Archive of October 2013

Oct 31, 2013

There is a disproportionate magic in the way black marks on white paper — or their pixilated facsimiles — stir us into reverie and revise our consciousness. Still, we require proof that it has happened. And that proof is what the books on my shelves continue to offer.
— Verlyn Klinkenborg (via Books to Have and to Hold - NYTimes.com)

Oct 30, 2013

Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what's inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives.
— Kurt Vonnegut (via Letters of Note: Make your soul grow)
Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.
— Sarah Bernhardt

Oct 29, 2013

It is not only our material environment that is transformed by our machinery. We take our technology into the deepest recesses of our souls. Our view of reality, our structures of meaning, our sense of identity – all are touched and transformed by the technologies which we have allowed to mediate between ourselves and the world. We create machines in our own image and they, in turn, recreate us in theirs.
We buy stuff to cheer ourselves up, to keep up with the Joneses, to fulfill our childhood vision of what our adulthood would be like, to broadcast our status to the world, and for a lot of other psychological reasons that have very little to do with how useful the product really is. How much stuff is in your basement or garage that you haven't used in the past year?

The ultimate tool for corporations to sustain a culture of this sort is to develop the 40-hour workweek as the normal lifestyle. Under these working conditions people have to build a life in the evenings and on weekends. This arrangement makes us naturally more inclined to spend heavily on entertainment and conveniences because our free time is so scarce.
Für jedes komplexe Problem gibt es immer eine einfache Antwort, die klar ist, einleuchtend und falsch.
— H.L. Menken, in Allen Frances, Normal (2013)
Wir sehen die Dinge nicht, wie sie sind, sondern wir sehen sie, wir wir sind.
— aus dem Talmud, in Allen Frances, Normal (2013)

Oct 28, 2013

Wisdom is for statues. Humor uncaps our inhibitions, unleashes our energies, seals friendships, patches hurts. Laughing is probably the most alive you can be.

Oct 26, 2013

Set aside time to just sit, with no input. Feel your breathing. Listen to what you can hear in your house, in your backyard, in the world. Feel where the weight of your body is pressing against the chair and the ground. This is like meditation, but maybe a little more natural. When I feel my thoughts about the past or the future, I know I'm not present in the moment. Calming down and being present in the moment can mean simply focusing on doing one thing at a time rather than multitasking. I’m trying to get out to the back porch more to just sit and look at the yard, the birds, the garden. I leave the iPod and Kindle inside and let my brain and mind relax from all the input I stream into it. I find this can extend time for me, and life slows down, in addition to my thinking.
As Neill says often, we don't live in the feeling of the world, we live in the feeling of our thinking. If we're feeling anxious, we’re thinking anxious thoughts. If we're feeling stressed, we're feeling stressed thoughts. Using analytical thinking to figure out why you're feeling crappy will only make you feel more crappy. You're stirring up an already agitated system. Realize that your feelings are like the weather — wait a while, let your mind and thoughts calm down, and your feelings will also settle down. With those distracting feelings settled, your free-flowing thinking has a better chance of offering you a solution to your problem.
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