Archives

Staring Out Of The Window

Nobody says “I had a lovely day; the high point was staring out the window”. But, maybe they should. ‘Not everything which cannot be deemed useful is useless’ wrote Josef Pieper. For while science, accounting, exercising and eating are all useful, others, such as art, music, and quiet contemplation, while being ostensibly ‘useless’, perform an […]

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Toppling The King

One of the lessons of Jungian psychology is that we are not one single entity. The thing we call ‘me’ or ‘the self’ is really a collection of voices or ‘selves’. Rather than one entity seated at a table, there are, in fact, multiple sitting together, all sharing a meal. Jung used the metaphor of […]

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On Caring Too Much About What Others Think

If we can’t decide who we are, others will make that decision for us. It is sad enough when two people dislike each other. It is even sadder to dislike yourself because someone else does. One of the most common questions we ask ourselves when we meet new people, especially on dates, is ‘do they […]

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Against Comparison

From a very young age, we adopt what can be called a comparative mindset. As children, we compare our grades with our classmates, or compare our parents’ treatment with our siblings. In adulthood, we define our sense of wealth with those around us, from the cars we drive to the clothes we wear; or, we […]

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On Feelings

Within each of us there exists a censor, a judge, an authority who is ready at any moment to tell us ‘you shouldn’t feel that’. Something taboo turned you on, someone falling over made you laugh, a friend said something stupid that drove you into a fit of rage; and each time you say to […]

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A Game

In one of his many insightful talks on the nature of consciousness, self and ego, fear and insecurity, Alan Watts plays a game which he would humorously refer to as ‘chasing the heebie-jeebies’. The point of this game was to reveal the ‘below surface’ thoughts operating when we think. Take, for example, death. I am […]

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FOMO: Fear of Missing Out

There is no shortage of people, books, movies, and advertisements around to remind us that we live exceedingly boring and unfulfilling lives. The model you follow on Instagram taking snapshots of them lounging on a balcony in Ibiza, the author extolling you to travel to every major European city to become more interesting, the Mercedes […]

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In Defence of Pessimism

Most people instruct us to adopt an optimistic outlook. Optimism, we are told, is what constitutes a ‘healthy’ and ‘well adjusted’ attitude towards life. Yet, optimism ironically sets us up, in many ways, for disappointment. You are optimistic about getting the job. When you don’t, what happens? You are disappointed. Disappointment reigns because you set […]

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Jiddu Krishnamurti On Images & Relationships

‘All our relationships are really imaginary’, writes Krishnamurti in his collection of talks titled Freedom from the Known. ‘That is’, he continues, they are ‘based on an image formed by thought’. According to Krishnamurti, we rarely see each other as we are now. We have memories of what someone likes and dislikes, things they have […]

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Living In the World vs. Being Lived By the World: Martin Heidegger On Being an Authentic Self

It seems like a preposterous thought. How could I be anyone other than me? Of course, you can’t. But that isn’t exactly the point Heidegger is making in his hefty work, Being & Time. Heidegger asks us, ‘how much of you, is really you?’ And to what extent, following Krishnamurti, are we ‘second-hand people’, copying, […]

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