18 Rules of Living by the Dalai Lama

From The Unbounded Spirit. I particularly liked number 2—”When you lose, don’t lose the lesson”—and number 10—”Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.”

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‘Self-Effacement and Self-Importance’

This is too good to pass up—from Maverick Philosopher, Bill Vallicella:

To what extent is it a sign of self-importance that one regularly draws attention to one’s own insignificance?  I am thinking of Simone Weil.   In self-effacement the ego may find a way to assert itself.  “Do you see how pure and penetrating is my love of truth that I am able to realize and admit my own personal nothingness face to face with Truth?”

The ego, wily ‘structure’ that it is, usually (always?) finds a way to affirm itself.

Or a variation…”Humility is such a high virtue. See how humble I am?” Nonetheless, I’ve long had an odd attraction to Simone Weil’s writing.

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Slavoj Žižek: ‘Humanity is OK, but 99% of people are boring idiots’

From The Guardian:

A genius with the answers to the financial crisis? Or the Borat of philosophy? The cultural theorist talks about love, sex and why nothing is ever what it appears to be

The “Borat of philosophy” is possibly one of the best descriptions ever written. He’s also “incurably romantic” and a “complicated Marxist.”

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Edmund Burke

From The American Scholar, The Right Honourable Mr. Burke. ”Impassioned orator, eloquent statesman, esteemed writer,” apparently loved by the right-wing and the left-wing (for different reasons of course).

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‘Seeking moral realists’

But there are so few…from The Indian Express (Hat tip: Books Inq—The Epilogue)

In other words, looking for Sam Spade.

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To Accept What Cannot Be Helped

From The American Scholar, an essay by Ann Hulbert that delves into an underlying theme of my novel, Waiting for Zoë.

“Accepting what cannot be helped”—a kind of stoicism.

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On Slackerdom

Bill Vallicella, the Maverick Philosopher, says he is a ”recovering academician” having “taught philosophy at various universities in the USA and abroad before abandoning a tenured position to live the eremitic life of the independent philosopher in the Sonoran desert.” There are gems to be found at his site, The Philosophical Foundations of Slackerdom, with a direct reference to Bertrand Russell’s In Praise of Idleness is one of them.

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A quote from Walter M. Miller Jr.’s post-apocalyptic novel A Canticle for Leibowitz, found at When Falls the Coliseum, a post worth reading:

You don’t have a soul, Doctor. You are a soul. You have a body, temporarily.

I know some “progressive” Christians—good people—who think that when we die, it’s no different than going to sleep, forever. Other Christians, of course, believe in immortality. The quote offers something to think about, no matter where you stand on the subject.

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“Beyond Blue 6: The Great Divorce”—Walter Russell Mead

A long excellent essay by Walter Russell Mead that gives us several things to think about: our history, the blue model of achieving prosperity, work, production, consumption, unsustainability, and perhaps a positive outlook involving change (not necessarily the change we’ve been experiencing the last few years).

The comments are also good: Fred says “we are doomed.”

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