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Brain Pickings

An Illustrated Field Guide to the Art, Science, and Joy of Tea

An Illustrated Field Guide to the Art, Science, and Joy of Tea

From leaf to cup, by way of the history of human civilization.
The Dalai Lama on Science and Spirituality

The Dalai Lama on Science and Spirituality

"What science finds to be nonexistent we should all accept as nonexistent, but what science merely does not find is a completely different matter."
The Original Marriage of Equals: The Love Letters of Feminism Founding Mother Mary Wollstonecraft and Political Philosopher William Godwin

The Original Marriage of Equals: The Love Letters of Feminism Founding Mother Mary Wollstonecraft and Political Philosopher William Godwin

"We love as it were to multiply our consciousness... even at the hazard... of opening new avenues for pain and misery to attack us."
Ursula K. Le Guin on Time, the Meaning of Loyalty, and Why Honoring the Continuity of Past and Future Is the Root of Acting Responsibly

Ursula K. Le Guin on Time, the Meaning of Loyalty, and Why Honoring the Continuity of Past and Future Is the Root of Acting Responsibly

"If time and reason are functions of each other, if we are creatures of time, then we had better know it, and try to make the best of it. To act responsibly."
A Stunning Illustrated Celebration of the Wilderness and the Human Role in Nature Not as Conqueror but as Humble Witness

A Stunning Illustrated Celebration of the Wilderness and the Human Role in Nature Not as Conqueror but as Humble Witness

"It is said that the forest has a certain limit if you look straight ahead, but the sides are boundless."
Borges on Turning Trauma, Misfortune, and Humiliation into Raw Material for Art

Borges on Turning Trauma, Misfortune, and Humiliation into Raw Material for Art

"All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art."
Pioneering Conservationist Mardy Murie on Nature, Human Nature, and the Wealth of the Wilderness

Pioneering Conservationist Mardy Murie on Nature, Human Nature, and the Wealth of the Wilderness

"Beauty is a resource in and of itself... I hope the United States of America is not so rich that she can afford to let these wildernesses pass by — or so poor she cannot afford to keep them."
Anton Chekhov’s 6 Rules for a Great Story

Anton Chekhov’s 6 Rules for a Great Story

Mastering the essential complementarity of compassion and total objectivity.
Loving vs. Being in Love: Jane Welsh Carlyle on Navigating the Heart’s Contradictions

Loving vs. Being in Love: Jane Welsh Carlyle on Navigating the Heart’s Contradictions

"A passion, like the torrent in the violence of its course, might perhaps too, like the torrent, leave ruin and desolation behind... My love for you... is deep and calm, more like the quiet river,
Little Man, Little Man: James Baldwin’s Only Children’s Book, Celebrating the Art of Seeing and Black Children’s Self-Esteem

Little Man, Little Man: James Baldwin’s Only Children’s Book, Celebrating the Art of Seeing and Black Children’s Self-Esteem

"A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot afford to be fooled. A child cannot be taught by anyone whose demand, essentially, is that the child repudiate his experience."
The Scientific Poetics of Affection: Lewis Thomas on Altruism and Why We Are Wired for Friendship

The Scientific Poetics of Affection: Lewis Thomas on Altruism and Why We Are Wired for Friendship

"Left to ourselves, mechanistic and autonomic, we hanker for friends... Maybe altruism is our most primitive attribute, out of reach, beyond our control."
Presto & Zesto in Limboland: A Lovely and Unusual “New” Maurice Sendak Book Elegizing a Lost Friendship

Presto & Zesto in Limboland: A Lovely and Unusual “New” Maurice Sendak Book Elegizing a Lost Friendship

A posthumously discovered treasure from the patron saint of children's books emanating existential consolation for the trauma of living.
An Antidote to White Male Capitalist Culture: Adrienne Rich on the Liberating Power of Storytelling and How Reading Emancipates

An Antidote to White Male Capitalist Culture: Adrienne Rich on the Liberating Power of Storytelling and How Reading Emancipates

"The decline in adult literacy means not merely a decline in the capacity to read and write, but a decline in the impulse to puzzle out, brood upon... argue about, turn inside-out in verbal euphoria,
Cybernetics Pioneer Norbert Wiener on the Malady of “Content” and How to Save Creative Culture from the Syphoning of Substance

Cybernetics Pioneer Norbert Wiener on the Malady of “Content” and How to Save Creative Culture from the Syphoning of Substance

"When there is communication without need for communication, merely so that someone may earn the social and intellectual prestige of becoming a priest of communication, the quality and communicative
Physicist Alan Lightman on the Illusion of Absolute Rest

Physicist Alan Lightman on the Illusion of Absolute Rest

The beautiful and disorienting science of why we are mostly restlessness and empty space.
The Only Story in the World: John Steinbeck on Kindness, Good and Evil, the Wellspring of Good Writing

The Only Story in the World: John Steinbeck on Kindness, Good and Evil, the Wellspring of Good Writing

"Try to understand men, if you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love."