How much of human behaviour is controlled by our genes, and how much is driven by our upbringing and higher thinking has long been a topic of much discussion. Christakis takes a bit of a different view of this problem by asking the question how much our societies are shaped by our biological programming, versus … Continue reading Book Review – Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society
With a new year just having started, it is high season for goal setting. I myself had no intention before the turn of the year to make any specific effort to set or revise goals. However, ever since the date switched over to 1/1/2021, it is like some dark gravity pulls me towards wanting to … Continue reading Some Thoughts on Goals
For most of human history, we shared a strong belief in the supernatural. This anchored our spiritual life and helped us answer some of lives most painful questions; such as what is the purpose of my life and what awaits me after I die. Nowadays we have lost this belief and there is no point … Continue reading Finding Purpose
Since the ancient times, we were interested in categorising people into categories based on their personality types. Hippocrates distinguished between the four fundamental personality types of sanguine, choleric, melancholic and phlegmatic. More modern approaches identified different categories, such as Popular Sanguine, Perfect Melancholy, Powerful Choleric and Peaceful Plegmatic from the popular book Personality Plus. Generally … Continue reading Personality Types: Given or Chosen?
By objective standards, our lives are rather drab and pointless. We are biological machines forged by billions of years of natural selection, programmed with the purpose to ensure the propagation of our genes. On a cosmic scale, our lives are insignificant and extremely short. There is little doubt that, in a few thousand years, we … Continue reading Touch Heaven
I have already written about a practice centred on the powerful emotion of compassion. However, today I came across an interesting variation of a practice on compassion (in the book Happiness by Matthieu Ricard): one that reflects our own suffering onto others, and helps us heal from our own suffering. This practice works as follows: … Continue reading Practice: Healing Compassion
I recently read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. One of the interesting ideas presented in this book was that in order to bring about personal change, we need to start with our identity, then change our practices and processes and thus achieve better outcomes; as in, I am a health conscious person, therefore … Continue reading Identity, Habits and Enlightenment
In life, things are bound to happen to us. Sometimes they are caused by our actions or inaction but, more often than not, things just happen for no apparent reason. I believe that how we think about the latter affects our well-being tremendously. Given that seemingly random events play such a big part in our … Continue reading Fate
It is obvious that there are a number of fundamental differences between humans and other animals on this planet. Humans have a language whose complexity goes far beyond ways in which animals communicate. We have writing. We use very sophisticated tools. We live in large groups made out of individuals with very different personalities. It … Continue reading To Be Human, To Be Animal
I am currently reading the book 'Happiness' by Matthieu Ricard and a small exercise is presented at the end of the first chapter. The exercise is to think about what gives us pleasure and happiness. This question got me contemplating for quite a while. It appears I am not thinking very often about whether I … Continue reading What Makes Me Happy?