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Cultivate Your Own Garden

You might not be able to be great, but you can be good; you may not be able to save everyone, but you can save yourself. This is the central message found at the end of Voltaire’s inspired 1759 text Candide. It is not for nothing that the subtitle of this work was Or, Optimism, […]

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The Beauty of Melancholy Faces

When we speak of beautiful faces, a generic set of assumptions and descriptions arise: proportionate features, geometrical perfection, and symmetrical smiles. Perhaps a residue of Renaissance art and its use of the golden ratio, we tend to find people whose faces are the most balanced, proportionate, symmetrical, that is to say, mathematical, the most beautiful. […]

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On Growing-Up

‘The expectation’ for ‘help and protection’, writes Carl Jung in The Structures and Dynamics of the Psyche, while ‘normal for a child is improper in an adult’. In Psychology and the Occult he makes a similar point, remarking not being able to psychologically mature is just as absurd as not being able to outgrow child-size […]

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Nowhere

McDonald’s prides itself on the fact their hamburgers taste identical no matter where in the world you are; Bombay or Barcelona, Milan or Madrid, you are guaranteed an entirely replicable experience. Looked at from one angle, this is a wonderful example of uniformity and consistency. From another angle, it is the deletion of local flavour […]

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Appreciation

We think of appreciation as a quality we already possess and argue to ourselves that the only reason we are not experiencing it is because (unfortunately) we lack the necessary things in life that are worthy of it. Sure, while we may possess, let’s say, the ability to appreciate, abilities themselves can be developed, expanded, […]

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Are You A Good Person?

The Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu once said ‘he who knows does not speak, he who speaks, does not know’. Suggested here is knowing and speaking exist in inverse proportion to each other. The more you know, the more you know that you do not know; and if you know little without bothering to learn more, […]

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A Little Piece of Earth

When we are younger, we are not quite in the right state of mind to appreciate the beauty of a small garden. Our hearts and minds are focused on much grander projects than a small plot of earth. As young adults, we want to change everything. Our minds are set on transforming society, Marxism, astronomical […]

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The Brutal Functionalism of the Modern World

The modern world is, in many ways (and with little energy required to find examples), quite ugly. It is not that someone has attempted to make something beautiful but through lack of imagination or lack of will, mutilated the task. Rather, we live in a world that is seemingly unconcerned with beauty altogether. On the […]

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It’s Not About You

We generally think about narcissism in terms of the neurotic tendency towards vanity, selfishness, unbridled self-love, and admiration. To the extent that this is true, it is only partly true. We can think about this character profile as the positive (as “+” sign) side of narcissism, where someone identifies as all that is truly good […]

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The Importance of Hugging

As children we are showered with love and affection. We receive sweet words of encouragement as we learn a new skill, kind glances as we fumble with complicated items; plenty of kisses, and of course, lots of hugs. From the cradling of a new born baby to the long hug goodbye on the first day […]

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