TRYING NOT TO TRY ANCIENT CHINA MODERN SCIENCE AND THE POWER OF SPONTANEITY

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Trying Not To Try

Author : Edward Slingerland
ISBN : 9780770437626
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 47.9 MB
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A deeply original exploration of the power of spontaneity—an ancient Chinese ideal that cognitive scientists are only now beginning to understand—and why it is so essential to our well-being Why is it always hard to fall asleep the night before an important meeting? Or be charming and relaxed on a first date? What is it about a politician who seems wooden or a comedian whose jokes fall flat or an athlete who chokes? In all of these cases, striving seems to backfire. In Trying Not To Try, Edward Slingerland explains why we find spontaneity so elusive, and shows how early Chinese thought points the way to happier, more authentic lives. We’ve long been told that the way to achieve our goals is through careful reasoning and conscious effort. But recent research suggests that many aspects of a satisfying life, like happiness and spontaneity, are best pursued indirectly. The early Chinese philosophers knew this, and they wrote extensively about an effortless way of being in the world, which they called wu-wei (ooo-way). They believed it was the source of all success in life, and they developed various strategies for getting it and hanging on to it. With clarity and wit, Slingerland introduces us to these thinkers and the marvelous characters in their texts, from the butcher whose blade glides effortlessly through an ox to the wood carver who sees his sculpture simply emerge from a solid block. Slingerland uncovers a direct line from wu-wei to the Force in Star Wars, explains why wu-wei is more powerful than flow, and tells us what it all means for getting a date. He also shows how new research reveals what’s happening in the brain when we’re in a state of wu-wei—why it makes us happy and effective and trustworthy, and how it might have even made civilization possible. Through stories of mythical creatures and drunken cart riders, jazz musicians and Japanese motorcycle gangs, Slingerland effortlessly blends Eastern thought and cutting-edge science to show us how we can live more fulfilling lives. Trying Not To Try is mind-expanding and deeply pleasurable, the perfect antidote to our striving modern culture. From the Hardcover edition.
Category: Psychology

Trying Not To Try

Author : Edward Slingerland
ISBN : 0857863487
Genre : Self-Help
File Size : 31.93 MB
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A Guardian Best Book of 2014A 2014 Brain Pickings Best Book on Psychology, Philosophy, and How to Live MeaningfullyWhy is it hard to fall asleep the night before an important meeting? Or be charming and relaxed on a first date? What is it about a comedian whose jokes fall flat or an athlete who chokes? What if, contrary to what we have long been told, spontaneity - not striving - is the answer to success? Through stories of mythical creatures and drunken cart riders, jazz musicians and Japanese motorcycle gangs, Slingerland effortlessly blends Eastern thought and cutting-edge science to show us how we can embody a spontaneous way of being and live more fulfilling lives.
Category: Self-Help

The Path

Author : Michael Puett
ISBN : 9781476777832
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 51.55 MB
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For the first time an award-winning Harvard professor shares the lessons from his wildly popular course on classical Chinese philosophy, showing you how these ancient ideas can guide you on the path to a good life today. The lessons taught by ancient Chinese philosophers surprisingly still apply, and they challenge our fundamental assumptions about how to lead a fulfilled, happy, and successful life. Self-discovery, it turns out, comes through looking outward, not inward. Power comes from holding back. Good relationships come from small gestures. Spontaneity comes from practice. And excellence comes from what you choose to do, not your “natural” abilities. Counterintuitive. Countercultural. Even revolutionary. These powerful ideas have made Professor Michael Puett's course the third most popular at Harvard University in recent years, with enrollment surging every year since it was first offered in 2006. It's clear students are drawn by a bold promise Professor Puett makes on the first day of class: “These ideas will change your life.” Now he offers his course to the world.
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Hare Brain Tortoise Mind

Author : Guy Claxton
ISBN : 9780062032119
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 50.72 MB
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In these accelerated times, our decisive and businesslike ways of thinking are unprepared for ambiguity, paradox, and sleeping on it." We assume that the quick-thinking "hare brain" will beat out the slower Intuition of the "tortoise mind." However, now research in cognitive science is changing this understanding of the human mind. It suggests that patience and confusion--rather than rigor and certainty--are the essential precursors of wisdom. With a compelling argument that the mind works best when we trust our unconscious, or "undermind," psychologist Guy Claxton makes an appeal that we be less analytical and let our creativity have free rein. He also encourages reevaluation of society's obsession with results-oriented thinking and problem-solving under pressure. Packed with Interesting anecdotes, a dozen puzzles to test your reasoning, and the latest related research, Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind is an Illuminating, uplifting, stimulating read that focuses on a new kind of well-being and cognition.
Category: Psychology

Creating Consilience

Author : Edward Slingerland
ISBN : 9780199794393
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 71.74 MB
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Calls for a "consilient" or "vertically integrated" approach to the study of human mind and culture have, for the most part, been received by scholars in the humanities with either indifference or hostility. One reason for this is that consilience has often been framed as bringing the study of humanistic issues into line with the study of non-human phenomena, rather than as something to which humanists and scientists contribute equally. The other major reason that consilience has yet to catch on in the humanities is a dearth of compelling examples of the benefits of adopting a consilient approach. Creating Consilience is the product of a workshop that brought together internationally-renowned scholars from a variety of fields to address both of these issues. It includes representative pieces from workshop speakers and participants that examine how adopting such a consilient stance -- informed by cognitive science and grounded in evolutionary theory -- would concretely impact specific topics in the humanities, examining each topic in a manner that not only cuts across the humanities-natural science divide, but also across individual humanistic disciplines. By taking seriously the fact that science-humanities integration is a two-way exchange, this volume takes a new approach to bridging the cultures of science and the humanities. The editors and contributors formulate how to develop a new shared framework of consilience beyond mere interdisciplinarity, in a way that both sides can accept.
Category: Philosophy

