Learned Optimism: Martin Seligman on Happiness, Depression, and the Meaningful Life by Maria Popova What 25 years of research reveal about the cognitive skills of happiness and finding life’s greater purpose. “The illiterate of the 21st century,” Alvin Toffler famously said, “will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Our outlook on the world and our daily choices of disposition and behavior are in many ways learned patterns to which Toffler’s insight applies with all the greater urgency — the capacity to “learn, unlearn, and relearn” emotional behaviors and psychological patterns is, indeed, a form of existential literacy. Last week, Oliver Burkeman’s provocatively titled new book, The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, prompted me to revisit an old favorite by Dr.
[ Walt Whitman ] I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass. My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil, this air, Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same, I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin, Hoping to cease not till death. Creeds and schools in abeyance, Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten, I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard, Nature without check with original energy. I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abase itself to you, And you must not be abased to the other. Loafe with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat, Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not even the best, Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.
Kierkegaard on Our Greatest Source of Unhappiness by Maria Popova Hope, memory, and how our chronic compulsion to flee from our own lives robs us of living. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” Annie Dillard memorably wrote in reflecting on why presence matters more than productivity. “On how one orients himself to the moment depends the failure or fruitfulness of it,” Henry Miller asserted in his beautiful meditation on the art of living. The 100 best novels: No 76 – On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957) In 1855, a young American poet named Walt Whitman announced, with typical gusto, that “the United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem”, and made good on this claim in a landmark collection of poems, Leaves of Grass, transforming America’s literary imagination for ever. When, exactly 100 years later, Jack Kerouac began to hammer out the typescript of his own masterpiece, he was consciously responding to Whitman’s challenge “to express the inexpressible”. This would become Kerouac’s lifelong ambition and it expressed itself as On the Road. The book would be an ur-text for the James Dean decade. To Kerouac, Whitman’s “I hear America singing” was almost an epigraph.
The Occult Symbolism of Movie "Metropolis" and It's Importance in Pop Culture Fritz Lang’s 1927 movie “Metropolis” is one of those timeless classics that withstand the test of time. Rather than becoming forgotten and obsolete, “Metropolis” is increasingly relevant as many of its predictions are becoming reality. We will look at the underlying occult message of the film and the usage of its imagery in the acts of pop stars such as Lady Gaga, Madonna, Beyonce, Kylie Minogue and others. Metropolis is a silent science-fiction movie released in 1927 by Fritz Lang, a master of German Expressionism. Set in a futuristic dystopia divided into two distinct and separate classes—the thinkers and the workers—Metropolis describes the struggles between the two opposite entities.
Maya Angelou on Identity and the Meaning of Life by Maria Popova “Life loves the liver of it. You must live and life will be good to you.” The light of the world has grown a little dimmer with the loss of the phenomenal Maya Angelou, but her legacy endures as a luminous beacon of strength, courage, and spiritual beauty. Angelou’s timeless wisdom shines with unparalleled light in a 1977 interview by journalist Judith Rich, found in Conversations with Maya Angelou (public library) — the same magnificent tome that gave us the beloved author’s conversation with Bill Moyers on freedom — in which Angelou explores issues of identity and the meaning of life. Reflecting on her life, Angelou — who rose to cultural prominence through the sheer tenacity of her character and talent, despite being born into a tumultuous working-class family, abandoned by her father at the age of three, and raped at the age of eight — tells Rich:
E.P. Thompson reviews ‘Wordsworth and Coleridge’ by Nicholas Roe · LRB 8 December 1988 Wordsworth and Coleridge: The Radical Years by Nicholas Roe Oxford, 306 pp, £27.50, March 1988, ISBN 0 19 812868 1 ‘I am of that odious class of men called democrats,’ Wordsworth wrote to his friend William Mathews in 1794. Much the same can be said of Coleridge, on the evidence of his letters and publications of the mid-1790s. By the early decades of this century, British, French and American scholarship concurred in finding both poets to be, in the 1790s, republicans and advanced reformers, who then suffered disappointment in the course of the French Revolution and, in different ways and at different times, changed their minds. George McLean Harper’s William Wordsworth: His Life, Works and Influence (1919) set a coping-stone on the scholarship of that period. In subsequent decades, despite much patient editorial scholarship, the matter of the poets’ ‘revolutionary’ youth has been obscured and marginalised.
Lucid Dreaming Techniques: A Guide To Lucid Dream Induction Here are my top lucid dreaming techniques for beginners. They range from simple memory exercises (like Reality Checks and Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams) to specialized meditation (like Wake Induced Lucid Dreams). Lucid Dreaming Tutorials For step-by-step tutorials and audio tools for lucid dream induction and exploration, check out my Lucid Dreaming Fast Track study program for beginners and beyond.
James Davidson reviews ‘Bosie’ by Douglas Murray · LRB 21 September 2000 Bosie: A Biography of Lord Alfred Douglas by Douglas Murray Hodder, 374 pp, £20.00, June 2000, ISBN 0 340 76770 7 What is interesting about Bosie is that he was such a thoroughly bad character. It only adds to the fascination that this bundle of malice, treachery, deceit, hypocrisy and vanity was wrapped up in such attractive features.
Castles in the Air: 8 Gentle Quotes by Transcendentalists America’s religious streak took off in an odd direction in the early 19th century as Transcendentalist philosophers and writers began tending to a sorely under-nourished part of our national identity, channeling that world-famous revolutionary spirit toward gentler, more introspective aims. “Resist much, obey little,” wrote Walt Whitman, his metaphor tinged with musket-fire but his message pointing directly toward the reader’s pursuit of his or her essential self. On what would have been the poet’s 198th birthday, we’ve assembled a flight of memorable words scribbled by Whitman’s brothers- and sisters-at-arms in the Transcendentalist movement.
How to Study Less by Learning Things Once You read over your notes. Then you read them over again. Then you read them over a third time. When High Technology Meets Immortality by Nathaniel Rich Zero K by Don DeLillo Scribner, 274 pp., $27.00 In Zero K Don DeLillo has found the perfect physical repository for his oracular visions, his end-time reveries, his balladry of dread. The place is called the Convergence.