Summary of “Jazz Icon Sonny Rollins on Giving Up Playing and His Legacy”

Intelligent, and witty is his improvisational skill, and so satisfying the sheer, sensuous life force of his saxophone playing.
“But I’ve been lucky, haven’t I?”. What sorts of feelings did putting your archives in order stir up? That material is the stuff of your life, and now you’re giving it away.
Have you come up with any answers? You know, I listen to the radio a lot and there’s a guy that comes on and says, “Have a good day today and enjoy.” I hate the word “Enjoy.” Because to me life is not about enjoyment or, in other words, getting for yourself.
Here’s an incident I remember: I was playing in Munich and we had a nice concert that night, which is not always the case.
It’s up to the individual – you, David; me, Sonny – to try and figure out what the fuck this thing called existence is all about.
Can you point to certain performances or albums or even individual solos where you felt like you were able to achieve everything you wanted to achieve with your playing? Oh, I got there.
Has the notion of you playing your horn alone on the bridge been over-romanticized?I was just looking for a place to practice.
That’s what life is: You mess up, and you try to become aware.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How I Stopped Chasing Happiness and Started Enjoying My Imperfect Life”

Have you ever set a goal and then become obsessed with it, making it the center of your life and arranging everything else around it? Did you think that only after you achieved your goal would you be totally relaxed and happy?
Throughout my life, I’ve measured my happiness by my achievements.
In my vision of a happy life, I was always there with my family and for my family.
It’s realizing how beautiful your life actually is.
I now recognize how beautiful and colorful my life is.
Writing down all the beautiful things brightens my life and makes me appreciate them even more.
I start my day by telling myself how beautiful life is, and how much I love myself.
It is eye-opening and life-changing to see how wonderful it is to have another day to live, to feel love and to enjoy life to the fullest.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the discovery of extraterrestrial life would change morality”

My goal here is to explore some unexpected implications of the discovery of extraterrestrial life, and my conclusions are very speculative: extraterrestrial life would lend non-decisive support to several interesting and controversial philosophical positions.
If life has emerged only once in that small sample, then it is possible that life on Earth is unique.
The discovery of independently emerging life would thus teach us that life is ubiquitous.
Rarity of life: the specific conditions that make life on Earth possible are very rare.
Drawing on anecdotal evidence, Webb suggests that physicists, impressed by the vastness of the Universe, typically assume that life is ubiquitous, and therefore favour Cantian or Wontian solutions; meanwhile, biological scientists, impressed by the complexity of life, typically prefer solutions based on the rarity of life or intelligence.
Of course, if we discovered life elsewhere, then in one sense the Fermi Paradox would simply be dissolved; there is no need to explain why we see no evidence of life elsewhere once we do see it! But the deeper puzzle would remain: if life is ubiquitous, why don’t we see much more evidence of alien civilisations? We must still explain what the astrophysicist and science fiction writer David Brin in 1983 called ‘the Great Silence’.
If life is good, won’t God create a Universe teeming with every possible kind of life? Leibniz thought so, and argued that this best of all possible worlds is infinitely filled with life.
The discovery of extraterrestrial life would thus support theism in two ways.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Buddhist teacher on what the living can learn from the dying”

Frank Ostaseski is the author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach the Living and helped found the Zen Hospice Project’s Guest House, the country’s first Buddhist hospice center, in San Francisco during the AIDS crisis.
One is that I assist people who are going through the dying process, helping them to find their best way of dying.
Frank Ostaseski When people are dying, they tend to be pretty honest, and there’s not so much nonsense in the room.
At the end of their life, people realize they were living in too small a story.
I’m talking about ordinary people, oftentimes people who were living on the streets of San Francisco, coming to terms with this thing that had terrified them all their lives.
Life is about relationships Sean Illing You said a minute ago that people, near the end of their lives, care more about their connections with other people than they do anything else.
Death is a mystery, and people who are dying are turning toward mystery, and mystery is this unknowable territory, the land of unanswerable questions.
Dying can teach us to appreciate that everything is always changing Sean Illing What lessons do the dying have to teach the living about how to live better and well?

The orginal article.

Summary of “There’s More Than Enough Time, When You Use The Time You Have”

Even worse than being over-busy is being distracted by things with little or no value - like mindlessly surfing the web when your child wants to play.
Good Things Are A Dime-A-Dozen”We should be careful not to exhaust our available time on things that are merely good and leave little time for that which is better or best.” - Dallin Oaks.In every situation, you must ask yourself, “Is this the best possible use of my time?” Is this the best approach? Or am I settling for less? Derek Sivers has created a great benchmark for activity: If something is not a HELL YES!, it’s a no.
The problem with doing good things is that they are easy to justify, because they are inherently good.
What is the “Best” thing you could be doing right now? Context determines what is good, better, or best.
In some situations, the absolute best thing you could do is relax and chill-out.
If I’m going to be a good foster parent, then I don’t have time to do many of the things I used to do.
Whatever it is you truly value, devote your time to those things.
Remove the things in your life that get in the way of the “Best” things.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Art of Being Alone: May Sarton’s Stunning 1938 Ode to Solitude – Brain Pickings”