Neo Confucian Orthodoxy And The Learning Of The Mind And Heart

Author : William Theodore De Bary
ISBN : 9780231052290
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 34.68 MB
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This volume adds to our understanding of the development of Neo-Confucianism - its complexity, diversity, richness, and depth as a major component of the moral and spiritual fibre of the peoples of East Asia.
Category: Philosophy

Introduction To Classical Chinese Philosophy

Author : Bryan W. Van Norden
ISBN : 9781603846158
Genre :
File Size : 67.83 MB
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This book is an introduction in the very best sense of the word. It provides the beginner with an accurate, sophisticated, yet accessible account, and offers new insights and challenging perspectives to those who have more specialized knowledge. Focusing on the period in Chinese philosophy that is surely most easily approachable and perhaps is most important, it ranges over of rich set of competing options. It also, with admirable self-consciousness, presents a number of daring attempts to relate those options to philosophical figures and movements from the West. I recommend it very highly. --Lee H. Yearley, Walter Y. Evans-Wentz Professor, Religious Studies, Stanford University --- A substantial and highly accessible introduction to the indigenous philosophies of China. Van Norden shares his clear distillations of classical Chinese philosophies using conceptual frameworks many will find familiar. This reader-friendly book sets the historical and cultural contexts for the philosophies discussed, and includes appendices, study questions, and imaginative scenarios, which aid us in appreciating some of the most important philosophy ever developed. --Ann Pirruccello, Professor of Philosophy, University of San Diego --- This lucid introduction to early Chinese thought offers historical, textual and conceptual analyses of the schools of Classical Chinese philosophy, illuminating their basic themes, theories, and arguments and providing readers with an intellectual bridge between Chinese and Western thought. Introductory texts such as this are especially needed today, as the study of philosophy faces the challenges of globalization and the urgent need for dialogue among different philosophical traditions. --- An ideal text for introductory courses, this book will also inspire graduate students, scholars and experts in philosophy in general, and Chinese Philosophy in particular, with its theoretical insights and comparative methodology. --Vincent Shen, Lee Chair in Chinese Thought and Culture, Departments of Philosophy and East Asian Studies, University of Toronto
Category:

What Science Offers The Humanities

Author : Edward Slingerland
ISBN : 9781139470360
Genre : Religion
File Size : 20.47 MB
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What Science Offers the Humanities examines some of the deep problems facing the study of culture. It focuses on the excesses of postmodernism, but also acknowledges serious problems with postmodernism's harshest critics. In short, Edward Slingerland argues that in order for the humanities to progress, its scholars need to take seriously contributions from the natural sciences - and particular research on human cognition - which demonstrate that any separation of the mind and the body is entirely untenable. The author provides suggestions for how humanists might begin to utilize these scientific discoveries without conceding that science has the last word on morality, religion, art, and literature. Calling into question such deeply entrenched dogmas as the 'blank slate' theory of nature, strong social constructivism, and the ideal of disembodied reason, What Science Offers the Humanities replaces the human-sciences divide with a more integrated approach to the study of culture.
Category: Religion

Confucian Reflections

Author : Philip J Ivanhoe
ISBN : 9781135012373
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 81.53 MB
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Confucian Reflections: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times is about the early Chinese Confucian classic the "Analects" Lunyu, attributed to the founder of the Confucian tradition, Kongzi (551-479 bce) and who is more commonly referred to as "Confucius" in the West. Philip J. Ivanhoe argues that the Analects is as relevant and important today as it has proven to be over the course of its more than 2000 year history, not only for the people who live in East Asian societies but for all human beings. The fact that this text has inspired so many talented people for so long, across a range of complex, creative, rich, and fascinating cultures offers a strong prima facie reason for thinking that the insights the Analects contains are not bound by either the particular time or cultural context in which the text took shape.
Category: Philosophy

Yinyang

Author : Robin R. Wang
ISBN : 9781139536219
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 87.54 MB
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The concept of yinyang lies at the heart of Chinese thought and culture. The relationship between these two opposing, yet mutually dependent, forces is symbolized in the familiar black and white symbol that has become an icon in popular culture across the world. The real significance of yinyang is, however, more complex and subtle. This brilliant and comprehensive analysis by one of the leading authorities in the field captures the richness and multiplicity of the meanings and applications of yinyang, including its visual presentations. Through a vast range of historical and textual sources, the book examines the scope and role of yinyang, the philosophical significance of its various layers of meanings and its relation to numerous schools and traditions within Chinese (and Western) philosophy. By putting yinyang on a secure and clear philosophical footing, the book roots the concept in the original Chinese idiom, distancing it from Western assumptions, frameworks and terms, yet also seeking to connect its analysis to shared cross-cultural philosophical concerns.
Category: Philosophy