The Marginalian
The Marginalian

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What Happens When We Die
What Happens When We Die

“How can a creature who will certainly die have an understanding of things that will exist forever?”

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Let Them Not Say: Krista Tippett Reads Jane Hirshfield’s Prayerful Poem of Promise to the Future
Let Them Not Say: Krista Tippett Reads Jane Hirshfield’s Prayerful Poem of Promise to the Future

“Let them not say: we did not see it. We saw.”

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The Secret to Superhuman Strength: Alison Bechdel’s Illustrated Meditation on the Life of the Body, the Death of the Self, and Our Search for Meaning
The Secret to Superhuman Strength: Alison Bechdel’s Illustrated Meditation on the Life of the Body, the Death of the Self, and Our Search for Meaning

“Also: This is it.”

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Unselfing into Oneness with the All: Transcendentalist Queen Margaret Fuller on Transcendence
Unselfing into Oneness with the All: Transcendentalist Queen Margaret Fuller on Transcendence

“How is it that I seem to be this Margaret Fuller? What does it mean? What shall I do about it?”

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I Feel, Therefore I Am: Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio on Consciousness as a Full-Body Phenomenon
I Feel, Therefore I Am: Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio on Consciousness as a Full-Body Phenomenon

“Ultimately, we are puppets of both pain and pleasure, occasionally made free by our creativity.”

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What Love Really Means: Iris Murdoch on Unselfing, the Symmetry Between Art and Morality, and How We Unblind Ourselves to Each Other’s Realities
What Love Really Means: Iris Murdoch on Unselfing, the Symmetry Between Art and Morality, and How We Unblind Ourselves to Each Other’s Realities

“Love is the extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real.”

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Resolutions for a Life Worth Living: Attainable Aspirations Inspired by Great Humans of the Past
Resolutions for a Life Worth Living: Attainable Aspirations Inspired by Great Humans of the Past

Life-tested wisdom on how to live from James Baldwin, Ursula K. Le Guin, Leo Tolstoy, Seneca, Toni Morrison, Walt Whitman, Viktor Frankl, Rachel Carson, and Hannah Arendt.

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Of Trees, Solitude, Love, Loss, and the Stubborn Symphony of Aliveness: The Best of Brain Pickings / The Marginalian 2021
Of Trees, Solitude, Love, Loss, and the Stubborn Symphony of Aliveness: The Best of Brain Pickings / The Marginalian 2021

From the Stoics to the snails, by way of music, matter, and the mind.

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Jane Goodall on the Meaning of Wisdom and the Deepest Wellspring of Hope
Jane Goodall on the Meaning of Wisdom and the Deepest Wellspring of Hope

“A great deal of our onslaught on Mother Nature is not really lack of intelligence but a lack of compassion… True wisdom requires both thinking with our head and understanding with our heart.”

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Escaping the Trap of Efficiency: The Counterintuitive Antidote to the Time-Anxiety That Haunts and Hampers Our Search for Meaning
Escaping the Trap of Efficiency: The Counterintuitive Antidote to the Time-Anxiety That Haunts and Hampers Our Search for Meaning

“Productivity is a trap. Becoming more efficient just makes you more rushed, and trying to clear the decks simply makes them fill up again faster… Since finitude defines our lives… living a truly authentic life — becoming fully human — means facing up to that fact.”

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