“Oh comforting solitude, how favorable thou art to original thought!” wrote the founding father of neuroscience in his advice to young scientists.
The poet Elizabeth Bishop believed that everyone should experience at least one prolonged period of solitude in life.
For in true solitude, as Wendell Berry so memorably observed, “One’s inner voices become audible [and] in consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives” – an intuitive understanding of what psychologists have since found: that “Fertile solitude” is the basic unit of a full and contented life.
In the neutral state of aloneness, the psychoemotional line between solitude and loneliness can be as thin as a razor’s edge and as lacerating to the soul.
How to draw it skillfully in orienting ourselves to the world, exterior and interior, is what poet, novelist, and memoirist May Sarton explores in a beautiful poem she penned ten days after her twenty-sixth birthday, decades before she came to contemplate solitude in stunning prose.
The sky opens over their heads to an infinite hole in space;It is only turning at night to a lover that one learns.
For whom the heart has cried, for whom the frail hand burns)Is swung out in the night alone, so luminous and still,The waking spirit attends, the loving spirit gazes.
Complement with Louise Bourgeois on how solitude enriches creative work, Virginia Woolf on the relationship between loneliness and creativity, and Olivia Laing’s masterwork on the art of being alone, then revisit other readings of beautiful poems of existential radiance: Derek Walcott’s “Love After Love,” Wisława Szymborska’s “Life-While-You-Wait,” Jane Kenyon’s “Having It Out With Melancholy,” and Adrienne Rich’s “Planetarium.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Set Goals You Strongly Care About”

A staggering 92 percent of people don’t achieve their goals.
There is no point setting goals for yourself if you won’t also love the path you have to take to achieve them.
Before you set any goal for your life or business before you download apps to mark your progress, before you give up everything for what you actually want, ask yourself if you deeply care about that goal.
Goals take time, hard work, perseverance, and commitment to achieve.
If you want to succeed with your personal goals, choose one or two key areas of focus that align with what really matters to you.
Know your whyWhy do you want to achieve your specific goals?
Think of your goals and know your “Why” for each of your goals.
Take time to think about why you want to achieve your goals, understand your true motivations for success.

The orginal article.

Summary of “On the Tranquility of Mind: Seneca on Resilience, the Trap of Power and Prestige, and How to Calibrate Our Ambitions for Maximum Contentment – Brain Pickings”

In our quest to do the best we can, we are apt to defeat ourselves by pushing against life with the brute force of uncalibrated ambition, razing our peace of mind on the sharp-edged sense that there is always more to achieve.
That is what the great first-century Roman philosopher Seneca examines in a dialogue titled “On the Tranquility of Mind,” included in the indispensable 1968 volume Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters.
Honors bind one man, wealth another; nobility oppresses some, humility others; some are held in subjection by an external power, while others obey the tyrant within; banishments keep some in one place, the priesthood others.
With the omission of those things which either cannot be done, or can only be done with difficulty, let us follow the things which are placed near at hand and which offer encouragement to our hopes; but let us remember that all things are equally unimportant, presenting a different appearance on the outside, but equally empty within.
Untamed ambition, Seneca admonishes, stands in the way of meeting life on its own terms with calm consent – acceptance that is the supreme prerequisite for tranquility of mind.
The wise man does not need to walk about timidly or cautiously: for he possesses such self-confidence that he does not hesitate to go to meet fortune nor will he ever yield his position to her: nor has he any reason to fear her, because he considers not only slaves, property, and positions of honor, but also his body, his eyes, his hands, – everything which can make life dearer, even his very self, as among uncertain things, and lives as if he had borrowed them for his own use and was prepared to return them without sadness whenever claimed.
Whenever he is ordered to return them, he will not complain to fortune, but will say: “I thank you for this which I have had in my possession. I have indeed cared for your property, – even to my great disadvantage, – but, since you command it, I give it back to you and restore it thankfully and willingly” If nature should demand of us that which she has previously entrusted to us, we will also say to her: “Take back a better mind than you gave: I seek no way of escape nor flee: I have voluntarily improved for you what you gave me without my knowledge; take it away.” What hardship is there in returning to the place whence one has come? That man lives badly who does not know how to die well.
Complement the altogether magnificent Stoic Philosophy of Seneca with Seneca on the antidote to anxiety, his insightful advice on distinguishing between true and false friendship, and Marcus Aurelius – another Stoic sage of timeless wisdom – on the key to living fully.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Case for Not Being Born”

David Benatar may be the world’s most pessimistic philosopher.
One video, titled “What Does David Benatar Look Like?,” zooms in on a grainy photograph taken from the back of a lecture hall until an arrow labelled “David Benatar” appears, indicating the abstract, pixellated head of a man in a baseball cap.
After finishing “The Human Predicament,” I wrote to Benatar to ask if we could meet.
The knee-jerk response to observations like these is, “If life is so bad, why don’t you just kill yourself?” Benatar devotes a forty-three-page chapter to proving that death only exacerbates our problems.
“For an existing person, the presence of bad things is bad and the presence of good things is good,” Benatar explained.
In the absence of cosmic meaning, only “Terrestrial” meaning remains-and, he writes, there’s “Something circular about arguing that the purpose of humanity’s existence is that individual humans should help one another.” Benatar also rejects the argument that struggle and suffering, in themselves, can lend meaning to existence.
“I’m not opposed to people having fun, or in denial that life contains good things,” Benatar said, laughing.
One man with several children read “Better Never to Have Been,” then told Benatar that he believed having them had been a terrible mistake; people suffering from terrible mental and physical afflictions write to say they wish that they had never existed.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Principles for Creating a Good Life”

Good life principles allow these differences to bear fruit.
Generally speaking, most perspectives about how to live life well fall into two categories on the opposite ends of the spectrum.
This is more common in eastern cultures, and it contends that the joy in life grows from being in the moment and really enjoying the little day to day things that make life worth living.
These aren’t mutually exclusive, and many people do find a good balance between the two, but more often than not, for every person, one side is more appealing than the other.
The first step to living a good life is understanding where on that spectrum you lie.
The most effective people don’t just hone their own skills at each step, but they also know how to compensate for their weaknesses by getting the right people to help them along the way.
In day to day life, very few of us say what we think in our interactions with other people.
If you’re diligent in keeping them in mind, there is no reason you can’t optimize a good life.

The orginal article.