Why Right Livelihood Isn’t Just About Your Day Job

Photo by Eutah Mizushima | https://tricy.cl/2vtDa9t   In our messy and entangled world, it is impossible to separate what we do for a living from the larger system that makes living possible. By Krishnan Venkatesh Right livelihood is one of the branches of the eightfold path that is often skimmed over. It seems so simple and unproblematic: don’t earn money in a profession that brings harm to others. Even in the thousands of pages of the Buddha’s discourses, right livelihood is a relatively undeveloped topic. If we are embarking on a spiritual path, we need to live our lives ethically, and this means … Continue reading Why Right Livelihood Isn’t Just About Your Day Job

No, You Can’t Feel Sorry for Everyone

US AND THEM: Sometimes, punishment of an out-group is taken to colorful extremes. Here, fans of the Duke Blue Devils try to distract Justin Jackson of the North Carolina Tar Heels during a 2016 game. This time, it didn’t work—UNC defeated Duke 76-72.Lance King/Getty Images The idea of empathy for all ignores the limits of human psychology. BY ADAM WAYTZ The world seems to be getting more empathetic. Americans donate to charity at record rates. People feel the pain of suffering in geographically distant countries brought to our attention by advances in communications and transportation. Violence, seen on historical timescales, is … Continue reading No, You Can’t Feel Sorry for Everyone

The Terror Within and the Evil Without: James Baldwin on Our Capacity for Transformation as Individuals and Nations

James Baldwin (Photograph: Sedat Pakay) “It has always been much easier (because it has always seemed much safer) to give a name to the evil without than to locate the terror within.” BY MARIA POPOVA “The self,” the poet Robert Penn Warren observed in his immensely insightful meditation on the trouble with “finding yourself,” “is a style of being, continually expanding in a vital process of definition, affirmation, revision, and growth, a process that is the image, we may say, of the life process of a healthy society itself.” Indeed, if the great humanistic philosopher and psychologist Erich Fromm was correct, as I believe … Continue reading The Terror Within and the Evil Without: James Baldwin on Our Capacity for Transformation as Individuals and Nations