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Paintings That Will Make You Question Everything Wrong in This World. Pawel Kuczynski is a Polish artist who specialises in images that make you think hard about the world we live in. While some of these may be hard to decipher, the message in all of them should be all too clear. These are some seriously intelligent and thought provoking works of art.

And to mix it up a bit, here’s something a little less depressing (but equally amazing)… the Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse which occurred the other night: And don’t forget, if you’re looking for a piece of original art to hang on your walls, check out artFido HERE! The Good Project: Ideas and Tools for a Good Life. The Aesthetics of Punk Rock - Prinz - 2014 - Philosophy Compass. A Liberal Decalogue: Bertrand Russell’s 10 Commandments of Teaching. Montaigne and the Double Meaning of Meditation. By Maria Popova “There is no exercise that is either feeble or more strenuous … than that of conversing with one’s own thoughts.” “We all have the same inner life,” beloved artist Agnes Martin said in a wonderful lost interview.

“The difference lies in the recognition. The artist has to recognize what it is.” But in an age where we compulsively seek to optimize our productivity, the art of presence with and recognition of our inner lives, while infinitely more rewarding, is one fewer and fewer of us are able or willing to master. Of those who seek to cultivate it despite the cultural current, many turn to meditation. Among the timeless trove of musings collected in his Complete Essays (public library; public domain) is the following passage Michel de Montaigne penned sometime in the second half of the 16th century: Meditation is a rich and powerful method of study for anyone who knows how to examine his mind, and to employ it vigorously.

Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr. The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Sagan’s Rules for Bullshit-Busting and Critical Thinking. Carl Sagan (November 9, 1934–December 20, 1996) was many things — a cosmic sage, voracious reader, hopeless romantic, and brilliant philosopher. But above all, he endures as our era’s greatest patron saint of reason and critical thinking, a master of the vital balance between skepticism and openness. In The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (public library) — the same indispensable volume that gave us Sagan’s timeless meditation on science and spirituality, published mere months before his death in 1996 — Sagan shares his secret to upholding the rites of reason, even in the face of society’s most shameless untruths and outrageous propaganda.

Through their training, scientists are equipped with what Sagan calls a “baloney detection kit” — a set of cognitive tools and techniques that fortify the mind against penetration by falsehoods: The kit is brought out as a matter of course whenever new ideas are offered for consideration. Be Like Water: The Philosophy and Origin of Bruce Lee’s Famous Metaphor for Resilience. Periodic Table of Storytelling. The Science of Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing. BPS Research Digest: We're happier when we chat to strangers, but our instinct is to ignore them.

It's become a truism that humans are "social animals". And yet, you've probably noticed - people on public transport or in waiting rooms seem to do everything they can not to interact. On the London tube there's an unwritten rule not to even look at one another. This is the paradox explored by Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder in a series of nine new studies involving members of the public on trains, planes, in taxis and a waiting room. The investigation began with rail and bus commuters travelling into Chicago. Dozens of them were recruited into one of three conditions - to engage in conversation with a stranger on the train, sit in solitude, or simply behave as they usually would. The returned questionnaires showed it was those commuters who were instructed to strike up conversation with a stranger who'd had the most positive experiences (sitting in solitude was the least enjoyable, with behaving as normal scoring in between).

Of course one can look for loopholes in these studies. 12 Keys to a Mental Health Revolution. + First, I would want the very ideas of “mental disorder” and “mental disease” questioned and a new picture painted of distress occurring as a result of being human and because of problems in living and not because of mental viruses and chemical imbalances. + Second, if this shift can be made from “mental disorder” to “problems of living,” then we might be able to also make a change in our thinking from “medications used to treat mental illness” to “chemicals with effects that may or may not produce an effect you want to handle one of your problems with living.” I would want fewer human beings on these chemicals, especially far fewer children. + Third, I would want all that we do not know much more honored, so that we can finally really get at, insofar as it is possible to do so, cause-and-effect in human matters and a better sense of what actually helps. 1. 2.

. + “Because your id impulses are so strong, your punitive super-ego is working overtime and treating you very harshly. 3. 4. 4. A Guide for the Perplexed: Mapping the Meaning of Life and the Four Levels of Being. By Maria Popova How to harness the uniquely human power of “consciousness recoiling upon itself.” “Never to get lost is not to live, not to know how to get lost brings you to destruction,” Rebecca Solnit wrote in her sublime meditation on how the art of getting lost helps us find ourselves, “and somewhere in the terra incognita in between lies a life of discovery.”

