Tag Archives: philosophy

The view from Maslow’s peak (I) – Living through a thought experiment

A 20th-century psychologist called Abraham Maslow developed a “hierarchy of needs” which he thought human beings had to navigate in order to feel fulfilled in their lives. He depicted it as a pyramid: At the bottom are the bare necessities … Continue reading

Posted in Doodles, Reading watching listening thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The view from Maslow’s peak (II) – Going with a different sort of flow

Don’t agonize about success or failure. Just do what you must do as well as you possibly can. In the process you may eventually transcend triumph and disaster. That is how to meet those two impostors. Those are the last … Continue reading

Posted in Reading watching listening thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The view from Maslow’s Peak (III) – In my end is my beginning (a personal history)

Every now and then, I see someone post on social media the following passage from the point of view of the protagonist Esther in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and every time it is met with a flurry of wistful … Continue reading

Posted in Reading watching listening thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Ars moriendi

I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed both nothing and everything. Before my cancer was diagnosed, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. After … Continue reading

Posted in Oy vey (cancer gripes), Reading watching listening thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

The best-laid plans (and stories)

Five months ago, when my first round of cancer treatment came to an end, I’d imagined that I’d inhabit one of the following stories: 1. My cancer disappears, never to return, and my life proceeds as planned with minimal damage. … Continue reading

Posted in Oy vey (cancer gripes) | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

3 evidence-based ideas for a thoughtful and productive life, as learned from a simple exercise routine (with a surprise cameo from Lord Krishna!)

The final phase of my physical rehabilitation has begun, in which I have to go to the gym and use the exercise bike every day. I find myself looking forward to squeezing my lumpen self into gym clothes and perspiring … Continue reading

Posted in Reading watching listening thinking | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Always look on the bright side

To read about people’s experiences with cancer, it seems as if no-one just ‘has’ the disease-they’re constantly ‘fighting’ or ‘battling’ it. If the ‘war’ here is meant as the one between medical science and its mysterious, capricious enemy, then the … Continue reading

Posted in Oy vey (cancer gripes), Reading watching listening thinking | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments