Looking for the upside of depression, The New York Times Magazine approaches the "disease" from the point of view of evolutionary biology.
Looking for the upside of depression, The New York Times Magazine approaches the "disease" from the point of view of evolutionary biology. "For Darwin, depression was a clarifying force, focusing the mind on its most essential problems. In his autobiography, he speculated on the purpose of such misery; his evolutionary theory was shadowed by his own life story. 'Pain or suffering of any kind,' he wrote, 'if long continued, causes depression and lessens the power of action, yet it is well adapted to make a creature guard itself against any great or sudden evil.' And so sorrow was explained away, because pleasure was not enough. Sometimes, Darwin wrote, it is the sadness that informs as it 'leads an animal to pursue that course of action which is most beneficial.' The darkness was a kind of light. The mystery of depression is not that it exists — the mind, like the flesh, is prone to malfunction. Instead, the paradox of depression has long been its prevalence. While most mental illnesses are extremely rare — schizophrenia, for example, is seen in less than 1 percent of the population — depression is everywhere, as inescapable as the common cold."
Harvard psychologists discover why we dislike the people who deliver bad news.
- A new study looked at why people tend to "shoot the messenger".
- It's a fact that people don't like those who deliver them bad news.
- The effect stems from our inherent need to make sense of bad or unpredictable situations.
He reminds us that meaning is wherever we choose to look.
- Alan Watts suggests there is no ultimate meaning of life, but that "the quality of our state of mind" defines meaning for us.
- This is in contradiction to the notion that an inner essence is waiting to be discovered.
- Paying attention to everyday, mundane objects can become highly significant, filling life with meaning.
If life exists on Mars, there's a good chance it's related to us, say researchers.
When MIT research scientist Christopher Carr visited a green sand beach in Hawaii at the age of 9, he probably didn't think that he'd use the little olivine crystals beneath his feet to one day search for extraterrestrial life.
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