But the maps we use to navigate that terra incognita — maps bequeathed to us by the dominant beliefs and standards of our culture — can often lead us further from ourselves rather than closer, leaving us discombobulated rather than oriented toward the true north of our true inner compass. A decade after his influential meditation on “Buddhist economics,” British economic theorist and philosopher E.F. Schumacher set out to explore how we can improve those maps and use them to better navigate the meaning of life in his magnificent 1977 essay collection A Guide for the Perplexed (public library).

We cannot say: “Hold it! The Bridge From Nowhere - Issue 16: Nothingness. The question of being is the darkest in all philosophy.” So concluded William James in thinking about that most basic of riddles: how did something come from nothing? The question infuriates, James realized, because it demands an explanation while denying the very possibility of explanation. “From nothing to being there is no logical bridge,” he wrote. In science, explanations are built of cause and effect. But if nothing is truly nothing, it lacks the power to cause.

It’s not simply that we can’t find the right explanation—it’s that explanation itself fails in the face of nothing. This failure hits us where it hurts. How could it not be? Either way, here’s the thing to remember: The solution to a paradox lies in the question, never in the answer. The oldest stone is this: If you can’t get something from nothing, try making nothing less like nothing. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle is a natural source of quantum maggots. How can spacetime evolve in time when it is time? Photo by Ben A. Top 10 Mistakes in Making Behavioral Changes (and their solutions) | NLP Discoveries. Do you want to create irresistible habits that lead to a healthy, happy and long life? Sustaining long-term, positive habits is beyond frustrating for many people because they sabotage their success, sooner or later. According to Stanford researcher BJ Fogg, the key to success with positive habits lies in establishing desired behaviors according to easy principles that work, while avoiding the top mistakes most people make.

Stanford researcher BJ Fogg has a lot to smile about. He’s helping thousands create positive habits. Fogg is Founder of the immensely popular system called Tiny Habits, which has been the focus of much research and publicity. More 20 years of research while working with thousands of people has revealed the following mistakes people make when attempting to create new habits. 1. Says BJ: Imagine willpower doesn’t exist. Of course the challenge is to find a way to change your behavior without assuming the need for willpower. 2. 3. 4. Says BJ: Focus on action, not avoidance. BPS Research Digest: It's time for Western psychology to recognise that many individuals, and even entire cultures, fear happiness.

It's become a mantra of the modern Western world that the ultimate aim of life is to achieve happiness. Self-help blog posts on how to be happy are almost guaranteed popularity (the Digest has its own!). Pro-happiness organisations have appeared, such as Action for Happiness, which aims to "create a happier society for everyone. " Topping it all, an increasing number of governments, including in the UK, have started measuring national well-being (seen as a proxy for "happiness") - the argument being that this a potentially more important policy outcome than economic prosperity. But hang on a minute, say Moshen Joshanloo and Dan Weijers writing in the Journal of Happiness Studies - not everyone wants to be happy. In fact, they point out that many people, including in Western cultures, deliberately dampen their positive moods.

Belief that being happy makes you a worse person is rooted in some interpretations of Islam, the reasoning being that it distracts you from God. Meta-analysis supports the use of mindfulness for depression. Mindfulness based interventions (MBIs) have been the focus of a number of recent Mental Elf blogs. Elves have discussed the use of this potential “panacea treatment” to treat anxiety disorders, depression, stress, psychosis, schizophrenia, breast cancer and most recently eating disorders. The evidence is mixed and not compelling for all of these conditions, but it’s clearly a very promising treatment that is getting a lot of coverage and research funding.

In the UK, mindfulness is only recommended by NICE for the treatment of relapse prevention in recurrent depression, but that recommendation comes from a guideline now 5 years old (NICE, 2009). Mindfulness based interventions incorporate meditation practice and principles into a psychotherapeutic modality of treatment. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) MBSR has been used for nearly 40 years and reported to help alleviate stress and other physical and mental health presentations.

