Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Monday, 21 June 2010
Part of being human means dividing our lives into neat little boxes, boxes that are easy to look at and understand from the outside. It comes as a matter of course that in order to simplify what would normally be complex decision-making, we must reduce the complex world around us into categories. This can sometimes be extremely helpful, but in many ways, it is horribly painful for everyone. The most obvious negatives are the tragic ones: like racism, political extremism, ultra-nationalism resulting in wars and conflicts.
The goal of those who wish to control us, our minds, our thoughts, our money, make it their business to reduce complex decision-making to very simple emotions. Nowhere is this more evident than the super market aisle.
What is it about the small, repeated decisions in life –why do they lend themselves to being made with little to no thought at all?
My answer is to have consciously a sense of the Whole - and small decisions are easier.
Monday, 14 June 2010
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Homo sapiens has been variously described as a symbol-making animal, a tool-making animal, a social animal, a political animal, a rational animal, and a spiritual animal. Each of these characteristics has been identified as the basic element which distinguishes Homo from the rest of animal nature and gives him (her) his distinctively human characteristics. It may now be that Homo should not only be described biologically as Homo sapiens but socially and culturally as Homo educans. It may well be that the most apt way to describe the process of man's becoming human is to say that he became a teaching and learning animal. R Freeman Butts
Thursday, 3 June 2010
One of the more embarrassing and self-indulgent challenges of our time is the task of relearning how to concentrate. The past decade has seen an unparalleled assault on our capacity to fix our minds steadily on anything. To sit still and think, without succumbing to an anxious reach for a machine, has become almost impossible.
The obsession with current events is relentless. We are made to feel that at any point, somewhere on the globe, something may occur to sweep away old certainties—something that, if we failed to learn about it instantaneously, could leave us wholly unable to comprehend ourselves or our fellows. We are continuously challenged to discover new works of culture—and, in the process, we don’t allow any one of them to assume a weight in our minds. We leave a movie theater vowing to reconsider our lives in the light of a film’s values. Yet by the following evening, our experience is well on the way to dissolution, like so much of what once impressed us: the ruins of Ephesus, the view from Mount Sinai, the feelings after finishing Tolstoy’s Death of Ivan Ilyich.
A student pursuing a degree in the humanities can expect to run through 1,000 books before graduation day. A wealthy family in England in 1250 might have owned three books
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