Articles by Maria Popova

We found 358 results.


Change: The Paradoxes and Possibilities of Transformation
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 8 Jul 2024

Adam Phillips on Our Ambivalent Desire for Change: Are you the same person you were as a child?

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Between Mathematics and the Miraculous: The Stunning Pendulum Drawings of Swiss Healer and Artist Emma Kunz
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 1 Jul 2024

As a schoolchild, she had delighted in using a pendulum to make drawings in her exercise books, but it was not until midlife that she found in this process a portal to a larger world of ideas. In 1938, using a silver pendulum with a jade end, she believed was guided by energy fields, she began making large-scale drawings.

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The Story Behind Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” and the Poet’s Own Stirring Reading of His Masterpiece
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 24 Jun 2024

Written in 1947, Thomas’s masterpiece was published for the first time 1951. In the fall of the following year he drank himself into a coma while on a reading and lecture tour in North America.

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On Growing Old, the Perils of Success, and the Secret of Remaining Young at Heart
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 17 Jun 2024

Henry Miller on the Measure of a Life Well Lived

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The Flower and the Meaning of Life: Emily Dickinson, Michael Pollan, and The Little Prince
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 3 Jun 2024

“To be a flower,” Emily Dickinson wrote, “is profound Responsibility.” A century later, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry made his hero’s central preoccupation the responsibility for a single flower — the Little Prince’s beloved rose.

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The Healing Power of Nature and Beauty: Florence Nightingale on Expediting Recovery from Illness and Burnout
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 27 May 2024

“I cannot say exactly how nature exerts its calming and organizing effects on our brains,” the poetic neurologist Oliver Sacks wrote, “but I have seen in my patients the restorative and healing powers of nature and gardens, even for those who are deeply disabled neurologically.”

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Hermann Hesse on Hope, the Difficult Art of Taking Responsibility, and the Wisdom of the Inner Voice
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 20 May 2024

“Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs,” Joan Didion wrote in her timeless essay on self-respect.

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The Invention of Zero: How Ancient Mesopotamia Created the Mathematical Concept of Nought and Ancient India Gave It Symbolic Form
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 13 May 2024

If the ancient Arab world had closed its gates to foreign travelers, we would have no medicine, no astronomy, and no mathematics — at least not as we know them today. Central to humanity’s quest to grasp the nature of the universe and make sense of our own existence is zero.

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Trial, Triumph, and the Art of the Possible: The Remarkable Story Behind Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 13 May 2024

On the early evening of May 7, 1824, the Viennese crowded into the concert hall — but they were not the usual patrons. Looking up to the royal box, Beethoven was crushed to see it empty. He was going to be playing for the people.

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A Poet and a Geologist’s Love Letter to Life Lensed Through a Mountain
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 May 2024

How astonishing to remember that nothing has inherent color, that color is not a property of objects but of the light that falls upon them, reflected back. So too with the light of the mind — it is attention that gives the world its vibrancy, its kaleidoscopic beauty.

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What It Takes to Grow: Pioneering Psychoanalyst Karen Horney on the Key to Self-Realization
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 22 Apr 2024

The measure of growth is not how much we have changed, but how harmoniously we have integrated our changes with all the selves we have been — those vessels of personhood stacked within the current self.

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Carl Jung’s Legacy and the Countercultural Courage to Reclaim the Human in a Posthuman Age
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 8 Apr 2024

Between Psyche and Cyborg – The technosphere now overlays the ecosphere and we cannot help but inhale its post-industrial gases. Virtuality has begun to displace reality, making the ground of human existence hard to discern… in today’s technocratic cult of posthumanism.

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Love Anyway
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 1 Apr 2024

You know that the price of life is death, that the price of love is loss, and still you watch the golden afternoon light fall on a face you love, knowing that the light will soon fade, knowing that the loving face too will one day fade to indifference or bone, but you love anyway.

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Gardening as Resistance: Notes on Building Paradise
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 25 Mar 2024

“The gardener digs in another time, without past or future, beginning or end… Here is the Amen beyond the prayer,” Derek Jarman wrote as he grieved his dying friends, faced his own death, and contemplated art, mortality, and resistance.

