culture. (19)

Picasso’s work, a parody of Henri Matisse’s celebrated work is often read as a celebration of peace. Henri Matisse’s lyrical work features nubile girls dancing and playing pipes in an idyllic setting as long, sensual curvaceous lines flow through the composition. Picasso’s copy is more overtly mythological, featuring with pipe-playing fauns and dancing creatures. However, he captures Matisses’s lyricism in the extended swirling lines of the figures, whose forms appear to grow organically like flowers moving upwards towards the joyful Mediterranean sun (11)

To better understand how JDV emerged upon the horizon of human and mammalian consciousness, a brief dive in its History appears to be justified.

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WEBPAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Rabelais

Dans une perspective stoïcienne, le pantagruélisme relie explicitement la résistance sereine au destin à la joie de vivre, puisqu’il se définit par le fait de « vivre en paix, joye, santé, faisans tousjours grand chere »89 avec une « certaine gayté d’esprit conficte en

Schutz, William (1973). Joy: Expanding Human Awareness. New York, NY: Ballantine Books. ISBN 9780345274595. OCLC 3756811.

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1991). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York, NY: Harper

https://youtu.be/nF8YJL5ZDgY

« Il y a toujours de la joie dans la musique. »

Yves Thériault

keen or buoyant enjoyment of life he radiates a vitalizing energy, the zest and gaiety of an inexhaustible joie de vivre — Robert Kuttner

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PART TWO

The French JDV Experience and its Political Institutionalization

Although France has popularized the term, the French do not have the monopoly of this universally sought-after “je ne sais quoi”. However, in France’s close to two millennia years that has known the most wars of any other Nation (Queen ) ( WRight  ) up to 1962, and its corollaries, in particular the three angels of death: plagues, famine and captivity,  as a consequence thereto, the french political culture has baptized JDV as it’s central political goal, what was called constitutionally called  le bonheur public”  (    ).  today known more under General Wellbeing the GWB (

“”.Sarko

The Social Contract

Blog of happ map

Contrarily to the United States,  which guarantees only the pursuit of happiness and “general welfare”,  the French experience of JDV has evolved around many of the elements and constituent principles mentioned above.

Constitution ???6    

Concrete means of JDV….rights…Us kept jdv small elite, since social. no grace and hupzpah…

The Political Institutionalization of JDV

1945…health universal coverage…spa, acu a homeo….paid state…everything else  rights were here privelge… Political action should seeking to maximize less capital or power than JDV…… “fete révolutionnaire”..

Search

More Balance between leisure and work: The four labor days week

Productivity  4 days search

“Alternating periods of activity and rest is necessary to survive, let alone thrive. Capacity, interest, and mental endurance all wax and wane. Plan accordingly.”

— Timothy Ferriss, from his book The 4-Hour Workweek

www.fourhourworkweek.com/

The French seem to revel in the moment, holding fast to a lifestyle that prioritizes friends, family and self.   

Law in many ways prioritizing family inheritance, spas culture august…family life maid…

Legislation to allow Sunday shopping in select regions passed by a slim majority a few years ago, with opponents arguing against what they saw as the erosion of family values.

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/5836338/France-relaxes-Sunday-shopping-rules.html

And French workers rank third for fewest hours worked among 35 countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — likely due in part to the cultural emphasis on leisure time.

bottomline.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/07/29/12816364-countries-where-people-work-least?

These details point to work-life boundaries that echo what so many professionals struggle to put in place. The problem is that the numbers don’t seem to back it up.

Just a few years ago, Business Insider argued that, when GDP per capita was compared against the number of hours worked, the French were the most productive people in the world. However, the recent economic lag has been tough on developed economies — the Eurozone perhaps most acutely among them. While France weathered the re

articles.businessinsider.com/2009-08-20/markets/30087051_1_capita-france-s-gdp-work

35 hours…4 days

 

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REFERENCES

(1). JDV is usually referenced in its standard French form, “joie de vivre” “vivre” being the verb “to live”, but various deviations are observed such as joie de vie, which would translate to “joy of life”.

(2). http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/joie-de-vivre. The apparent self-sufficiency of joie de vivre means that, despite the widespread use of the phrase since the late nineteenth century, the concept has rarely been explored critically. Joie de vivre does not readily surrender itself to examination, for it is in a sense too busy being what it is. However, as the essays in this collection reveal, joie de vivre can be as complex and variable a state as the more negative emotions or experiences that art and literature habitually evoke. This volume provides an urgently needed study of an intriguing and under-explored area of French literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the contemporary era. While the range and content of contributions embraces linguistics, literature, art, sport and politics, the starting point is, like that of the term joie de vivre itself, in French language and culture.
This volume will be of special interest to researchers across the full range of French studies, from literature and language to cultural studies. It will be of direct appeal to specialist readers, university libraries, graduate and undergraduate students, and general readers with a lively interest in French literature and culture of the medieval, early modern and broad modern periods. This book’s fresh perspectives on the theme of joie de vivre and its relation to questions of privacy, contemplation, voyeurism, feasting and nationhood will also be of relevance to researchers in comparative and cognate disciplines

(3). Schadenfreude a feeling of pleasure or satisfaction when something bad happens to someone else
Vengeance plat froid
(3). Aimer if French for love. This phrase, (“Le i du verb aimer”) comes from Cyrano de Bergerac, as recounted in Edmond Rostand’s script.

