Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “psychology”

Love, Loss, and the Banality of Survival: Charles Darwin, His Beloved Daughter, and How We Find Meaning in Mortality
Love, Loss, and the Banality of Survival: Charles Darwin, His Beloved Daughter, and How We Find Meaning in Mortality

A bittersweet signal from the discomposing territory between reason and hope.

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Loops, the Limits of Language, the Paradoxical Loneliness of “I Love You,” and What Keeps Love Alive
Loops, the Limits of Language, the Paradoxical Loneliness of “I Love You,” and What Keeps Love Alive

“The very task of love and of language is to give to one and the same phrase inflections which will be forever new.”

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Child of Glass: A Soulful Italian Illustrated Meditation on How to Live with Our Human Fragility
Child of Glass: A Soulful Italian Illustrated Meditation on How to Live with Our Human Fragility

A subtle celebration of the terrifying tenderness that makes life barely survivable but also makes it worth living.

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The Radical Act of Letting Things Hurt: How (Not) to Help a Friend in Sorrow
The Radical Act of Letting Things Hurt: How (Not) to Help a Friend in Sorrow

Why our instinctive efforts to salve another’s sadness tend to only deepen their helpless anguish and broaden the abyss between us and them — and what to do instead.

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Undoing as Remaking: How Abraham Lincoln Drew Poetry and Power from His Suicidal Depression
Undoing as Remaking: How Abraham Lincoln Drew Poetry and Power from His Suicidal Depression

Life-affirming inspiration from a man who knew intimately “that intensity of thought, which will some times wear the sweetest idea thread-bare and turn it to the bitterness of death.”

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Mass, Energy, and How Literature Transforms the Dead Weight of Being: Jeanette Winterson on Why We Read
Mass, Energy, and How Literature Transforms the Dead Weight of Being: Jeanette Winterson on Why We Read

“Books read us back to ourselves… The escape into another story reminds us that we too are another story. Not caught, not confined, not predestined.”

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Why We Like What We Like: Poet and Philosopher George Santayana on the Formation and Confirmation of Our Standards and Sensibilities
Why We Like What We Like: Poet and Philosopher George Santayana on the Formation and Confirmation of Our Standards and Sensibilities

“Half our standards come from our first masters, and the other half from our first loves.”

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Favorite Books of 2020
Favorite Books of 2020

Audre Lorde, Keith Haring, Bruce Lee, chance, love, black holes, constraint as a catalyst of creativity, and a whisper of Whitman.

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The Biggest Bluff: Control, Chance, and How the Psychology of Poker Illuminates the Art of Thriving Through Uncertainty
The Biggest Bluff: Control, Chance, and How the Psychology of Poker Illuminates the Art of Thriving Through Uncertainty

“That’s the thing about life: You can do what you do but in the end, some things remain stubbornly outside your control.”

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The Four Buddhist Mantras for Turning Fear into Love
The Four Buddhist Mantras for Turning Fear into Love

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

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