The Evolution of Happiness (Part One)

“An evolutionary analysis leads to several key insights about barriers that must be overcome to improve the quality of human life. These include discrepancies between modern and ancestral environments, evolved mechanisms that lead to subjective distress, and the fact that selection has produced competitive mechanisms. Modern living has brought a bounty of benefits to present day humans. Medical technology has reduced infant mortality in many parts of the world to a fraction of what it undoubtedly was in ancestral times. People have the tools to prevent many diseases that afflicted their Stone Age forebears. The psychological pain of depression and [...]

Omar Khayyam’s Wisdom

My father spent some time of his life in Uzbekistan, and growing up I was exposed to Omar Khayyam’s quotes and poetry. We had a book at home and I liked to read Omar Khayyam’s quatrains (Rubaiyat) which contain so much wisdom. Abdullah Dougan, a modern Naqshbandi Sufi, said: “Every line of the Rubaiyat has more meaning than almost anything you could read in Sufi literature”. From Wikipedia: “Omar Khayyám (Persian: ‏عمر خیام‎; 1048–1131) was a Persian polymath: philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and poet. Throughout his life Omar Khayyám was dedicated to his efforts and abilities, in the day he would [...]

Philosophy Works (Class Six)

Beauty is within and without. Find it! Class Notes: What is beauty itself? Is it a different beauty appearing in separate objects, actions or ideas, or it is the same universal beauty shining in a million different forms? Plato taught that there is only one beauty absolute. Wherever we see or know beauty, it is this single absolute beauty that is being experienced in a particular form. Beauty is everywhere, inside and out. “If there were no beauty in the observer then he would not find beauty outside. The mere fact that beauty is seen proves that there is beauty [...]

Philosophy Works (Class Five)

The Power of Listening. I missed this class but was handed out the Class Notes: Hearing is the act of perceiving sound by the ear. Listening, however, is something you consciously choose to do. Listening requires concentration and attention. Listening leads to learning. Most people tend to be “hard of listening” rather than “hard of hearing”. Philosophy brings a man who hears and practices it to a deep and silent power within himself leaving him free to manage his affairs without attachment or involvement. But the man who hears it only and does not do it is led into greater [...]

Babson Entrepreneurship Forum Competition

Dear all, This year The Ultimate Answer is participating both in Rocket Pitch and Big Idea Competition. As you can see from the road map below, we will present the idea in 3 min and 3 slides among 130 others on Oct 27 at Babson College. The results will be announced on Nov 4. The second part of the contest is to upload a video to YouTube and get most “likes” this week Oct 24-30, 2011 to win and participate as a finalist in The 10th Annual Babson Entrepreneurship Forum on Nov 12. Please check the video and “like” it [...]

Philosophy Works (Class Four)

The Power of attention. What you give your attention to grows. All actions are driven by desire. How many different action have you engaged in today? How much rest have you had? In the space between actions we can come to rest, wake up and come into the present. We can be free of desire for a while. It doesn’t have to be intense or prolonged – bring your body into view and connect with the breath or one of the senses. In the state of waking consciousness, the process of waking up, there are only two useful states of [...]

What’s Up With Men?

Last Saturday I attended “What’s up with men?” session at the Boston Book Festival. I was sitting next to the young man and asked him why he was in this session: “As a woman, I want to understand men, but as a man, don’t you understand yourself?” He said he came to understand other men. “From metrosexuals and bromances to Strauss-Kahn and Schwarzenegger–the BBF asks, what’s going on with men these days? We’ve asked some representative men from the world of words to help us get a read on it. Andre Dubus III, whose memoir Townie reveals his struggles with [...]

Boston Book Festival 2011: How to Live?

From BBF site: “Join three amazing scholars as they discuss the age old questions of how to live a good life. Sarah Bakewell shares insights gleaned from writing her national book critics circle award-winning book: How to live, or, a Life of Montaigne, while Harvard’s maven of multiple intelligences Howard Gardner reflects on Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed and anthropologist and ethnographer Michael Jackson discusses Life Within Limits: Wellbeing in a World of Want. Moderated by art historian Joseph Koerner”. The discussion opened with an interesting question from Michael Jackson – what in life is worth living for if you [...]

The Power of Technology

This post starts new series of posts about technology and its impact on humans. Some of the things that sci-fi writers wrote many years ago were indeed invented eventually, like planes, laser surgery, X-ray machines, weapons of mass destruction, etc. Many other inventions are still in works or considered to be totally fictional (time machine, clothes to make us invisible, etc.) Common belief is that new technological discoveries are good for us and can solve a lot of problems or at least reduce our own limitations (help us live longer, reallocate resources, etc.) The majority of these inventions is to [...]

Mark Twain’s Tips for Living Life

You may know Mark Twain for some of his very popular books like Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He was a writer and also a humorist, satirist and lecturer. Twain is known for his many – and often funny – quotes. Here are a few of my favourite tips from him. 1. Approve of yourself. “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” 2. Your limitations may just be in your mind. “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” 3. Lighten up and have some fun. [...]