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How Emotions Are Made

“Emotions are not reactions to the world; they are your constructions of the world.” “A purely disembodied human emotion is a nonentity,” William James wrote in his revolutionary 1884 theory of how our bodies affect our feelings — a gauntlet thrown at the classical view that emotions are the brain’s response to the outside world, hard-wired and universal....

Sat Feb 24, 2024 08:39
Hermann Hesse on Discovering the Soul Beneath the Self and the Key to Finding Peace

“Self-hate is really the same thing as sheer egoism, and in the long run breeds the same cruel isolation and despair.” “To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight,” E.E. Cummings told students from the hard-earned platform...

Sun Feb 18, 2024 23:06
Endling: A Poem

I turned the corner one afternoon to find my neighborhood grocer gone. No warning, just gone — padlocked and boarded off, closed for good, a long chain of habit suddenly severed. We know that entropy drags everything toward dissolution, that life is a vector pointed at loss, but how rarely we realize that the lasts are last, how staggering the turning...

Fri Feb 16, 2024 19:54
The Secret Life of Chocolate: Oliver Sacks on the Cultural and Natural History of Cacao

Without chocolate, life would be a mistake — not a paraphrasing of Nietzsche he would have easily envisioned, for he was a toddler in Germany when a British chocolatier created the first modern version of what we now think of as chocolate: a paste of sugar, chocolate liquor, and cocoa butter, molded into a bar. As the making of bars entered the factories...

Thu Feb 15, 2024 21:25
Maira Kalman on How to Live with Remorse and Wrest from It Defiant Joy in Living

Each time we have tried to elevate ourselves above the other animals by claiming singular possession of some faculty, we have been humbled otherwise: Language, it turns out, is not ours alone, nor is the use of tools, nor is music. Elephants grieve, octopuses remember and predict, crows hold grudges. Perhaps one day this too will be snatched from...

Tue Feb 13, 2024 19:06
Anne Morrow Lindbergh on Embracing Change in Relationships and the Key Pattern for Nourishing Love

“All living relationships are in process of change, of expansion, and must perpetually be building themselves new forms.” “God is Change,” Octavia Butler wrote, channeling in poetic truth the fundamental scientific fact of the universe. We know this. And yet to be human is to long for constancy, to crave the touchingly impossible assurance that...

Sun Feb 11, 2024 20:51

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