A Stoic’s Key to Living with Presence: Seneca on Balancing the Existential Calculus of Time Spent, Saved, and Wasted

Seneca “Lay hold of to-day’s task, and you will not need to depend so much upon to-morrow’s. While we are postponing, life speeds by. Nothing… is ours, except time.” BY MARIA POPOVA “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” Annie Dillard wrote in her abiding insistence on choosing presence over productivity. But how do we really spend our days? In our era, the average human lifetime will contain two years of boredom, six months of watching commercials, 67 days of heartbreak, and 14 minutes of pure joy. This devastating arithmetic of time wasted versus time meaningfully spent may … Continue reading A Stoic’s Key to Living with Presence: Seneca on Balancing the Existential Calculus of Time Spent, Saved, and Wasted

What nature is — according to philosopher Alan Watts

image edited by F. Kaskais Philosopher Alan Watts thoughts on the the all-pervading presence of nature. by Mike Colagrossi Alan Watts explores the arbitrary distinction between artificiality and what is considered natural. He lays out three unique ways of viewing the world through different world philosophies and sciences. Humanity is not a separate entity from nature, but an intellectual disconnect makes us feel that we are. A lot of times people talk about getting back to nature and connecting with something more primal and real. Often this evokes images of verdant forests, landscapes of unbounded “natural” scenes cascading from all … Continue reading What nature is — according to philosopher Alan Watts

Resist and be free

Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters More than false choices and options, the highest freedom lies in being true to oneself and defying the expectations of others by Mariam Thalos is distinguished professor of the humanities and department head of philosophy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her most recent book is A Social Theory of Freedom (2016). She lives in Tennessee. Edited by Sally Davies Are human beings free? Are we sources of at least some of our behaviour, not merely scenes in which the laws of nature unfold over time? And is our freedom, however we define it, truly different from anything that … Continue reading Resist and be free

Walt Whitman’s Guide to a Thriving Democracy

Filip Peraić America had a mind shaped by its Founders, but the country needed the poet to discover its spirit. by MARK EDMUNDSON Walt whitman, who was born 200 years ago this year, is almost certainly the greatest American poet. In many ways, he is also the most enigmatic. Before 1855, the year that Whitman published Leaves of Grass, he had achieved no distinction whatsoever. He had no formal education—no Oxford, no Cambridge, no Harvard or Yale. His life up to his 35th year had been anything but a success. He’d been a teacher, but he was loose and a bit indolent, … Continue reading Walt Whitman’s Guide to a Thriving Democracy

What Do Buddhism and Game of Thrones Have in Common? More Than You Might Think.

A tour at the Rubin Museum explores the parallels between the HBO series and Himalayan Buddhist art and history. By Matthew Abrahams Of the millions of viewers expected to watch Game of Thrones when it returns for its final season on April 14, few, if any, will be tuning in because they think it is a particularly Buddhist show. Yet a new tour at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City makes the case that the fantasy series and Buddhism have more in common than we might think. Take, for example, this line spoken by the dragon-riding queen Daenerys Targaryen about the noble … Continue reading What Do Buddhism and Game of Thrones Have in Common? More Than You Might Think.

11-Year-Old Astrophysics Genius ‘Proves’ Stephen Hawking Wrong About God

(L) William Maillis (Nancy Maillis); (C) (Pxhere); (R) Stephen Hawking (Public domain) by MICHAEL WING William Maillis is literally a “genius.” By the time he was only 7 months old, he was already speaking in full sentences. Just before his second birthday, he was adding numbers, and by age 2, he was multiplying them. Now, Maillis is 11 years old, and he enrolled in Carnegie Mellon University last fall with his sights set on becoming an astrophysicist. Yet, Maillis is more than just a child prodigy; as the son of a Greek preacher, Peter Maillis, he’s also a person of … Continue reading 11-Year-Old Astrophysics Genius ‘Proves’ Stephen Hawking Wrong About God

Alan Watts: What is the self?

image edited by F. Kaskais https://media.giphy.com/media/3og0IFrHkIglEOg8Ba/giphy.gif Self defined not as individual ego, but the whole universe. by Mike Colagrossi Alan Watts believed that we can comprehend a greater sense of the self. The self is not alienated from the universe, but a part of the whole process. Scientists have conceptualized a similar idea that sounds like it’s straight out of the Indian Vedanta. Western cultures rooted in scientific thinking and reductionist philosophies have always flirted with the tempting holism of the East. It was during the 1950s and ’60s that these philosophies finally burst through the dividing cultural membrane and … Continue reading Alan Watts: What is the self?