Do you crave deeper knowledge? Go Zen and learn to forget

For the clarity of a “beginner’s mind” and a path to true and lasting wisdom, one must fully embrace “not-knowing.” KEY TAKEAWAYS By Thomas Moore Excerpted from The Eloquence of Silence: Surprising Wisdom in Tales of Emptiness ©2023 by Thomas Moore.  Printed with permission from New World Library It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know. I do not get nearer by a hair’s breadth to any natural object so long as I presume that I have an introduction to it from some learned man. To conceive of it with a total apprehension I must for … Continue reading Do you crave deeper knowledge? Go Zen and learn to forget

A philosophy of secrets

The last Marranos, a once-secret Jewish community in Belmonte, Portugal. All photos by Vlad Sokhin/Panos Pictures Jacques Derrida was fascinated by the figure of the Marrano Jew, whose identity could barely be told even to themselves By Peter Salmon, is an Australian writer living in the UK. His latest book is An Event Perhaps: A Biography of Jacques Derrida (2020), and his writing has appeared in the TLS, the New Humanist, the Sydney Review of Books and The Guardian, among others. … the Marranos, with whom I have always secretly identified (but don’t tell anyone) …– from ‘Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression’ (1994) by Jacques Derrida What is … Continue reading A philosophy of secrets

The Fourth Quality of the Heart

A practice for developing equanimity By Pascal Auclair Equanimity is part of a group of four, which I’ll call the “qualities of the heart.” This group is made up of benevolence or lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. Benevolence is a very natural, basic wish for well-being that we have when the heart is not hindered. It’s a basic wish that we have for others or for ourselves, and when this wish meets what is difficult, it becomes compassion—a particular kind of love or care in the face of what is challenging. When benevolence meets beauty or success or goodness, naturally it … Continue reading The Fourth Quality of the Heart

Book Excerpt: Why Do We Insist on Lying to Ourselves?

Visual: Igor Stevanovic/500Px Plus via Getty Images Self-deception is part of the human condition, and psychologists have long studied our ignorance of our own ignorance. BY LIXING SUN THE PREVALENCE OF SELF-DECEPTION is truly staggering — and long studied. In regard to our personal health, for example, most people in one 1995 analysis believed they live a healthier lifestyle and have a longer lifespan than their peers. In an even earlier study, around 90 percent of people in the U.S. believed they were better-than-average drivers. In social skills, 70 percent of high school students considered themselves above average in leadership, and on their ability to … Continue reading Book Excerpt: Why Do We Insist on Lying to Ourselves?

How many “corporate psychopaths” are CEOs?

We commonly stereotype psychopaths as criminals, but there are probably more in upper management. KEY TAKEAWAYS By Ross Pomeroy Psychopath. The term often evokes a mental image of a ruthless criminal or a serial killer. It’s a reasonable stereotype. Between one quarter and one third of convicted murderers are psychopaths, along with almost nine in ten serial killers. These heinous offenders earned that diagnosis because they lie and manipulate to get what they want. They are regularly reckless and impulsive, have an outsized ego, are quick to anger, and lack empathy for others. Despite all this, they can often be charming and even likable. … Continue reading How many “corporate psychopaths” are CEOs?

The cult of being confident and why it doesn’t help women

Photo by Jacob Silberberg/Panos By making women solely responsible for their own empowerment, the culture of confidence masks the true causes of inequality Rosalind Gillis professor of social and cultural analysis at City, University of London, and is the author of several books, including Confidence Culture (2022) with co-author Shani Orgad. Her latest book is Perfect: Feeling Judged on Social Media (2023). Shani Orgadis professor of media and communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her recent books are Confidence Culture (2022) with co-author Rosalind Gill, and Heading Home: Motherhood, Work, and the Failed Promise of Equality (2019). The imperative for women to be self-confident is … Continue reading The cult of being confident and why it doesn’t help women

The Secret History And Strange Future Of Charisma

Refael Idan Suissa for Noema Magazine How our culture, politics and technology became infused with a mysterious social phenomenon that everyone can feel but nobody can explain. BY JOE ZADEH In 1929, one of Germany’s national newspapers ran a picture story featuring globally influential people who, the headline proclaimed, “have become legends.” It included the former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin and India’s anti-colonialist leader Mahatma Gandhi. Alongside them was a picture of a long-since-forgotten German poet. His name was Stefan George, but to those under his influence he was known as “Master.” George was 61 years … Continue reading The Secret History And Strange Future Of Charisma

Reckoning with compassion

In the Mendocino Complex in California after the wildfires, August 2018. Photo by Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty After an abuse scandal destroyed my Buddhist community, I had to reconsider what it means to live an ethically attuned life By Jessica Locke, is an associate professor of philosophy at Loyola University Maryland, with particular interests in Buddhist and Western moral psychology, cross-cultural philosophy and phenomenology. In my 20s, I began to practise Tibetan Buddhism. I was still sorting myself out after a tumultuous youth, still healing from sexual assault and other abuse I’d experienced as a teenager. It felt auspicious to stumble into a … Continue reading Reckoning with compassion

If ghosts are real, then they aren’t supernatural

If something exists, it is by definition natural. KEY TAKEAWAYS Don Lincoln Long before humanity learned to write, stories were told about spirits and demons and things that go bump in the night. Similar stories are told today involving religious beliefs, extrasensory perception, auras, miracles, and ghosts, just to name a few. I’m a scientist, and therefore it should surprise no one that I am skeptical of all such beliefs. In conversations with people who embrace them, I will point to inconsistencies in their ideas, or to reasons why I don’t accept their conclusions. Often these conversations will conclude with … Continue reading If ghosts are real, then they aren’t supernatural


Gary Z McGee, Contributor Waking Times “Philosophical thinking that doesn’t do violence to one’s settled mind is no philosophical thinking at all.” ~Rebecca Goldstein Comfort zones are a curious thing. So warm and secure. So safe and reassuring. So satisfying and certain. Beliefs have a similar effect on us. Especially the core beliefs that we take for granted. But beliefs are comfort zones with reinforced invulnerability; or, at least, the illusion of it. Such reinforcements are like prison bars that most of us are not even aware of. We’re so completely indoctrinated, so utterly pre-programmed, that we don’t even know that … Continue reading THE BATTLE AGAINST BEWITCHMENT: UPSETTING SETTLED MINDS