Tag Archives: Brain

Home » Tag Archives: Brain
Motivational Stories

The Fascinating Science of Improvisation, Reiteration, and Phoenix Regeneration – Brain Pickings

The Jazz of Trees: The Fascinating Science of Improvisation, Reiteration, and Phoenix Regeneration

Hermann Hesse believed that if we could learn to listen to the trees, we would achieve profound perspective on our human lives by grasping the deepest meaning of aliveness. He used listening in the metaphorical sense. But the great existential gift of trees — to us in the metaphors they furnish, and to themselves in…

Continue reading

Motivational Stories

The Optimism of the Oyster – Brain Pickings

The Optimism of the Oyster

“Obviously, if you don’t love life, you can’t enjoy an oyster,” Eleanor Clark wrote in the book that won her the National Book Award, published exactly 100 years after On the Origin of Species. For Darwin, these strange and quietly wondrous creatures furnished a different kind of enjoyment. He had come under their spell as…

Continue reading

Motivational Stories

José Ortega y Gasset on the True Meaning and Measure of Intelligence – Brain Pickings

José Ortega y Gasset on the True Meaning and Measure of Intelligence

In her spare, stunning poem “Optimism,” Jane Hirshfield reverences the “blind intelligence” by which a tree relentlessly orients toward the light to survive — a kind of unreasoning, life-hungry intuition distinctly different from the way we humans define and measure our own intelligence, our measurements and definitions mired in myriad cultural biases and blind spots….

Continue reading

Motivational Stories

Poet and Philosopher David Whyte on Reaching Beyond Our Limiting Beliefs About What We Deserve – Brain Pickings

The Truelove: Poet and Philosopher David Whyte on Reaching Beyond Our Limiting Beliefs About What We Deserve

Few things limit us more profoundly than our own beliefs about what we deserve, and few things liberate us more powerfully than daring to broaden our locus of possibility and self-permission for happiness. The stories we tell ourselves about what we are worthy or unworthy of — from the small luxuries of naps and watermelon…

Continue reading

Motivational Stories

The Daring Life and Art of Pioneering Plant Ecologist Edith Clements – Brain Pickings

The Daring Life and Art of Pioneering Plant Ecologist Edith Clements – Brain Pickings

“There is one book that I would rather have produced than all my novels,” Willa Cather rued in her most candid interview about creativity. That book was Rocky Mountain Flowers: An Illustrated Guide For Plant-Lovers and Plant-Users (public library | public domain) by the pioneering plant ecologist and botanical artist Edith Clements (1874–1971). Wildflowers from…

Continue reading

Motivational Stories

Can People Change? The Psychological Möbius Strip That Keeps Us from Ending Painful Relationships – Brain Pickings

Can People Change? The Psychological Möbius Strip That Keeps Us from Ending Painful Relationships – Brain Pickings

“Across the morning sky, all the birds are leaving,” Nina Simone sang in 1969. “How can they know that it’s time to go?” A decade earlier, a young Swiss psychologist traversed the Atlantc to begin a new life in America. Watching the migratory geese from the salt-stained railings of her own migratory vessel, she wrote…

Continue reading

Motivational Stories

Luscious 19th-Century French Botanical Illustrations of the Most Vibrant Flora of the Americas – Brain Pickings

Luscious 19th-Century French Botanical Illustrations of the Most Vibrant Flora of the Americas – Brain Pickings

To put our familiar lives in perspective and jolt us awake to the wonder of so much we have come to take for granted, let us picture this: It is the 1840s and you, like most of humanity, have never traveled more than a few miles beyond where you were born, have never met a…

Continue reading

Motivational Stories

Adventures in Nature’s Nonbinary Botany, with a Side of Emily Dickinson – Brain Pickings

Adventures in Nature’s Nonbinary Botany, with a Side of Emily Dickinson – Brain Pickings

“In each of us two powers preside, one male, one female,” Virginia Woolf wrote in 1929, epochs before we had our ever-expanding twenty-first-century vocabulary of identities, as she celebrated the “androgynous mind” as the mind most “resonant and porous… naturally creative, incandescent and undivided.” Given Woolf arrived at her exquisite epiphany about what it means…

Continue reading

Motivational Stories

Rilke on the Relationship Between Solitude, Love, Sex, and Creativity – Brain Pickings

Rilke on the Relationship Between Solitude, Love, Sex, and Creativity

“You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the space in between is trust and love,” artist Louise Bourgeois wrote in her diary in her seventy-seventh year as she looked back on a long and lush life to consider the central role of solitude in creativity. A generation before her, recognizing that “works…

Continue reading

Motivational Stories

Artist Maira Kalman’s Painted Serenade to Attention, Aliveness, and the Vibrancy of Seeing the World with Newborn Eyes – Brain Pickings

Darling Baby: Artist Maira Kalman’s Painted Serenade to Attention, Aliveness, and the Vibrancy of Seeing the World with Newborn Eyes

“The secret of success,” Jackson Pollock’s father wrote to the teenage artist-to-be in his wonderful letter of life-advice, “is to be fully awake to everything about you.” Few things beckon our attention and awaken us to life more compellingly than color. “Our lives, when we pay attention to light, compel us to empathy with color,”…

Continue reading

Motivational Stories

Sylvia Plath and the Loneliness of Love – Brain Pickings

Sylvia Plath and the Loneliness of Love – Brain Pickings

Western psychologists have rightly observed that “who we are and who we become depends, in part, on whom we love.” Zen Buddhists have rightly observed that “to love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love.” That lacuna between whom and how, between the objects of our love and its observance, is powerful…

Continue reading

Motivational Stories

Chance, the Universe, and the Pale Blues of Knowing Who We Are – Brain Pickings

The Mirror of Enigmas: Chance, the Universe, and the Pale Blues of Knowing Who We Are

It takes a great sobriety of spirit to know your own depths — and your limits. It takes a special grandeur of spirit to know the limits of your self-knowledge. A recent brush with those limits reminded me of a short, stunning essay by Jorge Luis Borges (August 24, 1899–June 14, 1986) titled “The Mirror…

Continue reading

Motivational Stories

The Conscience of Color, from Chemistry to Culture – Brain Pickings

The Conscience of Color, from Chemistry to Culture

“The deep blue water of the open sea far from land is the color of emptiness and barrenness; the green water of the coastal areas, with all its varying hues, is the color of life,” Rachel Carson wrote as she illuminated the science and splendor of the marine spectrum, enriching the literary canon of history’s…

Continue reading

Motivational Stories

Matter Delights in Music, and Became Bach – Brain Pickings

Matter Delights in Music, and Became Bach

“A rough sound was polished until it became a smoother sound, which was polished until it became music,” Mark Strand wrote in his splendid poem “The Everyday Enchantment of Music,” touching on the materiality of that enchantment: Music is matter dancing in the mind. Music has a profound spiritual power over us — an echo…

Continue reading

Motivational Stories

Bronson Alcott on Gardening and Genius – Brain Pickings

Bronson Alcott on Gardening and Genius – Brain Pickings

“I had a pleasant time with my mind, for it was happy,” Louisa May Alcott wrote in her diary just after she turned eleven, a quarter century before Little Women bloomed from that uncommon mind — a mind whose pleasures and powers were nurtured by the profound love of nature her father wove into the…

Continue reading

1 2 3 5