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19
Oct
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The Great Eastern Philosophers: The Buddha

The story of the Buddha’s life, like all of Buddhism, is a story about confronting suffering. He was born between the sixth and fourth century B.C., the son of a wealthy king in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal. It was prophesied that the young...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
19
Oct
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The Great Philosophers: Thomas Aquinas

It seems, at first, weird that we might learn from him. Thomas Aquinas was a medieval saint, said in moments of high excitement to levitate and have visions of the Virgin Mary. He was much concerned with explaining how angels speak and move. And...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
12
Oct
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The Great Psychoanalysts: Anna Freud

We’re particularly down on people we call ‘defensive’. They blame others for what’s probably their own fault. They hear reasonable criticism as a cruel attack. They deny they have a problem when they clearly do. But, of course, we must be doing this ourselves...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
08
Oct
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The Great Eastern Philosophers: Lao Tzu

Little is truly known about the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu (sometimes also known as Laozi or Lao Tze), who is a guiding figure in Daoism (also translated as Taoism), a still popular spiritual practice. He is said to have been a record keeper in...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
26
Sep
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The Great Eastern Philosophers: Matsuo Basho

In the West, we have a vague sense that poetry is good for our ‘souls’, making us sensitive and wiser. Yet we don’t always know how this should work. Poetry has a hard time finding its way into our lives in any practical...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
26
Sep
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The Great Eastern Philosophers: Sen no Rikyu

In the West, philosophers write long non-fiction books, often using incomprehensible words and limit their involvement with the world to lectures and committee meetings. In the East, and especially in the Zen tradition, philosophers write poems, rake gravel, go on pilgrimages, practice archery, write aphorisms...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
26
Sep
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In Praise of Melancholy

Melancholy is not exactly a word on everybody’s lips. People don’t go around gossiping about how melancholic the new regional IT director is or drawing up lists of the more melancholy-inducing bits of natural scenery (Brighton Beach on an overcast morning; Rannoch Moor in...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
23
Sep
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On Not Liking the Way One Looks

Frustration with one’s appearance is an embarrassing – but, in truth, highly serious and valid – pain. Mature, reasonable people are not supposed to go around regretting their nose or hair. Yet you gaze in the bathroom mirror and think: why – in my...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
15
Sep
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Why Quests are good for you

The sun rose over central Africa as my plane touched down on a dusty runway. I jolted awake with a start, but then smiled as I looked out the window: I’d made it! I was in Rwanda … or was it Burundi? And...
Posted by Chris Guillebeau
14
Sep
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Philosophers Launch YouTube Channel

Traditionally, philosophy has been nervous around the idea of communication. Reaching out has not been high on the agenda. Academic philosophers have frequently erected barriers to wider participation: abstruse vocabulary and hypercomplex arguments have seemed to guarantee intelligence – all of which is a great...
Posted by The Philosophers' Mail
10
Sep
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Half-Price Afternoons: 60+ and Students

We're delighted to announce a new concessionary rate for afternoon classes, for over 60's and students. 14.00 - 17.00 Monday - Thursday £20 (usual price: £40) To book call us at +44 (0) 20 7833 1010 This offer is subject to availability, and you will be asked to...
Posted by The School of Life

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