Methods. The Great Philosophers 3: Epicurus. The Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus was born in 341 BC, on the island of Samos, a few miles off the coast of modern Turkey. He had an unusually long beard, wrote over three hundred books and was one of the most famous philosophers of his age. What made him famous was his skilful and relentless focus on one particular subject: happiness. Previously, philosophers had wanted to know how to be good; Epicurus insisted he wanted to focus on how to be happy. Few philosophers had ever made such a frank, down-to-earth admission of their interests before. It shocked many, especially when they heard that Epicurus had started a School for Happiness. But such associations are unfounded. Epicurus proposed that we typically make three mistakes when thinking about happiness. 1.

Then, as now, people were obsessed with love. . © AFP/Getty 2. Then, as now, people were obsessed by their careers, motivated by a desire for money and applause. . © Getty 3. But Epicurus disagreed with our longings. How love stories ruin our love lives. It sounds strange to ask what a novel might be for. We tend not to wonder too much what role made-up stories should have in our lives. Generally we suppose we just read them for entertainment. © Getty Yet that is to be unstrategic about a major cultural resource. A novel is a machine for simulating experience, a ‘life simulator’ and – like its flight equivalent – it allows us safely to experience what it might – in real life – take us years and great danger to go through. Unaided, we are puny in our powers of empathy and comprehension, isolated from the inner lives of others, limited in our experiences, short of time, and able to encounter only a tiny portion of the world first hand. Fiction extends our range – it takes us inside the intimate consciousness of strangers, it lets us sit in on experiences that would be terrifying or reckless in reality; it lends us more lives than we have been given.

There are three ways in particular in which novels deliver their assistance: As exhortations: What do the things that turn us on mean? A brief theory of sexual excitement. The things that get us (and others) sexually excited can often sound rather improbable and mysterious. On the face of it, Wellington boots, a heavy knit fisherman’s jumper or a car park seem unconnected to sane erotic satisfaction. And yet we know perfectly well that things like these can feel essential to sex. © Getty The surface improbability of the elements that incite lust is not merely a fascinating feature of the human condition. Sigmund Freud was one of the first people to take seriously our confusion and worries around sex. There is no need for further mystery or shame. Let’s analyse a few common turn-ons in this light: The Anxiety: Glasses are symbols of thoughtfulness and seriousness.

The Erotic: Yet many sections of erotic websites feature people in glasses. The Anxiety: We often fear that authority will be hostile to us, that it will not understand or sympathise with our needs. . © Nick Morrish/British Airways The Anxiety: Modern life demands extreme politeness and restraint. Rethink the way we run charities: A useful reading list. Dan Pallotta has an unconventional view of nonprofits: To innovate and really make an impact, he thinks they should function with business-minded acumen. Says Pallotta (TED Talk: The way we think about charity is dead wrong), “You want to make $50 million selling violent video games to kids, go for it. We’ll put you on the cover of Wired magazine. But if you want to make half a million dollars trying to cure kids of malaria, you’re considered a parasite yourself.”

Bringing principles of the corporate world into the nonprofit sector can be a tough sell. 1. “Leaders of two of the most successful nonprofit organizations argue that the sector needs to shift its attention from modest goals that provide short-term relief to bold goals that, while harder to achieve, provide long-term solutions by tackling the root of social problems.” 2. “A great piece on the dangers of overlooking the contributions that business entrepreneurs make to society.” 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Featured image: iStock. The Great Philosophers 2: The Stoics. ‘Stoicism’ was a philosophy that flourished for some 400 years in Ancient Greece and Rome, gaining widespread support among all classes of society. It had one overwhelming and highly practical ambition: to teach people how to be calm and brave in the face of overwhelming anxiety and pain. We still honour this school whenever we call someone ‘stoic’ or plain ‘philosophical’ when fate turns against them: when they lose their keys, are humiliated at work, rejected in love or disgraced in society.

Of all philosophies, Stoicism remains perhaps the most immediately relevant and useful for our uncertain and panicky times. Many hundreds of philosophers practiced Stoicism but two figures stand out as our best guides to it: the Roman politician, writer and tutor to Nero, Seneca [AD 4-65]; and the kind and magnanimous Roman Emperor (who philosophised in his spare time while fighting the Germanic hordes on the edges of the Empire), Marcus Aurelius [AD 121 to 180]. 1. 2. 3. . © Getty 4. Conclusion: Papers & Publications |