Timeless Ideas | August 22, 2020

Here’s your weekly dose of timeless ideas to sharpen your mind, make smarter decisions, and live better.

Quotes

I.

The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.

― Plato


II.

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

― Bertrand Russell


III.

No amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that is going to happen.

― Alan Watts

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Ideas

I.

It is truly a great cosmic paradox that one of the best teachers in all of life turns out to be death. No person or situation could ever teach you as much as death has to teach you. While someone could tell you that you are not your body, death shows you. While someone could remind you of the insignificance of the things that you cling to, death takes them all away in a second. While people can teach you that men and women of all races are equal and that there is no difference between the rich and the poor, death instantly makes us all the same.

Michael A. Singer in The Untethered Soul


II.

To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.

Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now


III.

When someone seeks, then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.

Herman Hesse in Siddhartha

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Articles Worth Reading

I.

Accumulation and its discontents

Astrid Van Oyen | Aeon

Whether collecting, storing or hoarding, we’ve always had our issues with stuff – not least deciding what’s worth having. What matters is not just how much we store, but where (in a central windowless pantry: showing a concern with control), how (organised and inventoried: again, an issue of control), and what (foodstuffs: they remained in survival mode, even when consuming rather lavishly). Storage, in other words, offers a historically sensitive window on to people’s deep-rooted mentalities, their hopes, and their fears – all questions that are silenced by the bland banner of surplus.


II.

Wabi-Sabi: The Japanese Philosophy For a Perfectly Imperfect Life

Thomas Oppong | Medium

Wabi-sabi represents a precious cache of wisdom that values tranquility, harmony, beauty and imperfection, and can strengthen your resilience in the face of materialism. It gently motions you to relax, slow down, step back from the hectic modern world and find enjoyment and gratitude in everything you do. Put simply, wabi-sabi gives you permission to be yourself.


III.

What Is MasterClass Actually Selling?

Carina Chocano | The Atlantic

Maybe it’s not a coincidence that we find ourselves in a golden age of self-help and self-development, of “how I did it” podcasts and conferences and workshops. We’re encouraged to optimize ourselves at all times, and told to look upon this as fun, albeit compulsory. But although you can get a lot out of these activities, you can waste time looking for the answer, when what these stories all reveal is that great success is a combination of doing the work and getting (or perhaps starting out) really, really lucky.

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