“A rough sound was polished until it became a smoother sound, which was polished until it became music.” BY MARIA POPOVA “Without music life would be a mistake,” Nietzsche proclaimed in 1889. Walt Whitman celebrated it as the profoundest expression of nature and Aldous Huxley as an expression of the “blessedness lying at the heart of things.” Philosopher Susanne Langer considered it “a laboratory for feeling and time,” whose mysterious power both eclipses and illuminates all the other arts. Among the chorus of great writers who have extolled music’s supreme and singular power is the Pulitzer-winning poet Mark Strand (April 11, 1934–November 29, 2014) in a splendid prose poem titled “The Everyday … Continue reading Regina Spektor Reads “The Everyday Enchantment of Music” by Mark Strand
ILLUSTRATION BY AGATA ENDO NOWICKA After a chunk of his brain was removed, guitarist Pat Martino got his groove back. BY BRIAN GALLAGHER Eight years ago, when neurosurgeon Marcelo Galarza saw images from jazz guitarist Pat Martino’s cerebral MRI, he was astonished. “I couldn’t believe how much of his left temporal lobe had been removed,” he said. Martino had brain surgery in 1980 to remove a tangle of malformed veins and arteries. At the time he was one of the most celebrated guitarists in jazz. Yet few people knew that Martino suffered epileptic seizures, crushing headaches, and depression. Locked in … Continue reading Brain Damage Saved His Music
by Vic Bishop, Staff Writer Waking Times A recent viral video of a diver swimming through a sea of plastic is a stark reminder of what we are doing to the world’s oceans. We’ve been reporting on this issue since 2012, watching the development of a massive gyre of plastic forming in the Pacific Ocean, devastating wildlife in the Midway Atolls. “About 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year. In the US alone, about 30+ million tons of plastic waste is dumped into the solid waste system, including various plastic containers, bags and other types of packaging, with only about … Continue reading THE AMOUNT OF PLASTIC IN OCEANS WILL TRIPLE WITHIN SEVEN YEARS, SAYS MAJOR REPORT
I’m about to turn 27 and still sleep in my childhood bedroom. I consider it a shrewd financial move, but plenty of others believe it makes me more of a child than an adult. by Hussein Kesvani A couple of weeks ago, I visited an old friend and his wife. They were hosting a dinner party in their newly-built flat in West London. Over roasted vegetables and tagine, they talked about the stresses that came with moving into their new place — the minutiae of picking out curtains, sofas and cutlery as well as the arduous decision of whether or not they wanted to replace … Continue reading Does Living at Home Make Me Less of a Man?
by Christina Sarich, Guest Waking Times LSD, Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms), and Ketamine have been part of the counter-culture for decades, with evidence that they are used more commonly across a wide class of people than many would have imagined. Business tycoons, artists, professional athletes, and Silicon Valley powerhouses like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are all famous for experimenting with LSD, and new research proves, at least on a mathematical level, that these psychedelics undoubtedly elevate consciousness. Psychedelic advocate Timothy Leary described an ego-generated perception of self and the world as a “reality tunnel.” Leary says his own “reality tunnel” was ripped apart with the use of LSD … Continue reading 3 PSYCHEDELICS MATHEMATICALLY PROVEN TO ‘ELEVATE’ CONSCIOUSNESS
Why it’s impossible to always be happy. BY INDIRA M. RAMAN Happiness, in one form or another, seems to be a common goal that most of us would like to attain. We often behave as though we might find a route to contentment—comfort, satiety, warmth, or some other reward—and be happy all the time if we could just make the right choices. But pleasure is often fleeting, even from the most appealing experiences, giving rise to ennui and sparking the drive for something new and sensational. As a neuroscientist, I can’t help wondering whether the transience of our satisfaction may not … Continue reading Unhappiness Is a Palate-Cleanser
Art by Toshikado Hajiri from You Are an Echo by Misuzu Kaneko “Place and a mind may interpenetrate till the nature of both is altered.” BY MARIA POPOVA “This is how one ought to feel, I am convinced,” Vita Sackville-West exulted in a letter to Virginia Woolfearly in their courtship, recounting the electric elation of having climbed to the top of a mountain summit to find bright yellow poppies punctuate the eternal snow. “I contemplate young mountaineers hung with ropes and ice-axes, and think that they alone have understood how to live life.” Around the same time, ten latitude degrees north, Nan Shepherd (February 11, 1893–February 23, … Continue reading The Living Mountain: Pioneering Scottish Mountaineer and Poet Nan Shepherd’s Forgotten Masterpiece About Our Relationship with Nature