Monthly Archives: May 2013

Why Read Good Books?

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.  – Groucho Marx Why read good books when you can listen to them, or when you can read reviews … Continue reading

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On Readers, Book Reviews (and Blog Love)

Unless you’re an established author, it’s hard to get a book published. Even if you do get published, however, it’s very difficult to get a book noticed by reviewers. Acclaimed author Doris Lessing—bless her cunning heart—dramatized the difficulties faced by unknown writers … Continue reading

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Hobbes in Lieu of Sunday School

Thomas Hobbes would have you think again before you rely on a good book for your instruction. …those men that take their instruction from the authority of books, and not their own meditation, be so much below the condition of … Continue reading

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Why Expect to Be Happy, Anyway?

As discussed in the last post, let’s assume self-mastery is the path to healing the division between our animal and spiritual natures, and that it involves mastery in several arts, or practices. (Which, exactly, we can worry about later.) Alas, … Continue reading

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Self-Mastery and the Eastern Path

In the last post in this series (which starts here, and continues here), I said the animal and spiritual sides of our nature disagree about what happiness is and, by extension, about what way of life is best. I concluded … Continue reading

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A Cosmologist Puts Family Life in Perspective

An exciting new map of the universe has been made. How exciting?  Mr. George Efstathiou, an astrophysicist at the university of Cambridge, said at a scientific meeting in Paris that it might look like a dirty rugby ball … but … Continue reading

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The Bystander Effect and Self-Deception

Having clarified the private philosophical stake one might have in the matter of our unconscious and self-deceptive natures, let’s consider a simple act of self-deception, described in David Livingstone Smith’s book, Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and … Continue reading

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