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Life Is like Blue Jelly: Margaret Mead Discovers the Meaning of Existence in a Dream
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 18 Mar 2024

The meaning of life has been contemplated by just about every thinking, feeling, breathing human being, and memorably so by a number of cultural icons, including…

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May Sarton on the Art of Living Alone
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 11 Mar 2024

Solitude is the seedbed of creativity. Living alone can be deeply rewarding and challenging. It is not for everyone. It is not for those who romanticize its offerings of freedom and focus, but excise its menacing visitations of loneliness and alienation.

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Hermann Hesse on Discovering the Soul Beneath the Self and the Key to Finding Peace
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 4 Mar 2024

We call this consciousness, this higher unity of personhood, soul.

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When Things Fall Apart: Tibetan Buddhist Nun and Teacher Pema Chödrön on Transformation through Difficult Times
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 26 Feb 2024

In every life, there comes a time when we are razed to the bone of our resilience by losses beyond our control — lacerations of the heart that feel barely bearable, that leave us bereft of solid ground. What then?

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Tim Ferriss on How He Survived Suicidal Depression and His Tools for Warding Off the Darkness
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 5 Feb 2024

Tim Ferris is the amicable, quick-witted, high-energy writer, adventurer, and interviewer devoted to optimizing human performance on physical and mental health. But in addition to nearly dying at birth and growing up with no material luxury, Tim survived a period of suicidal depression that nearly claimed his life

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The Art of Solitude: Buddhist Scholar and Teacher Stephen Batchelor on Contemplative Practice and Creativity
Maria Popova | The Marginalian - TRANSCEND Media Service, 29 Jan 2024

“Give me solitude,” Whitman demanded in his ode to the eternal tension between city and soul, “give me again O Nature your primal sanities!”

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Choose Kindness
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 1 Jan 2024

The kinder and the more thoughtful a person is, the more kindness he can find in other people.
— Leo Tolstoy

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How to Bless Each Other: Poet and Philosopher John O’Donohue on the Light Within Us and Between Us
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 18 Dec 2023

Every once in the bluest moon, if you are lucky, you encounter someone with such powerful and generous light in their eyes that they rekindle the lost light within you and return it magnified.

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An Introvert’s Field Guide to Friendship: Thoreau on the Challenges and Rewards of the Art of Connection
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 11 Dec 2023

Friendship is the sunshine of life — the quiet radiance that makes our lives not only livable but worth living.

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What Happens When We Die
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 4 Dec 2023

Here we are, each of us a trembling totality, made of particles both absolutely vulnerable and absolutely indestructible, hungering for absolutes in a universe of relatives, hungering for permanence in a universe of ceaseless change, famished for meaning, for beauty, for emblems of existence.

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Necessary Losses: The Life-Shaping Art of Letting Go
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 27 Nov 2023

All of our creativity, all of our compulsive productivity, all of our poems and our space telescopes, are but a coping mechanism for our mortality, for the elemental knowledge that we will lose everything and everyone we cherish as we inevitably return our borrowed stardust to the universe.

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Lucille Clifton on the Balance of Intellect and Intuition in Creative Work and the Healing Power of Connection
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 20 Nov 2023

How to Be a Living Poem

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Alain de Botton on the Qualities of a Healthy Mind
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 13 Nov 2023

“The mind is its own place, and in it self can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n,” Milton wrote centuries before modern science came to illuminate how the mind renders reality — the mind, this sole lens we have on what the world is and what we are.

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How the Forgotten Prodigy William James Sidis Presaged the Quantum Undoing of Time and Thermodynamics
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 Nov 2023

Dismantling the Dogmas of Life and Death

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How to Own Your Weakness: Alan Watts on the Confucian Concept of Jen and the Dangers of Self-Righteousness
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 23 Oct 2023

A great tragedy of our time, this epoch of self-righteousness, is the zeal with which people would rather feel right than understand — the situation, the context, the motives and vulnerabilities behind the actions, the basic fact of the other.

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“Little Prince” Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the Sahara Desert, and the Meaning of Life
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 16 Oct 2023

In Dec1940, two years before he created ‘The Little Prince’ and four years before he disappeared over the Bay of Biscay, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry began writing ‘Letter to a Hostage’ while waiting in Portugal for admission into the USA.

