“When you feel happy, really happy, it somehow seems that you’ve always been happy and that you’ll always be happy. The same is often true when you feel sad, or lonely, or depressed, or broke, or sick, or scared. Something, perhaps, to remember.” A couple of weeks ago I had a sudden and sort of inexplicable […]

“Now you just dig them in front. They have worries, they’re counting the miles, they’re thinking about where to sleep tonight, how much money for gas, the weather, how they’ll get there—and all the time they’ll get there anyway, you see.”  The “Beat Generation” is a term used to refer to a group of post-World […]

“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the Gods made for fun.” The sentiment that “life should not be taken too seriously” is a sort of dry, crusty sponge of a cliché—a statement that seems to have had every drop of nourishing value squeezed from it after ten trillion uses. And yet like so many […]

“We have to create culture, don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow.” Terence McKenna is one of those cult-famous, societal-fringe figures of whom the majority of people have never heard. He’s also someone whose views probably have a polarizing effect on anyone who encounters them. At the […]

“That feeling of having to obey every impulse and gratify every desire seems to me to be a strange kind of slavery. Nobody talks about it as such, though.”  The term “genius” is tossed around a lot, but most would agree that the late David Foster Wallace was worthy of the title. Wallace was a novelist, essayist, and short […]

“And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades.” Haruki Murakami, a modern master of magic realism and mind-bending metaphysical mischief (holy alliteration!), has an uncanny […]

“I am soon to become an emperor-ha-ha-ha-ha! I am destined to be a lousy beggar – ha-ha-ha-ha! It’s all a game. Any part will suit me fine.” For thousands of years, Eastern sages have taught a method for reducing or eliminating suffering — in a word: non-resistance. The idea is this: As humans, we possess […]

If mankind were contacted by an alien race, how would the world react? How would people change? In his novel, Contact, the late, great astronomer Carl Sagan explores this fascinating question. I recently had the pleasure of reading Contact, and one of the aspects I most admired about it was Dr. Sagan’s humble suggestion that communication […]

Recently, Noel Gallagher, the frontman of the band Oasis, (I didn’t know who he was either) lashed out against fiction, saying, “I only read factual books. I can’t think of … I mean, novels are just a waste of f–king time.” Though we’re all entitled to our opinions, I was perturbed to see such a […]

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