(4). www.mayoclinic.com/health/how-to-be-happy/MY01357

(5). Happiness index and article Monaco

(6). Longevity zone

(7). traits

www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/06/personality-longevity_n_1652685.html#slide=1190735
(8) https://www.amazon.com/Bonjour-Happiness-Secrets-Finding-Vivre/dp/0806534109 As a young girl, Jamie Cat Callan was fascinated by her French grandmother. Though she had little money, Jamie’s grand-mère ate well, dressed well, and took joy in simple, everyday pleasures. As Jamie journeyed through France as an adult, she gained more insight into the differences between French and American women. French women–whether doctors, shop owners, or housewives–don’t worry about being thin enough, young enough, or accomplished enough. They age gracefully and celebrate their bodies. They know how to balance their lives–to love food without overeating, to work hard but not too much, to relish friends and family, and still make time for themselves. In her book Jamie draws on everything French women have taught her.
(9). Rogers, Carl. On becoming a person : a therapist’s view of psychotherapy. Boston, MA, USA: Houghton Mifflin Company. pp. 87–88. (1961)

(10). https://readingzola.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/zest-for-life-la-joie-de-vivre-by-emile-zola-translated-by-jean-stewart/

(11) The Matisse painting Le “bonheur de vivre” (1905-6) translates as, “The Happiness of Life”. Picasso’s work, a parody of Henri Matisse’s celebrated work is often read as a celebration of peace. Henri Matisse

???
lyrical work features nubile girls dancing and playing pipes in an idyllic setting as long, sensual curvaceous lines flow through the composition. Picasso’s copy is more overtly mythological, featuring with pipe-playing fauns and dancing creatures. However, he captures Matisses’s lyricism in the extended swirling lines of the figures, whose forms appear to grow organically like flowers moving upwards towards the Mediterranean sun. Picasso’s burgeoning relationship with a young French artist, Francoise Gilot, whom he painted as a flower in 1946 and rival Matisse appear to be Picasso’s central inspirations. https://www.pablopicasso.org/joie-de-vivre.jsp. See also: www.henrimatisse.org/
(12). Harrow, Susan; Unwin, Timothy A; Freeman, Michael (2009). Joie de vivre in French literature and culture : essays in honour of Michael Freeman. Amsterdam, NTH & New York, NY
(13). Rabelais
https://books.google.com/books?id=uMPXxb2PDG4C&pg=PA248&lpg=PA248&dq=Rabelais+Joie+de+vivre&source=bl&ots=jQQnBC0iis&sig=bjuPJH7GhosF0N0T3vWsuo3TdYM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZrfPC1enVAhUK9mMKHb54ADIQ6AEILjAB#v=onepage&q=Rabelais%20Joie%20de%20vivre&f=false

(14). op cit Harrow, Susan; Unwin, Timothy A; Freeman, Michael (2009). Joie de vivre in French literature and culture : essays in honour of Michael Freeman. Amsterdam, NTH & New York, NY
And for Michelet:  https://www.amazon.fr/LINSECTE-Jules-Michelet/dp/2849901172

 

(15). ibid

(16) Lacan, Jacques; Miller, Jacques-Alain; Sheridan, Alan (1994).
The four fundamental concepts of psycho-analysis. London, UK: Penguin Books. p. 184
(17) Bergson

(18). exist( ) Existentialism (/ɛɡzɪˈstɛnʃəlɪzəm/)[1] is the work of certain late-19th- and 20th-century European philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences,[2][3][4] shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual.[5] While the predominant value of existentialist thought is commonly acknowledged to be freedom, its primary virtue is authenticity.[6] In the view of the existentialist, the individual’s starting point is characterized by what has been called “the existential attitude”, or a sense of disorientation, confusion, or dread in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world.[7] Many existentialists have also regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophies, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience.[8][9]
Harmony, for Marcel, was to be sought through “secondary reflection”, a “dialogical” rather than “dialectical” approach to the world, characterized by “wonder and astonishment” and open to the “presence” of other people and of God rather than merely to “information” about them. For Marcel, such presence implied more than simply being there (as one thing might be in the presence of another thing); it connoted “extravagant” availability, and the willingness to put oneself at the disposal of the other.[56]
Marcel contrasted secondary reflection with abstract, scientific-technical primary reflection, which he associated with the activity of the abstract Cartesian ego. For Marcel, philosophy was a concrete activity undertaken by a sensing, feeling human being incarnate—embodied—in a concrete world.[55][57]
Existentialist themes are displayed in the Theatre of the Absurd, notably in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, in which two men divert themselves while they wait expectantly for someone (or something) named Godot who never arrives. The play also illustrates an attitude toward human experience on earth: the poignancy, oppression, camaraderie, hope, corruption, and bewilderment of human experience that can be reconciled only in the mind and art of the absurdist. The play examines questions such as death, the meaning of human existence and the place of God in human existence.
(19). Andrews, Cecile (2006). Slow is beautiful : new visions of community, leisure and joie de vivre. Gabriola Island, BC, Canada: New Society Publishers. p. 96

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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« Il y a toujours de la joie dans la musique. »
Yves Thériault
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