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The Geometry of Grief: A Mathematician on How Fractals Can Help Us Fathom Loss and Reorient to the Ongoingness of Life
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 9 Oct 2023

To live at all, however long or short, is an unbidden bargain to lose everything you hold precious: every love and every life, including your own. Loss is the price of life–a price not merely worth paying but beyond questions of worth and why.

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The Courage to Be Yourself: Virginia Woolf on How to Hear Your Soul
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 2 Oct 2023

It is an ongoing mystery: What makes you and your childhood self the same person. Across a lifetime of physiological and psychological change, some center holds.

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Atom and Identity: Bridging Eastern Philosophy and Western Science to Illuminate Consciousness
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 2 Oct 2023

The Atom and the Doctrine of Identity: Quantum Pioneer Erwin Schrödinger on Bridging Eastern Philosophy and Western Science to Illuminate Consciousness

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Consciousness and the Nature of the Universe: Panpsychism in the Ongoing Mystery of What We Are
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 25 Sep 2023

Coined in the sixteenth century by the Italian philosopher and proto-scientist Francesco Patrizi, whose work inspired Galileo, panpsychism is the idea that all matter is endowed with the capacity for subjective experience of immaterial quality — the sort of experience we call, in its expression familiar to us, consciousness.

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How to Live in Light: A Blind Hero of the French Resistance on Seeing the Heart of Life and Contacting the Oneness of Being
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 18 Sep 2023

“To see takes time, like to have a friend takes time,” Georgia O’Keeffe wrote as she contemplated the art of seeing just before the Little Prince sighed his timeless sigh: “What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

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Notes on Complexity: A Buddhist Scientist on the Murmuration of Being
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 18 Sep 2023

The Buddhist scientist Neil Theise endeavors to bridge the mystery out there with the mystery of us, bringing together our three primary instruments of investigating reality: empirical science, philosophy, and metaphysics.

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What Makes You Makes the Universe: Nobel Laureate Erwin Schrödinger on Quantum Physics, Vedanta, and the Ongoing Mystery of What We Are
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 11 Sep 2023

To face the question of what makes us who we are with courage, lucidity, and fullness of feeling is to face, with all the restlessness and helplessness this stirs in the meaning-hungry soul, the elemental fact of our choicelessness in the conditions that lead to our existence.

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Dostoyevsky on Animal Rights and the Deepest Meaning of Human Love
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 28 Aug 2023

Love every leaf… Love the animals, the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you have perceived it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day, and you will come at last to love the world with an all-embracing love.

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How to Say Goodbye: An Illustrated Field Guide to Accompanying a Loved One at the End of Life
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 21 Aug 2023

To comprehend the luckiness of death is to comprehend life itself. When a loved one is dying and we get to be by their side, it is a double luckiness — lucky that we got to have the love at all, and lucky, which is not everyone’s luck, that we get to say goodbye.

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“Little Women” Author Louisa May Alcott on the Creative Rewards of Being Single
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 14 Aug 2023

“Liberty is a better husband than love.”

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How to Keep Criticism from Sinking Your Soul: Walt Whitman and the Discipline of Creative Confidence
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 7 Aug 2023

“Re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul,” Walt Whitman wrote in the preface to Leaves of Grass. “I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood.”

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A Shelter in Time: John Berger on the Power of Music
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 17 Jul 2023

“Songs are like rivers: each follows its own course, yet all flow to the sea, from which everything came.”

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The Universe and the Soul: Richard Jefferies on Nature as Prayer for Presence
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 10 Jul 2023

How to grow “absorbed into the being or existence of the universe.”

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The Art of Human Connection: Pioneering Psychologist and Philosopher William James on the Most Important Attitude for Relationships
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 26 Jun 2023

To be human is to continually mistake our frames of reference for reality itself. “Neither the whole of truth nor the whole of good is revealed to any single observer.”

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A New Refutation of Time: Borges on the Most Paradoxical Dimension of Existence
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 19 Jun 2023

“Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”

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Consciousness, Artificial Intelligence, and Our Search for Meaning: Oliver Sacks on ChatGPT, 30 Years before ChatGPT
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 22 May 2023

“We read excitedly of the latest chemical, computational, or quantum theory of mind, and then ask, ‘Is that all there is to it?’”

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The Heart of Matter: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin on Bridging the Scientific and the Sacred
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 15 May 2023

“Blessed be you, mighty matter, irresistible march of evolution, reality ever new-born; you who, by constantly shattering our mental categories, force us to go ever further and further in our pursuit of the truth.”

