By Laura A. Roser The Bhagavad Gita is a 700-verse Sanskrit scripture that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. It tells the story of a warrior—prince Arjuna—who must decide whether or not to go to war with his cousins to gain rulership over the kingdom. His cause is just, but Isn’t it a sin…

By Laura A. Roser In his book, Care of the Soul, Thomas Moore writes: How you spend your working hours — what you look at, sit on and work with —makes a difference, not only in terms of efficiency but for its effect on your sense of yourself and the direction your imagination takes. Some…

By Laura A. Roser Jean-Paul Sartre’s Insight and What It Means for Your Family In his 1943 play No Exit (Huis Clos, in French), Sartre wrote: “All those eyes intent on me. Devouring me. What? Only two of you? I thought there were more; many more. So this is hell. I’d never have believed it. You…

By Laura A. Roser The Anna Karenina Principle and Your Family “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” begins Leo Tolstoy’s classic work, Anna Karenina. Put another way, all happy families have mastered all elements that lead to a happy family. These elements include sexual attraction, financial health, parenting,…

By Randy Petersen Adventures as a History Writer My agent came to me with a great idea. “Did you know that Ben Franklin and George Whitefield were friends? Somebody should write a book about that.” If you don’t know the name George Whitefield, you’re not alone. He was the British preacher who captivated the American colonies…

By Laura A. Roser Blaise Pascal’s Views on Rationality Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician, inventor, physicist, writer, and Christian philosopher, wrote in his work Pensées (“Thoughts”) in 1660-62: Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. Simultaneously Embracing Reason and Lack of Reason Life is full of…

By Laura A. Roser Henry David Thoreau on Living Deliberately In his seminal work, Walden (first published in 1854), Thoreau wrote: However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The…

By Laura A. Roser On Consciousness and How Thought Structures Affect Our Reality Have you ever wondered if reality is subjective? Is what you’re experiencing similar to what other humans are experiencing? Do your senses interpret stimuli the same way as the majority of people around you? Is reality mostly molded by your thoughts, or is…

By Laura A. Roser How Our Environment Shapes Our Thoughts In Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693), John Locke writes: “We are all a sort of chameleons, that still take a tincture from things near us: nor is it to be wondered at in children, who better understand what they see, than what they hear.” It is…

By Laura A. Roser Zen and the Art of Car Shopping My taste in cars drives my engineer father crazy. I rate a car’s attractiveness over its utility every time — which usually means that I end up with a cute, but temperamental foreign car that’s expensive to fix and costs significantly more than a “more…

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