Ha Jin on the wild and tragic life of China's greatest poet, Li Bai

The 8th century AD was a tough time to be a genius from a poor family in China. Poet and novelist Ha Jin on the tortured life of the legendary drunken poet Li Bai. Also: panpsychism, the value of idleness, and humanities education in America today.

  • "I knew in the case of Li Bai, I should follow the poems. Every masterpiece by him would be kind of a small crisis…a center for drama in his life."
  • "There are people who want a different kind of fulfillment. Society should be open to that. In the long run, you don't know—maybe those idlers can produce more for the society."
Keep reading Show less

Weird love advice that works: Be a dog.

It feels crazy good when someone is excited to see you. Give that gift to your family every day – but especially on Valentine's day.

  • The research is sad but true: People are often more considerate to friends and strangers than they are to their partners.
  • Gretchen Rubin's advice? When your partner walks in the door, show them as much affection as your dog does. Be excited to see them! Give a real hello and a real goodbye.
  • Appreciate your partner: It's the easiest thing to do, and the easiest thing to forget.
Keep reading Show less

Jordan Peterson's take on the origins of the Buddha

In this short video, he compares the outset of Buddhism with the biblical garden.

  • During this class, Jordan Peterson describes how overprotective parenting led to the creation of Buddhism.
  • Peterson compares the Buddhist origin myth with the story of Eden.
  • Both tales deal with the onset of consciousness and mortality and therefore are universal in appeal.
Keep reading Show less

7 top CEOs on the one thing that makes their mornings more productive

No, it doesn't include waking up at 4 a.m.

Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for THR
Personal Growth

Do you wake up and check your email while your eyes are still half closed? If so, you might want to rethink your morning routine. The early hours of the day set the tone for everything to come, so it's no surprise that so many successful people take an intentioned approach to what they do first thing.These hyper-successful CEOs reveal their morning routines that help them prioritize calm, concentration, and the meaningful stuff — without sacrificing productivity.

Keep reading Show less
Photo credit: Ian Stauffer on Unsplash
Personal Growth
  • Practicing self-compassion is shown to reduce arousal and increase parasympathetic activation in a new study.
  • Feeling comfortable in your skin leads to higher-order emotions, such as empathy and compassion.
  • Buddha realized this millennia ago when prescribing compassion as the path to self-realization.
Keep reading Show less

MDMA shown to increase empathy over other substances

It's all about the serotonin.

German actor Jonas Dassler (L) and German director and screenwriter Fatih Akin embrace before leaving a press conference for the film 'The golden glove' (Der Goldene Handschuh) presented in competition at the 69th Berlinale film festival on February 9, 2019 in Berlin. - The Berlin film festival will be running from February 7 to 17, 2019. Nearly 400 movies from around the world will be presented, with 17 vying for the prestigious Golden Bear top prize. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Surprising Science
  • In a new study, MDMA is shown to produce better cognitive and emotional empathy than users of cocaine, ketamine, and alcohol.
  • This follows in the wake of criticism that MDMA use leads to social distress.
  • Illegal in America since 1985, MDMA is showing positive efficacy rates in clinical trials for treating depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Keep reading Show less