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Dostoyevsky on Animal Rights and the Deepest Meaning of Human Love
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 1 May 2023

“Treasure this ecstasy; however absurd people may think it.”

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Lichens and the Meaning of Life
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 17 Apr 2023

We Are Lichens on a Grand Scale

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An Introvert’s Field Guide to Friendship: Thoreau on the Challenges and Rewards of the Art of Connection
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 17 Apr 2023

“We only need to be as true to others as we are to ourselves that there may be ground enough for friendship.”

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How to Bear Your Loneliness: Grounding Wisdom from the Great Buddhist Teacher Pema Chödrön
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 10 Apr 2023

“We are cheating ourselves when we run away from the ambiguity of loneliness.”

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2,000 Years of Kindness
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 3 Apr 2023

From Marcus Aurelius to Einstein, poets and philosophers on the deepest wellspring of our humanity.

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God, Human, Animal, Machine: Consciousness and Our Search for Meaning in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 3 Apr 2023

An inquiry into the eternal enchantment of why the world exists.

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The Transcendent Brain: The Poetic Physicist Alan Lightman on Spirituality for the Science-Spirited
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 27 Mar 2023

A largehearted invitation to “stand on the precipice between the known and the unknown, without fear, without anxiety, but instead with awe and wonder at this strange and beautiful cosmos we find ourselves in.”

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How to Survive Hopelessness
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 27 Mar 2023

“You can expect good and bad luck, but good or bad judgment is your prerogative.”

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Bertrand Russell on the Secret of Happiness
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 20 Mar 2023

“Let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.”

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Against the Cult of Originality: Emerson on the True Nature of Genius
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 13 Mar 2023

The best things in life we don’t choose — they choose us. A great love, a great calling, a great illumination — they happen unto us, like light falling upon that which is lit. We have given a name to these unbidden greatnesses — genius, from the Latin for “spirit,” denoting the spirit of a universe we can only submit to but cannot govern.

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The Vital Difference between Work and Labor: Lewis Hyde on Sustaining the Creative Spirit
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 Mar 2023

“The gifts of the inner world must be accepted as gifts in the outer world if they are to retain their vitality.”

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How to Be with Each Other’s Suffering: Elie Wiesel on the Antidote to Our Paralysis in the Face of World-Overwhelm
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 27 Feb 2023

“I believe if people talk, and they talk sincerely, with the same respect that one owes to a close friend or to God, something will come out of that, something good. I would call it presence.”

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How to Be Less Harsh with Yourself (and Others): Ram Dass on the Spiritual Lessons of Trees
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 20 Feb 2023

A simple perspective shift that reorients the roots of being. Hermann Hesse believed that trees are our greatest spiritual teachers. Walt Whitman cherished them as paragons of authenticity amid a world of mere appearances.

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Rising Strong: Brené Brown on the Physics of Vulnerability and What Resilient People Have in Common
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 13 Feb 2023

“If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall; this is the physics of vulnerability.”

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A Winter Walk with Thoreau: The Transcendentalist Way of Finding Inner Warmth in the Cold Season
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 Feb 2023

“Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary.”

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A Responsibility to Wonder: Pioneering Neuroscientist Charles Scott Sherrington on the Spirituality of Nature
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 30 Jan 2023

“We have, because human, an inalienable prerogative of responsibility which we cannot devolve…not… even upon the stars. We can share it only with each other.”

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The Tragic Miracle of Consciousness: John Steinbeck on the True Meaning and Purpose of Hope
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 23 Jan 2023

“Hope is a diagnostic human trait and this simple cortex symptom seems to be a prime factor in our inspection of our universe.”

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The Seamstress Who Solved the Ancient Mystery of the Argonaut, Pioneered the Aquarium, and Laid the Groundwork for the Study of Octopus Intelligence
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 9 Jan 2023

But after repeating her experiment for five years and obtaining the same result over and over, Jeanne Villepreux-Power demonstrated that the octopus is indeed this planet’s patron saint of the possible.

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The Four Desires Driving All Human Behavior: Bertrand Russell’s Magnificent Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 2 Jan 2023

Bertrand Russell (May 18, 1872–February 2, 1970) endures as one of humanity’s most lucid and luminous minds — an oracle of timeless wisdom on everything.

