The Sanity of ‘Madness’

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Life requires us to be pretty sane pretty much all the time. We have to be responsible, polite, productive, thoughtful, patient, logical, reliable and successful.

These obligations crept up on us as we were growing up – now our constant reality

No one can keep going like this over a whole lifetime

Because of this we may be drinking too much, waking up in the middle of the night, addicted to the internet, calming ourselves with sedatives, developing twitches and ailments.

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The Uses of Envy

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When we feel envy, we are inclined not to exam it – instead we feel ashamed and guilty.

Envy, like fear, is an important emotion that exists for some good reasons – its there to help us know what we want.

Its a call to action about what we should be doing with the rest of our lives.

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Is Human Evolution still Occurring?

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Evolution is one of the biggest ideas in the modern world. Part of the theory focuses on the tendency of genes to mutate and the key thing about gene mutation is that it takes time: a lot of it. It took us around 3,900 million years to go from the first cells to homo sapiens. So the one thing we can be pretty sure about is that genetic mutation will not be a significant feature of the human world now.

However, there’s a second, equally interesting bit to Darwin’s theory of Evolution, which focuses on what gets called Adaptation to the Environment. Darwin pointed out that when an environment changes, a characteristic can suddenly shift from being an advantage to a disadvantage – and vice versa.

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What is an Existential Crisis?

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Existential crises touch on major traditions of European philosophy – closely associated with Kierkegaard, Camus, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Sarte.

Via the thought of these philosophers, a coherent view of what an existential crises really is and when its helpful to refer to ourselves as going through one in 4 distinctive features:

1- a period when a lot that had previously seemed like common sense or normal reveals its contingent, chance, uncanny and relative natures.

ie. we start to wonder why we live in america rather than another place, why are we doing this job and not something else, why are we with this partner and following this set of social norms.

We realize there are far more options beneath the surface then we normally allow ourselves to imagine.

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How to Remain Calm With People

One of the most fundamental paths to calm is the power to hold on, even in very challenging situations, to a distinction between what someone does – and what they meant to do.

We care about intentions for a very good reason: because if it was deliberate, then the perpetrator will be an ongoing and renewable source of danger from whom the community must be protected

But if it was accidental, then the perpetrator will be inclined to deep apology and restitution, which renders punishment and rage far less necessary

Motives are, therefore, crucial. But unfortunately, we’re seldom very good at perceiving what motives happen to be involved in the incidents that hurt us. We are easily and wildly mistaken. We see intention where there was none and escalate and confront when no strenuous or agitated responses are warranted.

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