Nov 16, 2017

So. There’s no need to fight. Not for peace, not for enlightenment, not for life. Just surrender. Let the battles raging in your mind end. There’s peace there, just beneath the struggle, in the heart of your heart, which is the witness, which is the whole universe in you. That’s all that you are really looking for. That oneness, truth, reality, connection. The harder that you’re fighting, the truer it is.
The true self is just awareness. Pure and unmarred. The false self, the thing we call a self, is a fiction, a thought, an idea, a mental construction. It has no reality at all.

Nov 14, 2017

We should spend more time wasting time. We all need to be bored more. We all need to spend more time looking quizzically at birds we don’t recognize. We all need a little more time to connect the dots and see if they matter. I don’t know how much more, but sometimes you have to do things without knowing how much you need.
This moment’s goal of productivity, with its all-consuming practice and unattainable horizon, is perfect for our current corporate world. Productivity never asks what it builds, just how much of it can be piled up before we leave or die. It is irrelevant to pleasure. It’s agnostic about the fate of humanity. It’s not even selfish, because production negates the self. Self can only be a denominator, holding up a dividing bar like a caryatid trying to hold up a stone roof.

Nov 13, 2017

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
— Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Nov 3, 2017

The art of being wise, is the art of knowing what to overlook.
— William James
The Amish, it turns out, do something that’s both shockingly radical and simple in our age of impulsive and complicated consumerism: they start with the things they value most, then work backwards to ask whether a given technology performs more harm than good with respect to these values.
To implement Newport’s philosophy, you might take an inventory of the tech you use and evaluate each item for its real usefulness, working on the assumption that if something can’t justify itself, it’s out.

Nov 1, 2017

I think that life would suddenly seem wonderful to us if we were threatened to die as you say. Just think of how many projects, travels, love affairs, studies, it — our life — hides from us, made invisible by our laziness which, certain of a future, delays them incessantly.

But let all this threaten to become impossible for ever, how beautiful it would become again! Ah! If only the cataclysm doesn’t happen this time, we won't miss visiting the new galleries of the Louvre, throwing ourselves at the feet of Miss X, making a trip to India.

The cataclysm doesn’t happen, we don’t do any of it, because we find ourselves back in the heart of normal life, where negligence deadens desire. And yet we shouldn’t have needed the cataclysm to love life today. It would have been enough to think that we are humans, and that death may come this evening.

Oct 28, 2017

But the main culprit, this new study confirms, is an observability bias. The more instances of something we encounter, the more significant we naturally assume it to be – and though we encounter our own solitude frequently, we never encounter other people’s. The distorted judgments we reach as a consequence have real emotional effects, the researchers found, leaving people with lower wellbeing and less of a sense of belonging. So, yes, the fact that we only ever experience loneliness when it’s happening to us is blindingly obvious, I suppose. But blindingly obvious in an almost literal sense: it’s so self-evident, we barely ever see it.
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