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The Four Buddhist Mantras for Turning Fear into Love–>Thich Nhat Hanh
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 2 Jan 2023

“When you love someone, the best thing you can offer that person is your presence.”

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The Poetic Science of the Aurora Borealis
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 19 Dec 2022

“And now commenced a display which baffles all description.”

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A Stoic’s Key to Peace of Mind: Seneca on the Antidote to Anxiety
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 5 Dec 2022

“There are more things … likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; we suffer more often in imagination than in reality. The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” — Kurt Vonnegut

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Ursula K. Le Guin on Suffering and Getting to the Other Side of Pain
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 21 Nov 2022

“All you have is what you are, and what you give.”

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Trial, Triumph, and the Art of the Possible: The Remarkable Story behind Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 14 Nov 2022

A hymn of rage, a hymn of redemption, and a timeless love letter to the possible.

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16 Life-Learnings from 16 Years of The Marginalian
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 24 Oct 2022

23 Oct 2022 – The Marginalian was born as a plain-text newsletter to seven friends on October 23, 2006, under the outgrown name Brain Pickings. Reflections on keeping the soul intact and alive and worthy of itself.

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The Everlasting Wonder of Being: How a Cold Cosmos Kindles the Glow of Consciousness
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 3 Oct 2022

How we went from quanta packages to the laughter of children on a summer afternoon.

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The Mirror of Enigmas: Chance, the Universe, and the Fragile Loveliness of Knowing Who We Are
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 26 Sep 2022

“There is no human being on earth capable of declaring with certitude who he is.” It takes a great sobriety of spirit to know your own depths — and your limits. It takes a special grandeur of spirit to know the limits of your self-knowledge. (Jorge Luis Borges)

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Keith Haring on Our Resistance to Change, the Dangers of Certainty, and the Root of Creativity
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 19 Sep 2022

“To be a victim of change is to ignore its existence. It is almost banal to say so yet it needs to be stressed continually: all is creation, all is change, all is flux, all is metamorphosis,” — Henry Miller

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The Art of Choosing Love over Not-Love: Rumi’s Antidote to Our Human Tragedy
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 12 Sep 2022

“You’ll long for me when I’m gone… You’ll kiss the headstone of my grave… Kiss my face instead!”

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How to Keep Life from Becoming a Parody of Itself: Simone de Beauvoir on the Art of Growing Older
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 22 Aug 2022

“In old age we should wish still to have passions strong enough to prevent us turning in on ourselves.”

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Life and Death and More Life: Leo Tolstoy on Science, Spirituality, and Our Search for Meaning
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 15 Aug 2022

“A caterpillar sees itself shrivel up, but doesn’t see the butterfly which flies out of it.” “How can a creature who will certainly die have an understanding of things that will exist forever?”

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The Bittersweet Story of the Real-Life Peaceful Bull Who Inspired Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson’s Ferdinand
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 1 Aug 2022

A journey to the abyss between the real world and the ideal world, and a romp across our mightiest bridge between the two.

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Herman Melville’s Passionate, Beautiful, Heartbreaking Love Letters to Nathaniel Hawthorne
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 20 Jun 2022

“Your heart beat in my ribs and mine in yours, and both in God’s… The divine magnet is in you, and my magnet responds.”

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Trial, Triumph, and the Art of the Possible: The Remarkable Story behind Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 Jun 2022

A hymn of rage, a hymn of redemption, and a timeless love letter to the possible.

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The Age of the Possible
Maria Popova – TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 Jun 2022

There,
at the bottom of being,
where the water that makes
this planet a world
is the color of spacetime

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How to Face the Centuries with Confidence: The Mystery of the World’s Most Majestic Tree
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 16 May 2022

Some great poetic truth quickens as you stand beneath one of the world’s oldest trees–older than your most distant known ancestor, your country, your country’s religion: 3,266 years old. “The calm deposition of the rings… has gone on millimeter by millimeter for millennium after millennium — advancing ripples in the tide of time.”

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The Russian Prince Turned Anarchist and Pioneering Scientist Peter Kropotkin’s Advice to the Young
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 2 May 2022

The Art of Putting Your Talent in the Service of the World – “Courage, devotion, the spirit of sacrifice, are as contagious as cowardice, submission, and panic.”

