chapter 4. Self

What Is Wrong with Modern Times - and How to Regain Wisdom

Part I: The Ills of Modernity The conditions of modernity are in many ways profoundly better than those under which the vast majority of humanity lived for more or less the…

chapter 3. Relationships

When Someone We Love Has Died

Someone we loved so much has died. It can be hard to know where to turn. For religions, dying was regarded as an essential, immensely important, part of existence; it was…

chapter 4. Self

The Disaster of Anthropocentrism - and the Promise of the Transcendent

The modern age is inherently anthropocentric in outlook (from anthropos, greek for human), that is, it places human beings and their experience and concerns at the center of the hierarchy, above…

chapter 3. Relationships

Why Did They Leave Us?

They’ve gone – and what we need most of all to understand is why? What is striking is that, despite what friends and well-meaning acquaintances tell us, we already know. It…

chapter 4. Self

Why We Require Poor Memories To Survive

Generally, our culture takes a very positive view of memories and the act of remembering: we esteem the study of history, we are expected to take photos to capture precious moments;…

chapter 3. Relationships

How to Break Up

The intensity and suffering exacted by a heartbreak depends not only on the core fact that we’ve been left; it also decisively depends on how we’ve been left. Our hurt can…

chapter 3. Relationships

How We Can Have Our Hearts Broken Even Though No One Has Left Us

It sounds paradoxical: that we can be heartbroken even though a lover is still with us. And yet, it’s not so strange, because the source of heartbreak is not precisely the…

chapter 3. Relationships

The Psychology of Our Exes

We are likely to be focused, in the immediate circumstances of a break-up, on what happened in the last few weeks or months to explain the end of a relationship. But…

chapter 3. Relationships

'Unfair Dismissal' in Love

Our lover has hurt us deeply. Our suffering is at least comparable to being robbed or physically assaulted. This hurts a lot more than someone stealing our phone or bicycle. However,…

chapter 4. Self

On Not Being in the Moment

Life is full of moments where we are meant to feel certain things. The demand starts in early childhood: it’s our birthday – and we are meant to feel happy. Dad…

chapter 3. Relationships

How Not to Be Tortured By a Love Rival

Sometimes, we are not only left in love; we are left for someone else – a rival who comes to assume a large, indeed monstrous position in our imaginations. The torture…

chapter 1. Capitalism

What Community Centres Should Be Like

Although our societies have, in theory, a very high regard for the idea of community, it is telling that, in practice, ‘community centres’ are often the most uninspiring and unlovely of…

chapter 3. Relationships

Why Anxious and Avoidant Partners Find It Hard to Leave One Another

There is a certain sort of relationship that is alternately passionate, fiery and painfully unfulfilling – and that tends to puzzle both outsiders and its participants; a relationship between one person…

chapter 3. Relationships

Why We Should Not Silently Suffer From A Lack of Touch in Love

We live in an age increasingly prepared to see hurtful aspects lurking within many apparently so-called minor situations, and ready to lend greater public acknowledgement to what had previously been merely…

chapter 3. Relationships

Why Anger Has a Place in Love

It’s natural to imagine that the highest virtue in love would be kindness and, a close second, politeness. But there is an odd danger lurking here: a relationship where we are…

chapter 1. Capitalism

Can Our Phones Solve Our Love Lives?

It would be most of our first choices to have relationships in the real world; but for many of us, it is a great deal more plausible to pursue them with,…

chapter 5. Culture

On Not Being Able To Cook Very Well

In so many areas of life, it’s easy to feel desperate that we have failed to live up to our own expectations. We are evidently not beautiful enough, rich enough, intelligent…

chapter 4. Self

On Eggs and Compassion

Compassion for others is an attractive notion, but in reality we often find it extremely difficult to be kindly and understanding towards people who make a lot of noise at unwanted…

chapter 4. Self

On Needing to Find Something to Worry About

It sounds paradoxical and absurd to think that some of us might need to find something to worry about in order to recover our equilibrium. Worry is, after all, something we…

chapter 4. Self

How We Are Easily, Too Easily, 'Triggered'

If we were totally sane, we would respond to the present only on its own terms; we would worry or be angered or give way to anxiety only as much as…

chapter 3. Relationships

What Is Your Attachment Style?

One of the greatest questionnaires in the history of 20th-century psychology had a modest start in the pages of a local Colorado newspaper The Rocky Mountain News in July 1985. The work…