Poison Envy

It’s one of the seven deadly sins and in some traditions it’s thought to be the   root of all evil. Aristotle defined it as feeling pain at the good fortune of others. Immanuel Kant extended the definition to include aiming at destroying others’ good fortune. Contemporary society, however, rarely talks about envy, perhaps because consumerism is fuelled by it. This is all the more reason to shine a light on it.  Continue reading “Poison Envy”

What I Learnt From An Unexpected US Mid-West Adventure (3 min read)

Mongolia. Bolivia. Pine Ridge (South Dakota, US). What do these 3 places have in common? Well, the average income per person is around $3,500 per year. Yes, you read that correct – there are places in the US with the same income levels as a Third World country. I learnt that during a recent holiday in the US, where I first visited Las Vegas to see some family that live there. While Las Vegas has its own unique sense of aesthetics that seem to pop up in deserts, I did feel the need to have a time-out from Vegas. So I worked out which part of the US is the poorest, and decided to visit it. It turns out to be the aforementioned Pine Ridge in South Dakota. Continue reading “What I Learnt From An Unexpected US Mid-West Adventure (3 min read)”

Don’t Take Politicians So Seriously!

Private Eye

In the current climate of taking political debate over social media so seriously, it’s worth deflating our pompousness by hearing politicians over the ages mocking their profession*:

The Nature of politics

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it wrongly and applying unsuitable remedies. (Ernest Benn)

‘Politics’ is made up of two words: ‘poli’, which is Greek for ‘many’, and ‘tics’, which are bloodsucking insects. (Gore Vidal) Continue reading “Don’t Take Politicians So Seriously!”

How To Rethink Time To Become Fulfilled (3 min read)

Raised in western culture, I think of time as an arrow. That is, I feel I’m constantly moving forward to the future leaving the past behind. Implicit within this is the notion that I’m progressing. While this has many benefits, it has many  shortcomings too. A fundamental one is that I’m never happy where I am. But there are there other ways to think about time, which can make life more fulfilling: Continue reading “How To Rethink Time To Become Fulfilled (3 min read)”

Imagine if Carl Jung Pyschoanalysed James Bond…

Freud and Jung are the two godfathers of psychoanalysis. The former tended to focus on mummy issues and repressed desires, while the latter  tended to focus on culture, myths and spirituality. Perhaps, the most intriguing work of Jung was his work on alchemy. Rather than seeing it as the debunked method of turning actual lead into gold, he viewed it metaphorically as the process for human transformation or as he called it individuation.

You may ask what this has got to with James Bond, well I came across a great article in the excellent movie magazine Beneficial Shock! that applied this Jungian idea on the four Daniel Craig James Bond movies. So I thought I’d lay it out: Continue reading “Imagine if Carl Jung Pyschoanalysed James Bond…”

Revitalising What Really Matters In Life With Rumi (3 min read)

Sometimes I can get so lost with the day-to-day of life, I forget what is the purpose of living. The cartoon Wall-E captured this well. Humans are forced to live on a spaceship as Earth can no longer sustain life. All their needs are met – they are fed and entertained, perhaps too well. But when the Captain discovers that Earth can sustain life and  tries to return, the main computer AUTO stops him saying “[Staying] on the Axiom [the spaceship],  you will survive”. The Captain replies “I don’t want to survive! I wanna live!”.  

I wanna live too! But what does it mean to live? For that, my favourite source of inspiration has to be Rumi. Continue reading “Revitalising What Really Matters In Life With Rumi (3 min read)”

Avengers Infinity War Revelation About God (SPOILER FREE)

I loved it – Avengers: Infinity Wars, that is. It somehow manages to carry thirty Marvel heroes, has some excellent and humorous pairings of characters and has a meaningful storyline. Best of all, it also has a metaphysical angle. Thanos, the villain, clearly has a God-thing going on, the fate of the universe itself is at stake and we deal with ultimate good and evil. Continue reading “Avengers Infinity War Revelation About God (SPOILER FREE)”

What I Tell Young Researchers (3 min read)

Having  been a researcher for many many years, I’ve picked up lots of useful tips and tricks to produce good research. Most I’ve been given by others, so I equally like to share everything I’ve learned to all the newbies in my research team. Below is the list I give (and it can useful for non-researchers too): Continue reading “What I Tell Young Researchers (3 min read)”

5 Life Hacks From Religion

In today’s world, especially in Western Europe, religion can often be viewed negatively. Religion is thought of as irrational, polarising and not equipped for the modern world. Yet for many around the world, religion remains central to their lives. Whatever one’s thoughts about religion, what is true is that religion has survived in various guises for thousands of years and across hundreds of cultures today. Given this, there must be something within religions that provide time-tested practical benefits to people. From my exposure to various multiple religions, I’ve identified 5 practises that all religions seem to share and persists to this day. One could call these the 5 “eternal” life hacks…. Continue reading “5 Life Hacks From Religion”