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Neither Victims nor Executioners: Albert Camus on the Antidote to Violence
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 11 Apr 2022

“If he who bases his hopes on human nature is a fool, he who gives up in the face of circumstances is a coward.”

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Maya Angelou (4 Apr 1928 – 28 May 2014): Identity and the Meaning of Life
Maria Popova | Brain Pickings – TRANSCEND Media Service, 4 Apr 2022

The light of the world has grown a little dimmer with the loss of the phenomenal Maya Angelou, but her legacy endures as a luminous beacon of strength, courage, and spiritual beauty.

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Escaping the Trap of Efficiency: The Counterintuitive Antidote to the Time-Anxiety That Haunts and Hampers Our Search for Meaning
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 21 Mar 2022

“Productivity is a trap. Becoming more efficient just makes you more rushed, and trying to clear the decks simply makes them fill up again faster… Since finitude defines our lives… living a truly authentic life — becoming fully human — means facing up to that fact.”

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How the Great Zen Master and Peace Activist Thich Nhat Hanh Found Himself and Lost His Self in a Library Epiphany
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 14 Mar 2022

“To live, we must die every instant. We must perish again and again in the storms that make life possible.”

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The Four Buddhist Mantras for Turning Fear into Love
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 7 Mar 2022

“When you love someone, the best thing you can offer that person is your presence.”

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The Great Humanistic Philosopher and Psychologist Erich Fromm on Our Human Fragility as the Key to Our Survival and Our Sanity
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 28 Feb 2022

An Antidote to Helplessness and Disorientation – “Only through full awareness of the danger to life can this potential be mobilized for action capable of bringing about drastic changes in our way of organizing society.”

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What Happens When We Die
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 21 Feb 2022

“How can a creature who will certainly die have an understanding of things that will exist forever?”

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Nobel-Winning Physicist Wolfgang Pauli on Science, Spirit, and Our Search for Meaning
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 7 Feb 2022

“It is only a narrow passage of truth (no matter whether scientific or other truth) that passes between the Scylla of a blue fog of mysticism and the Charybdis of a sterile rationalism. This will always be full of pitfalls and one can fall down on both sides.”

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Dreams, Consciousness, and the Nature of the Universe
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 31 Jan 2022

“Perhaps dreams are an arena that can enable supracognitive powers to perform calculations and perceptions of reality that may be incomprehensible in our wake state.”

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James Baldwin on Resisting the Mindless Majority, Not Running from Uncomfortable Realities, and What It Really Means to Grow Up
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 17 Jan 2022

“We ought to try, by the example of our own lives, to prove that life is love and wonder and that that nation is doomed which penalizes those of its citizens who recognize and rejoice in this fact.”

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Carl Jung on How to Live and the Origin of “Do the Next Right Thing”
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 10 Jan 2022

“There is no pit you cannot climb out of provided you make the right effort at the right place… do the next thing with diligence and devotion.”

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Music, the Neural Harmonics of Emotion, and How Love Restrings the Brain
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 3 Jan 2022

“Who we are and who we become depends, in part, on whom we love.”

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May Sarton on the Cure for Despair and Why Solitude Is the Seedbed of Self-Discovery
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 27 Dec 2021

“Sometimes one has simply to endure a period of depression for what it may hold of illumination if one can live through it, attentive to what it exposes or demands.”

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Oliver Sacks on Gratitude, the Measure of Living, and the Dignity of Dying
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 Dec 2021

“I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”

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What Makes You Makes the Universe: Nobel Laureate Erwin Schrödinger on Quantum Physics, Vedanta, and the Ongoing Mystery of Consciousness
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 22 Nov 2021

“This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of the entire existence, but is in a certain sense the whole.”

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Every Loss Reveals What We Are Made of: Blue Bananas, Why Leaves Change Color, and the Ongoing Mystery of Chlorophyll
Maria Popova | The Marginalian – TRANSCEND Media Service, 8 Nov 2021

“We reach forth and strain every nerve, but we seize only a bit of the curtain that hides the infinite from us.” Autumn is the season of ambivalence and reconciliation, soft-carpeted training ground for the dissolution that awaits us all, low-lit chamber for hearing more intimately the syncopation of grief and gladness that scores our improbable and finite lives.

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