Are We In Control Of Our Own Decisions?

We consider ourselves as “rational” or at least “reasonable” creatures. But this wonderful talk lays bare our “cognitive limitations” that make our decision making suspect. The moral of the story is that if we are not rational as we think we should recognize our limitations and work on building systems that keep us from driving ourselves into ditches.

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Yoga Breathing Helps PTSD

Emma Seppälä recently published her findings about the impact of Yoga breathing on PTSD. In this interview she discusses these and reports that the benefits are long term and permanent and they seem to be better than conventional methods and other relaxing techniques. She theorizes that relaxation achieved due to these breathing techniques provides the space for the mind-body to receive and process the traumatic memories and hence provides a pathway to recovery and restoration.

Related: Warriors Find Peace Through Yoga

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The Kingdom Of God

Kingdom Of God Within
When someone asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come, he replied that it was not something that was outside that could be pointed at or discovered by directing the senses outwards. He made this clear by saying, “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or lo there! for behold the kingdom of God is within you!” (Luke 17:21).

But how does one discover “The Kingdom of God” within? What do we have to do to get there?

The answer is provided by the saint called “Peace Pilgrim”. She said that doing the “right effort” gets you there:

“Never think of any right effort as being fruitless. All right effort bears fruit, whether we see the results or not.”

In another essay she writes, “In the final analysis you find spiritual truth through your own higher nature. Your higher nature is a drop in the ocean of God – and has access to the ocean. Sometimes your higher nature is awakened through the inspiration of beautiful surroundings or beautiful music, bringing you insights of truth. Sometimes you see the truth written or hear the truth spoken, and your higher nature confirms it. Or you directly perceive the truth from the inside through an awakening of the higher nature, which is my way. All the inspired writing came from the inner source, and you too can receive from that source. Be still and know.”
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A Free Mind

Free Mind

I call that mind free, which escapes the bondage of matter, which, instead of stopping at the material universe and making it a prison wall, passes beyond it to its Author, and finds in the radiant signatures which everywhere bears of the Infinite Spirit, helps to its own spiritual enlightenment.

I call that mind free, which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith, which opens itself to light whencesoever it may come, which receives new truth as an angel from heaven.

I call that mind free, which sets no bounds to its love, which is not imprisoned in itself or in a sect, which recognises in all human beings the image of God and the rights of his children, which delights in virtue and sympathizes with suffering wherever they are seen, which conquers pride, anger, and sloth, and offers itself up a willing victim to the cause of mankind.

- William Ellery Channing, Spiritual Freedom (1830)

Related: Where The Mind Is Without Fear

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No Bed Of Roses

Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger

At the age of 25, in 1949, a law firm hired this man for a salary that is about $30,000 in today’s dollars. After a marriage that lasted 8 years he was divorced in 1953. He had been married since he was 21. He lost everything in the divorce, his wife keeping the family home, their only major asset. Shortly after the divorce he learnt that his son had leukemia. In those days there was no cure, nor was there any health insurance. You paid everything out of pocket. He poured everything he had into treating his son and spending as much time with him as possible. He would go to the hospital and hold his son’s hand and then walk out to the streets crying. In 1955, a year after the diagnosis his son died at the age of 9.

Being divorced, broke, and having buried his 9 year old son, just when you think nothing could get worse, he had to undergo an horrific operation later in life, that left him in such pain that eventually he had to have one of his eye removed.

The name of this man is Charlie Munger. By the time he became 69 he was a Billionaire, counted amongst the richest 400 people in the world, and had been happily married to his second wife for 35 years. He is now father of eight children and many grandchildren and he has achieved his dream of having a huge family and a house full of books. Charlie Munger is now regarded as a well-respected businessman and thinker, his Poor Charlie’s Almanac is a classic and a must read for thinkers, leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs.

There is no straight path to happiness, as Charlie’s life illustrates. We each have to persevere and have faith. Does not mean that we have to accept an unhappy situation in the hope of a magical transformation or wallow in misery, but that we have to continue to strive to make things better, without giving up in despondency.

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Credits: This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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