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Leo Tolstoy on Finding Meaning in a Meaningless World

by Maria Popova “For man to be able to live he must either not see the infinite, or have such an explanation of the meaning of life as will connect the finite with the infinite.” Shortly after turning fifty, Leo Tolstoy succumbed to a profound spiritual crisis. With his greatest works behind him, he found his sense of purpose dwindling as his celebrity and public acclaim billowed, sinking into a state of deep depression and melancholia despite having a large estate, good health for his age, a wife who had born him fourteen children, and the promise of eternal literary fame. He likens the progression of his depression to a serious physical illness — a parallel modern science is rending increasingly appropriate. Then occurred what happens to everyone sickening with a mortal internal disease. The classic symptoms of anhedonia engulfed him — he lost passion for his work and came to dismiss as meaningless the eternal fame he had once dreamt of. Frustrated, Tolstoy answers his own question: Related:  meaning of lifepallavikameswariFashion, Articles & Art

A Natural History of Love by Maria Popova “A one-syllable word heavy as a heartbeat … a sort of traffic accident of the heart.” “You can never know anyone as completely as you want. Written nearly two decades ago, A Natural History Of Love ( public library ) by prolific science historian Diane Ackerman , Carl Sagan’s favorite cosmic poet , endures as one of the most dimensional explorations of humanity’s highest emotion. Love is the great intangible. Even the very etymology of love shies away from explaining how, when, and why we imbued love with such immense significance: What a small word we use for an idea so immense and powerful it has altered the flow of history, calmed monsters, kindled works of art, cheered the forlorn, turned tough guys to mush, consoled the enslaved, driven strong women mad, glorified the humble, fueled national scandals, bankrupted robber barons, and made mincemeat of kings. We think of it as a sort of traffic accident of the heart. Public domain images via Flickr Commons

Khorana Program Khorana Program for Scholars University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW), the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India and Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) are partnering to support the prestigious Khorana Program for Scholars named in honor of Dr. Har Gobind Khorana, who won the Nobel Prize in 1968 for his work at the interface of Chemistry and Biology while a member of the UW faculty. The Khorana Program will provide opportunities to Indian students to undertake research at University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) and partner universities in Summer 2014 for a period of 10 weeks. A list of UW partner universities is available at The Khorana Program is envisaged to Provide encouragement to young scholars to undertake R&D Enable students to carry out research at a premier University in the United States Transform research into societal benefits Build a seamless scientific community between India and the United States

Normcore, por una defensa de la identidad En el artículo The New Normal publicado recientemente por The New York Times, Alex Williams ha puesto la mira en un nuevo término en la moda: el Normcore. Propuesta por la agencia de tendencias K-Hole, la palabra refiere el regreso a lo elemental: aquello que nos distingue como individuos y, a su vez, nos emplaza en un grupo. Se trata de una defensa de la identidad ante su distorsionada imagen individualista. La aparición del Normcore no es fortuita, responde al vacío que adolece esta época después de una racha de excesos. Si anteriormente la gente nacía en comunidades donde eventualmente tenía que buscar su identidad, el proceso actual gira en dirección contraria. Lo que comenzó como una búsqueda de libertad personal se convirtió en una obsesión por ser “distinto”. En su colección Otoño-invierno 2014, Rick Owens expone su postura con un discurso sustentado en la repetición: una tribu unificada con prendas similares que, sin embargo, enmarcan los rasgos particulares de cada integrante.

An Antidote to the Age of Anxiety: Alan Watts on Happiness and How to Live with Presence by Maria Popova Wisdom on overcoming the greatest human frustration from the pioneer of Eastern philosophy in the West. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” Annie Dillard wrote in her timeless reflection on presence over productivity — a timely antidote to the central anxiety of our productivity-obsessed age. This concept of presence is rooted in Eastern notions of mindfulness — the ability to go through life with crystalline awareness and fully inhabit our experience — largely popularized in the West by British philosopher and writer Alan Watts (January 6, 1915–November 16, 1973), who also gave us this fantastic meditation on the life of purpose. If to enjoy even an enjoyable present we must have the assurance of a happy future, we are “crying for the moon.” Alan Watts, early 1970s (Image courtesy of Everett Collection) What keeps us from happiness, Watts argues, is our inability to fully inhabit the present: And therein lies the crux of our human struggle:

rapunzel Asi se fundo Carnaby Street: los maniquies del surrealismo (1938) como antecedente de la moda conceptual Otra entrada en la que prima lo visual. En este caso, ejemplos que quedaron relegados por falta de espacio en el articulo original sobre "moda conceptual" publicado en mi web profesional. Fragmento del artículo original: "En algunos aspectos y características, la moda conceptual atrapa y hace suyos elementos del surrealismo histórico. L’exposition internationale du surrealisme, 1938, en París, donde diferentes artistas pertenecientes al movimiento recrean y visten maniquies (fotografiados por Man Ray), objeto que formaría parte de la iconografía del surrealismo y podría simbolizar la contienda entre el erotismo y la muerte, entre la simulación y la vida moderna. Interesa aquí su apreciación en la vertiente que fusiona arte, psicología y moda como artilugio conceptual en el que habrían de salir a superficie partes del inconsciente". El surrealismo supone una fuente importante para el desarrollo de las vanguardias contemporáneas de la moda.

Stop Making Plans: How Goal-Setting Limits Rather Than Begets Our Happiness and Success by Maria Popova “Uncertainty is where things happen. It is where the opportunities — for success, for happiness, for really living — are waiting.” “The job — as well as the plight, and the unexpected joy — of the artist is to embrace uncertainty, to be sharpened and honed by it,” Dani Shapiro wrote in her beautiful meditation on the perils of plans. There is hardly a better time than a month into a new year to behold the disconnect between our plans and our reality as even our most vigorously intended New Year’s resolutions crumble, despite all that we know about the psychology of self-control and the science of forming new habits. The solution, however, might not be to further tighten the grip with which we cling to our plans — rather, it’s to let go of plans altogether. What motivates our investment in goals and planning for the future, much of the time, isn’t any sober recognition of the virtues of preparation and looking ahead. Uncertainty is where things happen. Donating = Loving

spongebob Javier M. Reguera Studio 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. 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: I’ve been very fortunate… I seem to have a kind of blinkers. She later revisits the question of identity, echoing Leo Buscaglia’s beautiful meditation on labels, as she reflects on the visibility her success granted her and the responsibility that comes with it: What I represent in fact, what I’m trying like hell to represent every time I go into that hotel room, is myself. The kindnesses … I never forget them. Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr

Never Eat Alone - Litemind In this post, I present a mind map with the full summary of the book ‘Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time‘. (To skip the rest of the post and go directly to the mind map, click here) In his insightful bestseller, Keith Ferrazzi makes the point that relationships are one of the most important keys to success. Of course, we all know relationships are highly significant in our lives – but Ferrazzi really takes the concept to the next level, organizing his entire career and lifestyle around relationships. Although the book is clearly business-focused, its concepts are equally applicable to our personal lives as well. For me, the focus on business relationships came to very good use, as it debunked many negative associations I had with the overall concept of business networking. Networking? I had always seen business relationships as being completely different from personal relationships: on one side, there were friends; on the other, contacts. Many Gems

MODA CONCEPTUAL « Javier M. Reguera Studio Hanna Hoch Si miramos hacia atrás, al siglo XX, podemos encontrar referencias a la moda conceptual en cualquier corte histórico. Pero hay tres extractos, distintos en forma e intenciones, que me parecen especialmente significativos si se trata de describir con mayor detalle sus atributos, su sentido artístico en consonancia con el ambiente social y psicológico que la produce. El traje cubista diseñado por Marcel Janco podría sintetizar no sólo el ideal del Dadaísmo por derribar el arte institucional y académico, sino también la conjetura de una nueva forma de representación. La foto retrata a Hugo Ball en la lectura de sus poemas fónicos en el Cabaret Voltaire, en 1916. L’exposition internationale du surrealisme, 1938 Como antecedentes, el movimiento Dada y el Surrealismo determinan un proceso subjetivo-radical de creación por el cual el sistema de la moda (fotografía, diseñadores, industria textil, revistas, etc) puede tantear y desarrollar conceptos inéditos para la innovación.

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. And yet we spend our lives fleeing from the present moment, constantly occupying ourselves with overplanning the future or recoiling with anxiety over its impermanence, thus invariably robbing ourselves of the vibrancy of aliveness. Kierkegaard, who was only thirty at the time, begins with an observation all the timelier today, amidst our culture of busy-as-a-badge-of-honor: Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy — to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work. The unhappy one is absent. Consider first the hoping individual. Donating = Loving

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