October 2021

“How we spend our time is how we spend our days. How we spend our days is how our life goes. How our life goes determines whether we thought it was worth living.”

— Keith Yamashita

It’s easy to get caught up in the ebb and flow of day to day events, and sometimes it can seem like a bit of a slog. When that happens, it can be useful to step back for a few moments to reflect: The Universe is unfolding exactly as it should, as it always has and always will.

But what is cool is that we are all participating in this unfolding process; we are blessed to be part of it for as long as we are manifesting our being as nodes of consciousness, only a droplet in a vast ocean, but a droplet nonetheless — in this web of cosmic intelligence. We dwell on the absolute cutting edge of novelty, along with all sentient beings everywhere. Our uniqueness contributes to the making of every moment unique, unlike any other moment that has ever occurred in the history of the Universe.

Consuming information is not the same as acquiring knowledge. No idea could be further from the truth. Learning means being able to use new information. The basic process of learning consists of reflection and feedback. We learn facts and concepts through reflecting on experience—our own or others’. If you read something and you don’t make time to think about what you’ve read, you won’t be able to use any of the wisdom you’ve been exposed to.

Anxiety, anger, fear, jealousy, frustration, depression, grief, shame, loneliness, resentment, envy, greed…

The question isn’t how to keep these painful emotions from ever happening; the question is how to see them with wisdom and compassion whenever they happen.

The truth is, negative emotions can naturally transform themselves and open into an experience of pure psychological freedom. But only if you let them.

“It turns out that reality has a surprising amount of detail, and those details can matter a lot to figuring out what the root problem or best solution is. So if I want to help, I can’t treat those details as a black box: I need to open it up and see the gears inside. Otherwise, anything I suggest will be wrong—or even if it’s right, I won’t have enough “shared language” with my friend for it to land correctly.”

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“There are some people whose confidence outweighs their knowledge, and they’re happy to say things which are wrong. And then there are other people who probably have all the knowledge but keep quiet because they’re scared of saying things.”

— Helen Jenkins, on the problem of communicating scientific uncertainty.

“The important thing about friends is that you need to have them before disaster befalls you. One reason is that, as we shall see later, people are only likely to make the effort to help you if they are already your friend. We are all much less likely to help strangers or people we know only slightly – despite what we sometimes claim. Making friends, however, requires a great deal of effort and time.” – Robin Dunbar

Friendships are more important than we realize. The closer the friendship the more it matters. Friendships protect us against disease, cognitive decline, and embed us with a sense of trust in the community. They also require constant reinforcement to maintain their strength.

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